Dale Farm – in solidarity

August 27, 2011

Save Dale Farm

Save Dale Farm Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JAyI-oB5dc

Dale Farm is the largest Travellers site in the whole of the UK. 52 of the plots (over half) have been deemed illegal by Basildon Council, which is intent on evicting the Travellers from the site. £18million has been set aside for this eviction, which is a third of the Council’s annual budget. Spending this amount of money to make hundreds homeless is particularly cruel and absurd in the current period of ‘austerity’ when 100 Basildon Council jobs are likely to be axed to help the local authority cope with budget cuts which will leave it £2.3 million short.

The eviction will involve forcibly removing the residents – young and old, the sick and the disabled, from the site. The Travellers have not been given the option to move to culturally adequate housing (Irish Travellers are recognised by British law as an ethnic group). The community have said they would happily leave if provided with appropriate sites, but Basildon Council has refused to provide them. They are happy to spend millions on making these individuals homeless, but where is the money for culturally adequate housing, for the healthcare and schooling denied to those evicted?

Let’s put this in perspective: can you imagine Basildon Council using a third of its budget on youth centres, on keeping the local libraries open, on care for the elderly…?

For more information: http://dalefarm.wordpress.com/about/

On the 5th August, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, and the UN Independent Expert on minority issues called for an agreement on relocation that conforms with international human rights standards. The council intend to cut off water and electricity supplies to the plots during the eviction, which may endanger those trying to protect their homes.
For the Amnesty International Urgent Appeal: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR45/013/2011/en/0faf8cdd-f5a1-4024-af41-5a26f21d51a5/eur450132011en.html

Camp Constant

We look forward to seeing everyone August 27th-29th at Dale Farm for a long weekend of workshops, skillsharing, and celebration! This marks the start of Camp Constant, our human rights monitoring center that residents of Dale Farm have encouraged us to set up — they have been given until midnight, August 31st to abandon their homes or face the bulldozers, and we will be maintaining a constant presence at Dale Farm in solidarity with them.

See http://dalefarm.wordpress.com/activity for more details.

Funds

The eviction is expected sometime in September, and keeping a constant presence there does cost money.
If you or anyone you know can make a donation, please do so here:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=9G9BTVTPK7GXA&lc=GB&item_name=Dale%20Farm%20Housing%20Association&currency_code=GBP&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF%3abtn_donateCC_LG%2egif%3aNonHosted

Even small amounts help, and please forward this request to your friends or any lists you are on.

And most importantly, come down to Dale Farm for the Solidarity Weekend Aug. 27-29th, or sign up to spend some nights there in September https://smsalerts.tachanka.org/dalefarm/

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Stop the EDL – Tower Hamlets – 3rd September

August 15, 2011

IHOOPS officially supports the march against the EDL on the 3rd September.

The EDL – a racist and Islamophobic organisation – is planning to march through the Tower Hamlets borough on the 3rd September.  Given the recent atrocities in Norway, opposition to the EDL is of even greater importance. The links between Breivik and the EDL have been made clear.  Not only has Breivik publically stated that he was inspired by the EDL, but numerous members of the EDL have voiced their support of his actions. One EDL supporter defended Breivik claiming “This man is no terrorist, he is a soldier in the war against Islam. God bless him”.

The EDL’s attempts to stir up racist hatred against Muslims in the multicultural, multiracial East End of London have been met with a wave of condemnation from across Tower Hamlets’ diverse community and beyond.

Last year, 5,000 people marched through the East End to oppose the EDL – even though the EDL had already been forced to cancel their own event, admitting that it would be “a suicide mission” in multicultural Tower Hamlets.

Unite Against Facism (UAF), who have called the demo, have stated “we want a huge turnout in Tower Hamlets to deal a more decisive blow to the EDL and its poisonous racist ideas.”  The only way to stop racism is to confront it head on.

Details:

Assemble from 11am, Weavers Fields, London E2 6HW
Saturday 3 September


Give Our Kids A Future!

August 12, 2011

A North London Unity Assembly Demonstration

Saturday 13th August, 1pm

Assemble Gillet Square, Dalston, N16 at 1pm. March to Tottenham Green, N15

Our communities need a united response to both the riots and the causes of despair and frustration that can result in riots.

We call for:

– A culture of valuing, not demonising, youth and unemployed people
– Support for those affected by the rioting, including the immediate rehousing of people made homeless, grants for affected small businesses, and restoration of damaged areas
– Reversal of all cuts to youth services in our boroughs
– No cuts to public services! Instead, investment into community-led regeneration of our communities, including access for all to decent housing, jobs, education and sports facilities
– An independent community inquiry into policing methods in our boroughs, and an end to discriminatory stop and search
– Availability of legal support for all those people arrested by police. Young people face potential sentences that will affect them, their families and their wider communities for years to come. Recommended solicitors are Bindmans 0207 833 4433 and Hodge, Jones and Allen 07659 111192

We are responding to the events of the last few days, in particular the Tottenham protest over the killing of Mark Duggan and the disturbances that followed in Tottenham and Hackney.

By coming together and calling for unity we want to encourage all sections of our local communities, young and old, black and white, residents and workers, to work together to find solutions to some of our long-standing problems.

We know there are all kinds of strong feelings and differing views. We do not claim to represent the whole community, but merely seek to promote unity in the communities in which we live and work.

Simply labelling rioters as opportunistic criminals does little to relieve tensions and provides a poor explanation for the worst riots in decades. While the shooting of Mark Duggan provided the trigger, against a background of oppressive policing, especially towards ethnic minorities, the root causes are deeper.

Our communities have been blighted by high levels of deprivation, poverty and lack of opportunity for decades. Inequality is growing and recent funding cuts to local services, particularly youth facilities, along with rising unemployment, and cuts to EMA and benefits have exacerbated the conditions in which sections of frustrated young people turned to rioting, which unfortunately has resulted in people losing their homes and small/family businesses losing their livelihoods.

Britain is a wealthy country, but with deep inequality. The economic crisis created by greedy bankers and financial speculators is further impoverishing already poor areas like Tottenham and Hackney. The £390 billion of combined wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain should be redirected to fund the services we all need.

In the last few months we have seen mass local protests against cuts, student occupations to defend free education, a half-a-million strong demonstration on March 26th, and 800,000 public service workers out on strike on June 30th.

We need to build on these and other inspiring local and national struggles. Let’s work together for a decent society, based not on greed, inequality and poor conditions, but on justice, freedom, sharing and co-operation.

The North London Unity Demonstration has been called by an ad hoc open assembly of 70 community activists on Tuesday 9th August. It is supported by the Hackney Alliance to Defend Public Services, Haringey Alliance for Public Services, Haringey Trades Union Council, Day-Mer (Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre), NLCH (North London Community Centre), Day-Mer Youth, Alevi Cultural Centre, Fed-Bir, Kurdish Community Centre: Roj Women, Halkevi, Gik-Der (Refugee Workers Cultural Association). Britania Peace Council: Hundred Flowers Cultural Centre, TOHUM, Socialist Party, Youth Fight For Jobs, Right To Work, Red Pepper.