Socialist Worker

Protests and sleepouts planned as councils could sell even more homes

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2499

Protesting against the Tories attack on housing

Protesting against the Tories' attack on housing (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The Tories want to change their pro-privatisation Housing and Planning Bill—to make it worse.

Last week the government proposed an amendment that means councils would be pushed to sell off even more council houses.

Housing activists and tenants’ groups have stepped up their campaign against the bill.

They have been mobilising for this Saturday’s People’s Assembly march in central London, and plan a further national housing march on 18 June. This comes after an angry demonstration in London on 16 March when 8,000 people took to the streets.

Activists staged a protest on the steps of Camden town hall, in central London, on Monday of this week to protest against local cuts.

Phoebe Watkins, from Camden Unison union was at the protest. She said, “They’re investing their funds in Panama while we’re worried about our homes.

“We want our council to take the fight to the government. Let’s keep the pressure on the Tories because they’re under pressure and I can see them cracking.”

March

Camden Labour councillor and cabinet member for housing Pat Callaghan told Socialist Worker, “We’ve been fighting the bill the whole way. We’ve had two public meetings and then another very big meeting. The march on Saturday is going to be very important.”

Local groups are organising meetings and protests to deepen the struggle. These could form the backbone of a national movement.

Housing will be a central issue in the May elections in London.

Tory mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith and David Cameron think London’s council estates need to be demolished.

They want to bring in private developers to rebuild on the land with higher density housing.

The new housing could then be sold off to the rich to profit from London’s housing bubble.

The Panama papers show that over £170 billion of London property is held overseas to avoid paying taxes.

Kill the Bill groups across Britain have organised sleepouts set for Friday of this week to protest against the bill and show it will make people homeless.

See bit.ly/25s4ukK for a list of times of sleepouts next week. There is also a March for the Homeless set to take place on Friday at 7pm at Downing Street

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