Challenging two of London’s worst councils at the Municipal Journal awards

On 16 June, representatives from London’s Labour boroughs of Southwark and Newham were met by angry protesters as they rolled up at the Municipal Journal Awards Ceremony, a self-congratulatory spectacle hosted at the Hilton.

In the context of mass austerity, budget cuts and social cleansing the money was found to wine and dine hundreds of council lackeys as they patted each other on the back for their so- called ‘public service’. Of particular note in this celebration of self-delusion were Southwark and Newham Labour councils, who were up for ‘best local council’ and ‘best trading standards and environmental health’. What an insult to the thousands of families living in squalid conditions in Newham and those who have been evicted and their homes destroyed in Southwark.

As the taxis pulled up to the Hilton and the guests stepped out in their over-priced evening wear, they were greeted by jeers, boos, whistles and chants by a contingent of the Revolutionary Communist Group, Architects for Social Housing, the Focus E15 campaign and Class War who reminded these people of their crimes. Over the RCG sound system, speaker after speaker spoke of the long list of assaults these councillors had spearheaded against the working class; demolishing social housing, evicting the most venerable and allowing slum conditions to worsen on their watch.

These councillors need to be targeted and held accountable for their actions. They should not simply be allowed to destroy lives and communities by simply signing a document written for the interests of estate agents and fat-cat property developers. The RCG will continue to protest against all those involved in the privatisation and demolition of social housing and attacks on the working class. We will work in solidarity with any group who wishes to join us on the street. There will be no victory without struggle. These are our homes, our lives and we do not have to take this any more.