Come to Sweets Way and see the People’s Regeneration Show Home!

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House smashed up by Annington to prevent people from living in it, has been occupied and refurbished by Sweets Way Resists’ families and supporters this week. It is now open to the public.

WHERE? 153 Sweets Way, N20 0NX (near Totteridge and Whetstone tube)

WHEN? Thursday, July 30 (10am – 1pm)

Well it was more-than-a-bit daunting for a few dozen of us to take this on, particularly as very few of us had any experience in the ways of regeneration projects, or even simple DIY. But we got there!

After six intensely-long days of sanding, painting, tiling, sawing, cleaning, plastering, gardening, concrete-pouring, drilling, plumbing, cabinetmaking and more, we are proud to show off the house that we have re-built together!

In less-than-a-week we have been able to throw into question the logic of countless so-called regeneration projects, by highlighting what a community of committed people with found and donated materials can do to address our own housing needs, without relying on private investment and the demolition of perfectly-good homes.

While we won’t claim to have achieved housing refurb perfection at 153 Sweets Way, we think we’ve done a pretty good job of making the house livable – and beautiful – once again, even if it is still missing a few awkward bits-and-bobs. Given the limits on both time (six days) and money (less than £300), we’d LOVE to see campaigners on another estate in London do better! (Seriously – give it a go!)

Here are a few pics of the work-in-progress… Come join us if you can, if you’d like to see how things have ended up at 153 Sweets Way, or if you’d like to learn about how to do a People’s Regeneration of a home on your own estate!

PEOPLE’S REGENERATION SHOW HOME LAUNCH
Thursday, July 30, 10am – 1pm
153 Sweets Way, London, N20 0NX

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You can see our press release here.

PRESS RELEASE: Sweets Way campaigners plan weekend of fun and resistance in new occupation

Sweets Way Resists

Press release – Thursday 2 April

Sweets Way campaigners plan weekend of fun and resistance in new occupation

Residents fighting for their homes have occupied an empty house backing onto the Sweets Way estate in Barnet in ongoing protest at tenant evictions. Campaigners are planning a weekend of community fun and resistance in the property which is part of the ‘Sweets Park’ redevelopment.

On Monday a county court ruled against residents following a three-week political occupation of empty homes including 60 Sweets Way, which had been turned into a thriving social centre and campaign hub. A judge granted full possession of the site to developer Annington Homes, who also requested an injunction preventing people from protesting on the estate.

In a further assault on human rights and an indictment of the court system, campaigners have not been given the details of any potential injunction, even though it potentially criminalises protesters, residents and the public at large.

Immediately following Monday’s ruling, residents and supporters occupied an empty five bedroom house, part of Annington’s ‘Sweets Park’ development area – but just beyond the possession and potential injunction zones. A weekend of fun and resistance is planned in the new occupation, including an ‘Easter Fun Day’, debate and action-planning.

Sweets Way estate is home to over 150 families. Residents were forced to leave their homes in February and moved to temporary accommodation out of the borough. Since then, they have been fighting for the right to go back to the estate and in an effort to stop the development, occupied an empty house, supported by housing campaigns Focus E15 and Barnet Housing Action Group.

Since the occupation began in early March, a handful of residents have been offered temporary accommodation in borough by Barnet Council. But campaigners, known as ‘Sweets Way Resists’, won’t stop until all of the residents are offered suitable alternative housing.

The occupations are a political statement about the criminality of destroying perfectly good houses and replacing them with investment properties. Sweets Way Resists are also staging lunchtime protests at the central London offices of Annington, to shame the company.

Annington (part owned by tax exile Guy Hands worth an estimated £250 million) looks set to make a killing on the London property market. Only 11% of the new properties in the planned redevelopment are being leased as ‘affordable rent’ (80% of market rates).

A spokesperson said: “We’re not going to stop: we’re planning to keep the question of social cleansing on the agenda, and support one another as we fight to protect the estate from demolition and secure decent homes for all residents who have been forced out of Sweets Way.

“Our new occupation has all the makings of a fantastic place for community celebration over the Easter weekend. It’s an outrage that this five-bedroom property lies empty while right next door, people are losing their homes.

“Monday’s court ruling was a predictably unfair legal decision in which private property rights are deemed more important than human rights. As well as granting Annington possession over the whole of the estate, they have proposed an injunction on the site! This is worrying for anyone involved in housing justice work and political protest. In addition, the court has so little respect for us that they have neglected to clarify what the injunction means.

“There’s a Mexican proverb that feels appropriate for us: ‘They tried to bury us, but they forgot that we were seeds.’”

Sweets Way Resists – the fight continues!

Thursday 2 April Lunchtime Protest at the central London office of developer Annington Homes.

See Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1609138512633464/

Sunday 5 April Easter Fun Day, 12-4pm

Easter Egg Hunt, BBQ, Children’s Fun and Games, Bouncy Castle, Arts and Crafts

Egg Decorating, Rabbits, Music

Tuesday 7 April Public Meeting at the new occupation, 7.30pm

The new occupation is at 76 Oakleigh Road North, N20.

Twitter @SweetsWay20

Facebook.com/SweetsWayResists

Sweetswayresists.wordpress.com

Sign the petition on Change.org – 62,000 have signed already!

For more information and interviews please contact Katya 07791018631