Heroes and villains

6 Jan

E15 com photo

In the Guardian Aditya Chakrabortty named the Focus E15 mothers as his ‘Heroes of 2014′

Jasmin Stone has the body language of a shy person. Meeting people for the first time she tends to look down. Her speech at an anti-cuts rally this summer kept dissolving into giggles. Yet as a leader of the Focus E15 Mothers, Stone has kept her family and 28 others from being moved out of their east London neighbourhood. She and her group have faced down an intransigent council – and done more than perhaps any other campaign group this year to force social housing up the political agenda. She is not yet 21. Last year, Stone and 28 other single mothers faced being moved out of their hostel, in Newham, to Birmingham and Hastings. They fought – and all are still in Newham. In September Focus E15 took over a flat in an otherwise empty council estate which the borough had long ago cleared for a (failed) land deal. Despite court action and the water being cut off, they left of their own accord – and wrested both apology and concessions from the mayor of Newham, Robin Wales. Focus E15 is still fighting evictions and for social housing. Sometimes it takes a crisis to turn a shy soul into an accomplished radical, but that’s what Stone and her crew now are.

By contrast, the Morning Star nominated Sir Robin Wales to its list of ‘Villains of the year’

The Labour Mayor of Newham was investigated for misconduct after storming off when mothers from the Focus E15 campaign confronted him about their housing plight.

A YouTube video of his tantrum was shared extensively when the women used the London borough’s family day to highlight his support for social cleansing. Their banner at a later protest summed it up perfectly: “Sheriff of Newham — Robin the poor!”

Both nominations are richly deserved.

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2 Responses to “Heroes and villains”

  1. dave January 15, 2015 at 23:48 #

    Its time we got rid of this clown, along with Corbett, hudson and the cronies. Finish the mayoral system in Newham its not worked.

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