Two members of the Oxford branch of the community and renters union ACORN were arrested last Thursday (4 March 2021) after fighting against unlawful treatment and eviction outside RyeView Letting Agents in High Wycombe.
The two members were among the fifteen fighting for Carla and Alexandre, who were served with a Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction after living in terrible conditions for three years.
The demonstration was fully legal and within current Covid legislation, which allows groups of up to 15 people to gather together if formally organised.
Despite this, the two members were arrested without charge; one member was immediately released whilst the other was detained at Newbury police station.
Safieh Kabir, Chair of Acorn Oxford, stated that ACORN “will not be intimidated and will continue to support our members in their struggle for the safe, decent housing they deserve.”
The member who remained arrested was released without charge after being detained overnight.
This incident should serve as a chilling reminder to all trade union activists of the action that the law is willing to take to stop ordinary people from fighting for their rights and their dignity.
Far from being neutral implementers of free and just law, the police and other repressive organs of the state serve the function of protecting the interests of the ruling class – and this can be seen blatantly here.
ACORN should not be intimidated by police scare tactics, they should be motivated by them, and it appears that is exactly what has happened.
Young Communists extend their fullest solidarity with the arrested members of ACORN, along with the entire organisation, in their struggle to organise in their communities for a better quality of life for all.