Saturday 18 December 2021. People gathered on the Carpenters Estate in Stratford E15 to challenge Newham Labour council and Mayor Rokshana Fiaz after the local ballot returned a Yes vote for the council’s regeneration plan. A Yes vote means demolition of almost 60% of the estate.
Focus E15 campaign along with residents, decanted residents, local people, Brimstone House residents and comrades from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Newham Resists! and Newham Socialist Labour, spoke out with a clear message that council homes should be refurbished not demolished, that the council’s agenda is one of pursuing maximum profit, not housing those most in need, and that the local Labour councillors are part of the problem not the solution. As one speaker said, if they stand on the right side of history, they should resist or resign.
For two decades the council has been chipping away at the community and leaving homes empty and watching them fall into disrepair. As part of this current phase, the council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to secure a Yes vote in the ballot, now rubbing their hands with glee that they have the green light to destroy more council housing. A resident from the estate was clear – how dare the council keep families cooped up in Brimstone House, overcrowded and unsuitable for families and children, while over 400 council homes lie empty on the Carpenters Estate.
A former resident of 40 years on the estate, decanted in 2011, with empty promises of the right of return, said, people know they are being lied to and the fight is not over.
As Thomas Sankara, African revolutionary from Burkina Faso, said in the 1980s:To those who have acquired houses and land through corruption, we say: Start to tremble!
Expose the corruption of the Labour council in Newham!
Refurbish, Don’t Demolish the Carpenters Estate!
Stand together to demand housing justice!
Focus E15 campaign sends solidarity greetings to all at the end of this complex year, thank you to all those who have supported the campaign through the lockdowns and restrictions. Let us move forward together in 2022.
The people united will never be defeated!