Yesterday’s neighbourhood assembly was really inspiring. Occupiers, tenants and leaseholders, people from local tenants associations and campaign groups, nearby squatters and ex-squatters, and plenty of other visitors got together to talk about how we can fight for the Aylesbury and against social cleansing in London. About 50 of us were there, with loads of ideas and passion for the struggle ahead.
We talked about how the aim of this occupation is not just to defend a building, but to help connect people and bring the area to life. We started to make a list of some practical actions to make this happen. There is loads of work to do, and we still need lots more people to get involved. We can do incredible things. Here are a few things on the list to start with:
** We will have an accessible community space for neighbourhood events and activities. And where people can just drop by, hang out, drink tea, chat, etc. People talked about the example of the Focus E15 open house.
** Some people have a projector and will come to run film screenings.
** Talks, discussions and workshops: including legal workshops and discussions about the estate, and lots more.
** Quite a few people have different practical skills e.g., plumbing, building refurbishment, decorating, etc. We can make a “skills bank” where people volunteer to help out with repairs and other jobs. Both on for the occupation and for estate residents.
** We can also start practical skill-shares to teach these skills to each other.
** Some people want to organise football tournaments, either by the occupation or nearby in Burgess Park.
** It would be great to have a community kitchen, maybe cook an evening meal together for the assembly each day. Are there people who want to get that started? Does anyone have the equipment we need?
** Gardening and growing food. People remembered the great community allotments made on the deserted Heygate Estate. Spring is coming …
** Also we want to spread our message beyond the estate. We will go and run stalls on East Street market etc., as well as going to local tenants and trade union meetings etc. Invites for these are coming in already.
See you tonight at 6.30 PM. There is lots more to talk about. And, even more importantly, to do.