Russell Brand joined residents of Hackney’s New Era estate today to protest against US property owner Westbrook, which is threatening 93 families with eviction.
The protesters then marched to Downing Street, where they handed in a petition signed by 294,000. An estimated 400 people took part in the event which was led by Brand.
Rent on the Hoxton estate will reportedly be raised to £2,000 from £650. However, Westbrook hand-delivered letters to all tenants last night which promised that rent will not be increased until the middle of 2015.
“There will be no changes to the tenancy agreements and no increase in rents during the first half of 2015,” the letter read.
“To help us work with you more closely we will also be appointing a dedicated tenant liaison officer … We understand the accusations about us and our plans have caused concern and distress amongst tenants, so we hope that these commitments provide some further reassurance.”
Russell Brand's Most Controversial Quips
Russell Brand's Most Controversial Quips
1/19 On puberty:
“By puberty I learned that nothing worth having could be easily attained and to succeed one must be single minded."
2/19 On changing the world:
“I want to change the world, and do something valuable and beautiful. I want people to remember me before I'm dead, and then more afterwards.”
3/19 On being strong:
"Strength does not have to be belligerent and loud."
4/19 On grammar:
“I couldn't possibly have sex with someone with such a slender grasp on grammar!”
5/19 On manners in England:
"In England we have such good manners that if someone says something impolite, the police will get involved."
6/19 On junkie v vegetarian:
“Even as a junkie I stayed true [to vegetarianism] - 'I shall have heroin, but I shan't have a hamburger.' What a sexy little paradox.”
7/19 On the future:
“People don't realize that the future is just now, but later.”
8/19 On sex addiction:
“Boggle with sex addicts is up there with go-kart racing with junkies.”
9/19 On life:
“My life is just a series of embarrassing incidents strung together by telling people about those embarrassing incidents.”
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
10/19 On happiness:
"If you want to be happy stop being so self-obsessed and start considering other people."
11/19 On drug addiction:
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”
12/19 On sitcoms:
"I do have a regard for the musicality of language that came from BBC sitcoms like Fawlty Towers."
13/19 On life motivation:
"That's what keeps me alive, perversion and star quality.”
14/19 On love:
“When you fall in love you recognise you're not the most important person in the world, and your focus becomes another person.”
15/19 On threesomes:
“I like threesomes with two women, not because I'm a cynical sexual predator. Oh no! But because I'm a romantic. I'm looking for "The One." And I'll find her more quickly if I audition two at a time.”
16/19 On Conservatives:
"Conservatism appeals to our selfishness and fear, our designer and self-interest."
17/19 On surfing:
“Surfing should be called "foam-choking" or "sea stabbing.”
18/19 On Demi Moore:
"I've not made love to her yet, but it's a matter of time."
STEVE MORGAN/AFP/Getty Images
19/19 On success:
"When I was growing up, I thought I'd be a lot happier if I was famous and successful and if I had money."
Brand documented the proceedings on Twitter:
Westbrook brought the estate in March. It has been reported that the company plans to evict tenants, refurbish the building and sell the apartments for their current market value.
London Shadow Minister Sadiq Khan urged Westbrook to sell the estate to a social landlord instead so that tenants will not eviction.
“Ordinary Londoners are suffering, with their homes ripped from underneath them and their lives and families pulled apart, just so international investors can make a quick buck, with no regard to the community they are destroying,” said Khan.
“The shameful New Era saga embodies everything that is wrong with London’s broken housing market,” Khan told the Guardian.
“Ordinary Londoners are suffering, with their homes ripped from underneath them and their lives and families pulled apart, just so international investors can make a quick buck, with no regard to the community they are destroying.”
Last month, Brand protested against capitalism in a Million Mask March in London on 5 November.