Hackney council have decided to criminalise
rough sleeping and begging in an attempt to ‘cleanse’ Hackney of the visible consequences of their gentrification polices.
People found begging or rough sleeping will be fined up to £1,000.
A demonstration has been called to coincide with the councils full Cabinet meeting.
Demand the order which criminalises the homeless is scrapped.
17:00-19:30, Monday 22 June, Hackney Town Hall, Mare St, E8 1EA
‘The Hackney Picture House has had its own turf war in the process of gentrification. At the southern end of the building is a grand semi circular ‘balcony’ with neoclassical columns sheltering a set of semi circular stone steps, which lead up to the, now defunct, grand entrance of the former Hackney Library. The balcony is ornately decorated with a large stone plaque displaying an image of St Augustine’s Tower draped on either side by stone garlands of flowers and fruit. As rents rise people are displaced. This decorative entrance provided temporary shelter for a growing number of homeless people. Mattresses arrived and a small community took residence under the protective stone coat of arms. The stench and filth of human existence did not fit the image Hackney council was fostering. This wasn’t the fashion quarter, Broadway market, Dalston circus, Shoreditch. This was a fissure in the gentrification narrative in plain view of the Town Hall and it needed to be erased. Vanished, swept away, steam cleaned, and boarded up. Battleship grey boards now deny access … Defensive architecture at its most crass’.