Socialist Worker

Protesters take on a rotten housing redevelopment in Southwark

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2547

Protesters in Southwark last Saturday

Protesters in Southwark last Saturday (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Around 150 people marched against the proposed redevelopment of vast swathes of Southwark, south London, last Saturday.

The Canada Water and Old Kent Road Area Action Plans will mean the demolition of children’s playgrounds, community centres and estates—and a rent hike.

The protest was called by Southwark Defend Council Housing (DCH).

Chair of Rotherhithe Housing Forum Barry Duckett told marchers, “We’re being socially cleansed, but we’re not going to move, we’re going to stick together.”

Gerry Flynn from the 35 percent housing campaign spoke about the fight against the redevelopment of the Aylesbury estate. “We have a right to a community and a right to live and not have to move if a developer has their eye on a bit of land,” he said.

The march had been set to finish at the Thurlow Lodge community hall on the Aylesbury estate, following a sit-in by charity Divine Rescue to stop their eviction.

But the council told Divine Rescue that this would put their lease at risk.

Housing campaigners came from across London to deepen the organisation against redevelopments. Deborah from Lewisham told Socialist Worker, “The Tories are starving local authorities of funding so councils are looking to council tax, business rates and increasingly estate selloffs as a source of revenue.

“The battles that were fought in the 1920s are going to have to be fought again in 2020. We have to make the choice between a hellish future or standing up and fighting back.”

More on the campaign at facebook.com/southwarkdch

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