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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 September 2013

Lift the ban on campaign stalls in Newham, east London

East London Socialist Party members

While some of Newham's Labour councillors claim to oppose the government's austerity measures such as the bedroom tax, community activists say Newham council has effectively banned them from publicly campaigning against such punitive attacks.

Instead of allowing campaign groups to have non-obstructive stalls in large pedestrian areas, such as Meridian Square, Stratford, campaigners accuse council enforcement officers of misusing the Highways Act 1980 to ban such activities.

A Socialist Party member using a stall to petition against the bedroom tax has been issued a fixed penalty notice and is being taken to court by the council.

A number of different groups, such as Tamil Solidarity in East Ham, have also been harassed and threatened with fines for using a campaign stall.

Helen Pattison from No Bedroom Tax in Newham called this harassment: "an attack on democratic rights to free speech and assembly across Newham".

In the neighbouring boroughs of Redbridge and Waltham Forest, it has been possible, after a campaign, to obtain permission for political parties and campaign groups to use public stalls.

United campaign

Now trade unionists, political parties and community campaigners from across the borough are coming together to demand Newham council ends this deplorable attack on democratic rights and allow campaign groups to enjoy reasonable use of the thoroughfares.

In May 2014 there will be local and mayoral elections across London.

If Newham council is allowed to proscribe public campaign stalls and curb campaigning activities it will put other parties at a disadvantage to the establishment parties and to Labour's monopoly of council seats.

It's time to stop these attacks on our democratic rights. It's time to campaign for our right to campaign!

We demand:

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In The Socialist 4 September 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Syria: Cameron defeated; Now defeat Tory cuts!

United strike action against the Con-Dems

Don't fall for the shares-for-rights scam

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

When the world economic crisis makes landfall in S Asia


Socialist history

1993: BNP racists forced off Brick Lane


Socialist Party reviews

Police spies and the workers' movement

TV review - MLK: The Assassination Tapes


Socialist Party workplace news

Blacklist defeat - Frank Morris reinstated on Crossrail

Hovis bakers on 7-day strike against massive pay cuts and casualisation

Carers at Future Directions continue their fight

Coventry Unison protest

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Council leader announces 'no bedroom tax evictions this year'

Build partnership in action against austerity

Miliband expected to promise repeal of bedroom tax

NHS: action to improve care

Lift the ban on campaign stalls in Newham, east London

Burston strike school celebrated

London protest against attack on Syria

Bristol TUSC - we're fighting the cuts

Socialism 2013

Help fund the anti-austerity fightback!


 

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