Monthly Archives: May 2015

People Power Doesn’t Wait to Vote in Barnet!

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!


Eviction successfully resisted in Camberwell!

Saffi, her sisters, mother, and grandmother are housed by Southwark council in temporary accommodation, but have been evicted by the council and continuously moved about – including being sent out to Plumstead. They are currently living on an estate in Camberwell that the council has earmarked for demolition. On Sunday, 3rd May we received this e-mail from her.

Good afternoon, my name is Safie Emila Sellu. I am 14 years old turning 15 on the 16th June. I live with my younger sisters who are 5 and 7. My ill grandmother and single mother. We are located in Southeast London. Southwark.

Yesterday my family and I joined a peaceful protest in Ealing, with the supportive Working Revolutionary people’s party. After the marching, we attended a meeting, where we we thankfully met one of your staffs who instructed me to write this message to ask for you support on Tuesday 5th May 2015.

Considering the fact that like all our other houses we have lived in, we have been evicted from our ramshackle house at 51 Benhill Road London SE5 7QY and we are expected to leave at 11:00 and become homeless again.

We constantly keep moving from one house to another nonstop for over the past years. This is extremely difficult because I am missing school and I have my GCSE exams and my family have been undergoing this difficult process all our life and I feel we need to put a stop to this.

Thus I am pleading with all my might, that you come down and support us on along with some other generous people coming to peacefully protest and make our voices audible concerning the way the council are treating our community.

Thank you

photo credit: People's Republic of SouthwarkPhoto: People’s Republic of Southwark

On the morning of Tuesday, 5th May, nearly forty people turned up at Saffi’s home from Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth, Aylesbury and Guiness, squatters, Lambeth Housing Activists, Green & Black Cross, Reclaim Brixton, Revolutionary Workers Party, People’s Republic of Southwark, and others.

The council are trying to evict the family for alleged rent arrears. Contrary to what Southwark Council claim, rent arrears does not automatically make you ‘intentionally homeless’. The family have lawyers who are appealing the decision, but in the meantime collective action kept the family in their home.

After seeing a balcony of people and banners determined to block their way, the bailiffs and builders didn’t approach but hid around the corner talking with the police. Once they had left, Saffi’s mum delivered a powerful victory speech about how many families are facing eviction, and promised to help any others in the same situation fight for their homes. Her speech can be watched here:

She then invited us all in for a victory feast of jollof rice with chicken and plantain.

Eviction resistance victory feast!Eviction resistance victory feast!

SI SE PUEDE: a documentary to watch!

The documentary “SI SE PUEDE” by the PAH (Spanish Housing movement) is now available online for free and in multiple languages. It shows how people got organized to provide mutual support and resist hundreds of evictions. It is so interesting and inspirational; their approach to campaigning and resisting evictions is amazing! In the last few months it has influenced many housing campaigns in London, and many groups in the Radical Housing Network.

Watch it if you can! Even better, watch it with your friends/fellow campaigners: