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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 January 2018

Defend Louise Harrison - save Yorkshire women's services!

Amy Cousens, Women's Lives Matter campaign and Leeds Socialist Party
Louise Harrison has been victimised for fighting cuts to Women's Aid funding

Louise Harrison has been victimised for fighting cuts to Women's Aid funding   (Click to enlarge)

Louise Harrison, now ex-staff member of South Yorkshire Women's Aid, was dismissed from her job on 19 January by a trustee vote of three to one not to renew her contract.

This comes after a campaign to save South Yorkshire Women's Aid, spearheaded by Louise at the beginning of September, when staff and volunteers were told there would be no funding for the service from Doncaster Labour council.

This is not unique - these services are disappearing from our towns and cities because of the Tories implementing austerity and Labour councils enforcing it.

The campaign from the beginning has called out Doncaster Labour council for implementing Tory austerity. We urged them to find alternatives like using their 91 million of useable reserves. Instead Doncaster council has gone out of its way to excuse austerity and has branded the campaign trouble makers.

Continuously, myself as a volunteer, and Louise as a staff member were put under pressure by the trustees of the Women's Aid, who are also Labour members to not speak against the council.

That's when Louise received a letter just before Christmas warning her that her contract may not be renewed. This was political.

The 'Women's Lives Matter' campaign is a problem for the council's narrative of 'waiting out the storm' until a Labour government is elected. Our slogan is 'women cannot wait' - every week over two women die directly as a result of domestic violence. Austerity exacerbates these deaths by cutting off services that are lifelines for women.

Labour locally in Doncaster may be mistakenly celebrating the blow to the Women's Lives Matter campaign, but they continue to underestimate the determination of clients, ex-clients and community campaigners. Campaign members are learning that we must boldly tackle austerity, by not only getting the Tories out also by calling out the contradictions of Labour locally.

Louise has been made an example of what happens to workers who fight back and resist the cuts. Let's organise to show the Tories and the Blairites in Labour what happens when they attack workers and implement cuts.

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In The Socialist 24 January 2018:


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International socialist news and analysis

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The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Yorkshire:

triangleYorkshire Socialist Party regional conference

triangle8,000 strong petition opposes closure of Sheffield health services

triangleFerrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

triangleBradford protest against children's service cuts

triangleFire service victory

Women:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Fighting for women's rights around the world

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: International Women's Day panel discussion

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: 100 years of votes for women

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: 100 years since women won the right to vote

Labour:

triangleSave Salford nurseries!

triangleLabour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

triangleBlairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

Doncaster:

triangleStop the cuts - save our vital services

triangleCampaigners fight second Yorkshire Women's Aid closure in two years

Council:

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

Austerity:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: How can we get Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into our local council?

South Yorkshire:

triangleMovement growing against fracking giant Ineos

Domestic violence:

triangleNottingham 'Reclaim the Night' march highlights cuts

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