Hackney Wasn't Crap - Walking tour reportTagged as: gentrification privatisation
Hackney isn't Crap Gentrification Tour on Sunday the 28th of September walked from Dalston lane to Broadway market visiting new developments like Dalston Square and listening to shopkeepers and local residents at the sharp end of the regeneration of Hackney.
Inspired by Hackney Mayor Jules Pipes? comments that anyone who opposed the social cleansing of the area was part of a ?keep Hackney crap brigade? the tour set out to show that some parts of the borough have been deliberately run down and neglected by a mixture of council corruption and developers greed. Around 100 people took part in the tour, with at least ten of them contributing their knowledge and opinions on the places the tour visited.
Speakers included Juan, who runs the Sound and Music Shop on Dalston Lane despite his shop having been sold to an overseas developer in 2002 and having seen his neighbours premises burnt down in the rash of arson attacks that followed the sale of the listed buildings. Juan told how Hackney Council has said they will make a Compulsory Purchase Order to buy the now mainly derelict strip of shops back, but that the tenants will even then not be allowed to stay in their shops. Activists from the London Coalition Against Poverty talked about the struggle of homeless people to gain their rights to housing from the Hackney homeless office that routinely turns them away. The tour visited the Holly St area and saw new luxury developments, heard the history of the Holly St estate being built and mostly demolished in a quarter century and saw the neighbouring empty flats on Queensbridge rd. Veterans from the occupations of the Four Aces Club on Dalston Lane and Francesca?s caf? on Broadway Market shared their memories of those struggles. On Broadway Market there were emotional speeches outside the half demolished caf? that people fought so hard to save, and then the tour ended outside Spirit?s Nutritious Food Galley that had received an eviction order a few days earlier on Thursday the 25th of September.
Spirit is a local shopkeeper who built up his shop from a derelict shell in the ?90s. Although he put down a deposit and signed a contract to buy his shop from the Council his shop was auctioned anyway and sold to a Middle Eastern company who increased his rent by 700%. Despite paying off nearly ?30,000 in arrears since 2005 the Possession Order was made for court costs he owed to the landlord for their previous eviction cases against him. While the rich people who now enjoy the expensive bars and cafes of Broadway Market watched and asked ?What are you protesting?? the tour organisers asked for support to be given to a campaign to save Spirit?s home and business.
Join the email list to save Spirit?s shop here: http://spirit.hackneysolidarity.info/
Read more here: http://www.hackneysolidarity.info/latest-news/spirit-broadway-market-faces-eviction Find out more about the London Coalition against Poverty: http://www.lcap.org.uk