Know Your Rights: the campaigns of Bob and Roberta Smith

A review of Bob and Roberta Smith’s exhibition at the William Morris Gallery E17


James B reviews the latest exhibition of Bob and Roberta Smith, finding a powerful defence of art as a human right, source of self-empowerment and tool of protest. The show until January 31 in Walthamstow’s William Morris Gallery.

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Public meeting: Stop Trident – jobs not bombs!


7.30-9.30pm, Monday 15 February

Leytonstone United Free Church, 55 Wallwood Rd, London E11 1AY
(Five minutes from Leytonstone tube station)

Trident is a weapon of mass destruction. Its use would be illegal and immoral. It would kill millions of people, maim millions more, and render vast parts of our world uninhabitable for generations. But the government is proposing to spend £100 billion (and inevitably much more) on renewing it.

We oppose this criminal waste of human and natural resources. The same money and skills could be used to produce renewable energy, to support and improve our schools and hospitals, to pay a decent wage to millions of public service workers and to end the vicious attacks on poor, sick and disabled people.

In the run-up to the national demonstration on 27 February, Waltham Forest Left Unity invites you to a public forum with CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, and Sophie Bolt from Waltham Forest Stop the War. All welcome.

Leytonstone United Free Church

Report from the Junior Doctors’ picket line, Whipps Cross Hospital


At 9am there are about 35 people at the picket line, about half doctors, alongside the Unison and Waltham Forest Save Our NHS banners.
Huge support from passing motorists. Other doctors have split off to meet the public at Leytonstone and Walthamstow tube stations. A rally will be held at the main entrance on Whipps Cross Road at 5.30pm.
Whipps Cross is part of Barts Health, one of the most heavily indebted NHS Trusts. 10% of the Trust’s budget is being spent on servicing a £1.1bn PFI scheme.

The next strike is planned for 10 February.

Sweets Way update

From Radical Housing Network

On the 23rd of September, the eviction process of the Sweets Way Estate began. By the afternoon of the 24th the eviction was complete, all squatters and Mostafa, the last remaining tenant, were removed from the site.

During the event a total of 19 people were arrested. The majority of these took place on Thursday the 24th, when many squatters and other activists climbed to the roof of some of the houses near Mostafa’s in defiance of the eviction attempt by the National Eviction Team, The Sheriff’s Office, and Dorman & Co., all High Court Enforcement agencies.

7 people were released on bail pending charges, the majority of which are for suspicion of contravening Section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 1977. This offence can be described as actively resisting or obstructing an officer of the court in their duties.

Another 3 were formally charged with Section 10, and released on bail with instruction to appear at Hendon Magistrates on the 23rd of October.

6 were held in custody until a court appearance 48 hours later, in which 4 were bailed after being formally charged with Section 10. These 4 have had trial dates set for the 16-18th of December.

2 of the 6 have chosen to remain anonymous, and unfortunately have been denied bail despite police records showing that they have no prior convictions or any reason to keep them in custody. These two are now being held on remand in HMP Wormwood Scrubs.

It is an outrage that any of these people have been arrested in relation to the eviction on Sweets Way. The local police service were even reluctant to be involved in the whole process, however unfortunately in the execution of a high-court writ HCEO’s are imbued with the power of arrest. And of course the police have a reputation for “just doing their job” at the end of the day.

The fact that 2 have been jailed despite no evidence for concern of character being put before the court by the CPS is a complete travesty and we are doing everything to show our support for them and fight for their release. This has been very hard on everyone both emotionally and physically, and many people from the campaign have disappeared since the eviction, their silence through our ongoing struggle has been deafening.

We call out for anyone reading this to join us as we continue to fight, both for Mostafa’s family as he seeks to find appropriate accommodation, and for the brave souls who have put their lives and futures on the line in defence of their convictions.

We are holding a open meeting at 78 Oakleigh Road North, N20 9EZ on Tuesday night, 6th of October, at 6:30pm. We need both perspectives for deciding how best to continue as well as physical support to continue doing what we are doing.

The 2 anonymous arrestees will be re-appearing at Hendon Magistrates, NW9 7BY on Thursday the 8th of October at 10am. Please join us to show your support for these two selfless people. We only ask that should you know them, or find out that you know them when you arrive, please do not mention names or any details that may reveal their identity.

Your support through these hard times is appreciated.

If you can’t make either, any messages of solidarity or ideas you want to share will be warmly received to keep up morale of campaigners and those inside – if there are any good ones we can write them on boards and hold them up for the arrestees to see on Thursday morning.

Send to Sweets Way Resists

Eviction Resistance in Redbridge

Yesterday UNITE Community Waltham Forest and supporters successfully prevented the eviction of Jenny, an Ilford resident. Jenny, a parent with health issues, was threatened with eviction from a house which is in a bad state of repair and from which she wants to move. However Redbridge Council only offered her temporary accommodation in a one bedroom flat in Harlesden, far from her disabled parents, her surgery and hospital. For now she and her family have a roof over their heads.

Messages of support can be posted on UNITE’s
Facebook page

Here are some videos of the action:

Next meeting and change of venue

The next meeting of Waltham Forest Left Unity will be on Thursday 3 September. The main discussion will be on Climate Change and the mobilisations around this December’s Cop21 meeting in Paris, introduced by Alan Thornett.

This meeting, and all subsequent meetings, will take place in a new, and much better, venue: the Wanstead Quaker Meeting House, Bush Road, E11 3AU (see meetings for a map). Despite the name, this is actually in Leytonstone, just a couple of minutes walk from the Green Man roundabout. The W19 bus stops almost outside the door; the 145, 257 and W14 stop very close. The venue is about ten minutes walk from Leytonstone tube station.