endured from 31.1.15 til 3.4.15 – just over 2 months
@ the disused council offices at the base of Chiltern house on the corner of Albany Road and Portland Street (SE17), (from 4.3.15 til 3.4.15)
and all over Chiltern (since 14.3.15)
the second occupation was at 69 – 76 Chartridge, Westmoreland Road, SE17 2BZ, 19.2.15 – 3.3.15
the first occupation was at 77-105 Chartridge, Westmoreland Road, SE17 2BZ, 31.1.15 – 18.2.15
Read more about their ongoing activism for housing justice, on the Aylesbury and all around London here:
Southwark housing campaigns and activists support the occupation on the Aylesbury Estate – a joint statement
Numerous Southwark housing campaigns and other local activists warmly welcome the ongoing occupation of a number of empty homes on the Aylesbury Estate. The current occupation of Chartridge block on the Aylesbury Estate has brought a much-needed spark of inspiration to local residents and housing campaigners.
Southwark Labour council has been publicly claiming how the Aylesbury was not going to be another Heygate, as ‘lessons have been learned’. The Heygate Estate decant programme has been widely denounced as an exercise in both the undignified displacement of locals and initiating the gentrification of the Elephant & Castle. However, exactly like on the Heygate, Southwark has been displacing the Aylesbury residents out of their immediate area and subjecting leaseholders, many of them elderly people who’d lived in the area their whole lives, to unnecessarily brutal Compulsory Purchase Orders. Abysmally low offers for their homes are forcing them to leave their neighbourhood and communities for good.
The right of tenants to return to a ‘regenerated’ Aylesbury would force them to take non-council tenancies in more expensive Housing Association flats, something many residents do not want. In 2001 a majority of Aylesbury residents voted ‘No’ in ballot on the Councils desire to transfer the estate out of council ownership. Not only is this ballot no longer being honoured, the Council has been unwilling to undertake a new ballot of residents on the question of refurbishment instead of a total demolition.
The Council attempts to dismiss the occupiers as ‘not representative’ of the Aylesbury residents while claiming Southwark is building ‘more affordable homes than any other London borough’. Council-backed developments such as the One The Elephant tower contain zero (0) ‘affordable’ homes, let alone any social-rented ones.
Local people know that council-rented homes are the most affordable and secure. Promises by the Council to build 11,000 new council homes in the next 30 years have been met with hesitant support, with no guarantees that this will not simply involve demolitions of estates without residents being balloted.
In a borough that has some 18,000 people on the waiting list for council (and not housing association, nor ‘affordable‘) homes, none of the above can be tolerated any longer.
Since they reclaimed the homes on the Chartridge block, the Aylesbury occupiers have been holding public meetings every day at 6.30pm, and each meeting has been packed with neighbours from the estate itself, other Southwark residents and campaigners from across London. The occupation clearly highlights the disasters of Southwark’s own and London housing and development policies in which profit gained from land speculation comes way before the people whose homes and lives are destroyed in the process. ‘Ordinary’ Londoners, be they the Aylesbury occupiers, FocusE15 mothers or the New Era Estate residents, are showing that alternatives exist and they work.
Our homes are not for sale.
Aylesbury Leaseholders Action Group
Aylesbury Tenants and Leaseholders First
Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth
People’s Republic of Southwark
South London Revolutionary Communist Group
Southwark Benefit Justice Campaign
Southwark Defend Council Housing
It’s not just Aylesbury residents who are affected by this demolition
Schemes like this are depleting the stock of genuinely affordable Council Homes all over London.
The “March for Homes”, attended in the wet and cold by thousands of people on Saturday January 31st, highlighted the London-wide housing crisis.
77-105 chartridge has been occupied,
We found out via facebook Saturday night (31.1.15)
Where there was an invitation to a public assembly SUNDAY FEB 1st 3pm.
The police were at the occupation on Saturday, but left saying that they
were treating this as a legal protest and would not try to storm the
building(**NOTE: Under the new squatting law, it is supposedly illegal
to squat “residential property” as your primary residence. However, as
some court cases have now tested, occupying residential property as a
protest is legal.)
The occupiers are keen to engage with residents
So, get busy talking to your neigbours about this..
FEBRUARY 1, 2015
Since the “March for Homes” demo on 31st January, we have re-opened
and occupied a part of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, South
We are tenants, squatters, and other people who care about how our
city is being grabbed by the rich, by developers and corrupt
politicians, socially cleansed and sold off for profit.
The Aylesbury Estate is where Tony Blair made his first speech as
Prime Minister in 1997, making empty promises about social housing.
Since then, for the past 18 years, Southwark Council and their
developer friends have come up with one misguided scheme after
another. All with the same result: to dispossess the residents,
demolish their homes, and dispose of the land.
In 2001 Aylesbury tenants fought and won a campaign against demolition
and voted down the original scheme in a ballot. But now big areas of
the estate are emptied and sealed up awaiting the bulldozers, while
residents are “decanted” away from the area.
The same bullshit that we have seen on the nearby Heygate estate, and
all across London.
No demolition of the Aylesbury.
No yuppy flats.
Homes for all.
We are here to fight for the Aylesbury.
We are here to fight for our city.
We are here to liberate this space and bring it back to life. Come and join us.
PS: Thank you to everyone who has come down to show support, to all
our neighbours and to those who have even come from as far away as
Hackney bringing tea!
PPS: Come along to our public assembly today at 6.30PM. All neighbours
and friendly visitors are warmly invited.
VIEW THIS STATEMENT AND MORE AT THIS WEBSITE