Harlem meets Dalston – MJB Event 24th May

Juan Haro, a speaker from the Movement for Justice in El Barrio will talk in Dalston, about their struggle against displacement bygentrification in Harlem, New York city.

On Saturday the 24th of May @ Passing Clouds, on Richmond Rd, just off Kingsland road in Dalston, 10 mins from Dalston Kingsland Station. Buses: 149, 242, 243, 67.

Free or donation entry to talk from 7.00pm


Followed by  Latin bands and DJs hosted by Movimientos at around 9pm “From folkloric to electronic Movimientos is the sound of London’s Latin alternative”
(£5 entry)

Dalston, like many other parts of London is undergoing development that will mean rent rises for tenants already struggling to pay extortionate London rents. When an area becomes appealing for investors and “regeneration” it’s those people with money who end up enjoying the new housing, expensive cafes and shops, and the people with less money who end up having to move further away from the centre of the city or who, if they stay, lose the shops, cafes and resources they rely on. Movement for Justice, the organization of tenants in Harlem, New York that have been struggling against the landlords that want to price them out of their area say; 

“This displacement is created by the greed, ambition and violence of a global empire of money that seeks to take total control of all the land, labor and life on earth. Here in  El Barrio (East Harlem, New York City), landlords, multi-national corporations and local, state and federal politicians and institutions want to force upon us their culture of money, they want to displace poor families and rent their apartments to rich people, white people with money. They want to change the look of our neighborhood, with the excuse of “developing the community.” 

The talk will explore issues around resisting gentrification and the model of organization that Movement for Justice have used to work with each other – an inspiring and educational example from across the Atlantic that we could learn from in London. 

“Together, we make our dignity resistance and we fight back against the actions of capitalist landlords and multinational corporations who are displacing poor families from our neighborhood. We fight back locally and across borders. We fight back against local politicians that refuse to govern by obeying the will of the people. We fight back against the government institutions that enforce a global economic, social and political system that seeks to destroy humanity.” 

Talk organized by Hackney Solidarity Network, Hackney Independent, Haringey Solidarity Group and London Coalition Against Poverty.

Hanover in Hackney Housing Association – new ploy to evict OAPs

Further to our report about the attempt by Hanover in Hackney (HiH) to sell off Bayton Court sheltered housing for the elderly, London Fields, for posh flats (see 2007 News), having been forced to withdraw their original planning application following a heated public meeting in June, they’re back for another go…

It seems that Hanover in Hackney – given the responsibility by Hackney Council to run its sheltered housing units – just can’t ignore the fact that prime building space on London Fields is worth a hell of a lot more than the OAPs they are supposed to be caring for.  This time they hope that the council will agree with their plans to kick the elderly tenants out of their homes and build sixteen houses.

Last June’s public meeting organised by OPENDalston, and attended by residents and their families and members of Blackstone Estate TRA, shamed HiH into backing down from their transparently greedy plans to make large amounts of cash at the expense of their vulnerable residents. They should be forced to back down this time too; but don’t rely on local Labour Councillors – last year they sat on the fence.  Could it be because Cllr Emma Plouviez is a member of HiH???

Olympic Torch ignores the East End

An account of the invisible torch going through Bow

The good citizens of E3 appeared to have forgotten that the torch was
passing through. But as four o’clock approached, and the buzz of
helicopters filled the sky overhead, a few headed down to Bow Road to
watch the flame go by. Many were of Chinese origin, here to watch a
potent symbol from the motherland passing along their local street.
The vicar was out with his camera, having set his bell ringers the
task of welcoming the flame to Bow (or maybe he just pressed a button
inside the tower, it was hard to be sure). And there were no
protesters whatsoever, not this far out of town. What could go wrong?
The road to the flyover suddenly cleared of traffic and a very large
number of police motorbikes zoomed past. And a van, and another van,
and the Coca Cola open-topped bus. Was the flame aboard? We didn’t
think so. Those grinning Samsung girls were next, keeping up their
professional act as they danced for a crowd who almost certainly
couldn’t afford a widescreen telly like the one on the float. And then
silence. Was that it?

Thankfully not. After a brief interlude of ordinary vehicles, the
empty road reappeared. Yet more police outriders whizzed by, as if
every motorcycle copper in the capital was having a whale of a time
breaking the speed limit in 10 different boroughs in one day. And then
a 4×4, and a couple of vans, and a single-decker red bus. I’d seen
this procession several times before, so I knew the single-decker was
just a support vehicle packed with bottles of Coke and Malvern Water.
More vans followed, and the TV crew lorry, and another single-decker
bus, and a luxury coach, and some more vans. Still we scanned the road
for sight of any open-topped vehicle that might be carrying a beaming
athlete waving a torch. None appeared, only a steady stream of very
normal looking traffic. It very slowly dawned on us, with a distinctly
sinking feeling, that the flame had already passed. Bugger. It must
have been concealed inside one of the unflagged single-deckers, by now
at least half a mile away on the road to Stratford. The vicar and I
shared a look, as if to say “pah!”, and walked away. Here we were, a
community on the very edge of the Olympic Zone, and the authorities
had sped by without acknowledging our existence or even attempting to
include us as part of the celebrations. I do hope that this isn’t a
sign of things to come in 2012, but I fear it might be.

From http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/

Demonstrate in support of Ricky Jones and his family, Saturday April 26th (12pm Stoke Newington Common)


For 10 years Ricky Jones has been the caretaker at William Patten Primary School in Stoke Newington Church Street.  He and his family face eviction from their home because the school’s governors say there is no longer a need for a residential caretaker.  

Ricky lives in the school grounds with wife, Lisa, a teacher at nearby Princess May Primary School, and his three children, two of whom also attend William Patten Primary.

Ricky is also the Unison Convenor for Hackney Education.  If this proposal goes ahead it will be the final act in a series of acts of victimisation which Ricky has endured because he is an effective trade unionist.

Brian Debus, chairman of the Hackney branch of Unison, said: “If they manage to get away with removing Ricky from his post, this will be a precedent move for all residential caretakers.” 

For more details go to http://www.hackneytuc.org.uk/
Protest emails can be sent to aileen.walker@blueyonder.co.uk  head of the school’s governors.


DEMONSTRATE for clean, safe homes! Sat 12 April, 12.30pm, Alexandra Court Hostel, Hackney

Residents at Alexandra Court ‘temporary’ hostel accomodation in Hackney have had enough!  Residents, mostly children, have to pay up to £350 per week for dirty corridors used by addicts and prostitutes, and rooms infested with mice and bed bugs.  The heating and hot water hardly ever works, there’s no lock on the building gate, and only flimsy ones on individual rooms.  The fire alarm frequently goes off in the middle of the night for hours at a time.  Children are scared, and their education is suffering.  The council and management promise change, but never deliver.

Residents are asking for YOUR support.  Meet at Alexandra Court Hostel, Belgrade Road, Hackney, Saturday 12 April at 12.30pm, to march to Hackney Town Hall on Mare St, where the council have been asked to be present with a representative to hear demands.

Getting there…

Alexandra Court Hostel, 1a Belgrade Road (corner with Stoke Newington Road), Hackney, N16 8DH

 – Dalston Kingsland Railway station, turn left and walk five minutes.  It’s on your left.

 – Buses 67, 76, 149, 236, 243, among others


London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) is an organisation promoting and supporting self-organised action in the pursuit of practical social change.  LCAP is currently focussing on the housing crisis in Hackney, which is encouraged and administered by Hackney Council.  The organisation encourages a practical alliance of all those affected by the crisis, including the homeless, poorly housed and anyone affected by sky high london rents.  #

More info, press and organisational enquiries:

07932 241737

LCAP Benefit


A night of techno/acid/DnB/post-punk/mashupfor
London Coalition Against PovertyFriday 21st March

@Korsan 161-165 Kingsland Road, E2                                   

LCAP: How to Enforce Your Rights at Work (free workshop)Saturday 22 March 2008

London Coalition Against Poverty presents a free afternoon workshop: How to Enforce Your Rights at Work

  • Knowing your rights at work
  • Why we should organise at work
  • How to organise your workplace


The day will consist of:


First session: ‘Exploring Workers’ Rights’: looking at basic rights; where to find sources of information; exploring what rights apply in particular scenarios.  Participants will receive a booklet containing what has been covered.


Second session: ‘The Whys and Hows of Organising’: the first workshop will be ‘Why organise at work?’, looking at the reasons why we need to organise to enforce our rights and the other benefits of organising; the second will be ‘How we organise’, focusing on the nuts and bolts of organising, looking at different ways of working collectively, their strengths and weaknesses.


Saturday 22 March 2008

12-5.00pm, LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, E1 1ES

(Please bring food for lunch, refreshments provided.)


more info:  07932 241737

Hackney Solidarity Network Monday February 11th 2008 at 7.30 pm

Following a meeting at Centreprise on the 10th December, with members of Hackney Independent, London Coalition against Poverty (LCAP), London Catholic Worker and other individuals, an inaugural meeting of the Hackney Solidarity Network (working title! :)) has  been organised for upstairs at the MOTH club on Valette Street in Hackney (behind the Ocean on the corner of Morning Lane) for Monday February 11th 2008 at 7.30 pm

The purpose of the Hackney Solidarity Network is to:

1) Provide a space where both individuals and group from across Hackney can come to network, to report back on and share information on what they are doing, and to share skills and knowledge etc
2) Improve communication between campaigns, groups and individuals
3) Give people the opportunity to meet and socialise with each other.
4) Facilitate joint working and campaigning – this group, is not seeking to organise action but simply to bring together community activists, those temporarily `resting'(!) and hopefully individuals looking to get involved

It is aimed at those involved in any sort of campaigning, community and voluntary work that seeks to help individuals and communities in Hackney.

Each meeting will have a guest speaker to tell us what they are up to for 10 to 15 minutes. At the first meeting LCAP will report on their current campaign of supporting homeless people at Hackney Homeless Persons  Unit.


London Coalition Against Poverty Xmas Demonstration

CALL TO ACTION: Christmas Demonstration for Housing
6 – 7:30 PM
Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street E8

London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) will demonstrate at Hackney
Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday the 17th of December 6pm to 7.30
pm. As Christmas day approaches its difficult to see the seasonal
spirit in Hackney’s Homeless Persons office where homeless people are
daily denied their rights and left without anywhere to go. LCAP will
demonstrate this Christmas to send a clear message to Jamie Carswell
(head of Housing strategy and deputy Mayor) that we will not tolerate
this any more. LCAP will be campaigning for change in Hackney’s
dealings with the homeless for as long as it takes.

Come to the picket, there’ll be some hot soup, and Christmas festivity.
Dress warm, bring noisemakers and mince pies if you like.

More info:

London Coalition against Poverty (LCAP) has been at Hackney Housing
Needs office since July 2007, and we have seen time and again that
homeless people are turned away unlawfully. By law some homeless
people have to be housed immediately but Hackney Council cares more
about balancing their budget through not housing people then about
their residents needs. They try to delay or stop people making a
homeless application. To achieve this the staff often act in an
intimidating and sometimes abusive way. Because of this “gate keeping”
at the housing needs office many vulnerable people and families are
left on the street or other insecure, dangerous places. When
accommodation or advice on how to find housing is offered by the
council its likely to be out of Hackney, often even out of London.
Hackney Council will be held accountable for their failure to house
Hackney’s people.

LCAP demands:

– An end to gate keeping at Hackney HPU

– Stop the intimidation of people that approach the HPU

– Genuinely affordable housing to rent in Hackney – no more people chased
out of the borough

Jamie Carswell is scrooge!
We are the ghosts of Christmas present!

Contact: 07932241737

London Coaltion Against Poverty – First Newsletter

Below is an article from the first newsletter of the London Coalition Against Poverty.

You can download the whole newsletter by clicking on here [pdf]
Fighting to win: An introduction to LCAP and direct action casework

WELCOME to the first of what we hope will become an ongoing roundup of activities and campaign updates from the London Coalition Against Poverty.

So who are we and what do we do? London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) brings together activists, advice workers, and campaigning groups in order to tackle the causes and effects of poverty in London through merging advice work with direct action and libertarian organising. We have been going for less than a year but have already had some modest successes as this newsletter shows.
As our name suggests we were intially inspired by Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) who developed the model of direct action casework.

Since 1989 OCAP have been using a range of effective tactics to mobilise many of those at the sharp end of the attacks on their welfare, housing and employment rights. While these rights are not enough by themselves, asserting them is a necessary first step to extending those rights and, we hope, widening our struggles in the process.

What is Direct Action Casework (DAC)? There are three core principles around the DAC model of activity. Firstly to combine legal work with disruptive action to achieve an immediate, or more quickly arrived at, outcome. This means understanding what people are entitled to under the law, and at the same time knowing that people have power in disruptive action.

Secondly, not to duplicate the work of legal clinics or other agencies. There are numerous legal clinics and agencies that are given money (usually from government) to fight on people’s behalf or provide
them with services.

Thirdly, to forward political goals but never compromise the interests of those you are working with in the process. Landlords, bosses and government bureaucrats break the rules all the time and we’re the ones who pay. They often do this unchallenged. The official channels of appeal that are available are often lengthy, costly and ineffective. Direct action casework is designed to cut through this to get people what they want.

Organised workers have the power of going on strike. They have a power that comes from withdrawing their labour and suspending their activity in the economy. But if people on benefits simply stop participating in the benefits system it gains them no power at all; the opposite in fact. Instead we need to force our way into the process in order to be heard and to secure our demands. Keeping business operating as usual is very important to the functioning of many institutions; it is often easier for them to make a concession than to try to continue while disruptions are taking place. Our success will come from demanding people receive what the law says they can have and backing it up with effective action.

To be clear, we are a political group with political goals. As Jeff Shantz of OCAP explains, “recognising that direct interference with the practices of various levels of government and their business backers is the only way […] people can effect a real measure of control in their own lives. OCAP avoids token protest in favor of actions which upset our enemies’ plans. Rather than pleading with them to stop hurting us we act to develop the means to prevent them from implementing their plans.”