Resisting Hackney Council's capitulation to private developer

Mark mark at
Mon Nov 28 19:54:42 GMT 2005

Occupation of 34 Broadway market

Protect Broadway Market from corrupt developes

We want our cafe, not yuppie flats!

>From Ivan Agenda

The first wave of resistance was met with success today when demolition
workers were repelled by the occupiers of 34 Broadway Market, Hackney.

In the early hours workers came to begin the process of knocking down the
building in preperation for building flats - one bedroom apartments in
this area can expect to go for £150,000.

This process all began with the selling of this property at auction by
Hackney council. Since the sell off's began gentrification has come very
quickly to the area, with a host of restaurants and upmarket
delicatessens. Broadway Market has long been an area desired by
developers, with it's location next to London Fields park and Regents
canal and ever since Hackney began it's desperate money grabbing policy of
selling of properties under its ownership, the vultures descended. Hackney
council's financial failures have been well documented and central
government's manipulation of it too (Please visit -

The occupation of Francesca's cafe, 34 Broadway Market in Hackney E8 has
taken place in order to prevent demolition. Why is this happening...?
>From the offset local people from the community have being showing their
support for the effort. Despite this more hands are required in order to
maintain the occupation for longer.

The local council with its 'Property Disposal Programme' set about selling
properties at a prolific rate, with Broadway Market being one of it's main
targets. Nine properties were sold of in one go to a property development
company called Stirling & investments Limited for a total of £250, 000.
Bargain! This was despite an offer from a London based housing Association
called Notting Hill Housing Trust.

The main shareholder in the then newly formed company Donald Beskine was
an accountant working for the British Government on a scheme to marketise
Eastern Europe, principle advisor to the Bulgarian Economic Development
Ministry and the Russian Federal Commission on the securities market. As
managing director of the International Centre for Accounting practices
Beskine was employed by the European Union, USAID, World Bank and OECD to
attract foreign investment into Russian enterpises. Just where does he
find the time to fit it all in?

In fact there were three property developers devouring the properties up
for sale, one of which is Roger Ratten. He had his eyes on Francesca's
cafe, which was sandwiched between a hairdressers and an old pub called
the Market house, both of which he owns. His desire for gaining this
middle property is in order to build flats. Tony Platia, a Sicilian, had
been in the cafe for thirty years paying his rent loyally to the council
and had become a popular figure in the local community.

Having committed so much time and energy into this place, losing it is a
terrible moment, however, losing it is exactly what somebody did when
Tony's cafe was firebombed. Tony had initially refused to leave after his
property had been sold at auction, having initially been withdrawn from
the first auction after political pressure had been applied to then local
MP Brian Sedgemore. However 5 months earlier this year the bailiffs
evicted him. Now the bailiffs are going to have to come again. Please give
whatever support you can.

Ivan Agenda

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