A legal defence fund to protect the heart of the UK's Latin Community
A legal defence fund to protect the heart of the UK's Latin Community
This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)
Latest: April 25, 2020
COVID-19 and the Latin Village - We are all in this together
The photo is of Fabian and his family. Fabian is named with Victoria on our main case page.
The last time I spoke to Fabian was on his birthday on the 24 March when he told me he was concerned t…Read more
I am Victoria Alvarez a Colombian trader at the Latin Village: Pueblito Paisa in Seven Sisters Market, above Seven Sisters tube station at Wards Corner. This was once North London’s classiest department store, but since the 1980's it has had a new life, as a thriving market and collection of shops where every day is a joyful celebration of London’s diversity. At its centre are restaurants and small service businesses mainly run by Latin American traders like me. This is the heart of London’s Latin American Community. For us, it is place where we can make a living, call home and experience Latin culture. Everyone in London is warmly welcome - you just need to take the Victoria Line to enjoy Latin America. But all of this is now in danger.
Wards Corner is marked for redevelopment by Grainger PLC which plans to build chain stores and luxury flats (but no social housing). Our community objected during the planning process and, thanks to our supporters, was heard loud and clear at the recent Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) inquiry. We and local residents also won a test case to make equality part of the decision-making process. And we also won important concessions in a section 106 planning agreement between the local council, Haringey, and Grainger.
That agreement is supposed to protect the market now, relocate it temporarily and give it a secure future in the new development. But it is simply not being honoured. Those who have complained about that are now facing reprisals. Latinos are being discriminated against. Market traders are being told they must give up their units.
What are we trying to achieve?
We want the market, what it offers and represents, and our families and businesses to have a future here. Every trader should have an opportunity to be part of that future. None should be picked off and forced to leave.
But all of our achievements are under threat. At this rate there will not be a market to save as in a sense the demolition process has already started - that’s why we urgently need your support to take legal action to safeguard the market’s future.”
How much we are raising and why?
We are raising £7500 so Bindmans solicitors can fight our case by:
- legally challenging the discrimination and harassment being faced by Latino traders;
- challenging Transport for London, which owns the market, over its failure to prevent abuses of power by Grainger’s representative; and
- advise us on whether we can directly enforce the section 106 agreement or market lease ourselves in the Courts, so Grainger, Mayor and the Council will keep their promises to preserve the market.
What is the next step in the case?
We urgently need our solicitors to:
- negotiate, or have formal mediations, to stop the proposed evictions taking place; and
- raise our concerns about the current market management with TFL, Haringey Council and the Mayor.
Since the test case (R (Harris) v LB Haringey), equality of opportunity and non-discrimination was supposed to be at the centre of every decision about the market. And the future of the market and its long-standing traders was supposed to be protected in law by the section 106 agreement between the Council and Grainger. In fact, Grainger is legally obliged to appoint a ‘market facilitator’ to champion our interests.
But instead, the market is being managed by Grainger’s representative unprofessionally, aggressively and destructively:
- Some traders have already been forced to give up some of their units – this has happened to me.
- One of us, Fabian, has been told he should leave the restaurant he has run for over a decade. Fabian is one of the victims of the 7/7 terrorist London bombings which left him with disabilities. This happened just a few days after he gave evidence to the CPO inquiry about the market being under attack.
- Fabian, and other Latin traders (but not traders of other races) have also been targeted for utilities charge increases of 100% up to 300% . But we are only supposed to be paying the basic costs.
- Portuguese speaking trader Paula Rocha's licence has been terminated and the management is trying to evict her elderly mother Helena from her mezzanine floor and pass it on to another business. Helena is suffering health problems through all the stress and humiliation caused.
- There have nasty, personalised insults directed towards many of us and language with racial undertones and sexist expletives.
Fabian has filed a legal case to challenge the discrimination, harassment and victimisation he faces – but he needs support take it forward.
Whenever these things happen, we are reminded of the fact that Grainger never wanted the market as part of its development and that its representative told that he could make 90% of us leave straightaway.
We do not want conflict. Many of us are former refugees and have escaped traumatic experiences and want to get on with our lives in peace.
We are willing to work with Grainger, but as partners, not as victims of harassment.
So we need to take urgent legal action to end the hostility and protect the market’s future. Right now we need a legal defence fund to enable our solicitors and barristers take the legal action outlined above.
We are doing everything we can and have even petitioned the UN. We hope we can count on you to support us. Please donate what you can towards the legal defence fund. When you do, you will be helping to preserve something special, unique and irreplaceable: not just a market, but a community; not just a community, but a Latin American experience, right here in London, that you, your friends and family can come and share with us right now – and hopefully in the future too.
Here’s a taste of what your donation will help protect.
Thanks for your support
Victoria Alvarez (trader)
Soy Victoria Alvarez, una comerciante colombiana en El Pueblito Paisa (Latin Village) en Seven Sisters Market, arriba de la estación de metro Seven Sisters en Wards Corner. Esta fue una vezuno de los grandes almacenes más elegantes del norte de Londres, pero desde la década de 1980 ha tenido una nueva vida, como un próspero mercado y una colección de tiendas donde todos los días es una celebración alegre de la diversidad de Londres. En su centro se encuentran restaurantes y pequeños negocios de servicios, principalmente administrados por comerciantes latinoamericanos como yo. Este es el corazón de la Comunidad Latinoamericana de Londres. Para nosotros, es un lugar donde podemos ganarnos la vida, llamarle hogar y gozar la cultura latina. Todo el mundo en Londres es muy bienvenido; solo tiene que tomar la línea Victoria para disfrutar de América Latina. Pero todo esto ahora está en peligro.
Wards Corner está marcado para la reurbanización por parte de Grainger PLC, que planea construir cadenas de tiendas y apartamentos de lujo (pero no viviendas sociales). Nuestra comunidad se opuso durante el proceso de planificación y, gracias a nuestros partidarios, se escuchó alto y claro en la reciente consulta de Orden de Compra Obligatoria (CPO). Nosotros y los residentes locales también ganamos un caso de prueba para hacer que la igualdad sea parte del proceso de toma de decisiones. Y también ganamos importantes concesiones en un acuerdo “Section 106” de planificación entre el consejo local, Haringey y Grainger.
Se supone que ese acuerdo ahora protege el mercado, lo reubica temporalmente y le da un futuro seguro en el nuevo desarrollo. Pero simplemente no se está honrando. Aquellos que se han quejado de eso ahora están enfrentando represalias. Los latinos están siendo discriminados. A los comerciantes del mercado se les dice que deben renunciar a sus unidades.
¿Qué queremos lograr?
Queremos que el mercado, lo que ofrece y representa, y nuestras familias y empresas tengan un futuro aquí. Todo operador debe tener la oportunidad de ser parte de ese futuro. Ninguno debe ser interceptado y obligado a desalojar.
Pero todos nuestros logros están bajo amenaza. A este ritmo, no habrá un mercado que salvar ya que, en cierto sentido, el proceso de demolición ya ha comenzado; por eso, necesitamos urgentemente su apoyo para tomar acciones legales para salvaguardar el futuro del mercado.
¿Cuánto estamos recaudando y por qué?
Estamos recaudando £7500 para que los abogados de Bindmans puedan luchar nuestro caso:
- desafiando legalmente la discriminación y el acoso que enfrentan los comerciantes latinos;
- desafiando a Transport for London, que posee el mercado, por su incapacidad de evitar abusos de poder por parte del representante de Grainger; y
- asesorándonos sobre si podemos aplicar directamente el acuerdo de la Section 106 o el arrendamiento del mercado en la corte, por lo que Grainger, el alcalde de Londres y el Consejo cumplirán sus promesas de preservar el mercado.
¿Cuál es el siguiente paso en el caso?
Necesitamos urgentemente a nuestros abogados para:
- negociar, o tener mediaciones formales, para detener los desalojos propuestos que tienen lugar; y
- plantear nuestras preocupaciones sobre la gestión actual del mercado con TFL, Haringey Council y el alcalde.
Antedecentes del caso
Desde el caso de prueba (R (Harris) v LB Haringey), se suponía que la igualdad de oportunidades y la no discriminación estaban en el centro de cada decisión sobre el mercado. Y se suponía que el futuro del mercado y sus comerciantes estarían protegidos legalmente a largo plazo por el acuerdo de la Section 106 entre el Consejo y Grainger. De hecho, Grainger está legalmente obligado a designar un "facilitador de mercado" para defender nuestros intereses.
Pero, en cambio, el representante de Grainger está gestionando el mercado de manera poco profesional, agresiva y destructiva:
- Algunos comerciantes ya se han visto obligados a renunciar a algunas de sus unidades; esto me ha sucedido a mí.
- Uno de nosotros, Fabian, le dijeron que debería dejar el restaurante que tiene una duración de más de una década. Fabian es una de las víctimas de los atentados terroristas de 7/7 de Londres que lo dejaron con discapacidades. Esto sucedió solo unos días después de que dio evidencia a la investigación del CPO sobre el mercado bajo ataque.
- Fabian, y otros comerciantes latinos (pero no comerciantes de otras razas) también han sido objeto de aumentos de cargos de servicios públicos de 100% hasta 300%. Pero se supone que solo debemos pagar los costos básicos.
- La licencia de comerciante Paula Rocha de habla portuguesa ha sido terminado y la gestión está tratando de desalojar a su anciana madre Helena de su piso arriba y pasarlo a otra persona. Helena está sufriendo problemas de salud a través de todo el estrés y la humillación causados.
- Han habido insultos desagradables y personalizados dirigidos a muchos de nosotros y el lenguaje con matices raciales y improperios sexistas.
Fabian ha presentado un caso legal para desafiar la discriminación, el acoso y la victimización que enfrenta, pero necesita ayuda para seguir adelante.
Cada vez que suceden estas cosas, nos recuerda el hecho de que Grainger nunca quiso que el mercado fuera parte de su desarrollo y que su representante dijo que podía hacer que el 90% de nosotros nos fuéramos de inmediato.
No queremos conflicto. Muchos de nosotros éramos refugiados y hemos escapado de experiencias traumáticas y queremos seguir con nuestras vidas en paz.
Estamos dispuestos a trabajar con Grainger, pero como socios, no como víctimas de acoso.
Entonces, debemos tomar acciones legales urgentes para terminar con la hostilidad y proteger el futuro del mercado. En este momento, necesitamos un fondo de defensa legal para permitir que nuestros abogados tomen las medidas legales descritas anteriormente.
Estamos haciendo todo lo que podemos e incluso hemos pedido una intervención de las Naciones Unidas. Esperamos poder contar con usted para que nos apoye. Por favor, done lo que pueda para el fondo de defensa legal. Cuando lo haga, estará ayudando a preservar algo especial, único e irremplazable: no solo un mercado, sino una comunidad; no solo una comunidad, sino una experiencia latinoamericana, aquí en Londres, que usted, sus amigos y su familia pueden venir a compartir con nosotros ahora mismo, y con suerte también en el futuro.
Aquí hay una muestra de lo que su donación ayudará a proteger.
Gracias por su apoyo
Victoria Alvarez (comerciante)
Eu sou, Victoria Alvarez, uma comerciante Colombiana situada no Latin Village: Pueblito Paisa no Mercado de Seven Sisters. Mercado que está situado em Wards Corner, ao lado da estação de metro Seven Sisters.
Este Mercado, já foi classificado como um Mercado com mais classe da regiao do Norte de Londres, mas desde a década de 1980 teve uma nova vida, como de um mercado próspero, com uma colecção de lojas onde todos os dias é como uma alegre celebração da diversão de Londres.
Isto devido ao facto que o Mercado é composto por pequenas empresas de restaurantes e entre outros serviços, cujos a maioria dos comerciantes pertencem a comunidade Latina-Americana assim como eu. Este Mercado é considerado como o coração da comunidade Latina-Americana de Londres. Para nós,, é um lugar onde tem-nos dado condiçao de ganhar a nossa vida, o qual consideramos como o nosso segundo lar e também tem-nos dado a condicção de estarmos ligados a cultura Latina
Todos em Londres são calorosamente bem-vindos ao Mercado- você só precisa, apanhar o metro -Victoria Line- e sair na estação de Seven Sisters, para desfrutar da cultura da América Latina. Mas, de momento, tudo isso está em perigo.
Wards Corner, está em processo de ser deitada a baixo, para ser reconstruida pela empresa Grainger PLC, o qual planeja construir cadeias de lojas e apartamentos de luxo (mas não para habitação social). Nossa comunidade opôs-se durante o processo de planejamento e, graças a nossos apoiantes, que foram ouvidas alto e claro no recente inquérito à Ordem de Compra Obrigatória (CPO – Compulsory Purchase Order).
Nós e os residentes locais também ganhamos o direito de fazer parte na igualdade em tomar decisoes, quando estas são necessarias, enquanto o processo decorrer. E também ganhamos importantes concessões em um acordo de planejamento da secção 106 entre a Camara Municipal local de Haringey e Grainger.
Esse acordo deveria proteger o mercado, deslocá-lo temporariamente e dar-lhe um futuro seguro no novo desenvolvimento. Mas infelizmente, o acordo não está a ser honrado. Os comerciantes que queixaram-se sobre isso, agora enfrentam represálias. Os Latinos e Outros de outras nacionalidades minoritarias estão a ser discriminados e informados que devem desistir de seu espaço commercial. Existem casos em que as licensas referentes ao unidades/espaço commercial, foram injustamente retiradas ao comerciantes.
O que estamos tentando alcançar?
Queremos que o mercado, o que ele oferece e representa de momento; mais as nossas famílias e empresas que tenham um futuro aqui. Todo comerciante deve ter a oportunidade de fazer parte desse futuro. Nenhum comerciante deve ser retirado e ser obrigado a sair.
Mas todas as nossas realizações/conquistas estão ameaçadas. Se continuar assim, não haverá mercado para salvar, devido que, o processo de demolição já começou - é por isso que precisamos urgentemente do seu apoio para tomar medidas legais para salvaguardar o futuro do mercado.
Quanto estamos a angariar e por quê?
Estamos angariar um total de £7,500.00 para que os advogados Bindmans, possam lutar a favor do nosso caso, de forma que:
- Possa desafiar legalmente a discriminação e o assédio enfrentados pelos comerciantes Latinos e Outras nacionalidades minoritarias;
- Possa desafiar a empresa Transportes de Londres (TFL), que é dono do mercado, por não ter evitado e fazer nada contra os abusos de poder pelo representante de Grainger;
- Possa aconselhar-nos sobre como pudemos aplicar diretamente o acordo da seção 106 ou como pudemos usar os direitos de arrendamento no mercado que temos nos tribunais, de modo que Grainger, Presidente da Camara e a Camara Municipal manterão suas promessas de preserverar o Mercado
Qual é o próximo passo no caso?
Precisamos urgentemente dos nossos advogados para:
- negociar, ou ter mediações formais, para parar as expulsões propostas que ocorrem; e
- Elevar nossas preocupações sobre o actual gerenciamento do mercado com a TFL, Haringey Council e o Presidente da Camara Municipal.
Contexto do caso
Desde o caso de teste (R (Harris) v LB Haringey), a igualdade de oportunidades e a não discriminação deveriam estar no centro de cada decisão sobre o mercado. E o futuro do mercado e seus comerciantes de longa data deveria ser protegido pela lei segundo o acordo da seção 106 entre a Camara Minicipal e a Grainger. Na verdade, Grainger é legalmente obrigado a nomear um "facilitador de mercado" para defender nossos interesses.
Mas, em vez disso, o mercado está a ser gerido pelo representante de Grainger de forma negligente, agressiva e destrutiva:
- Alguns comerciantes já foram forçados a abandonar algumas de suas unidades/espaço comercial - isso aconteceu comigo.
- Um de nós, Fabian, foi informado de que deveria deixar o restaurante, em que ele trabalha e dirige por mais de uma década. Fabian é uma das vítimas dos 7/7 atentados terroristas de Londres que o deixaram com deficiência. Isso aconteceu apenas alguns dias depois de ter dado provas ao inquérito do CPO sobre o mercado estar sob ataque.
- Fabian e outros comerciantes latinos (mas não comerciantes de outras raças) também foram alvo de aumentos de carga de serviços públicos de 100% até 300%. Mas nós só deveríamos pagar os custos básicos.
- A licença do comerciante de língua portuguesa, Paula Rocha, foi encerrada e a administração está tentando expulsar sua mãe idosa Helena do mezzanie andar (1º andar) e passar o mezzanie andar para outro negócio com pessoa. Helena está sofrendo problemas de saúde por causa de todo o estresse e humilhação causados.
- Há insultos desagradáveis e personalizados direcionados a muitos de nós e linguagem com subtilidades raciais e expletivos sexistas.
Fabian apresentou o seu caso aos tribunais para contestar a discriminação, o assédio e a vitimização que ele enfrenta - mas ele precisa de apoio para avançar.
Sempre que essas coisas acontecem, lembramos que Grainger nunca quis o mercado como parte de seu desenvolvimento e que seu representante disse que ele poderia fazer 90% de nós deixar o Mercado imediatamente.
Não queremos conflito. Muitos de nós somos ex-refugiados e escapamos de experiências traumáticas e queremos continuar com nossas vidas em paz.
Estamos dispostos a trabalhar com Grainger, mas como parceiros, não como vítimas de assédio.
Portanto, precisamos tomar medidas legais urgentes para acabar com a hostilidade e proteger o futuro do mercado. Neste momento, precisamos de fundo/verba para a defesa legal, para permitir que os nossos advogados adoptem por acção legal contra o que está a acontecer.
Estamos fazendo tudo o que pudermos e já pedimos uma petição à ONU. Esperamos que possamos contar com você para nos apoiar.
Uma vez ajudando, você estará ajudar a preservar algo especial, único e insubstituível: não apenas um mercado, mas uma comunidade; não apenas uma comunidade, mas uma experiência latino-americana, aqui em Londres, que você, seus amigos e familiares podem vir e compartilhar conosco agora mesmo - e espero que no futuro também.
Aqui está uma amostra do que sua doação ajudará a proteger
Obrigado por seu apoio
Victoria Alvarez (comerciante)
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April 25, 2020
COVID-19 and the Latin Village - We are all in this together
The photo is of Fabian and his family. Fabian is named with Victoria on our main case page.
The last time I spoke to Fabian was on his birthday on the 24 March when he told me he was concerned that his unit would be excluded in the restoration of the power supply to the Latin Village due to the pattern of discrimination of the private-public partnership, a week later he was admitted to intensive care because of the COVID-19.
With your help through this CrowdJustice page, Fabian filed a race discrimination claim in 2017 under the Equality Act against the agent of Transport for London, Haringey Council, Mayor of London, Grainger plc.
Leading up to his admission to intensive care, they tried to evict Fabian, they cut off his electricity in February, threatened to remove fixtures and fittings from his unit, just before he got ill with COVID-19. Many believe the severe stress he was under was not helpful.
He is the main breadwinner of his family, and his wife and dependents are really struggling with this tragedy.
We celebrate him and his immense contributions to our community.
We also want to call out the constant discrimination, harassment, victimisation and total injustice Fabian faced in the lead up to COVID-19. Fabian is one of the few Afro-Colombian licensed traders and has traded within the village for over 10 years.
COVID-19 disproportionately affects the minority ethnic population and we have been fatally let down by the public-private stakeholders and landowners: Mayor of London, Haringey Council, Transport for London, and Grainger PLC.
Please donate to help us seek justice for Fabian and the Latin Village: Pueblito Paisa, and share the page with your friends and family through social media.
We celebrate and pray for our local hero, Fabian, from unit 53. The Latin Village has been a Mutual Aid centre for decades, we will continue to protect and celebrate community.
Haringey Council investigations have proved that the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson's Section 106 agreement, which was formulated to mitigate the discriminatory impact against the wider Latin American population, (reason Planning Permission was granted) identified in Equalities Impact Assessment; has been breached and is not fit for purpose.
Moreover, the key measure which it was hinged upon, namely the "facilitator" role meant to "promote the interests of the Spanish speaking traders" has been antithetical. Fabian's race discrimination claim was filed under the Equality Act 2010 against the facilitator which the Haringey Council investigations concluded had a clear conflict of interest.
We are taking legal action to address this issue.
The private-public partnership is using COVID-19 as a shortcut to drive through its agenda and quash dissent. They are implementing intrusive measures that are not proportionate, necessary, and non-discriminatory.
In relation to COVID-19 the United Nations has stated that: "At this time, we need to push back against those who seek opportunistically to use the crisis to further their position".
COVID-19 has changed everything and shown that our Community Plan which incorporates most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is the blueprint for this new shift.
Please donate and share the page with your friends and family through social media.
COVID-19 and the Latin Village - We are all in this together.
June 19, 2019
We've got 3 Haringey Council investigations!
Haringey Council is conducting three investigations into complaints made through Bindmans, which were funded by this Crowdjustice campaign. Thank you for making this possible.
Our solicitor John Halford attended a Wards Corner Policy Advisory Group meeting yesterday at Haringey Council to make the case yet again.
However, the Crowdfunding campaign funds have been depleted and we need an extra push to keep things going. There is no fuel in the tank at moment for Bindmans to support these investigations!
Please could you make a further donation, and/or share the Crowdjustice campaign with a friend or through social media.
Thanks again for your solidarity and support
Haringey Council 3 reviews
- Scrutiny Review on the Wards Corner regeneration –Wards Corner https://www.haringey.gov.uk/sites/haringeygovuk/files/hr_-_project_scoping_draft_v3.pdf
- Wards Corner Policy Advisory Group https://www.haringey.gov.uk/sites/haringeygovuk/files/wards_corner_policy_advisory_group_terms_of_reference.pdf
- Section 106 Review (no terms of reference available)
April 18, 2019
Shocking Evidence Delivered to Haringey Council Scrutiny Panel
Thanks to your support, our solicitor John Halford delivered a spellbinding presentation to the Haringey Council Wards Corner Scrutiny Panel yesterday. Although he was unwell, he never cancelled, and soldiered through a jaw-dropping session that was effective enough to hopefully spare the campaign from the death sentence of the Section 106 agreement. Alongside minority rights leading expert Prof. Alexandra Xanthaki, they destroyed the false premise that the Section 106 agreement protects the Latin Village.
Another thing to point out is that thanks to you, not only are we represented, but we have the very best lawyer. As John Halford is not only a partner at Bindmans, and a specialist at challenging abuse of power by public authorities. He is a genuine advocate for fighting for the underdog. John is renowned for his involvement and contribution in the campaign for over a decade. And that is why the campaign cannot stop relying on his support, despite having to fight a separate case to challenge the CPO decision of the Secretary of State.
This is because we need him to expose these serious equality issues; and John Halford is certainly someone you do not want to come up against in court. One of his famous achievements for the campaign was the Harris case which taught Haringey an important lesson about the importance of its legal public sector equalities duty. Yet, it seems that not only Haringey, but the Mayor and TfL are still falling very short in their duty to have due regard to "eliminate discrimination, victimisation and harassment" experienced by BME traders at the hands of their agent.
Yesterday he also exposed the "hollow" words of the statement by the leader of Haringey Council which states, " We remain committed to a successful and sustainable Seven Sisters Market, supporting the market's traders and their future success".
Despite the fact that they have done nothing to remove their agent that as received complaints of discrimination, victimisation and harassment. The same agent that under the Section 106 agreement is ironically supposed to "promote the interests of Spanish speaking traders".
Instead their agent, has had a race discrimination claim filed against them by an Afro-Colombian, disabled, ex-refugee trader. And has subjected leading human rights defender Victoria Alvarez to victimisation and harassment. Victoria has had to fight for 13 years to save the Latin Village: Pueblito Paisa. It should be noted that Victoria was a Colombian refugee that also had to deal with the traumatic issues of displacement.
To say that this is unfair is a huge understatement, as the fight continues. And thanks to you, significant developments have been made. After too many legal letters to count, Haringey Council has finally accepted their public sector equalities duty! However, we still need our solicitor to make Haringey to actually do something about it.
As Haringey Council's lawyers even had the audacity in their initial response to the Bindmans letter in August 2018 reporting complaints of race discrimination, victimisation and harassment that Haringey Council:
- "does not have evidence of [Section 106] non compliance"
- "the Market continues to operate successfully and the traders are continuing to receive assistance from [Quarterbridge/MAM]"
- questions raised by traders were "irrelevant"
- and that the Council was being asked to undertake an "exercise in pointlessness."
Please continue to support us as John Halford's work, although separate to the CPO appeal, he is crucial to the campaign. He forms part of our dream team of lawyers. Vicky explains this issue: "when you have various medical conditions, it is necessary to have different specialists". Well the cancer has spread, hence the need for other specialists, and John is treating the root cause of these symptoms.
Haringey Council has paid for Grainger PLC's to have a team of crème de la crème lawyers and QC's funded by the public purse. Without your support, this inequality of arms will mean that an under resourced BME community will not be able to access the legal protection it desperately needs, to fight the corporate giants that are in bed with the public authorities.
Thank you for your solidarity.
March 26, 2019
United Nations Publishes New Public Statement re: Latin Village
The United Nations has just released a new public statement about the Latin Village which states:
"The experts expressed concern that the closure of the market in its current form would leave people of Latin American origin and descent without their cultural hub. This could have a detrimental effect on their right to practice their culture, and as such could constitute indirect discrimination".
Also, that "local authorities involved in the project had failed to adequately assess and mitigate the impact of the project on the cultural rights of minorities, including children".
March 26, 2019
Latest update: silence from TfL, but a shift in Haringey’s position
Latest update: silence from TfL, but a shift in Haringey’s position
As discussed in previous updates, part of our legal strategy has been to expose the grave and systemic maladministration by TfL and Haringey in failing to properly investigate the way the market is being ‘managed’ and its future ‘facilitated’. Traders’ representatives and our solicitor have met with London City Hall Assembly Member Joanne McCartney and submitted detailed evidence and submissions to the Haringey Scrutiny Panel. Our solicitors have also made very detailed, evidence-based complaints to TfL and to Haringey stressing the need for each to conduct a thorough planning and equality law-complainant investigation into what is happening.
TfL has failed to deliver such an investigation and has yet to even to respond to complaints about this inaction. We will now ask for an independent investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman.
But there has been a breakthrough of sorts with Haringey. Our solicitors had warned its ‘monitoring officer’ Bernie Ryan that there was serious maladministration and illegality in Haringey’s refusal to examine Grainger’s compliance with its s.106 promises to ensure the market has a future. In a letter of 22 March 2019, the deputy Monitoring Officer Raymond Prince has conceded:
- the section 106 and deed of variation obligations to protect the market have been activated;
- the Council’s equality law obligations apply to its assessment of whether Grainger and its agents - MAM and Quarterbridge – have complied with the section 106 agreement (or, as we claim flagrantly breached it);
- the Council asked Grainger to sack Quarterbridge as ‘market facilitator’ which Grainger has done (but MAM remains running the market);
- the Council will take ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure the section 106 commitments are complied with;
- there will be a full investigation into traders’ allegations; and
- enforcement action will be considered.
Our solicitors are seeking more information about what is planned, but this could be a breakthrough. After months of evading ultimate responsibility for the way the market is being undermined and its traders oppressed, Haringey appears finally willing to consider whether Grainger, MAM and Quarterbridge are acting as they should.
But we should not be complacent. To keep up the fight, ensure TfL is made accountable and make sure Haringey’s belated investigation is meaningful we need your support.
This is a critical moment. Please contribute to the fighting fund today!
March 5, 2019
Haringey Council Teams Up With Bullying Market Operator To Deliver CPO Letters
In a shocking turn of events on 27/2/19, traders at the Latin Village at Wards Corner have seen this as deliberately intimidating. Haringey Council has used the very market operator accused of serious bullying and racism towards them to hand deliver sealed envelopes with Individual Compulsory Purchase notification letters, which is completely out of the ordinary as the market operator has staff that usually deliver the post.
Traders are now calling for a full investigation to take place into why this happened and who signed it off. Haringey Council also needs to stop sitting on the fence when it comes to Transport for London's poor handling of bullying and racism complaints and join calls for a new independent investigation into the market operator to take place.
Feb. 24, 2019
Call to halt Haringey Latin market demolition
At the Haringey Council Scrutiny Panel meeting at the Civic Centre on the 21st February 2019, Vicky Alvarez, head of one of the main groups of traders, claimed she had been the victim of harassment and bullying because she stood up for their rights. She says:
"The stress we have been under has been simply unbelievable and Haringey Council has just ignored our concerns about bullying and racist behaviour, pretending nothing is wrong whilst carrying on with their misguided plan to bulldoze the market in favour of a plan that has no affordable housing and which we will not survive in. They just won't listen to us."
Feb. 23, 2019
Latin Village goes to City Hall to press case on TfL failures
The Stephen Lawrence inquiry highlighted failures into investigating racism.
20 years on it’s still happening: in the case of TfL investigation into reported racism at the Latin Village. It is a mockery of the Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010.
Feb. 19, 2019
Victoria Alvarez's daughter reports racial discrimination
Trustee Stefanie Alvarez, tells Metro News https://metro.co.uk/2019/02/17/race-against-clock-to-save-uks-last-latin-american-market-8649591/ that traders have been ‘racially discriminated’ against by management.
Doing nothing about racism is not an option please donate/support our Crowdjustice legal campaign to fight racism.
Feb. 15, 2019
Post-Valentines Day update – show how much you love the market by donating
Notwithstanding the upsetting news about the CPO decision, we and Bindmans have been hard at work over the past few days to defend the market, making your support all the more important at this critical time.
- Met with and fully briefed our London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney
- Made a detailed submission to the Haringey Scrutiny Panel through Bindmans;
- Given evidence to the Haringey Scrutiny Panel;
- Made and chased a response to our maladministration complaint about Haringey’s refusal to investigate s106 agreement compliance by Grainger;
- Made a maladministration complaint to TfL about their fundamentally flawed investigation into traders’ complaints about the way the market is managed; and
- Got specialist advice on and challenged an unlawful Enforcement Notice that targets one of the traders.
- Held another public protest against discrimination, victimisation and harassment
Our lawyers’ input into all this is critical but we need your support to cover some of the costs. Please help save the market by donating now!
Feb. 14, 2019
Traders Present Evidence to Councillors at Scrutiny Review
Feb. 13, 2019
Traders Protest Against Discrimination Victimisation & Harassment
Nov. 26, 2018
TfL has given a carte blanche to Quarterbridge/MAM to mistreat community
Thanks to your support our solicitor has been able to review the outcome of TfL's second investigation into complaints about Quartebridge/MAM. The extent of TfL's impartiality towards Quarterbridge/MAM and Grainger PLC, plus other serious shortcomings have been legally reviewed; and found to be totally unlawful.
Also, the fact that almost 32% of the traders were charged erroneous electricity charges of 1000%, has been whitewashed and twisted around: making Quarterbridge/MAM the victim. Quarterbridge/MAM has rebutted accusations by making unproven allegations towards the traders which, has been blindly accepted by TfL. In contrast, the 1000% extortion is indeed proven and the mistake in overcharging admitted by Quarterbridge/MAM.
Another important development is yet another incident which evidences how Victoria Alvarez (face of the Crowdjustice campaign) has been singled out by Quarterbridge/MAM and has been subjected to victimisation and harassment. We recently held a successful protest (see video below). And now Victoria Alvarez is facing disciplinary procedures by Quarterbridge/MAM for exercising her human right of association and expression (see letters below)
Victoria is a Colombian refugee that has escaped traumatic experiences in Colombia which, is a country that was ranked first for internal displacement in 2015 by the UN Refugee Agency, ahead of Syria and Iraq. This makes the harassment, victimisation and discrimination of this refugee community even more inhumane.
Enough is enough. The abuse has to stop now! Also the key question is have TfL, Haringey Council and the Mayor given Quarterbridge/MAM a carte blanche to treat this community in this inhumane manner? For failing to act, or turning a blind eye, is in an act in itself.
Thanks for all your support. With your solidarity we have hope.
Oct. 10, 2018
"Without this market, the [Latin] community would have a mental breakdown”
Thanks to your support, the legal letters than you helped to fund have been covered today in the Guardian.
Victoria Alvarez (quoted above) is featured in the article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/10/corbynism-work-government-borough-haringey
"Latin Village ..complete magic. UN love it they want to preserve it. If this were New York half of Brooklyn would want to be there. And it would be subject to its own Netflix series."
Sorry to ask but please pretty please share the Crowdjustice and donate.
Oct. 6, 2018
'He thinks they have the right to treat the Latinos like we are a piece of ****'
Thanks to your support Bindmans has sent an almost 30 page letter to TfL and to Joseph Ejiofor the new leader of Haringey Council.
However, the abuses continue.... The deliberate neglect of the market is causing health and safety concerns. BME & Latin American children that use the Latin Village as a youth centre are playing in the dark because of regular power outages due to neglect of the electrical system. And there is no emergency lighting. Traders are still being overcharged for utilities as an obvious ploy to price them out. Haringey Council sent a team of inspectors and shut a business down owned by a young Colombian pregnant mother. BME traders can't work because they literally have no power.
Please share the Crowdjustice campaign on your social media networks and with your friends. We are in survival mode and we need your support more than ever.
Wishes of solidarity
July 20, 2018
Happy Colombian Independence Day 20th July
Its been an incredible week and to issue an update on a day that is so sacred to Colombians I thought it would be important to share the latest developments. The developer and the developer's agent (and so called market facilitator) attempted to exclude Colombian traders from the planned celebrations. Due to numerous complaints made by the traders the developers plans for their celebrations (that excluded Colombian traders) had to be cancelled.
Its symbolic that Colombian traders celebrating their historic Independence Day - managed to fight to maintain their independence of their celebrations at the Latin Village: El Pueblito Paisa.
This week we made a deputation to Haringey Council's new administration in their first cabinet meeting https://haringey.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/363372 (at 28 minute section). We asked for the CPO to be withdrawn and Haringey Council's partnership with the developer's agent to be annulled because of the seriousness of the complaints which is what this Crowdjustice campaign is all about.
The Section 106 agreement is being breached every day. The CPO cannot go ahead as the plan is for the developer's agent to be the new market owner in Apex House and then in the new market. What kind of future is that based on our current experience? Our Community Plan is the best plan for the community.
Please can you make a further donation and/or share the Crowdjustice campaign with your networks.
Thanks to your donations we have been able to maintain our lifeline with our solicitors and share all these latests developments with them and they will be writing to Transport for London and Haringey Council very shortly.
Wishes of solidarity
June 29, 2018
Further discrimination reported - Colombian Independence Day celebrations
Thank you for your support which has given us the legal support to keep battling against the abuses from Quarterbridge/MAM, who was appointed by Transport for London (freeholders) and Haringey Council.
Some of the traders are referring to the so-called market facilitator as Donald Trump. Would Donald Trump be a suitable leader and future owner of this Latin Village? Would this Latin Village survive this type of leadership in the future? Please donate and ask your colleagues to donate. Time is running out and we need to raise just under £4k to reach our Crowdjustice goal.
I have also complained again about another incident of further discrimination this week; copying in the freeholder of the site - Transport for London (TfL); and the Mayor of London, the new leader of Haringey Council, the Guardian, MP David Lammy and local Haringey Councillors.
I have been victimised and harassed by the so-called facilitator; since TfL awarded the market lease in 2015 to Quarterbridge/MAM. TfL failed to tender this contract. Grainger PLC acted as the guarantor to this lease contract with Quarterbridge/MAM.
I was singled out for reprisals from the start of the above-mentioned appointment: because was one of the main founders of this campaign. I am an ex Colombian refugee who fled extremely challenging circumstances in Colombia where my father was murdered. I rebuilt my life as a single mother in the Latin Village where my daughter was able to play safely while I worked. Many of the traders are also ex Colombian refugees. Colombia was ranked 1st for internal displacement in 2015 - ahead of Syria and Iraq - by the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Haringey Council, Grainger PLC and Quarterbridge announced their partnership in 2012 http://www.haringey.gov.uk/news/specialist-support-seven-sisters-market. The Section 106 agreement that secured the protection of the market was signed with the Mayor of London, Haringey Council and Grainger PLC was also signed in 2012.
The community N15 Development Trust offered TfL £100k for the market lease in 2015. However, TfL accepted Quarterbridge/MAM’s offer of £60k. The signing of the lease was stalled because of the numerous complaints of gross negligence by Quarterbridge/MAM. Despite, a race discrimination claim being filed against the so-called market facilitator (Director of Quarterbridge/MAM) and Quarterbridge/MAM in Nov 2017: the lease was signed and Quarterbridge/MAM is the planned future market leaseholder of the new market.
The cosy TfL and Quarterbridge/MAM relationship continues with Haringey Council while the community continues to be discriminated. Afro-trader Fabian has been recently excluded by Quarterbridge/MAM in participating in the planned market Colombian Independence day celebrations on 20th July 2018.
Quarterbridge/MAM has excluded many traders from participating in a huge event, which is hugely significant to Colombian traders. They have planned this event in secrecy as a PR exercise, without the involvement of the market's steering group, and yet have managed to obtain support from TfL, Haringey Council and Grainger PLC.
Thanks again for your solidarity x
June 21, 2018
"He sees us as nothing" says trader Paula Rocha
Thanks for your support. And a huge thank you to the Stop HDV campaign and Our Tottenham for their solidarity!
Trader Paula Rocha had her licence terminated by the so-called Market Facilitator (developer's agent and proposed new market leaseholder) appointed by Grainger PLC, Haringey Council, TfL and the Mayor of London. Paula is currently trading in her unit without a licence. She is in a similar situation as trader Fabian.
Please watch Paula's interview where she makes many salient points.
She asserts that "This shop here is a means of survival for here in London. As you know life in London is becoming more and more expensive. When you see the market it doesn't have chandeliers...but here is a place were families come actually dress (up) themselves and come every weekend...to spend time with their family. I became part of the Crowdjustice campaign because of a situation ...in my shop."
Trader Paula Rocha became sick with "life threatening issues". The so-called market facilitator terminated Paula’s trading licence, instead of helping Paula during a difficult time.
Paula says that he is “supposed to be a market facilitator..... Instead he wants to break what we had to build here alone. He sees us as nothing. And that’s why we are doing this Crowdjustice campaign. Because we are not nothing. We are something. I think this Crowdjustice will make justice for me, for Fabian, for other traders that are here that complained several times to Grainger, ... Haringey Council, ...Transport for London, but no one seems to do nothing. Its like because you are a minority, its like you don't have no rights. I'm sorry there is life here, life."
Please share the Crowdjustice campaign on your social media networks. Without your support the developer's agent, etc will continue to believe that we are nothing.
June 1, 2018
Extortion by 1000%!
Thanks to your support we were able to appoint a barrister that specialises in discrimination.
Traders like Daniel were overcharged 1000% by so-called Market Facilitator - appointed by Haringey Council & TfL. Our lawyer describes him as the anti-thesis of a Market Facilitator. Afro-Latin trader Fabian has been the most impacted the extortion of 1000%. Traders affected by these extortionate rates were all Colombian.
Public bodies have a duty to prevent discrimination under Section 149 of the 2010 Equalities Act. Its unfortunate that it takes legal action for these duties to be taken seriously.
We have just under £4k to raise. Please post a link to Facebook asking your friends to pledge support for this Crowdjustice campaign. Without your support we're stuffed x
April 28, 2018
Nicholas promotes Community Plan to restore Wards Corner
Thanks to your generosity we have raised £2k this week!
Nicholas in the video below has been a trader in the market for the last 10 years and says the Latin Village is a home from home for Latinos. He promotes our Community Plan that would restore our Edwardian building to its former glory. Culture erasure and economic displacement can be avoided through the Community Plan. It would protect London's Latin Village - a real destination for culture - not another clone town development. Nicholas says the Crowdjustice campaign gives the poor person a voice where big business usually prevails and there is no limit to what people can achieve when people come together.
Please help #SaveLatinVillage by sharing our Crowdjustice link bit.ly/2CK29rB and/or donate £5 or more.
April 22, 2018
Latin Village is like a youth centre: 2 generations have grown up here
Thanks to your generosity we have reached £8k!
Please watch Viviana's video where she asserts the importance of the Latin Village to young people in Tottenham and the community.
Viviana has grown up in the Latin Village since she was 4 or 5. Viviana wants her little brother to have the childhood that she enjoyed in the Latin Village because “its fun". She wants him to enjoy genuine play rather than always be on a phone or a tablet. Please help #SaveLatinVillage by sharing our Crowdjustice link bit.ly/2CK29rB and/or donate £5 or more
April 13, 2018
Migrants, refugees, etc should be treated with dignity and respect
Our next planned action is to send a legal communication to Transport for London (TfL) who is the freeholder of our site. TfL awarded the market lease to the so-called Market Facilitator despite numerous complaints. We are awaiting a response to the 2nd investigation about the complaints made about the so-called Market Facilitator.
A Freedom of Information request was recently made and TfL revealed that they had received 13 complaints since the so-called Market Facilitator's appointment. The UN communication to TfL also referred to the abuses that the traders have had to endure since his appointment. We have also filed a race discrimination claim against the so-called Market Facilitator.
Migrants, long-term residents, refugees should be treated with dignity and respect. This was the message that was given to TfL. Yet the matter remains unresolved.
"The history of Haringey as an ethnically, racially and religiously diverse Borough in London is built, in part, on the strength of its migrant communities, and all should have their rights respected." #HaringeyWelcome
Please share our Crowdjustice page with your friends, colleagues, and family, also on your social networks. According to Crowdjustice each share on Facebook is equivalent to a £26 donation.
March 23, 2018
Legal communication sent to so called Market Facilitator
Thanks to your help Bindmans have sent a letter, to one of the defendants and developer's agent MAM/Quarterbridge, following up an awaited response to the filing of the race discrimination case.
Also, we've had 962 shares so far! We had £1.3K shares last year. Please help us reach at least £1k shares or more.
Our stretch target is £15k. Please donate £5 or more. We can Save Latin Village with your solidarity. Only £180 to go to reach £8k!
Please see video below of Leonardo who was raised in the Latin Village (Pueblito Paisa) and explains why it is important to Save Latin Village.
Feb. 9, 2018
Goooooooooal!! 4 Community interests vs Corporate interests
Oh my! Thanks to YOU for helping us score our first goal in this uneven game of corporate interests vs community interests.
In this game Victoria Alvarez is contesting developer Grainger PLC as well as Haringey Council, TfL, and Mayor of London. She is contesting big players for ignoring race discrimination, victimisation and harassment by the developers agent against the traders at the Latin Village in Seven Sisters Market.
Together we can score another goal and win this game. £5k has been transferred to the solicitor and the the target has been stretched to £15k. We've had 884 shares. Please keep sharing the link to the page on social media to make this a hat trick.
Golazo for the community!
Gracias, Obrigado, Thank you xx
Jan. 17, 2018
Help us reach £5,000!
From the traders at El Peublito Paisa, Seven Sisters we thank all those who have shared and pledged so far!
We still have a long way to go so please continue to share and donate! Only 23 days to go!
Here are just some of the traders you're donation is making a difference to --
Nicholas who is of Nigerian and English heritage and manages a Money Transfer business
Ben from Uganda who manages a state agency
Fernando who owns a multi-cultural grocery and general merchandise store
And the lovely Portuguese ladies Paula and Helena who manage a hair-dressers
Remember to share and donate if you haven't already -- help us reach our target so we can continue our legal fight to keep the market!
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