On Thursday 6th March housing groups and residents from across London demonstrated outside City Hall to express their anger at Mayor Boris Johnson and over 20 UK councils participating in the MIPIM conference which is fuelling the housing crisis.
From the y a London press statement:
MIPIM is the world’s biggest property fair and will take place from 11 to 14 March in Cannes in the south of France. The fair has a €1600 entry fee per person and brings together 20,000 investors, developers, local authorities, and banks.
Boris and councillors will be meeting potential business partners in Cannes for the selling of public land and to approve ‘regeneration’ plans for more hotels, offices, luxury housing, shopping centres in UK cities.
As London councillors will be setting off for MIPIM on Thursday there will be a ‘speak-out’ of people’s difficulties in finding affordable, secure housing in the UK. This will be followed by a presentation of three reports about the disastrous impacts of corporate housing developers benefitting from lucrative public contracts. A competition is being held to bring the most ‘For Sale’ signs in protest at policy to marketise housing which makes profits for speculators, landlords and developers, and ignores the housing need of the communities experiencing ‘regeneration’.
Nic Lane from ‘Brent Housing Action’ says: “We, the people who have been affected by deals made at MIPIM by our “representatives” knew nothing of these deals until it was too late. Residents all over London are being forced out of their communities because of rising rents, and the building of unaffordable ‘affordable’ housing schemes to replace council housing.”
Liliana Dmitrovic of ‘People’s Republic of Southwark’ added: “We are coming to City Hall to show that our land, our cities, and our homes, will not be sold by politicians to line the pockets of developers. These are the individuals responsible for the housing crisis, and we believe that everyone deserves a decent home.”
The ‘London not for sale’ demonstration will be part of protests across Europe in response to a call from ‘European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City’, which is supported in London by the ‘Radical Housing Network’.