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This book explores the hidden history of the Bengali squatters’ movement. Faced with institutional discrimination in council housing and the existential threat of the National Front, hundreds of Bengali families in 1970s East London decided to squat, taking over entire streets and estates.
With the support of the Race Today collective, squatters formed the Bengali Housing Action Group (BHAG), which organised support and vigilante groups to keep the community safe. Using oral history interviews and archival research, this book looks at the Bengali community’s contribution to this little-known episode of East End history, and how it can inform present-day housing struggles.