Lastest Update on the Broadway Market Occupation

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

You may have seen that the Hackney Gazette covered our protest on their front page. We thank them for their attention but we want to clarify some aspects of their coverage. They described the people involved in the protest as ‘self-styled squatters with a cause’. We wanted to just clarify who is participating: There are some local people with experience of squatting involved and they have been invaluable in making this action possible. But it is important to realise that many people involved here have never done anything like this before they are local residents who felt that it was time to act to prove that it is possible to reverse the tide of gentrification. Also there are many, many local people and shopkeepers who have dropped in for a short time to show their support! You are invited to join us.

Just to let you know that there are reporters preparing stories about this situation for the national press. Keep a look out next week!

We have put up a poster letting people know that we are not asking people to boycott the businesses in buildings owned by Dr Wratten or his associates who are just their landlords.
Apparently they have suffered a drop in customers since our occupation a clear indication of how seriously people in this community are taking this issue and a sign to Dr Wratten that his future business interests in the market might not be so rosy!
The one point we do want to make is that these businesses might not know that they occupy premises with a dark history. Many of us miss Prakash the proprietor of Kenny’s Newsagents, formerly at numbers 4-6 who threw in the towel after years of wrangling with Dr Wratten. Obviously people also remember Little Georgia which was priced out of Broadway Market by Dr Wratten (as covered in the Hackney Gazette). Whilst we have nothing personal against the new business owners they should recognise that they are part of the wider process of gentrifying the area (increased rents, businesses not aimed at working class locals).

Our occupation has now been served with an application for a Possession Order which is due for hearing at 10.30 on Friday 9th December. We will be vigorously opposing this application and doing everything in our power to stop Dr Wratten from recovering and destroying the building!

Hackney Planning, Legal Services and the Chief Executive of Hackney Council are in intense discussions with the audit and anti-fraud division about the planning consent to build a new development on the site of Tony’s Cafe. It remains to be seen whether the council will cancel the consent they wrongly gave or whether they will leave us to apply for judicial review. Under pressure from local councillors, Head of Planning Sue Foster has decided that the original planning application was approved contrary to council rules. Although they were aware of this at the time the planning consents were granted they seem to have decided (some twenty-one months later) that they messed up!
Hackney are aware that we face possession proceedings and that there is an urgent need to resolve this issue.