Socialist Worker

Family faces eviction by London council after riots

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2265

A south London family could be the first to lose their home after David Cameron’s call for councils to evict rioters from social housing.

Tory-run Wandsworth Council has started eviction proceedings against charity worker Maite de la Calva after her son Daniel was charged, but not convicted, over the riot in Clapham Junction.

Other local authorities have announced similar plans.

Council leader Ravi Govindia boasted of being the first to take “the strongest possible action”. But there are serious doubts about the eviction’s legality.

Cameron has called for harsher attitudes towards “people that loot and pillage their own community”. But people on the family’s estate see it differently.

Cherelle, 17, told Socialist Worker, “I don’t think Daniel should get evicted from his house because it’s going to affect his little sister and his mum—where are they going to live? I think the rioters did the right thing. Why do the bankers get so much money, when we get nothing?”

The real community looters are Wandsworth Council. A local youth worker said that the estate’s Base D youth centre was closed earlier this year: “This is a large estate and there’s no youth provision at all.

“Those that aren’t in education or employment, what is there for them to do?”

Anti-poverty groups, charities and housing trusts have all condemned plans to evict rioters and their families.

Local Labour councillor Tony Belton said, “What is completely unfair is judging this young man guilty before he has faced any trial—and then vindictively threatening to make his mother and a blameless eight-year old child homeless as extra punishment.”

There was to be a protest against the eviction plans outside councillor Govindia’s home this Thursday.

“No to evictions” protest, Thursday 18 August, 5pm, 53A St Ann’s Hill, Wandsworth, London SW18 2EZ.

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