Graphic Design for the Revolution - Old School
Demo moves down East Street
Parading along the Walworth Rd
'What Do We Want? Council Housing! When Do We Want It? Now'
'Defend Heygate Estate! No Evictions!'
'Halt The Privatisation! Kick The Government Out!' etc.
The demo was to protest the carve-up of two large local estates, the Heygate and the Aylesbury, tenants on both estates being subjected to the disorganised whims of a useless decant process or demolition plan. It's seems vital to support the tenants due for eviction for failing, essentially, to find home for themselves through the Southwark Council housing process. It's good to call into question the the part privitisation of the land and the new builds where there is significantly less social housing being built. Local tenants also want to stay as council tenants and not be forced into weaker, often more expensive, Housing Association tenancies.
Unfortunately, for this grizzled hack, the demo seemed in no way to garner support for these objectives and mainly consisted of pissing local people off. Most people I spoke to seemed to find it a ridiculous spectacle (which it was) or were pissed off by delays to buses.
So where is politics these days? The South-East Council of Action is a group made up Workers Revolutionary Party / Young Socialist types. There must be a little sympathy for the organisers who mean well. But when will Leftists come out of the old ways they cling to? The poster and the slogans for the demo were archaic. There was no sense of fun about this demo, and the hectoring slogans boosted this joylessness. 'What Do We Want? Council Housing! When Do We Want It? Now' - this is such a bizarre slogan. There already is Council Housing, here and now! 'Halt The Privatisation! Kick The Government Out!' etc. Which government will provide non-privatised solutions.
Community politics has to foster a sense of belonging and enjoyment. It seems like nothing has been learned from this group from earlier incarnations of local politics - open days, festivals of resistance etc. Or learned from some of the more upbeat and inspiring methods of organising seen over the last 15 years of the anti-capitalist movement.