Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2010

Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory

Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory with a mass stall protest for the right to campaign, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory with a mass stall protest for the right to campaign, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge   (Click to enlarge)

"Next thing you know they'll be prosecuting residents for sticking up 'missing cat' posters on lamp-posts" I joked when Waltham Forest's enforcement officer initially challenged us over the right to campaign in the local town square. Now a local cat owner has actually been fined 75 as part of the council's 'zero tolerance' of 'environmental crime' for exactly that!

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Walthamstow Socialist Party secretary

But Socialist Party members in Waltham Forest have scored a victory against the council's outrageous attempts to clamp down on campaigning. On Saturday 6 February 20 members of the Socialist Party and eight tables showed that we will not be silenced!

This followed three members of Walthamstow Socialist Party receiving letters threatening a 500 fine for setting up a campaigning stall in the place we have done them in for 20 years.

Every person who stopped to sign a petition or to buy a copy of the Socialist newspaper was horrified when we explained the reason for our 'mass stall'. One local campaigner expressed support and told her own story which highlights the gross hypocrisy of the council.

Residents tried to organise a campaign to get the fruit and vegetable waste from the market composted rather than sent to pollute the earth in a poisonous landfill. What was the council's response? To threaten them with action over pinning notices on trees!

Campaigning against the war in Afghanistan, against cuts at Waltham Forest College, in solidarity with striking Turkish workers, for investment in job creation programmes, for democratic rights in Sri Lanka, and for a public inquiry into the wasteful privatisation schemes of our rotten council, kept activists busy.


Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory with a mass stall protest for the right to campaign, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory with a mass stall protest for the right to campaign, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory with a mass stall protest for the right to campaign, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory with a mass stall protest for the right to campaign, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge   (Click to enlarge)

While most people were happy to speak to us and supported our stand to defend free speech the council officers kept their distance. Yellow high-visibility jacket-wearing officers were present in the square but they did not approach any of the campaigners. The bullying and aggressive methods we had previously experienced were kept in check by our show of strength.

We are having difficulty establishing the details of the case against us. The enforcement officer's letters quote a 1906 by-law. When we questioned why the council was acting on this now, a council spokesperson told the Waltham Forest Guardian that: "the by-law has always been enforced, but until recently there have not been enough enforcement officers working at the weekends to catch people breaking it."

The spokesperson also said: "Any person or group wishing to operate in these areas needs to have the correct permission, in the form of a signed agreement, and have paid the appropriate fee."

But so far no one at the council has been able to tell us who we need to speak to about this and it appears they have never even been asked for a permit for a campaigning stall before.

Campaign continues

Socialist Party activists will not stop here. We demand the council recognises our right to campaign, but we are also calling for adequate public notice boards and public meeting rooms to be run by and for the local labour movement and activists and no harassment of campaigners.

We also call for the council to 'open the books', for the right of recall of all councillors and crucially for a reversal of all privatisation schemes. We have shown we will not be pushed off the streets. We are determined to fight alongside working class people in Waltham Forest to defend jobs and services.

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 10 February 2010:

Fight university cuts

Unison general secretary election

Fighting leadership needed in Unison - Nominate Roger Bannister for general secretary

Greenwich Unison backs victimised branch secretary

Socialist Party news and analysis

Preying on the living and dead

Waltham Forest: Campaigners score a victory

Fiddling MPs: Jail the whole lot of them!

Vulnerable lose out on benefits

Socialist Women: Fighting for equality through socialism

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

Civil service strike ballot: Vote 'yes' for action

Boycotting the 2010 SATS in schools

Coventry youth workers' strike

Metaldyne workers strike

Stoke: Axiom workers in overtime ban

Saving jobs and services in Worcestershire

Workplace news in brief

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Hazel Blears must go

TUSC: Wellingborough socialists make a stand

PCS young members

PCS young members network conference

Bristol job centre workers fight transfer

Socialist Party feature

Trade unions in Britain - are they ready for the coming battles?

International socialist news and analysis

Northern Ireland: An agreement to cement division

Sri Lanka President Rajapakse removes his rival, Fonseka

Tamil Solidarity -: Successful northern conference

Unison witchhunt

Trotskyism on trial

War and occupation

Armed forces: Release Lance-Corporal Joe Glenton

Trade union rights for service personnel


Home   |   The Socialist 10 February 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Socialist Party:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

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

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Sport and Coronavirus

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Was the Coronavirus pandemic inevitable?

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why are coronavirus deaths higher in working-class areas?

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


triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests


triangleWe need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis



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



Schools aren't safe



Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant



Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation



Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!



No return to unsafe construction sites



Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20


Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts



Postal workers' action results in double victory for union



Organising to fight for workplace safety



Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive



Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections



Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue



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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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



Alphabetical listing

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020