Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/27159
Socialists respond to Walthamstow shooting tragedies
On the evening of Monday 2 April, a 16-year-old boy was shot dead in Walthamstow and a 15-year-old boy was stabbed; while a girl, aged 17, was shot dead in Tottenham.
Theo Sharieff, 21, youth officer for the Walthamstow Save Our Square campaign and one of 17 candidates standing in the May local elections on the no-cuts platform of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), said:
"Our deepest condolences to the victims' families and friends at this sad time. Whilst every incident has its own specific circumstances, the increase in violent crime on our streets, we believe, is a reflection of deteriorating youth provision.
"As well as having vital education provisions cut, such as the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) back in 2010, young people have had their services destroyed - our careers services, social work teams vital to helping children and families, and local Connexions teams have all sustained vicious cuts. This is not to mention the deep cuts to our Youth Offending Team's budget.
"I stand on a programme that includes re-opening youth clubs, expanding youth services and restoring EMA. Councils have the power to do this - but right-wing Labour councillors have chosen not to. I choose young people's futures.
"New data showed that violent crimes involving offensive weapons are nearly twice as common in the borough of Waltham Forest as compared to six years ago. Waltham Forest has sustained a long list of closures and cuts to its local services since 2010 - austerity cuts delivered from the Tory government in Westminster, and voted for and approved by the Labour controlled local council in Waltham Forest's Town Hall."
Nancy Taaffe, a long-time campaigner against austerity, is standing for TUSC in High Street.
Nancy said: "While expressing our condolences and huge sympathy with the families affected, we have to say enough is enough. Stop all cuts and privatisation now. If you don't come from a rich family or a family with big assets, you need public services. EMA, a functioning careers service, somewhere to go with other young people. The possibility of getting a job and a home must be on offer. This means councils must provide services that offer alternative routes out of a life of crime or drugs. We have always stood and fought against cuts. We are standing again to stop further cuts.
"When our young people are dying it's time to act. If right-wing Labour councillors won't, we will.
"If elected, TUSC councillors would refuse to pass on Tory cuts to local services by setting no-cuts budgets in the council chamber and launching mass local campaigns to fight central government for the extra funding, just like Liverpool Labour council did in the 1980s. We back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity words but we can't wait until 2022 for a general election. Our lives are too hard now."
These are just some of the services which have been cut in Waltham Forest that should be restored:
- Crownfield Road Day Centre
- Titley Close Children's Centre
- Epsom Road Children's Centre
- Edith Pearson Lodge Elderly Persons Home
- Francis House Elderly Peoples Home
- South Chingford Library
- Harrow Green Library
- Connexions, Careers and the Youth Service
- Chingford Municipal Offices
- Silver Birch House
- Leyton Town Hall
- Local Social Services Offices: 604 High Road, Crownfield Road, York Road, Billet Road, Church Hill and Hatch Lane
TUSC candidates have opposed all these cuts and closures.
For more info email Theo at email@example.com or Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org