HOMES FOR EVERYONE 

Solidarity protest with homeless people. End the Horror of SLUM HOSTELS IN EDINBURGH

17 January  10am – 11.30

Abbots House, 10 Links Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EZ (By Leith Links. 12 bus – or 16 to Constitution Street, then walk along Queen Charlotte Street)

Abbot house is dubbed “the worst hostel in Scotland”, but its business is flourishing and its owner is getting richer every day.  Its clients are neither tourists or travelers, the owners of Abbots House are making a fortune from exploiting the homeless and they get secure revenues from Edinburgh City Council.  Instead of building homes to solve the housing crisis once and for all the Council persists in a mischievous plan funding private profit through public money against public interest. In the capital alone the housing crisis has seen Edinburgh City Council paying out £120,000 a week to hostels and B&Bs. While the numbers of homeless continue to grow, Edinburgh Council has been using rotten hostels and B&B as temporary accommodation. Whole families are being put in one room. Dirty and dilapidated rooms, filthy mattresses, shared toilets with no locks. The shocking conditions in Abbots House and Almond House B&B’s were exposed in the Daily Record in August 2017 – with some of the residents describing them as more similar to prisons than homes – but things are now worse than ever. We say to City of Edinburgh Council:

  • Stop putting families in homeless bed and breakfasts
  • Take immediate action to drastically improve the appalling conditions in Abbots House and other homeless B&B’s like Almond House
  • Provide more genuine social housing for rent so no-one has to stay in homeless B&B’s

There are more than enough resources to build good homes for all. But profit is being put before people’s needs. Developers make more money from luxury hotels, shopping centres, and expensive private homes – the number of council houses in Edinburgh has fallen from 58,000 in the late 1970’s to under 20,000. In the meantime the pressure over the growing cost of rents in Edinburgh keep growing, with entire neighborhood been made unaffordable for working people to make space to luxurious hotels and private homes for the few often remaining underused for years.

After years of succumbing to the logic of social cleansing of the city, finally last summer a group led by mothers from North Edinburgh have been taking inspiring action to resist homelessness. The group named “All About Me” contest the benefits cap as the reason why so many family are getting evicted and finding nowhere else to go. After a summer of protest the groups has gained the small victory of the abolition of charges for homeless people taking their possessions out of council storage. This should be considered only the beginning of this campaign that aim to put an end to the system of profit over homelessness put in practice by Edinburgh City council and its courts of private profiteers.

Together we can confront the housing crisis and fight back against austerity and the cuts, we need to make these brutal policies unworkable.

Abbots House, 10 Links Place, Edinburgh EH6 7EZ (By Leith Links. 12 bus – or 16 to Constitution Street, then walk along Queen Charlotte Street)

Family crippled by Tory benefits cap housed in ‘filthy’ B&B hotel https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/family-crippled-tory-benefits-cap-11078347

Campaign demands and reports earlier actions http://www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/?p=82 http://www.nehag.org.uk/index.php/blog/

North Edinburgh Action Group, All About Me, Power to the People group, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. Contact via ecap@lists.riseup.net

 

RESISTING THE VIOLENCE OF AUSTERITY

AN EVENING OF POLITICS, MUSIC AND CONVERSATION – organised by We are all Daniel Blake

Friday 6th October, 7pm – 10pm at Out of the Blue, 36 Dalmeny Street, EH6 8RG

Speakers include the authors of the Violence of Austerity, Vickie Cooper and David Whyte. The book demonstrates the shocking impact of cuts and austerity. There will be copies of the book available. Also on the platform will be Sue Caro from Justice4Grenfell. In addition we will have short films from North Edinburgh Action Group, music  and time set aside to visit the stalls, chat and mingle. The Cafe/ Bar will be open for drinks and snacks.

Report from the Advocacy Training Day

Report written by Pat Smith

From January until the end of March there were 24 screenings organised by individuals, organisations and   community groups.   Many hundreds of people have attended the screenings all over Edinburgh and beyond, including Tranent, Selkirk, Innerleithen, Dunblane and Stirling.

The success of the screenings was largely due to the effort put in by local groups but we were enormously helped by the support and funding from UNITE the Union who paid for all the venues and provided equipment where needed.

The great thing is that many who have attended the screenings want to go further and do something to address the issues raised in the film.

On Saturday 13 May we organised our first Advocacy training day.  Thirty five people crowded into the UNITE offices in York Place. The training was delivered by Mike Vallance and Gordon Donald, both from ECAP  and by Sarah Glynn from the Scottish Unemployed Workers Campaign.  All three have a great deal of experience in supporting and advising claimants on a wide range of issues.

I think we may have been a little ambitious in trying to pack so much into  the three hours we had allocated but  our speakers did a sterling job within these constraints.   Having run the training day we are better able to  plan forthcoming events.. There is already further training in the pipeline.  In June there is training organised for a group of Unison Health workers and local training coming up in Westerhailes and in Innerleithen.

Video of speakers at community showing of I’ Daniel Blake

On 26 November almost 400 attended a showing of I, Daniel Blake at Cineworld organised by Action Against Austerity.  Thanks to everyone who donated to make this possible.  You can watch the speakers here http://independencelive.net/event/943. They include Sasha Callaghan (Disability History Scotland) Jeane Freeman MSP (Welfare Minister), Paul Laverty (script writer) and more.