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Protest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans
Nick Auvache,North London Socialist Party
Reflecting pressure inside and outside the Labour Party, both of Haringey's Labour MPs have called on the Labour council to stop its massive redevelopment and privatisation plan. The plan would transform much of north London from Tottenham to Wood Green, reducing social housing while building new luxury properties.
But the embattled council leadership has shown no sign of listening and recently added to local anger by signing a further development deal with Lend Lease, a property company linked to blacklisting.
Ahead of Labour Party conference, a demonstration through Haringey is planned on Saturday 23 September under the slogan 'social housing not social cleansing'.
Jeremy Corbyn has always spoken out against social cleansing, for protecting existing council housing and the importance of building more council housing to solve the housing crisis. He has also spoken out against privatisation and outsourcing.
He should seize on this movement to assert Labour's commitment to opposing austerity and building more social housing and say that the 'Haringey Development Vehicle' should stop. Not to do so risks Labour's support being undermined locally.
If Jeremy Corbyn were to say that such schemes would not be tolerated under a future Labour government then this would also add further pressure and could result in the abandonment of the scheme, which would signal a victory for housing campaigners not just in Haringey but elsewhere as well.
The Corbyn-supporting left has made advances in the local Labour Party committee elections. The Socialist Party argues that it is important that this leads to Labour candidates committed to oppose the disastrous redevelopment and cuts, in deeds as well as words.
Equally, tenants' organisations, trade unions and community organisations should campaign for this. They should ensure that Labour candidates make a pledge to support these aims and if they refuse then there would need to be a conference to build broad support for standing candidates who genuinely represent Corbyn's anti-austerity, anti-privatisation ideas.
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