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10 March 2010

Waltham Forest day of action: Socialists and trade unionists make a stand

The Campaign2Campaign day of action to defend the right to campaign was a celebration of solidarity and struggle in Walthamstow on Saturday 6 March. The usual Socialist Party stall was joined by tables from Youth Fight for Jobs, trade unions including Unite, Unison, NUT, UCU and NUJ, Tamil Solidarity, the Green Party, Palestine Solidarity, UAF, Keep our NHS Public and the SWP.

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Walthamstow Socialist Party secretary

The Socialist Party used the opportunity to support Waltham Forest Unison local government branch's call for a demonstration against cuts on Thursday 25 March. This is in response to the threat to axe over 70 jobs at Ascham Homes, an arms length company that runs housing in the borough.

Housing workers are keen to build links with staff at Waltham Forest College who face up to 2 million in cuts and who have all been put on notice of redundancy. The Socialist Party is calling for all public sector workers, service users, tenants, students, trade unionists and local activists to join this demonstration.

Nancy Taaffe, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) general election candidate for Walthamstow, used the sound system to make an appeal for a united struggle and the case for a new workers' party. She asked: "How come the cupboard is bare when workers need investment in jobs and services but there is plenty when the bosses come a-begging?"

Nancy made the case for a socialist alternative to the 'them and us' politics of the pro-big business parties. Many people pledged to vote TUSC and to help build the campaign and the Socialist Party.


Socialist Party members will meet Councillor Akram, cabinet member for enforcement, on Wednesday 17 March to discuss how our demands for adequate notice boards, meeting rooms and the right to put election posters on lamp-posts can be met.

At a recent lobby a number of Labour and LibDem councillors said they thought these demands were reasonable. We will now see if they act on that. The campaign goes on!