Stop the Housing and Planning Bill

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Architects for Social Housing (ASH) have called a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday 5th January at midday to oppose the Housing and Planning Bill, which will have devastating consequences for social housing in the UK. They write:

“The Housing and Planning Bill is one of the most dangerous and far-reaching pieces of legislation passed in this country in a long time, yet its true impact has been unreported in the mainstream press and is largely unknown to the general public.

If passed, the Bill will:

1) Replace the obligation to build homes for social rent with a duty to build starter homes capped at £450,000 in London and £250,000 in England;

2) Extend the Right to Buy to housing associations without the obligation to replace them, further depleting the number of hoems for social rent;

3) Compel local authorities to sell ‘high value’ housing, either transfering public housing into private hands or freeing up the land it sits on for property developers;

4) Force so-called ‘high income’ tenants with a total household income over £30,000 (£40,000 in London) to pay market rents;

5) Grant planning permission in principle for housing estates designated as such to be redeveloped as ‘brownfield land’;

6) Phase out secure tenancies and their succession to children and replace them with 2-5 year tenancies – with such tenancies also being applicable to tenants who have been ‘decanted’ for the purposes of redevelopment.

Below is the list of the more than 150 written submissions to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee in response to the Housing and Planning Bill, which shows just how widespread the concern is about its contents and legislation within the housing sector.

In response, Architects for Social Housing (ASH) are proposing holding a demonstration at the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of January, 2016, when the Bill will be read for the third and final time before being passed to the House of Lords.

Under the banner of ‘Kill the Housing Bill’, a number of housing groups and trades unions have already started a campaign against the Bill, and this demonstration is being proposed in conjunction with Defend Council Housing, whose details and petition can be found here: http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/

Despite this widespread expression of opposition by both public and private bodies, none of the concerns expressed to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee altered, in any meaningful way, the contents of the Bill up to the report stage. Instead, the government has made plans to fast-track the Bill into law.

When the democratic process fails, as it has here, it’s our duty to take other measures to make ourselves heard. The press has largely ignored or misrepresented the true reach of the Bill and its consequences. It is for this reason that we have decided to hold a demonstration.

However, simply turning up on the day is not enough. In a very short space of time we need to build a campaign that has the support and backing of a popular opposition to the Bill whose focus is on stopping its passage into law.”

Facebook event here.

Screw Skrewdriver

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A few weeks ago members of NFAAF came across Skrewdriver records being sold at a shop in the Stables in Camden.

Skrewdriver took Oi punk, a genre of music which evolved from the mash up of cultures that was Ska, and used it to spread their white supremacist bullshit through the punk scene.

This was conveyed to the shop assistant who initially attempted to make excuses, declaring one of the records in question was ‘before they became racist’, but then agreed to get the manager to stop selling the records.

The shop was re-visited and on finding that the records remained it was made clear that if fascist propaganda was not removed then our crew would come down in number to ensure that it was.

Fascist tourists continue to visit Camden. We will confront both them in our streets and in shops such as this – that de-value this area’s punk and African-Caribbean history by catering to shit music taste. Making profits off racist propaganda will not be tolerated.

Today we confirmed that racist records are no longer on sale at the shop.

Fuck the greyzone!

Up the punks!

Call-out: Solidarity with Sweets Way eviction arrestees

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JOIN US TO STAND UP AGAINST SOCIAL CLEANSING AND THE CRIMINALISATION OF PEACEFUL PROTEST!

On 23 and 24 of September, the Sweets Way estate was evicted by dozens of High Court bailiffs and 7 vans of London Met police. Nearly a hundred occupiers of dozens of homes were turfed out, as was Mostafa, the last original resident of the estate. Supporters peacefully attempted to stop Mostafa’s eviction, many of whom were arrested. Fifteen now face criminal charges for obstructing High Court Enforcement Officers.

Their trial is scheduled to take place over three days, from 10am on Wednesday, December 16, through Friday, December 18. Supporters are encouraged to attend the hearings each day, but we are calling a solidarity rally outside Willesdon Magistrates Court for 1pm on Friday, December 18 to take a stand with those who were arrested for standing up to social cleansing.

No Nazis in Dover

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from London Anti-Fascists

On Saturday 30 January neo-Nazis and violent racists from across the UK will head to the coastal town of Dover for an anti-refugee protest. Far-right groups are trying to exploit the “migrant crisis” to whip up racial hatred and bring about ever-harsher controls on those coming to the UK.

Across Europe the far-right have been organising against refugees and encouraging governments to increase their hostility to migrants. While governments close borders with fences and batons to keep those in need out, fascists fire bomb refugee housing. In the UK fascists have tried to organise their own patrols of trucks entering the country, looking for migrants.

This will be the fourth far-right protest to take place in Dover in the last two years. In September an anti-refugee protest in Dover saw more than 200 neo-Nazis rampage through the town calling for the border to be closed. They tried to attack anti-fascists, throwing bricks into crowds including pregnant women and elderly people. Anti-fascists were more than capable of defending ourselves, but the demo served as a reminder to take seriously the threat of fascist violence.

During this time, immediately across the channel, migrants living miserably in ‘the Jungle’ have to endure sadistic attacks from fascist and the police on a regular basis. As usual, the nationalist far-right took advantage of a series of extremely saddening events to spread its xenophobic venom among people and to scare an economically shaken French working class, viciously achieving historic gains in December’s regional elections.

We are calling on anti-fascists from across Europe to join us in organising mass opposition to the anti-refugee protest on Saturday 30 January, to show solidarity with migrants and prevent an escalation of racist violence.

This mobilisation is part of the global struggle between those who wish to see the murderous divisions of nations, borders, and class further entrenched and fortified with razor wire and racist rhetoric – and those who fight for freedom of movement and solidarity among the exploited, oppressed and excluded of the world.

We will be standing with Kent Anti-Racist Network and a growing list of trade union and community organisations to show working class resistance to the neo-Nazis. A victory in Dover on Saturday 30 January will be a victory for the range of movements involved in this fight back.

Organise, make plans, spread the word and see you on the streets!

London Anti-Fascists / Anti-Fascist Network

** COACHES FROM LONDON **

London Anti-fascists are organising coaches from London to Dover.

For more details email ldnantifascists@riseup.net with SUBJECT LINE: “Coaches2Dover”.

December 14th: Call for Solidarity from Calais

From Calais Migrant Solidarity

‘They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds’

In recent months, from Ventimiglia to Calais, state violence has increased against those who travel without papers. We see this in the re-introduction of border controls in various states in the Schengen zone that (among other things) resulted in new jungles in places like Ventimiglia, to the subsequent violent destruction of that jungle on the 30th of September, to the vast increase in French and British police in Calais, (plus the army at times), not counting the proliferation of measures that deny people access to European travel papers in the first place. Those who stand in solidarity with them have faced increased levels of repression too.

On December 14th, 2 people connected to the No Border Network will stand trial in Nice and Boulogne, France. One of them was arrested simply for being present in front of the border police station of Menton (on the French side of the border with Italy, close to Ventimiglia) during one of the many deportations of people from France to Italy. The other is accused of having organised riots in the Calais jungle, which is ridiculous, as those living in the jungle are perfectly capable of taking political action on their own intitiative.

These two trials show the willpower of the french and british state to break up the No Border Network, which has struggled for many years for the freedom of movement for all, without which those humanitarian emergency situations that create exiles will never be solved.

Now the french state is trying to muzzle any expression that stands against its goals by establishing a state of emergency, within a Fortress Europe that again reinforces an inside and an outside. We have to, now more than ever, affirm our determination and our unity against the repressive strategies of the state.

Let’s fight back and make December 14th a day of action against state repression, but above all against borders, against deportations and against all nation states.