UPDATE: MIPIM was shut down for a few hours around midday of 15 October following a large group of protestors blocking the entrance to the building. There was a large police presence at the Olympia site and the grills on the front of the building were drawn down.
Radical Housing tweeted pictures of the protest, and finally this:
The E15 protests, residents' campaigns against gentrification, the scourge of scores of homes laying empty, and notwithstanding the fact that an average London home now costs £500,000 — the shortage of truly affordable housing in London has never been such an urgent issue. So Boris Johnson delivering the opening speech at a conference for property developers has got campaigners very hot under the collar.
With conference sessions tackling topics such as What Are Investors Looking For In The Shed Spaces Of Today And Tomorrow, and Exploring Healthcare: Opportunities For The Property Industry, MIPIM UK, covers a range of hot issues.
Organiser Reed Midem says it is the "first UK property trade show gathering all professionals looking to close deals in the UK property market: investors, developers, local authorities, occupiers, hotel groups, agents and business service providers".
But the Radical Housing Network thinks it "represents the interests of the 1% and an approach to planning and policy that puts concerns of profit over peoples right to a decent home". The group plans to demonstrate outside the property fair at Olympia at the time of the Mayor's speech on 15 October, and has organised a "counter conference" on 16-17 October to debate and discuss the housing crisis in the capital.
Union, Unite, also is furious the event (normally held in Cannes, France) has opened in the UK at a time when housing is so high on the news agenda. In a briefing (PDF) it says MIPIM will "super-charge" the housing crisis. “Developers want to demolish more council estates: over 20 are currently under threat across London,” a spokesman said.
The organisation is backing the protests — and appealing for members to join the demonstration.
To be fair to the organisers of MIPIM, the conference programme also features debates such as The Case For Investing In Affordable Housing, What Is The Long Term Impact Of Overseas Investment In The UK.