No Social Cleansing in Lewisham! Fundraiser for Tidemill and Achilles Street Campaigns with Potent Whisper, The Four Fathers, Commie Faggots at the Birds Nest, Nov. 12

24.10.17

The poster for 'No Social Cleansing in Lewisham' at the Birds Nest in Deptford on November 12, 2017.

Check out the Facebook event page here — for ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham!’ at the Birds Nest, in Deptford, London SE8, on Sunday November 12 from 6-11pm, with Potent Whisper, the Four Fathers, the Commie Faggots, Asher Baker, The Wiz-RD and Ukadelix.

Followers of London’s housing crisis — and, particularly, the destruction of social housing estates and their replacement with new, private developments — will know, from the experiences of residents and leaseholders on the Heygate Estate in Walworth, in the London Borough of Southwark, that councils and developers talk sweetly about the right to return for tenants, and about adequately compensating leaseholders, but that in the end both groups are socially cleansed out of their homes, and often out of their boroughs, and even out of London completely, as they are excluded from the new properties built to profit the developers, and to appeal to investors (and largely, it seems, to foreign investors).

The biggest culprit to date has been Southwark Council, which is currently engaged in another huge act of social cleansing on the Aylesbury Estate, also in Walworth, but there have been other notorious examples — the West Hendon Estate, for example, Woodberry Down in Hackney and Robin Hood Gardens in Tower Hamlets — and other councils are queuing up to engage in their own social cleansing. Lambeth Council plans to demolish two well-regarded estates, Cressingham Gardens and Central Hill, and Haringey Council is currently trying to enter into a 50/50 partnership with the rapacious international property developer Lendlease (the butchers of the Heygate Estate) in a £2bn deal that will see the council handing over control of all its social housing, with plans for the destruction of several estates.

Until recently, Lewisham has not figured prominently in this story, having largely bypassed social cleansing issues by working with developers on brownfield sites. But at the end of September, Lewisham councillors approved the destruction of Old Tidemill Garden and a block of social housing on Reginald Road, in Deptford, and the council is also intending to demolish blocks of flats and shops on and around Achilles Street in New Cross. See the Tidemill Facebook page, the Achilles Street Facebook page, and also see my article, Social Cleansing and the Destruction of Council Estates Exposed at Screening of ‘Dispossession’ by Endangered New Cross Residents.

Another current campaign involves resistance to the development of Creekside by the Birds Nest — the so-called Deptford Riviera — which centres on a boating community in Deptford Creek, and a number of properties on Creekside itself. For more on that, see this extraordinarily detailed article on the Crosswhatfields? website.

As part of the resistance to the plans, as a fundraiser for the campaigns, and as a way of hopefully bringing people together, the No Social Cleansing in Lewisham! fundraiser for the Tidemill and Achilles Street campaigns is taking place on Sunday November 12 at Deptford’s legendary live music venue The Birds Nest, and features the acclaimed spoken word artist Potent Whisper (check out ‘Grenfell Britain’ here), the militant rock and roots reggae of my band The Four Fathers, the theatrical singalong dissent of the Commie Faggots, Southwark-based rapper Asher Baker, teenage beatbox poet The Wiz-RD, and local ukulele group Ukadelix.

I hope you can join us!

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this online, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, promoting a gig I’ve organised at the famous Birds Nest pub in Deptford on Sunday November 12, in support of housing campaigns in Lewisham; specifically, the recently approved demolition of Old Tidemill Garden, a wonderful community garden in Deptford, as well as a perfectly sound social housing block next to it, and the plans to demolish Achilles Street in New Cross, an estate that has the misfortune to be located next to a park that covetous developers – and their allies in the council – have their greedy eyes on. If these go ahead, there will only be more demolitions, and more social cleansing. So if you’re around, please come along for an evening with the powerful spoken word artist Potent Whisper, my band The Four Fathers, the Commie Faggots, Asher Baker, the Wiz-RD and Ukadelix.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Phil Buyum Jackson wrote:

    Great to see this mate, we will happily send a speaker or greetings

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Everyone is welcome, Phil, but if someone wants to provide a brief update on Stop HDV’s activities, that’d be great.
    https://www.facebook.com/Stophdv-289961711416630/

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    For those interested in the ongoing campaign to save Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden and 2-30a Reginald Road, the block of flats next to it, there’s a bonfire night event in the garden on Sunday November 5, from 4-8pm, with food and music and a chance for different campaigners to get together to exchange ideas and make plans for future resistance: https://www.facebook.com/events/131337690920024/

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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