Letter to the editor – We demand housing as a human right.
Over the past year we have witnessed an unprecedented migration of men, women and children fleeing war, hunger & hopelessness. In a world of increasing economic, climatic and political instability people have been uprooted in their millions, in search of a safe home.
And it is not just in the camps of Calais and Dunkirk that we see the consequences of these crises. In England nearly 100,000 children are now living in temporary accommodation after being made homeless. Last year Councils were moving mothers and children out of London boroughs at a rate of close to 500 families a week. This forced displacement and social cleansing is set to increase dramatically if the Housing & Planning Bill passes into law, with its ‘pay to stay’, forced sale of council housing and privatisation of public land.
This government wants to create a safe haven in the UK – but only for economic investors. They say there is no money to build council homes or to house people trapped in squalid camps. But they find money for bombs, barbwire and boats, and for bailing out banks. They tell the people in the camps to go back to their bombed out homes. And they tell us to blame the people in the camps. But migrants are not to blame for wars; they are not to blame for our housing crisis; and we are not to blame for the economic crisis caused by the banks.
So this Saturday we will protest at Yarls Wood detention centre in solidarity with those held in barbaric conditions for the crime of seeking a home. And on Sunday we will march in London against the Housing & Planning Bill to defend social housing and public land from the speculators. We demand housing as a human right. Land and houses should be for people not for profiteers. Please join us on the demonstrations.
Surround Yarls Wood, 1pm Saturday March 12th, Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre, Bedford
Kill the Housing Bill, 12noon Sunday March 13th Lincolns Inn Fields London
Movement for Justice,
Radical Housing Network,
Lambeth Housing Activists