The 3 houses adjoining Dalston theatre, occupied since February this year to prevent the planned demolition of the whole site to make way for high rise luxury flats, were evicted at 5am on Wednesday night. Despite having mounted solid barricades throughout the building and kept up regular roof shifts to keep a look-out for the bailiffs, they entered the building via the back of the building, accessing the roof before the occupiers had the chance to effectively resist the eviction.
While the time for the theatre has run out, for us this is not the end of the battle, but only the beginning. Just as the gentrification of Hackney doesn’t end with the demolition of the theatre, so our attempts to work together with women, men, young people, elderly, and all people who are suffering the consequences of plans of “regeneration” that don’t take our future into account, will not end here. We probably all feel doubtful about our chances of winning against the council or government agency that, sooner or later, always manage to get away with their plans. We are just frustrated spectators in our land witnessing everything getting worse, lack of housing and services, lack of health, lack of schools, lack of work, unemployment, criminalization of youth, racism towards ethnic minorities, the destruction of our culture and our history. We can’t accept business as usual. To stand still is to admit defeat. To stand still is to go backward. To stand still is to succumb to the kind of deprivation that we’re witnessing. To stand up is to win, to not give up is to win, to organize, to cooperate with each other is to win.