Women from Silvertown and North Woolwich told us that the destruction of community in the last thirty years, coupled with state racism, had brought their neighbourhoods to their knees. But fortunately, they are ready to fight back.
Tracy told us that she saw London as a place of "fantastic opportunities" when she came here thirty years ago, but that governments since then had overseen a process of "social cleansing". "I can't afford to live in 'affordable housing!'" she said, pointing out that 80% of market rates (the current legal definition of "affordable") was out of the reach of everyone in the room at the Asta Community Hub where Take Back the City ran our People's Manifesto workshop with Docklands residents.
There was also anger at immigration laws: "Every child born in the UK should automatically be a British citizen" read one of the demands the group decided to contribute.
Overall, the group came up with:
- More social housing.
- More green space for children and adults.
- Every child born in the UK should automatically be a British citizen.
- Increase the minimum wage to £10 per hour.
- Free accessible training for under 25s.
The group selected Tracy as a TBTC delegate. We were inspired by the work she and others are doing at the Asta Community Hub. Volunteers run a community choir for children, zumba classes, music practice rooms and many other services. The centre nearly had to closed recently due to lack of funds. As Tracy told us, "They only care about things with monetary value. But there is wealth in community." We couldn't agree more.