All over the country local people are organising to protect their open and green spaces, their architectural and cultural heritage and the rights of all to participate in, and benefit from, decisions which affect their local communities. They are fighting not just for themselves but for future generations to live in a diverse natural and built environment. It is a 'battle against the bland' - against top down corporate solutions which leave behind monocultural non-places where local character and identity have been damaged or lost.
On the side bar you will find links to some of the communities' struggles which we have followed - the tenacious Wards Corner Coalition and Friends of Queens Market have both had notable victories.
Save Forest Gate campaigners have just recently had success by persuading Boris's Greater London Authority, in its Stage 1 review, to reject the Obsidian/Newham Council scheme. It would have demolished a huge area of the old town centre, including Victorian villas and a Methodist Church Hall, which would have been replaced by massive and inappropriate development including a 'landmark' towerblock by the railway station. SFG is now demanding community participation in developing any revised scheme.
The campaigners of Keep Willesden Green are fighting to keep their open space, their Victorian landmark building, their library and bookshop. They have commented on this blog that they have been encouraged by OPEN Dalston's recent success. We wish them all power and success in their battle.
This article explains how OPEN organises. If you are concerned that the corporates are moving in on your area then get involved, alert your friends and neighbours, contact your local and national amenity societies for advice, make your views know loud and clear to your local councillors and use the internet to organise. (Power to the people! Ed.)