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Activists launch socialist challenge
OVER 60 people attended a meeting in Greenwich, south east London, for a joint 'defend the four' and 'TUSC launch' meeting.
'Defend the four' is the campaign organised in defence of the four Unison members who have been politically witch-hunted by the union's right wing officials for the 'crime' of being Socialist Party members (see stopthe witchhunt.org.uk - also, see Nominate Roger Bannister).
TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) is a coalition of left parties and union members which is fielding a number of candidates in the 2010 general election. It includes the Socialist Party, and is backed by many leading trade unionists.
The first speaker was Glenn Kelly - one of the 'four' - who told the meeting that the Unison bureaucrats had actually done the Socialist Party a favour "as there are now more left activists and stewards than before the witch-hunt started. Every time they kick out a left branch secretary there will be another one to step into their place", he added.
Glenn also spoke about the disgraceful ruling from the four's recent employment tribunal which, contrary to the evidence presented, decided that they had not been disciplined by the union leadership for their political views. Instead, the tribunal branded 'Trotskyism' as "repugnant" and the four not worthy of protection.
In a clearly political judgment the tribunal made no distinction between democratic socialist views and Stalinist ones. Glenn said that it was an insult to the Trotskyists in Stalin's Russia who were murdered for their defence of genuine socialism.
Lewisham Socialist Party councillor Ian Page spoke about the successful campaigning work that he and fellow Socialist Party councillor Chris Flood had done on behalf of their constituents.
The Socialist Party is the only party in the council chamber to fight against the public sector cuts being forced through by all the other parties. He also appealed for everyone possible to go to Lewisham and help out with the campaign for their re-election and the election of a third Socialist Party candidate, Jess Leech.
The last speaker was Onay "Kaz" Kasab, witch-hunted Greenwich Unison branch secretary and TUSC candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich in the forthcoming general election.
He is standing in the election to give working-class people, disenfranchised by the ruling est-ablishment parties, a voice. He will be the constituency's only anti-cuts, anti-privatisation and anti-war candidate in this election.
Afterwards, over 20 people volunteered to help out with the election campaign with three people filling out cards requesting more information on the Socialist Party.
Visit the TUSC website:
SOCIALIST PARTY member Jackie Grunsell, the only councillor to vote against Kirklees council's savage £400 million cuts package, is seeking re-election in May under the TUSC banner, along with left-wing trade unionist Paul Cooney.
RECENTLY, 20 people from the Independent Socialists in Wellingborough (ISW), including their councillor Paul Crofts, heard Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist speak on behalf of TUSC.
Following an in-depth discussion, the group voted to stand in the general election in the Wellingborough and Rushden constituency. Paul Crofts was selected as the TUSC candidate and will be standing against the incumbent Tory, Peter Bone. A campaign team has been established. An open meeting will at held on Thursday 4 March at 8pm in the Rising Sun pub, Cannon Street, Wellingborough.
Lee Dunkley, Northampton Socialist Party
In The Socialist 3 March 2010:
Youth fight for jobs
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist Interview
Socialist Party women
Socialist Party feature