A petition to save a Jamaican-owned food business in Tooting Market has earned more than 5,000 signatures in a day, after the owner was served an eviction notice.
According to the petition, the owner of The Lone Fisherman was served a three-day eviction notice following a police raid which took place last weekend.
Last Saturday evening (Sept 5), officers executed two search warrants in Tooting Market, which were later described as having been “successful” in a tweet from Tooting’s local policing team.
But the petition insists that nothing illegal was found at The Lone Fisherman – claiming that the eviction came as a result of the police raid.
Two successful search warrants executed @TootingMarket last week. Now consulting with management to ensure it remains drug free & an awesome family venue #zerotolerance. Thank you all that assisted the Operation @MPSSpecials #drugdogs & the understanding customers at the time pic.twitter.com/BmYCgxH57F
— Tooting Town Police (@MPSTootingTnC) September 9, 2020
With a brewing backlash on social media, an online petition titled, “stop Jamaican business in Tooting Market being evicted after unjust police action”, was set up.
The change.org petition, which was started by The Lone Fisherman, says:
“The innocent business owners and workers of The Lone Fisherman were also searched adding to the public humiliation. Trade was lost, prepared food was ruined by sniffer dogs, reputations were damaged and finally, as a direct consequence of the raid – despite not having found anything, the landlord gave the businesses 3 days eviction notice.”
“Livelihoods have been trashed because of poorly tested intelligence, over zealous police action and the knee jerk prejudicial response by the landlord. Having barely scraped through covid as a small business, this grossly unjust chain of events will be the nail in the coffin of another black business due to racist assumptions and actions by those in power.”
Thank you to everyone who turned up today to show support. Much love.
Customers have gone to the restaurant to show support, and to protest the loss of the business, which has been trading at Tooting Market for nearly 10 years.
Met Police were contacted for comment.