Londons longest surviving sqatted streets threatened with demolition
Jim, Kathy, Danny, Victor, Uwe and Fred
St. Agnes Place, Kennington, is London’s oldest squatted street. Two hundred people are threatened with imminent eviction and the twenty-something Victorian terraced houses are soon to be demolished.
St. Agnes Place is a community. For over thirty years it has evolved into a stimulating, challenging and rewarding mixture of cultures with creative people and vulnerable people, from all over the world. St. Agnes Place is home to the Rastafarian movement in Britain. Bob Marley used the International Rastafarian Headquarters as a second home in the seventies. Many other former residents are now working as doctors and in other careers which were only made possible by the welcoming arms of the streets patron. It is indeed a unique community; nowhere else in London can there be found a street of such diversity, where people from multi-cultural backgrounds live together with such a degree of interaction and mutual support.
Since the mid-seventies, Lambeth Council have constantly used the force of the law and avoided talking to the residents on a more personal level. Consequently the possibility of arriving at an amicable solution between the two parties has never been fully explored.
Lambeth Council has stated in their recent determination to evict Saint Agnes Place that the residents have no legal defence in this case. But is not the right to enjoy the security and safety of your home a reason to oppose such an eviction? The Human Rights Bill says that it is.
Lambeth Council are moving the eviction order forward with ruthless haste, before the residents can effectively protest or make their voice heard in the media. Should this eviction go ahead hundreds of people will made homeless during the cold winter months solely for profit. As of yet Lambeth Council have not responded to enquiries about their development plans following the eviction.
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Lambeth County Court yesterday gave in to the Councils demand to have the eviction warrant executed by High Court bailiffs and sherrifs. Also, permission was granted to execute the evicxtion on Sundays. That means, Lambeth Council could roll in every minute from now. The residents ask all former residents and sympathisers to rally for the survival of the community. Some people will leave their houses in the next few days. We need people to fill the vacancies and help to resist the greedy developers!
Very important: Please send this on to other sympathetic media!!!