Australian Communist Party and Community Union Defence League head to Coffs to fight housing crisis

The Community Union Defence League has been helping people experiencing homelessness in Coffs Harbour since late 2020.

ON SATURDAY September 23, members of the Australian Communist Party and the Community Union Defence League (CUDL) from across NSW will come to Coffs Harbour to fight against the housing crisis.

They will door knock around the areas perceived to have the greatest need and operate a stall in the middle of Coffs Central to hold speeches, talk to people and ‘get collectively organised’.

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They will discuss upcoming campaigns, including announcing a student-run “Long March For Housing”, a walk of more than 200km to Lismore to raise awareness about the housing crisis in both communities.

CUDL Volunteer Zeek Mattarollo said this is an opportunity for Coffs Harbour residents to become aware of student activism with some of the most downtrodden and misunderstood people in Coffs Harbour.

CUDL has been fighting against homelessness in Coffs since 2020, running street kitchens, organising housing forums and talking to hundreds of people about their experiences with the housing crisis, which it says includes ten-year waits, security issues, illegal evictions and countless other issues.

“We used to operate our kitchen weekly, but due to capacity we now run it bi-weekly at Brelsford Park, next to the Memorial Pool,” Mr Mattarollo said.

He said demand has tripled since the kitchen began, and during the recent winter, more people than ever have been using the kitchen.

Mr Mattarollo said CUDL’s research, surveys and investigations indicate that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Coffs Harbour has possibly increased to 1000.

Mr Mattarollo said the CUDL hopes it can push actual meaningful change in local communities to support the growing number of everyday people suffering from the effects of the housing crisis.

“Only through our own hands and efforts can we make the world we want to live in, and that starts with getting on the streets, on the ground and with the people.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

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