“Despite Newham Council’s attempt to evict us, we can today confirm that the E15 Open House occupation will continue until 7 October as planned.
We called Newham Council on the first day of the occupation to negotiate with us. The plan was never to stay indefinitely. They refused to speak to us. Instead they chose to use draconian and expensive legal procedures, threats and dirty tricks. They cut off our water and vandalized the water mains, served an unlawful court summons with only two hours notice and they have repeatedly misled the public.
If Newham had come to talk to us we could have agreed to leave within two weeks. Instead, they refused to enter into a dialogue. We would like to know how much taxpayers’ money has been spent on taking us to court, and how many people that money could have housed.
Our demands to the Council continue to be:
– Repopulate the Carpenters Estate with secure long term council tenancies now
– An immediate end to the decanting and evictions of existing residents
– No demolition of the estate
– The management of Carpenters Estate by the residents, for the residents, no third party or private management
This experience has shown us that there is a broad based movement for council housing in London. There are empty homes in every borough, every town and every city in the country. Focus E15 show us that there are simple, community based solutions to the housing crisis.
We will continue to fight displacement and evictions and to campaign for secure, council housing through direct action, mobilisation and legal means. See you on the streets, in the courtrooms and in our future actions.
More articles on Focus E15:
Open Democracy article: Why is middle class feminism so disinterested in women hit by austerity? (interviews with the Focus E15 mothers on their campaign to date)