Posts Tagged ‘Brixton’

Placards 2
Staff and students at Lambeth College were shocked by the announcement last week that the college is to lose 70% of its Brixton Centre campus.

Since the college management announced last July that they intended to sell off all or part of the centre to private developers, Lambeth College UCU and Unison, have led a community campaign to stop the sale and to keep and expand the provision of further education in Brixton. Staff, students and campaigners are upset and angry at this recent development in the college’s plans, which will see a reduction in the Brixton centre from 6000 to 2000 sq feet, with a loss of two thirds of the current number of classrooms, as the site is sold to the government Department of Education (DfE).

Unions disagree that this massive reduction of the Brixton Centre campus is  “really good news for the College and the community” as has been presented by the college management in its communication to staff. With 1.2 million young people in Britain out of work and over 60% of young black men unemployed, we believe that it is Further Education provision is essential and must not be reduced. The Brixton Centre provides vital educational opportunities for adults with disabilities and learning difficulties, for young people who need to re-engage with education, and for migrants and those with English as a 2nd language (ESOL) who need to learn English to improve their lives.

There has not been consultation with the staff or students in the areas affected by the reduction as to what will happen to the students and the courses in those areas and the college has also said that it cannot  rule out staff redundancies. Furthermore, there are many concerns about the decision by the DfE to open a new free school on the campus premises.

The  campaign collected over 1000 signatures and organised a successful demonstration and lobby of Lambeth Council on November 20 where the petition was presented to the council meeting. Staff from the college met with local MPs including Chuka Ummuna and Tessa Jowell to raise their concerns and ask for support in protecting and expanding the college’s provision at the Brixton Centre.

We are very disappointed that the college has decided to press on with its plans to sell 70% of the Brixton Centre campus and will continue to campaign alongside college students and the local and wider communities to stop this attack on local further education in Lambeth and to save and expand the provision at the Brixton Centre campus.

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Crowds outside town hall
Large crowds gathered outside Lambeth Town Hall last night (Nov 20th) to lobby the full council meeting happening inside. Despite torrential rain and bitter cold, residents, teachers, students, campaigners and trade unionists converged on the steps of the town hall in protest at a number of decisions being made that have may have dramatic effects on the local area. (more…)

20th November poster
The is a full council meeting of Lambeth Council on Wednesday 20th November and two campaigns Lambeth SOS supports a holding a joint lobby

Lobby – Save Brixton From Property Developers
No Bedroom Tax Evictions, Save Lambeth College in Brixton, Build More Council Housing
Wednesay 20th November 5:30pm – 7pm
Lambeth Town Hall

We need to make sure people know about it over the coming week. We’re doing the following to publicise it

  • Postering Streatham shops – Wednesday 13th November – 6:30pm – Meet at the Telford Avenue Bus Garage on Streatham Hill
  • Postering South Lambeth Road shops – Time TBC
  • Stall – Friday 15th November – 12noon – Outside the Barrier Block on Somerlyton Road
  • Stall – Saturday 16th November – 12 noon – Streatham High Road (opposite Odeon, outside Sainsburys)

If you can help out with any of these please contact us, and include your phone number in the email (please don’t just turn up as they may be changed at short notice)

Soft copy publicity is available here. If you want hard copy publicity please contact us

Please tell everyone you know about the 20th November lobby. We need it to be big if we are to convince the council that everyone deserves a decent home and a decent education

NHS Flash Mob

Posted: November 8, 2013 by lambethsaveourservices in NHS
Tags: , , , , ,

Guest post from Gay Lee from Lambeth Keep Our NHS Public

Last Saturday saw a singing flashmob action organised via Lambeth Keep our NHS Public, to highlight Richard Branson’s Virgin takeover of much of NHS healthcare.

It’s part of the nationwide ‘People’s Assembly Bonfire of Austerity’ actions, mostly taking place today. In central London people were blocking Westminster Bridge at 6pm tonight and burning their energy bills in protest.

30 – 40 people targeted the Virgin Media phone shop at Brixton with the aim of alerting members of the public to the creeping privatisation and destruction of our NHS by companies like Virgin who want help create a health system modeled on the US one – expensive, exploitative and inefficient.

This is going on under our noses but few of us realize it. Virgin doesn’t shout about it but it now runs 270 plus community and primary health services in England, including half of Surrey’s community health services.

So we wanted to alert people with specially adapted ‘Virgin’ songs and a Richard Branson guy collecting a ‘penny for the NHS’. We handed out 600 leaflets to interested passers-by.

The flashmob also achieved another goal – to stop people going into the Virgin shop. But we didn’t even have to ask them to boycott it – the fierce-looking staff on the door, presumably trying to keep us out, managed to stop everyone else getting in. So – own goal!

The story was covered in the Brixton Blog and Brixton Buzz

NHS Being Eton

Richard Branson is taking over key parts of the newly privatised NHS. Lambeth Keep Our NHS Public is having a flashmob outside the Virgin store in Brixton Town Centre (very close to the tube) to highlight this:

Flashmob – Don’t let Branson destroy the NHS
Saturday 2nd November – 2pm
Outside the Virgin Store in Brixton (just north of Brixton tube)

This will feature

  • Songs – We will adapt ‘Tory Toffs’ and ‘We’ll fight on’ with Virgin words
  • Lots of Virgin banners and leaflets – asking people not to go into the Virgin shop because of its ‘stealing’ of healthcare
  • Richard Branson Guy
  • Sparklers and balloons (hopefully)

Homes for Need Not Greed

Posted: October 31, 2013 by lambethsaveourservices in Housing
Tags: ,

Stop Asset Stripping
Guest post from Ian Townson

How things have changed indeed….

When I first came to Brixton in 1974 I squatted in abandoned Lambeth Council property on Railton Road. Eventually as a gay community we squatted 12 houses back to back on Railton and Mayall roads with a communal garden in between. All of the houses belonged to Lambeth Council.

In those days the Housing Corporation was set up specifically to fund various organisations providing social housing with a guarantee of cheap rents and secure tenancies. Often as an interim measure pending redevelopment the council would grant squatters short life tenancies. I am not sure how this came about but the council negotiated with the Solon Housing Association to take over the properties we occupied as well as others in the area for redevelopment. Having done this, far from evicting squatters to take vacant possession of the properties, we were decanted as single people into hard to let flats while also becoming part of the self-managed Brixton Housing Cooperative. During that period the architects responsible for redesigning the new dwellings liaised with the decanted squatters who were encouraged to design their own living space. Where to put bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, lounges etc. Eventually everyone moved en masse back in to the new flats and they are still there today as secure tenants.

The question raised by all of the above is this – why can’t Lambeth Council make similar arrangements now as they did then? Instead of evicting squatters as in Rushcroft Road and potentially elsewhere why could they not have negotiated a different route instead of flogging off homes to profit-hungry developers whose main aim is to attract a more cash worthy clientele. Social cleansing of ordinary working people, the poor and disadvantaged is abhorrent and should have no place in a so-called civilised society. It seems that the requirements of capitalism and the profit motive take precedence over the right to a decent roof over our heads. Without secure homes, a basic need, progress is not possible. With the bedroom tax, welfare cuts and increased housing costs I can see a situation where things will become as bad as they are in America where the homeless have been forced to occupy public land and build tented cities to live in.

HOMES FOR NEED NOT GREED!

Congratulations to Brixton Uncut for getting in this week’s South London Press
Brixton Uncut

ANNOUNCEMENTS

NHS Actions

– Saturday Simon Hughes office lobby 10-12am

– March 7: TUC backed Rally to save our NHS. Lobby at Westminster Idea to have a human chain around St Thomas’. Lambeth SOS has backed it. Come one come all and spread the word.

Connexions, national careers service, in Brixton on Acre Lane is shutting at the end of March. There’s a petition against the closure to sign and circulate. Unison is working on campaigning against it and lobbying the council.

Press release and website statement coming.

London Region RMT invited SOS to speak to them. Next Thursday evening – Couple of people are going. Anyone else who wants to go is welcome to join.

BUILDING FOR FEB 29 COUNCIL BUDGET LOBBY

Lambeth Pan Disability Forum are mobilizing for it. South London DPAC and Lambeth Accessible Transport will join us.

UK Uncut are really keen to support the town hall demo – putting lots of publicity and info on it

PUBLICITY

Please sign up to join in the comments as well to spread the word out! Postcards, flyers are available at the UNISON office.

TUBES

Stockwell: Tuesday, Feb 21 – 4:45-6pm

Oval: Wednesday, Feb 22 – 4:45-6pm

Kennington: Thursday, Feb 23 – 4:45-6pm

Brixton: Friday, Feb 24 – 4:45-6pm

Anybody is welcome to join or do any other time or station, please add a comment or use the discussion email list so that we don’t duplicate effort!

(more…)

If you watch one video today this 3 minute YouTube clip from UNITE the Union would be a great place to start.

This list will be updated as more come in. If you know one we have missed please post a comment at the bottom of the post.

Lambeth Council

All pickets from 7am to 10.45pm (at least).

Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton – 2-7 Town Hall Parade, Porden Road, SW2 5RW (behind the Town Hall)

Phoenix House – 10 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, SW8 2LL (over the road from Vauxhall tube station)

International House – 6 Canterbury Crescent, Brixton, SW9 7QE (behind Brixton police station)

Olive Morris House – 18 Brixton Hill, SW2 1RL (more…)