Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The independent micro state of Sweetstopia 2015

This is a very well put together little 16 minute documentary by the Drift Report about last years' occupation of the Sweets Way Estate in Barnet, north London. Sweets Way has been one of the many frontlines in the gentrification of London, which has been transforming the city from a place where ordinary people live into a mere investment opportunity for the global super rich.

The Sweets Way occupation lasted many months, as vulnerable social tenants held out against eviction by private developer Annington Homes, supported by young and seasoned housing and land rights activists. As time went by the site developed into "Sweetstopia", which had aspirations to be an independent micro state, a desire rooted in contemporary history with its echoes of Frestonia (the community that occupied Freston Road in west London back in the late 1970s).

Its a good short film, well worth a watch, as it features some beautiful and inspiring murals, along with a brief explanation of practical DIY permaculture. 

In the autumn of 2015 bailiffs finally succeeded in evicting the last tenants and occupiers (including a disabled father), and the area has become a fenced off ghost town. It is inspiring how long they held out, and how much support they received. I think some supporters may have moved on to running the nearby Dollis Valley Resist Community Centre.

London...where resistance is fertile!

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