Saturday 30 January 2016
March & demonstrate
On Saturday 30 January there will be two important protests against cuts to local public services across East Sussex. Go along and make your voice heard in Brighton and Eastbourne. These are your councils, so have your say!
East Sussex residents are urged to meet 11am at Bankers Corner, Terminus Road, Eastbourne to demonstrate until 1pm against cuts by Tory-controlled East Sussex County Council. Please download and display the demonstration poster on your workplace or community noticeboard.
Brighton & Hove residents are asked to assemble at The Level, opposite the Open Market in central Brighton, to march-off at 12pm to hear speakers at a demonstration outside Brighton Town Hall in Bartholomew Square. Brighton’s protest has been organised by Brighton, Hove and District Trades Council, and has the support of local unions, anti-cuts campaigners and service users. Contact us if you can help carry the Sussex LRC banner on this march.
The Tory Government’s harsh cuts to the funding of local councils is forcing Labour councils to implement cuts to services. This is a Tory political choice, not an economic necessity. Unlike the 1980s, councils no longer have the option of setting an illegal budget, but Labour councillors do not have to merely accept what they are told by council officers.
In December Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Labour Council leaders asking them to mobilise campaigns against Tory cuts. The LRC encourages Labour councillors to implement that strategy and bring Corbyn’s new politics into local democracy. We urge Labour councillors to work with council unions, service users and communities to develop innovative solutions, including the use of Councils’ reserves before any closures or cuts of jobs and services.
Labour councillors must make clear that these are Tory cuts – by joining local campaigns against Tory cuts, not shying away from them. Labour councillors should remember that they are elected to represent their communities – to represent people to power – not to manage cuts efficiently on behalf of the powerful. There is no such thing as a “better” or “kinder” cut. Please support the local demonstrations on Saturday 30 January. Together we are strong!
1.30pm Saturday 23 January 2016
Doors 1pm, when refreshments will be available
Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF
An afternoon of memories, politics, comedy and song as, with support from Brighton & Hove District Trades Council, some great speakers and performers, we mark the 30th anniversary of the 1986/87 Wapping Dispute and link the printworkers’ fight for jobs and justice with campaigns ongoing today.
Hear from Paul King – Father Of Chapel (union rep) at The Sun Machine Chapel, local performance poet Attila the Stockbroker, Ivy Smith – London SOGAT Women’s Branch Chair, John Bailey – FOC for the NGA at The Sun, Mike Simons – Executive Producer of Still The Enemy Within and a journalist during Wapping, comedian Kate Smurthwaite, Morning Star Editor Ben Chacko, singer/songwriter Robb Johnson, Independent journalist Liam Young, and others. Doors open at 1pm on the day. Refreshments will be available.
As well as remembering the Wapping Dispute, we shall examine how ownership of the media stifles press and broadcasting freedom in the UK, discuss the impact of social media, hopefully raise funds for the News International Dispute Archive and the Campaign For Press and Broadcasting Freedom, and have some fun!
You won’t want to miss this great event, so make sure that you buy your tickets early. Contact us to buy advance tickets – just £4 waged, £2 concessions, or to make a donation or sponsor the event.
The Wapping Dispute followed within a year of the end of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike, and was as traumatic an event for the labour movement and the British media. On 24 January 1986, News International Group, which published The Sun, The News of The World, The Times and The Sunday Times, sacked nearly 6,000 staff. Under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership, overnight, News International switched production to a new non-union factory at Wapping, East London.
Printworkers and their unions fought for a year but the scales were heavily against them with Thatcher using the state to support Murdoch. The Wapping site was heavily defended by fences, barbed wire and the police. It later transpired that the EETPU had connived with Murdoch in helping to secretly establish the site. This was one of the major reasons for the EETPU’s expulsion from the TUC.
Together with the Miners’ Strike, Wapping was a key dispute in the mid-1980s, which Thatcher exploited to introduce anti-union laws and undermine the unity of the labour movement. This is something that can be reversed as Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party encourages a return of solidarity with the unions. So come along on 23 January 2016 to discuss the lessons of our movement’s past.
Meanwhile, the Wapping Dispute 30th anniversary exhibition runs in London until 11 February 2016.
7.30pm, Tuesday 1 December
Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF
Speakers: Garry Hassell, RMT; junior doctors’ representative tbc
One of the first changes under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was Labour’s new policy to actively advance public ownership of Britain’s railway. It’s a huge advance that this policy is now being taken forward by Labour’s leadership, rather than pushed by members alone. Following Jeremy’s election as leader, rail union RMT is among those considering re-affiliation to the Labour Party.
Momentum Brighton & Hove plans to organise local supporters to participate across Brighton & Hove during the next national Action for Rail protests, which will coincide with January’s rail fare increase. Hear about this from Garry Hassell of Brighton & Hove RMT and get involved at this meeting on Tuesday 1 December.
Tuesday 1 December is the first strike day planned by junior doctors in their dispute with the Government and a doctors’ representative has also been invited to speak at this meeting. Sussex LRC joins Momentum Brighton & Hove in offering our solidarity and support to junior doctors in that dispute, as we do to all NHS staff, patients and campaigners fighting back to stop the Tories wrecking our NHS.
If you want to see Jeremy Corbyn elected as the UK’s next Prime Minister, we encourage you to go along to this second meeting of Momentum Brighton & Hove, and get active. Momentum aims to unite, motivate, educate and organise socialists, both inside and outside the Labour Party, in support of Jeremy Corbyn. Momentum Brighton & Hove plans to hold regular meetings and run street activities. Rather than meeting separately in December, Brighton & Hove LRC members have decided to support this meeting of Momentum Brighton & Hove.
The People’s March for Climate, Justice & Jobs
Labour bloc assembles at Meeting Point J, Park Lane, London
12 noon, Sunday 29 November
Free Education Brighton demonstration
Victoria Gardens, Brighton BN2
12 noon, Wednesday 2 December
Lobby of Policy & Resources Committee
Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD
From 3pm, Thursday 3 December
Reclaim Brighton rally, march & social
Starts from The Level, Brighton BN2 3FX
6pm – 10pm, Friday 4 December
7.30pm, Tuesday 20 October
What should a National Care Service look like?
The Mesmerist, 1-3 Prince Albert Street, Brighton BN1 1HE
The plight of carers was one of the areas highlighted for action by Labour’s new leaders at the Party’s 2015 conference. Brighton & Hove LRC expects to be joined by a carer at this meeting, to discuss the urgent need for proper support of carers and to consider the development of a National Care Service modelled on the NHS.
This meeting will also discuss developments at Labour’s conference, how to best support Jeremy Corbyn in his new role as Labour leader, the Brighton 4 Corbyn meeting on Thursday 29 October and the launch of Momentum.
Brighton & Hove LRC holds friendly and informal meetings every other month, chatting around a table in the ground floor Alchemist room at The Mesmerist pub, close to Brighton Town Hall. All welcome.
The Labour Representation Committee welcomes the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader by an overwhelming majority. The LRC fully supports Jeremy’s opposition to austerity and war, as well as his support for trade unionism and Britain becoming a safe haven for refugees. LRC members played their part in his campaign and salute all those thousands of others who also did so.
We welcome Jeremy’s effort to include in his Shadow Cabinet many who did not support him in his leadership campaign in an effort to strengthen Party unity. The appointment of a majority of women to the Shadow Cabinet is especially positive. We particularly welcome the appointment of our Chair John McDonnell MP as Shadow Chancellor, with his firm commitment to opposing cuts in public services and the welfare state, and austerity in general.
The LRC urges all Labour MPs and Party members to support our new leader, recognising the mandate he has from Party members and supporters. While debate on policy is expected and legitimate, we would expect that any
disagreement not be aired in the media in a way which could be used by the enemies of our movement. This is so especially at a time when the media and Tories have shown their eagerness to distort and exploit such disagreements.
Our movement has an urgent task in attacking this government when it is introducing legislation as pernicious as the Trade Union Bill and the Welfare Reform Bill – both of which continue the Tories’ policy of creating scapegoats in order to dismantle the welfare state and undermine the ability of workers to resist attacks on their working conditions.
The LRC fully supports Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader. Jeremy has always been very closely connected with the LRC and is a strong voice for the labour movement. Sussex LRC cannot think of any policy where we do not wholly agree with Jeremy, from his opposition to fracking and Trident, to his support for workers in struggle, unemployed people and disabled people – to name but a few groups backed by this champion of human rights. See Sussex LRC TV for film and photos of the many different LRC events Jeremy has spoken at, most recently at Brighton Fringe 2015. Read Jeremy Corbyn in his own words for a useful summary of what Jeremy stands for or Jeremy’s message from Stevenage to London.
All Labour Party members and supporters can vote in this leadership election. Jeremy Corbyn is campaigning to transform the Labour Party so, like us, urges his supporters to join Labour and get involved. Not quite ready to join Labour yet? Provided you don’t support a party that opposes Labour, you can register as a supporter of the Labour Party before 12 August. This is free for anyone who is a member of one of Labour’s affiliated organisations (the socialist societies and affiliated trade unions) but it is essential to register. For others we think this will be the best £3 you have spent in a very long time, so encourage anyone who supports Jeremy to register before 12 August. You can even register by simply texting SUPPORT to 78555 (cost £3).
Described as “the finest socialist in parliament” by John McDonnell MP, Jeremy Corbyn is an outspoken critic of austerity and war, who has consistently championed the rights of oppressed people since he first became an MP in 1983 and through his work with the Greek Solidarity Campaign, CND, Stop the War Coalition, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and many other groups. This is who we want as Labour leader. Let’s do everything we can to transform the Labour Party and maximise the vote for Jeremy Corbyn.
Postscript: Our badge-makers have been busy again. Get your new Corbyn For Leader badge while stocks last! Just £1 (plus P&P for postal sales) with all profits to be donated to Jeremy’s campaign. Buy a badge from one of us around and about Sussex at various labour movement events, including Hastings & Rother LRC’s meeting on Friday 10 July and at Brighton & Hove LRC on Tuesday 21 July. Or contact us with your order by email or post.
Candy Udwin is the PCS representative at the National Gallery, who was suspended immediately before staff began industrial action against management’s plan to privatise 400 of the 600 staff jobs. Candy has now been sacked by the Gallery for asking questions about the cost of this privatisation.
The public has a right to know how taxpayers’ money is spent. This is a legitimate and crucial question for trades unions to ask of public service employers. Please sign the PCS statement to add your voice to those calling on the National Gallery to reinstate Candy, so the Gallery and PCS can get back to talks at ACAS, and so a mutual solution can be found to this damaging dispute.
The National Gallery is known to millions and is responsible for public assets. Can a private company like CIS really replace staff with years of knowledge and experience? If, like us, you think not, please join the thousands who have signed the petition calling for no privatisation at the National Gallery.
Watch Candy speaking at Brighton Fringe 2015 to find out more about the National Gallery Not For Sale Campaign and how you can help, including details of the strike fund which provides essential support to striking staff. Fight back against austerity, shout out loudly “no privatisation”, and demand “no victimisation” and the reinstatement of Candy Udwin.