Manor Garden Allotments

The Manor Gardening Society’s Emergency General Meeting will be held on March 4th, this coming Sunday at 11.00 am. This will take place at the Eastway Baths Community Centre at Eastway, Hackney Wick.

The London Developent Authority will be attending to announce their intentions following the failure of their Marsh Lane plan.
As the morale of the plotholders has been continually worn down and many, understandably, feel the situation is hopeless.

The more outside support is demonstrated the better.

Supporters are asked to gather outside with banners from 10.30 am.

Please pass this message on – let’s get as much support as we can for the allotment gardeners to stay where they are at Waterden Road and protect Marsh Lane Fields from encroachment!

Benefit for Spirit, 3rd February

The Battle for Broadway Market documentary – public screening

3pm, Sunday February 11, Sebright Arms, 31-35 Coate Street, London, E2 9AG
£2 entry


The Battle for Broadway Market

At the end of November 2005 an occuption was started by local residents at 34 Broadway Market to prevent it being knocked down for luxury flats. Over the next few months support multiplied and the news travelled around the world. It’s a story that brings in corrupt property developers, an incompetant council, rampant gentrification and the question of just what sort of community we want in 21st century London.
This is the definitive film of the event.

Dir: Emily James, 2006, 62 minutes


The 43 group

After the Second World War Jewish ex-serviceman found once again Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirt pals spreading their anti-semitic message on the streets. This documentary recounts the anti-fascist battles fought in the East End and all over London in the years immediately after 1945.

Dir: Graeme Kennedy, 2000, 25 minutes


An inspirational documentary showing how tenants in Edinburgh fought against council housing privatisation.

3pm, Sunday February 11, Sebright Arms, 31-35 Coate Street, London, E2 9AG

£2 entry

Sunday lunch is served in the Sebright Arms from 1-4pm at £7 per head onwards

Manor Garden allotments campaign – Hackney Wick

Event takes place on Tuesday January 16, 2007
3.00pm: Open for Tours
4.30pm: Sunset Bonfire
7.30pm: Broadcast of ITV’s ‘Disappearing London’ featuring the campaign
Fresh food will be served!

Extracts from the press release:

‘Please come to show the strength of support to showcase this precious part of Lea Valley’s heritage rather than the ‘Green’ Olympics plan to bulldoze 100-year-old Manor Garden Allotments.

David Mackay, Author of the original Stratford City plan and lead Architect for the Barcelona Olympic Village and Port – flagged up as the most successful Olympics for regeneration recently – wrote, ‘Unfortunately London has lost this opportunity by deciding to agree to cover the existing recreation facilities with the silliest architecture seen for years with no real concern for a legacy. So far as Legacy is concerned we are being asked to look at the Emperor’s New Clothes – so delicate that nobody can see them. If carried out, and with only five years to go, the Olympic legacy is more likely to be like a Hollywood set for a ghost town or an abandoned Expo site.’

The eviction date is set to be 2nd April at the latest.

Manor Gardens, bequeathed to be allotments ‘in perpetuity’ by their original owner the ‘ Right Hon’ Major Villiers, sit in the North central section of the Olympic Park. The LDA plan to remove them to make a footpath to the stadia and now to house a screen, destroying in the process a century of devoted cultivation and a close-knit community rooted in this irreplaceable site. Old timers, Tom and Albert, have been growing veg and keeping fit here for 54 and 58 years respectively, taking over from their fathers. 10 year old Boris, whose parents are members, nags them to come to the plot and wants to hand his plot down to his son. Members trust in the permanence of the site led one plot holder to scatter his brother’s ashes on his plot.

However this diverse community of Turks Cypriots, Greeks, Jamaicans, Africans and Brits welcome the potential for regeneration brought by the Olympic development. Rather than being moved out of the way they want to offer their contribution which seems to them to be entirely consistent with the Olympic and Government ambitions. They believe to remove the allotment gardens would be to rip out the ‘healthy heart’ of the Olympic Park area as well as to fragment the community.

Even if the Manor Gardening community could be protected by relocation there is growing opposition from people local to the relocation site on Marsh Lane fields. If planning permission is granted it would only be for seven years after which the Society may be moved again. Yet it would take at least twenty years, plus the right conditions, to re-establish our current food production levels and to create a similarly viable community.

As plot holder Armagan and her friend Cavide said, ‘We could make the London Olympics different from all other Olympics. Having the allotments in the Olympic Park and preserving them for the Legacy Park would send out the message world wide that the UK really does care after all.’

But do the LDA and the Mayor care about local grown initiatives even when they are successful examples, like Manor Garden Allotments, of the Governments own strategies such as the London Food and the Biodiversity Strategies?

Writer and supporter of the campaign to incorporate the allotments, Iain Sinclair says, ‘We don’t want it (the Olympic Park) imagining for us. We don’t want it over-imagined. We want to imagine it for ourselves. Please preserve the soul of the place as represented by the beautiful Manor Garden Allotments.’

At the end of the day the TV will be turned on in the Community Shed to show the broadcast of ‘Disappearing London’ featuring Manor Garden Allotments on ITV at 7.30pm.’

This event is open to everybody but the organisers would appreciate an acknowlegement of intention from those coming so that they can gauge attendence. Please

Hackney Co-ordination Meeting – Tuesday December 12th

Hackney Independent is organising a meeting to bring together people, activists and campaigns in Hackney who we see as fighting lone battles and being picked off one by one by the council.

The meeting will be on Tuesday December 12th at 7.30 pm at St Michaels Church Hall Lansdowne Drive, London Fields, Hackney E8.

The meeting is aimed at: Individuals who have just had enough, tenants groups  demanding better housing and a stop to the process of selling off their estates, campaigners for environmental issues – from those opposing the olympic land grab, to those opposing the sell-off of green space on estates, to those who just want to improve their environment, People are concerned about their kids’ schools being turned into city academies, or who wish to fight for better youth facilities, those who believe that gentrification is impacting badly on working class communities, those who believe that council and government policies are creating fragmented and increasingly violent communities and more…

We believe that while we face a continuous series of attacks from the council on a whole series of issues, that they are only getting away with it because of the uncoordination and demoralisation of the opposition.

We would like to stress that we have no set agenda for this first meeting, except that we believe it’s a good idea to aim for a one day conference in late January which would be much larger, and more widely publicised.

It is true that a similar attempt was made in 2000/1 in the midst of the council cuts campaign under the title of Hackney Fightback. That attempt was destroyed by sectarianism – this must not happen again! We all have our own ideas of what is best, but it is essential that we create something that will oppose the council’s strategy in Hackney and that we do not allow ourselves to be derailed again.

Please contact Hackney Independent for more details and to let us know if you will be attending.

We will look forward to hearing from you and hope you can attend the meeting on the 12th of December.

Benefit film at RIO, Dalston: 5 1/2 roofs

‘Save the Spirit of Broadway Market’

Late night benefit film screening 

5 1/2 ROOFS (15)
UK 2006, director Sepp R Brudermann, 84m

According to Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 the occupation of empty property in the UK is not illegal. In London there are more than 13.000 people living in squats. These are 6 episodes of 6 different London based squats and their inhabitants. 6 stories of life in the city, stories of struggle, celebration, creativity, resignation, fear and hope. The final episode concerns the struggles and occupations in Broadway Market.

“A compelling look at a layer of our urban community which is rarely seen” (Raindance Film Festival)
“Fresh and beguiling” (R. Thompson, BBC Storyville)

+ speakers

11.15pm, Saturday November 25, Rio cinema, Dalston

Tickets £6.50/£5 Concs (available in advance or on the door)

Background information:

A campaign has been running in Broadway Market, London E8 for the past twelve months in support of two particular leaseholders who operated businesses in Broadway Market and who were tenants of Hackney Council until the properties were sold to offshore property developers in 2001/2. These cases are also linked to an on-going campaign to protect buildings in Dalston Lane, London E8. The issues surrounding these cases gained worldwide press and media coverage last Christmas and New Year and led to an investigation by the Fraud Squad and the L. B. Hackney Audit and Anti-Fraud Division, culminating in an internal enquiry before the L. B. Hackney Governance and Resources Scrutiny Committee in March/April this year. The findings of that report go before Hackney’s Mayor and Cabinet on 27 November. The enquiries came about as a result of the widely publicised occupation of Francesca’s café at 34 Broadway Market and publicity relating to Lowell ‘Spirit’ Grant who runs a Caribbean fresh fish, fruit and veg shop at 71 Broadway Market. Spirit is still facing eviction, although a significant campaign has been launched to clear outstanding rent arrears whilst the Courts determine his legal status. There is to be a hearing at the Court of Appeal on 5 or 6 December 2006 and his lawyers are increasingly optimistic.

Preparing for the London 2012 Olympics

As Ken’s roadshow begins to get going the cost of the 2012 is beginning to become apparent, both financially and socially.


The primary benefactors will be not just the esteem of our politicians but the City and property developers too.


The working class will, as usual, be at the sharp end of this grandiose gentrification plan.


It’s time now for both groups and individuals to start to get organised.


The Games Monitor website was launched this week and promises to be ‘a network of people raising awareness about issues within the London Olympic development processes’


They say, ‘We want to highlight the local, London and international implications of Olympic processes. We seek to deconstruct the ‘fantastic’ hype of Olympic boosterism and the eager complicity of the ‘urban elites’ in politics, business, the media, sport, academia and local institutional ‘community stakeholders’.


The first initial planning meeting takes place at 7pm on November 13 at Passing Clouds in Dalston, Hackney (Richmond Road, just off Kingsland Road behind Uncle Sam’s)


Also, the UK Rank and File Building Workers Committee have called a meeting about organising for the 2012 Olympics at 7pm, Tuesday November 28 at the Cock Tavern, Chalton Street, Euston.


All building workers and rank and file trade unionists are welcome. For further details please ring 07749 517074



The Games Monitor website can be found at

Benefit Gig for Spirit – Chat's Palace, Hackney, October 27

Benefit Gig for Spirit at Chat’s Palace Fri 27th October – Advance Tickets Available NOW

Save the Spirit of Broadway Market presents:

Reggae by Jah Youth Roots Ambassador & Guest Sounds, West Indian Food by Jah Spirit.

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

For more info about Spirit and the campaign against council sell offs and evictions in Broadway Market, check out the News section of this site.

Friday 27th October 2006 8pm – 1am

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

£5 advance,

* Advance tickets available from Spirit’s shop, 71 Broadway Market, E8 *
Tickets also available on the door. The last benefit was a sell-out so get your tickets now!!!

70th Anniversary of The Battle of Cable Street: Street Celebrations

On 4th October 1936, people in the east end of London stopped Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists marching through Cable Street, in Stepney, then a mainly Jewish area. The Spanish Civil War slogan was widely used: They Shall Not Pass – No Pasaran!

The Cable Street Group, and Alternative Arts are planning a commemorative day. The Festival will include a procession, street theatre, music, singers, an exhibition of photographs from 1936 and from more recent events, as well as stalls. This event takes place in Cable St, Whitechapel.

Dates: 08 October 2006 – 08 October 2006
Times: 12pm – 4pm
Admission: FREE – just turn up in Cable St on the day.

Below is film footage of the event from 1936

Windows media player file:

Quick time movie:

London Social Forum: Divided City

Open Forum on speculation, housing, land and social rights

On Sunday 1st October, Limehouse Town Hall – in the shadow of Canary Wharf – will be host to an event called “Divided City Open Forum” on the effect of financial speculation in the City of London on housing and the community’s right to live.

Through short presentations and a series of workshops, the necessities of residence, democratic deficit and resistance to global corporate finance and evictions will feature heavily, with guests from as far away as Chile and Egypt (Cairo Housing and Land Rights Network). There will also be a session on the impact of the 2012 Olympics on London and the effect of development in the Lea Valley. Workshops include ‘Networking on Housing Rights [and privatisation]’, and ‘A Right to Land’ with campaigners from the travelling community and the Land is Ours land rights campaign.

The final session of the Open Forum will examine solutions to corporate domination and community struggles, including the Local Communities Bill, systems of democratic audit, and the broader context. In terms of the latter, we will explore the concept of democracy and relate the effectiveness of constructing alternative methodologies of accountability within an economic system where human and material exchanges are grounded in enclosures, as in the privatisation of public utilities such as water and health/education/transport systems. We will refer to the underlying neoliberal agenda, which deepens and intensifies the market economy and breeds both prosperity and exclusion, in both urban and rural contexts.

The conference is free to all, but participants will be asked for a donation to help cover costs.

Campaigners are mooting plans for a demonstration at an unspecified location in London on Monday October 2nd, as part of an international day of action on housing and land rights, on what will be World Habitat Day 2006.

Sunday October 1, 2006, 12.30pm-6 pm Limehouse Town Hall, 646 Commercial Road, London E14 7HA

Organised by the London Social Forum

The main session will be the “LONDON CAMPAIGN ROUNDUP – COMMUNITIES IN RESISTANCE” with speakers from the Broadway Market campaign, the campaign to save Queens Market in Newham, people from the Dale farm travellers community, and activists from Dalston. This session will be chaired by Dave Morris from HSG. Start time, around around 4.30.

The Programme:

12.30: Session 1:

Doreen Massey (Open University): London as Financial Hub

Ana Sugranyes (Habitat International Coalition): Social Impacts on Habitat

Sebastian Mueller (Dortmund University): Impacts of privatisation and speculation

Fred Harrison (Land Research Trust): The Property Bubble

+ time for open discussion

14.00 Session 2: Privatisation, Development and Large-Scale Speculation.

Chris Shirley Smith (Independent Water Consultant): Thames Water

Martin Slavin (Journalist): Impact of 2012 Olympics on London

Knut Unger: European global investments

+ time for open discussion

14.45 Workshops

– The Lea Valley, impact of the Olympics, Gentrification and Displacement

– Networking on Housing Rights and Finance

15.45 Workshops

– London Effect on Property Markets

– A Right to Land, with Dale Farm travellers, Grattan Puxon from the Roma Federation, Maggie Smith (Romany Gypsy Council tbc) and Simon Fairlie (The Land is Ours/Chapter-7)

16.45 Open Forum (including):

– Introduction to Urban Watch and Mapping (Citymine(d), NodeL), L-Atlas, Cartograhy of Resistance, Violation Database and Real Estate Corporate Watch.

– London Campaign Roundup

– The Democratic Deficit, including speakers on:

Democratic Audit (Manchester Open City), Sustainable Communities Bill (Steve Shaw), Inclusive dialogue on rural inhabitants, farmers and public lands and Perspectives from the South (Angie Balata) and the North (Simon Fairlie)

18.30 Summing Up and Close

Films and food at Ramparts in the evening.

The Open Forum is free to all, but participants will be asked for a donation to help cover costs. Food and refreshments will be provided, including Zapatista coffee.


Trains: DLR Limehouse or Westferry; c2c from Barking, West Ham and

Fenchurch Street.

Tube: Mile End (Central, Metropolitan, District lines) and then a 277, D6, or D7 bus; or, Aldgate (Circle, Metropolitan) or Aldgate East (Metropolitan, District) and then a 15, or 115 bus.

Buses: 15, 115 (from Paddington station, Aldgate tube, East Ham); 395 (from Surrey Quays tube), D3 (Isle of Dogs, Bethnal Green); 277 (from Highbury and Islington tube via Dalston Junction, Mare Street and Mile End tube), D6 (from Mare Street via Bethnal Green and Mile End tube), D7 (Mile End tube and Poplar).