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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 December 2017

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

Zane's father Kye was paralysed in the toxic incident that killed Zane

Zane's father Kye was paralysed in the toxic incident that killed Zane   (Click to enlarge)

Kye Gbangbola, Truth About Zane campaign

I was invited to speak at Socialism 2017 with Chris Baugh, assistant general secretary of civil servants' union PCS, at a forum called 'Environmental crisis: a working class issue'. It was chaired by Paul Couchman who we know as secretary of Surrey Save our Services.

As a first-timer at the annual Socialism event I was looking forward to the array of learning and interaction on offer.

There was plenty of refreshments, stalls selling books and lots of friendly faces to chat with.

It was quickly apparent that the people here had a different role to those I have observed at other events.

All who enter do so as equals, empowered to speak and share their views of the topic. This dynamic enables maximum participation and involvement, and provides good feedback to the speakers.

Most of the seats in the meeting space were taken. There were even a few people stood at the back.

Our house had become infused with hydrogen cyanide gas, according to the fire brigade 'hazmat' team, which we believe came from flood water passing through a secret landfill next door. This resulted in seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola's death.

80% of the British population lives within 2km of landfill according to a 2001 study published in the British Medical Journal.

Many people were ambulanced to hospital. I was in cardiac arrest and am now paralysed. Had Zane's mother Nicole Gbangbola not raised the alarm many more in the area could have died.

The incident was escalated to the government's emergency 'Cobra' committee. The area was evacuated for several weeks.

We couldn't live in our home for over a year. It had to be protected by gas-proof membranes, ventilation and alarms.

Astonishingly the Environment Agency and local council protected their own properties from the risk of migrating landfill gases killing occupants four years before!

We have the deepest praise for the bravery and honesty of the fire brigade. The coroner blamed Zane's death on carbon monoxide, which the fire brigade did not detect in our all-electric home. Other authorities seemed to close ranks to protect their reputation.

Chris Baugh offered his deepest and heartfelt condolences. All in the room could not help but be visibly moved by what had happened, and angered by the injustice.

The environment is a working class issue. Although all classes are in this, workers are affected most. The revolution begins with the abuse of the many by the few.

The loss of a child is the cruellest thing that can happen to any family. Our beautiful son's death has left us empty and broken.

We have endured the most astounding catalogue of abuse from authorities, but still we fight for justice.

If you think Zane deserves truth and justice please sign and share our petition for a public inquiry. If we reach 100,000 signatures parliament has to consider debating it.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 6 December 2017:


NHS

Glenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

Tyneside walk-in closures postponed after rally


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nationalise rail now

End Tory war on poor

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers


Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle


What we think

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Labour council Blairites deselected


Socialist Students

Demonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike hits all the right notes

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

The Socialist Inbox


Workplace news and analysis

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

School staff strike against privatisation

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

Arriva bus strikers stand firm


International socialist news and analysis

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse


 

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Related links:

Surrey:

triangleSurrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

triangleSurrey Socialist Party: The election, a Corbyn government and fighting austerity

triangleFrimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation

triangleFive years on - and still no justice for Zane

triangleSurrey: save our children's centres

Landfill:

trianglePlastic waste - capitalism's Frankenstein monster

triangleMay's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

triangleFood waste - the logic of capitalism

Gas:

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

triangleNewham gas workers to strike

Chris Baugh:

triangleSocialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

triangleBuilding a new left in PCS

Paul Couchman:

triangleHelp fund the fightback: sponsor my marathon

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