10th anniversary of the ‘Tottenham riots’ – and 10 years of local community campaigns and struggles since

August 4, 2021

This Saturday is the 10th anniversary of the ‘Tottenham riots’ in 2011, which spread across the country. There will be some brief media attention, but little or none of it will acknowledge and support the vision and commitment of local people in fighting for their real needs since.

So its worth noting some of the great Tottenham community empowerment campaigns over the last decade:

– the immediate response of a 3,000-strong ‘Give Our Kids A Future’ march from Hackney to Tottenham Town Hall on the Saturday after the riots, organised by local anti-cuts and turkish/kurdish activists with only 3 days notice. It called for the reversal of the savage Government-led cuts to public services which were being implemented across the country that year (including the closure of Haringey’s youth centres despite a huge campaign by local youth), ‘access for all to decent housing’, and ‘investment into community-led regeneration of our communities’..

* [The full demands are below – almost all of them ignored. Instead the Government/Council/Police/Developers did the opposite and opted for a controversial and destructive social engineering / demolitions / redevelopment strategy that we in Tottenham have had to counter for a decade.]

– the continuing campaign to protest against the killing of Mark Duggan (1,000 attended his wake)

– huge strikes by public sector workers later that year, including picket lines in Tottenham

– the successful community-led regeneration of Lordship Rec

– the inspirational community campaign to save and renew Wards Corner and the market, possibly bearing fruit after 10 years of swimming against the tide

– the backs-to-the-wall campaign by residents and traders around Love Lane and the Peacocks Estate, with some recent signs of progress

– the Our Tottenham network linking Tottenham groups, promoting solidarity and an alternative Community Charter

– successful campaigns to defend the Selby Centre and various Council estates (including Broadwater Farm) from mass evictions and demolitions

– the campaign to scrap the ‘HDV’ in which the Council was forced to abandon putting £2bn of local public assets (land and buildings) into the hands of Lendlease property sharks

– the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement

– and the whole range of greenspace friends groups, residents associations, mutual aid groups, community-run community centres, and many other fantastic community initiatives and efforts that should be acknowledged and showcased

    *  The Give Our Kids A Future march on Saturday 13th August 2011 called for:

        a culture of valuing, not demonising, youth and unemployed people;

  • support for those affected by the rioting, including the immediate rehousing of people made homeless, grants for affected small businesses, and restoration of damaged areas;
  • reversal of all cuts to youth services in our boroughs;
  • no cuts to public services, but instead, investment into community-led regeneration of our communities, including access for all to decent housing, jobs, education and sports facilities;
  • an independent community inquiry into policing methods in our boroughs
  • an end to discriminatory stop and search;
  • availability of legal support for all those people arrested by police – young people face potential sentences that will affect them, their families and their wider communities for years to come.

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