Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/579/7264
The Socialist 12 May 2009 |
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No2EU - Yes to Democracy campaign news
Candidate lists launched
On Thursday 7 May the 'No2EU - Yes to Democracy' campaign declared its full slate of candidates for the 4 June European electon. The campaign is running throughout Britain and will be the only left challenge standing nationally to the establishment and far right parties.
The campaign is opposed to the European Union Lisbon Treaty and attacks on democracy from the EU and is pro workers' rights and public services, and firmly opposed to the racist poison of the BNP.
Among the candidates on the No2EU slate are Bob Crow, general secretary of the rail workers' union RMT, human rights lawyer John Hendy, former Coventry MP Dave Nellist, Dyal Singh Bagri, president of the Indian Workers Association, Scottish Solidarity's Tommy Sheridan, Lindsey Oil Refinery workers and seven executive committee members from the unions Unison, FBU and RMT.
They are joined by other experienced trade union, environment and community activists from every region.
Bob Crow, No2EU convenor, said:
"No2EU - Yes to Democracy is a grassroots movement which reaches into workplaces and local communities across the UK.
"That is reflected in the slate of candidates which we have announced today...
"We now expect the media to respect our organisation and to give us the access to coverage that we expect and deserve as a national political party.
"The turnout on 4 June is a crucial issue for the future of politics in this country and it does nobody any favours to stifle debate on the whole undemocratic nature of the EU and its institutions".
See www.no2eu.com for the full list of candidates and other campaign information.
Clashes with BNP in Carlisle
North-West NO2EU campaign
No2EU supporters clashed on Saturday 9 May with members of the BNP in Carlisle while they were out campaigning. Police arrived on the scene after the BNP reacted with hostility to No2EU campaigners handing out leaflets near to the regular BNP street stall in Carlisle. In an hour-long standoff, the No2EU campaigners refused to be moved on by the BNP.
Shoppers told the No2EU campaigners that they were delighted that at last someone had the courage to stand up to the BNP on the streets of Carlisle. Aslef rail union activist and No2EU candidate John Metcalfe explained: "The BNP have been leafletting Carlisle city centre for months and obviously didn't take kindly to being exposed for the fascists that they are by our campaign. They were openly aggressive and hostile and it didn't take long before the mask slipped and they started shouting fascist slogans".
RMT executive member and Carlisle resident Craig Johnson, also on the No2EU slate, said: "We've got the BNP on the back foot and they have come out screaming. Their racism and the pro-millionaire policies of the main parties face a real challenge from No2EU - Yes to Democracy. BNP members hurling abuse at me shows we've got them rattled. We'll be stepping up our campaign to keep the BNP out and win a seat on behalf of the majority who are sick of all the main parties".
BNP invited onto BBC show
BNP leader Nick Griffin was smuggled into a BBC studio on 11 May to avoid a hastily organised protest against his appearance on the Daily Politics Show.
The protest, which brought together members of the Socialist Party, 'No2EU - Yes to Democracy', PCS trade unionists and UAF, objected to the BBC giving the BNP a platform for their racist and divisive policies. A PCS trade unionist appealed to BBC staff in trade unions such as BECTU and the NUJ to refuse to work on the programme.
No2EU supporters distributed leaflets explaining that the BNP has no answers to the problems facing working people as a result of the economic crisis and that No2EU, a left alliance of working class fighters, is a real alternative to the discredited establishment parties.