Monday 17 February 2014

People Before Profit occupy development site and then build a home on it. taking Occupy movement to a new level!

In one of the most audacious Occupy actions to date Lewisham People 
Before Profit community activists seized a development site on Besson 
Street, New Cross,London SE14, and built a home on the site to expose 
the failure of the local Labour council and the goverment to address the 
housing crisis.As you read this we have gained access to development site
and finished building our first home on site. furniture arrives over weekend
having secured the site and getting legal advice ready for police action. 
 This land was once a Council estate. At the last local elections People 
Before Profit candidates highlighted the scandal of Labour Lewisham 
having hundreds of empty flats that could be used to address local 
housing need. First Labour removed the bathrooms and kitchens and as 
local people got more and more angry,. Labour cleared the site and left 
it to rot.
People Before Profit want this community land to be used to build 
Council homes now and by occupying the site we have drawn attention to 
the  fact that much of the building land in London is kept empty to keep 
house prices and rents high by restricting demand, thus increasing profit.

It is People Before Profit's view that Labour Lewisham is in the pocket 
of the developers and we have very real concerns that had we not carried 
out this direct action, Labour would have sold this community land 
behind closed doors to a property developer.
Sunday 16 February the police arrived in force and all present were told 
that unless they moved off site, they would be arrested. Part of the 
threat to arrest was that by building a home, we altered the site's 
value, and as such we had committed "aggravated trespass".

It seems in London today that campaigning to highlight abuse of power by 
Labour and Conservatives can lead to a police cell.

Over the week end 4 film companies filmed this action and we hope the 
local press will publish what happened last week in this weeks local 
press. National press will not report this action fearful that across 
the UK community groups occupy community land and empty buildings to 
solve local housing need.
People Before Profit will be fighting the local elections in May, giving 
local voters a choice of Labour career politicians in the pocket of 
developers, or community activists in People Before Profit who have a 
record of putting people, community and our environment before all else.
Please use your own twitter accounts, blogs etc to get this story out 
and across the UK. we cannot count on main stream media to report these 
direct actions. this being the most clever direct action in years, 
deserves to be told and circulated to inspire others.
See our local council  election mainifesto and or to join PBP.,.uk
Follow on twitter@peopleB_4profit and @Raywoolford 

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