Unite the London Tribes against the London clearances

Waltham Forest Socialist Party members

Click on the video above to see the protesters being removed.

Walthamstow Save Our Square protesters were physically evicted from the London mayor’s Question Time today. Our crime? Asking for a vote on the plans to destroy our town square.

Once mayor Sadiq Khan had finished speaking on his commitment to the right of residents to a vote on regeneration projects, four Waltham Forest residents aged 22 to 70 raised pieces of paper saying ‘70% unaffordable’ and called out that “Walthamstow wants a vote”.

We were immediately surrounded and manhandled out – but we will not be stopped in fighting for our public spaces, our trees and homes for all.

Linda Taaffe, Save Our Square activist and Socialist Party member, said:

“We call on all the London campaigns fighting regeneration, destruction of council homes, land grabs by private developers, and gentrification, to unite and march on City Hall together.

“The housing crisis is crushing us, especially the young people, and we need to unite and fight for rent control, council homes, social rents and the right to a say over our city.

“Maybe we will get together for the next mayor’s Question Time with a big question – are you on the side of the people in housing need or on the side of the billionaires and property developers?”

The Save Our Square campaign opposes the plan to build four monster blocks (only 30% of which will be ‘affordable’) and lose a third of the square.

It also includes the destruction of 81 trees and the reduction in size and moving of the children’s play area to closer to the poisonous fumes of the bus station.

We demand homes for the families and young people in housing need, not for the profits of fat cat private developers.

We had spoken to Sadiq Khan when he visited the borough, written to and contacted him in our hundreds to beg him to meet the campaign and consider not sanctioning this attack on public space and affordable homes.

But on Tuesday Khan sanctioned the Walthamstow town square scheme, claiming to have listened to the people.

But opposition is mounting. Thousands have signed petitions in opposition, 500 people attended a planning committee in December and an indicative vote was virtually unanimous in opposition to the plan which the right-wing Labour dominated planning committee had passed.

600 marched around Walthamstow Square on 24 February. See below for some of the next campaign activities.

Linda says: “Waltham Forest has been made borough of culture. We are showing ours is the culture of struggle for a decent life for all. No to austerity – Jeremy Corbyn is right that it’s a political choice. The Panama and Paradise papers show that. We call on all who’ve had enough to get involved.”

Save our Square activities

  • This Saturday 24th March at 2pm we have a planned event. We will be gathering in the Square to tie messages to the mayor, the council leader and the developers around our trees.
  • Next Tuesday 27th March we will meet to discuss our next steps.
  • On April 5th we have a scheduled public meeting.

Facebook: @savewalthamstowtowncentre

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07952283558

For interviews and any other information requests, please contact:
Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party national organiser: 020 8988 8771 | M: 079 580 320 71 | E: [email protected]