Passing Clouds: Thousands march through Dalston in show of support
17:45 19 September 2016
It may have been closed four weeks ago but the community support for Passing Clouds is alive and well judging by the scenes in Dalston on Saturday.
Two thousand people marched from Hoxton along Kingsland Road before congregating outside the venue in Richmond Road, where a new and strangely symbolic grey finish has replaced the vibrant purple exterior.
Landhold Developments evicted the venue last month after campaigners had occupied the building in protest for weeks. The landlord bought the venue last year in what management called a “secret deal” and went to court to obtain an eviction notice, which cost 100 people their jobs.
Passing Clouds, which has hosted stars such as Lee Scratch Perry, the Sun Ra Arkestra, Jazzie B and Dawn Penn, had put on more than 10,000 cultural and music events since opening in 2006 and the 10th anniversary celebrations were in full swing when the venue was shut down.
A host of celebrities and politicians have backed the campaign to save the venue, including Hackney’s new mayor Philip Glanville, Sadiq Khan, Paloma Faith and well known DJs Norman Jay and Gilles Peterson.
Founder Eleanor Wilson gave an impassioned speech on the evening.
She told the crowd: “Today we demonstrate just how important the hubs in our community are to us.
“It shouldn’t be allowed that just one person’s profits can dampen the creative community of all of these people and more.
“We are seen as weak and vulnerable and a target for developers, together we can show we’re strong and we are the people and these are our buildings and we need them.
“This building has been empty for the last four weeks and still has all of our stuff inside. It’s exactly as we left it.
“Instead of letting us be inside listening to music and having beautiful experiences it’s full of security guards costing the developers thousands of pounds a week.”