Press release for immediate use:
Olympic Park protest success: Inequality and Olympic hypocrisy highlighted
Campaigners demand real solutions to Newham's housing crisis
Campaigners and candidates standing for the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) on the GLA London-wide member list in next week's London elections staged a protest outside the Olympic Park today.
The protest was called in the wake of the leaked letter sent by the mayor of Newham asking for up to 500 Newham families to be re-housed hundreds of miles away in Stoke.
Campaigners asked the Labour council and Conservative/Lib-Dem government:
"Why can't the money be found for affordable housing?"
and challenged them for an answer.
Candidates were photographed with the Athlete's Village in the background holding placards that read:
"If you're poor you don't get in!"
"Poor people keep out!"
"No money? Who paid for this then?"
and "Rent caps not benefit cuts"
Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest library worker made redundant in cuts and TUSC GLA candidate, says: "Why are they talking about moving low-income families to Stoke when money is sloshing around the borough? Thousands of flats have been built as part of the Athlete's Village but locals won't get a look in."
The Sunday Times rich list reports the wealthiest 1,000 individuals in the UK have personal fortunes of £414 billion, up 4.7%, yet Labour-run Newham council wanted to 'cleanse' 500 poor and working class families from the borough.
Steve Hedley, London organiser of the RMT tube workers' union, Newham resident and TUSC GLA candidate, says: "We need rent caps not benefit cuts. There is plenty of money in society, just look at the Sunday Times Rich List and the Olympic development. We need to use this wealth for a massive building programme of publicly funded and publicly owned homes with rents that are genuinely affordable to ordinary people."