Paula Aleksandros says she wanted to speak about Marston Court
July 7, 2023
A woman was forcibly dragged out of the Ealing Council building after she refused to leave until someone sorted out her housing situation.
Video shows council security dragging Paula Aleksandros out of offices with police officers looking on after she refused to leave until she spoke to a senior representative.
Ms Aleksandros is housed in the infamous Marston Court, a housing estate made up of shipping containers. She is currently protesting due to feeling unsafe and concerns she had about where her children should stay.
Having entered the council buildings last week on Thursday around 3pm, the mum of two refused to leave the lobby area after she was told that she was trespassing. Despite security calling the police, officers on the scene eventually left Ms Aleksandros on the premises after hearing her side of the story.
After staying in the lobby for 18 hours, she was dragged out after repeatedly telling people not to touch her. Security opted to drag her out by the chair she was sitting on leaving her stranded in front of the council building, still sitting on the chair.
The incident can be seen on camera and feels like a mixture of tragedy and farce as it’s clear that Ms Aleksandros’s determination to have her voice heard outweighs almost all attempts to remove her.
“All the security came up to me, five or six people, and started to try and get me out but I said I wouldn’t speak to them because they can’t help me,” she said.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Service after the incident, Paula said that the security had treated her reasonably well, giving her a blanket as well as some food from their own personal supply.
Since her unceremonious ejection from the council, Paula says that she has been sleeping in a tent in the park partially to protest her situation and partially because she feels unsafe in Marston Court at night, somewhere where she has been attacked by drug dealers before.
Ms Aleksandros has said that Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Safe and Genuinely Affordable Homes has been in touch and is attempting to work with her to resolve the situation.
Marston Court where people are housed in converted shipping containers
However, there is also a sense from Paula that implies she is not optimistic the council will do enough to help.
She said: “I’ve had enough. What more can I take? Enough is enough. I know that they don’t care, I can see that. I keep thinking one more email, one more conversation maybe there will be progress, you have that hope. But in the end, you see that they do not care.
“All you hear is ‘I’m sorry to hear this, I’m sorry about this,’ but it’s just sweet talk, they don’t do anything.”
Rory Bennett - Local Democracy Reporter