Opposition to redevelopment of Mildmay Hospital site

Hackney Independent is supporting the lobby of Tower Hamlets Council on Thursday evening (14th Sept) to oppose the plans for a 23 floor tower block next to Dunmore Point off Columbia Road.

The developers plan to build 270 single person bedsits for homeless people, demolish a recently built nursery, block out the light in the already densely built up area and provide no new housing for the existing overcrowded tenants in Tower Hamlets. The building will be managed (and possibly owned) by the homeless charity CRISIS.

Amazingly Hackney Council has opposed the planning permission. Seeing as Hackney New Labour give the green light to virtually any development proposal put to them, is this just because it is in another borough – or was the mistake to build for homeless people not yuppies?!

We give our full support to this community campaign – which has been referred to by the developers as made up of “white middle class nimbys.” Hackney Independent’s Peter Sutton and Carl Taylor met campaign leaders on Sunday 10th and can confirm that they are a very mixed group of individuals determined to oppose these developers imposing on their community.

The fact is that the developers would not dare to try to impose this kind of structure on Hampstead or the affluent parts of Hertfordshire where the CRISIS suporters live themselves.

Lobby on Thursday 14th September
Meet: by Dunmore Point at 5:45 OR by Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Mulberry Place E14 at 6:15.

Campaign leaflet [pdf]
Diagrams of proposed development [pdf]
Summary of objections [pdf]

More information: http://www.towerblockshamlets.blogspot.com/

Benefit for Spirit – 23rd September

Save the Spirit of Broadway Market

Reggae dance
music by Jah Youth (Roots Ambassador)
& guest sounds

West Indian Food by Jah Spirit

Saturday 23rd September: 8PM – LATE

At Chat’s Palace, 42-44 Brooksby’s Walk, Homerton E9


Proceeds will help to keep Spirit in Broadway Market E8 and to prevent his eviction from the shop & home he built from scratch before Hackney Council sold him out to off-shore developers.

Great Food, Bar – and a good night out in aid of a good cause

More information on Broadway Market and Spirit – http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/modules/wakka/HomePage

34 Broadway Market Retaken

At 4.30am this morning a very large number of police and sheriffs officers stormed 34 Broadway Market.

Please turn up at 6.00pm on the street this evening to protest.



Come and find out more about the situation in Broadway Market. After Cafe Francesca, the Nutritious Food Galley is the next targeted for eviction.

Come down and tell the Deputy Mayor of Hackney what you think!

The meeting is on January 16th 2006, from 7.30 to 9.30pm at St Michael’s Church Hall, on the corner of Lansdowne Drive and Lavender Grove, E8.

Deputy Mayor Jessica Crowe from Hackney Council will be present. The Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe and Dr Roger Wratten (current owner of 34 Broadway Market) have also been invited.

On January 3rd Spirit (of Nutritious Food Galley, 71 Broadway Market), received an eviction notice for January 20th. It is more important than ever that we tell the council what we think about the sell offs in Broadway Market and the rest of Hackney.

Come and have your say!


From the website: http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/modules/wakka/HomePage

On Wednesday morning the occupation in defence of Tony’s Cafe at 34 Broadway Market was evicted. Despite this setback we are going to go on fighting for Tony to get his place back and to defend Spirit’s shop. This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning!

You are cordially invited to our Christmas Party on Tuesday 27th at 1pm, outside Tony’s Cafe. There will be music, food and drink, and maybe a few festive surprises. We will also be outside the cafe again on Saturday 24th from 11am. Come and get a Christmas card!

Whilst we appreciate that Christmas is only days away and that money is tight for everyone, we urgently need to raise funds to keep the campaign going. Please make a donation if you are in Broadway Market over the next few days. There are collecting tins at 27-29 Broadway Market (Supermarket & Off-Licence) and at 71 Broadway Market (Spirit’s Nutritious Food Galley). Please give generously.

Update on Broadway Market Occupation

This is an update on the occupation of 34 Broadway Market which Hackney Independent fully supports.

Update 10th December 2005

Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in opposing Dr Wratten’s possession proceedings in court on Friday. However, instead of being heard in 10-20 minutes which is usual in these matters, the case went to trial and His Honour, Judge Latham, took until 4pm to reach his decision. He also gave Dr Wratten’s lawyers a very hard time. Much was made in court of the actions of Mrs Wratten, who is one of the directors of Market House Ltd, the company that wants to demolish Tony’s Café. Mrs Wratten made a visit to our occupation where she accepted tea, chatted with protesters and even signed our petition and gave us a donation. Judge Latham described her actions as

But at the end of the day the wider issues surrounding our occupation (for example the problems with the sale and planning permission) were not seen as relevant to the case in the eyes of the law. This meant that Dr Wratten’s property rights were given precedence and he can now evict the protesters.

An appeal is planned and must be lodged by 23rd December.

This decision has in no way dampened our enthusiasm to get justice for Tony and other affected traders in Broadway market and to continue challenging gentrification in the area.

The Evening Standard has continued its coverage of the events in Broadway Market. It devoted a whole page to the matter in Friday¹s edition and journalists were present at the court case.

London Tonight are sending a film crew to the occupation on Sunday morning we ask anyone who wants to show support to come along before 11am in a show of strength!

We are receiving an increasing number of calls from the press and media and many have started to become interested in the wider story of council corruption.

A public meeting is being called for local residents for Thursday 15th December between 7.30pm and 9.30pm at St Michaels Hall, on the corner of Lansdowne Drive and Lavender Grove, E8.

The Occupation of Tony’s Café has raised many issues in the national, London and local press and we are inviting people to discuss the following issues:




The event is to be chaired by Rev William Campbell-Taylor.

All relevant parties are being invited to speak including:

Chris Berry: Interim Head of Planning, Hackney Council
Jessica Crowe: Deputy Mayor of Hackney
Guy Nicholson: Regeneration Officer, Hackney Council
Andrew Boff: Conservative Councillor, Queeensbridge Ward
Bill Hodgson: Labour Councillor, Queensbridge Ward (Chair of Planning)

Arthur Shuter: Local Advocate and Spokesman for Protest at Tony¹s Café
Carl Taylor: Hackney Independent
Stephen Selby: Broadway Market Traders and Residents Association
Maria Flynn: Regents Estate TRA
Fred Filce: Whiston & Goldsmiths TRA

Dr Roger Wratten
Stirling Properties
Broadway Investments Hackney Ltd.

Each party will have 2-3 minutes to speak on one or all of the issues and questions will be taken from the audience. We expect the media to attend.

We have now learnt that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has appointed a senior officer to deal with criminal investigations relating to commercial property sales in Hackney.

Bill Hodgson, Chair of Planning in Hackney has told us that he is happy to refer the issues around planning consent for 34 Broadway Market to the Independent Planning Directorate a government body – for review.

Hackney Independent Film Day: Standing Room Only!

The 2005 Film Day proved to be a major attraction on Sunday November 20, with a full house testifying to it’s appeal.

The first short film shown was Their World This Time, a modern documentary on the post-WWII squatting movement. It particularly focused on the spirit of co-operation as people found themselves having to take both public and private property for themselves and their families.

Not a Penny on the Rents from 1968 was a short 20 minute film covering the successful GLC tenants rebellion against 100% rent increases. In black and white, time can never age its central message: unity is strength.

The Nick Broomfield early features were particularly powerful. The first, Who Cares?, looked at slum clearance in Liverpool L8, while the second from 1974 concentrated on a rent strike in Kirby where the majority of tenants had been rehoused. Provoking both plenty of laughter and anger in equal measure, the working class opinions on the media and the class society are as relevant now as they ever were.

Noemi Rodriguez introduced and answered questions on her short feature All That Glitters, a film about the 2012 Olympic bid. This is an on-going work that will certainly bloom as the social consequences of the Mayor’s folly becomes more apparent. Afterwards, a robust discussion provided some insightful views from the audience.

Spectacle Productions has been in existence since the mid-80s. Making independent short films on a variety of grassroots subjects, Mark Saunders has recently been working on a film concerning regeneration on a couple of south London estates. Presenting some clips from this project, he was on hand to answer questions afterwards.

Lastly, the London Particular was a challenging and very well made short film that looked at the gentrification of the Shoreditch area. Both film makers, David Panos and Ben Seymour, offered an introduction at the beginning.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Hackney Independent Film Day – if you have any requests then please get in touch.

Hackney Independent Film Day

Hackney Independent invites you… down the pub to the Sussex! On Sunday, November 20, we’ll be holding our 2005 Film Day – and what an extravagance we have lined up! We’ve unearthed some real working class gems from the past and present.

Their World This Time – 1998

A film about the post-World War Two housing crisis, the squatting movement and the requisitioning of empty property.

Not a Penny on the Rents – 1968

How GLC (Greater London Council) tenants first organised Tenants’ Associations and conducted the first rent strikes against council rent rises.

Who Cares? 1971

Examines the problems of slum demolition and removal of people to new housing blocks, letting the residents speak for themselves. It comments on the need for playschools and community centres, but makes the plea that future planning should take into consideration the feelings and opinions of the working class concerned

Behind the Rent Strike – 1974

This Grierson Award-winning film deals with the rent strike undertaken by 3,000 Kirby New Town tenants, shortly before Christmas 1973, as a protest against the Housing Finance Bill.

The two short films above were made by Nick Broomfield who has gone onto international fame with such productions as Biggie & Tupac, Kurt & Courtney and Aileen – Life and Death of a Serial Killer. These are not commercially available and this may be your only chance to see them.

All that Glitters – 2004

Produced before the announcement of the successful bid, the documentary explores what might happen if the Olympics comes to London. It looks at the broken promises of the 1980s Docklands development and the almost identical pro-Olympic claims and promises

The producer of this film, Naomi Rodriguez, will be delivering a short introduction

Plus more films to be announced on the day.

2.00PM until late
Sussex Pub, 107a Culford Rd, London, N1 4HT
£2entry Sunday November 20
Nearest station: Dalston Kingsland

Film Day Flyer (pdf)

Forthcoming Independent Kids' Cinema & Advice Surgery

The Independent Kids’ Cinema presents


Film + Drink + Crisps 50p
HOXTON: 3pm, Geffrye Estate Community Centre, Falkirk St, N1
Wednesday 10th August
HAGGERSTON: 10.30am, Goldsmiths Community Centre, Goldsmiths Row E2



6-7pm, Wednesday August 10, Geffrye Estate Community Centre, Falkirk Street, N1.

Community Action Gathering

The first ever Community Action Gathering took place in Bethnal Green on Saturday June 18.


Organised jointly between Hackney Independent and the Haringey Solidarity Group, it was intended as to be a forum where community activists could get together and share experiences and tactics.

Over 50 people attended, including from Glasgow, Burnley, Bristol, Norwich and Ipswich.

Discussions were held on regeneration, gentrification and planning, participating in council elections, how to set up local groups and communication techniques and strategies (newsletters, mailing lists, leaflets etc), amongst much else.

No one group or individual at the event claimed a monopoly on right action, and everybody was prepared to enter into the spirit of the day by contributing positively to the various topics.

A successful event, participants expressed enthusiasm at the end for further such meetings as well as establishing more regular contact between community groups dispersed across the country.