Category Archive : News Main

ACORN UK No Evictions! Day of Action

On August 22, 2020, ACORN chapters across the United Kingdom held a No Evictions! Day of Action.

From ACORN UK:

Hundreds of ACORN members took action in 17 towns & cities across England & Wales saying no to rent debt, eviction & homelessness during the pandemic.

Members held socially distanced actions outside of courts where eviction proceedings will be heard, visited the offices of landlords and letting agents to deliver ‘notices of eviction resistance’ to let them know that we won’t stand for immoral COVID evictions, and held outdoor Community Protection Training sessions! ACORN demands that the 1 month eviction ban extension announced last week is followed by serious legislation to protect renters from homelessness and rent debt in the fall out of COVID-19.

We need rent debt accrued as a result of COVID wiped and an immediate end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.Over the last couple of months hundreds of people have attended Community Protection Training sessions meaning whenever evictions restart, ACORN members will be ready to resist them.

Watch the full video >>

Hamilton ACORN Takes on Doug Ford

Yesterday Hamilton ACORN members held their Real People (NOT ACTORS!) for Rent Control rally outside of Doug Ford’s rally for a “Better Ontario”. ACORN gathered to bring attention to the PC Leader’s pro-landlord and anti-rent control track record, as well as recent comments that his party will be sticking with the status quo. The rally was lead by ACORN’s two chapter chairs Mike Wood and new leader Leslie Blackburn.

For a party that says it is for the people, ACORN knows real people want real rent control. The status quo has done nothing to stop rents from increasing at unaffordable rates.

ACORN was joined by allies including the Hamilton and District Labour Council which made up a crowd of around 50 people. The main slogan “real people – Not Actors! – want real rent control” was a hard jab at the Doug Ford campaign who infamously got caught paying actors less than minimum wage to appear at his rallies.

Press:

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/8629214-doug-ford-swings-through-hamilton/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/doug-ford-rally-1.4676940

 

Congratulations to ACORN Czech on a Great Year of Work

ACORN Czech has had a busy year of work.

 

Click on this link to check out the complete gallery of all the work that ACORN Czech has been up to over the last year.

 

MLK Service Day at the ACORN Farm

January 17th, 2017

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Lovett School Volunteers at ACORN Farm

January 14th, 2017

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Video from Local Group Action in Paris

July 6th, 2016

Short video from a local group action in Paris today.

ACORN’s French Affilliate Alliance Citoyenne Votes to go National!

A big congratulations goes out to Alliance Citoyenne from the ACORN Family.

On Saturday April 2nd, ACORN International Affiliate Alliance Citoyenne hosted a big meeting in which almost 200 people came out to talk about all the great work they are doing in their communities. At this meeting, the energized group unanimously voted to go National. This is a big step for Alliance Citoyeene.

 

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Check out this video of the meeting.

ACORN – A Community Union in Action

Reprint of Article from Bristol 24/7 by Will Simpson

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Acorn – remember the word. The chances are you’re going to hear it a lot in the future. In less than two years Bristol-based community group, Acorn, have not only helped gain a better deal for the city’s private tenants, but also shown how community politics in the UK might be conducted in the future.

The idea is simple. Acorn is a community version of a trade union. It began in Bristol when co-organiser Nick Ballard and a colleague worked on Locality, a government-backed community-organisers programme. Any funding the pair raised to start a community organisation, would be match-funded by the government. When they secured the cash in 2013 the Bristol Acorn was planted. “We thought we would do something to tackle economic issues rather than relatively more superficial things,” Ballard explains

Campaigns covered by Acorn are ultimately up to its members, but it quickly became clear their primary focus is securing a better deal for private tenants. “When we initially talked to people other things were mentioned as being important issues. The cost of living, the high prices of utilities, access to services, but housing is the dominant thing.”

Acorn is not a new idea. A US version has existed since the early 70s. There are also groups in Canada, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Since the Bristol group began in 2013 other UK versions have emerged in London, Newcastle, Birmingham and Reading.

“I have to admit I didn’t know much about the US organisation,” says Ballard. “But when we spoke to their founder it sounded like their model worked and that it would beneficial to operate under that name.”

The Bristol version is set up like a trade union – with neighbourhood rather than workplace branches. Each branch is free to launch its own hyper-local campaign yet if it has city-wide relevance they can co-ordinate with the other groups.

Eventually, as with other unions, Acorn’s funding will come entirely through membership. “We still have a bit of money from that original grant,” explains Ballard. “But our goal is to be 100% self-sufficient through membership fees, which are around £4 to £5 per month. “It keeps us independent and it doesn’t limit the activities we can do or the campaigns that we run.’ At present Bristol Acorn has around 300 members although they estimate up to 8000 have supported the various campaigns and the demonstrations they’ve organised.

And those campaigns have produced speedy results. This spring Bristol City Council adopted Acorn’s Ethical Lettings Charter, committing landlords to certain minimum standards – three of the city’s letting agencies have already signed up. Acorn have also won back deposits for members, and forced landlords to make long overdue repairs and install new appliances. “Just last weekend we demonstrated on behalf of three members in dispute with Liv N Let and as a result, for one of those, the overdue repairs have already started.”

The question is whether Acorn can transform not only individual lives but grass roots politics in the UK. Nick believes the idea has huge potential. “Well, the idea is eventually to be build a national organisation. In the States Acorn started from nothing and grew to half a million members. That’s our long term goal. And the more we grow, the greater the ambition, the better campaigns we can run and the bigger political impact we can have.”

“For the moment though it’s been great to see that mobilising people and taking direct action can improve a lot of local people’s lives. It really shows that if we unite and stand up for each other we can change things.”

For more information about Acorn and their latest campaigns go to: acorncommunities.org.uk

Photographs by Julian Welsh

Alliance Citoyenne

Alliance Citoyenne is our latest affilate.  They are hard at work in France.

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Street Vendors meet the Chief Minister of Delhi

30 May, 2015: A delegation of street vendors leaders led by Dharmendra Kumar met Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister (C.M.) of NCT. of Delhi.

A range of issues were discussed during the meeting. Hon’ble CM was requested to revisit the Street Vendors (protection of Livelihood and Regulation of vending) rules, 2014 to make sure that the Town Vending Committee has representatives of street vendors democratically elected by all existing informal street vendors and not just by the already licensed ones.

The delegation welcomed the Delhi govt. notification issued on 19th Feb 2015 directing authorities not to disturb existing street vendors/hawkers. It was also requested to create framework to allow new vendors.

The delegation thanked Mr. Kejriwal for his govt. stand to not allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retail under territorial jurisdiction of Delhi. Last but not the least, the delegation presented a report to the Hon’ble CM based on a survey conducted among street vendors from across Delhi. The study finds that street vendors continue to be harassed by various authorities especially the municipality and police. According to the findings of the study, street vendors of Delhi are annually paying around Indian National Rupees (INR) 844 crores (almost 140 million US$) to personnel of municipality and police.

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