Every city in the developed world faces it, redevelopment, gentrification, this type of procedure may not be "ethnic cleansing", but it is "class cleansing". Each area in the city or town must be made into a profit making entity, capital needs somewhere to gamble. So push out the low earners and bring in the big spenders, it is the foundation of this era of capitalism.
This "class cleansing" can be stopped, but only by community direct action and solidarity. So we raise a fist in solidarity with the residents of Southwark area who have forced the council to "temporarily" suspend its intended "class cleansing"
Southwark Council has been forced to bow to community pressure, temporarily shelving the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle shopping centre on a night which saw anti-gentrification protesters storm the council's offices.
Local residents - many from the area's Latin American community - and students, marched from the London College of Communication's (LCC) campus off the Elephant roundabout to the council offices on Tooley Street. As the march snaked through South London, protesters chanted demands for social housing - in a borough with a notoriously poor track record of providing it.
Outside the Council offices, protesters listened to impassioned speeches before the chant of "let us in" went up. Security gates blocking access to the foyer sprang open and the crowd rushed in to the foyer of the council building. Demonstrators had to be held back by security guards as meetings on the ground floor were evacuated.
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As the protest continued inside the council offices, music was played and the crowd made space for some Latin dancing. The next track on was Skepta's Shutdown, reflecting the feeling that the planning committee meeting had been successfully disrupted - although that wasn't the case.
The threatened demolition of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre in South London has loomed over the space for over a decade. Those familiar with the area will be all too aware of the destruction of social housing on the nearby Heygate Estate, where over 1,200 homes have already been demolished by the local council, as well as the ongoing destruction of the nearby Aylesbury Estate and many of the other programs of estate “regeneration” taking place across the area.
Last night, Southwark Council’s planning committee met to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the shopping centre by Delancey (the objections to this redevelopment are covered in far more detail here). The proposals would see the shopping centre and LCC's campus demolished, to be replaced by a new development resituating the two alongside a new housing development featuring a staggeringly low 33 “affordable” homes out of the 979 promised.
Massive love and respect to all those who came out today to support The Elephant community's opposition to the social cleansing of the area. The march up Borough High St was well spirited, noisy and powerful!!radicalglasgow.me.uk