Contained within is a 48 minute video of the public meeting held onJanuary 16, 2006 and a number of articles contained within a PDFdocument. These are articles from The Evening Standard, Mute, SchNEWS,The Guardian, the Ecologist and the BBC news website.
Statement: November 28, 2005
As of Sunday evening the premises of Franscesca's Café on BroadwayMarket have been occupied in protest against ongoing corruptionallegations and aggressive gentrification in Hackney.
The café was due to be demolished at 8.00am, Monday November 28 to make way for luxury flats.
This is part of Hackney council's sell-off of commercial properties.The estate agents appointed by the council have sold ú225 million worthof properties for just £70 million, with the majority of these going towealthy off-shore cartels who have made an absolute killing at theexpense of the people of Hackney.
Tony Platia, a well-liked and popular figure in the community, has run Franscesca's Café for the past 31 years.
Tony had first refusal on the property and repeatedly tried to buy itfrom Hackney council but was passed over in favour of a wealthydeveloper, Dr. Roger Wratten.
On three previous occasions local people rallied in support andprevented his eviction by bailiffs but in July this year, 10 bailiffsand 50 police turned up to throw him out.
Dr. Wratten is typical of the greedy developers that Hackney councilchose to do business with. As the owner of a multi-million poundproperty portfolio his only interest in the area is financial gain - atthe expense of the local community.
We call on both local residents and sympathisers to show their supportby turning up at Broadway Market as soon as possible. Please copy thisappeal and pass it on.
The Battle for Broadway Market: March 2006
Perhaps the most exciting political highlight of the winter (London,UK) was the community occupation of 34 Broadway Market in the eastLondon borough of Hackney.
Starting at the end of November, it soon built up wide popular supportand unusually positive media coverage that stretched from the ShanghaiDaily News and Bahamas Financial News to the Evening Standard and theGuardian.
Police and sheriffs evicted protestors for a second time on February 23after initially kicking them out at the end of December only to seethem return to reoccupy on Boxing Day.
Broadway Market has been rapidly changing over the last five years. Newboutiques and estate agents sprung up, pubs changed hands and becamethe puzzling term 'gastropubs', while the relaunched Saturday marketsold novelty food items at extortionate prices.
Suddenly, the majority of local residents - that is, the working classon the council estates - were aliens in the area they knew and grew upin.
To the outsider these changes were perhaps a sign of improvement andprosperity, but the direct beneficiaries of this process were few innumber, with property developers in particular being at the top of thewealth pyramid.
'Progress' has been cosmetic, with deep-rooted social problems still not addressed.
The occupation was a form of personal support to the former owner ofFrancesca's café, Tony Platio, who had been an obvious victim ofcouncil incompetence and at the receiving end of property magnet Dr.Roger Wratten's attention; and although the campaign was very focused,it also brought into the debate council corruption and incompetence,gentrification, regeneration, the 2012 Olympic business bonanza, andNew Labour's insidious market capitalism.
The contempt that the Labour council has for the residents of theborough is astounding. Their arrogance being demonstrated by the recent'rent-a-Trot' quote by the Deputy Mayor, who sees in all dissent thehand of world revolution - and this was just a comment about concernedlocal park users!
Rather like their mentor Tony Blair, they seem to be shameless at beingdisgraced at an international level as events on Broadway Market havedone to Hackney council.
So after angry public meetings, petitions, town hall pickets, leafletdrops and of course the defiant 24-hour physical presence at 34Broadway market itself, where to next? Is it back to anotherreoccupation on the road, or a different avenue of protest? Will itbecome just another yarn for the participants to spin in years to come,or will this be part of a wider process of social change?
All the problems originally addressed are still there and momentum willbe easy to restart. On February 23 the enemy made their move, now itsup to the opposition to make theirs.