September 14th, 2011 § Leave a Comment
“Cardboard City” Flash Mob against Homelessness on 15th September
From Dale Farm Solidarity London (dalefarmldn[at]gmail.com)Eric Pickles’ office has been targeted by anti-homelessness protestors
On Thursday 15th September, friends and supporters of the Traveller site at Dale Farm in Essex and activists from various campaigning groups will assemble in a flash mob to create a “cardboard city” at the offices of the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Supporting activists and groups include No Sweat, Dale Farm Solidarity, trade union activists, Amnesty International supporters, anti-racist groups such as UAF and audacity.org
The activists believe that Eric Pickles as Secretary of State is failing to seriously tackle homelessness and that in particular three policies that he has promoted will only worsen this grave issue.
- Riot Evictions as collective punishmentEric Pickles has personally endorsed evicting entire families if a member is found to be a “looter”. Wandsworth Council had served an eviction notice to Maite de la Calva though her 18 year son had only been arrested with riot related charges. The mother who took no part in the London riots has accused the Local Authority for behaving like “fascists”.
- Unreasonable treatment of Traveller communitiesBasildon Council has received £1.2 million from DCLG to finance the eviction of approximately 400 people from Dale Farm in Crays Hill, Essex. Despite calls from the UN to suspend the eviction at Dale Farm, and offers of mediation from local Bishops, Basildon Council seem determined to make over 100 children homeless and severely disrupt their education. A total of £18 million is being spent by the local authority and the Government to finance the eviction of the 500 people at Dale Farm, the largest Traveller site in the country.
- Radical social housing reforms in the Localism Bill
Local authorities will no longer be obliged to offer subsidised social housing to those on waiting lists and the abolishment of the right to a council house for life. The controversial Localism Bill has been criticised by a number of housing experts as creating “a revolving door of poverty”. It has also been criticised by both Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers for the pace at which it is being rushed through parliament.
Jason Fielding, a teacher from South London who is organising the demo, said:
“The situation at Dale Farm is becoming desperate – people are scared for their homes, their children and their futures.”
Tracy Singh, a mother of two from Battersea, who will be attending the protest, said:
“Why make my family homeless, if my teenage daughter gets caught up in the riots steals a packet of sweets? It just makes me sick.”
Protests in solidarity with the Travellers at Dale Farm are also expected
at British Embassies in Berlin and Dublin to show support to the families facing eviction.
The flash mob will take place at Thursday 15th September at 5pm outside the Department for Communities and Local Government. Address: Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU.
Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=274085442618846
Eventbrite link: http://dclgflashmob.eventbrite.com/