Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/18403
Dave Nellist speaking, Coventry Vote Socialist 2014 meeting, 26.3.14, photo Coventry SP
Vote Socialist 2014 - Coventry campaign launched!
The successful launch of the Coventry Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) "Vote Socialist 2014" campaign saw over 65 people pack into the venue. Speakers included former 'Militant' Labour MP and socialist councillor Dave Nellist and speakers from a number of trade unions and community campaigns.
The meeting began with a minute's applause for the late Tony Benn and Bob Crow; Bob was one of the founders of TUSC. Many speakers, including Paul Reilly, branch secretary of Nuneaton RMT trade union, highlighted Bob's belief in the need for a new mass workers' party to represent ordinary people.
Ellen White speaking
Ellen White, prospective TUSC candidate for Wainbody, spoke passionately about the lack of representation for young, working class women in politics, saying: "All the politicians are from the same class - but not our class. They all went to the same schools - but not our schools". She also drew attention to the capitalist system which concentrates the wealth and power in society in the hands of a few, saying: "George Osborne obviously never learnt to share his sweets as a child, but who gave him the sweetie jar in the first place?"
Jane Nellist, joint secretary of Coventry NUT, spoke (in a personal capacity) about the strike action taken by teachers against the government's attacks on education. She also pointed out that there is growing anger amongst teachers at the 'opposition' given by the Labour Party: supporting the attacks and privatisations of the Tories.
Jane Nellist speaking, 26.3.14
Nick Harrison from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) brought solidarity greetings from his union branch, thanked the Socialist Party for support during the recent strikes and pledged his support for the socialist election campaign. He also spoke about the government's attacks on firefighters' pensions and cuts to emergency services, which are putting people across the country in danger.
Ryan Rochester, assistant secretary of Coventry Communication Workers Union (CWU) said: "I'm fed up of voting for people who don't look like me and don't sound like me. Bob Crow looked like me and he sounded like me".
Speakers from Coventry Against the Bedroom Tax attended, with someone hit by the bedroom tax explaining how he's been affected by it and pledging to resist eviction: "I'm not going to leave my flat, they'll have to drag me out kicking and screaming". Others explained that TUSC campaigners are prepared to support tenants by peacefully resisting evictions, and pointed out the disgraceful role of Coventry's Labour council in implementing the bedroom tax locally.
The mood of the meeting was clear, we need to fight back against the austerity parties. Fight for a world run for the good of the many, not the profits of a few. For a democratic socialist Coventry and world!
Many people, including those enthused by the meeting, have signed up to the Socialist Campaign Team. Already tens of thousands of leaflets have been delivered across Coventry by supporters of the socialist campaign.
As well as help with leafleting and canvassing, the team is asking everyone to display a TUSC poster in their window, and if possible to make a donation to help pay for leaflets, posters and other material. Unlike the three main parties and Ukip, TUSC receives no donations from big businesses and millionaires. It relies on the pennies and pounds donated by ordinary working people through the campaigns and struggles it is involved in.