Mainstream politics goes underground at Hive’s radical mayoral hustings

“Imagine 150 years from now, The Hive [concept] works, this will be an historical moment” – Shaun Bailey, Conservative Party representative and London Assembly candidate.

Last week, unique social project, The Hive Dalston launched a system of solutions for London to cross party support at a groundbreaking conference and mayoral hustings. The underground political event – which was solar powered – was attended by representatives from the five main parties, as well as candidates, Sian Berry and George Galloway.

(video of the event – 3 mins)

Highlights from the two days include:

  • The launch of a 38 degrees campaign to reuse empty buildings for social good – using The Hive as an example.
  • The Social Dragons’ Den – where community groups pitched to a panel of experts for advice on their projects.
  • The Hustings – where major political figures answered questions from underground activist organisations on an equal footing.

From such a groundbreaking event we have drawn a number of important or interesting angles for consideration:

Next mayor agrees to respace London – all the representatives pledged personal and mayoral support for The Hive’s Respace petition to open empty buildings for use by the community.

Sun shines on mayoral hustings – The Hive’s mayoral hustings and conference were powered by solar energy which means that they were held in a free building with volunteer help, with free food, powered by free energy!

Mainstream politics meets underground – for the first time mainstream politicians took part in a regulated political event at a ‘glorified squat’ with underground political organisations present (Harriet Sergeant in Radio 4’s ‘A Waste of space’)

The Hive Dalston launches campaign to recycle empty buildings like tins cans and plastic bottles – The respace classification makes it much easier for councils, developers and community groups to reuse available resources like empty buildings to tackle local social problems.

Solutions to homelessness and austerity measures – The Hive hopes, with the creation of many new Hives all over London, to tackle issues like homelessness and other austerity measures by providing space and opportunities to homeless or disadvantaged people within each project. It is widely reported that with 80,000 empty buildings and 8,000 registered rough sleepers you could give each homeless person 10 buildings.

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