Tag Archives: Poor Doors

This Is Our City Not Theirs, It’s Time To Tell The Rich To Fuck Off

poor-doors-pitchforks

As glass and concrete spindles made of luxury flats climb into the clouds above London below them lives a generation of children who will never be able to afford to live here when they are grown up.

Across the capital families and communities are being fractured as rents soar beyond poverty wages and benefit caps mean eviction and forced relocation for those who fall on hard times.  In central London at night huddled bodies in sleeping bags fill the shop doorways whilst camps of homeless migrants hide beneath bridges and in tunnels after finding out the city’s streets were actually paved with shit.  Social housing estates are being slowly run down, decanted and demolished to make way for the rich and a handful of so-called affordable properties that nobody local can afford.  Gentrification forces up rents and closes down well loved local pubs and markets to be replaced by hipster twats selling over-priced cupcakes or bowls of fucking Coco Pops to each other.

The rich should not just be unwelcome in this environmnent, they should be despised.  None of this has happened by accident.  As property prices rocket out of reach every last fucking brick has become an investment opportunity.  London does not have a housing problem, some of the most expensive properties in the city are empty and unused.  London has a rich people problem.

Yet as the social and cultural heart of the capital is ripped apart, a spectre is haunting London.  A spectre of toff-hating fucking rage.  Recently up to four thousand people marched on City Hall demanding homes, whilst a breakaway groups took to the roads and occupied empty flats on the Aylesbury Estate. Abandoned properties have been occupied throughout the capital from Stratford to Mayfair.  Shadowy American property developers Westbrook Partners were chased out of their ownership of the New Era Estate after threatening to hike rents.  Local groups who face losing their homes have brought construction sites to a standstill with blockades.  Last week bailiffs, the attack dogs of the rich, were pelted with paint bombs at their glitzy annual award ceremony.   And the boisterous Poor Doors demonstrations are back after pampered property developer Taylor McWilliams declared there was nothing he could be arsed to do to end social segregation in the building his company owns.

It is little wonder that the rich want us out of their playground.  Property developers now boast in adverts that there will be no social housing tenants in their luxury new flats.  Poor doors force low income tenants to use a different entrance to their homes than the rich who live in the same buildings.  Even gardens that were promised to low income residents are now to be fenced off and made available for posh cunts only.  David Cameron has threatened a policy which will socially cleanse the poor from the entire South East of England within a week of any Tory election victory.  But we are not fucking going anywhere.

At the recent housing march it was declared that the growing movement for homes is the beginning of the end of London’s housing crisis.  Escalation is now vital on every front.  It’s time to make the rich feel unwelcome.  To let them know that if they leave their luxury buildings empty they will be occupied.  If they force us to use poor doors we will mob their buildings and spoil their dinners.  That from the trust fund Tarquins destroying local communities to the plutocrats, bankers and global super-rich buying houses to keep empty as investments, we will hunt them down and make their lives as uncomfortable as they want to make ours.  There are fucking loads more of us than them.  The rich are here by our consent.  It’s time to tell them to fuck off.

Next Thursday (19th February) the Poor Doors demo will start at 6pm sharp, 1 Commercial Street, E1 and march to the site of the stolen garden at Tower Bridge SE1.  Then on Monday 23rd February Boris Johnson will be the target as housing campaigners flock to City Hall to block his budget.  If you have kids growing up in this city or plan to grow old here then you should be there, at both if you can.  This is our London, not theirs and we need to take it back.

Please help spread the word about both events, for more info on the Poor Doors protest visit Class War’s website and join/share the facebook event page for Block the Budget.

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Here We Fucking Go! A String Of Victories Shows That When We Fight Back We Can Win

we-are-winningThe bastards are dropping like flies.  A string of victories have been won this week as people at the sharp end of austerity have shown that we don’t need giant trade unions or insincere political parties to do politics for us.

In East London, property developers Redrow have announced they are selling their £46.75m stake in 1 Commercial Street, the luxury tower block in East London.  This building has been the target of an 18 week campaign against the ‘poor doors’ which force people in the so-called affordable properties to use a different entrance to those living in the posh flats.  Rowdy weekly demonstrations have brought chaos to this busy part of London and enjoyed huge local support.  The protests are set to continue with a victory celebration next Wednesday 19th November from 6pm.

Meanwhile in Hackney the tenants on the New Era estate have driven the vile Benyon family to sell their investment in the estate where residents have been threatened with huge rent hikes.  This decision followed a lively protest when hundreds of people marched on the Benyon Estate offices and served a mock eviction on the company which is co-owned by Tory MP Richard Benyon – believed to be Britain’s richest elected politician.  Suddenly London’s property market is not looking like such a lucrative investment as everywhere people are starting to organise against soaring rents, gentrification, social segregation and evictions.*

A stunning triumph against workfare has also taken place in Liverpool where the city’s branch of the IWW Union had called a demonstration against the use of workfare by council sub-contractors Bulky Bobs.  Not only did the threat of this protest cause the organisation to pull out of unpaid work and agree to sign the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement, but they have also issued one of the strongest statements yet against Jobcentre workfare schemes.  Quoted on the Liverpool IWW website, Bulky Bobs say: “We are happy to support Liverpool IWW in their efforts to persuade the DWP to scrap Workfare and would urge any other business involved in the scheme to withdraw at once.”

Resistance to forced work has been strong in Liverpool, with regular protests being held and volunteer agencies in the city condemning workfare. Liverpool Council have also pledged to boycott George Osborne’s Help To Work scheme which forces claimants to work for six months without pay or face losing meagre benefits.  Liverpool could soon become the first workfare free city, which would be pretty fucking funny given that Merseyside contains the constituency of Employment Minister Esther McVey.

There was a further victory against workfare in Motherwell after LAMH Recycling also announced they would be ending their involvement with the scheme.  This social enterprise hit the headlines after local unemployed man John McArthur had his benefits stopped for refusing to work without pay at the organisation where he had previously been a paid employee.  John had held weekly protests outside the company leading to them finally withdrawing from forced labour.  Following the announcment McArthur took to twitter to thank the “extraordinary kindness of people whom I have never met but who have contacted me offering assistance. They keep alive the true spirit of charity, i.e caritas (love), and giving without seeking a fee (or free labour)”.

Finally a resurgent Class War, who also instigated the Poor Doors protests, chased Iain Duncan Smith across his leafy Chingford constituency yesterday.  Unfortunately they didn’t manage to catch the bastard but they did discover that the only way he could get people to attend his self-publicising jobs fair was to threaten to take their benefits away if they didn’t show up.  Pitiful.

At times it feels like the onslaught of shit is relentless.  But these events show that when we fight back we can win.  Don’t wait for political parties, the TUC or the growing band of celebrity lefties to tell you what to do.  Find a weak spot, organise, and kick it till it fucking breaks.

*UPDATE: 16/11/14 The tenants are reporting on twitter that Westbrook Partners who now control the estate are now threatening them with eviction.  Follow the campaign @newera4all for the latest news.

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Burning Boris Sparks Arrests At Poor Doors Demo

poor-doorsTwo people were arrested last night after an unprovoked attack by police on a lively and good-natured protest against the notorious ‘poor doors’ in London.

Around a hundred people gathered outside the swanky entrance of 1 Commercial Street – a luxury block of flats with a handful of social housing properties included.  A weekly demonstration has been held outside the building ever since it emerged that the tenants living in social housing are forced to use a different door to the toffs occupying the posh flats.

Last night’s protest saw an effigy of London Mayor Boris Johnson burst into flames whilst an angry mob chanted “Burn Boris Burn”.  A heavy police presence looked on, but the mood remained jovial and defiant as people waved sparklers, whilst occassional red flares added some Bonfire Night pizazz.  After Boris was reduced to a pile of simmering embers, a clearly amused member of the fire brigade tipped water over the Mayor’s remains after instructions from police.

The protest, as on previous weeks, was scheduled to end at 7pm.  At around five to seven, just as things were starting to wind down, police lurched into the crowd grabbing several of the fantastically named Class War Women’s Death Brigade who were dancing with a banner.  Their target was Jane Nicholl, a member of the group and long standing supporter of the Poor Doors protest.  Despite valiant attempts from the crowd to release her, Jane was bundled into the back of a police van which was then promptly surrounded by protesters shocked at this senseless and unprovoked arrest.  Police reinforcements soon arrived and punchy coppers with dogs began to push protesters away leading to one more person being detained.

The arrest of Jane Nicholl, who was refused her medication and threatened with ludicrous arson charges, reveals a sinister pattern of events.  The only previous arrest at the these protests was of her partner and anarchist blogger Ian Bone, a high profile member of Class War who helped to instigate the demonstrations  It appears that the police are trying to force people off the streets by targetting and arresting those they have decided are ring leaders.  The only possible response to that is for as many people as possible to get down to next week’s Poor Doors protest and show the bastards we will not be intimidated.

Both Jane and the other person arrested were finally relased in the middle of the night.  Freedom Bookshop have issued a call for witness statements to help with any upcoming court cases.

Please helps spread the word: Poor Doors Demo, every Wednesday, 6pm, 1 Commercial Street, E1, next to Aldgate East tube

Pic: Guy Smallman

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