The Socialist 7 October 2020 |
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Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification
Protest 24 October
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.
- Protest: Saturday 24 October, 1pm, Walthamstow Town Square
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.