Sweets Way Resists: a community reclaims ‘regeneration’

openDemocracy, August 2015

“Have you got ID? Have you got ID? You can’t come in unless you’ve got ID!” was my greeting as I arrived at the Sweets Way estate in Barnet. Daniel is seven, an ex-resident, and was likely echoing what he’d heard during the evictions over the past few months. He knew who I was though, and gave me a wry smile – his joke was both sweet and sardonic. Daniel is better versed than most adults when speaking about the housing crisis. His parents are part of the Sweets Way Resists campaign. He’s been on television (“I nearly fell off my bike, you know! On the telly!”) and has spoken to many a journalist. He seemed weary of chatting about such boring grown-up matters, and rightly so. Instead, we discussed the tent he’d made with his friend out of some crates and sheets. “It’s not a tent,” he corrected me solemnly, “it’s a home.”…

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