This afternoon Southwark council summonsed us to court to regain possession of the £3 million council house that we have been occupying since 28th October in protest at Southwark council’s sell-off of council housing and the wider housing crisis.
We attended court to restate our protest: that Southwark council should not be selling off council housing, particularly when there is such high need for it, and that selling off council housing in expensive areas is social cleansing. We also hope that our protest shows that the law to criminalise squatting in residential buildings (section 144) should not apply to protest occupations such as ours and that empty residential buildings should still be used for such acts.
London and the entire country face a housing crisis. Selling off council housing, cutting housing benefit, and attempting to fully criminalise squatting is only making the crisis worse. We believe that our occupation is one kind of direct action that is necessary to assert our right to housing.
A massive thanks to all the support – including emails, letters, donations of food, visits to the occupation – that we received, it has been really inspiring.
Expect more action and projects in Lambeth and Southwark as well as London-wide co-ordinated actions. Come along to our meetings or email us to sign up to our announcements list to get involved.