Dear Jeremy,Congratulations on your winning the leadership of the Labour Party. I was pleased that in your victory speech you spoke of the need to fight social cleansing, something that as you know we have been fighting against for the last two years in Newham. You may remember that when we met in 2014 at an interview at Russia Today, we briefly spoke about the issue. On the 19 September, Focus E15 will be marching for housing and celebrating two years of our campaign fighting social cleansing, evictions and private landlords. The Focus E15 campaign has highlighted the housing crisis and has defiantly raised as much awareness possible. We have been in the press world wide as our struggle relates to millions of people and is led by those affected, feeling the brunt of austerity. I know this is short notice but it would be great if you could please either spare the time to speak to the march or send a message of support for it and for our campaign.In solidarityJasmin StoneOn behalf of the Focus E15 campaign.
On 13 April, Jasmin Stone of Focus E15 campaign was arrested on suspicion of squatting in a raid organised by Newham council and police. There followed a loud and militant demonstration at the police station where she was held and she was bailed to attend a police station in mid May. We have just heard that no charges will be brought against her.
The lead up to the police and council action was Focus E15 campaign supporting Jane Wood who had lived in Newham council accommodation, east London, for almost 21 years. On 24 March she and her 14-year-old daughter were evicted by bailiffs for rent arrears resulting from complex personal and medical circumstances leading to her Employment Support Allowance being stopped. At the last minute, when her family rallied around and offered to pay the outstanding debt, the Labour council refused to take the money, call off the bailiffs or allow Jane to keep her home.
Newham council is led by Labour Mayor Robin Wales, an unashamed advocate of gentrification, supporter of sanctioning and kicking out the poor and most vulnerable. Under his rule, 400 homes on the Carpenters’ Estate remain empty, while homeless people whom the council is compelled to house are forced to move out of London.
This is an example of political policing and a targeted arrest in an attempt to silence and intimidate political activists.
We will not accept the criminalisation of those who fight for social housing and against social cleansing.
Focus E15 campaign will be celebrating this victory on the weekly Focus E15 stall this Saturday 16 May from 12-2pm on The Broadway, Stratford E15, outside Wilko’s.
Come and join us.