Demo against demolition of Spitalfields Market
The Land Is Ours
office at tlio.demon.co.uk
Tue Sep 4 10:23:46 BST 2001
4 September 2001
Press Release from 'Spitalfields Market Under Threat' (SMUT)
Demo outside the Bank of England on 6th September (1pm)
If detailed planning permission is granted to the Corporation of London and
its developer, in October 2001, partial demolition of Spitalfields Market
will begin immediately.
Let the Corporation of London hear your voice and join Spitalfields Market
Under Threat (SMUT) outside the Bank of England (opposite the main
entrance, in front of the Corn Exchange on Threadneedle Street. Nearest
tube: Bank) on Thursday 6 September at 1pm, in a colourful demonstration to
protest against the demolition and redevelopment of Spitalfields Market in
London's East End.
The protest has been planned to coincide with a conference entitled,
'Connecting Finance with Communities' which aims to examine the role of the
financial services sector and business in building strong neighbourhoods on
the city fringe. Judith Mayhew, Chair of the Corporation of London is due
to speak at the conference on the City's regeneration programme for the
Members of SMUT are angry that the City Corporation is seeking to impose a
singular, invasive and one-sided version of corporate-led regeneration onto
the Spitalfields community, which already possesses a very strong
neighbourhood and that their plans for regeneration involve demolition of
Jill Cove, Chair of the Spitalfields Community Association, and veteran
campaigner for SMUT, said: "It's outrageous that the City has the audacity
to hold a conference and claims to be linking financial bodies to local
community groups when the tickets are priced around £200-£400 per person.
How many community members are they hoping to attract at that price? The
conference claims to be stimulating debate about a helpful economic
regeneration of the East End, but the list of speakers attending from
leading financial institutions, completely excludes representatives from
community groups. We have clearly not been invited".
One of the professed aims of the conference is to consider how the City can
work to build sustainable community-based business initiatives on the city
fringe. However, SMUT maintains that the City has deliberately chosen to
contradict the aims of its own regeneration programme by alienating local
communities from the consultation process and by ignoring the contribution
made by Spitalfields Market to the local area.
The starting point of the City's regeneration programme is to expand into
Tower Hamlets, knocking down two-thirds of the market in the process. As
the market constitutes a valuable community asset, campaigners are outraged
that the Corporation plans to destroy a site which has already regenerated
itself and which works in terms of sustainable small businesses.
SMUT contests the City's right to privatise valuable public space, in the
face of massive public opposition. The petition has been endorsed by over
25,000 signatures and the campaign is currently supported by a diverse and
growing network of celebrities, politicians, architects, artists, business
figures, political groups, NGOs and protest groups including Sir Terence
Conran, The Prince's Trust, Lord Snowdon, Simon Hughes MP, William Alsop,
Richard MacCormac, Terry Farrell, Tracey Emin, Gilbert and George, the
Green Party, Globalise Resistance, The Land is Ours and Friends of the Earth.
Darren Johnson, GLA Green Party member, supports SMUT's campaign for
sustainable redevelopment of the market. In a recent letter to the
campaign, he wrote, "Spitalfields Market is a unique area of social,
economic and cultural vitality that is all too rare now in central London,
especially in Tower Hamlets, where corporate and financial interests
already dominate the interests of the residential community. The
market buildings themselves are of significant architectural interest and
add greatly to the wealth of the local community. I am very keen that
regeneration in London should not be promoted at the expense of local
For more information, interviews or comment, journalists should call the
SMUT press office on: 07799 622 141 or 079568 72694
For more information about the Connecting Finance with Communities
conference see the website: www.neilstewartassociates.com
Background information about the campaign and an online petition can be
found at: www.smut.org.uk
General campaign information can be obtained from the SMUT general office:
020 7 613 5897 or by email: smut at smut.org.uk
The Land Is Ours
... A Landrights Movement for All
The Land Is Ours campaigns peacefully for access to the land, its resources
and the decision making processes affecting them, for everyone -
irrespecitive of race, age, or gender.
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