This Saturday we attended the London Coalition Against Poverty (which HASL is a part of) Annual General Meeting. LCAP meetings are always really helpful and interesting meetings as they provide the chance for the different housing and welfare action groups from across London to share what issues they have been facing, tactics they have been using, and other ideas for action. We used some of the time to plan what we would like to do over the year ahead – as our communities face soaring rents, increased evictions, benefit sanctions, rising food bank use, and falling wages. Our short brain storming session led to a load of exciting projects that we’d like to take forward including:
Direct action casework training sessions to talk about and role play tactics and reflect on the model. The training sessions would be useful for those already in groups and also for those who are interested in starting up a local group in their area.
Information trainings – for example, working tax credits workshop, benefit sanctions workshop. These two types of training would of course overlap, so as part of a benefit sanctions workshop we would also have time to discuss practical collective action to enforce and extend our rights.
Information gathering and actions on councils discharging their duty to homeless people through the private sector and also on housing associations who are mistreating their tenants, regenerating and evicting estates, and essentially behaving like private landlords.
It’d be great to have more people’s input and energy with these projects and any other ideas you’d like to contribute. If you are interested in getting involved or you’d like to be kept updated on LCAP’s activities drop us an email at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you. Come along to our next meeting which will be on Friday 3rd October at 1pm in Kilburn (more details to be confirmed) hosted by the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group.
As HASL, as well as contributing to the LCAP activities above, we’ve also got lots of plans for activities locally.
We’re organising an anti-gentrification walk around Brixton to take a look at some of the major changes/cleansing in our neighbourhoods, including some of the struggles emerging on estates such as Myatts Field North and Loughborough Park Guinness Trust, stories from Brixton past, and the growing number of artisan food places and new housing developments with no social housing, ending up at Windrush square and sharing food together.
We’re also hoping to organise a film showing of the Berlin housing struggles film Rent Rebels.
We also regularly meet to support each other with our housing issues by sharing information (both from our personal experiences and from our developing understanding of the more formal/legal rights and processes) and ideas, and planning actions around these.
Again, if you’d like to get involved in helping with any of the above or join our announcements email and text alerts, get in contact! firstname.lastname@example.org or come along to our next meeting, Wednesday 27th August, 6.30pm at Renton Close Community Centre, Brixton Hill, SW2 1EY. Everyone angry at social cleansing, soaring rents and benefit cuts and who wants to do something about it welcome!