Reports from recent solidarity trips to Take Back The City Dublin and Living Rent Campaign Glasgow
Active solidarity with anti-racist housing campaigns is key in the struggle to build a unified movement to challenge a system which is failing from one City to the next. Debating different methods and politics with other housing campaigns is an important part of our work. To that end we were recently hosted by Take Back The City Dublin and also by Living Rent Campaign in Glasgow, as we joined them for their AGM.
Take Back The City – Dublin, Ireland
(Previously called Summerhill Occupation) Take Back The City contacted Fe15 campaign during their first occupation. We were very excited to show solidarity with them, and you can see their initial statement published on our blog. Following a second occupation, we decided to visit these brave campaigners in August to hold a discussion, visit the occupation and make the links between London and Dublin, as many campaigners from these Cities have done in the past.
We spoke at a public street meeting in Dublin, Ireland: Watch here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2115174032081958/?active_tab=discussion
Dublin’s rents are as high as in London. This is a City of many empty homes and many homeless families. The growing action in Ireland is an illustration of organised resistance to this; people are fighting back!
Take Back The City has evolved from the work between many different political groups, campaigns and individuals. They are demonstrating the strength of fast paced direct action, but they have also shown us how brutally the state can try and squash political action which is making a difference; campaigners were hospitalised during violent evictions last month.
Garda (Irish Police) violently evict Campaigners
This state intimidation has not thrown off this campaign, and they are mobilising large numbers across Ireland to fight for housing. We will continue links with these comrades. Follow their action and like their page here: https://www.facebook.com/TakeBackTheCityDublin/
Living Rent Campaign – Glasgow
Focusing on organising renters in Glasgow and the rest of Scotland, this new tenants union held their first AGM last weekend and launched a new campaign ‘Not a Penny More’ .
Living Rent along with other groups and individuals organised against the eviction of 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow in July, and they have been growing ever since. Fe15 were invited to be on the panel of their opening session ‘Housing Struggles, Women in the lead’. Speaking alongside two women from Living Rent, we presented our 10 lessons from 5 years of campaigning to a packed audience in South West Glasgow in the radical neighborhood of Govan, which gave birth to the revolutionary 1915 rent strike and Mrs. Barbour’s Army of women; leading all the way!
(Mary Barbour’s Army memorial statue, Govan)
Rates of homelessness are substantially higher in Glasgow than in other areas of Scotland.
Number of children living in temporary accommodation (Shelter Scotland 2017/2018)
Excerpt from Living Rent AGM opening statement:
‘…. our union is not, and should not, be interested in co-opting the power of the institutions that have created the housing crisis. Instead, our interest lies in building our own institutional power – one that is equipped to defend itself, run by tenants, for tenants.’
We endorse these principles and are excited to see a growing housing movement in Glasgow built on this solid foundation.
Read the full Living Rent AGM opening and closing statements here:
London to Glasgow,
Dublin to London,
One Struggle, One Fight!