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bun-u
07-12-2005, 05:44 PM
Reported in today’s Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1660371,00.html

I’ve been in the squat a few times in the last week to lend my support….as have plenty of other professionals, new media types, artists…hang on it’s the ‘gentrifyers against gentrification’! (this strange phenomenon seems very commonplace – tourists who don’t want to go anywhere touristy – white middle class grime fans who don’t want to events populated by white middle class grime fans (!), but that’s a whole other debate). As someone tainted by working in the regeneration industry I can perhaps understand some of the wider pressures that Hackney Council (from Govt and council tax payers) was under to balance their books. But I don’t see any excuse to leave these community-valued businesses ruined in favour of unscrupulous property developers with no connection to the area.

john eden
08-12-2005, 09:48 AM
Yeah that's a good piece and it's a great occupation. It's worth mentioning that there is a lot of support from people who live on estates in the area as well.

Some good letters in the Hackney Gazette today about it. ;)

captain easychord
08-12-2005, 03:57 PM
isn't the thing with the process of gentrification that it comes in two parts? that the artists come first which eventually leads the to yuppie/business elements swooping in later? so i don't see why its incompatible for the new media types to be resistant to the 'regeneration' process itself, although fair enough they're the ones who make the area so desirable for property development.

bun-u
08-12-2005, 04:48 PM
isn't the thing with the process of gentrification that it comes in two parts? that the artists come first which eventually leads the to yuppie/business elements swooping in later? so i don't see why its incompatible for the new media types to be resistant to the 'regeneration' process itself, although fair enough they're the ones who make the area so desirable for property development.

I remember some right-wing American economist (Michael Porter I think?) talking about regenerating your downtowns by first attracting the ‘gays, artists and quirkys’ to create a bit of a local fizz….after this, the investment would follow. It’s no coincidence that most speculative property investors who can buy swathes of property and sit on them for 10-20 yrs, often turn them into cheap artist studios to help boost their return.

I suppose there’s some kind of tipping point. Middle classes coming into an area can to a point serve the long-standing (working class) communities living there – the schools might get better teachers, Council services suddenly get done, A1 retails stores get set up and existing people can benefit. But the negative side sees rents increase, expensive organic/farmers markets taking over inexpensive ones, valued community businesses being priced out by footloose investment. You could do an interesting London-based study on the gentrification continuum – start somewhere like Stratford and go through about seven other areas at different points of the gentrification process – maybe ending in Notting Hill

sufi
09-12-2005, 10:47 AM
here's a recent article written by my neighbour, about our street and about Brixton.
since i've been round here i've witnessed our street 'gentrified' block by block, every year or so another block becomes abandoned and delapidated as rents rise, only to be refurbished and regenerated a year or 2 later...

What happens when jerk-chicken is only available with a side-salad and a glass of white wine and it costs £15? (http://www.iwca.info/cutedge/ce0007.htm) (also in latest New Internationalist & smoke (http://www.shink.dircon.co.uk/smoke.htm) )

he rounds off reminiscing about Eddy Grant's 'Electric Avenue' - which you'll have heard most recently used in TV adverts for a chain of white goods retailers :(

(love that ‘gentrifyers against gentrification’ meme btw bun-u!)

john eden
21-12-2005, 01:41 PM
Please copy and send out to as many people as possible

Note to press: For details on the Broadway Market occupation please ring Dave on 07949239415

URGENT!!!!! EVICTION OF OCCUPATION AT 34 BROADWAY MARKET


Sheriffs and Police broke into Tony's Café this morning, injuring one of the occupiers and have allowed Dr Wratten's men to start an immediate demolition. Within an hour the building was rendered unliveable.

We lodged an appeal yesterday with the High Court but the bailiffs ignored that and went ahead anyway. Two of the occupiers are at the courts right now trying to get a stay of execution but Wratten's men have done so much damage that it seems unlikely we could re-occupy the café.

The sad thing is that more people than ever were coming to the café and there was still a fantastic energy to the occupation.

We plan a show of local solidarity tonight at 6pm, outside the Café. Please come and show your anger and support!

bun-u
21-12-2005, 05:21 PM
Jeez...this seemed to be going for the long haul

Will get down there in a bit

john eden
22-12-2005, 12:05 PM
Yeah it was a bit sudden. :(

I couldn't make it down there last night...

Some links:

BBC news (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4549972.stm)

Photos of the demolition (http://gabriellemotola.com/client/BroadwayMarketDemolition/)

jenks
24-12-2005, 01:02 PM
not an expert on Hackney but thought i'd check out the links pit up by john eden.

those photos are superb - like a photo essay of the state of the nation. so many great faces and a real sense of people watching the spectacle of destruction - intent and yet quite impotent.

disheartening yet quite beautiful

Brokeman
25-12-2005, 06:31 PM
isn't the thing with the process of gentrification that it comes in two parts? that the artists come first which eventually leads the to yuppie/business elements swooping in later? so i don't see why its incompatible for the new media types to be resistant to the 'regeneration' process itself, although fair enough they're the ones who make the area so desirable for property development.

describing gentrification in 2 phases like this ends up unduly priviledging the artist group in my opinion and excuses their role in a pretty complex process. where do we begin to draw the line between these groups? is the hipster coffee shop or gallery space part of the artist phase of investment phase? do the artists become investors when they can afford to put a downpayment on a house but not when they fix up their rental property in accordance with a new aesthetic vision of the neighbourhood? how about when they compain about their neighbours?
i don't cite these examples to attack; i've been a gentrifier since i moved out of my parents house and i'm sure most of us share this history. neil smith calls gentrification the defining urbanism of neoliberallism and one in which we are all implicated. i just feel that the first wave gentrifiers are oftern given a free ride by critics when they are often quite actively engaged in remaking the area in their own image.

john eden
26-12-2005, 07:17 PM
Some good points by Brokeman and easychord, but...

Breaking News...

Cafe reoccupied today! :D

Check the (re)occupation website...

http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/

john eden
30-12-2005, 10:03 AM
Well well well! :D

Considering the place was half demolished it is suprisingly good to hang around in, as I discovered last night... the amount of work which is being put in is really inspiring as is the way that disparate locals have come together.

Apparently it was on the 6 o'clock news last night and this is in today's Independent:

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article335607.ece

john eden
31-12-2005, 07:26 PM
They back wall and roof that have been put in by the occupiers are really fucking inspiring. Good vibes down there today - loads of people coming in with presents and donations.

Coverage in La Republica and a reporter today who was from a german magazine...

bun-u
03-01-2006, 03:05 PM
Was great to see them back in there. The owner had thought that by simply removing the roof and interior walls the place would be uninhabitable for the squatters… “We’re Back!” (scrawled in six-foot lettering on a bedsheet banner) was the immediate response, with several activists making the café shell their Christmas home.

John – what do you know about the Dalston Lane (seemingly another Hackney Council back-hander) issue? The activists seem to be lining this up as their next battleground?

john eden
03-01-2006, 03:22 PM
John – what do you know about the Dalston Lane (seemingly another Hackney Council back-hander) issue? The activists seem to be lining this up as their next battleground?

There was a bloke at the public meeting from Open Dalston, who was quite good I thought. (He mentioned a website, but I can't find it!)

Essentially it's the same deal there - i.e. sell offs to property speculators under suspicious circumstances. With the added bonus of many many "mysterious" fires, I think exclusively concerning properties which had preservation orders on them or at least where change of use was not possible unless something drastic happened.

The proposed development the bloke was talking about is going to be very expensive and will produce something very alienating for people who don't swank in and out of their nice compounds every day by car.

Similarly the Clays Lane (http://www.squatter.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=2) Housing co-op has been shut down (against the will of the residents afaik) because it is in the way of the Olympics.

bun-u
03-01-2006, 03:27 PM
A slight nagging concern I have regarding laying the boot into local Councils is that it is dangerously swimming with the tide. The Government is keen to do away with local government and is doing all it can to set government-authored bodies to take its place. Big business is no fan either. The danger in highlighting the corruption in one inner London borough might just help bring about the extinction of local democracy in this form On first impressions might not seem such as bad idea - surely a more accountable and less corruptible version is what is desired. In reality though, an erosion of the current system it will give way for even greater centralisation and a move even further towards the more consumerist version of public policy favoured by New Labour

john eden
03-01-2006, 03:44 PM
I know what you mean, but this isn't very helpful for people who have to live under the remit one of the worst Councils in the country!

Plus at the moment BOTH the council and govt are new labour through and through, so it doesn't take much effort to broaden the hackney council stuff out into an attack on the entire blairite project.

mms
03-01-2006, 09:54 PM
spotted this interesting article in mute
with some interesting links
http://www.metamute.com/look/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=1&NrIssue=24&NrSection=5&NrArticle=1534

john eden
05-01-2006, 12:56 PM
More from "Hurry Up Hari" Kunzru inna de Guardian today:

http://society.guardian.co.uk/communities/comment/0,16289,1678351,00.html

A sermon in St Pauls AND support from the Mayor of Naro in Sicily? Strange times! :cool: