Category Archives: demolition

Turning a legal “defeat” into a real victory: The Sweets Way social centre has moved!

Cross-posted from https://sweetswayresists.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/time-for-a-bigger-place/

Sweets Way Resists responds to a predictably unfair legal decision and gets on with fighting social cleansing.

Today one of the most long-standing principles of British law was reinforced: that private property rights hold greater importance than human rights. A Barnet County Court judge decided to rule against our protest and social centre occupation on the Sweets Way estate, in favour of social cleansing property firm, Annington, even though agreeing with most of our arguments in the courtroom.

Not only did they grant Annington possession over the 160 or so homes of the Sweets Way estate, they even gave them an injunction against future protests taking place anywhere on the site! This is unprecedented and a worryingly draconian case for all involved in housing justice work. However, as long as private property is deemed more legally important than a range of human rights, this kind of thing will happen.

But what happened after the injunction is truly remarkable!

Upon our return from court, we found that the social centre at 60 Sweets Way had been emptied of all the things that made it beautiful. Meanwhile a new property – a five bedroom at 76 Oakleigh Road North, owned by Annington as well, but just beyond the injunction and possession zones – had been occupied and filled with all the makings of a new social centre!

There’s a Mexican proverb that feels appropriate for us today:

‘They tried to bury us, but they forgot that we were seeds.’

The courts may be stacked against us in the fight for decent homes, but the courts have never been where our power lies. Every time they try to shovel another heap of dirt on top of us and hope we’ll go away, we shoot up through the soil with another burst of strength!

So we lost in the courts, but we won in the homes of Sweets Way! And we’ll be here to keep the question of social cleansing on the agenda, and support one another as we fight to protect these buildings from demolition and secure decent homes for all those who have already been forced out of Sweets Way.

As always, come pay us a visit (We’re on Oakleigh Road North now, backing onto Sweets Way), send us food and household stuff if you are able to, keep calling Annington’s offices, and sign the petition to stop the demolition of Sweets Way!

Together, we can defeat giants!

Residents of Sweets Way resisted an eviction by bailiffs!

Barnet Housing Action Group held an anti-eviction protest at Sweets Way Estate on the 16th of February, resisting the eviction of four families, some of the last remaining residents in this site of social cleansing. The Bailiffs got scared off – showed up and drove away.

The FIGHTBACK has begun!!

Residents holding banners and waiting for bailiffs

Residents moved on to Barnet House Council Office, getting it under lockdown for two hours: but Barnet residents and newly homeless were refused entry by security.

Two newly homeless people and a witness secured entry for a meeting with Housing Officers….who have promised (on video) that each affected family will be contacted for a meeting this afternoon and be offered suitable housing locally. More actions planned this week – help wanted, including anyone with legal/advocacy experience!

NEWS OF EVICTIONS AND A PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Once again the corporate 0lympics have outdone themselves in the exclusion of local people;both the BBC and Al Jazeera  have taken over a number of the upper floors in  two residential tower blocks overlooking the olympic site. The residents being temporarily moved. In the spirit of exclusion ER believes the council have turned a blind eye to this.

Private security now control entry to the tower blocks for all residents.This control is so total that residents  have been denied access to their homes because of an apparent security breach at the BBC  suite or residents home as ER would like to call it.When police were called to the scene you will not be surprised to find they sided with the private security, further denying access to legitimate residents.There was no security breach, but ER fully expect the residents  to be further excluded during the corporate games.

A source has told ER there are plans to further gentrify  the Stratford area with the demolition of the two tower blocks, with the land being made available for yet more corporate development and greed at the expense of local people. Watch this space for further updates.


‘But I just popped out to get some milk!!!’