Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1052/29431
From The Socialist newspaper, 14 August 2019
After the fire: fight for facilities for all
Socialist Party members in Walthamstow campaigning against environmentally destructive private developers, photo Paula Mitchell (Click to enlarge)
Linda Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party
Not quite three weeks after the devastating fire at Walthamstow's shopping mall Save Our Square (SOS) campaigners were out on Saturday 10 August in the lime tree avenue leading to the east London market, making it quite clear. We are still here!
The plans granted to property developers Capital and Regional PLC are still thoroughly opposed by the local community. We never meet anyone in favour! After four years not a shovelful of earth has been dug; not one of the beautiful mature trees has been felled.
A group of local Extinction Rebellion campaigners were also out at the same time defending the trees - which was welcome news. We joined in their "conversation" event about a strategy to defend the trees.
SOS campaigners outlined a few examples of activities we have carried out over the last four years, not only on the trees but about the loss of public space and the need for genuine council housing.
Nancy Taaffe, chair of SOS, said: "The proposal to build four huge tower blocks of unaffordable flats would ruin our environment in a different way, and would take space that is currently public realm and give it to a private outfit to make money."
However, now that the fire has happened - and while we await the fire service investigation, the responses of the council and mall development company - we are determined that, if any building work is going to happen, we want reconstruction and regeneration to be around a plan that the community really wants.
It is our town centre. The land belongs to the council, i.e. us - not rich property profiteers. Any plans should meet with our approval.
We have received suggestions for leisure facilities to be reinstated in our town centre, like a bowling alley and table tennis. Or a putting green and swimming pool - like existed 50 years ago - as well as upgrading the green and children's playground.
To that end we have produced a survey with ideas aimed at drawing up a genuine people's plan, which we will be working on in the coming months and through local public meetings in libraries too.
We feel our campaign is going from strength to strength. There is still some way to go, but no, we are not giving up.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 14 August 2019:
What we think
General election looms... Capitalists in chaos: fight for socialism
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Far right seen off at Oxford Circus
After the fire: fight for facilities for all
Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!
Dundee: young workers meet
Leeds estate residents push back private development
Boot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%
Tory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS
TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"
Northern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets
The Peterloo Massacre 1819: When a fearful ruling class tried to crush working-class political aspirations
Fight back against the retail bosses!
Lincolnshire health workers strike against £2,000 loss of pay
Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation
Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay
Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal
Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions
Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard
International socialist news and analysis
Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights
Pro-democracy protests continue to rage in Hong Kong
The Socialist 14 August 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook