Poor Doors Campaign: Could be a victory!

Representatives from Class War met with the new owner of  1 Commercial St., Hondo Enterprises, and it looks as if there is  grounds for believing that there has been a victory. There has been an agreement to end the segregation and not have two distinct doors. The decision is difficult to put into practice because of the fact that the building will require some structural adjustments. However, the owner has promised talks with all of those affected, both the ‘rich door’ and the ‘poor door’ management groups as well as Class War, with the intention of working out how the segregation can be ended. We would hope that the ‘Poor Door’ residents of the will be central in the decision-making. The problem is that Redrow is still involved in the management of the ‘rich’ side of the building and may resist this move.

Meanwhile, the protests have been suspended, but be prepared to get back there if the talks break down.

This potential victory is clearly a response to the weekly protests which have been going on since the summer. Class War is to be applauded for organising these and keeping it up for so long. We in Action East End have supported this protest in a smaller way for most weeks during the last two months  We have focused on distributing leaflets and The Howler to passers-by in order to explain more about the reasons for the protest. We also managed to put a leaflet in every post box of the ‘poor’ part of the building. We certainly agree that this campaign has been a massive success but we have to keep in mind that it is not just a question of getting rid of the segregation. The problem is the fact that there are so many housing developments that cater to the well-off and so little that provide homes for working class Londoners. Even in the ‘Poor Doors’ part of the building, rents and prices are not within the range of most people. The housing is advertised as ‘affordable’ which is 80% of market rents. We need to be at least fighting for social housing which is 50% of market rents. Even this may be beyond many of the truly poor in London. This issue is at the forefront of the other housing campaigns in East London (see New Era 4 All, E15 Focus, Friends of Queen’s Market posts.)


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