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Broadway market campaign continues... Come and suport!

Broadway Market For and By the People | 23.12.2005 11:03 | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | London

Despite the eviction of Tony's cafe on Broadway Market on Wednesday, we are going to go on fighting for Tony to get his place back and to defend Spirit's shop. This isn't the end, it's just the beginning.... Please come to our Xmas Party on Tuesday at 1pm.

To carry on the fight on Braodway Market!

You are cordially invited to our Christmas Party on Tuesday 27th at 1pm, outside Tony's Cafe. There will be music, food and drink, and maybe a few festive surprises.

We will also be outside the cafe again on Saturday 24th from 11am. Come and get a Christmas card!

Whilst we appreciate that Christmas is only days away and that money is tight for everyone, we urgently need to raise funds to keep the campaign going. Please make a donation if you are in Broadway Market over the next few days, or make a donation online:

There are collecting tins at 27-29 Broadway Market (Supermarket & Off-Licence) and at 71 Broadway Market (Spirit’s Nutritious Food Galley). Please give generously.

Thanks again to everyone for their support so far!

To help out, or get more information please contact us. Email: Phone: 07939 333465.

Subscribe to our mailing list:

Go to this link and click on 'Subscribe'.





Everyone in the area knew Tony Platia, who had run Franscesca’s Café from these premises for 30 years. Tony was evicted on 1st July 2005 and had his livelihood destroyed. Tony was part of the local community and on three previous occasions local people rallied round to help prevent his eviction by bailiffs but in July, 10 bailiffs and 50 police turned up to throw him out.

Tony was evicted by Dr Roger Wratten, a property developer who also owns nos 2, (previously the site of Little Georgia) 4, 6, 30 & 32 (the former Market House Pub) in Broadway Market and the land to the rear of numbers 26 – 36, along with many other local sites.
These include the cleared warehouses at the junction of Queensbridge & Whiston Roads, where he has now begun work on building 132 residential units.

Dr Wratten acquired Tony’s Café and other units over the past 6 years when Hackney Council sold off many of its commercial properties to try and solve its £70m debt problem. The circumstances surrounding Dr Wratten’s purchase of the Café are suspicious and currently under investigation; despite the fact that Tony had first refusal on the property and repeatedly tried to buy it from Hackney Council, he was passed over in favour of a wealthy developer.

Tony is not alone - this has happened time and time again in Broadway Market - ‘Spirit’, the proprietor of the shop at number 71 also attempted to buy his property back in 2001 but he was also ignored, his property sold for less than he was offering to pay and he is now also facing eviction by developers. Similar things are
also going on in Dalston Lane.

Hackney’s sell-off of commercial properties was a travesty. The Estate agents appointed by the Council sold £225 million worth of properties for just £70 million (depriving the people of Hackney of £150m) and the majority of these went to wealthy off-shore developer cartels who made an absolute killing at the expense of the people of Hackney.


Dr Wratten now wants to demolish 34 Broadway Market to make way for the development of flats. As there are serious questions about his acquisition of the premises, and his planning permission we have decided to stop the demolition by occupying the building. We demand a full investigation into the corrupt property sales in Hackney, including those in Broadway Market.

Also, we want to have Tony’s Café back. While many locals are pleased to see the street become more active, they also recognise that many of the new shops and initiatives are not for them but for wealthy newcomers to an area that has suddenly become trendy and desirable. Tony’s was a place frequented by a broad cross-section of the community.

What has happened in Broadway Market is part of a general attack on local people in this area. Many are sick of being treated like 2nd class citizens, having their local amenities closed (Haggerston Pool), their estates run down or privatised, their schools demolished and handed over to big business (Laburnum School), and publicly-owned property handed to developers for a pittance.

If you are also angry about the way that Hackney Council seem to be interested only in the interests of the well-off and big business please support this occupation.

Broadway Market Occupiers

Broadway Market For and By the People
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