Residents of Rushcroft road, who are facing eviction by Lambeth council on 15th July, organised an afternoon against evictions and gentrification in Brixton (and everywhere). Hundreds of people gathered in sunny Windrush square with individuals and housing groups (including Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth, Squash Campaign, Loughborough Estate Tenants and Residents Association) speaking out about the housing problems they face and what we’re doing about it. Banners decorated the square, ‘homes not jails’, ‘housing for all’, ‘join the rent strike’. There was a quiz too.
We spotted two pairs of triangular ears and ran over to a wicker basket sitting on a ‘rent strike now’ banner to find two tiny kittens opposing evictions.
One woman who was speaking to the crowd called on us to go onto the high street and do a flashmob at one of the new stores or posh cafes. We called out that Foxtons was nearby – ‘perfect!’ People were really up for it and a crowd of over a hundred headed the short distance across the road to the glass fronted Foxtons. People dashed inside with the ‘yuppies out’ banner and the rest of us spilled out onto the street and road. Chants of ‘yuppies out’, ‘no evictions’, and ‘fuck off back to Chelsea, fuck of back to Chelsea, la la la la, hey, la la la la, hey!’ filled the streets. There was a really good response from people passing by. Many stopped to join in with the ‘yuppies out’ chanting. We stuck around for a good half an hour. People who still had energy after this called on us to head for Brixton Village, another striking symbol of Brixton’s gentrification, and a group of people headed along. It was exciting to see this organic, autonomous action emerge and the support that it got.
Lots of people signed onto a mailing list to support the residents of Rushcroft road and to organise further actions – with the housing crisis being felt so intensely and the blatant class cleansing that is so visible to us all, there is sure to be plenty more.