Aylesbury Estate empty flats revitalised

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Aylesbury Estate Occupation: 77 – 105 Chartridge, Westmoreland Road, SE17. Map here.

You probably heard but people have opened up a few of the decanted and empty flats in Chartridge House on Aylesbury Estate in Walworth. The occupation came at the end of the March for Homes on Saturday 31st January which ended at City Hall at Tower Bridge. About 150 people marched back to the Aylesbury and helped support the flats that had been opened up earlier on. Right now (Monday night), the occupiers have released a statement of why they are doing this and have set up a website to keep people informed.

Come and have your say, get involved!
There are open assemblies for anyone to come to each day at 6.30pm. The one on Monday was great with lots of locals, long-term housing activists on Aylesbury and other Walworth Estates and other supporters. There was cake supplied by one generous local woman and lots of practical ideas and help was offered to the occupiers. The contact for the occupation is: aylesbury(at)riseup.net. Pop down and say Hello and see what they need, maybe!

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Everything we have to say on Aylesbury Estate is here so we won’t repeat ourselves. But this occupation is about both the fights on Aylesbury for saving the estate as well as the more general crisis around real decent affordable housing for all. At the meeting today it was clear that the occupation is one tactic amongst many but it was supported with great enthusiasm and solidarity by all.

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Statement from the Aylesbury Estate occupation

“Since the “March for Homes” demo on 31st January, we have re-opened and occupied a part of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, South London.

We are tenants, squatters, and other people who care about how our city is being grabbed by the rich, by developers and corrupt politicians, socially cleansed and sold off for profit.

The Aylesbury Estate is where Tony Blair made his first speech as Prime Minister in 1997, making empty promises about social housing. Since then, for the past 18 years, Southwark Council and their developer friends have come up with one misguided scheme after another. All with the same result: to dispossess the residents, demolish their homes, and dispose of the land.

In 2001 Aylesbury tenants fought and won a campaign against demolition and voted down the original scheme in a ballot. But now big areas of the estate are emptied and sealed up awaiting the bulldozers, while residents are “decanted” away from the area.

The same bullshit that we have seen on the nearby Heygate estate, and all across London.

No demolition of the Aylesbury.

No yuppy flats.

Homes for all.

We are here to fight for the Aylesbury.

We are here to fight for our city.

We are here to liberate this space and bring it back to life. Come and join us.

PS: Thank you to everyone who has come down to show support, to all our neighbours and to those who have even come from as far away as Hackney bringing tea!

PPS: Come along to our public assembly today at 6.30PM. All neighbours and friendly visitors are warmly invited.”

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