The range of events during Tottenham Community Empowerment Week were a great success in highlighting concerns, views, activities and talents of those who live or work here, and advancing our call that local people be central to the decision-making affecting us. 10,000 leaflets were distributed beforehand publicising the events and the Our Tottenham network. Events included an exhibition, socials, public meetings, leafletting sessions, a bike ride, a festival, a walk, martial arts, a film show, green gyms, a poetry slam and a community conference! For example, hundreds of local people joined in the Wards Corner Community Coalition celebration on getting planning permission for their Community Plan, with food, music, dance and info; 50 people took part in poetry and discussions at the youth event at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre; the ‘Our Neighbourhoods’ film night held an excellent discussion following some inspirational local and international documentaries; and 30 concerned residents participated in the discussion on how to defend and support Tottenham’s community-run community centres. [More details below].
The week culminated in a ‘Moving Forward Together’ Conference, organised by the Our Tottenham network at the North London Community House. It was attended by 75 members and reps of 37 local community groups and organisations, residents associations, community centres, traders groups, education institutions, individual local residents and a range of interested planning students. The conference built on the successful work of the network over the last 18 months, and adopted some key additional commitments regarding – housing, youth, the local economy, environmental sustainability, community centres and public services. We agreed to implement a year-long ‘Road Map’ towards the development of a Community Plan for Tottenham.
The programme of events included:
– Exhibition: 25 years of Community Action – how the community transformed Lordship Rec, Tottenham’s largest park
– Celebration: Working together for the future of Wards Corner and Seven Sisters Market
[Re]Generation Tottenham – Young people’s film / food / poetry slam @ Bernie Grant Arts Centre
– Mark Duggan: The Complete Picture – a public meeting
– City of Migrants: Haringey Migrant Support Centre Second birthday celebration / fundraiser social
– Defending Our Homes: Past, Present and Future – walk around some key local sites
– Haringey Needs St Ann’s Hospital – leafletting for improvements not sell-offs!
– Bike Ride for World Mental Health Day
– Martial arts self defence classes for young women
– REEL News Film and Discussion Night: OUR Neighbourhoods! People power and gentrification
– Meeting to Celebrate and Defend Tottenham’s Community-run Community Centres
– Open Air Green Gym – gardening, fitness and fun
– Our Tottenham Community Conference: Moving Forward Together
– Tottenham Green Multicultural Festival