The Green Party candidate for West Ham, Rachel Collinson, says she has been horrified and shocked by the eviction of single mother from her council home by Newham Council and the subsequent arrest by police of a protester campaigning on her behalf.
Rachel says Newham and the rest of London is blighted by the injustice of ‘social cleansing.’
This is unjust when there are 900 properties empty in the Borough and the tenant’s family were willing to pay her rent arrears.
A substantial campaign has developed to support the tenant who was evicted on 25th March after twenty years.
The campaigning groups have waged a Twitter protest #JaneComeHome
Jane and her supporters staged an occupation of her flat from Saturday in Kerrison Road, but yesterday Newham Council and the police carried out an operation to repossess it.
One of the protesters, 20 year old Jamin Stone, was arrested and taken to the Boreham Close Custody Centre.
A noisy demonstration developed outside the centre until she was released on police bail late last night.
Rachel Collinson says she believes what has happened to Jane has been ‘illegal’ and she has been shaken by the experience: ‘I will not forget today’s events for a while. Utter injustice.’
Newham Council say they have acted lawfully throughout:
Newham Council, working with the police, today took back an illegally occupied council property after members of a protest group occupied it on Saturday (11 April). One member of the group was arrested.
The former tenant of the property was lawfully evicted on 25 March due to high and historic rent arrears. The council made many attempts to help with her rent arrears since she first started having problems but she has not fully engaged with these offers of assistance.
Officers are now working closely with the tenant to resolve her current financial and housing situation and has provided her with temporary accommodation until a permanent solution can be found.
The Met Police say:
A 20-year-old woman was arrested on Monday, 13 April at an address on Kerrison Road, E15 on suspicion of squatting in a residential building.
She was taken to an east London police station and has been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-May.
Tweets from the Met Police after demonstration outside Leyton Custody Centre.