Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1037/28962
Social cleansing continues in Southwark
Bill Mullins and Arti Dillon
Divine Rescue, a homelessness charity, is being evicted from its council-owned premises on the Aylesbury estate in Southwark, south London.
The charity, which caters for up to 150 homeless and desperately impoverished families a day, has been told to hand back the keys for the Thurlow Lodge community hall.
Voluntary workers for the charity told us the Labour council has been trying to get rid of them for years.
Two years ago they were prepared to take the council to court, but with the threat of £60,000 court costs hanging over their heads they were forced to sign an agreement to leave the premises.
The council claimed that there had been instances of anti-social behaviour from the clients of the charity but these have been strenuously denied. Southwark council's plans to 'regenerate' the Aylesbury estate have been vigorously opposed by both tenants and other groups in the area.
The council wants to knock down thousands of homes and let developers move in to build private homes for sale and rent, with a token number of social rented homes.
The neighbouring Heygate estate, which had over 900 council homes, has been demolished and now it is overwhelmingly private - with less than 50 council homes. Many of these properties are investments, not homes for the thousands 'lucky' enough be on the housing list.
The council has said it will now offer Divine Rescue a further short period of time to find new premises. They had promised to help the charity find alternative premises before, but all they did was to send a few links to local shops and commercial properties, mostly well outside what the charity can afford.
We will encourage local trade unions to campaign to keep the charity running while fighting the benefit cuts, low wages and unaffordable rents which are driving more and more people to food banks and soup kitchens.
There are plans to have further public activities in the borough, including public meetings.
- Messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
- Click here to read our full appeal statement
- Click here for our coronavirus articles and reports
- Click here to join the Socialist Party
In The Socialist 10 April 2019:
What we think
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns