Sunday, 13 March 2016

Brighton-hove peoples assembly March 2016 Newsletter

March 2016 Newsletter
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Hello friends,

This month's newsletter is jam packed with news and updates on campaigns across local cuts, housing/homelessness, health, refugees and stop the war. The assembly's main focus is the incredible 99% Festival coming up next month - lots of ways you can get involved and support!

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:  If you have any ideas or want to help, please email 

Brighton People's Assembly Against Austerity News
The 99% Festival, Sat 16th - Sun 17th April @ The Synergy Centre
Our two day festival  is coming up next month! Live performances, speakers and debate bringing together people, groups and artists as part of a weekend of action. Please support the event:
  • Book your tickets on eventbrite
  • Share with your friends and contacts: facebook event day 1 & day 2
  • Display our beautiful new posters (see below) - if you'd like to put one up in your window, or have places to put flyers let us know.
  • Volunteer at the festival: roles include being on the door & on the BPA info stall

Day 1: National Demo for health, homes, jobs & education
Saturday 16th April 1-6pm (Central London)

* Demo train from Brighton Station - more details tbc.

Day 1: Big Revolutions ticketed fundraising evening event
Saturday 16th April 7:30pm until 2am

* Official after-party for the National Demo!
* Two stages of music, bellydancing, Poets v MCs & DJs.
* Live performances from Fable, Yonaka, Meow Meows, This Party, Chris T-T, Chuck SJ Hay, Pog, Phil Jones, DJ Adrian Pickard, Dancing Queer, Ter'ziMoirai, Michael James Parker & poet/MC friends.
* Licensed bar & great food all day from the Real Junk Food Project.

Day 2: Ousting Austerity - There is another way, free day event
Sunday 11am till 6.30pm

* Speakers, film festival, debate, soap box & stalls; all exploding the myth of austerity, how it is affecting people everywhere and fighting for real alternatives.
* Nick Kochan, James Meadway, John Weeks, Attila the Stockbroker, Dominic Frisby, Kerry Anne Mendoza, Ross Ashcroft, Hannah Barker, Jonathan Neale, Andy Richards & Dr. Lee Salter
* Debate led by Sussex & Brighton University students.
*Licensed bar & great food all day from the Real Junk Food Project.

Tickets and info on eventbrite here
£16 Demo train & evening, £8 evening, £6 unwaged / low waged, group ticket options available.
Organised by Brighton People’s Assembly Against Austerity and supported by Brighton & Hove Trades Council, Unite and Unison.
Next Organising Meeting: Wed 6th April, 7.30pm @ Brighthelm Centre - all welcome

Thanks to Jake for chairing and Clare for taking minutes at the February organising meeting. Minutes will be up on the website soon. Alongside upcoming events and updates, we discussed the capacity and infrastructure of the assembly and ways to distribute tasks amongst more people to make it manageable. We also wanted to make a special thank you to Dani for all her amazing work and diligence, including the website, over the past couple of years!

Call out for help... After the 99% Festival we will be having a group session on website -  if you'd like to learn how it works and can be part of a group keeping it up to date, let us know! We need help with tasks such as updating the calendar on the website and also other core admin that keeps the assembly going and able to support campaigns. 
Run Against Austerity - £570 raised!

A massive well done to our treasurer, John Allcock, for running the Brighton half-marathon on 28th February to raise funds for Brighton People's Assembly! And thank you to everyone who donated and supported John.
The meeting on council cuts was well attended with debate and ideas on how to build stronger opposition and resistance to local cuts. In particular, actions on a neighbourhood level were put forwards, building on the campaign work being done in Hollingbury. And on the day of the council meeting, a creative and disruptive group of women brought the meeting to a halt by singing 'Solidarity Forever'!  see press coverage here. 
In a time of austerity: A charter for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations

The Charter is now available on the website- see here.

Many of us work, support, or volunteer in community and voluntary sector organisations. They represent a trusted, independent voice for people facing disadvantage. However, gradually, some of these organisations are changing. They want to help privatise the public sector by running mainstream local authority or NHS services. Have you noticed any of this happening?

That's why here in Brighton we are pioneering a charter for independent community and voluntary organisations. At a time of mass austerity it's more important than ever to re-assert an independent voice for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. What can you do? Sign up to the charter! Discuss this with your volunteers, your staff and your board - and the people you work with! And build links with people campaigning against austerity, poverty and destitution. 
Local Campaigns: Actions, Events & Meetings
In recent days we've seen refugees tear-gassed on Europe's borders, and the migrant camp at Calais mercilessly torn up while the British government washed its hands of responsiibility. Refugees continue to drown in the Mediterranean as mainstream politicans across the continent harden their attitude against those fleeing for their lives. All this, along with a debate around the EU referendum that's saturated with anti-immigration ideology on both sides, is raising the temperature around race and fuelling racism and xenophobia. It's down to those of us who oppose this to resist the racist offensive and show our solidarity with refugees, which is why Stand Up to Racism, backed by unions and other groups, has called a demonstration in London on March 19, UN Anti-Racism Day.

Members of Brighton Peoples Assembly have organised a coach, subsidised by local trade unions, to go up there. It leave the Old Steine at 9am and return tickets are priced from £5. If you'd like to join us, please book your seat online here
Brighton Citizens’ Health Services Survey team, led by Carl Walker at the University of Brighton, have produced a report on their survey findings. The full report can be found here. Their conclusions are:

1. This report shows that the public in Brighton and Hove hold clear and compelling values on the way that they want their health services to be commissioned.
2. It restates that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have a very clear constitutional remit to ensure that these views are appropriately reflected in their decision making.
3. In the city of Brighton & Hove, a vast majority of the public are against the use of private companies in the local health economy and very concerned about some recent decisions that have been made to commission private companies to undertake certain services.
4. Thus further work is needed on the part of the CCG to reflect the public needs and values in their commissioning decisions.
NHS Campaigns
Campaigners have been out in support of the recent Junior Doctors strikes last week. Next strikes are 6-8th of April and 26-28th April both 8am-8am
A flashmob staged a die -in at Churchill Square last week and a good right up of the event is in The Source here
Caroline Lucas was seen off at Brighton Station to launch the NHS Reinstatement Bill ‪#NHSBill‬
More details of actions on Defend the NHS Sussex website
'Love Kitchen' is still being set up every Sunday where possible. 

See the facebook page for detailsDonations 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
OPEN MEETING – what would an ethical foreign policy look like?
@Synergy Centre (bottom of West St, Brighton), Thursday 17th March at 7.30pm

Stop the War Brighton and Hove would like to invite you to contribute to an open meeting to facilitate dialogue between a broad range of Brighton and Hove groups, including political parties, trades unions, faith groups, campaigning groups and voluntary sector organisations. The meeting will focus upon what we believe would be an ethical role for Britain to play in the world in the 21st century. We would like organisations to contribute their ideas for discussion but we might consider the following questions:

How can organisations in Brighton & Hove work together to contribute to the development of a national ethical foreign policy that promotes peace?
What might be the key elements of an ethical foreign policy?
What would an ethical defence policy for Britain look like?
What are Britain’s responsibilities for the international consequences of war and conflict?

We hope that this meeting will be the start of a process that brings together citizens from across the city who are committed to peace. A range of political parties, campaigns, trade unions and faith groups have been invited to contribute to this Forum. Come and join the discussion or listen to the debate. All welcome.

Twitter @stopthewarBH
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