Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/610/8780

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 February 2010

Council criminalises dissent

"You're committing a crime. Do you like being a criminal?" These were the words of Waltham Forest's Environmental Crime enforcement officer as he confronted members of Walthamstow Socialist Party. Their 'crime'? Running a campaigning stall in the town square for two hours on a Saturday morning.

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Walthamstow Socialist Party secretary

Three of the members have since received hand-delivered letters citing a 1906 bye-law. Now, using a stall to campaign against war, racism or the privatisation of our public services can result in a fine of 500! This is outrageous and the Socialist Party has initiated a local campaign to defend the right to campaign and protest in the borough.

The background to this shocking attack on democratic rights is the Independent Panel Report into Waltham Forest council. The council has been found to be undemocratic, lacking in transparency and their privatisation schemes are clearly rotten.

To the Socialist Party this is not news but it is a vindication of the dozens of anti-cuts and anti-privatisation campaigns we have led and participated in. In all of these campaigns and now, the Socialist Party has demanded that the council opens the books and that all councillors are subject to the right of recall.

A council that stands accused of wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds if not millions on privatisation schemes it has never assessed, has "recouped 26,785 from fixed penalty notices, 13,760 from fines and 16,282 in court costs" in its crackdown on 'environmental crime' according to the Waltham Forest Guardian.

Locally this 'zero tolerance' campaign is seen as a clampdown on campaigning groups. 50 people crammed into the Socialist Party's meeting on Thursday 28 January to organise a united local campaign to defend democratic rights.

Experiences were shared of being stopped from campaigning in the street and even an instance of being challenged and threatened for advertising a charity event.

Many public spaces and resources in Waltham Forest have been privatised, denying local activists access to them or a say in how they are run. While the council attempts to silence campaign groups, it has free rein to hang its banners anywhere it wants and has all the articles it desires in the local newsletter.

The Socialist Party argued that mass action by ordinary people is our key tool in the fight for our rights. Trade unionists, socialists, charities, campaigners, artists, musicians and young people committed to mobilise for a protest at the town hall and a day of action.

We are demanding access to the square for campaigners, adequate public notice boards and meeting rooms and no harassment of campaigners.

Many forms of opposition to this attack will be employed by the campaign, including getting legal advice but especially calling for a slate of 'No cuts! No clampdown' candidates to stand in the local elections. This rotten council will not be allowed to silence dissent and prevent a fightback when it pursues further cuts and privatisation schemes.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 3 February 2010:

'Filthy rich' get richer: Challenge the bosses' greed!


War and occupation

Taliban insurgency, poverty and corruption Brown's Afghan crisis deepens

Chilcot Inquiry: Millionaire Blair has no regrets


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fight new attacks on London's NHS

Save our A&E!


Youth fight for jobs

Civil service Young workers get organised

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) activities

No cuts and no fees in further education

Young people blocked from access to education


Socialist Party news and analysis

Council criminalises dissent

Socialist councillors back school's protest

Weak growth - the best that capitalism can offer

Fast News


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade unionist and socialist coalition

Bob Crow launches Portsmouth TUSC

Scottish TUSC steering committee set up

TUSC Coalition sponsors


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison general secretary election: Fighting left challenge needed

Defend the four: Courts show what side they're on

Civil service strike ballot as talks fail

Fujitsu strikers determined to save jobs and pensions


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: Violent election campaign puts Rajapakse back in power

Tekel workers demand general strike in Turkey

Betrayed - PTSD casualties of war


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 February 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Waltham Forest:

triangleHackney, Waltham Forest & East London Socialist Party branches: Johnson's 'back to school' plan is not safe

triangleWaltham Forest trade unions discuss the fight for PPE and workplace safety

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Labour after Corbyn

triangleStop gentrification of Lea Bridge

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Liverpool - a city that dared to fight

Council:

triangleCouncil finance disaster: set emergency no-cuts budgets and fight for funds!

triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

Socialist:

triangleFight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

trianglePandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting

Socialist Party:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

Privatisation:

triangleNHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

3/6/20

Equity

Equity union general secretary election

3/6/20

Socialist

Pandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting

3/6/20

Labour Party

Blairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

3/6/20

Racism

Fight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

3/6/20

Covid

Hospital closed following rampant spread of Covid-19

3/6/20

JCB

Coordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

3/6/20

PCS

PCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

3/6/20

Schools

Schools... no going back until it's safe

3/6/20

UCU

Reject the university employers' offer on pay, workload and casualisation

3/6/20

Buses

Fight continues for safety on London buses

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999