Saturday, April 30, 2011

Worthing Solidarity Network campaigns against the cuts

Worthing Solidarity Network The Coalition Government, one year on:
 Increasing private provision in the NHS
 Trebling student tuition fees
 Increasing private provision of schools
 Attempts to privatise the Royal Mail and our forests
 Cutting the state pension by linking to CPI
 Putting VAT up to 20%
 Slashing public sector jobs and services
Cutting the NHS by £20bn And what this has already meant locally:
 Closing day centres for the old and disabled
 Closing youth centres
 Many other public sector job losses, depressing our local economy
 Potential closure of our theatres
And there’s much, much more to come. Estimates are that we have only yet seen about 10% of the cuts put into effect.
The national TUC-called protest of 500,000 people in March showed massive opposition to Cameron and Clegg. Their cuts are not necessary. By any historical comparison the current deficit is not large. In fact, Britain has only had a smaller deficit than the current one, as a proportion of GDP, for 50 of the last 250 years! These cuts are about achieving a ‘smaller state’ – by cutting and privatising – at the expense of the services our families and communities rely on.
Removing social care funding from disabled and elderly people So what next? We must use the May Local Elections to send a message to Cameron and Clegg! We need a different Government before the current one destroys everything we hold dear. Cameron and Clegg don’t have a mandate or a majority, and in Worthing we can do our bit on May 5th to maximise pressure on their Coalition.
1. Don’t vote Tory
2. Don’t vote Lib Dem
3. If you live in Selden Ward, vote for Mike Barrett. Mike is a Labour candidate who opposes all cuts and has pledged to vote and campaign against any attempts to cut or privatise local services. Mike is the only candidate to date to sign WSN’s "No Cuts" election pledge.
4. If you don’t live in Selden, quiz your candidate to find out where they stand on the cuts. Make sure they will stand up for you and your family and oppose all cuts if you give them your vote.

Get involved! Worthing Solidarity Network is Worthing’s own vibrant anti-cuts group.
We campaign and protest against all and every cut to our services and jobs, including a WSN stall every Saturday from 11am-2pm in Montague Place.
We meet fortnightly on Wednesday evenings, 8pm-10pm, in the upstairs room at the Downview pub, opposite West Worthing rail station. Next meetings are on 4th and 18th May. More details available from
WSN’s 4-step No To Cuts election advice...

Tel: 07733151116 Facebook: "Worthing Solidarity Network"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Palestinian unity - now on to liberation and an end to occupation.

As forces of reaction attempt to put a break on the Arab Spring, the Arab masses across the region refuse to bow down to defeat. The struggle continues against despotism, tyranny and oppression.

One of the good pieces of news to come out of the region is the unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah, long may it last if it means a united struggle for Palestinian self -determination and liberation. It is not surprising that the US and Israel want Palestinians to remain divided.

However many believe that liberation  can not end at the 1967 border with a weak Palestinian state.Instead,  there should be one state for 2 people within a new Middle East, free of dictators and despots. The 2 state solution is  unviable as long as the Zionist state dominates the region, with US and EU backing to maintain the upper hand. 

Palestinian unity has a long way to go if it is to include all Palestinian forces in this struggle, including the independant Palestinian youth movement and Palestinian women. If it is a temporary tacit agreement then we could be back to square one very quickly and the only winners would be the Zionist apartheid state. Palestinians want and need unity and will not forgive any party that abuses the aspirations of the people in their struggle for liberation.

Whilst Palestinians must be free to determine their own future, the international solidarity movement must continue to do all it can to isolate Israel through the international boycott campaign and  opposing the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

Uri Avnery April 30, 2  One Word

IN ONE word: Bravo!

The news about the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas is good for peace. If the final difficulties are ironed out and a full agreement is signed by the two leaders, it will be a huge step forward for the Palestinians – and for us.

There is no sense in making peace with half a people. Making peace with the entire Palestinian people may be more difficult, but will be infinitely more fruitful.

Therefore: Bravo!

Binyamin Netanyahu also says Bravo. Since the government of Israel has declared Hamas a terrorist organization with whom there will be no dealings whatsoever, Netanyahu can now put an end to any talk about peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. What, peace with a Palestinian government that includes terrorists? Never! End of  discussion.

Two bravos, but such a difference.

THE ISRAELI debate about Arab unity goes back a long way. It already started in the early fifties, when the idea of pan-Arab unity raised its head. Gamal Abd-al-Nasser hoisted this banner in Egypt, and the pan-Arab Baath movement became a force in several countries (long before it degenerated into local Mafias in Iraq and Syria).

Nahum Goldman, President of the World Zionist Organization, argued that pan-Arab unity was good for Israel. He believed that peace was necessary for the existence of Israel, and that it would take all the Arab countries together to have the courage to make it.

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Prime Minister, thought that peace was bad for Israel, at least until Zionism had achieved all its (publicly undefined) goals. In a state of war, unity among Arabs was a danger that had to be prevented at all costs.

Goldman, the most brilliant coward I ever knew, did not have the courage of his convictions. Ben-Gurion was far less brilliant, but much more determined.

He won.

NOW WE have the same problem all over again.

Netanyahu and his band of peace saboteurs want to prevent Palestinian unity at all costs. They do not want peace, because peace would prevent Israel from achieving the Zionist goals, as they conceive them: a Jewish state in all of historical Palestine, from the sea to the Jordan River (at least). The conflict is going to last for a long, long time to come, and the more divided the enemy, the better.

As a matter of fact, the very emergence of Hamas was influenced by this calculation. The Israeli occupation authorities deliberately encouraged the Islamic movement, which later became Hamas, as a counterweight to the secular nationalist Fatah, which was then conceived as the main enemy.

Later, the Israeli government deliberately fostered the division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by violating the Oslo agreement and refusing to open the four “safe passages” between the two territories provided for in the agreement. Not one was open for a single day. The geographical separation brought about the political one.

When Hamas won the January 2006 Palestinian elections, surprising everybody including itself, the Israeli government declared that it would have no dealings with any Palestinian government in which Hamas was represented. It ordered – there is no other word - the US and EU governments to follow suit. Thus the Palestinian Unity Government was brought down.

The next step was an Israeli-American effort to install a strongman of their choosing as dictator of the Gaza Strip, the bulwark of Hamas. The chosen hero was Muhammad Dahlan, a local chieftain. It was not a very good choice – the Israeli security chief recently disclosed that Dahlan had collapsed sobbing into his arms. After a short battle, Hamas took direct control of the Gaza Strip.

A FRATRICIDAL split in a liberation movement is not an exception. It is almost the rule.

The Irish revolutionary movement was an outstanding example. In this country we had the fight between the Hagana and the Irgun, which at times became violent and very ugly. It was Menachem Begin, then the Irgun commander, who prevented a full-fledged civil war.

The Palestinian people, with all the odds against them, can hardly afford such a disaster. The split has generated intense mutual hatred between comrades who spent time in Israeli prison together. Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority – with some justification – of cooperating with the Israeli government against them, urging the Israelis and the Egyptians to tighten the brutal blockade against the Gaza Strip, even preventing a deal for the release of the Israeli prisoner-of-war, Gilad Shalit, in order to block the release of Hamas activists and their return to the West Bank. Many Hamas activists suffer in Palestinian prisons, and the lot of Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip is no more joyous. 

Yet both Fatah and Hamas are minorities in Palestine. The great mass of the Palestinian people desperately want unity and a joint struggle to end the occupation. If the final reconciliation agreement is signed by Mahmoud Abbas and Khalid Meshaal, Palestinians everywhere will be jubilant.

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU is jubilant already. The ink was not yet dry on the preliminary agreement initialed in Cairo, when Netanyahu made a solemn speech on TV, something like an address to the nation after an historic event.

“You have to choose between us and Hamas,” he told the Palestinian Authority. That would not be too difficult – one the one side a brutal occupation regime, on the other Palestinian brothers with a different ideology.

But this stupid threat was not the main point of the statement. What Netanyahu told us was that there would be no dealings with a Palestinian Authority connected in any way with the “terrorist Hamas”. 

The whole thing is a huge relief for Netanyahu. He has been invited by the new Republican masters to address the US Congress next month and had nothing to say. Nor had he anything to offer the UN, which is about to recognize the State of Palestine this coming September. Now he has: peace is impossible, all Palestinians are terrorists who want to throw us into the sea. Ergo: no peace, no negotiations, no nothing.

IF ONE really wants peace, the message should of course be quite different.

Hamas is a part of Palestinian reality. Sure, it is extremist, but as the British have taught us many times, it is better to make peace with extremists than with moderates. Make peace with the moderates, and you must still deal with the extremists. Make peace with the extremists, and the business is finished.

Actually, Hamas is not quite as extreme as it likes to present itself. It has declared many times that it will accept a peace agreement based on the 1967 lines and signed by Mahmoud Abbas if it is ratified by the people in a referendum or a vote in parliament. Accepting the Palestinian Authority means accepting the Oslo agreement, on which the PA is based – including the mutual recognition of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. In Islam, as in all other religions, God’s word is definitely final, but it can be “interpreted” any way needed. Don’t we Jews know.

What made both sides more flexible? Both have lost their patrons – Fatah its Egyptian protector, Hosny Mubarak, and Hamas its Syrian protector, Bashar al-Assad, who cannot be relied upon anymore. That has brought both sides to face reality: Palestinians stand alone, so they had better unite.

For peace-oriented Israelis, it will be a great relief to deal with a united Palestinian people and with a united Palestinian territory. Israel can do a lot to help this along: open at long last an exterritorial free passage between the West Bank and Gaza, put an end to the stupid and cruel blockade of the Gaza Strip (which has become even more idiotic with the elimination of the Egyptian collaborator), let the Gazans open their port, airport and borders. Israel must accept the fact that religious elements are now a part of the political scene all over the Arab world. They will become institutionalized and, probably, far more “moderate”. That is part of the new reality in the Arab world.

The emergence of Palestinian unity should be welcomed by Israel, as well as by the European nations and the United States. They should get ready to recognize the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders. They should encourage the holding of free and democratic Palestinian elections and accept their results, whatever they may be.

The wind of the Arab Spring is blowing in Palestine too. Bravo!

Ten Great Anti-Monarchy Songs (To Capitalize On Royal Wedding Fever) | CHARTattack

If you are fed up already with royal coverage and want to listen to something late at night whilst watching the royal nuptials, then you may want to listen to this:

Ten Great Anti-Monarchy Songs (To Capitalize On Royal Wedding Fever) CHARTattack

In the next 24 hours, once the bunting is cleared away and the true cost of all this is made public, then perhaps we can all get back to normal business-fighting the cuts, opposing the Con Dems and building a serious alternative.

As the representatives of dictators, the corrupt and the rich return to their luxuries, the rest of us can return to fighting the austerity measures.

Prize will be awarded to who ever can come up with what you think Prince Phillip was really thinking, if anything. Couldn't Harry afford a hair cut for his brother's wedding. Oh well let them go off and eat cake!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal wedding-right royal waste

Oh no, here we go again. The media have gone into overdrive. What will she wear? What will the cake look like? Who will be doing what? Blah blah blah blah.etc etc etc. Oh such pathetic rubbish.

Now no one opposes the idea of 2 young people being in love and even getting married. We know that they are guaranteed a good future, whether the marriage lasts or not. After all neither of them is short of a few pounds. Yet enough is enough. Sorrounded by the rich, the remainders of the world aristocrats, (thankfully a dying breed) and even a few autocrats, they act as though they are doing us all a favour by getting married. Would you want this lot at your wedding? Enough to ruin the taste of the cake.

The royal invite to the Syrian ambassador has been withdrawn, no loss. Yet what about the amabassadors from Iran, North Korea and other lesser examples of  undemocratic states. They are still going. The other good news is that Tony Blair is not invited.  Does not wear the royal garter. Oh gosh!

Whilst her majesty's government implements cuts to public spending, millions of pounds are being wasted on this display of regal  waste. We are told it will create jobs, earn export income and give a good will feel to all of us. Poppycock. It is the biggest act of divertion to attempt to distract people from the real issues. If they were really concerned in creating jobs then invest in public services, cut Trident and stop funding illegal wars and illegal occupations.

So now let us get back to reality as quickly as possible and bring down this unelected Con Dem cabal and oppose the cuts. Turn Buckingham Palace into social housing and a community centre may be a good start.
Let us celebrate the eventual end of monarchy and the parasitic elite whose wealth was obtained by theft, military force and oppression of the people over centuries. Toast the Levellers instead.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Forthcoming Event:


Barbecue, picnic and social event for local workers and their friends and families – all welcome!
BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 2nd MAY, 12 noon-3pm
HOMEFIELD PARK (Newland Rd, behind Worthing Hospital)

Join us to celebrate to the vital role that working people play in our society and our town,
to show our unity against the cuts, and to mark the launch of a Trades Council to link up
trades unions in Worthing for the first time in more than 20 years. 
Anyone who wants to can also join in with leafletting local homes with WSN information leaflets on the day.

More info or to find us on the day:  Dave Chivers on 07941 874745

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Labour and ConDems run away from debate on public services in Brighton

So much for public debate, openess and accountability.  

This is really quite shameful - on the part of Labour especially.
The civil service union PCS had organised a hustings for council candidates this Thursday on the theme of protecting public services.  This has now been cancelled.  PCS explains below.

The Public and Commercial Services Union in Brighton has called off an organised 'hustings' for
candidates at the local elections as Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have all
declined invitations to attend. The debate was due to take place on Thursday at the Friends meeting house in Ship Street

PCS has run a successful campaign over a number of years called 'Make your vote count' which
encourages people to use their vote in elections, to support public services and to oppose the far
right. However, in Brighton only the Green Party and the Trade union and Socialist Candidate were prepared to face the electorate and public sector workers. Both also have supported the Unions pledges in supporting public services.
Kevin Dale, Make your Vote Count Co-ordinator in Brighton said " We organised the hustings, as we have up and down the country , because we believe voters are entitled to hear what politicians think and we also felt it was an opportunity for parties to say what they stand for. All credit to TUSC and the Greens for being prepared to speak up for what they believe in but it seems Labour, the Lib Dems and Tories are running scared of the people they want to represent. Labour and the Lib Dems both declined invitations to attend and attempts to get a Conservative speaker also came to nothing. What are these parties scared of? Are their policies not up to scrutiny?

We have taken the decision not to go ahead with the meeting due mainly to the failure of Labour to debate issues particularly the cuts and public services, and we ask voters to support candidates in Brighton who have publicly backed our campaign and signed the our unions 5 Pledges to support public services, those being TUSC and the Greens."

Jason KitKat, Green party Councillor, who was due to speak said "I am disappointed that the other parties are not up for open and fair debate around the issues that effect the electorate. The Greens are willing to debate with any party as there are issues that need to be addressed."

Phil Clarke of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition which is standing against all cuts said " The cuts in council services are so severe that councillors need to make them central to this election. Refusing to even debate the issues shows how weak labours anti-cuts credentials are. The people of Brighton need to look elsewhere at Trade unionists and Socialist against the cuts candidates to find people who have pledged to take on the government and vote against all cuts."
Thanks to Andy Richards for this report.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Who are we? Who cares?

Often, on anti-EDL type demos, as well as at football matches, the chant goes up “who are you?”  In Brighton, on their annual day out, the EDL decided that they knew everyones’  genealogy by declaring to the anti fascists, “you aren’t English anymore? Why? Because anti-fascists refused to bow down to the new master race promoters of the far right.

Now without going into a lengthy thesis, which others who are far more knowledgeable on this matter, have written, it is worth pointing out the obvious. The English have always been part of a multi-cultural society, going back to the year dot. There never was such a thing as pure English. There never has been and never will.

The last time someone tried to establish a master race, we all know where it ended up. Yes it is about class not race. Race is and always has been a myth, created to maintain an authoritarian, dictatorial and racist state. Zionism is just another version of this particularly obnoxious reactionary nationalistic creed, resulting in social, economic and political oppression of Palestinians. Apartheid South Africa similarly used the “ pure blood” excuse to maintain a bloody system based on separation of the races.

Nationalistic flag waving represents a false consciousness, adopting an allegiance which only goes to serves the bosses and the ruling class, dividing working people from each other. International class solidarity is the only effective response there can ever be to the international capitalist crisis. Reactionary nationalism has always been used as a divertion , resulting in wars, barbarism and national oppression of other people. Ofcourse Socialists must distinguish between this form of nationalism and the struggle of oppressed nations, in their fight for self determination and liberation from both imperialism and colonialism. As Marx correctly pointed out," a nation that oppresses another nation can not itself be free".

According to Professor Bryan Sykes, the British are descended from a tribe of Spanish fisherman. The DNA found in Celts , (the indigenous population of Britain), have an almost identical genetic “fingerprint” to a tribe of Iberians from the coastal regions of Spain. They crossed over from the Bay of Biscay around 6,000 years ago. He considers that the evidence suggests  “the majority of people in the British Isles are actually descended from the Spanish." You could imagine the BNP equivelents of the day saying, "oh no, not more Europeans coming over here?"
A team led by Professor Sykes  spent five years taking DNA samples from 10,000 volunteers in Britain and Ireland, in an effort to produce a map of our genetic roots. The most common genetic fingerprint belongs to the Celtic clan, which Professor Sykes has called "Oisin". After that, the next most widespread originally belonged to tribes of Danish and Norse Vikings. Small numbers of today's Britons are also descended from north African, Middle Eastern and Roman clans. For the anti-immigration groups in so-called ancient times, the news just went from bad to worse.
A Roman geographer, Ptolemy,wrote a description of Britain, listing the names of at least 26 British tribes!
So do be gentle when breaking the news to those who consider the defence of race and nationalism over class comes first, second and last. It may come as a shock. Cameron has also pinned a great deal on the end of multi-culturalism as a vote winner. As the old slogan goes:
Unemployment and inflation are not caused by immigration.
Bullshit, come off it, the enemy is profit.

In summary-we are all immigrants!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

EDL blocked and harried in Brighton

The Movement For England attempted to claim over the past few months that they were nothing to do with the EDL. The  organisers repeatedly stated that the EDL would not be welcomed and that their march would be a peaceful, family friendly event. Anti-fascists had been pointing out that this would not be so, as the presence of EDL banners showed. Their love affair with the State of Israel also seemed to be over, following the splits with JDL, as no Israeli flags appeared for once.

On the route, in response to the anti-fascists slogans of "We are black, white, asian, jewish and gay", EDL supporters shouted out, " you're not English anymore". Now how they knew the heritage of anti-fascists and could suddenly decide that the dna had changed is amazing. What is English anyway as we all have mixed blood of one sort or another? Do they then intend to deport those who are not pure? Where did the Angles, Saxons, Jutes,Danes and Vikings come from, certainly not Essex!

Well done to the anti-fascist movement in making every effort, under extremely difficult circumstances, in defending multi-culturalism and showing that the EDL were not welcomed here or anywhere else.

Report from  Peoples Republic of Hove blog

The EDL were chased around Brighton by anti-fascists and the photos give some idea of the massive and oppressive police operation (involving 5 forces) - oppressive, that is, towards the anti-fascist contingent. To the EDL, they could not have been more accommodating, even to the extent of facilitating a further drinking session for them after their march had ended, rather than just getting them out of the city as soon as possible.

Extensive use was made of the notorious Section 14 of the Public Order Act to try to intimidate anti fascists - it didn't work, and we were able to block Queens Road for over an hour. There were however a number of random arrests of activists.

Among the positives of the day -

- the "respectable" veneer of March for England was well and truly stripped away. This was without question an EDL march.

- different anti-fascist groups worked well together.

- although numbers were less than we would have liked, it was really encouraging to see the hostility towards the EDL from ordinary locals.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Election campaign steps up – 13 days to stop the BNP!

UAF campaigners and other anti-fascist groups are actively campaigning so that the BNP and other far right groups in this country are overwhelmingly defeated where ever they stand. Locally, the West Sussex UAF is campaigning in Bognor and Arun against the BNP.

The latest news is that the BNP faces further splits, going into financial and political disarray. They are fielding far fewer candidates than last time round.Ofcourse that does not mean anti-fascists can be complacent. The EDL and other groups may recruit from this, whilst Cameron's attack on multi-culturalism may also send some back to voting Tory. Here is a report from the UAF newsleetter.
unite against fascism • • 020 7801 2782 •
The campaign to stop the BNP at the 5 May elections has stepped up a gear, with leafleting teams out on the doorstep all over the country.

There was good news from Stoke-on-Trent, where antifascists succeeded in disrupting the BNP's election manifesto launch. The BNP is defending five council seats in the city, once dubbed its "jewel in the crown".

But its manifesto launch, staged partly in a car park, was a miserable flop – BNP leader Nick Griffin didn't even show up and antifascists were able to interrupt the party's press conference to publicly expose the BNP as fascists and Holocaust deniers.

The campaigners from UAF and North Staffs Campaign Against Racism and Fascism went on to deliver more than 10,000 Stop the BNP leaflets in Stoke the same day.

CWU leader Billy Hayes backs election appeal

Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, has backed UAF's election appeal.

He says: "The campaign work of antifascists has put the BNP on the run. We must continue to drive them out of mainstream politics and defend multiculturalism. By donating to the UAF election appeal you will be directly contributing to the defeat of the BNP."

>> Make a donation online now
Please support the appeal – we urgently need funds to keep producing campaign materials right up to 5 May. Every £5, £10 or even £50 will make a difference. 

Get involved in local campaigning

If your area is not listed below, contact the UAF office for local campaign details. 
Please could local UAF groups send details of upcoming campaign dates to the UAF office, with a contact phone number so we can get in touch.

>> Read more about the BNP in the elections 

>> download our election leaflet 

Friday, April 22, 2011

West Sussex Adult Services Select Cuts Committee cancels meeting and outrages campaigners

Oh for local democracy and the big society.-Thanks to Porkbolter for this report.

OUTRAGED campaigners against West Sussex care cuts have discovered that a key committee has cancelled its next meeting because of ‘lack of business’.

The West Sussex Adult Services Select Committee will not now be holding its published session on May 19 – and the next meeting is not until Thursday, 7th July!

Barry Pickthall of ‘Don’t Cut Us Out’ points out that the decision was taken the same week as:
* The Don't Cut Us Out campaign delivered a 10,000 strong petition forcing a debate on the whole subject of cuts to social care at the next Full Council meeting on May 13.

* The Council faces the prospect of having 2,000 disabled, elderly and their carers shouting 'Don't Cut Us Out' on their front steps at a protest the same morning.

* And is facing a £100,000 Judicial Review into how Adult Services mismanaged the ‘consultation’ process that preceded these cuts. A High Court decision announced this week forcing Birmingham City Council to backtrack on their care cuts to the disabled on very similar grounds to the West Sussex case, does not bode well for them.

* At its last meeting on March 1st, the Select Committee expressed deep concern for the way services were being withdrawn and what will happen to the disabled and elderly between now and when alternative Wellbeing hubs are expected to open in September. 

Mr Pickthall adds: “And they have nothing to discuss???? It’s brilliant!”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quiz your candidates!

In Worthing, Socialist Resistance calls for support for all anti-cuts candidates standing in the local elections.So far, 2 Labour prospective candidates have signed the anti-cuts pledge sent to all candidates by the Worthing Solidarity Network .These include Sue Marsh and Mike Barrett. We also understand 2 others standing for  Labour are also going to sign it. Hope they do.


Worthing Solidarity Campaign has asked all candidates standing in the Council elections to support this pledge. After all, they want our vote so let them earn it.:

Anti-Cuts Election pledge

If elected as a Councillor, I pledge to use my offices to:

  • Publicise the fact that public service cuts are wholly unnecessary, and are a political choice rather than necessity;
  • Publicise the fact that alternative and just sources of income are readily available to central Government to fund public services should it so choose;
  • Oppose and vote against any attempts to set Council budgets which will result in cuts to public services and local jobs;
  • Oppose and vote against any attempts to cut or privatise individual public services;
  • Oppose any attempts by fascist political parties to exploit the current crisis for their own advantage.

During my election campaign, I pledge to:

  • Publicise the need for an anti-cuts alternative at the ballot box;
  • Publicise the need for the anti-cuts vote to be maximised;
  • Work proactively and vigorously alongside Worthing Solidarity Network on measures to include but not limited to:
    • Anti-cuts public meetings at a ward level;
    • Production and distribution of election leaflets;
    • Attendance at and support for anti-cuts information stalls;
    • Media work to maximise turn out and the anti-cuts vote.

We believe that the electorate have every right to expect their local elected representatives to represent them by refusing to vote to cut and close local public services. The bankers caused the crises and local people should not be made to suffer as a result.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oppose Racism Celebrate Multiculturalism

Brighton Celebrating Diversity, Opposing Racism

Sunday 24th April -Brighton Station

Message from Brighton anti-fascists and anti-racists:

On the 24th of April we are calling on the people of Brighton to do what they do best. To celebrate what they have in common and to celebrate what makes them different.

We will be protesting in opposition to a far right racist group, that plans to march through Brighton.

As Islamaphobes and racists plan to march through Brighton, under the guise of March for England, Brighton will come together to celebrate all that is good about... our diverse city, and to protest against the far right and racists views of a group of marchers coming from outside of Brighton.

This is an opportunity for all of us to show what  unites us and our multicultural city.

We have met with other groups wanting to show their opposition to the racism of March for England, and together we have agreed the best way to do this is to gather at Brighton station, by the bus stops, at 11 o'clock with banners and signs. the MfE march will be gathering at the station at 11.30, but the size of opposition to them in Brighton will be very clear.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brighton, Hove and District TUC open letter on the far right in Brighton

Friday, 15 April 2011

BHDTUC letter to the March for England organisers...

Brighton, Hove and District TUC would like to express its full solidarity to organisers Unite Against Facism and those present at the In Defence Of Mulitculturalism public meeting on Tuesday April 5 at the Friends Meeting House which was violently attacked by members of the racist, far-right English Defence League.

This physical threat - the first witnessed in Brighton for over 20 years - upon our right to hold public meetings peacefully, that celebrate our achievements and rights, is very concerning. In light of this attack, we are highly concerned about the very likely presence of the English Defence League and other ultra right-wing groups attending your annual St George's Day March for England demonstration on Saturday April 24.

Therefore, BHDTUC is asking the organisers of the March for England to cancel the event in order to prevent an opportunity for further, unwanted provocations towards our community in this divisive and threatening way.

We would like to acknowledge your public statement regarding your wish to disassociate yourself from these groups. However, it is evident on their own online forums that they are actively building for the event and using threats of violence towards ourselves and to individuals, to various communities and campaigns, and the essential unity of the working class that is required to stop the government's assault on our jobs, public services and liberties that are unjustly and disproportionately affecting our most vulnerable and lowest paid communities.

Under this attack on the working class and the trade union movement, carried out by a government of millionaires determined to make ordinary people pay for the mistakes of their capitalist economy, it is vital that those of us who struggle to get by most of all stick together. We do this so that we might use our unity of strength in numbers to defend ourselves. Working together through trade unions and community campaigns can harness that understandable anger, of seeing bankers run off with our £billions and the rich avoiding paying their taxes, and forge it into industrial action and mass demonstrations which make government's shake and listen.

Freedom from discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, colour, disability, sex and sexuality are rights we have fought so hard to achieve and continue to fight for, against an exploitative and crisis-ridden capitalist society. These diversities are not the cause of our problems - the lack of jobs, homes and services caused by the failure of capitalism to provide these essentials is. In particular, pointing the finger of blame towards the Muslim community, as both the EDL and March for England do, only serves to divide our class which is made up of many people worshipping different faiths. Muslims do not cause unemployment or or poverty - capitalist government ministers do.

Any group or political party falsely and violently attempting to blame the faults of the capitalist crisis on any of these rights or on any section of the working class will be actively opposed by BHDTUC, alongside other socialist and progressive groups. It is with this task that we ask you to cancel the March for England demonstration.


Brighton, Hove and District Trades Union Council

April 15 2011.

Keep Our Forests Public

Delightful campaign walk in St Leonard’s Forest, Saturday 9th April - Dave Bangs
Our walk brought together 35 forest lovers from Horsham, Brighton, Worthing - and even London - in celebration of government minister Caroline Spelman’s recent climb-down - and resolution to keep up the campaign against future piecemeal privatization by stealth of our public forests.
The Forestry Commission is in the middle of a huge programme of restoration work at St Leonard’s to bring back the heathy rides and the old broad-leaved forest, to make glades and restore worn pathways. Their vision is for a multi-functional forest that can cater for wildlife, public recreation, and timber production – and make a contribution to action against climate change.
We thus celebrated, as well, the reformation that our Forestry Commission has undergone in the past generation – at last allowing it to work truly in the public interest, and not just as a narrow support system for private industry producing wall-to-wall conifers.
Our six mile walk took us from Roosthole Carpark, out alongside Sheepwash Gill, up past the Lily Beds, round by Highbirch Hill, down along Combe Bottom past the site of the medieval Ranger’s Lodge, up over Mick’s Cross, down through Scragged Oak Wood, and back to the start.

Our walk took us to some of the special places where relics of the ecosystem of the ancient royal hunting forest survive. The part of the ancient forest that the Forestry Commission owns holds some of those fragments.
St Leonard’s Forest was HUGE a millennium ago. In the days when it was a royal hunting forest of the Saxon Kings of Sussex, and later of Wessex and England, it likely stretched all along the high sandstone watershed eastwards from Horsham, past Crawley almost to East Grinstead. It embraced all those parts which now come under different ‘Forest’ names…St Leonard’s, Tilgate, Worthlodge, Highbeeches, Balcombe, Brantridge, Holmbush and Monks Forests, as well as Leonardslee, Oldhouse Warren and much, much else.
The Forest was probably made up in roughly equal parts of ‘high forest’ (no doubt with some enclosed coppice) and open ground of heath and grassland. The woodland would largely have been a mixture of Beech, Oak and Birch with some Lime, over Hazel, Hawthorn and Holly, with Bluebell, Bilberry, Broom and Heather beneath. The open ground would probably have been like the New Forest today, with a mixture of ‘lawns’ and heather, and areas of soggy mire. Black Grouse would have been common, with Curlew and Snipe abounding.
Scarcely any parts of the present forest ecosystem can now boast continuity with this ancient hunting landscape.
But a few can.
It is reasonable to hypothesise that some of the humid, shady ‘gills’ (steep sided clefts containing fast running streams); some of the clusters of gigantic pollarded veteran Beeches and Oaks; and some of the heath and unimproved grassland fragments, like the ‘Lily Beds’(Lily of the Valley) have a continuity going back to the royal forest and possibly to the primeval ‘wildwood’.
The Forestry Commission St Leonard’s estate holds superb examples of all these habitats.
Climb down into those green gills and look down into the clear water – as through a looking glass – and see little bits of leaf and twig walking themselves slowly across the stream bed. These are the larvae of different species of Caddis Flies, each encased by their own extraordinary little personalized ‘sleeping bags’ of cemented leaf, twig, sand, or pebble.
On the banks there are rare mosses surviving from the time – 7 or 8 thousand years ago – when the climate was much wetter and warmer. Most of them would be happier in Wales or Scotland.
Some of the Forest’s ancient trees are amongst the biggest in the country. The enormous ‘Sun Oak’ is over five spans in girth and dates back to around 1210 – just before Magna Carta. The ‘Whitevane Beech’ is now only a fragment, but there is still enough of it to envision its immense past girth. The Forest Grange Beech is also five spans in girth, and I have seen Stock Dove nesting there, alongside Woodpeckers.
In a good autumn the groves of veteran trees are full of many-coloured fungi. In spring the Bluebells are out, and the May blossom buzzes with old forest insects – beetles, bees, moths and flies. In summer the heather is in bloom. Nightjars churr from dusk onwards. Silver-studded Blue butterfly has now gone, I think, but it may return.
Saturday May 7th  "Access in Arlington", Abbot's Wood, north of Wilmington. Meet 11.20 North side of Berwick Station or 1pm Abbot’s Wood car park.

Opposing university privatisation in Columbia

This is what was going on yesterday afternoon (14/04/2011)  in Bogota, Colombia, at the Universidad Nacional (best national state university)

The students are protesting about privatisation of Universities.
This follows huge national protests on the 7th of April all over the country agains neoliberal policies put forward by President Santos's government. Santos was the director of the ICO, International Coffee Organization a few years ago in London, and ex-minister of defence under ex-president  Uribe's fascist government. Santos also had a very friendly meeting with Cameron and Co. before he (Santos) got elected last year - amongst suspected fraud.

People on the left in black are students who sympathize with the ELN (Ejercito de lIberacion Nacional - a smaller guerrilla group who were founded by liberation theology priests and academics) They are throwing "potato bombs" at the ESMAD (brutal riot squad) to stop them from going into the University.
Students are calling ESMAD "cerdos"...(pigs) and are filming until ESMAD comes over with teargas...
Note: In Colombia the ESMAD teargas canisters are filled with nails and glass in contravention to human rights treatment of protesting civilians...

For those Spanish's a 30 mins documentary about ESMAD violence...

Cameron plays the race card- Bankers caused the crises not immigrants

So every time Capitalism goes into crisis, someone, somewhere has to play the race card to try to divert attention away from who is to really blame for the crisis. When the Con Dem's are busy cutting and privatising public services, increasing unemployment and busy saving their friends in the City, it is working people who are expected to pay the price.

Over half a million marched in London last month against this government's austerity measures. Many up and down the country are taking action to defend their local services and refuse to accept the blame for a crisis they did not cause. Yet what is Cameron doing in the run up to the local elections, looking for scapegoats to divide working people. Well many reject this blatent use of racism. Immigrants are not to blame.

In the 30's they blamed the Jews, after World War 2 it was West Indians and the Irish, then the Asians and ofcourse the Travellers. We all know where the race card ends up if it is allowed to go unchallenged. Last time Cameron tried this, it was the same day that the EDL marched in Luton. Competing for votes against racist and fascists using the immigration issue is a very dangerous game and the BNP / EDL and other far right groups hope to be the beneficiaries of this.

In France, Le Pen's daughter hopes to gain 25% of the votes for the Front National, which is why Sarkozy is so busy banning the burqa. Yet only a very small percentage of Muslim women in France fully cover themselves. Liberty means the right of all women, including Muslim women, to decide how they dress.It is not for the French state to determine this.

Vince Cable has come out against Cameron on his statement. Perhaps he will also come out of the coalition but can he? We may now be seeing further unravelling of the coalition as the crisis deepens further. What we need is for the TUC, the labour movement and the Labour front bench to also say loudly and that immigrants are not to blame and we will defend them. Yet that also means challenging the notion of immigration controls, which are by definition racist.

In Brighton, the EDL thought they would be able to break up an anti-racist meeting defending multi-culturalism but they could not. The Movement For England is attempting to march in Brighton on the 24th April to defend St. George, (whose day is the day before that). It may be promoted as a family friendly event but its intentions are somewhat different. The EDL and others are also expected to join in. Can someone please point out to these defenders of  so-called "anglo-saxon traditions" that St George was Palestinian not English! Defending the Palestinians won't go down well with their friends in the JDL  and their waving of the Israeli flag.

UAF Statement condemning Cameron:

Cameron’s dangerous remarks will boost racists and fascists

Unite Against Fascism has today warned that prime minister David Cameron’s speech on immigration offers dangerous encouragement to racist and fascist parties.
UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said:
Cameron claims his latest remarks on immigration will stop ‘extremist parties’ like the BNP from flourishing and help ‘extinguish them once and for all’.
In truth they will have precisely the opposite effect. Both the tone of his language and the content of his arguments feed the myth that Britain is somehow being flooded by immigrants.
Cameron is effectively scapegoating immigrants for his government’s cuts programme. The effect of this rhetoric is more hatred, more hysteria and more strife and division in society.
And the British National Party, the English Defence League and other racist and fascist organisations will thrive in such a climate.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy has already tried this trick in France: attempting to undercut fascist parties by aping their language and conceding their demands. It didn’t work. Now we see Marine Le Pen’s Front National – a fascist party with close links to the BNP – riding high in the polls.
History shows that giving in to racist arguments does not make the racists go away. It endorses them and encourages them to demand more.
Cameron should be ashamed of himself – and we should be proud to live in a multicultural society where people from all backgrounds work and struggle together.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ken Loach endorses the Scottish Socialist Party manifesto

“I am very pleased to support the campaign of the SSP in the coming election” writes Ken Loach in the party’s 2011 manifesto which you can download here. He adds:

“All across Europe people are finding their jobs threatened, wages and benefits cut and the quality of life reduced. The great public institutions that have been built by past generations are now to be dismembered, sold off, privatised.

Blaming the bankers is not an adequate response. Socialists know that it is not individual greed but the very system itself that generates these disasters. Private corporations and banks will always put profit before people, otherwise they would not keep up with their competitors.

Only a party that starts from the independent interests of working people can begin to redress the balance. A secure job, care for the elderly, a good education independent of private interests, a fully funded health service, decent housing – these are not unreasonable demands. But now they are revolutionary. The system cannot allow them. Which other party, to take but one example, now calls for full employment?

Scotland has a long history of radical struggle, like the great cities of England. We should show solidarity with those around the world who fight for justice, peace and the rule of law.

Socialism is the heart of that. A strong vote for the SSP would be the best news for ordinary people wherever they live. And it would be brilliant for Scotland - you might find some of us were coming to work here even more than we do now!”

- Ken Loach

Thanks to Collective Resistance for this.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Anti-cuts day school-Brighton

It is good that anti-cuts activists are getting together across Sussex, sharing experiances, making links and building the fightback. Yesterday was just a day in Brighton at the anti-cuts day school, organised by Brighton Stop The Cuts Coalition. Discussions on a range of issues took place amongst activists and this must be welcomed. They plan another event which deserves supporting. It is not about setting up yet another committee but about strengthening the links, listening, talking and learning from each other.

Last year, the Lib Dems pledged not to increase tuition fees and quickly renaged on this, quick to jump into office with the Tories. Today, they promise to oppose Lansley's NHS bill. We do not trust them at all as they have been part of an unelected coalition, implementing the most savage attacks on working people, youth, students and the weakest in society. This year has shown one thing, working people must look to their own and the labour and trade union movement to oppose the Con Dem class attack. We expect Cleg and Cameron to defend  the bankers. They created this crises and we are not going to pay for it.

Over half a million marched in London against the austerity measures on March 26th. This was the biggest trade union march since the 1970's. Industrial action in the public sector against pay cuts, attacks on public services, pensions and jobs can be expected over the coming period. Local community groups are fighting to defend their local schools, hospitals, playgroups and community centres. Benefit claiments and those dependant on diasability and income support are facing a horrendous and nightmarish future. We have to be able to show that there is an alternative to these cuts and the fightback has started.

In the meantime, the fascists and racists attempt to divide working people with their vile scapegoating message. In Brighton and elsewhere we will not be intimidated and there is a united response across the whole of our multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious society against them. The BNP/ EDL and others have nothing to offer but hatred and  bigotry.  They will not pass.

A-star anti-cuts day school unites South East activists -report.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Demonstrate Against Atos Healthcare - Brighton -Thursday April 14th 2-5pm-Churchill Square


The 3rd National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts has been called for April 14th 2011.
Millions are set to be affected by savage cuts to housing, disability, sickness and welfare benefits. People with disabilities, illness, the unemployed, single parents, carers the low waged, part time students, volunteers, homeless people and college students are all likely to see a devastating drop in disposable income with many slipping even further below the poverty line.

The poorest and most vulnerable are being asked to pay for the mistakes and extravagances of the richest. Meanwhile poverty pimps like Atos Origin and A4e are set to rake in hundreds of millions on government contracts to bully and intimidate people from claiming the pittance handed out in benefit payments. Many disabled people have threatened suicide if these cuts are allowed to continue. Some have tragically already carried out that threat.

The first two days of protest against benefit cuts have seen demonstrations, meetings, unemployed discos, public pantomimes and occupations in cities across the UK. Atos Origin have been forced to close offices, protesters have gathered inside and outside workfare sharks A4e and demonstrations have taken place from Downing Street to local town centres such as Lydney and Crawley.

We are fighting for our homes, our livelihoods, our very survival. It’s time to show these public school parasites and their poverty pimp collaborators we mean business.

Actions/events organised so far:

Thursday April 14th 2-5pm
Churchill Square Brighton

Brighton Benefits Campaign is a group of claimants and workers who campaign to bring together those in and out of work to fight against the Government’s welfare reforms.

The Brighton Benefits Campaign was launched in February 2010 in the face of continuing attacks on benefits and the welfare state and the increasing criminalisation of all those who claim. At a time when billions can be found for illegal wars and bank bail outs, the poorest and most vulnerable in the society are having to pay for a recession they never caused.

Rather than be used to drive down wages and be used as free labour, we aim to unite the unemployed and benefit claimants with workers, unions and other campaigns together to build a fight back.

We demand:
- an end to the privatisation of the benefit system
- an end to criminalisation of those on benefits
- an increase in benefits to ensure claimants can live above the poverty line
- no more job cuts but rather public investment to create jobs

We oppose ESA and demand a more humane benefit for the sick

Friday, April 8, 2011

Petition: Don't Cut Us Out - Speaking out for the vulnerable!

Petition: Don't Cut Us Out - Speaking out for the vulnerable!

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We the undersigned reject West Sussex County Council's current approach of targeting vulnerable people to make budget cuts, and call on the County Council to reverse its decisions to change eligibility thresholds and close Day Centres.

Background Information

We dispute the need for cuts to services for vulnerable people, noting that the national deficit could be wiped out if the overall taxation system is made fairer and policies which bring about growth and get people into jobs are adopted. We call on the County Council to review the budget it passed on February 11th, use its Reserves, and cut non-essential expenditures which do not negatively impact on vulnerable people, public services or staff.
People signing the petition must work, study or live within West Sussex. You must include a West Sussex postcode or your signature will not be counted as valid.

Brighton TUSC to fight the cuts at the ballot box!

From: Brighton Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts

The people have a real choice, a real alternative to vote for at the ballot box.

"There will be anger on the streets as people realise that the same people who created the UK financial crisis are still living in the lap of luxury while the rest of us are told to take the hit."

While the filthy rich attempt to escape any punishment for causing the economic crash that is being piled upon the innocent working class with job losses and vicious cuts to our public services, the words of Trade Unionists and Socialist Against Cuts (TUSC) supporter Bob Crow are turning into action.

On March 26 hundreds of thousands of trade unionists, socialists, pensioners, the unemployed, students and young people raised London in a giant demonstration with one voice calling for an alternative to this government's unjustified cuts agenda. And with May's local elections looming, anti-cuts campaigners have now launched a counter-attack at the ballot box to offer ordinary people the chance to vote for an opportunity to see justice rightfully served upon those who continue to steal our wealth we create through our work in private and public services, to fight for that wealth for the benefit of the millions instead of the billionaires.

With the Tories and Lib Dems leading the attack on our livelihoods and communities, the cowardly Labour Party once again turns its back on ordinary working people and the poor by allowing ideologically driven cuts budgets to lash out of council chambers across the country into the laps of our society's most vulnerable, the growing army of the abandoned unemployed and lowest paid.

In Brighton the Labour Party abstained in the recent budget vote allowing the Tories to continue with £23 million of cuts to children's services, housing services and transport all relied upon by ordinary people.

The Greens have no idea how to defend working people. They attempted to offer their own amendments and voted against the Tories budget, but have stated that they can see no alternative to making cuts if they are elected.

TUSC must show that councillors do have a choice, that they should set 'needs' budgets and demand the extra money that is currently being avoided in taxes owed by the rich or in bankers' bonuses, a figure approximately £120 billion each year – enough to wipe out the country's deficit in one go. In 1984, by following this strategy, the Militant-led Liverpool Labour Party council won £60 million from Thatcher's Tory government that was stronger than the current Con-Dem coalition.

The Trade Unionists and Socialist Against Cuts (TUSC) coalition of candidates and activists includes members from the Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition campaigners, the RMT trade union, Brighton Hove & District Trades Union Council, Brighton & Hove Unemployed Workers Centre, leading Defend Council Housing activists, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Resistance, along with hundreds of individuals determined to resist these attacks and build a genuine political voice for ordinary working class people.

TUSC is calling for anyone who is opposed to the cuts to support our socialist anti-cuts platform as candidates people can vote for in their community, who will resist all attempts to cut and privatise everything organised working people have fought so hard for in the past.

TUSC is standing working class anti-cuts candidates in Hollingdean and Stanmer, East Brighton, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and Hanover wards.

Ward: Hollingdean and Stanmer
Candidates: Phil Clarke, Tony Greenstein and Dave Hill
Phil Clarke:
Phil is a local teacher and trade union activist who has been at the forefront of defending jobs and building the Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition.
As a Hollingdean resident Phil has been part of campaigns to stop the sell-off our council houses
and has stood alongside the unemployed workers centre’s Tony Greenstein in previous elections.
“Locally Labour allowed the Tories to pass a massive cuts budget - they think cuts should be carried out but slower. The Hollingdean Green candidates have admitted they will have to
vote through cuts if they lead the council. We need councillors who will vote against ALL cuts and support our unions defending jobs.”

Tony Greenstein:
Tony has been an advisor and co-ordinator at the Unemployed Workers Centre in Hollingdean for over a decade.
As a member of Unison, Tony has been vital in providing help for both workers and the unemployed in fighting the attacks on our hard won welfare support services, along with building the Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition in the local community.

Dave Hill:
Dave Hill is a trade union activist and university professor. He represented Stanmer ward for 10 years and served as governor of Coldean schools and of the University of Sussex. He has been active in supporting the victimised Sussex Six and students and staff at the universities fighting against redundancies.
Dave Hill is a former East Sussex Labour group leader, a former Brighton councillor and P
parliamentary candidate, who left Labour after 44 years disgusted by the way the party has turned against the working class and by its cuts policies. In 2010 he ran for parliament in Brighton for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
Brought up in poverty in Brighton, he founded the Brighton Campaign for Nursery Education and has fought all his life for the equality for working people, and against sexism, homophobia, and racism.

Ward: Moulsecoomb and Bevendean
Candidate: Dave Bangs
Dave Bangs is a gardener and ex-care worker. He co-led Defend Council Housing's successful campaign to stop council housing privatisation in Brighton.
Dave says: “We need a massive programme of new council housing, and we need rent controls and security of tenure to help students and all private tenants. I support making public transport free and creating a million green jobs to help stop disastrous climate change.”
Dave co-founded Keep Our Forests Public to stop privatisation of our forests. He co-led the successful campaigns to stop the privatisation of both Brighton and Worthing's council-owned downland.
Dave is a lifelong green activist and was a member of the Labour Party for 20 years until New Labour took over.
“All the other parties will vote for cuts budgets rather than fight unjust laws.”

Ward: East Brighton
Candidate: Bill North
Bill North is a local teacher and an active UCU member. He has been a pillar of the local labour movement in his role as current Brighton, Hove and District Trades Union Council general secretary.
Bill has been fighting the attacks to our jobs, public services and rights for decades, having been instrumental in the work of local anti-poll tax federation in the early 1990s to playing a guiding role in the creation of the Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition uniting all those fighting the cuts agendas of the other parties.

Ward: Hanover
Candidate: Jon Redford
Jon Redford is an organiser for the Socialist Party, originally from Crowborough. He is standing for the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts for two reasons. First, the massive cuts agenda that faces every working and middle-class person in Britain - the cost of a crisis we did not cause while the culprits laugh all the way to the bank. Second, the lack of a fightback from any of the other main parties who either agree with the cuts or are failing to wage a serious fightback against them.
The cuts will devastate local communities and Brighton and Hove will be no exception. As a councillor Jon will campaign against every single cut to living and working conditions and push to build the strength of the anti-cuts movement with a fighting strategy to defeat the cuts and the coalition government.


For more information please call Jon on 07894 716095 or Peter on 07788 744120 or email
Alternatively, please visit or