Monthly Archives: February 2015

Shining a light on the shadowy soldiers of social cleansing

Photo from #EvictTheBailiffs by @orpen_m on Twitter, used by permission.
Mock eviction photo by @orpen_m on Twitter, used by permission.

Focus E15 would like to thank those who took part in the #EvictTheBailiffs mock eviction at the British Credit Awards last night. The obscenity of the credit industry coming together at £4,000-per-table to celebrate the bailiffs and debt collectors that prey on and profit off of people who are struggling through the housing crisis should not pass unnoticed. At a time of unprecedented eviction rates, we felt an urgent need to shine a light on this predatory industry, which is profiting immensely from the suffering of others.

We feel the array of responses amongst participants was a very real reflection of the rage that exists over the hardship and misery of poor and working class families, which was being gratuitously celebrated inside the venue. Add to this the juxtaposition between £4,000 for a table at this dinner and people who are having to use food banks to feed their family.

We were encouraged by many of the comments from passers-by who clearly understood the story that was playing out:

“In my opinion it’s like something off the Hunger Games; London will be cleansed of poor people.”

“It’s great that you’re doing something so they don’t feel comfortable celebrating their industry.”

The Sheriff’s Office – the company that evicted Focus E15 member and school teacher Nazrah Ismail, her 3 young children and disabled husband just before Christmas – once again won the award for ‘Enforcement Team of the Year.’ We will continue to shine a light on their vicious and inhumane practices at every opportunity in our ongoing fight for social housing and against social cleansing.

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#EvictTheBailiffs at the British Credit Awards! 11.02.15, 18:00 SHARP!

READ THE PRESS RELEASE HERE.

Focus E15 invite you to the Brewery (52 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SD) for 6pm sharp on Weds. Feb. 11, to welcome those arriving at the 2015 British Credit Awards’ £4,000-per-table black-tie affair, in which bailiffs and debt collectors will be receiving awards for making families homeless.

Since companies like ‘The Sherriff’s Office’ receive nominations by throwing people and their belongings out onto the cold streets of London, we intend to turn the front entrance of the Brewery into a mock eviction site for attendees to experience before an evening of champagne, three-course dinners, and the kudos of their peers.

We encourage anyone concerned with social cleansing and the criminalisation of poverty to bring rubbish bags, boxes, and broken pieces of furniture to scatter across the front entrance of the Brewery as guests arrive to receive awards like ‘Enforcement Team of the Year,’ ‘Third Party Debt Collection Team of the Year’ and ‘Consumer Collections Team of the Year.’

We encourage a peaceful but outraged action, and particularly hope those with first-hand experience of bailiff evictions will come out and share their stories with attendees as they enter the venue.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/318363071706933/

Twitter: #EvictTheBailiffs

READ THE PRESS RELEASE HERE.

SPREAD THE WORD! EVICT THE BAILIFFS!

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Robin Wales, mayor of Newham, guilty of breaching Members Code of Conduct

PRESS RELEASE
Focus E15 Campaign                                                2 February 2015

Robin Wales, mayor of Newham, guilty of breaching Members Code of Conduct

Newham Labour mayor Robin Wales has been found guilty of breaching the council’s Members Code of Conduct after investigation by the Newham Standards Committee into treatment of Focus E15 campaigners last summer.

The investigation was sparked by an official complaint, submitted by local resident and activist Kevin Blowe [1], after he watched footage (below) of Robin Wales which showed his aggressive verbal and physical response to the Focus E15 mothers and supporters of the campaign. This took place last July at the Newham Mayor’s Show [2].

RW restrained YouTube screenshot

This is a victory for the many people who have been the target of Robin Wales’ arrogant and rude behaviour and who have witnessed the contempt that he has for working class people in his borough over the last 13 years as mayor. However, Wales runs a tight ship and has managed to keep most of the criticism of him out of the public spotlight, including through attempts to muzzle critical Labour backbenchers  [3]. So while this isn’t the first time that Robin Wales has behaved badly, it is one of the first times that he has had been held to account for the way in which he treats people.

Robin Wales, and his cronies at the council, continue their policy of social cleansing, sending people out of London to homes miles from friends, family and support networks, while leaving the Carpenters Estate in Stratford E15 mostly empty with perfectly adequate flats boarded up.

Focus E15 campaign continues to highlight the outcome of this policy that tears communities and families apart and demands the repopulation of the Carpenters Estate.

In the year when Newham is celebrating 50 years as a borough, we say that Robin Wales is not fit to be mayor and it is now time for him to go.

You can find the campaign on the Broadway, outside Wilko, Stratford E15, every Saturday from 12-2pm on the weekly stall. www.focuse15.org

For interviews please email focusE15london@gmail.com or phone 07469 889 069.

[1] http://www.blowe.org.uk/2015/01/newham-mayor-guilty-of-breaching.html?m=1 
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsPxancNiqk&x-yt-cl=85114404&x-yt-ts=1422579428
[3] http://forestgate.net/2014/11/12/gagging-order/