We are 75 people living in six blocks of flats in central Brixton who are facing eviction from our homes on July 15th. We live in property that Lambeth Council has not maintained or looked after for the past thirty years. Lambeth council is pushing ahead with its plan to drive more of us out of Brixton, to develop private housing, only affordable for the ultra rich. Now we are being ripped out of our homes to make space for ‘corporate clients’ (see letter below). Foxton’s will charge people upwards of £2000/week to stay in our flats and/or they will sell them for half a million pounds.
Most of us have lived in the properties for many years, often decades. One person has been here 32 years. Some have families. Lambeth claim they will renovate three buildings as social housing and sell the others. This is a story we have heard before. We have watched them sell off, bit by bit, all properties from previous evictions on Rushcroft Road, Clifton Mansions and a large proportion of Brixton’s original short life housing. They will do the same to these flats. Central Brixton will be gentrified – and those who are already here (like us) be pushed out.
We are a community of people in who all attend to priorities that capitalism neglects. We are part of this city and part of central Brixton. Many of us have landed where we are through years of service to our communities, commitments to fighting for justice and/or creative and artistic pursuits. We do the type of work that makes this kind of rent simply impossible. If Lambeth insists on running the people who have values stronger than the relentless pursuit of profit London, they will make this city into a sterile corporate hellhole, devoid of authenticity.
We would like to stay and we are fighting for the right to stay. We have explored many avenues for making this possible. We have proposed a cooperative where we can self-manage our own housing in a building owned by the council. We can show Lambeth (the ‘cooperative council’) how cooperative organisation is possible. We have the skills and social capacities to organise cooperatively. This is more than Lambeth council can say! Lambeth Council advertises itself as the ‘cooperative council’ but it behaves as an authoritarian manner. We demand that Lambeth Council honours their commitment to cooperative organising and stops attempting to evict us from central Brixton.
We are organising an anti-gentrification event on Saturday July 6th 2-5 pm on Windrush Square. We will be talking about evictions and gentrification in Brixton. There will be a quiz. There will be an art auction to raise money for the eviction fund. There will be a standing protest and finally there will be music. We invite all those with concern for the gentrification of Brixton to come and support us Saturday afternoon.