Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

21 April 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Housing activists storm multi-million pound rental firm's offices

photo Ragavan

photo Ragavan   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones
East London Socialist Party

A lively and energetic day of action on housing swept through East London on 17 April. Socialist Party members, Refugee Rights activists, housing campaigners, striking workers and others protested outside and inside the offices of property management firm City Rooms in Stepney Green. The action was called by the Unite housing workers' branch and the Social Housing Action Campaign in response to the housing crisis which has plunged to new depths during the pandemic. The protesters put forward the slogan 'stop the evictions, drop the debts'. At the same time, further protests took place outside offices in Stratford.

City Rooms has told Socialist Party member Lawanya that she owes thousands of pounds after she was forced to break her contract because she could not afford their exorbitant rent.

The protest in Stepney Green followed a march from the country's first ever council housing estate in Shoreditch which garnered big support from passers-by as it made its way through the East End.

At the same time, in Newham, the London Renters Union picketed the office there, and earlier, Socialist Party members took part in a protest on the Carpenter's estate demanding that empty homes are filled with people who need them and that those homes should be 'social' and affordable.

Speaking at the opening rally at the Boundary estate, Lawanya said: "I spent three quarters of my wages on rent to City Rooms, a multi-million pound company which is now chasing me for rent for time I did not live there. This is a situation faced by many."

City Rooms - the trading name of Oliver Walton Ltd - last year filed a turnover of almost 21 million for 2019, with reserves of over 978,000. Its total profit was just shy of 895,000, with shareholders receiving 850,000 in dividends.

Workers must unionise

By picketing, occupying, protesting and handing in a letter to City Rooms, we sent a message that Lawanya has a campaign behind her that will not stop until the outrageous demands placed upon her are dropped. In occupying the City Rooms office, we also urged workers there to join a union, a call led by Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett who spoke at the rally and marched with us right into the City Rooms offices.

Other speakers included Paul Kershaw and Jack Jeffrey from the Unite housing workers' branch and Ferdy Lyons, a Social Housing Action Campaign committee member, all of whom are Socialist Party members and candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on the London-wide list for the Greater London Assembly. Athena Parnell, a striking worker at Goodlord tenant referencing agency spoke, as did Doug Holton, from Equity entertainment workers' union and Hackney Trades Union Council. A solidarity message was also received from the London Renters Union.

The Socialist Party is standing as part of TUSC in this May's elections on a programme which includes solving the housing crisis. For mass building of council homes and democratically set rent caps. Secure tenancies for all, and the right to leave tenancies without extortionate debt claims.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 21 April 2021:


What we think

Build a Socialist alternative

Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights


Football

Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game


International

Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement

Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up


Elections

Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Fight to stop cuts

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

Carlisle campaign day success

Socialist Party northern region meeting

With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund


Workplace

Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership

Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry

PCS leadership ballot underway


News

Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

News in brief


Campaigns

Housing activists storm rental firm's offices

Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 April 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

London:

triangleSparks fight continues

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Israel-Palestine flare-up - how can the conflict be ended?

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: After the elections - the fight for socialism

triangleMetroline buses to face summer of strikes unless it drops 'remote sign-on'

triangleGoodlord strike forces talks

Housing:

triangleCladding: Tories refuse to protect leaseholders again

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLondon housing crisis: vote TUSC to fight back

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Socialist:

triangleSocialist Party national meeting: Perspectives for socialism after the elections

triangleStop Israeli state brutality

triangleObituary - Jon Elvin

Socialist Party:

triangleNational Education Union needs a socialist, fighting deputy general secretary

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: The May elections - and the need for a new mass workers' party

Article dated 21 April 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle14 May Socialist Party national meeting: Perspectives for socialism after the elections

triangle15 May Birmingham Socialist Party: How can we fight for socialist change and a new workers' party?

triangle17 May Oxfordshire & Aylesbury Socialist Party: The role of the state

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Election analysis

Ireland

International news

Workplace news

Readers' opinion

Obituary

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1133 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


TUSC 2021 election video

More videos ...

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version