Victory for ‘We will not move’ Butterfields tenants

'They shall not pass!' Butterfields campaigners, photo Waltham Forest Trades Council

‘They shall not pass!’ Butterfields campaigners, photo Waltham Forest Trades Council   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Victory for ‘We will not move’ Butterfields tenants

A Socialist Party press release

Tenants on the Butterfields estate in Walthamstow, east London, have secured a victory against the housing crisis. They collectively said ‘we will not move’ and they will now be able to stay in their homes.

After almost a year’s campaigning they will now be able to stay in their homes as the property developer owner has agreed to sell to Dolphin housing association.

Aided at every turn by the Socialist Party, these tenants have put up an incredible resistance and have mass support in the borough and beyond.

Linda Taaffe, secretary of Waltham Forest Trades Council and Socialist Party member, said:

“These tenants have shown that when we fight we can win – even in the face of the horrendous housing crisis. Over the last year there has been a non-stop show of organised opposition.

“Early on the tenants got organised in a Tenants and Residents Association. There were regular street meetings. The first action was to disrupt estate agent auctions where the homes were being sold and to appeal to buyers not to participate in the eviction of these families. More recently there have been successful tours by tenants and supporters to appeal to estate agents not to handle these properties.

“Together with supporters from the local socialist and labour movement the tenants went to the landlord’s home to show that the tenants wouldn’t back down. We also visited his business premises. We have been to Clarke Hillier the management company too.

“Tenants spoke to shadow chancellor John McDonnell and secured his support in exposing the role of RBS in the sales of these families’ homes.

“This is a magnificent win. The main lesson is that by not moving and organising collectively this housing crisis can be beaten. We are now looking forward to turning a planned fundraiser on the 25th into a celebration party – join us!”

We won’t move

The Socialist Party puts forward the idea of “we won’t move” and asks people to pledge “I’m not moving”. If we unify the housing movement around the pledge not to move, coupled with the demand for rent controls in the private sector, we could not only kill the rotten housing bill but begin the fightback for a mass council housing programme to meet our housing needs.