Housing rights and anti-homeless protesters formed a blockade at the entrance to London’s annual Property Awards Tuesday in what they claimed was a bid to highlight Britain’s critical lack of social housing.
The demonstrators were heard chanted “housing is a human right”, “No more deaths on our streets” and shouting “scum, scum, scum” and “shame on you” as attendees arrived wearing tuxedos and designer dresses were trying to gain entry to the event. One protester was arrested.
The annual dinner for leading developers, agents and building companies, where the annual Property Awards are presented, represent some of the top property companies in the UK, many responsible for building “leading edge” developments in the capital.
A number of protesting and campaigning groups were involved calling themselves variously: Focus E15, Occupy, The Sweets Way Resists group, Friends of the Joiners, and the group included participants from a recent march on Downing Street, “March for the Homeless”.
According to witness reports, when prevented from entering the hotel where the event was being held, a group of the campaigners stormed a local office of Foxtons Estate Agents, where staff were forced to retreat to back rooms.
One protester told The Guardian newspaper:
“It’s an opportunity to flip the script, and congratulate all the housing and anti-gentrification campaigns for their hard work in ensuring London remains open and accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just a rich elite.”