Uploaded this torrent yesterday and messed up - should be okay this time! Contained within is a 48 minute video of the public meeting held on January 16, 2006 and a number of articles contained within a PDF document. These are articles from The Evening Standard, Mute, SchNEWS, The Guardian, the Ecologist and the BBC news website. Statement: November 28, 2005 As of Sunday evening the premises of Franscesca's Caf?on Broadway Market have been occupied in protest against ongoing corruption allegations and aggressive gentrification in Hackney. The caf?was due to be demolished at 8.00am, Monday November 28 to make way for luxury flats. This is part of Hackney council's sell-off of commercial properties. The estate agents appointed by the council have sold 225 million worth of properties for just 70 million, with the majority of these going to wealthy off-shore cartels who have made an absolute killing at the expense of the people of Hackney. Tony Platia, a well-liked and popular figure in the community, has run Franscesca's Caf?for the past 31 years. Tony had first refusal on the property and repeatedly tried to buy it from Hackney council but was passed over in favour of a wealthy developer, Dr. Roger Wratten. On three previous occasions local people rallied in support and prevented his eviction by bailiffs but in July this year, 10 bailiffs and 50 police turned up to throw him out. Dr. Wratten is typical of the greedy developers that Hackney council chose to do business with. As the owner of a multi-million pound property portfolio his only interest in the area is financial gain - at the expense of the local community. We call on both local residents and sympathisers to show their support by turning up at Broadway Market as soon as possible. Please copy this appeal and pass it on. The Battle for Broadway Market: March 2006 Perhaps the most exciting political highlight of the winter (London, UK) was the community occupation of 34 Broadway Market in the east London borough of Hackney. Starting at the end of November, it soon built up wide popular support and unusually positive media coverage that stretched from the Shanghai Daily News and Bahamas Financial News to the Evening Standard and the Guardian. Police and sheriffs evicted protestors for a second time on February 23 after initially kicking them out at the end of December only to see them return to reoccupy on Boxing Day. Broadway Market has been rapidly changing over the last five years. New boutiques and estate agents sprung up, pubs changed hands and became the puzzling term 'gastropubs', while the relaunched Saturday market sold novelty food items at extortionate prices. Suddenly, the majority of local residents - that is, the working class on the council estates - were aliens in the area they knew and grew up in. To the outsider these changes were perhaps a sign of improvement and prosperity, but the direct beneficiaries of this process were few in number, with property developers in particular being at the top of the wealth pyramid. 'Progress' has been cosmetic, with deep-rooted social problems still not addressed. The occupation was a form of personal support to the former owner of Francesca's caf? Tony Platio, who had been an obvious victim of council incompetence and at the receiving end of property magnet Dr. Roger Wratten's attention; and although the campaign was very focused, it also brought into the debate council corruption and incompetence, gentrification, regeneration, the 2012 Olympic business bonanza, and New Labour's insidious market capitalism. The contempt that the Labour council has for the residents of the borough is astounding. Their arrogance being demonstrated by the recent 'rent-a-Trot' quote by the Deputy Mayor, who sees in all dissent the hand of world revolution - and this was just a comment about concerned local park users! Rather like their mentor Tony Blair, they seem to be shameless at being disgraced at an international level as events on Broadway Market have done to Hackney council. So after angry public meetings, petitions, town hall pickets, leaflet drops and of course the defiant 24-hour physical presence at 34 Broadway market itself, where to next? Is it back to another reoccupation on the road, or a different avenue of protest? Will it become just another yarn for the participants to spin in years to come, or will this be part of a wider process of social change? All the problems originally addressed are still there and momentum will be easy to restart. On February 23 the enemy made their move, now its up to the opposition to make theirs.
Apr 03, 2006, 11:04:33
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