Six arrests were made on Tuesday night after a stand-off between police and housing activists occupying empty flats on a south London estate.
The Aylesbury Estate is being regenerated in a £1.5bn scheme between Southwark council and housing association Notting Hill Housing (NHH), which is expected to take up to 20 years to complete. The plans have attracted fierce criticism, one housing protester at the scene, Charlie Ebert, told the Guardian:
"What’s going on here is effectively social cleansing to make London a nice 'clean' place for the rich."
Southwark council has defended itself against the accusations, saying it was 'playing its part' in London's housing crisis, and has built more affordable homes than any other London borough. NHH has said the protesters occupying the flats in the vacant Chartridge block did not represent Aylesbury residents.
The Aylesbury Estate protests follow similar campaigns over the demolition of the nearby Heygate Estate and last year's high-profile protests by residents at Hoxton's New Era Estate. The New Era residents won a reprieve from eviction after US asset management firm Westbrook, who had bought the estate with the intention of raising rents and redeveloping, sold it to housing provider Dolphin Living.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said of Tuesday's arrests:
"A number of people voluntarily left the premises; some did not. Six people were arrested for a variety of criminal offences — all six remain in custody at south London police stations."
According to Fight4Aylesbury's Twitter feed, two protesters have now been released.