Monthly Archives: September 2014

E15 ‘occupation’: We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents fighting eviction after occupying empty homes

An article in the Independent newspaper discusses how the Focus E15 campaign ‘highlights the plight of low-income families – and the dismantling of social housing’

Read the full article by clicking here.

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Russia Today gets in on the action

They wrote:

Protesting against the lack of affordable social housing in an East London borough, a group of 29 homeless single mothers and their children have occupied a block of flats to demand action on the city’s housing crisis.

The group, calling itself “Focus E15,” complained that an estate in Stratford was almost empty, having been cleared by the local council, while increasing numbers of local people could not afford to buy or rent a home.

The women said people were facing homelessness and displacement due to the lack of affordable and social housing in London. They called for “social housing, not social cleansing”.

For the full report click here

The Newham Recorder reports on our occupation

The local reporter, Mike Brook, wrote:

Members of the Focus E15 campaign used the occupation on Stratford’s Carpenter’s Estate next to the Olympic Park to try and shame Town Hall bosses over leaving “perfectly habitable” homes empty for years.

They accused Newham Council of shipping families from the estate out of London, leaving homes vacant in site of the Olympic Stadium.

“The estate has 2,000 empty council homes due to the decision to sell off the land to a private developer,” said Focus E15’s Jasmine Stone.

For the full article click here

A great Guardian report on our occupation & political inaction

Special thanks to Aditya Chakrabortty for this great report that got the rest of the media following in herds. He wrote:

This weekend, while commentators yawped on about local democracy, and Ed Miliband vowed he’d close the chasm between the rich and the rest of us by a whole couple of centimetres, a bunch of young women in east London just got on and did it.

They began with a Sunday afternoon fun day, the mothers laying on facepainting and some Sister Sledge. What jarred was the location: the Carpenters estate, next to the Olympic village, was long ago cleared of most of its residents as Newham council tried to flog the land.

Except the last deal fell through, leaving around 600 council homes empty. This is in a borough where more than 24,000 households are waiting for somewhere to live, and where, last winter, the shopping precinct was full of rough sleepers.

To read the full article click here

A communist report on the street party & occupation

Amidst a ‘Fun Day’, organised to celebrate the one year anniversary of the campaign, supporters of the campaign occupied four properties on the Carpenters Estate, which the local Labour council has earmarked for demolition and redevelopment.

With Newham’s Labour Mayor away at the Labour Party conference, an occasion which saw Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls reassert Labour’s commitment to savage service cuts – ‘balancing the books’ -, what better time to step up the fightback against cuts, social cleansing and gentrification?

Hundreds of people were invited to tour the homes, which the campaign has set up as the E15 Social Centre – a place for the community to discuss housing, social cleansing and gentrification.

To read the full report click here

They also put this video together of the day..

A local blogger reports on street party & occupation

carpenters rd est occupation 21/9/14Glenn McMahon reported:

The party atmosphere at the community event was in stark contrast to the boarded up houses that looked down upon it. However, amid a drum roll and loud cheers a ribbon was cut to announce the opening of a four-flat block.

The campaigners said they will clean up and reuse the space to hold workshops to highlight the plight of those being left behind by the government’s ideologically driven policies including austerity and to educate one-another on how to fight back.

Jasmine, a member of the E15Focus group, said: “We wanted to make people aware that while we were being evicted from our hostel perfectly good homes have been boarded up for no good reason other than to write them off to be demolished so they can build luxury apartments.”

To read the whole of Glenn’s report click here

He also made this brief video of the day…