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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 October 2020
Waltham Forest Save Our Square:
Mass outside meeting draws up battle plan
Save Our Square protesters in Walthamstow, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Linda Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party
A breath of fresh air. After being huddled over a computer in endless Zoom discussions for nine months, it was great to be outside again in the town square, doing what the Socialist Party has been doing for five years: campaigning to stop corporate greed disfiguring our town square with monster blocks of totally unaffordable flats.
In February 2018, one of our first mass activities was an occupation-demo in the square involving hundreds and hundreds of people. On 24 October, 100 people responded to the call from the Save Our Square campaign, alarmed at the council's new juggernaut plans, with a miniscule number of flats for council tenants.
Last year, Waltham Forest council partially stepped back and agreed to save the avenue of beautiful lime trees, due for demolition in the redevelopment.
Next year, the plans would have run out of time, and been wiped off the books. Victory was so close.
With the Covid crisis, these councillors - handmaidens of craven property developers - seem to think that the previous opposition will just die away, that they can bring back the old plans in a new form and get away with it this time. No Way!
The square meeting drew up a battle plan:
- Lobby and letter write in the consultation period
- Mass attendance at the planning committee, like last time
- Mass action and occupation should all that fail
Above all, Nancy Taaffe, a Socialist Party member and chair of Save Our Square, made a call to campaigners and trade unionists to stand for council in the next elections. We, the campaigners, would make different decisions - stopping property giants and start building council homes at council rents.
Everyone cheered at the end of the meeting, pleased that we now have a growing body of people who've had enough and are willing to fight - whatever it takes.
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In The Socialist 28 October 2020:
What we think
Tories' school meals outrage
Don't let Tories starve our kids
Tory 'Starve a Kid to Save a Quid' scheme
Boots launches £120, 12-minute Covid test
Under the microscope
Backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary
Royal Mail: No more behind closed doors talks
Fight Leeds Labour council's massive cuts
Workplace news in brief
NHS England's £1bn winter shortfall: we need union action, not platitudes!
BAME Covid deaths due to capitalist inequality, confirms government
Mayor and government compete to attack London transport: fight for no cuts!
Grenfell watch: landlord's £800,000 saving
Food and a capitalist Brexit: No trust in Tory Deals!
Nigeria protests shake regime
"We need a leadership that comes from the movement"
Bolivia elections: Crushing defeat for the right as MAS secures landslide victory
US presidential election
Online youth rally says: We won't pay with our futures
Birmingham: 'Refund our fees' protests
Solidarity with the movement in Nigeria
Evicted students can fight back and win
Waltham Forest Save Our Square:
Why I joined the Socialist Party - "I'm 15, and already I've lived through two global recessions and a pandemic"
Bristol jobs protest: We want 100% pay
One rule for them, and another for us
Books that inspired me: Germinal
The Socialist Inbox
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