Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Green Party open letter to Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron and Leanne Wood urging talks about a progressive alliance

This is the text of the open letter that has gone from the Green Party to Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron and Leanne Wood urging talks about a progressive alliance.(Acknowledgements to Martin Francis)

 Dear all,
In a spirit of openness and transparency, we are writing to you as Leaders of parties which oppose Brexit, to invite you to a cross-party meeting to explore how we best rise to the challenge posed by last week’s vote to leave the EU.

Britain is in crisis and people are scared about the future. Never have we had a greater need for calm leadership to be shown by politicians.

We have a UK Government in chaos, an economy facing a crisis and people up and down the country facing serious hardship. There is an urgent need to make a stand against any austerity and the slashing of environmental legislation, human and workers’ rights that may come with Brexit.
With the growing likelihood of an early General Election, the importance of progressive parties working together to prevent the formation of a Tory-UKIP-DUP government that would seek to enact an ultra-right Brexit scenario is ever more pressing.

This is an opportunity to recognise that a more plural politics is in both the Left’s electoral and political interests. This crisis exposes the absurdity of our first past the post electoral system. Just 24 per cent of those eligible to vote elected the government that called the referendum. The only fair way to proceed is to have a proportional voting system where people can back the politicians who they believe in, rather than taking a gamble and not knowing who they will end up with.

The idea of a progressive alliance has been floated for several years, and proposals have once again been put forward in the context of the current crisis. We believe that the time has come to urgently consider such ideas together in the context of a Westminster Government. We recognise the very different political situation in Scotland, given the strongly pro-EU majority there. We hope that co-operation between progressive parties their can ensure that this mandate is respected, and we will support them to keep all options open.
We look forward to your response,

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Alice Hooker-Stroud, Leader of Wales Green Party
Steven Agnew MLA, Leader of the Green Party of Northern Ireland
Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Pavilion

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

SERTUC activities and news

SERTUC activities and news

SERTUC Regional Council

Saturday 9 July Congress House, 10am to 1pm. All trade unionists in the Region are welcome to attend as visitors, but must register before the meeting at Speakers are:
·         Richard Howitt MEP – EU update
·         Gerry Morrissey, General Secretary – BECTU update

Burston Strike School Rally

Sunday 4 September with Mick Whelan ASLEF, TUC President Liz Snape, Attila the Stockbroker, Steve White and the Protest Family, NASUWT Brass Band, Red Flag, Grace Petrie, Banner Theatre 1st May Band and John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor

Trade union actions

NUT strike: Standing up for Education Tuesday 5 July

East of England events
·         Ipswich: 10.30 Giles Statue for rally and leafleting. 12 noon picnic for teachers, parents and children in Christchurch Park
·         Chelmsford: march and rally assembling from noon at the top of the High Street opposite Shire Hall
·         Cambridge: joint action with UCU Anglia Ruskin University. Assemble on Donkey Common at 11am for a rally, then march round the town back to the Common for a couple of final speeches
·         March and rally assemble from 11am at Portland Place, march at 12 noon, rally from 1.30 in Parliament Square

Unite Community Southampton

LeftFest Saturday 23 July 11am A celebration of local left and progressive activism

Unite Bromley march to save our services

Saturday 23 July 11am contact 07771 818 637

Unite Community campaign for housing in Cambridge

Nautilus International supporting ITF

The International Transport Workers Federation’s petition to protect transport workers’ jobs – one million signatures needed


TUC comment on the European Referendum

Midland Region TUC demo

Demonstration at the Conservative Party conference Sunday 2 October, Birmingham with Dave Prentis Unison, Tom Roache GMB, Owen Jones writer

Unionlearn annual conference Monday 4 July

Speakers include Frances O’Grady TUC, Simon Kirby HS2, Barbara Byrd AFL-CIO

Trades Council actions

Lambeth at the Lambeth Country Show

16 and 17 July Lambeth trades council will be having their usual trades union marquee. Included are the Lambeth & Wandsworth Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Greenwich and Bexley street stall

Saturday 23 July at Charlton Community Day contact

Barking, Dagenham and Havering is going to Tolpuddle

Free coach leaving Dagenham at 7.45am on Sunday 17 July, leaving Tolpuddle at 5.45pm. £5 returnable deposit will be returned on the coach. Contact

Brent commemorates Grunwick 40

It’s 40 years since the Grunwick strike

GLATUC briefing

All London trades council officers and delegates welcome Tuesday 19 July 7pm contact

Other actions/events

Day of Action against Personal Independence Payments

Wednesday 13 July Ipswich action 11.30am

Palestine Youth Orchestra UK tour

Royal Festival Hall London Monday 1 August 7.30pm

Penge Trade Union & Social Club

It does what it says on the tin… Bar, upstairs ballroom, and more

Redbridge Forest Farm Peace Garden

Sunday 10 July World Music Day, free and family friendly, 12 noon to 5pm

Cuba Solidarity Campaign

·         Miami Five Freedom Walk Sunday 3 July 11am
·         Miami Five Freedom Tour Friday 15 July 6.30pm

Thanet Labour Councillors public meeting

On WASPI – Women Against State Pension Inequality Saturday 9 July Ramsgate, more info

Tolpuddle Festival

15 to 17 July 2016 the annual event commemorating the contribution of the Tolpuddle Martyrs

Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Lecture

Saturday 13 August 7pm at Wortley Hall, near Sheffield. Lecture by Ruth Taillon “Socialism, Feminism and the Women of 1916”

Marx Memorial Library events

·         NOW: Exhibition: Socialist Opposition to World War 1 will be at Congress House 25 June to 11 July
·         Friday 1 July 7pm Ciaran Walsh will recite Heathcote Williams epic poem
·         17-30 October Remembering the International Brigades, two week festival
·         Appeal for a plans chest for posters
·         Socialist Opposition to World War One exhibition At Congress House 25 June to 11 July

International Brigades Memorial Trust

London commemoration Saturday 2 July 1pm 80th anniversary of the start of the Spanish Civil War, with Maxine Peake, Paul PrestonJubilee Gardens more from

Send a piano to Cuba

·         Gala concert Saturday 2 July 7.30pm

More music for the NHS

Ada Salter Day

Friday 15 and Saturday 16 July Many events to celebrate this outstanding campaigner. Bermondsey

Friday, 24 June 2016

Sign our petition demanding no cuts to workers' rights

Many vital rights at work in the UK are derived from EU law, guaranteeing things like paid leave entitlements, protections from being forced to work excessive hours, discrimination protections and rights for working mums-to-be.

Following the UK vote to leave the European Union, we now have to decide what happens to these rights. As the official Leave campaign's plan for managing Brexit said:
Parliament will decide carefully which areas of existing EU law should a) be kept, b) be amended and c) be removed.

Sign our petition demanding no cuts to workers' rights

Prominent leave campaigners have called for a halving of regulations derived from EU law, or flexibility in interpreting rights, claiming that British business would benefit from a reduction in "red tape".
What they call "red tape" is really rights and protections that are valued by millions of working people. Attempts to cut these rights, or to limit the range of workers they apply to (for example exempting staff of small businesses or temporary workers), would cause great harm to fairness at work and to working people's living standards.
We need to keep a close eye on our MPs as they start to debate what happens to our rights at work, and hold them to account, whether they backed leave or remain. They must not cut or water down any of the rights that working people and their unions fought so hard to win.
Can you help us get the message to your MP and their colleagues in Parliament? We have started a petition that we will use to show them how many of their own constituents support strong rights at work, and will publish their response.

Please sign our petition and let our MPs know you're watching

Thanks for all your support,
John and the Going To Work team

Statement from the UCU NEC The vote to leave the EU

Statement from the UCU NEC

The vote to leave the EU has created a political earthquake.
The referendum was marred by disgraceful racism and scaremongering over immigration by figures on both sides of the official campaigns and of course by the tragic death of Jo Cox MP.
However millions of people have voted to leave the EU as a direct result of years of austerity and economic decline.
The UCU rejects any attempt to use the 'Leave' vote to impose further austerity measures.
Post 16 education is already under attack, we will fight any attempt at further cuts as a result of the referendum.
We will determinedly oppose any attempt by politicians to use the vote to restrict the rights of migrant workers and refugees and reaffirm our Congress commitment to supporting EU students and staff in UK institutions.
On 5 July teachers will be striking against attacks on education and will be joined by our members in HE who have elected to strike on that day. We will mobilise as a union to back their strikes and protests on the day.
We support the mobilisation called by the People's Assembly against austerity at the Tory Party conference on 2 October
Copyright © 2016 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Frackfree Ryedale

Union Motions against fracking

In the wake of North Yorkshire County Council’s decision to allow fracking at Kirby Misperton, people within the union movement are supporting the people of Ryedale in their efforts to stop fracking. A number of Trade Unions such as UNITE, The Transport and Salaried Staff Association (TSSA) and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) have already passed anti-fracking motions, and many other unions are taking steps to join them.
The following two motions have been drawn up to enable union members to raise this issue within their local branches and regions. If you are a union member or representative, please consider raising one of the following motions with your branch or region. To do so you need to be a paid-up member of the union, of course. If your union membership has lapsed, then please remember to renew your membership before putting forward the motion. If you are not sure how to do this, your union rep will be able to advise on procedure.
The first motion relates to the People’s Declaration, and is appropriate for any union. This motion calls for the union to:
  • oppose fracking in North Yorkshire and across the UK as unwanted, unnecessary and unsafe.
  • promote the People’s Declaration against fracking among its members.
  • publicise local and regional events opposing fracking and encourage its members to attend them.
  • put pressure on political parties and the TUC to adopt clearly anti-fracking and pro-climate jobs positions.
You can download a copy of the motion by clicking on the link below.
This motion is aimed specifically for school workers’ unions (the ASCL, ATL, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NUT, UNISON) and focuses on opposing the INEOS Go Run for Fun events, which the company are promoting across the UK and Europe. The motion calls for the union to:
  • oppose fracking as unpopular, unnecessary and unsafe, particularly given the documented health risk for children.
  • oppose the INEOS Go Run for Fun events as part of a charm offensive to win over communities and detoxify fracking.
  • promote the People’s Declaration against fracking among its members.
  • encourage its members to raise awareness about the INEOS Go Run For Fun events in their workplaces and to campaign against participating in them.
  • put pressure on political parties and the TUC to adopt clearly anti-fracking and pro-climate jobs positions.
You can download a copy of the motion by clicking on the link below.
  • Print out the motion above and take some time to read it carefully. There are footnotes with references if you would like to do more background reading on any particular aspect of the motions.
  • Talk to your branch or union representative to find out how a motion can be raised.
  • Find another union member to second the motion (you both need to add your names and signatures to the motions)
  • Raise the motion at the next meeting. You may be asked to speak in favour of the motion, so be prepared!
  • If the motion is passed, please spread the word with other people in your union from different branches or regions.
  • Also please let us know if the motion is passed by contacting us.
School Communities
Fun runs have already been held in Leeds, Newcastle and elsewhere and are advertised on the Go Run For Fun website. It is likely that the schools would be invited to participate directly by INEOS.
If you are a parent, parent governor or volunteer working in a primary school and wish to raise awareness that fracking company INEOS are backing these events, here are some things you can do:
– Ask your child’s class teacher to raise the issue in the staff room or with the head teacher.
– Ask the head teacher directly to consider the schools position carefully. You can take the union motion with you for information.
– Raise it at school board level and ask them to clarify the school’s position on working with fracking companies such as INEOS.
– write to the education department in your area to raise your objection that these events are being promoted.
– contact your local district and county councillor to ask them to raise the issue with the sports and education authorities and schools departments.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 Calais, Chilcot & Stop Trident

Subject: Protest - time for Truth and Justice
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:15:08 +0100

Stop the War Coalition 

Newsletter - 22 June 2016

Conwoy to Calais report

Well done to everyone who donated or came on the Convoy to Calais on Saturday. Despite the shocking ban by the French authorities, we managed to get more than half the aid through and the convoy of more than 250 vehicles down to Dover got wide media attention. This was an important act of solidarity with refugees, many of whome are victims of war. Please sign the open letter here to make sure we can get the remaining aid through and we never get blocked again.

The Chilcot appeal - donate now

As we build up towards the release of Chilcot report we have launched an appeal to ensure we can maximise the impact of all our campaigning. Producing tens of thousands of leaflets, printing placards, sustaining our growing social media operation (we now have over a 160,000 followers on Facebook for example), and touring speakers around the country costs thousands of pounds every month.

We have set an appeal target of £15,000 by the time the report comes out on July 6. Thanks to everyone who has helped us reach an amazing £8,000 in the first week of our appeal, but please keep the funds coming in. We want to create a storm around the Chilcot report that will force an acceptance not just that the Iraq War was wrong, but that its planners need to held to account.

You can become a member and donate online, by phone (on 020 7561 4830) or by check (details available here).

Donate imageJoin image

Protest - time for Truth and Justice

Campaigning around the upcoming Chilcot Report will include a protest on the 6th July at the QE2 Centre at 10amand a rally at Mary Ward House on the 7th at 7pm, in addition to various local activities around the country, including in Newcastle.

London Protest
Chilcot: Time for Truth and Justice
6th July - 10 am
Queen Elizabeth 2 Centre
Broad Sanctuary
London, SW1P 3EE

On 6th July we will be having a protest at 10am at the Queen Elizabeth Centre about an hour before the publication of the Chilcot Report. Further details tbc.

Public rally: The People's response to Chilcot
7th July - 7pm
Mary Ward House
5-7 Tavistock Place
London WC1H 9SN

On the 7th July in the evening there will be a public meeting at Mary Ward House. Speakers will include Brian Eno, Reg Keys, Peter Oborne, Louise Christian, Lindsey German and many more.

Stop Trident mass lobby of MPs 
Wednesday 13 July

MPs will vote this year on whether or not to replace Trident, the UK's nuclear weapons system, at a cost of at least £205 billion.

It's likely the vote will take place in the autumn, so it's vital that as many MPs as possible hear the arguments against Trident replacement from their constituents. CND, along with twenty national organisations including Stop the War, has called a mass lobby of MPs to take place in Parliament on Wednesday 13th July. Come and tell your MP why you want them to Stop Trident.

  • Pop in during your lunch break or join us for the whole day.
  • Visit the coordinating team in Room W2 between 12 & 6pm for leaflets & support before you meet your MP.
Share the event with your Facebook contacts

Hundreds lobbied their MPs last November. Let’s make this lobby even bigger; it could be the last chance to talk to your MP about Trident ahead of the vote. Please make every effort to come and take part. If you've never taken part in a lobby event before there will be experts on hand to help you.

Stop Trident public meeting
13 July
6pm - 7:30pm

Committee Room 10, House of Commons

After the CND Mass Lobby of Parliament, join us in Parliament for a Stop Trident public meeting chaired by Caroline Lucas MP.

Speakers tbc.

Stop the War Coalition | | 020 7561 4830
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Stop the persecution of Academics for Peace in Turkey/ Truth for Giulio Regeni

Stop the persecution of Academics for Peace in Turkey
Solidarity with Chris Stephenson

Chris Stephenson, trade unionist and lecturer at Istanbul’s Bilgi university, has been charged with possessing “propaganda for a terrorist organisation.” His trial starts on 23 June. The charge is serious and could result in a long prison sentence.
Chris was central to organising one of the first trade union branches at a private university in the country.
Send messages of solidarity to
for more details...

Truth for Giulio Regeni

Giulio Regeni's parents Paola and Claudio made a clear call on European governments to take action against Egypt when they met MEPs at the European parliament last week.
more details...
Vigil - London Sunday June 26, 12 noon, outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, Westminster
Copyright © 2016 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved. 
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters 

Stop the persecution of Academics for Peace in Turkey/ Truth for Giulio Regeni