Thousands of flat owners and housing activists protested last Saturday across Britain over the cladding and fire safety scandal.
Protesters demanded that developers are made to pay to make buildings safe. Leaseholders are facing charges to have flammable cladding removed, and repair other fire safety defects in their buildings.
The Tories set aside £5 billion in a fire safety fund—but costs are expecting to reach £15 billion, with homeowners expected to fill the gap.
In Manchester, where around 100 people joined a protest, organiser Rebecca said, “We’ve come to show the developers and the government the strength of feeling over this.”
Protests also took place in cities and towns including across London, Brighton, Southend, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff.
Up to 300 people marched in Newham, east London, last Saturday against the construction of the Silvertown tunnel.
The tunnel under the river Thames is planned to have four lanes for cars.
Residents say more traffic will make air pollution worse and mean more environmental destruction.
Marchers chanted, “Let us breathe” and “Stop the tunnel” as they made their way through the streets.
Anne, an activist with Fossil Free Newham, told Socialist Worker, “Newham is being choked and air pollution is already having an impact on our health.”
Ruth from the group Mum For Lungs—which campaigns against air pollution—told a final rally of the horror of watching her son suffer from asthma attacks.
Speakers also pointed out the fact that the tunnel is being constructed in one of the poorest and most ethnically diverse boroughs in London.
Michael from Extinction Rebellion told Socialist Worker, “We’ve heard about how Black and Asian people have suffered the most from Covid-19, and I think they will also suffer some of the worst effects of the tunnel.”
A school climate striker, told Socialist Worker the battle would continue against “a tunnel that we never asked for”.
There was a sense of solidarity and hope
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