Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Climate Change Demo/ Bahrain Book Launch /Banner Theatre

Climate Change Demo
Bahrain Book Launch
Banner Theatre

People's March for Climate, Justice and Jobs

November 29th, branch members meet at 12:30 corner of Oxford Street and Great Cumberland Place, near Marble Arch tube.
Around the world, in major cities, people will be working together to make this the biggest, most poignant demonstration yet, and our unified voice will resonate from London across the globe to call for real action on climate change. more details...

Book launch: Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in The Gulf

Drawing on testimonies from those involved, this book provides a voice for the lived experiences of ordinary Bahrainis.
Wednesday 25 Nov 6.30pm
Bookmarks Bookshop,1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE, Admission £2.00 Payable on door more details...

Chicago, The Great Teachers' Strike

Banner Theatre tell the story of the Chicago Teachers' fight for public education.
Saturday 28th November at 7pm at the Blackheath and Newbridge Working Men's Club, Charlton Road, SE3 7HG. £10/£5.
more details...
Organised by Greenwich and Bexley TUC
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Stop the War »DON'T BOMB SYRIA

David Cameron is trying to get support of all the parties for bombing Syria. There could be a vote in parliament as early as next week. It is a matter of urgency to resist this massive pressure to push the country into another savage and disastrous war. 

The UK has been bombing countries for a decade and a half, at the cost of millions of lives. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results meets Albert Einstein's definition of madness. The US has admitted that, despite having killed thousands of Isis fighters, the fundamentalist forces are now as strong as when the bombing began, demonstrating the futility of trying to bomb an ideology out of existence.

As Jeremy Corbyn has emphasised, it is vital "not to be drawn into responses that feed a cycle of violence and hate." 

National Day of Anti-war Protest

Stop the War Coalition are organising a protest against the bombing of Syria outside Downing Street from 12-2pm this Saturday 28 November. Please invite all your friends to attend this.

We are calling on all our groups to organise protests in their towns and cities on the same day. We need to resist this brutalising and dehumanising spiral of violence.

Lobby, lobby, lobby
In the last couple of days, thousands of people have lobbied their MP using our online lobbying tool, bringing the total so far to over 20,000. Put pressure on MPs not to bomb Syria and to pursue peaceful strategies instead. It takes just 1 minute to lobby your MP using this lobbying toolPLEASE SHARE FAR AND WIDE.

We also need to keep organising lobbies at MPs' constituency offices. Contact the Stop the War office on office@stopwar.org.uk or on 020 7561 4830 to let us know of your activities and if you need any assistance.

1 December London: Public MeetingAfter the Paris Attacks: The Case against War

Stop the War is organising a public meeting against the bombing of Syria in London on 1 December

After the Paris Attacks: The Case against War 
Tuesday 1 December | 6.30pm
Conway Hall | 26 Red Lion Square | London WC1R 4R

Speakers will include:
Tariq Ali (via skype)
Salma Yaqoob
Lindsey German

Other speakers tbc. 

 Stop the War is asking all its local groups to hold meetings on this issue in the next few weeks. 

Cut war, not welfare

The old saying that "war is the health of the state" was confirmed over the weekend as the UK government has suddenly found additional 2 billion pounds which it is going to spend on a sharp increase in mass surveillance of the UK population, in addition to announcing a 12 billion pound purchase of 138 (!) fighter jets. Incidentally, the Tories are seeking to save the same amount of money (£12 billion) by introducing harsh new welfare cuts which will undermine the well-being and the security of the most vulnerable segments of the UK population.

Don't bomb Syria - URGENT APPEAL

You have generously donated to our Syria appeal in recent weeks but we need more funds to sustain and build the campaign against the bombing of Syria. We are asking our supporters to donate generously to fund our campaign against yet another foreign war.

We need the campaign against bombing Syria to be as high profile and far reaching as possible. Thousands have already lobbied their MPs from our website. As well as producing huge amounts of materials, putting on a tour of rallies and film showings and organising street protests, we urgently need your financial support so we can pay for the cost of organising new anti-war public meetings.

·         £25 pays for online lobbying of MPs for a month
·         £50 pays for the printing of 1,000 Syria briefings
·         £300 is enough to book a film screening
·         £600 pays for the booking of a large public meeting venue 
·         £1,000 buys 500 placards.

Please give generously. We stopped Cameron pushing through a vote to bomb Syria in 2013, with a strong campaign we can stop him again. Donate here.

Why we need your support

Stop the War has no wealthy backers. Since our founding in 2001, our campaigns and small office have been funded entirely by our members, supporters and affiliated organisations. We need your support. 

In the words of writer A. L. Kennedy:
Stop the War is a valuable source of information and a vital voice for peace and creative thinking in the UK and beyond. In a landscape dominated by lazy mainstream journalism, political spin and aggressively entitled commercial interests Stop the War's work is growing all the more precious.

Please help sustain our vital work opposing the UK government war policies, by becoming a member or by making a donation.
• Join Stop the War »
• Make a Donation »

Monday, 16 November 2015

Brighton-hove peoples assembly November 2015 Newsletter

November 2015 Newsletter
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Hello friends,

It feels hard to find the words to start this newsletter, coming after very recent horrific violence - some near to us, some further away, some made more visible than others. But people continue, near and far, to be compassionate, kind and courageous in resisting terror and oppression in all its forms. This newsletter tries to bring you a slice of this activism happening on your doorsteps - people coming together to try to make things better. Please support where you can. 

Welcome to those new to this email list- we send out local news with details of campaigns and meetings once a month. All details are on our website at: http://www.brightonpa.org.uk/  If you have any ideas or want to help, please email pplsassembly.brighton@gmail.com.

Also if you have any stories you want to share on the website - please get in contact!
Brighton People's Assembly Against Austerity News
NEXT Organising Meeting: Wed 2nd December 7.30pm @ Brighthelm Centre 

First Wednesday of every month is now set as our regular meeting. Thanks to Mike for taking the minutes at our November meeting -click here to see what was discussed - including reports from the working groups Tenants Resistance Group, Council Tax Reduction, Anti-Austerity Festival and Voluntary Sector/privatisation.

Our next open meeting will be  facilitated by Jake and minuted by Dani. All members are welcome to suggest items for the agenda in advance, or to bring suggestions on the night. The agenda will be planned at the Admin group meeting on Wednesday 25th November - please send any items by email before then.
The Brighton People's Assembly Against Austerity AGM
6th January 7.30pm @ Brighthelm Centre
An opportunity for all members to review the last year's accounts, elect a Treasurer and Secretary and make any changes to the constitution if we want to. It will take place just before a main organising meeting, so if you come along you'll also be able to take part in a more interesting action planning discussion!

In order to allow volunteers to prepare an agenda before the Christmas break, we request, if possible, any proposals to amend the constitution are sent topplsassembly.brighton@gmail.com by 14th December. Any proposals received after 27th December cannot be considered at the AGM. The constitution can be viewed here.
Lobby Brighton & Hove Council - No Poor Tax!
Policy and Resources Committee, Thurs 3rd December 3.30pm @ Brighthelm Centre

Following on from last week's meeting, the campaign continues on local council tax benefit proposals. Please support the 15,000 poorest households in our city - one in 12 - who are set to be hit by another big increase in the council tax they have to pay from April 2016. People on very low incomes will have to pay at least 33% more council tax next year, while the general council tax bill is likely to increase by no more than 2%. We think this is unfair - please join us on December 3rd to let the councillors know it's not OK to take money from the poorest people in the city to plug the gap in council funding.
For further information on this campaign, see our campaign page. like the campaign on Facebook, follow on Twitter: @NoPoorTax, and sign our petition:bit.ly/PoorTaxPetition.
Who wants to attend the national conference?

We've had a brilliant year, we've achieved so much, but we still have a ruthless Tory government we have to resist, so we have to step up the struggle yet again. The People’s Assembly in Brighton & Hove has worked with many of you, on the streets, at demos and rallies, at meetings small and large and we know that in the next few months we will need to do more. Our website  provides details of everything that’s going on in  but there’s also huge advantages in finding out what’s happening elsewhere in the country, in linking up with other local groups and hearing from and discussing with national figures how we can all work together even more effectively.  The People’s Assembly National Conference on Saturday 5th December in London is an opportunity for this and Brighton & Hove can send up to ten delegates to this conference. Speakers at the conference will include the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Francesca Martinez the campaigner and performer, Dr Rory Hicks from the Junior Doctors Campaign, Christine Blower – General Secretary of the NUT (the teachers union), Dave Ward from the postal workers union and Natalie Bennett – leader of the Green Party. More speakers are to be confirmed.

I’ve volunteered to co-ordinate the Brighton & Hove delegation. If you’re interested in going to this conference, please email me and I can provide you with details.


Aidan Pettitt
Local Campaigns: Actions & Events
Time to Act  - Week of Action 15th-22nd November

After lots of planning and fundraising, the week of action begins today! 2015 is a crucial year for the climate. In December, governments will come together in Paris to strike a new deal for the climate - we must make our voices heard in the lead up to the COP21 conference in Paris, there will be a range of actions locally and nationally to put pressure on the government to take action.

Week of action local events are on Brighton CAN comprehensive calendar & includes: Finale: Climate Conference & Afterparty at the Synergy Centre,Saturday 21st Nov 10:00am - 2amA whole day and evening of talks, events, films, stalls, music and dancing. Join, share and get updates about the schedule via the Facebook event.

Time to Cycle - join the mass cycle to COP21 by cycling Brighton to Newhaven section on Monday 7th November ~ details here

National Demo Sunday, 29 November 2015 - 12pm
London Demonstration called by the Campaign Against Climate Change, also occurring in Scotland, Wales & Paris - details here.

Dancing for Syria
Wed 25th November 7.30pm
@ Latest Music Bar

A fundraiser for Calais Acion.  Performances by Tribal and Tribal Fusion Belly Dancers Hilde Cannoodt, Charlotte, Masmoudi, Ter'zím ATS UK / SA and many more. Tickets £8 and on sale here.
  • Screening of The Fourth Estate Mon 16th November 5pm @ Cockcroft Building, Lecture Theatre 1(G24) University of Brighton Lewes Road ~ This event marks the launch of the Brighton Radical Film Festival. Hosted by School of Art, Design and Media.A film about the media, corruption and us. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the director, Lee Salter, over a glass of wine.
  • Brighton & Hove Council Workers Speak Out Against The Cuts Tuesday 17th November 7.30pm @ Brighthelm Centre ~ Organised by Brighton and Hove Unison. Speakers will be staff directly affected by the cuts whowill explain how the cuts will affect local communities. Plenty of time for all at the meeting to discuss how unions and communities can unite to stop them. Join the facebook event here
  • Brighton Benefits Campaign meeting Wed 18th November 7.30pm @ The Old Ship Hotel ~ All welcome
  • Women, austerity and the cuts Thursday 26th November 6.30pm @ Friends Meeting House ~ Public meeting organised by the National Assembly of Women. Speaker: Anita Wright, NAW President. All welcome.
Love Activists Brighton are consulting to find the most progressive, practical and radical solution based proposals to end homelessness. Deadline for proposals is Fri 20th Nov - Watch the video here to find out more. 
The 'Love Kitchen' is still being set up every Sunday where possible.
See the facebook page for details.
Donations of food and equipment welcome. No cash donations accepted.
If you would like to be part of the Love Kitchen Crews or Coordinate
please Email loveactivists@riseup.net
Blyth Power& John Hegley - Bring Back British Rail benefit gig
Sunday 20th Dec 7.30pm @ Green Door Store

This benefit gig will not only raise funds for the group, it will also see bands, poets and performers joining up with activists, trade unionists and trainspotters to celebrate the railway and raise awareness about an issue that is fast gaining traction in the UK. All this is taking place at the Green Door Store, underneath Brighton Train Station.
Tickets £8 available here. More details on Facebook event page.
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Brighton, BN1 7BT
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Sunday, 15 November 2015

John Roan shows the way in challenging 'exam factory' schools

Sunday, 15 November 2015
John Roan shows the way in challenging 'exam factory' schools

The current action by teachers at John Roan School in Lewisham has significance well beyond that borough. There is increasing recognition of the impact of a high stakes testing system both on teachers and pupils. As teachers' workload increases their stress levels rise and the fixation on grades and fear of failure produces stress in their students.

John Roan staff are taking the initiative in challenging what the NUT have called factory schooling.  (Exam Factories? The impact of accountability measures on children and young people 
NUT June 2015).Yesterday a number of organisations, working under the banner Reclaiming Education, came together at Hamilton House, the NUT HQ, to discuss some common aims in that campaign. Green Party teachers were among those who took part.

This is the message that John Roan staff have sent to supporters today:
Dear Supporters,

We thought we would update you on our campaign to defend our working conditions and the traditions of our comprehensive school.

Our strike day on Tuesday 10 November 2015, received phenomenal support from NUT Associations, other trade unions, parents, students and teachers from as far as New York Miami and Nigeria! We think this is because we are speaking up for teachers who are defending education and the conditions in which it can flourish. We want our students to do well in their qualifications but not at any cost; not at the cost of those who find exams difficult and feel they are failures, or the ones who want to do so well they work into the night, bent over books with the stress of heightened expectations and future failure.

Teaching should be something that brings fulfilment and reward, not exhaustion and demoralisation. They are destroying our vocation and turning it into alienating toil. We must stop this and our campaign is the start for us. We hope we have encouraged teachers everywhere to do the same.

We understand that a negotiating meeting has been called this week and we hope that The John Roan Management come to their senses and adopt policies that recognise the valuable contribution we make to our students' learning.  All we ask is that they respect that our workload should be reasonable and that we should be trusted to teach without excessive scrutiny and monitoring.

If we do not get agreement, we will have no choice to but to continue our strike on Thursday 19 November 2015. Our pickets are from 7.30am until 8.45am and we welcome everyone in joining us to support our strike.

Please continue to spread the word and if you would like us to speak at a meeting then reply us with details of when/where you would like us to come. We are all working teachers so we will do our best, but we have part-time and retired teachers who could speak too.

Thanks again and solidarity forever.

The John Roan NUT
www.thejohnroannut.org  johnroannut@gmail.com  Twitter @thejohnroannut

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Degrowth Project

After Vienna university in October, we would like to invite you to the following discussions around « A Degrowth Project » , in the framework of the stream towards the5th International Degrowth Conference(Budapest, 30 August – 3 September 2016):
11 NovemberPaths Towards a Degrowth Society,Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (Sweden).
21 NovemberUnconditional Basic Income, a springboard toward sustainable and desirable Degrowth, International Basic Income Conference, Budapest (Hungary).
24 November, at the « Ecological Production in a Post-Growth Society » conference organized by the Green European Foundation and Ököpolisz, Budapest.
More info, texts, videos and audios on: « A Degrowth Project » website.
And the last articles about our activities in Budapest:
All the best,

‘Re-Imagine Democracy - towards a Citizens Convention on the Constitution’

‘Re-Imagine Democracy - towards a Citizens Convention on the Constitution’
Saturday, 14 November 2015 from 10:45 to 16:30 (GMT)
Jointly called by Assemblies for Democracy & Occupy Democracy
at the Runnymede Festival for Democracy on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta

With John McDonnell MP, Labour shadow chancellor
Natalie Bennett, leader Green Party
& Liz Davies, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers executive
Stuart White, openDemocracy
John Hendy QC, Institute of Employment Rights
Speakers from Occupy Democracy, Agreement of the People and others
A hunger for democratic change is sweeping the UK, expressed in last year’s independence referendum in Scotland and in the wave of enthusiasm for renewal generated by Jeremy Corbyn’s stunning campaign.
But Britain’s piecemeal constitution is broken beyond repair. We live under a vanishing democracy subverted by corporate power. The state has abolished a range of human and social rights and now they’re coming for the trade unions.
So we need a new constitution as a framework for a real democracy. A Citizens Convention on the Constitution is a first step on the road to bringing power closer to the people.
Break-outs on:
·         How can we address our democratic deficit?
·         Austerity, corporate power and finance as democratic issues
·         Beyond the “dis-united kingdom” – federalism, independence & other models
·         Refugees, migration & democracy 
·         Ecology, climate change and democracy
·         Republicanism: a way forward?
·         Human/trade union rights and democracy
·         The European Union and democracy - are they compatible? 
·         Beyond representation: direct/participatory democracy

Supported by Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, A World to Win, openDemocracy
Unlock Democracy, Involve, Agreement of the People, Republican Socialist Alliance
Oxford Democracy Builders, NatCAN 
Do you have questions about ‘Re-Imagine Democracy - towards a Citizens Convention on the Constitution’? Contact Jointly called by Assemblies for Democracy & Occupy Democracy
11 people have saved ‘Re-Imagine Democracy - towards a Citizens Convention on the Constitution’
Waterloo Action Centre (doors open 10.00am )
14 Baylis Road
SE1 7AA London
United Kingdom
Saturday, 14 November 2015 from 10:45 to 16:30 (GMT)
Details here