Sunday 19 April, NBTA hosted a family-friendly Towpath Gathering outside Victoria Park to celebrate the boating community whilst making a stand against CRT’s draconian new enforcement policy and recent licence refusals. Attracting over 200 people, the event sent a positive but pressing message – our colourful community is under threat.
Boaters, supporters and local residents were given an insight into boating life with a floating marketplace where all were welcome to step onboard. From origami workshops, a museum, the Jam Butty and a record store, to live music, poetry and clown performances, visitors marvelled at the unique and eclectic mix of boaters, able to learn about the everyday lives of boat dwellers.
Speakers from NBTA explained the injustice and illegalities of CRT’s new measures, alongside speeches from Focus E15, Local Residents Association, Action East End and Radical Housing Network. Heartfelt words from individual boaters reiterated the seriousness of our campaign to stay on the waters, in an all-encompassing representation of who we are and why we refuse to be penalised
for “not moving far enough”.
As the event drew to a close, there was a real sense of achievement and pride. The boating community is undeniably considered special and is treasured by many, proven by the extensive support from all who attended the event and all the stories shared.