Tag Archives: Camden

Black Cap Occupied, Camden Is Rising, Thank Fuck For The Fuck Parade

camden-fuck-parade

Politics doesn’t have to be boring.  It doesn’t have to be endless A to B marches, dreary rallies full of power-hungry hasbeens or soulless celebrity benefit gigs that cost half a giro just for a ticket.

That’s not to say it’s always going to a barrel of fucking laughs.  Standing outside a Maximus assessment centre with a banner in the freezing cold or getting up at 5am to join a picket line is desperately important.  But a political movement that does not inspire or exhilarate will eventually run out of steam.  And the bastards are not going away any time soon.  We must not run out of steam.

Sometimes, by defying their rules, and acting collectively, we get to see a glimpse of what our lives could really be like – and that is a world worth fighting for.  We should chase those moments because they provide the strength to do the hard stuff, which for a sadly increasing number of people just means staying healthy and alive.

Summer is coming. They can’t take that away from us.  There is no better time to be out on the streets, and with anger against the Tories spreading throughout the UK there will be no lack of opportunity.  The Daily Mail wants a Summer of Rage it would be a shame to disappoint them.  But not on their terms.  It should be a summer of having a fucking laugh at their expense as well.

Every time the rich see us weep they crack open another bottle of champagne.  They want us starving if we don’t have a job, and miserable and worked half to death if we do.  It is not just that they want to take away the health service and the welfare state.  They want to turn our streets and cities, pubs, clubs, football grounds, anything they can find into their playgrounds and price us out.   This enclosure of human pleasure means that joy can no longer be free, it is just for the rich now, or at least only those who can pay.   Glastonbury Festival can only survive with a fence, security guards, coppers and eye-watering ticket prices because there isn’t a better festival down the road without all those things.  Margaret Thatcher made sure of that 30 years ago this week.

So let’s start taking it back.  All of it. The occupation of the Black Cap in Camden, one of London oldest gay cabaret venues and recently closed to make way for yet more luxury flats, is a fantastic start.  The upcoming Central London demonstration on June 20th does not have to be a soul-destroying display of obedience and quiet acceptence, it can be as spiky and fun as people make it.

In just over a month Class War are holding a Fuck Parade in Camden where rampant gentrification is destroying what was once a thriving cultural, and largely working class corner of London.  The event takes its name from an annual event in Berlin which sees thousands take over the streets to party and protest against the commercialisation of the city.  Just like in Berlin, London’s history and culture are being destroyed in the name of greed. 

According to one blogger, who reviewed last year’s event, the Berlin Fuck Parade “shatters the silence of all the newly-finished luxury blocks that dot the city’s streets, forbidding to the average Berliner despite being nearly empty.”  The same shit is happening everywhere.  Our resistance is global.  Etc (puts the spliff down).

For full details of the Fuck Parade, being held on July 11th from 7pm outside Camden Tube, please join (and share the fuck out of) the facebook page.  Or info here for non-facebook users.

The campaign to Save The Black Cap, which is not (yet) affiliated to the squatters are also on facebook and are holding a weekly vigil outside the venue on Saturdays from 1pm – 4pm.

A group has also formed to support Camden’s last remaining alternative venues by getting pissed in them – join the next Reclaim Camden pub crawl.

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Join me on facebook or follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Advertisements

This Is Fucking Vandalism, London’s History And Culture Are Being Destroyed In The Name Of Greed

black-capsAround 150 people joined a protest outside The Black Cap public house in Camden yesterday after it closed suddenly and without warning last week.  The long running LGBT venue opened in the 1960s, surviving throughout the days when gay people faced prosecution.  Now it is falling victim to rampant gentrification that respects neither culture or history and seeks only to make as much money as possible for greedy property developers.

Speaking at the protest drag artist Titti La Camp, a former performer at the pub, said 10 gay venues had closed in central London since the current Tory government weren’t elected.  In an all too familiar story, those trying to save The Black Cap believe it is likely to be converted into yet more luxury flats that nobody local can afford.

camden-marketsA few hundred yards away a large part of Camden Market is currently a building site, awaiting being converted into a soulless offices along with 170 new homes of which only 17 will be affordable.  The company behind the development is owned by billionaire Teddy Sagi, the man behind the explosion of fixed-odds betting terminals in bookies which have been called the crack cocaine of the gambling world.  Sagi’s company also owns Stables Market in Camden and several other local sites which are earmarked for development.

hardwaresDown the road in Berwick Street, Soho, a new development has led to the end of many long running local businesses like That’s Andy’s hardware shop which had existed for 20 years.  Many more shops lie empty after being forced to close.shop-signs

walkers-court-sohoThis is Walker’s Court at the end of Berwick Street.  This narrow passageway  was often photographed as an iconic example of Soho’s historic association with sex work.  Now it is boarded up and awaiting development by Soho Estates, the company founded by the late Paul Raymond who made millions out of Soho’s sex trade.  His grand-daughter, one of the UK’s richest women who sits on the board of Soho Estates, is now set to make millions out of the destruction of Soho’s sex work industry.madame-jojos-closedJust around the corner from Walker’s Court the famous Madame Jojo’s cabaret and burlesque venue was closed down at the end of last year.  The club was stripped of its licence after an alleged violent incident took place involving the club’s bouncers.  Madame Jojo’s had replaced both the management and security team after the incident but this was not enough to satisfy Westminster Council.  Those who used and loved the venue believe the real reason it was closed was the Council’s desire to gentrify the area.denmark-streetLess than 10 minutes walk away lies Denmark Street, better known as Tin Pan Alley, once the heart of the UK’s music industry and still a living, breathing community of musicians. Now it is being redeveloped into a “super-flexible, digitally-enabled streetscape” with posh flats, hotels, gigantic advertising boards, a ‘sky bar’ and a new piazza.  The developers call it a run down corner of London.  They should come to fucking Catford.  Actually they shouldn’t, cunts like them are already coming to Catford.  Some of the music shops have moved out of Denmark Street already.sax-shop-closedbailiffs-12barThese signs appear on the empty properties along Denmark Street after Bohemians 4 Soho squatted the 12 Bar Club in a last ditch effort to save the famous music venue from closure.  An army of bailiffs and security guards are now stationed in Central London protecting the property of the rich from the people who live here.st-martins-loftsThis is what is replacing these much loved venues and famous landmarks.  These loft apartments are on the former site of St Martin’s Art school, now re-located to King’s Cross.  A two bedroom flat in this building will cost you £4.5 million.  Of course it’s not just posh flats that are replacing our homes and community venues.new-mcdonalds-sohoLondon does not have a housing problem it has a rich people problem.  The decimation of Soho and Camden is just one side of it.  The other is the tragic evictions taking place everywhere from Barnet to Brixton and the record numbers of people sleeping on London’s streets.

Nobody wants this vandalism except for the grasping property developers, greedy landlords and global super rich who are turning every last brick in the city into an investment opportunity. They could not give a fuck about the people who live here – the people who built London and do the real work that makes it function.  This is not a natural development of the city due to changing fashions and demographics.  It is certainly not regeneration.  It is a robbery.  A city being reconstructed as Disneyland, where no real people can afford to live.  It will be the death of London in the end.  And the rich won’t care, they will be busy destroying somewhere else by then.

But there are fucking loads more of us than them.  Struggles over housing and community venues are bursting into life everywhere.  London has a long tradition of subversion, disobedience, rebellion and riots.  The London mob must rise again.  All of us, together, against the fucking rich.

The fight to save the Black Cap is not over, visit their facebook page.

Join the mass action against property developers at the vile Property Awards being held at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane this Tuesday 21st April, full details on facebook.

Reclaim Brixton is taking place on Saturday 25th April, for a run down of what’s taking place visit: http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2015/04/reclaim-brixton-event-on-sat-25th-april-times-places-and-meet-up-points/

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Join me on facebook or follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid