The UK Housing Awards Protest – 25th November 2021
Housing association executives were unexpectedly forced to do the ‘walk of shame’ through protestors as they arrived at the UK Housing Awards at the InterContinental Hotel in Greenwich.
The protest started outside North Greenwich tube station, with speakers including Clarion campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa, Unite Housing Workers Branch Secretary Paul Kershaw, and Homes for All activist Morag Gillie.
The protest was also supported across the housing campaign sector, including Action for Fire Safety Justice, Radical Housing Network, London Renters Union, and Fuel Poverty Action Group.
Truus Jansen accepted a Golden Toilet award on behalf of One Housing Group for their decision to merge with Riverside. Kwajo Tweneboa accepted it on behalf of Carion for having brought the entire sector into disrepute with the appalling conditions of squalor in their homes.
Groups brought colourful banners and placards to catch the attention of commuters. This included a sixty-foot long demand for ‘Public Housing Not Private Profit’.
Protestors then marched to the hotel where housing association, council and corporate executives intended to congratulate themselves and share gongs. They were met with a road blockade and chants of ‘shame on you’, as they were forced to disembark and walk through the picket line.
Various protestors filmed the event and caught the mood of the demonstration.
The executives were handed copies of a leaflet explaining why protestors were so angry at the award ceremony.
Many took copies of the leaflet and although some were immediately binned, many attendees read them or took them into the ceremony.
The protest was covered by The Big Issue in their article Social housing tenants block roads in protest outside £345-a-head UK Housing Awards.
MyLondon also reported that Housing award guests laugh in faces of tenants ‘living in squalor with s*** running down their walls’.
27 November 2021
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.