Coventry rallies against Trump’s visit

Coventry rallies against Trump’s visit

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The demo begins in Friargate

Donald Trump finally visited the UK on Friday 13th July after months of delays over fears of mass protests. While Theresa May and other Tory ministers welcomed him, the British public turned out in hundreds of thousands in London and other cities across the country to oppose his visit and his politics of hate and division.

In many cities across the country, the Socialist Party and Socialist Students joined protests over Trump’s policies, as well as to stand in solidarity with those whom his administration poses the greatest threat: LGBT+ people, women and ethnic minorities as well as the organised working class more widely.

Here in Coventry we played a significant role in building support for the Friday demo, campaigning for hours at midday in the city centre and explaining to members of the public why this demonstration was important to them. Part of this involved trying to counter the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, right-wing populist agenda he represents and is trying to sell to working class people, though it is clearly against their interests.

The afternoon demo began at Friargate, with chants such as “2,4,6,8, no to Trump and no to hate!” to build up enthusiasm in the crowd and attract interest from passers-by at the train station. We marched through the city centre to Broadgate, where we heard from local activists about the need to fight back against Trump, his politics and his agenda.

Socialist Party members and trade union activists spoke about the Trump administration’s attacks on rights in the US, and the threat they posed to migrants, to women, to LGBT+ people, and to all workers. But speakers also referred to the incredible resistance against Trump in the US, and the great victories by trade unions and socialist campaigners, despite the hostile establishment.

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Socialist Party member and Coventry UNISON Young Members officer (personal capacity) Dan Crowter speaking at the demo

Coventry Socialist Party members were there with leaflets explaining why we had called for national demonstrations against Trump; these were vital to engage with members of the public walking by who took an interest in the protest.

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Socialist Party member and NEU National Executive member (personal capacity) Jane Nellist speaking at the demo

As the march stopped at Broadgate for the main rally, our material helped us reach shoppers, school students, and commuters returning home from work who would otherwise not have taken part. This included a 12-year-old asked by his friends to speak for all of them on why Trump had to be opposed – one of the main highlights of the whole rally!

Theresa May might not be brave enough to call Trump a racist and a sexist, but a 12-year-old attending his first protest certainly was!

They were brave enough to stand and tell the truth about Trump and his policies – it’s a shame that May and her cabinet couldn’t do the same!

There was a clear fighting message from this rally; one very timely given the clear weakness of May’s government following recent events.

Trump’s visit highlighted further divisions in a Tory party already in chaos; trying to both gain a Brexit deal which will serve business interests when it comes to trade, as well as looking to placate the pro-EU wing of the party who oppose Brexit.

With this party in crisis, and with May hand-in-hand with a US president facing huge opposition represented by the protests, the possibility to topple this government and replace them with a Corbyn-led, anti-austerity Labour government clearly exists.

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Coventry shows support for Windrush generation

Coventry shows support for Windrush generation

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The demonstration starting off from Friargate

Nearly 200 people marched from Friargate to Broadgate on Saturday 5th May in support of the ‘Windrush generation’.

Speakers attacked Tory government policy, most clearly expressed by Theresa May when Home Secretary in 2012 which aimed to “create a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants” and which resulted in appalling personal cases of detention and threatened deportation.

Coventry, it was noted, was built over the last century on a wave of different populations from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and most recently Eastern Europe. In the case of the’ Windrush generation’ they were invited after the Second World War to come and work in transport, factories and especially the NHS – ironically the Tory Minister of Health at the beginning of the 1960s who invited thousands of Caribbean workers to come and train as nurses, was Enoch Powell!

Speakers explained that the root cause of discrimination and racism in the 60s, 80s, and today was always the same – a way of dividing working people so that the rich, the employers and Tory politicians could more easily get their own way.

Now that Amber Rudd has gone, Teresa May must go too. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party must increase the pressure for an early general election so that the Tory policies of austerity and the “hostile environment” goes too. We need a new government, prepared to act in the interests of working people, which would reverse the acts which led to the detentions and deportations, end all racist immigration controls, and clear up the question of citizenship in the favour of the ‘Windrush generation’ now.

We will be posting pictures from this protest on our Facebook page over the next few days.

Vote Socialist on Thursday – a message from Dave Nellist

Vote Socialist on Thursday – a message from Dave Nellist

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In the local elections due to take place on Thursday 3rd May, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) are standing in 5 seats in Coventry. We have outlined previously our reasons for standing. We carry this message from Dave Nellist, who is our candidate in St Michael’s ward. We also urge support for the TUSC candidates in the 4 other wards – Dave Anderson (Radford), Isla Windsor (Sherbourne), Michael Morgan (Henley) and Rob McArdle (Lower Stoke).

If you are intending to vote for TUSC, want to get involved in our campaigns or join the fight for socialism, please fill in the form at the bottom.


We need a Coventry that works for ordinary people, not the property developers and landlords!

While tax havens are protected, your hospitals, schools and local services are under the gravest threat ever from this government that only cares for the rich.

Yet Coventry’s Labour Council offer no resistance to the Tory diktats to cut and privatise. Instead they dutifully pass on the cuts – this year they are raising Council Tax by nearly 5% whilst cutting our services! The Council have done little or nothing to stand up to the  government.

The Council put the corporate interests of the University,  landlords and developers ahead of local people whilst students are pushed in to even more debt through sky high rents – for the ‘crime’ of wanting an education.

It is a disgrace that so many people find it so hard to get decent housing in our city whilst massive profits are made by the few.

Jeremy Corbyn rightly says  austerity isn’t a necessity, but a political choice, and our Council keeps making the wrong choices. TUSC will vote against cuts and defend your services.

We need a council that defends working class people in Coventry

Labour councillors are saying that they have ‘opposed government austerity measures’ – what they have actually done is cut over 1,000 jobs, increased charges for school transport for children with disabilities and are planning attacks on their own workforce and much more.

We need councillors to oppose austerity not in words but in deeds. The Tory government is weak – we can win back the money stolen from our city , but that won’t be done if the Council keeps making cuts!

Capitalist austerity is causing misery for tens of  thousands in our city, so please help us save services from this government.

Please vote Socialist on Thursday and help us build real opposition to austerity and the system that breeds it.

Let us know if you are voting Socialist, want to get involved or join our movement!

 

 

 

Socialists and the 2018 Local Elections in Coventry

Socialists and the 2018 Local Elections in Coventry

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Socialists with the local community prevent bedroom tax eviction in Charterhouse

May 3rd will see local elections take place in Coventry, with 18 seats (one third of the council) being contested.

Nationally the Tories continue to show that they are not “strong and stable” but weak and wobbly. The 2017 general election called by Theresa May was supposed to follow the Conservative script  – an increased majority for May, with Corbyn’s Labour suffering. The actual results were very different. We predicted that Corbyn’s anti austerity policies would be popular despite the constant sabotage of the Labour right wing. The outcome showed that working class people are looking for change – not surprising given year after year of austerity cuts.

Unfortunately Corbyn’s anti austerity leadership has not yet been reflected in Labour Councils across the country, and Coventry is no exception.

We have outlined previously how we think the council should be opposing the cuts by refusing to pass on Tory austerity and campaigning to win back money stolen from Coventry by central government, a strategy which has obtained support at a national level within the local government trade unions as well as union branches locally. Sadly, instead of using some of the substantial reserves (which have now risen to over £100 million since 2010) to fund services and hold down council tax whilst a campaign is built, they have chosen to reduce library services, increase charges for children’s disability transport and made cuts to community centres and adult education. Coventry is suffering massively from the crisis of capitalism – we need public representatives who are going to help organise resistance to these attacks.

In recent elections the Socialist Party, as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, has stood widely across the city, including standing in all 18 wards. We wanted to ensure that there was an anti austerity and socialist voice when both of the main parties offered more of the same, pro cuts pro big business polices – this stance being supported by several thousand votes across the city. In the 2017 general election we took the decision not to stand in order to support Jeremy’s battle against the Tories – we distributed over 15,000 leaflets outlining why the Socialist Party supported Corbyn’s policies, and why they needed to be extended further.

In 2018 we recognise that Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to build on his anti austerity message at a time when the Tories are on the ropes. Therefore we will not be contesting all wards, but will be standing in 5 – St Michaels, Radford, Lower Stoke, Henley and Sherbourne.

Whilst recognising Jeremy’s position and so standing in fewer seats, we are continuing to fight austerity and the capitalist crisis using every opportunity we have, whether that’s taking part in campaigns to save the NHS and other key services, helping to build stronger, more militant unions, or standing in elections.

We will be continuing to put forward the idea that councillors do have a choice to oppose the cuts, both in the council chamber and on the streets, and that working class people should not pay for the capitalist crisis. Given the latest increase in PFI car parking charges at Walsgrave we will continue to call for these Profit from Illness schemes to be scrapped.

We will be arguing that to end the situation where thousands of Coventry kids are living in poverty we will need to create a socialist society that puts ordinary people before profit. A socialist society that through public ownership of the key sectors of the economy including the banks, can plan the enormous resources that exist for the benefit of the majority.

We urge you to support our candidates in the wards where we are standing, attend our public meeting, help our campaign by for example making a donation, putting up a poster or volunteering to distribute leaflets. We also would encourage you to think about joining the Socialist Party – help us build a mass socialist movement armed with the policies that can defeat capitalism once and for all.

Public Meeting 

Council cuts, Corbyn and the Tories – how can we fight back?

Tuesday 24th April, 7.30pm

Methodist Central Wall, Warwick Lane, Coventry.

Please fill in the form below to get involved!

 

 

Coventry protest shows solidarity with Palestine

Coventry protest shows solidarity with Palestine

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Protest in Broadgate

At short notice a protest was called today to show solidarity with Palestinians killed and injured by the Israeli military in Gaza on Friday. You can see more pictures by visiting our Facebook page. The Socialist Party distributed a bulletin which you can download here.

Activists from Palestine, local campaigners, trade unionists and socialists gathered together to ensure that what has taken place did not go unchallenged. Coventry has a long history of showing support for the Palestinian struggle and this will need to be stepped up – the only consistent allies of the Palestinians are ordinary working class people around the world.

The scenes in Gaza have been horrific – at the time of writing at least 16 Palestinians have been killed by bullets fired by the Israeli military, with over 600 injured.

Around 20,000 Palestinians had gathered to commemorate what is known as Land Day, the anniversary of the killing of 6 peaceful Palestinian protestors in 1976 who were taking part in a General Strike against the expropriation of Palestinian land.

Protests are expected to continue for 6 weeks leading up to 15th May – the 70th anniversary of the Naqba (Catastrophe) which saw 750,000 forced to flee from their towns, cities and historic homeland.

The situation in Gaza has continued to deteriorate – 1.9 million Palestinians live in what is in reality the world’s largest open air prison camp – blockaded by land, air and sea by Israel and Egypt. The economy is completely crippled – according to figures from the World Bank, there is 44 per cent unemployment, which rises to 60 per cent for those aged between 15 and 29. Around 80 per cent of people rely on humanitarian aid to survive whilst a staggering 97 per cent of water is not safe for human consumption. Israel controls all movement of goods and people, to and from Gaza. The United Nations has stated that Gaza may not be fit for human habitation within a few years.

In this latest outrage, the Israeli army revealed its deadly intention in dealing with the protest by positioning 100 snipers along the border fence. The Israeli ruling class fear the potential of the mass nature of these protests, hence why they were determined to use such lethal force. They cynically use any Palestinian protest to point to how this allegedly threatens the security of the Israeli population – in reality it is the racist policies of the Israeli government, the occupation and the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians that is the biggest threat to the safety of ordinary Israelis.

Sadly, the latest massacre is not a new occurrence for Palestinians in Gaza. Thousands have been killed and many more wounded by numerous Israeli attacks. Responses to these murderous attacks have ranged from very mild condemnation from the Western powers and institutions, to outright support for the actions of the Israeli government and military.

Further protests around the world  will take place in the coming weeks. The establishment, including the right wing in the Labour Party who discovered their previously never seen before ‘anti-racist’ conscience for about 30 minutes last week, will be silent towards the suffering of the Palestinian masses. It will require the active solidarity of ordinary people, including the hundreds of thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters in this country, to ensure the Palestinians are not isolated.

The Socialist Party commits its solidarity to the struggle. At the same time, pointing out with our co-thinkers in the Socialist Struggle Movement in Israel-Palestine, that we need to build a mass movement for socialist change here and in the Middle East; to end the siege of Gaza, the occupation and to build a society that ends all racism and oppression and where national rights and self-determination are guaranteed for all.

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Low paid Teaching Assistants to be made redundant as one Head Teacher’s salary soars

Low paid Teaching Assistants to be made redundant as one Head Teacher’s salary soars

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Photo – Rugby Observer

By a Socialist Party member in Rugby

Avon Valley School in Rugby have announced they are to make seven teaching assistants redundant due to consistent cuts to their budget by the Tories.

This comes just a week after it was revealed that the head of Ashlawn School in Rugby is earning £270,000 per year. Head of Ashlawn Lois Reed received a pay rise of around 50% from 2016 to 2017. This places her among the highest paid heads in the country and on £150,000 more than the second highest paid head in the town at Lawrence Sheriff School.

One Rugby resident said Mrs Reed’s pay is obscene particularly at a time when many schools are struggling to balance their budgets.

It’s a question of priorities, do we want our schools adequately funded and staffed in order to provide quality education for our children or do we want fat cat salaries for one head teacher who values the Government’s academy and free school programme above a decent education for all? (As well as being Ashlawn’s head teacher Mrs Reed is also acting CEO & accounting officer for the Transforming Lives Education Trust and is leading the expansion of free schools in the Rugby area.)

The Socialist Party says:

* No to all cuts – defend every school, job, course and service
* Organise campaigns in every area uniting teachers, support staff, parents students and the community
* For a trade union organised national demonstration in defence of education
* Co-ordinated strike action by education workers to stop cuts
* Fight for a fully funded, democratically run, genuinely comprehensive education system

If you agree with us, we urge you to get in touch and help us build a movement to defend education and to fight for socialist change. Please fill in the form below!

Socialists hold successful meeting on IWD

Socialists hold successful meeting on IWD

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Over 35 people attended a Socialist Party Public meeting to celebrate International Women’s day in Coventry last week. The event was chaired by NUT NEC member and Coventry TUC President Jane Nellist (in a personal capacity). Our main speaker was Tessa Warrington, a Socialist Party organiser in the East Midlands who gave a fantastic introductionary speech to a meeting room filled with many working class women involved in different struggles and battles.

Local activists from the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign updated those present about their struggle. Keep our NHS Public organisers Julie and Vicky Horbury attended and spoke about the local battle to defend the NHS and explaining the crucial role it plays in defending and fighting for women’s rights.

Other speakers spoke about the role working class women and socialists played in winning the right to vote, on fighting for equal pay and maternity and abortion rights. What was clear throughout the contributions is that the ruling class has never granted any rights without the struggle of ordinary people – and it is that struggle to which the Socialist Party is committed to build, and win.