40 people join protest against library closures

40 people join protest against library closures

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Protesters outside Earlsdon Library

Around 40 people protested against library closures outside Earlsdon Library on Thursday in a vibrant demonstration of opposition to the council’s planned cuts.

Many children from Earlsdon Primary School came to the protest with their parents, which shows the depth of feeling in the community – this is echoed across Coventry, particularly in Tile Hill where over 900 people have signed the petition against the closure of the library,

Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition activist Dan Crowter spoke at the protest to advertise the anti-cuts march on February 21st, and finished by saying that if the councillors aren’t prepared to fight the cuts we should replace them with people who will.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition activist Jason Toynbee on the protest

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition activist Jason Toynbee on the protest

Protesters will be outside Stoke Library at 10am and Earlsdon and Tile Hill Libraries at 12midday on Saturday 14th February, and will be holding a “read-in” outside the Council House at 4.45pm on February 23rd. There is also a major anti-cuts march in Coventry on February 21st, gathering outside the Transport Museum at 12 midday.

Coventry Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Election Launch – 7.30pm, February 25th, Methodist Central Hall

Dave Nellist congratulates local residents on securing Charterhouse lottery funding

Dave Nellist congratulates local residents on securing Charterhouse lottery funding

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Dave addressing a rally of local residents campaigning to save the fields

Former Coventry Socialist councillor Dave Nellist had this letter published in the Coventry Telegraph this week congratulating Charterhouse residents on securing the future of The Charterhouse and Charterhouse Park. Dave represented St Michaels ward, which includes Charterhouse, on Coventry Council and was heavily involved in the residents campaign to keep the area a public space.

“The announcement of multi-million pound funding for The Charterhouse and Charterhouse Park is a wonderful success for the preservation trust, and all credit must go to them.

But equally so major recognition must be given to the years and years of work of local residents to preserve the area as a public park, which made everything possible.

Without over 40 years of campaigning to preserve public access to the land, we would not be in the position today to see the development of one of Coventry’s major historical sites married to an extension of public space for all communities to enjoy.

In particular the many hundreds of local residents whose active involvement in the Village Green application in 2011 both highlighted continual community use, drew attention to the historic nature of the land, and prevented pre-emptive plans to block access. Without them we wouldn’t be here now on the cusp of a great new park for Coventry.

Without the work of the local residents’ association kicking up a fuss when the former owner of the Charterhouse building put it up for sale this special piece of history could have been lost.

To those who tell local communities that protest, campaigns and active involvement in their areas are pointless and can never win, we can now point to The Charterhouse as living proof that when local residents get organised, things can really happen.

Now let’s do the same for our city’s libraries, community centres, children and family centres, and centres for adult education!”

Coventry Socialist Students continues to grow

Coventry Socialist Students continues to grow

Socialist Students stall at Cov Uni Refreshers

Socialist Students stall at Cov Uni Refreshers

Coventry Socialist Students have further built our profile at Coventry University following a successful week of campaigning and activity.

We began the week with a public meeting on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which around 15 students came to. We discussed the attacks and how socialists should respond to terrorism and Islamophobia. In addition we made plans to build our presence on campus, especially our flagship Housing Campaign.

On Tuesday our four Student Councillors attended the SU council meeting, and all four were nominated to various committees within the SU. We will use those platforms to stick up for ordinary students, and of course to build Coventry Socialist Students (CSS). Crucially, Kristian Sucilla O’Sullivan, Sam Kempster and Mohammed Wurie were all nominated for the Housing Committee, giving us a great opportunity to keep fighting for decent housing and against dodgy landlords and letting agencies.

Sam said ”Coventry Socialist Students are the foundation and support beams of the housing campaign and that’s never going to change, however it’s a really positive step that the campaign has been taken on by the SU and that the steering committee is comprised of both CSS councillors and SU Sabbatical Officers”.

A number of our members attended an open meeting of the lecturers union (UCU) on Wednesday, along with the National Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Dave Nellist, to continue forming links between staff and students at the university. The meeting was held by the Coventry UCU branch to bring together lecturers and workers from across the faculties under one roof to point out and discuss some of the serious problems going on behind the academic scenes.

Kristian speaking to UCU meeting on behalf of Coventry Socialist Students

Kristian speaking to UCU meeting on behalf of Coventry Socialist Students

Kristian spoke to the meeting to bring solidarity from CSS: “Students and lectures alike are being exploited in a variety of ways, from students facing overpriced sub-standard accommodation to lecturers being forced into working overtime by taking on extra admin workloads. We want to work with the UCU to bring together both these exploited groups in united struggle and point towards the real problem – the bosses upstairs.”