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Gentrification as a Hate Crime: Resistance, Rents, and Anger in North London

November 6, 2019 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Please join us on Wednesday, November 6 at 6:30 PM for a lecture by Dr. Adam Kaasa (Royal College of Art)

“Gentrification as a Hate Crime: Resistance, Rents, and Anger, in North London”

Response by Professor Meredith TenHoor, Pratt Institute School of Architecture

Event Organized by Dean Harriet Harriss, Pratt Institute School of Architecture

Please Register on Eventbrite

On the evening of 6 August 2011 the first reports of rioting emerged from Tottenham, an area in the northern London Borough of Haringey. Catalysed by the killing of local Marc Duggan, 29, by the Metropolitan Police in an attempt to arrest him, and repeated calls of structural racism in the police force. Throughout the riots that extended throughout London and other major cities across the UK, more than 15,000 people came involved. A report jointly produced by the Guardian and the LSE ‘Reading the Riots’ through over 270 interviews with participants aimed to counter the popular media coverage of the events as simply apolitical looting. Instead, the report demonstrates a complex set of issues understood to be the cause of the rising anger from rising tuition fees, income inequality, closure of youth services, and the scrapping of education maintenance allowance. Overwhelmingly, 85% of those interviewed said the widespread anger and frustration at policing played an important or very important part. Seven years later, Wards Corner at Seven Sisters tube station, one of the epicenters of the London riots, is up for redevelopment by the council-backed regeneration and development vehicle in partnership with developers Grainger Plc. At threat is a dynamic Latin American market, home to traders from over 21 countries which would be displaced, relocated, and given preferential rent for only a short period in a new development. With various appeals underway, a UN Human Rights Special Report was commissioned that argued the development would disproportionately affect a minority’s human rights to participate in social, economic and cultural life. Using the legal category of ‘hate-crime’ legislation, a mechanism that increases punishment of crimes if that crime is motivated by or targets a particular section of society (in the UK strands include race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity), this chapter explores the emotion of hate between two events in the same location at two points in time.

What can be said of hate as a structural emotion of the city? Can hatred be an unconscious emotion? Does income inequality in the city symbolize a structural hatred of the poor? If city design structures social inequality, is there a claim that the city, or those who design it do so through hatred?