In Support Of Supporting Each Other

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In the last week we celebrated the release of the two Sweets Way protesters who have been held on remand since the evictions at Sweets Way on the 23rd and 24th of September. That the magistrates granted bail without the requirement for the two protesters to give their names or any other details is a victory and testament to the moral grounds for resistance against the eviction of the estate.

The campaign has been a tough one for all involved, and it would be wrong to say it has been a picture-perfect example of political resistance the whole time. The campaign is a constantly-evolving thing, and we have all done our best to move with the times as circumstances have changed. With many different groups with different agendas coming to Sweets Way, particularly in the final couple of months, it became difficult to maintain the original image that was portrayed all the way back in February. Certainly there were displays of behaviour that did not sit well with people involved in the campaign or with outside supporters and spectators.

However, in acknowledging this we also acknowledge that all the people involved in the occupation on the Sweets Way Estate are part of the same struggle against social cleansing, and inadequate housing policies by corrupt politicians and the companies they are in cahoots with. As people, we all at times operate on different levels, have different priorities, and ways of doing things. We need to be able to understand the perspectives of others, and through our differences find the common ground that will allow us to be effective in our actions. Sometimes it is easy to focus on the negative consequences of actions that take place directly in front of us, but when we take a step back we can see that companies like Annington are guilty of worse offences than curse words on a wall. Many of the people who moved into the Sweets Way Estate throughout the occupation were instrumental in supporting and being part of the campaign. From those that helped organise and attend demonstrations and those that would come over and play with the children at the community house, to those that simply occupied the estate for personal reasons but effected great political leverage in the fight to stop Mostafa being evicted and the estate being demolished.

And of course those who put themselves in the firing line and were arrested during the evictions that took place 3 weeks ago. We applaud their selfless acts of defiance, and are so glad to say they are all now at least on bail. We will continue to show up to their court cases and support them as they supported the campaign.

And so it seems that this is the end, but it is only the end of one particular stage of the campaign. This is an ongoing battle, and there are many fronts on which to face it. We fight for Mostafa, whom Barnet Homes continue to treat so unfairly, and we fight for everyone and anyone who faces losing their homes due to the injustice of the housing market. Through this campaign so many great people have come together, renters and squatters, activists and families, and made Sweets Way Resists possible with our mix of skills, experience, and other contributions. There are many lessons to be learnt from our experience over the last 8 months, but we couldn’t have achieved all that we did without each other, and connections and friendships have been forged in the fire of resistance, perhaps even in unexpected ways. Emerging from this fire, we can say with conviction that we are not done with Annington Homes yet, nor with Barnet Homes nor any of the other exploitative and corrupt developers and councillors involved in destroying people’s housing. Plans are in motion, and we won’t stop until we win!

Below are two messages to everyone from the former residents of the Sweets Way Estate:


As a parent you are teaching your child as your parents taught you, to help people especially those in need and to stand for what’s right, yet especially today where a few people who did exactly that (by standing with solidarity with disabled father who has been so mistreated and was facing eviction to make room for greedy tax exile investment), are going to court. Maybe we should teach our children the ugly reality – that if you stand for what’s right and decide to help those in need you will face jail and fines…

We do live in ugly world indeed. Since February we were fighting outrageous behaviour of Barnet Homes towards hard working people of the amazing community of Sweets Way. We fight to save much needed homes and the future of neighbourhood. My kids met beautiful people who committed their lives to changing the world, very inspirational people. So what I will teach my kids is very simple – helping others and making changes for better in this world is risky, and you might end up with criminal record or in jail, but making changes is much needed in this world and standing for those in need is essential. The system we live in is design to bully weak and support greed. So dear children, follow your heart, not the rules of the broken system.


As an ex-tenant of Sweets Way, my family and I would like to thank all the protesters who believe in the campaign to save Sweets Way.

We also like to give a big thanks to those protesters who were willing to be arrested to save Sweets Way and for protecting the last family left on the estate.

But most of all we would like to thank the two unnamed protesters who spent time in prison for something they believed in.

We have made some good friends though this campaign and I would just like to say keep up the good work.


CALL OUT: Last Monday was just the first battle won in a long fight. Once again we need your help!

Nearly a week ago, 100 supporters gathered outside the home of the last remaining Sweets Way residents, Mostafa and his family. It was the greatest collective, community action of our campaign thus far. Mostafa has written a statement of his thanks:

“Barnet homes had three years to rehouse me. My family provided Barnet homes with all the information from my GP , hospital letters, professor letters and few other  health organisation which show that I have to be rehoused as soon as possible otherwise my health condition will get worst. Unfortunately Barnet homes did not take anything into account.

10 months ago I was re-housed on the Sweets Way estate when they already knew it will be demolished. My family and myself are living in the empty estate which makes me and my family live in fear. I have lost my confidence, self esteem and my personality has been destroyed.

Barnet homes told ITV: ” Mr Alivredipour’s accommodation needs are still being discussed with him family including the Alivredipour’s who presented themselves homeless were placed in properties in Sweets Way on a temporary basis on the clear understanding that they would need to vacate in 2015″

Unfortunately this statement is False.

On Monday the people who showed up to support me, they gave me back hope. I don’t know how to thank everyone I’m so grateful to see all the support from people.”

This week we have camped through rain, sun and increasingly colder nights outside Mostafa’s house. Despite minor squabbles with security Sweets Way has remained a bailiff free zone. Yet, we know that they will be back stronger and more powerful then ever.

We predict another visit. This time it will not be as easy. The stakes are higher as contractors and builders close in to prepare the estate for demolition. Mostafa and his family remain the last bastion of hope for this community. There is still no word from Barnet council as to whether they have found a decent home for the family therefore they face the uncertainty of having to be in unsuitable temporary accommodation.

So, what can you do?

Come and visit us on Sunday from 3 for an open afternoon; get to know the crew, the estate and the last residents.

Also if you have time we need people to camp outside 46 Sweets Way on a regular basis. If you are unable, donations of tents and sleeping equipment would be greatly appreciated.

However if camping is an uncomfortable prospect, we can arrange accommodation in our show home or the community house if you let us know in advance.

Contact us: sweetswayresists[AT]gmail[DOT]com /

Tweet us: @SweetsWayN20

Or find us on Facebook.

Our community house: 76 Oakleigh Road North,  N20 0NU.  The nearest tube is Totteridge & Whetstone.

PayPal donations would also be simply amazing. Thank you! https://sweetswayresists.wordpress.com/donate/

The Sweets Way revolution you might have missed

thinking, doing, changing

I’m very excited to share this guest post from activist author Liam Barrington-Bush. Many activists across the UK left have been despairing since last week’s election result, and discussing ‘what next’ endlessly in pubs, workplaces and on social media. One recurrent theme people seem to agree on is the need to organise in communities and build power at the grassroots. This is exactly what Liam has been doing – I hope you find his story as inspiring as I have.


Tucked away in the North London borough of Barnet, a revolution is brewing. As housing campaigns have sprung up across the capital, the families – and children – of the Sweets Way estate have fought back against the so-called ‘regeneration’ of their estate and have maintained the longest-running housing occupation in London since the start of the housing crisis.

I first heard about Sweets Way in mid-February, when someone Tweeted…

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We’re in court tomorrow! How to support in person or from afar

We’re in court this morning fighting Annington Homes for our right to housing! They are not only demanding we leave our homes but also trying to obtain an injunction to prevent us protesting on the estate.

Join us at 9:30 at Barnet County Court: https://www.facebook.com/events/433124830197068/

Not able to join us at court? Give Annington Homes a call! Be polite but don’t be afraid to speak your mind! Our key demands, which you might wish to share, are:

  1. No demolition of the homes on Sweets Way estate
  2. Repopulation of empty homes, with right to return for all decanted residents
  3. Immediate stop to all eviction proceedings against residents

There are various numbers to try:

  • 020 7960 7500 (head office)
  • 0800 358 1118 (sales freephone)
  • 020 3757 6743 (Andy Martin, media relations)

Tweet:

  • While @SweetsWayN20 fight eviction in court, support by pressuring Annington Homes by phone! 020 7960 7500 info: https://sweetswayresists.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/were-in-court-tomorrow-how-to-support-in-person-or-from-afar/

Potluck resistance on Mothering Sunday

Today there was an amazing international potluck amongst residents, former residents and supporters at the Sweets Way social centre. We treated one another to an amazing spread of food from Turkey, Brazil, Cuba, Poland and beyond. When we didn’t have space to put all the food, someone came up with the bright idea to turn the Sitex (metal sheets used to board up empty homes to keep humans from living in them) that have been removed from various windows and doors, into a table top! Finally, a good use for a socially useless product!

The Sweets Way community is as diverse as it is strong, and with each shared meal, each conversation, the sense of possibility about what we can achieve together here grows.

This campaign is very new and the odds of success are in many ways tiny, but if anything can beat the bastards at Annington Homes, it is the community of Sweets Way!

PS – We’ve also got 1,500 people signing our petition [https://www.change.org/sweetsway] in less than 3 days! The buzz is building! Watch for more exciting stuff tomorrow as we pay Annington a visit at their Bond Street offices in the morning!

PPS – Happy Mothering Sunday! This campaign, like so many before it, has been led by mums who have decided they don’t want their kids growing up with the bullshit they’ve experienced! Massive thanks to all the mothers of Sweets Way and beyond!

SIGN THE PETITION: ANNINGTON – Stop the social cleansing of Sweets Way!

So we’ve got an occupied social centre, an active and outraged community and plans for lots more action, but we want it to be as easy as possible for people to do something small to get involved, even if they can make it to 60 Sweets Way.

So we started a petition on Change.org [http://chn.ge/18Gv3Jb], demanding:

“Annington and Barnet Homes stop the demolition of the Sweets Way estate, stop the evictions of current residents and offer decanted residents the right to return to their former homes at truly affordable rents.”

So sign it, share it, convince your favorite celebrity or influential person to give it a plug!

On it’s own a petition will only get us so far, but along with direct action, community organising and some press to shine a light on the ugly realities of social cleansing at Sweets Way and beyond, we can make sure our homes remain our homes!

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