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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 January 2021

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Save Our Square protesters in Walthamstow 2018, photo Paul Mattsson

Save Our Square protesters in Walthamstow 2018, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Community campaign Save Our Square E17 has successfully resisted Waltham Forest Labour council's plans to build a monster block in Walthamstow town square for six years. Now, disgracefully, under the cover of the pandemic, the council wants to drive the plans through.

They think that by scheduling a virtual planning meeting for Wednesday 27 January they will finally put an end to the campaign. They are wrong.

On hearing of this planning committee, Save Our Square jumped into action. Our supporters bombarded the council with objections and requests to speak against the plans on the night.

We produced a model letter to send to councillors and a short video. We also had a banner drop outside the town hall calling on the council to 'unmute democracy'.

We are not against regeneration and housing provision - we want jobs, homes and services. But this model for regeneration, building unaffordable private flats on public land, is a disaster and does nothing to solve the housing crisis, it makes it worse!

These plans, and other similar developments around London, represent an abject failure of Labour councils to fight austerity. They believe that the council tax revenue from these schemes will make them financially self-sufficient and compensate for the loss of the central government funding. They think that the odd Pizza Express can substitute for the loss of the youth or library service they closed down!

Save Our Square is calling on everyone to watch the planning meeting on the council's YouTube channel at 7pm on Wednesday 27 January - youtube.com/

CouncilWalthamForest. If the plans go through we will turn our campaign to the Greater London Authority where these plans have to be rubber stamped.

The Socialist Party will be standing in the elections in London, as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), to fight against all cuts, austerity and gentrification. I will be standing as part of the campaign to save our square!

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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.
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In The Socialist 27 January 2021:


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

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Related links:

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: House the homeless - take over the empty homes

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The fight for a decent future for young people

triangleWe're building for 3 July NHS protests

triangleWaltham Forest byelections: Council homes not unaffordable flats

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

Labour:

triangleUnite general secretary contest: Vote for Sharon Graham

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

triangleEnfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

triangleMajority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

Council:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can a party for the working class be built?

triangleRight lose control in national executive council election

triangleLancaster Greens do deal with Tories

London:

triangleShame on Clarion - another exploitative landlord

triangleHundreds march to scrap Silvertown Tunnel project

Planning:

triangleWaltham Forest Save Our Square:

Housing:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Housing is a right - Stop the evictions!

Walthamstow:

triangleSave our square: we need social housing and public services

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleEaling parking wardens strike against Serco over absence policy

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