Just had this, all to pay the bankers....close down a nursery pay for a bonus, shut down a pensioner service fund a new carpet for bond traders office.
The Golden Years’ will “occupy” Lambeth Social Servic
For the first time in a long time and for the first time in the history of London (and maybe the history of England) a group of Latin American pensioners will picket outside Phoenix House, Headquarters of Lambeth Social Services in Vauxhall. (10 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LL).
The protest will take place next Wednesday 13th April from Midday onwards, against the complete indifference that UK politicians, local authorities and media have shown faced with their imminent closure and against which they have been fighting for almost a year.
“Los Años Dorados” (The Golden Years Day Centre) is the only organisation that exists in the UK, dedicated to help Latin American pensioners, having been in existence some 20 years.
Amada Silva, coordinator and founder of the Centre, of Chilean nationality and living in Britain for three decades confirms that “Los Años Dorados” has been in permanent operation, despite difficult moments, but the current crisis is the worst that the organisation has faced and that which ultimately will sound its death knell.
According to Silva: “Lambeth Social Services (LSS) took away our only grant. We do not have premises because, according to Lambeth city hall, they need to be demolished and officially we only have until June to remain there. We cannot obtain a grant because we do not have a rental agreement. We do not have a rental agreement because now we do not have any money.” Furthermore, in a few days they will lose their telephone and Internet line. The water and electricity is also in danger of being cut.
The application made to ”The Adults’ and Community Services Transitional Fund” was rejected. They were only asking for three months of finance.
Donna Wiggins, Community Programme Manager of Active Communities Team, in the Adults' and Community Services, and Jane Pickard, Deputy Cabinet Member for Older People, and Labour Councillor for Knight's Hill, “felt terribly sorry” but did not offer any alternatives.
Apart from LSS, amongst those charged with looking out for groups such as “Los Años Dorados” are “Age Concern” and “Help The Aged”. But neither has done anything, in much the same way that the politicians and organizations have not done anything either.
The permanent closure of “Los Años Dorados” will affect dozens of Latin American pensioners who have build up their own support network and contacts there. The decision supporting the peaceful occupation was decided by all members in an emergency assembly meeting called in March. They decided to launch one last battle and the occupation is one in a series of actions to save the centre.
The “stand” is without a doubt historical, for its having been initiated, organised and advanced by Latin American pensioners. Its announcement has already awoken the solidarity of British groups and Latin American Anti Cut movements, amongst others.
Los Años Dorados call on all groups, organizations and individuals in London, of all nationalities, to support this protest, and also ask the British media to promote their campaign, which up to now they have not done.