The response to the call-out for Juliet on Monday was truly amazing! More than 1000 of you shared and tweeted the blog, and dozens more wrote to the local MP and councillor in less than 2 days. And today we saw the results. Massive thanks to everyone who came out to Barnet and braved the torrential rains, as well as those that sent emails in support.
First, Juliet, who had been discharged by Barnet Homes along with her four kids, was offered a three bedroom house in the borough. She hasn’t been able to see it yet, but without our voices online and protesting outside Barnet Homes she wouldn’t have been made the offer. However, while Juliet’s offer was a great success, the dignity finally afforded to her family must be a human right for all, and not the result of a public outcry.
So at 4pm we decided to blockade the A1000, London’s main commuter road outside Barnet Homes’ offices, to protest the wider patterns of social cleansing across London. We’ve seen families being pushed beyond the capital and put through immeasurable stress, just so that companies like Annington Homes can bulldoze good houses to make way for luxury flats.
Following the blockade we marched through Sweets Way and broke Annington’s undemocratic injunction against political protest on the estate. This injunction should never have been granted in the first place. And since we were walking around in the road with banners anyway, we thought: ‘Why not break that injunction while we’re at it?’
So we did. Then we went back to our occupied social centre (which will be two months old on Friday), drank tea and discussed the day’s events. We also got to meet lots of new faces who had responded to the call-out online and, having felt a bit of what people power can achieve, were all the more committed to getting involved in the campaign.
Today we had a partial victory – on a day when, if we hadn’t come together to fight, a family would be at risk of being thrown out onto the street. In the days ahead, with our growing numbers and profile, we are sure to have more victories as we fight alongside other Sweets Way families that continue to be moved around like furniture.
Tomorrow, some of us will vote, some of us may not, but we’ll all be here together on Friday, fighting for our homes and for a London that is truly a city for all, and not only for those who can afford the kinds of properties Annington is destroying Sweets Way to build.
If you want to get involved, pop by the social centre and say hello this weekend as we celebrate two months of occupation!