AROUND 200 boat dwellers from all over the waterways marched recently in a national Boats Are Homes demonstration organised in protest against Canal & River Trust (CRT) eviction policy.
The boaters marched to number 10 Downing Street to hand in the ‘Boats Are Homes’ petition to the Prime Minister which has been signed by more than 33,300 people. The petition calls on the Prime Minister to intervene to stop Canal & River Trust making boat dwellers homeless.
They then continued to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Smith Square to hand in a letter demanding that the Government takes responsibility for stopping the policy introduced in May 2015..
Boat dwellers’ demands include more basic amenities such as water taps, sewage disposal and rubbish disposal facilities. The march also demanded an end to the privatisation of public towpath mooring space.
One of the main effects of the intensification of CRT’s enforcement policy is the denial of access to education for boat families with school age children. This is a key reason why so many boat dweller families took part in the demonstration. The campaign for boat dweller children to have equal access to education continues.