Broadway Market cafe re-taken by residents

On Boxing Day morning, a new group of supporters of the campaign managed to enter and re-occupy Café Francesca in Broadway Market, East London.

The cafe had been occupied by local residents for weeks, in protest against gentrification and the cut-price selling of publicly-owned property in the area to developers.

BBC London footage (AVI format, 6.7mb)

Bailiffs and builders trashed the cafe after they and police evicted the local campaigners before Christmas.

The occupiers stated yesterday: "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."