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Posted on 18 May 2020 at 20:30 GMT

Demanding H&S, Newham, May 2020, photo East London SP

Demanding H&S, Newham, May 2020, photo East London SP   (Click to enlarge)

Communities condemn Tory handling of crisis - with safe protests

The Socialist Party participated in social-distanced protests on 7 May. More car cavalcades took place one week later, including in Sheffield and Haringey. Here we report on Southwark and Newham.

Southwark - No return to unsafe work

Southwark trade union council organised a well-attended car cavalcade outside Kings College Hospital.

At the same time as the 'clap for carers', we wanted to make the point that it's not enough just to clap for the NHS and other care workers, but we must protest the wholly criminal way the Tory government has handled the coronavirus crisis.

We had placards on the cars and loudspeakers saying: "No return to unsafe workplaces" and "keep the virus out of the workplace".

Outside the hospital, as is now common, people had gathered on the pavement, keeping a safe distance, along with dozens of NHS staff to join in the clapping.

The trade union council is preparing to do this on a regular basis, next taking the message to schools.

Bill Mullins, South East London Socialist Party

Demanding H&S, Newham, May 2020, photo East London SP

Demanding H&S, Newham, May 2020, photo East London SP   (Click to enlarge)

Newham - Clapping not enough

The Socialist Party participated in another social-distanced protest following figures showing that Newham has the highest death rate in the country for coronavirus.

It is the poorest communities, whose workers work in the most essential services like nursing and bus driving, that suffer the most - they are the most exploited and least protected from the virus. For us, reflecting what many feel, clapping is not enough.

Local Labour Party bigwigs tried to dissuade people from joining the Newham trade union council car cavalcade. Newham Labour council is making cuts while it has huge reserves.

We arrived at Newham Hospital with our banners just as the staff were outside clapping. So we joined them - at a safe distance - and they welcomed our protest, held our placards, and posed for photos.

Four people on the protest safely bought the latest edition of the Socialist.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Sport and Coronavirus

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Was the Coronavirus pandemic inevitable?

triangleWe need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

Newham:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why are coronavirus deaths higher in working-class areas?

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

triangleAdding demands to the weekly claps

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

Socialist:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

triangleCare home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

Protest:

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

NHS:

triangleCoronavirus pandemic news in brief

Sheffield:

triangleYork Socialist Party: After Starmer's victory - how to continue the struggle for socialism

Haringey:

triangleCouncil houses - not private property developers

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