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Labour Party fails to co-opt grass-roots anti-Bedroom Tax campaigns in Liverpool

Report from one of our member's blog.


Today (Saturday 16th March) in Liverpool finally saw the knights in shining armour from the local Labour Party riding into town to rescue the city’s working class from the clutches of the evil Tories. Or at least that’s how the Labour left would like to portray the situation. The reality, as they surely know, is very different.

Following the Labour snub to the local campaigns in Liverpool, feelings were running high among tenants who have been involved in campaigns in the city for many months and following the mass bans of angry tenants from the Labour event page on Facebook it was clear the platform wasn’t going to tolerate any deviation from the Labour line.

Liverpool public meeting: Combat The Bedroom Tax!

Between 80 and 100 people attended a meeting organised by the Liverpool Claimants Network to discuss and plan local resistance to the government’s proposed Bedroom Tax. The initial presentation by a member of the network gave a good overview of what the Bedroom Tax is, the implications it has for housing association tenants, and the need to organise direct action against what is a callous attack on the working-class.

Save Leyton Marsh - Update

The Occupy movement have joined Hackney and Waltham Forest residents in their struggle against the Olympic land grab.

Since planning permission was granted in January by Waltham Forest council for a large indoor basketball arena for Olympic and paralympic athletes to practice on, local residents and marsh users have been organising and campaigning to save Leyton Marsh.

Fighting Academies: Bournville School, Birmingham

Bournville School, Birmingham. Stories of successful attempts at defeating academy coversions seem to be thin on the ground at the moment, with over 1,200 new or conversion academy schools being created since Conservatives/LibDems came into power, so it was inspiring in autumn 2011 to hear that staff and parents at Bournville School in Birmingham defeated governors plans to convert the school into an academy. After a forceful parent campaign against the conversion, and the threat of united strike action by NASUWT and NUT the school's governors shelved plans to convert to an Academy, for at least a year. This means the fight is not yet over though this was a huge victory and an example to all other schools fighting academy conversions.

Fighting Academies: Oasis Community Learning

Oasis Community Learning, a christian educational trust currently running 14 academies in England, is typical of the theological style of industrial relations promoted by the cheerleaders of the Academy sector. Back in November, in the middle of the school year, 13 teachers at its Media City (Salford) Academy were sacked, sparking 5 days of strikes as well as a walk out by year 10 and 11 pupils in the run up to christmas. Ultimately, the campaign to defend the teachers did not win.

Fighting Academies: Montgomery School Public Meeting

On the 26th of January in Sparkbrook, Birmingham- Montgomery Primary School  held a public meeting at a local mosque. The meeting was well attended by the local community, parents staff and trade unions involved in the fight to stop Montgomery Primary School becoming an academy. The speakers included Rich Hatcher from the Alliance Against Birmingham Academies and speakers from all the trade unions involved in the campaign (NUT,NASUWT and GMB) as well as parents. The speakers made clear that the academy programme is an ideological attempt to further privatise education.

Fighting Academies: Downhills Primary School

Downhills Primary School, in Tottenham, North London, is fighting a strong community campaign against attempts to turn it into a sponsored academy.
Participation in the campaign has been huge. “I haven’t seen anything like it since the eighties,” said one mother looking at a packed meeting of over 600 people.
In January, more than a thousand people marched through Tottenham in support of the four Haringey primaries which are under threat of being handed over to academy sponsors, including teachers from all over London. They have shown support to other schools across the country which are rejecting academy status.

EW Issue 8: Academy Special

The latest issue of Education Worker, the EWN's bulletin is out, with an Academies Special! We lift the lid on what's happening in schools and academies in particular: what they are, what they do, why they are a problem and what should be done about it. EW#8 can be downloaded from the site, or ask your nearest SolFed local.

 

Liverpool in Revolt 1911 - 2011: meeting report

Nearly 50 people attended a public meeting organised by Liverpool Solidarity Federation about the Liverpool general transport strike of 1911.

• First off, local historian and BBC Radio Merseyside regular Frank Carlyle gave us an overview of Liverpool's growth as a port city, it's economic development, the influence of immigration and the rise of the city's working-class.

Meeting Thursday: Seattle Solidarity Network and community direct action

Seattle Solidarity ("SeaSol") is a volunteer network of working people who believe in standing up for our rights. Our goal is to support our fellow workers' strikes and struggles, build solidarity, and organize to deal with specific job, housing, and other problems caused by the greed of the rich and powerful.

A SeaSol activist is visiting the UK, and will be giving a talk on the group, its tactics and its battles with landlords, letting agents and employers. There will also be plenty of time set aside for questions and discussion. SolFed have been paying close attention to SeaSol, and their tactics informed the recent Office Angels campaign.

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