Dump the dump!
AROUND 500 people marched through Islington on Tuesday of last week in protest at Arsenal football club's proposal to site a waste processing plant in the middle of council housing estates as part of its new stadium plans. There were families from the working class estates affected, the Green Party and the Socialist Alliance, as well as more well-off house owners and small business people.
They all marched to the final public consultation meeting. The most popular slogan was "Islington is not for sale-dump the dump". A Socialist Alliance leaflet linking the protest to the wider fight against corporations and New Labour's free market plans went down well. The march was organised by umbrella group Islington Stadium Communities Campaign (ISCA). It is made up of 16 local groups and has the support of the local NUT, CWU and UNISON unions.
Many people off the estates wore Arsenal football kit to send the message that they were not against the football club or its supporters, but against powerful institutions riding roughshod over the needs of local people.
None of the protesters had any confidence in the Liberal Democrat council defending their interests. The consultation meeting was stormy. One woman told councillors, "I'm disgusted with you. I used to go to my local councillors and they would help me. But I can't trust you any more.
"Think about all the children on the Ringcross Estate. Please think again. This is about simply greed and profit".
Anne Marie, a nine year old school student from a local school, read out a letter she had sent to the council: "We don't think the dump should be built close to our school. The traffic is going to get worse. Who's going to take responsibility when we breathe in toxic fumes?" To find out more visit the ISCA website on www.redcard.org.uk
- THE STOP The Incinerator Campaign is holding a demonstration in Neath, South Wales, on Saturday 11 August, assembling at 10.30am outside the Gwyn Hall in Neath town centre. The march has been called because the council, together with its PFI partners, is building a giant incinerator on the Neath/Swansea border.