No to polluting incinerator, dumped in working-class Edmonton
Paul Kershaw, North London Socialist Party
A plan to build a giant new waste incinerator in Edmonton Green would produce health-threatening air pollution across north London and Essex. The current incinerator is coming to the end of its life
On 29 August, a diverse range of protestors said 'no'. The incinerator would produce damaging NO2 and a range of pollutants, including small particulates for which there is no safe level in the atmosphere.
Incinerators are typically built in working-class areas, and areas with large black, Asian and minority ethnic populations like Edmonton. Cambridgeshire rejected a plan for an incinerator, citing the threat to historic buildings nearby.
No such concern has been shown by Enfield's Labour council, in an area with some of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK, and high levels of bad health. The plan is being driven through by a waste authority comprising seven boroughs - all but one has a Labour majority.
There has been next-to-no consultation about the project. The new incinerator is three times larger than the needs of the area and will import waste on a commercial basis.
Much of the waste could be recycled. But local boroughs have low rates of recycling.
It also makes a nonsense of local authority declarations declaring a climate emergency. It will add to greenhouse gases.
The Meridian Water for Council Homes campaign is challenging Enfield council's plan to build unaffordable homes in Edmonton. Socialist Party member Mira Glavardanov highlighted the madness of constructing the giant new incinerator next to a planned new housing development, when she spoke on behalf of the campaign.
London mayor Sadiq Kahn has not tried to stop the incinerator, so currently this major threat to health is being rammed through by Labour politicians. The labour movement should spearhead moves to protect the environment and pressure these political representatives to stop the incinerator.
Another protest by Enfield Black Lives Matter (BLM) followed and added support to the incinerator campaign - an example of how black working-class communities are disregarded by politicians.
Speakers gave impassioned accounts of police mistreatment of black people, stop and search and miscarriages of justice. Enfield BLM founder, Delia Mattis, warned Sadiq Kahn not to count on continued support from the black community if he fails to deliver.
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