Socialist Worker

Protest as Labour council starts non-essential building work

by Micki Loebner
Issue No. 2702

Protesting for safety not profit

Protesting for safety not profit (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Lambeth council in south London is disgracefully embarking on a big non-essential construction project in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, starting with the demolition of one of its own buildings.

Members of the Lambeth Coronavirus action group protested safely outside the building to send a message to the Labour council to halt the demolition and put people's health before profits. We called on the council to shut the site and furlough the workers on full pay.

Following the Tories’ advice that construction work can go ahead, they are pushing on regardless of the risk to life, giving the green light to their developers to build 74 homes, only 12 of which will be at an “affordable” rent.

Plain clothes cops who were waiting around the corner, warned us before we started that protesting is currently illegal and returned to threaten us with fines.

Local people on the other hand, welcomed the protest, joining the call to shut the site and pay the workers.

A series of major house builders have said they are going to restart work. They include Persimmon, Vistry and Taylor Wimpey.

Persimmon said that this is "in response to the UK government’s objective of getting the construction sector back to work".

Robert Jenrick, the Tory housing secretary, said he welcomed the reopening of sites. “I hope to see further housebuilders reopen shortly," he added.

Shares in Vistry rose more than 8 percent while Taylor Wimpey rose 6 percent. 

Bosses and Tories can't be trusted with workers' lives.

The fight for life against profit continues.


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