Anti-LTN convoy delivers cabbages to Hackney Town Hall
- Credit: Fatima Hajjat (فاطمة حجات)
Protesters left cabbages outside Hackney Town Hall as a demonstration against low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTN).
The new measures, which include filters and School Streets, were introduced this summer to make Hackney’s streets cleaner, safer and less congested.
However, they have attracted opposition and large protests from those who raise concerns about a lack of prior consultation, access issues and the knock-on effect on traffic.
Members from the Horrendous Hackney Road Closures social media group left the vegetables outside the council's door on Saturday in response to a tweet from Cllr Jon Burke, Hackney's cabinet member for transport, which read: “If it wasn’t for us immigrants, ‘born n bred’ Londoners would still be eating cabbage with every meal.”
Cllr Burke told the Gazette that he is working to refute the idea that congestion is linked to immigration.
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Stressing it is not representative of all LTN campaigners, Cllr Burke said some anti-LTN campaigners have "spent months relentlessly telling me to 'go home' and levelling various insults at me relating to my Irish surname and accent".
“I’m proud to be a councillor in one of London’s most diverse boroughs, and I am not willing to allow the opinions of people who were not born in Hackney or London to be delegitimised by the kind of nativism to which I have been subjected.”
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Niall Crowley, one of the organisers of the convoy on Saturday, said the purpose of the event was primarily a protest against the road closures.
The cabbages, he said, were a “light-hearted response” to refute ideas that the 8,000-strong group "are all angry, […] old-fashioned white racists”.
On Saturday, there was also a procession of around 30 to 40 cars from Asda Leyton Mills Superstore to Hackney Town Hall via areas including Dalston and Stoke Newington.
Niall described an “almost carnival atmosphere, with support from lots of passers-by and local businesses”.
However, there was some backlash on Twitter. One user tweeted: "30-50 ppl in cars took about 15 mins to pass our house at walking speed.
"Really good illustration of how a few car drivers can clog the city for everyone else."