Closed House Weekend calls for support against London property developers
The first Closed House Weekend is to take place as part of Stop the Blocks, a new campaign aimed at
uniting support against gentrification in London’s East End.
Running Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 August 2015 in Tower Hamlets, the weekend will offer a guided tour
of gentrification hotspots and a forum to discuss ways to challenge ongoing urban redevelopment.
The first day’s guided tour will include the Bishopsgate Goodsyard, the Joiners Arms queer pub on
Hackney Road, the No.w.here artspace on Bethnal Green Road and the former Queen Elizabeth
Children’s Hospital on Hackney Road. Events at each location will range from street parties and stalls to
art installations and protests.
Sunday will feature a public assembly near the site of the London Chest Hospital in Victoria Park.
The weekend aims to highlight the impact of rapid gentrification in east London the
social cleansing of housing estates, the destruction of historic sites and closure of public services and social spaces and
to promote the campaign groups fighting the replacement of public space with private profit.
Amanda Bentham, a member of the East London Teachers’ Association, said:
‘Closed House weekend
will give the public a chance to see the full scale of changes being threatened in Tower Hamlets, to
get involved in small scale actions and to give a sense of fighting back. Because we don’t just want
people to turn up and look at how bad things are wewant them to get excited about fighting to make
The weekend is the first action by Stop The Blocks, a collective of antigentrification groups in Tower
Hamlets. Members include Tower Hamlets Renters, and campaign groups working to protect sites such
as the Bishopsgate Goodsyard, the Holland Estate and the London Fruit & Wool exchange.
John Foster, Protect the London Chest Hospital campaigner, said: ‘Stop The Blocks is a way to link up
singleissue grassroots campaigners under a broader banner, so that we can share ideas for
resistance, raise wider awareness and support for our groups, and develop ideas of how Tower
Hamlets and London can grow without harming the communities we are part of.’
The guided tour will meet at 11am on Saturday 8 August outside Whitechapel underground station.
More details can be found on Twitter (@stoptheblocks) or by searching ‘Closed House weekend’ on
Press Contact Peter Cragg (07990 990868 or email@example.com )