Nick Auvache, North London Socialist Party
Around 600 people marched through the streets of Haringey, north London, on 23 September to oppose the council’s Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV).
HDV is a huge redevelopment scheme, run by a blacklisting company, which will see thousands of tenants driven out of their homes and small businesses destroyed.
The demo definitely had a big impact on passers-by as it weaved through the streets. There was a determined but jubilant mood among the protesters, many who could smell victory as this is an issue that has split the Labour council.
Both the affected Labour MPs and constituency Labour parties have made it clear that they oppose it but still the leaders of the council refuse to withdraw their plans.
As well as local opposition, a legal challenge has now begun. This could have a positive outcome but to rely exclusively on this would be a mistake. That’s why it is important to ensure that all Labour council candidates for the 2018 elections are clearly opposed to both the HDV and further cuts.
Some Labour Party members recognised that the right wing would still win enough support to put up candidates that support cuts and the HDV. They also did not rule out the possibility of the Lib Dems winning some seats at the expense of Labour due to their opportunist opposition to the HDV scheme.
We have a duty to explain that these forces are unrepresentative, unreliable and cannot be a solution to the problem – which is why we raise the idea of standing independent candidates.
The Socialist Party welcomes recent developments in the shift to the left in the two Haringey Labour parties. But if Labour candidates that oppose the HDV and cuts are not secured, then a conference of local community groups, parties and trade unions to discuss standing independent candidates should be considered.
This idea was welcomed by those on the demonstration. It was also commented that while some Labour councillors had voted against the HDV they were not present at the demonstration.
Had they appeared openly and defiantly in support of the demo, it would have delivered a very public blow to the council’s social cleansing plans. While tweeting and posting their opposition is important it is also important demonstrate on the streets with those who have built this campaign.
The support received for our ideas was confirmed by the hundreds of leaflets distributed, 32 copies of the Socialist sold and four people who filled out cards to find out more about joining the Socialist Party.