Occupation Of 34 Broadway Market, E8 - info and updates

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Fozzie
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Dec 28 2005 10:31
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On Boxing Day morning, a new group of supporters of the campaign managed to enter and re-occupy the cafe.

We have now undertaken an ambitious reconstruction scheme and are rebuilding the cafe almost as fast the wreckers smashed it down. (We plan not one but two floors – but no exclusive penthouse apartments or concierge on this development!).

We are loath to describe this as regeneration but it's probably closer to it than anything Wratten or Hackney Council have been capable of so far.

We still have lots of work to do, so if you have building skills or just would like to help out, we'd be glad to see you. We urgently need more bedding, food, heat, and other provisions. Anything you got for christmas and don't want would be gratefully received. Please come down if you would like to help out keeping the place occupied.

As promised, we are going to go on fighting for Tony to get his place back and to defend Spirit's shop. The fact that new people were willing to come forward and carry on this community occupation only shows how strongly many in this area feel about the sell off of Tony's and Spirit's places and the wider process of social cleansing affecting long-term working class areas like Broadway Market.

http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/modules/wakka/HomePage

Divisive Cottonwood
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Dec 30 2005 09:39

Battle of Tony's café begins revolt against Olympic site developers

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article335607.ece

Quote:
The bailiffs forced the till shut six months ago and took the tables and chairs. There is no water or electricity and the roof has fallen in. But the regulars at Francesca's Café on Broadway Market in Hackney, east London, keep coming back.

A dozen locals felt so strongly about plans to demolish the Italian diner, known as Tony's, that they broke into the premises on Boxing Day to save it. Protesters now say that they hope to rebuild it. About 60 of them are occupying it in shifts to stop workmen from completing the demolition they began last week.

This battle is not really about Tony's café, however - nice as the pasta and roast dinners may have been. Calogero "Tony" Platia, the burly 55-year-old Sicilian who ran No 34 for three decades, has simply become the popular figurehead for locals fighting against outside property developers keen to cash in on rising prices.

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PaulMarsh
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Dec 30 2005 10:02

Good stuff!

Jason Cortez
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Dec 30 2005 11:36

AMAZING!eek

Well done all, i worry abit whether this is the most pratical channel for all this energy, but fuck that, it is INSPIRING! grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin

Divisive Cottonwood
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Dec 30 2005 11:39

There's some great proffessional building work going on! They rebuilt the back wall yesterday, and they plan to rebuild the roof today.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Dec 30 2005 13:21

La República and another continental daily newspaper have been down today - we're going global!

Mike Harman
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Dec 30 2005 18:47

http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/06/03/tvnews.shtml

BBC London news coverage - click on Thursday's news and you'll get it, about 2 minutes in.

Mike Harman
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Jan 2 2006 23:32
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The mayor of Naro, the honourable Maria Grazia Brandara, is intervening to help her fellow-citizen Calogero Platia, who emigrated long ago to London, where he runs Francesca Café on Broadway Market.

On the 21st of December a demolition crew came to came knock down the famous local Italian café to make way for luxury apartments owned by rich English developer Roger Wratten. But the customers and admirers of Francesca Café arrived in large numbers and stopped the demolition from going ahead.

Now the Italian café's customers have occupied number 34 Broadway Market, where coffee is poured, and, standing together with Calogero Platia, known as 'Italian Tony', they intend to defeat the plan to demolish Francesca Café, an important part of the history of Hackney's Broadway Market.

Even the famous London photographer Gabrielle Motola has intervened in favour of saving the café, and the Libcom website has organized a real media battle for 'Italian Tony's' place. Daily updates can be found at:

<http://www.libcom.org.gallery/v/broadwaymarketoccupation/>.

Mayor Brandara decided to write to her London colleague Ken Livingstone, asking him to act to prevent the demolition of Francesca Café and to preserve the planning character of the famous Broadway Market.

"A charming part of outer London", writes the mayor of Naro to the mayor of London, "should not be turned into a banal example of soulless modernity".

Who knows whether this letter will have an effect on Ken Livingstone, who is famous as an anti-establishment politician, and could win regard for having preserved the urban fabric of Broadway Market.

The mayor

(the honourable Maria Grazia Brandara)

originally posted here in Italian, thanks to whoever translated it. Speaks for itself really grin http://libcom.org/news/comment.php?mode=display&order=ASC&pid=131

http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/modules/wakka/HomePage

Mike Harman
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Jan 4 2006 02:35

UPDATE 3RD JANUARY 2006

There was more media coverage of the community occupation in defence of Tony's cafe today: ITV London Tonight; The Evening Standard (again); RAI (Italian national TV news); and, forthcoming, The Hackney Gazette and The Guardian.

Re-eviction is imminent, however, so if you can make it down here to show your support anytime after 5am tomorrow morning, we'd appreciate it. It's not 100% it will happen tomorrow but the bailiffs have their orders now. If you can make it, please come down.

TV crews will be there from RAI and the BBC, as well as film makers and other journalists.

We will call the Health & Safety Executive as soon as there's any sign of demolition commencing – though perhaps this time Wratten will show his employees, passers by, and his tenants in the neighbouring flats the basic courtesy of following a few safety procedures. If not, the HSE will be informed immediately.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jan 5 2006 12:06

Hackney Gazette - Protestors Reclaim Cafe

> Link

Admin - link shrunk

lucy82
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Jan 5 2006 12:26

just read the guardian article. seems positive. the mayor of naro in sicily has written to ken livingstone about the cafe!

anyway, hope the thugs are staying off. good luck again.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jan 5 2006 12:29
lucy82 wrote:
. the mayor of naro in sicily has written to ken livingstone about the cafe!

And now she's coming in person! I hope she has good friends wink

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Fozzie
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Jan 5 2006 13:06
lucy82 wrote:
just read the guardian article. seems positive. the mayor of naro in sicily has written to ken livingstone about the cafe!

anyway, hope the thugs are staying off. good luck again.

http://society.guardian.co.uk/communities/comment/0,16289,1678351,00.html

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jef costello
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Jan 5 2006 13:41

Damnit you guys are kicking arse.

If you're still there next week I'll come along.

Is it going to be possible to run the rebuilt building as a cafe, surely his bailiffs will just walk in right?

Anyway good luck!

circle A

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jan 5 2006 14:19
Jef Costello wrote:
Is it going to be possible to run the rebuilt building as a cafe, surely his bailiffs will just walk in right?

As of the moment it's just faces we know... which is quite a few now!

Next week? A week is a very long time in the occupation story... who knows smile

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Steven.
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Jan 5 2006 21:00
lucy82 wrote:
just read the guardian article. seems positive. the mayor of naro in sicily has written to ken livingstone about the cafe!

anyway, hope the thugs are staying off. good luck again.

Yeah she posted a comment to our newswire talking about our coverage, which was pretty neat. See the comments here:

http://libcom.org/news/article.php?story=francesca-cafe-re-occupied-28122005

Caiman del Barrio
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Jan 5 2006 22:07

I'll be down there once I've finished this fucking essay. Hope all is still good.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jan 6 2006 11:48
Alan_is_Fucking_Dead wrote:
I'll be down there once I've finished this fucking essay. Hope all is still good.

There at 5.00am this morning - still no eviction. Wratten had a meeting at Stoke Newington police station yesterday... so we thought today might be the day. Rumours are around that the police are not happy with Wratten and do not want to get directly involved... yet.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jan 8 2006 23:35

Serious police action is planned for the retaking of the cafe - it's going to be like the Japanese invasion of Singapore...

Perhaps when they're in they'll have a cup of tea with us - which is a more likely outcome then them getting a brick on the head.

Please, this is not a call for people to come down to resist eviction. A rota has already been drawn up and preperations made.

Mike Harman
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Jan 11 2006 00:23

Occupation is still going although every day the past week has been a potential eviction day. If you haven't been down yet - it's still well worth the trip, really great people involved.

Mike Harman
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Jan 11 2006 01:21

http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=36

damn, full translation of La Republica article. Well done whoever did that!

ftony
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Jan 11 2006 09:34

sorry, but it seems that catch and divisive cottonwood are a little contradictory!

i'm in bethnal green and after monday (sorry i'm so shit) i'm able to come and give some support and maybe help out but if people don't want my help or solidarity i won't bother

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Fozzie
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Jan 11 2006 10:37
ftony wrote:
sorry, but it seems that catch and divisive cottonwood are a little contradictory!

i'm in bethnal green and after monday (sorry i'm so shit) i'm able to come and give some support and maybe help out but if people don't want my help or solidarity i won't bother

There is no contradiction - you are very welcome to come and pay a visit and/or get involved.

But my understanding is that 'ardkore d-lock veterans are not needed.

Mike Harman
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Jan 11 2006 13:26

Fozzie's right. I'd imagine even 'ardkore D-lock veterans are welcome if the D-locks are left at home.

There's no date for an eviction - could come at any time, and there's a limit to how many times you can ask people to turn up on a January morning at 6am (although a fair number have afaik).

At the moment the main thing is trying to maintain the pressure (which means maintaining the public profile), and keeping the café occupied 24 hours a day as sustainably as possible. People are very welcome to stop by or get more involved as Fozzie said.

http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/modules/wakka/HomePage

for updates about what's happening.

There's now a phone tree and an (approved, you'll probably need to ask after you've introduced yourself) e-mail list.

Quote:

Update - 10th January 2006 - Sign up to our phone tree!

Posted by 34broadwaymarket on 2006/1/10 15:42:27 (2 reads)

Thanks to everyone who came down this morning to show their support for the cafe! No eviction, but it's good to know that when the bailiffs come they'll get a proper reception. If you would like to be added to our phone list so we can call or text you in the event of an eviction, please send your name and mobile number to: broadwaymarket34@lycos.com

Hope that makes things a bit clearer. There's a public meeting Monday night (16th), which should be pretty lively, near London Fields.

ftony
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Jan 11 2006 13:46

thanks yeah that has made things a lot clearer.

if all goes well (with the occupation, that is) i'll be round your way next week.

keep it up red n black star

Mike Harman
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Jan 11 2006 17:08
ftony wrote:
thanks yeah that has made things a lot clearer.

if all goes well (with the occupation, that is) i'll be round your way next week.

keep it up red n black star

This'll be going on for a long while regardless of whether the café itself stays occupied into next week or beyond.

Mike Harman
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Jan 19 2006 11:52

turned up on a Korean news site:

http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?article_class=5&no=269273&rel_no=1

I didn't make the public meeting on Monday, but apparently 220 people turned up (about 50-100 more than last time), the council wouldn't do shit, and people were either heckling applauding or crying for much of the evening. Oh, and the vicar charing it told to the deputy mayor of hackney they'd "fucked up":)

Big update here: http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/modules/wakka/HomePage

Apart from all that, there's a good chance that Wratten will put the building (and the ones around it) to auction some time in March - don't have much information on that.

Also, at the first meeting was a guy who's trying to deal with similar sell-offs and some huge commercial developments (14 storey buildings) in Dalston - right near the junction and new tube station site. More little shops (musical instrument shop, bakery) have been pushed out - anyway website here: http://opendalston.blogspot.com/

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jan 30 2006 11:07

Out collecting on the street over the weekend and collected over £2,000 for Spirit's legal fees. For further details see here:

http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org/m.../wakka/HomePage

Also:

DEMO OUTSIDE HACKNEY TOWN HALL 6.30PM WEDNESDAY 1st FEB - MEETING INSIDE AT 7PM

Please come down to demonstrate outside Hackney Town Hall on Wednesday at 6.30pm! There is a full council meeting at 7pm and we want to show them that we demand action now to reverse the damage their sell-offs have caused and stop the property disposals to developers now.

Following an internet appeal, the council bowed to overwhelming pressure to bring forward a motion at the meeting which calls upon the Council to put things right for those affected by recent sell-offs across Hackney and to call an immediate end to property sales.

A full turnout is essential to show them we mean business, so please come down to the Town Hall for 6.30pm on Wednesday night. After a nice, and we hope noisy, demo outside we will attend the meeting in the Town Hall Chamber (public gallery at right hand side of the Town Hall) at 7pm.

We need 3-400 people there, so tell everyone you know to come along and be prepared to make your voice heard.

By then end of next week, Hackney Council are likely to have backed themselves so far into a corner that there is simply no way out. Let’s keep them pinned there until they finally do the right thing by Spirit and by Tony.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jan 30 2006 12:13
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I'll be at the demo, might be heading up the the cafe after work, one of my old housemates is taking some stuff up...

:)

Excellent... demos outside town halls are really not my thing, but it does provide a nice focus for people - a way of others to show support.

lucy82
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Jan 30 2006 12:31
Quote:
Out collecting on the street over the weekend and collected over £2,000 for Spirit's legal fees.

thats seriously impressive.