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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2008

Don't evict Ricky Jones!

Over a hundred people marched through the streets of Stoke Newington, north London, on 10 May. They were protesting against the proposed eviction of the family of local school caretaker Ricky Jones from the school house at William Patten primary school, where they have lived for almost ten years.

Matthew Waterfall, branch secretary, Hackney Unison

Throughout the demonstration, petitions against the eviction were circulated to passers-by. Over 2,000 people have signed so far.

The demonstration ended at Clissold Park, where it was addressed by local MP Diane Abbott.

She said that the eviction of the family was unacceptable, especially given the cost of housing in the area. This could mean that two of Ricky's children who currently attend William Patten school would have to change schools.

Diane Abbott also criticised the fact that the school governors had been given ten minutes to look at the paperwork about the eviction. When an initial vote did not provide the result that the headteacher and chair of governors wanted, governors were asked to vote again!

Other supporters spoke, including from the NUT and Unison. They paid tribute to the work of Ricky and his partner Lisa, who is a local teacher, as experienced and dedicated public servants.

Ricky was also commended for his trade union work as the education convenor for Hackney Unison. Several speakers suggested that the eviction was an attempt by Hackney's Learning Trust to victimise a leading trade unionist.

The campaign is now moving up another gear following the success of this demonstration and having won the backing of the local MP. There will be a lobby of a school governors' meeting on Monday 19 May.

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In The Socialist 14 May 2008:

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