The Socialist

The Socialist 30 May 2018

Stop war, fight trump, walk out Friday 13 July

The Socialist issue 997

Stop war, fight Trump, walk out on 13 July

United working class movements can defeat Trump


Landslide vote to repeal Ireland's abortion laws

Historic victory won by grassroots movement


Sting's shipbuilders showcase class pride and change from below

Aberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

The Socialist Inbox


Johnson and Rees-Mogg widen Tory Brexit splits

Welsh Labour reprivatises rail lines: reverse Tory sell-offs!

Toxic air hits schools as EU ponders slap on wrist years late

England facing water shortage due to underinvestment

Them & Us


PCS conference 2018: members ready to fight to end pay misery


UCU conference: Members are organising and winning - build the union, build the struggles!

900-strong north west NHS strike

Unison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

Wales TUC 2018: Socialist Party members challenge leadership at undemocratic conference

Springfield school strike in Birmingham against job cuts and workload

Broad Left candidate elected as Usdaw deputy general secretary


Socialist nationalisation: what it is and why we need it


Action demanded from new council

Hands off Teignmouth Hospital!

Socialist Party members inspired by revolutionary events

Police shootings in Tamil Nadu condemned

Leicester plans sales boost of 1,000th edition of the Socialist

 
 
 
 
 

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Waltham Forest town hall, 24.5.18, photo by Waltham Forest SOS

Waltham Forest town hall, 24.5.18, photo by Waltham Forest SOS   (Click to enlarge)

Walthamstow: action demanded from new council

A 'Save Our Square' press release

In a fantastic show of unity in action, campaigners from across the spectrum of local issues came together on the evening of 24 May at Waltham Forest town hall.

The Save Our Square (SOS) campaign had raised the idea of making demands on the new council - and people fighting for special education services, libraries, teaching assistants, schools, against the Leabridge Road development, undemocratic implementation of Mini-Holland, and more, responded.

Among the crowd on the town hall steps were children, parents, trade unionists, socialists, dogs, and even four 'tower blocks' who came to push out the ordinary people of the borough in a touch of street theatre.

No chance to ignore the crowd was given to the town hall occupants as the idea of uniting and fighting to 'Save our Square, Save Our Services' rang out.

This was very definitely a protest against cuts - but the first council meeting after the 3 May election was also understood as an opportunity to appeal to new councillors to listen and defend the services under attack.

SOS campaigners handed them a letter which said:

"We call on councillors to demand a full council debate on the Mall and Square as a matter of urgency.

"In the last council the doings of councillors, many themselves landlords or variously involved with property companies, were shielded from public scrutiny by their decision to exempt themselves from declaring interests.

"We call on councillors to call a vote to re-institute an open register of interests. Save our Square campaign is pledged to maintain active opposition to this grotesque Town Square project. We are not going away."

Waltham Forest, 24.5.18, photo by WF SOS

Waltham Forest, 24.5.18, photo by WF SOS   (Click to enlarge)

One of the themes of the SOS speeches that was popular with all the campaigns was to come together as a 'people's budget' conference or assembly.

In her speech on the open mic, Nancy Taaffe, chair of Save Our Square, called on the sympathetic councillors to help us convene such an event to put our submissions forward to the councillors as they prepare for setting the budget this autumn.

Speakers called on everyone to contact their local councillors to put this idea to them and seek their backing.

Danny Herbert, a parent of a child with autism, explained why he was there: "Children with special needs and disability are being failed in Waltham Forest, including practices likely to be unlawful under the Children and Families Act 2014.

"Mental health services have closed their books to children in the area unless they are suicidal or self-harming.

"We are calling for services to reopen for all kids in need! Children with special needs and disability have been refused adequate transport to school.

"We are calling for the system that denies transport as a default to be overhauled! This year 2.3% will be cut from the high needs education budget in Waltham Forest, despite increasing numbers of children needing support. We are calling for this cut to be reversed".

Donna Bibby, Unison convenor in schools, said: "We have lost many teaching assistants due to school budget cuts.

"We really need to link up and fight for jobs for education workers and to protect vulnerable children who need us".

Two things were clear from this protest.

One: The idea that a Labour council is helpless in the face of Tory austerity was not accepted by the protest. Action was demanded.

Two: We're not going away. As things stand there is no future for our young people - so we have to join together to fight for a future that includes public services, open spaces and affordable homes for all.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaveOurSquareE17/


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 25 May 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


In this issue


Donald Trump

Stop war, fight Trump, walk out on 13 July

United working class movements can defeat Trump


Irish abortion referendum

Landslide vote to repeal Ireland's abortion laws

Historic victory won by grassroots movement


Opinion

Sting's shipbuilders showcase class pride and change from below

Aberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

The Socialist Inbox


Socialist Party news and analysis

Johnson and Rees-Mogg widen Tory Brexit splits

Welsh Labour reprivatises rail lines: reverse Tory sell-offs!

Toxic air hits schools as EU ponders slap on wrist years late

England facing water shortage due to underinvestment

Them & Us


PCS conference

PCS conference 2018: members ready to fight to end pay misery


Workplace news and analysis

UCU conference: Members are organising and winning - build the union, build the struggles!

900-strong north west NHS strike

Unison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

Wales TUC 2018: Socialist Party members challenge leadership at undemocratic conference

Springfield school strike in Birmingham against job cuts and workload

Broad Left candidate elected as Usdaw deputy general secretary


Nationalisation

Socialist nationalisation: what it is and why we need it


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Action demanded from new council

Hands off Teignmouth Hospital!

Socialist Party members inspired by revolutionary events

Police shootings in Tamil Nadu condemned

Leicester plans sales boost of 1,000th edition of the Socialist


 

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