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22 September 2021

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Fighting evictions in Cornwall

A successful anti-eviction protest in Leytonstone, east London

A successful anti-eviction protest in Leytonstone, east London   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Rooney, Cornwall Socialist Party

Violent County Court bailiffs and police were no match for a well-organised and determined human wall defending a private tenant from eviction.

Cornwall's housing crisis was brought into sharp focus on Friday 17 September, when four bailiffs, backed up by five police officers, turned up at Mike Osbourn's rented property in Penryn, near Falmouth.

I was among twenty-plus members of tenant defence union Acorn, who gathered to block the entrance to Mike's house. We watched as the bailiffs arrived and walked past to consult with police, who had already arrived in two cars and a van. The bailiffs then approached and spoke with Acorn's appointed liaison person, Elly. A police officer who intervened, referred to the bailiffs as "our colleagues."

Confronted by a determined human barricade, bailiffs and police retreated down the street. When, after about 20 minutes, the bailiffs drove off, followed soon after by the police, it looked like victory had been achieved.

This was only a bluff, as they returned an hour later. This time, the bailiffs forced their way through, throwing people aside and breaking down the wooden gate. Police, whose opening remark was "we're here to prevent a breach of the peace" were at their backs, aware of everything and oblivious to calls to take action at the assaults being carried out.

Bailiffs had a go at breaching the second line of defence outside the tenant's door. But when it became obvious that there was no way through without an escalation of the violence, police called off the operation.

This was a morale-boosting victory for the fledgling Acorn branch in Falmouth. Any further attempts to dislodge Mike, before he has found somewhere to live, will be defended.

Mike, who has been living in the quiet residential street for four years with his son Max, was given notice late last year. Since then, he has been unable to find alternative accommodation as rents skyrocketed. He appealed to his landlord, in advance of Friday's confrontation, with a list of demands.

It now looks like a tenancy may be available in Truro, ten miles away. It was not possible to complete the move before Friday and the landlord refused to postpone the planned eviction.

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In The Socialist 22 September 2021:

What we think

Workers' politics won't come from Labour


Working class under attack

NHS workers reject 3% insult

Energy market chaos makes the case for nationalisation

Tory cuts to Universal Credit: we need a union fightback

Interview: Bakers' union to vote on Labour disaffiliation

Tax fraud could be over 20 billion annually

Life expectancy falls - a condemnation of capitalism


Socialists and the four-day week


10 years since Occupy

Workplace news

End the teaching workload crisis

MOJ pay deal accepted - we demand 10%

Workers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

New strike dates in EMR guards dispute

Stop press: Sparks walk out

Oaks Park strikers call eleven days' more action


German general election


Unemployment, low pay, rip-off uni fees, climate change... Join the fight for Socialism

Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs relaunched

W Sussex 'disability tax' - protest not going away

Fighting evictions in Cornwall

Leeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

Socialist Students: Youth lit up when they saw us

York: Non-binary and trans rights protest

Readers' opinion

TV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

Gleision mine deaths: Still fighting for justice

Corbyn had a social care plan

Who pays for the climate crisis?

Famine in Madagascar


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Related links:


triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: House the homeless - take over the empty homes

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Housing is a right - Stop the evictions!

trianglePandemic homeless

triangleGeneration eviction

triangleStop evictions and drop the debts


triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

triangleG7 green hypocrisy

trianglePlymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

triangleSouth West regional Socialist Party Congress


triangleArms fair: Hundreds of protesters defy police 'dispersal zone'

triangleSarah Everard trial reveals police abuse of power

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triangleHousing crisis: Tories and Labour are not on our side

triangleSouth West London Socialist Party: After the protests, what way forward for Cuba?


triangleTories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Article dated 22 September 2021

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triangle21 Oct West London Socialist Party: Youth demand a future

triangle21 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Why socialists builds internationally

triangle21 Oct South West London Socialist Party: After the protests, what way forward for Cuba?


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