Russell Brand suggests New Era estate's victory is the start of revolution: 'There's a little of this spirit in all of us and it's beginning to awaken'

The comedian campaigned along with residents to make sure that they weren’t evicted by US company Westbrook

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The Independent Online

Russell Brand has said that the New Era estate’s ‘victory’ represents ‘the start of something that will change our country forever’.

Earlier this month, the comedian marched to Downing Street with families from the Hackney estate in protest of US corporation Westbrook’s plans to treble the rent and evict those who live there.

The company are now said to be on the verge of selling to an affordable housing provider, London’s deputy mayor, Richard Blakeway, and the elected mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, after negotiation talks a fortnight ago. City Hall apparently expects the transfer to be complete before Christmas.

“The 93 families of the New Era estate have achieved an incredible victory against greedy corporations and lazy politicians and I believe, and the name of the estate suggests, this is the start of something that will change our country forever,” wrote Brand in his latest blog.

He added that he had not anticipated that his first encounter with some of the families meant that he has “inadvertently wandered into the heart of a truly accessible and exciting movement to oppose pointless government and tyrannical big businesses.”

As well as campaigning, Brand also became friends with the residents, one of whom reminded him of his Nan. His neighbours (Brand lives in Hoxton) helped him recognise what he was looking for when he first left his home in Essex in search of fame and fortune.

“Now I know, thanks to the New Era families, that what I was looking for, perhaps what we’re all looking for is already here; ‘the kindom of Heaven is laid upon the earth but man does not see it’, it is found when we put aside selfish things and come together,” he wrote.

“I gave up a lot to pursue my dream of fame and fortune and now I’m not sure that dream was ever mine to begin with. Now I know that what I lost, or perhaps what was stolen was a tender thing that’s hard to weigh or render, but it’s there.

“It was there at my dear old Nan’s, where the door was always open, it lingers in me still after the decade long crusade for personal glory and it’s there in the New Era estate where 93 ordinary families stood up to corporations and lazy government and won. There’s a little of this spirit in all of us and it is beginning to awaken.”

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