Campaigners join rough sleepers in Stratford

Campaigners outside Stratford Centre (Pic credit: Focus E15)

Campaigners outside Stratford Centre (Pic credit: Focus E15) - Credit: Archant

A group of campaigners took out their sleeping bags to join rough sleepers in Stratford.

Members of the Focus E15 campaign, East London Radical Assembly and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! organised a night of resistance in a local pub last Wednesday.

As part of the event, campaigners joined homeless people sleeping outside the Stratford Centre which was closed between 11pm and 5am, in a bid to “give them support”.

A spokeswoman for Focus E15 said: “Following the evening of film showings, discussion and music, the plan was to join the rough sleepers and homeless people in Stratford Centre to show give them support and solidarity as they are regularly kicked out of the mall and often spend the night in the grounds of the local church.”

She added: “A lively demonstration took place, with a quilted banner in solidarity with those facing homelessness that protesters lay under.

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“In the words of a housing campaigner, ‘we stand in solidarity with people facing homelessness and no intimidation by council or police will stop our movement growing’.”

A Newham Council spokeswoman explained how support is offered to homeless people that regularly sleep rough in the area.

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She added: “We make regular visits to the Stratford Centre working in partnership with homelessness charity ThamesReach and the police to offer practical support to a group of homeless people who continue to sleep rough in that area.

“Issues related to that group are a source of ongoing complaints from residents and local businesses.

“The support offered includes helping them to find the right agencies and access to healthcare, housing, benefits and other specialist support. We use a balanced approach of support and law enforcement to pro-actively address this issue in an appropriate, humane and fair way.”

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