London

East London rent strikes, 1938-9

240 families on rent strike in Quinn Square, Bethnal Green, circa 1938

On 13 February, 1938, a rent strike began in Stepney, east London. This is an account of tenants' struggles in the area at the time, by Past Tense.

St Mary's Hospital (Harrow Road) work-in and occupation 1981

St Mary's Hospital occupation

Contemporary information about workers at a London hospital taking over their workplace in protest at bed cuts and closure.

Death in custody in Beckton - #justiceforedson

Edson, Edir Frederico Da Costa with his son

Twenty five year old Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson, died yesterday having sustained multiple injuries during a police stop in Beckton, East London.

The Monopoly board of the city: Grenfell Tower - where was the HCA, government housing regulator??

Person trapped in Grenfell Tower

The Homes & Community Agency(HCA) is the UK state regulatory body for social housing; its job is to monitor the performance, finances and provision of services of landlords. Missing from the media coverage of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster so far is any discussion of what relation the HCA has to this horror story of corporate murder. Given the years of complaints from Grenfell tenants(1) about their landlord the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation(KCTMO)(2), we can reasonably ask why the HCA never stepped in to investigate the terrible tenant-landlord relationship and the many fire safety complaints tenants had flagged up repeatedly before the fire broke out.

Smothered by regeneration: the Grenfell Tower fire

Grenfell Tower fire

Tenants at Grenfell Tower repeatedly warned the council and its management organisation about fire safety risks before a deadly blaze engulfed the 24-storey residential tower block.

Careless: Care work in West London

A friend working in social care wrote down some experiences from the job. Of particular interest given the current debate about care crisis and election pledges.

Black women organising - Brixton Black Women's Group

FOWAAD!, newsletter of the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent.

A critical look at the growth, contradictions and eventual demise of Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent in the late-1970s/early 1980s, as well as the lessons to be learnt from it, by members of the Brixton Black Women's Group.

Occupational hazards

The South London Women's Hospital occupation

A compilation of writings put together by Past Tense on hospital occupations and work-ins in the UK from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Soldering on: report on working in a 3D-printer manufacturing plant in London

The first part of the article looks at the current hype around automation and post-industrialism. The second part looks at the concrete conditions in the west London factory, which largely employs female migrant workers.

The Mental Patients Union, 1973

Press coverage of the Mental Patients Union

Historical information about the Mental Patients Union, formed in London in 1973 to oppose psychiatric oppression, written by Past Tense.