I went down to the Heygate Estate with Elephant and Castle-phile Emma Cummins (Citybound Collective).

I can't believe I've never been inside before. A housing estate built for more than 3000 people which now has three or four occupied flats.

It was the quietest place I have been in London, you could hear the trees in the wind and the birds, but no cars, no people.

Activists and remaining residents have turned some of the communal spaces into allotments, and used hundreds of the abandoned recycling bins for planting food.

The weird thing was that although there was the occasional dumping ground, like these old tires and sofas piled up, there was no rubbish. No empty cans, no drifting plastic bags or crisp packets carried on the wind. The place was sterile.

We walked along the garages and I became fascinated by the hand painted NO PARKING signs that were on many of the doors. They seemed so pointless now, with no use for the garages - empty threats.


But then I started wondering why no one was parking down there, why not? You aren't going to get towed. And why was no one dumping down here? No tires, no sofas, no burned out cars. What was wrong?


In a way, the NO PARKING signs were finally having the desired effect. Only, with the additional consequence of displacing all the residents and eventually destroying the buildings.


Like an incantation or a mantra. A critical mass of language that finally breaks the natural order. Cause and effect reversed: the people had gone because the cars couldn't park there, the buildings have to come down because the garages had rebelled.

The only other garage graffiti was the occasional Eye of Providence (or all seeing eye - the thing off the American Dollar that gets linked with Illuminati bullshit conspiracies).

The garages are watching you.


I saw this anti-tory graffiti and nodded my approval. It is nice to feel united by anger.

And then around the corner saw this (HELP TO STOP CANADAS SEAL HUNT), written with the same pen. Surely the Heygate has more relevant problems?

Like the sentient garages...