russell brand hosts sleepover protest against housing crisis
150 people showed up to the comedian’s slumber party at the occupied housing estate in Barnet.
On Monday night, recent pioneer of the protest against displaced social housing tenants, Russell Brand posted this message on YouTube. "Don't create loads of revelry and chaos and 'oh man let's do drugs and play techno music," he says. "It's a fun night of people coming together to protect the Sweets Way estate." And it went down pretty well, attracting over 150 people to 60 Sweets Way in Barnet last Tuesday night.
This is the second protest against bulldozing people's homes and redeveloping them into unaffordable private housing that Brand has backed, following the New Era estate victory at the end of last year. This time Brand, along with the former residents of the Sweets Way estate, held a movie night sleepover with the comedian selling 99s from an ice-cream truck and catching z's in a sleeping bag in support of the Sweets Way Resists campaign group. Residents were evicted last month by Annington Homes who own the estate and the protest began last week when squatters moved in to prove the conditions were still suitable for living. Filmed by the Guardian, Brand says, "If there are 1.5 million empty buildings in the UK, it seems like the entire crisis of housing and homelessness is a confection, it's a creation. It's unnecessary." These are the people calling for a stop to social cleansing:
Photography Nick Knight
[The 30th Birthday Issue, No. 308, Fall 2010]