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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 October 2020

Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification

Protest 24 October

Save Our Square protesters in Walthamstow, photo Paul Mattsson

Save Our Square protesters in Walthamstow, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Nancy Taaffe, Save Our Square chair

Our campaign in Waltham Forest, east London has been running for five years. So far we have held the developers at bay. But neoliberal politicians are exploiting the Covid crisis to drive their plans through.

The council is pressing on with their monster development in the square, so Save Our Square is organising a socially distant, open-air, public meeting on Saturday 24 October.

We believe that the council's 'consultation' - running until 14 December - will be like all the other consultations, a sham.

Over 60 different parts of Waltham Forest have been earmarked for 'redevelopment', within the next 15 years as part of this consultation, or have already been demolished and built on.

Turn up to the protest either on your own or in a group of six. Wear facemasks and bring hand sanitiser.

We will be collecting names from the different campaigns of people who want to be part of a mass stand for council elections in 2022. We are looking for names of community campaigners, trade unionists and socialists.

We are not interested in the established political parties, as where they are in power across the country they too are using this neoliberal redevelopment model.

We want the tenant whose child has lost play space on an estate. We want young adults angry that their youth club closed down.

Help us prepare for a mass challenge in 2022, because consultations are now just tick boxes.

Many of these developments won't have started by 2022. If we win councillors from the community, we will press from inside and outside the council chamber for them to stop.

If you are from the Homebase campaign, come with a sign saying that. If you are opposed to the demolition of the old Wood Street Library building, bring a sign saying that. If you are from an estate that has been privatised or your play area has been built on, bring a sign saying the name of your estate.


People stopped every time we mentioned 'class'

Nancy Taaffe had this to say when Waltham Forest Socialist Party was out campaigning on 3 October.

We just kept on about the working class suffering, paying for the crisis. We demanded full sick pay for all those zero-hour workers.

We called for Serco to be booted off the testing contract. And we called for a programme of public works to create jobs.

It felt like every time we mentioned the words 'working class' on the mic, people came to the campaign stall. And we met three people who wanted to find out more about Socialist Party.

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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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 7 October 2020:


Coronavirus news

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

Contact tracer speaks out: privatised system 'in chaos'

Under the microscope


Workplace news

Unison: Hugo Pierre's fighting programme to transform the union

Equity 'Panto Parade' demands more support for arts workers

Tate strike suspended

Ikea day of action

York couriers' strike


News

Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

Spooks step up surveillance of left

Probation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead


Students

Cardiff student protest demands: 'refund our fees!'

Southampton students oppose unjust collective punishment


Black History Month

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'


International

Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens - step up the fight for socialism

'Frozen conflict' reignites in Nagorno-Karabakh enclave

Germany: "Heroes" strike to demand a pay rise


Campaigns

9,000 for education by Netflix

Free Siyanda Mngaza

Leicester: Don't let them close our hospital

Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification

Say no to finance capital-backed luxury tower block in Enfield

Socialist Party: Campaigning for the NHS

Final total: 73,586 raised - now let's do it again

Defend Bracknell Community Services


Readers' opinion

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest TUSC: On 6 May - Use your vote to fight education cuts

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Could Britain become a fascist state?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: What next in the fight against Covid austerity?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Defend the right to protest

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Young and fighting for a future in London

Council:

triangleNorwich City Council workers vote for strike action over broken promises on pay and conditions

triangleEaling parking wardens strike against Serco over absence policy

triangleThurrock refuse workers strike escalates

triangleTUSC is back

Protest:

triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

triangleNottingham NHS pay protest

triangleProtesting works - Unite to defend the right to protest

Socialist:

triangleSocialist Party national meeting: Perspectives for socialism after the elections

triangleStop Israeli state brutality

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