By Tim Dickens
Volunteers from the Lambeth Women’s Project (LWP) claim they were locked into their headquarters this morning by the Brixton school trying to evict them.
At least six members of the project have been staging a sit-in since Friday, the deadline given in an eviction letter they received two weeks before.
Police officers arrived at the Stockwell Road building, owned by Stockwell Primary School, at midday to help resolve the situation.
Ahaiwe said: “It is inhuman for the school to treat us like this, we should be able to work together to find a solution and if they are not interested they should be transparent about that.
“We are staging a sit-in to protect our belongings and those of the groups that use the premises. We don’t trust that they will be respected and the school has proved that by what they have done today.”
Stockwell Primary refused to comment this afternoon, referring the Blog to Lambeth council. A council spokesperson told the Blog: “The matter is between the Lambeth Women’s project and Stockwell Primary School. We have given considerable support to both organisations to help them address their concerns and the issue is now being dealt with by the school’s governing body and the schools legal advisers”
Lawyers for the women’s group, which has been using the space for 30 years, wrote to the school on Friday requesting mediation but have not yet been given a response.
A crowd of protesters have also gathered outside the building with banners and placards calling on the authorities to save the LWP’s home. The Brixton Blog saw one woman climbing a 7ft iron fence to get out of the building.
Saadat Yusuf, coordinator of the Muslim Sisters, was among the women gathered at the gate. She told the Blog: “We have used this centre for 20 years, this should not be happening.
“This is the only place where we can feel safe and peaceful. We use it for activities for us and the children. I don’t know where else we would go.”
Another protester said: “I’m not from this country, I have no family here. This is our family. If we get kicked out of here where will we go?”
Rachel Anderson, a volunteer who has been camped out in the building since Friday, said spirits were high inside.
“Women are coming together and supporting each other in the way that women do,” she said.
“There has also been a lot of support from the children at the school. We are definitely here for the long haul if we need to be.”
See our story from last week here. The Brixton Blog is awaiting comment from Lambeth council.