Socialist Worker

Eviction leads to shooting in Brixton

Issue No. 2361

One housing worker and one bailiff were shot on Wednesday of last week, by a tenant they were trying to evict in Brixton, south London.

The man had fallen into arrears with landlords the Metropolitan Housing Association. 

The pair were rushed to hospital, and the tenant arrested by armed police.

Housing workers fear that as benefit cuts lead to more evictions, more tenants will consider desperate measures—especially as some of those worst affected by the cuts include people with mental illnesses.

Several housing associations have already begun training staff to deal with suicide threats.

A London housing worker in the Unison union told Socialist Worker, “People who work with rent collection are saying they don’t want to take part in evictions.

“People become desperate when their homes are under threat, and that will happen more and more with what the government is doing to benefits.

“Unison nationally doesn’t have a no eviction policy. But general secretary Dave Prentis said at conference that he doesn’t want to see evictions over the bedroom tax. 

“That should give people confidence to pass that policy in their branches and refuse to do this kind of work.”

Public pressure has stopped at least two evictions in Brixton this month. 

And hundreds of people turned out to protest in defence of the Rushcroft Road squat on Saturday of last week. 

Protesters occupied an office of Foxtons estate agent.


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News
Tue 9 Jul 2013, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2361
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