Thursday, May 29, 2008

Teresita Trujillo from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba welcomed friends of the socialist island at a reception at the Cuban embassy in London last Tuesday which was attended by NCP leader Andy Brooks along with members of the NCP London District.

Boris begins "attack on poorest Londoners"

NEW LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson began his term in office by scrapping the deal negotiated by Ken Livingstone for cheap Venezuelan oil that was used to subsidise half price travel on London’s buses and trams for people on income support.
The deal was to supply the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, with technical information in exchange for the oil and when Livingstone secured it Johnson described the deal as “crackers” – and described Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who has mass popular support, as a “South American dictator”. Now Livingstone has described Johnson’s action as “a direct attack on the poorest Londoners”.
The cheap fares were supplied in conjunction with the Oyster card scheme and claimants had to re-apply for them every six months.
The existing contract for oil from Venezuela is due to expire in August and Johnson says he will not renew it but he will honour the discount fares for those who apply for renewal up to that point for next six months. After that there will be no more cheap fares.
Livingstone said: “It shows that he is more interested in pursuing his right-wing ideological agenda than in improving the living standards of the most deprived people in the capital.”
Johnson also tried to scrap the London mayoral trade offices in Caracas, China and India but City of London business people pressured him to keep them as vital business contacts.
Johnson has appointed Tim Parker as First Deputy Mayor – a man who made his reputation in the cut-throat world of private equity and has a reputation for axing what he sees as unnecessary tentacles of an organisation in order to save money.
Parker’s cost cutting vigour earned him the title “Prince of darkness” from trade unions while he was in charge of companies such as the AA, Kwik-Fit and Clarks.
Johnson and Parker have already abolished The Londoner – the mayor’s personal newspaper.
One of the first guests Johnson received was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to swap personnel and ideas.
Boris has boasted that he can save 20 per cent of City Hall’s £11 billion budget so Londoners can expect a regime of cuts to services to match those of the Thatcher era.
Commuters fear that the cuts will affect the current £1 billion-a-year upgrade of the London Underground network and the £16 billion Crossrail project; as Livingstone points out, “Johnson has yet to get to grips with funding problems”.
Johnson has also embarked on a “forensic audit”, headed by Patience Wheatcroft, of the use of taxpayers’ money at the LDA and by the Greater London Authority.
The Labour group has challenged the Mayor to explain: “Why did you not make the political affiliations of your panel members clear to the public in your official press release?”
The letter also asks Johnson to set out “How much are your Conservative friends and colleagues being paid from taxpayers’ money to dig dirt on Ken Livingstone” and questions whether “this is an appropriate use of public funds?”
According to the Mayor’s press release the panel includes: “Andrew Gordon, Head of Investigations within the Forensic Services group of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who will act as Independent Expert Advisor to the Panel.”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Public meeting

Hands off Cuba - Learn the truth about the


hear and question:

Teresita Trujillo

representative of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba

Teresita Trujillo will give an up-to-date report on how, in the face of the
continuing pressures on Cuba, the people and government are taking steps
to advance the revolution; on the wide-ranging discussion in the country;
and on the media myths. Plenty of time for questions and discussion.

7.30pm, Thursday 29 May

Room 3D, University of London Union,
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY

For further information, ‘phone 07930-570667

sponsors: Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Andy de la Tour (writer and actor) Larry Herman (documentary photographer), Communist League, Communist Party of Britain, Movimento Ecuador en el Reino Unido, New Communist Party, Revolutionary Communist Group, Rock Around the Blockade, Socialist Labour Party, Young Socialists.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Remembering Victory Day

by New Worker correspondent

HUNDREDS of people gathered in London and Manchester last Friday, 9th May to mark the end of the Second World War in Europe, the surrender of Nazi Germany and the huge sacrifice made by the people of the Soviet Union and especially the Red Army to bring about that defeat.

In London the event took place at the Soviet War Memorial in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, adjoining the Imperial War Museum in Southwark, with the highest attendance for many years – several hundred were present.

Russian Ambassador HE Yury Fedotov and ambassadors from other former Soviet states attended, along with Councillor Bob Skelly, local MP Simon Hughes, Defence Services Secretary Major General Matthew Sykes, Bob Wareing MP who represented the House of Commons, the French Ambassador and the staff of the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund (SMTF).

The Arctic War Veterans and the Russian Convoy Club were, as usual, present in force, along with many British Legion veterans, the International Brigade, the RAF Russia Association and the Merchant Navy Association.

SMTF chair Philip Matthews gave a short speech, followed by Yury Fedotov, Simon Hughes and Bob Skelly, who reminded those present of the magnitude and significance of the role of the Red Army in defeating Nazism.

He said he keeps a model of the memorial in his office and explains its importance to visiting parties of schoolchildren.

Then Bob Skelly led the wreath-laying, followed by Major General Matthew Sykes, Simon Hughes, all the ambassadors present and representatives of all the veterans’ associations, the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies, the Evacuees Reunion Association, VTB bank, the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, Vneshecnonobank, London Region Ucatt, Len Aldis of the British-Vietnam Friendship Society, the Communist Party of Britain, the Marx Memorial Library and the Russian Embassy School. Daphne Liddle laid flowers on behalf of the New Communist Party.

Then Philip Matthews invited anyone else who wished to come forward and lay flowers – and dozens did so, including many young people. When they had finished the entire surface area of the memorial – about five metres by two – was carpeted in flowers.

This was followed by the Last Post and a two-minute silence. The exhortation “They shall not grow old…” was read in English and Russian – and then Reveille.

Then Yury Fedotov invited those present to nearby marquees to drink a toast “To Victory”, with drink and food provided by the Russian Embassy.
photo: Daphne Liddle presents the NCP tribute to the memorial

Breaking the ice for Chinese friendship

Fu Ying, the Chinese ambassador to Britain, attended the Young Icebreakers Launch sponsored by the 48 Group Club at the evening of May Day, and addressed about 200 attendants present at the celebration at the invitation of the Club Chairman, Stephen Perry.
In her speech, Fu Ying congratulated again on the 55th anniversary of the 48 Group Club, which was celebrated in Beijing last month. The Club's history can be traced back to the early 1950s, in spite of the trading boycott and blockade placed by Western countries on China, a group of British business leaders, including Jack Perry, founder of the Club, and 15 other representatives from British companies, embarked on an 'Icebreaking Mission' to China. Known as 'Icebreakers' they were the first group of Westerners to do business with the newly-born People's Republic of China.
55 years ago, it took Jack Perry, the Club Founder, 7 days to get to Hong Kong, and then another 4 days to arrive in Beijing via Hong Kong; while today the present Club Chairman, Stephen Perry takes only 9-plus hours to fly from London to Beijing. The geographical distance has been dramatically shortened, but the distance, in perception and credibility, still exists, and the information gap between China and the West has yet to be bridged.
Over half a century elapsed, and China as well as the world at large has witnessed a fundamental change. If a thick layer of ice used to block China and the West from knowing each other, a new layer of ice emerges today to block the Westerners from understanding China, resulting in mutual trust crisis on both sides.
Fu Ying cited a recent survey conducted by Point Zero by saying that 80 percent of the Chinese people admit having the repulsive feelings toward the Westerners, likewise, the Europeans who deem China the No.1 threat have doubled in number since last year. In the U.S, 31 percent of the interviewees think China poses a threat more serious than Iraq and DPRK. The confrontation between the Chinese and people in the West has unprecedentedly escalated.
Recently some Westerners slammed China on issues like Tibet and the Olympics, which terribly hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. The Olympic Games is cherished so much as a gala by the Chinese, especially the Chinese youth, that in 2001, when China won the bidding to be the host, they stormed into the Tian An Men Square to celebrate throughout the night, most of them young people. When they are concentrating on the preparations for hosting the Games, and with sincerity waiting for the big day to welcome friends from all over the world and to showcase the new look of China, some people with ulterior motives or political ambitions are anxious to take the chance to disrupt and sabotage the Olympic Games, using whatever means at their disposal to denigrate China from the distorted reports to harassing the torch relay.
This despicable practice aroused repulsion and indignation among the Chinese people. However, many Westerners believe that the Chinese have been brainwashed by the government in light of their assumption that there is no speech freedom in China. Therefore, the patriotism of the Chinese people is accused of the orgies of nationalism.
Fu Ying added that it is naive and arrogant to think that the whole population of 1.3 billion has been brainwashed. She believed that there exists information deficit on the Western side, which is directly responsible for the gap of information and acknowledgement about China and the Chinese people. The knowledge of many Western media and public about China is lagged behind for at least two decades.
Fu stressed that no books about the present China available in most of the bookstores in Britain, and if any, the book must be written with strong bias or even hatred toward China, while in China, we can find enough books on offer to help us better understand Britain.
On China's human rights issue, Fu said that some Western media tend to simplify the human rights status of a population of 1.3 billion into a few cases. China's human rights have bearing on the essential interest of the mass of the Chinese people. China's media have all along exposed the ugly cases to the general public, such as environmental pollution, corruption and forced labour. China's government is not trying to cover the ugly sides but trying actively to work out solutions to these problems so as to best safeguard the interest of the public. The Western media should comply with journalism ethics to be fair and objective and abide by the Chinese laws in their reporting on China. China is willing to open its door to the outside media, grant them permission to make a complete and free coverage of the Olympics, similarly, the Western media should prove credible and trustworthy among the Chinese public.
Fu also elaborated on the achievements China has scored following its 30 years of reform and opening up to the outside world in her speech, and by pointing out 'ice' formed in between the mutual communication and trust, she then went on to address the importance of the young generation as the icebreakers.
The 48 Group Club was established in early 1950s with the aim to promote culture exchanges and trade between China and Britain. During the past 55 years, the Club has used its unique links and understanding of China to continue its visionary work and has grown from strength to strength. At present, it has over 300 members, including business and political leaders, and runs an extensive program of networking events, successfully paving the way for the 'Icebreaking Mission' and establishing trade relations between China and Great Britain.
People’s Daily (Beijing)

Friday, May 09, 2008

May Day in London

SEVERAL thousand workers gathered last Thursday 1st May at Clerkenwell Green, outside Marx House, for the start of the annual May Day march organised by the London May Day Committee, which includes the South East Region TUC (Sertuc).
Dozens of trade union banners were present as were the usual colourful and vocal contingents from various Turkish and Kurdish community groups. They marched along the Clerkenwell Road, through Holborn, Archway and the Strand to Trafalgar Square for a rally.

Boris set for clash with Tube unions

NEW LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson said he would seek a “no-strike” deal with unions on the London Underground if he won the election.
Johnson boasted his election manifesto: “I will look to reduce the disruption caused by strikes on the Tube by negotiating a no-strike deal with the unions.”
In return for agreeing not to strike the unions will get “the security provided by having the pay negotiations conducted by an independent arbiter”, whose final decision will be binding.
But as soon as Johnson took office the unions made it clear there was no possibility of any such deal happening, leaving Johnson facing his first defeat.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union – the biggest of the Tube unions, said his union “would be mad to give up the right to strike”.
“It would be insane for us to surrender our democratic rights – our human right – to withdraw our labour to defend our interests,” he added. “The RMT wants good industrial relations with the Mayor but it will never enter into a no-strike agreement.”
Other Tube union leaders agreed; Keith Norman, general secretary of the train drivers’ union Aslef, warned that Johnson would be heading for “mass confrontation” if he didn’t back down.
Norman said: “If Johnson tries to force a no-strike deal then London will have to get ready for mass confrontation. Boris has shown that he is not interested in negotiation or compromise.”
And Gerry Doherty, general secretary of TSSA, the second largest Tube union, said the union could not imagine what Johnson would offer for it to agree such a deal. “We don’t know where he is coming from.
“He is saying that we will have to give up our right (to strike.) I cannot conceive what on earth he could put on the table (to agree a no-strike deal.).”
Doherty added that strike action was the last and sometimes only weapon to use. “It is not just about pay, it is also about conditions.”
On many occasions the Tube unions have used industrial action – or the threat of industrial action – over vital safety issues that affect passengers as well as Tube workers.
All three unions said they would refuse to accept binding arbitration.
Now it seems that Johnson is facing a collision with the unions and faces having to back down or face a Tube strike.
The unions have also sent a strong message to Johnson that they will oppose any attempt to re-privatise the maintenance work on the Tube infrastructure that was being done by the failed company Metronet. That company failed in its task and collapsed leaving taxpayers with a £2 billion bill.
Transport for London will take over its responsibilities soon in a schedule put in place by Ken Livingstone. The unions have warned Johnson not to reverse this decision.
Johnson is also preparing to scrap London’s 350 bendy buses and replace them with a new version of the Routemaster. He has launched a competition to design the new bus.Many motorists do not like the long bendy buses but they carry up to 138 passengers and with three sets of doors they load and unload very quickly.
Being single-deckers makes all the seats accessible to the elderly and those encumbered with young children or heavy shopping or luggage. They also have more space for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
But it seems that Johnson has got his sums wrong the cost of replacing the bendies has risen from £8 million to £100 million.

Bad news for Londoners

LAST THURSDAY’S local election results were a disaster for Gordon Brown’s “New Labour” policies as the Tories made huge gains – including the crucial position of London Mayor for Boris Johnson. This is a vote of no confidence in Brown’s leadership and not a vote for Cameron and the evidence is that in Wales and Scotland, where voters had the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction by voting for Plaid Cymru or the Scottish National Party rather than Tory, this is what they did and the Tories failed to gain ground.
It also showed the voters virtually ignored all other small and fringe parties, including the Liberal Democrats who have little to distinguish them from the Tories or New Labour. Throughout the country the total turnout was low, indicating high levels of dissatisfaction for the whole bourgeois electoral process.
In London, a turn out of 45 per cent was considered high. Although the Tories won the prize seat of Mayor, the Labour vote in London held up and increased a little on the last election. Labour gained one Greater London Assembly (GLA) seat, Brent and Harrow, back form the Tories.
What swung it for Johnson was the very high turnout for the Tories in the outer London suburbs, especially in Bromley and Bexley which achieved a 60 per cent turn out.
This is partly due to an organised campaign over the last year by a motorists’ lobby, based in Bromley, against the extension of the congestion charge to the Blackwall Tunnel and parts of Greenwich near the river that suffer highest pollution levels, along with highest levels of childhood asthma, in London. The motorists of Bromley and Bexley all drive through this area as they commute into London and are prepared to defend their right to continue to do so, unhindered by the congestion charge.
Now in power in County Hall, Johnson has declared that his priority is to make public transport “safer” by introducing metal scanner arches at busy Tube and railway stations. Clearly he has never travelled in the rush hour and has no idea of the delays, queues and anger that will result. Unless the idea is thrown out quickly, it will drive yet more commuters to use their cars rather than public transport – another win for the motor lobby.
Tube travellers can also expect to find themselves in the front line of the coming battle between Johnson and the RMT, Aslef and TSSA as Johnson tries to impose a ban on strikes on the Tube.
The neo-Nazi British National Party gained one seat on the GLA – a result of the proportional representation system that invariably helps the extreme right fringe. Nevertheless this is a lot less than the BNP hoped for and throughout the country they tended to lose seats they had won before; but they gained a few new ones and finished with more seats than before. It is a sign that people rarely vote BNP twice.
The fringe left parties achieved very low votes – at best interpreted as a message that those who are disillusioned with bourgeois democracy often cannot be bothered to vote. The reality is that the fringe left parties, in order to make themselves electable, drop all their old pretensions to Marxism or Leninism, all ideas of revolution and end up simply as left-wing bourgeois social democrat parties – trying to occupy the same political ground as Labour. And they cannot compete against the giant party that already occupies that position. So they lose their money, their time, their effort, their principles and their morale at every election.
And for all their criticisms of Ken Livingstone – many of them justified – the members of these fringe parties still find themselves depressed at the prospects of London governed by Johnson’s policies, which will be far, far worse.
Voting Labour is never going to bring socialism – that will take a revolution. But in current circumstances, in the short term, it is still the best option for the working class. And we should remember that the most important battles for the working class are taking place in work places, local communities and on the streets – voting has only ever been a small part of the overall struggle against the ruling class.

London round-up

Union fights Co-op for recognition

THE GMB general union last Saturday in Croydon launched a public campaign to end de-recognition in Co-op Funeralcare.
The lobby of Co-op Funeralcare was attended by a donkey outside the meeting, accompanied by placards saying: “The Co-op: another case of lions led by donkeys”.
GMB Central Executive Council on 22nd April 2008 gave the go ahead for a high profile public campaign to persuade the Co-op’s rank and file members to reverse a decision by Co- op senior managers to end recognition for GMB in Co-operative Funeralcare.
In 2006 David Hendry took over as boss of Co-operative Funeralcare. He set about introducing changes which met with resistance from his funeral staff, particularly those in London and Southern England who are members of GMB.
He also inherited problems with low pay in this service particularly for employees in the high cost areas like London and the South East. This had led to strike action in November 2004 when the members rejected the pay offer.
These staff are members of a very old funeral workers’ union that merged with the Furniture and Timber workers’ union who in turn merged with GMB. It has been a recognised union in the Co-op funeral care service for more than a century.
Rather than deal with the pay and other industrial relations issues being raised by GMB members in this service, the senior management in the Co-op choose to tear up the century-old recognition agreement with GMB.
Five hundred GMB members learned of this decision in December 2006 when the Co-op issued the news by press release. Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary commenting on the launch of the public campaign to get the message to co-op members who GMB consider to be the lions said: “Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary, Brendan Barber General Secretary of TUC, and Dave Prentis Unison General Secretary, who is also chair of Unity Trust bank co-owned with the Co-op, tried privately to get this stupid decision reversed.
“However the Co-op went ahead and derecognised GMB from 1st April 2007. Since then GMB shop stewards have been victimised and harassed as the Co-op has tried to force them out of their union against their will.
“The Co-op will not be allowed to get away with this disgraceful and stupid decision. It is a basic human right for workers to be able to choose to continue to belong to the union of their choice. The Co-op will be shunned until the decision is reversed.”

Abortion rights lobby

CAMPAIGNERS for a women’s right to choose lobbied their MPs in the lobby of the House of Commons last Wednesday concerning the forthcoming first debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, scheduled for Monday 12th May.
Abortion opponents have made it clear they intend to use the Bill to drive back women’s rights.
The organisers of the lobby – Abortion Rights – say the lobby was intended to demonstrate to MPs the strength of opposition to that agenda, speak to and win the argument with MPs and to hear from leading politicians, scientists, women’s movement and trade union supporters about why abortion rights must be supported.
Supporters of the events included: the Family Planning Association, TUC, STUC, NUS, Unison, Unite the union, UCU, GMB, PCS, Napo, Aslef, RMT, FBU, Sertuc and others.
Campaigners are urging all progressives to write to their MPs to urge them to vote to defend women’s abortion rights during the forthcoming Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill debates.
The anti-choice lobby is already very active – MPs are receiving dozens of letters, postcards and e-mails. We cannot allow this vociferous minority to dominate the abortion debate!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


MILLIONS of working people celebrated May Day across the world this week. In the socialist countries it’s a holiday celebrating international labour; in the struggling world where the unions are part of the liberation movement it’s a festival of solidarity and in the imperialist heartlands, not least of all in Britain, it’s a day of demonstrations of the organised working class to raise the demands of the class in struggle against capitalist exploitation and oppression.
May Day is a day of solidarity and a time for reflection, when we pause to remember the first modern May Day back in 1886 and the fight for the 8 hour day. It ended in the murder of six strikers by the police in Chicago and the deaths of eight police a few days later in a bombing during a union protest in the city’s Haymarket Square. Eight trade union leaders were arrested and four convicted on trumped up charges and executed by the State of Illinois.
Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel and Adolph Fischer were executed by the State of Illinois in 1887. In 1889 the First International, the International Working Men’s Association, declared May Day an international working class holiday to commemorate the Haymarket Martyrs and the red flag, representing the blood of working class martyrs – the martyred dead of Labour’s anthem – was adopted as the international symbol of the working class.
We’ve come a long way since then. We’ve seen the Great October Russian Revolution of 1917 and the establishment of the Soviet Union; the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan that led to the founding of people’s democracies in Europe and in the countries that smashed the chains of colonialism in the post-war era. We witnessed the tragic counter-revolutionary wave that destroyed the USSR and the socialist states of Europe in the late 1980s and now we’re part of the fight-back for peace and socialism that is sweeping the world of the 21st century from Venezuela to Nepal.
Just a few years ago the imperialists were bragging that socialism was “dead”. Francis Fukuyama, the American neo-conservative bourgeois philosopher, who helped draw up the “Project for the New American Century”, was going around bragging that the struggle between ideologies was largely over, ending so he thought with the victory of bourgeois “democracy” that would pave the way for the “new world order” led by US imperialism. Now Professor Fukuyama is having second thoughts. He now believes the Iraq war was a mistake. He has distanced himself from the neo-con doctrines he once embraced as the American dream of world domination dies on the streets of Baghdad and the mountains of the Himalayas.
As the imperialist world totters on the brink of a great depression it’s clear that capitalism cannot solve the problems of the world. Capitalism cannot feed, clothe or educate the billions of the world nor can it stave off the ecological disaster that is largely its own creation.
Socialism is the only answer. It’s a fact that all the wealth of Britain and all the wealth of the world is produced by workers slaving away in the fields and mines and factories. What is also true is that, outside the remaining socialist countries, working people receive only a miserably fraction of the wealth that they produce every day of their lives. Only socialism can end this. That’s why we remember and celebrate May Day – to unite and fight for workers rights and the communist ideal. Only through socialism can the will of the masses, the overwhelming majority of the people, be carried out. Only socialism and mass democracy – not the sham democracy of the bourgeoisie or the myths of the social democrats – can end the class system and free working people from their slavery.

London news round-up

Love Music Hate Racism Carnival

THIRTY years ago hundreds of thousands of anti-racists and anti-fascists marched from central London to the East End’s Victoria Park for a Rock concert and rally against the fascist National Front that gave birth to the Rock Against Racism movement. And last Sunday, again, well over 100,000 anti-fascists and anti-racists marked the event with another giant Rock concert and rally in Victoria Park that included many veterans of the original event and a whole new generation of young people who “Love music and hate racism”.
Unfortunately the anti-fascist message is just as much needed now as 30 years ago as the fascist British National Party – assuming a thin veneer of respectability – is trying to make gains in local elections.
The Clash’s Paul Simonon was back last Sunday, alongside Damon Albarn in their band The Good, The Bad and The Queen, Hard-Fi and many more, to restate the case against fascism.
The event was sponsored by trade unions including Unison and PCS and union leaders and politicians – including Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone – made brief speeches and remembered anti-fascist music heroes like Paul Robeson and Woody Guthrie between the songs.
Their message was backed up by the music in songs from reggae singer Natty, who described cultural alienation over fat fairground organ in No Place for I and I, or R&B singer Jay Sean who proclaimed his British Indianness.
Also on the bill were The Paddingtons, Roll Deep’s Wiley -- featuring grime crew, Babyshambles’ Drew McConnell, X-Ray Spex’s Poly Styrene and a version of The Clash’s White Riot from 1978.
Most of all, the crowd who assembled, came, went and came back again in the course of a long day and evening emphasised that the BNP could never hope to raise such a rally.
Singer Morrissey also helped to sponsor the event with a contribution of £28,000. The former Smiths frontman said he decided to help fund Sunday’s event after a sponsor – thought to actually be NME – pulled out of supporting the campaign.
Posting on his website before the event, Morrissey said: “This is a historic event spreading an important, anti-racist, message so it must be allowed to go ahead. This is something I am committed to and we appreciate everyone coming together so quickly to make it happen.” Lee Billingham, from Love Music Hate Racism, said: “After an expected contribution to the carnival from a major sponsor fell through, we contacted Morrissey – and other artists who support the cause – to ask for their help, and we’re extremely grateful for Morrissey’s generous financial contribution.”

Ring of Democracy

TRADE UNIONS in London last Monday braved local flooding to stage a “Ring of Democracy” around London’s County Hall to remind voters in the coming local elections to keep the fascist British National Party out of the capital’s democratic machinery.
Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary for the TUC in London, said: “London rightly has a reputation as a world class city with progressive politics and cohesive communities, a vibrant forward looking city, strengthened by many cultures. The far-right, with its politics of hatred and bigotry, wants to destroy the very diversity that makes London such as fantastic place to live and work.
“Unions in London, campaign groups, community groups, faith leaders and individual Londoners will come together 28th April to foster the politics of hope and oppose the politics of hatred.”
The public appeal to keep the far-right out of London was supported by some of the hundreds of Unison members employed at the Greater London Authority, representatives of community groups, faith groups and anti-racist campaigners.
Unfortunately the local flooding that day meant that County Hall was closed and workers sent home but union members gave support to the rally.
Linda Perks, Regional Secretary of Unison Greater London said: “Unison members that are employed at the GLA are proud of their role in supporting the good governance of London, especially of its commitment to equalities at work and in the community.
“They believe that a breakthrough for the far-right in the GLA elections, 1st May, would be hugely detrimental to London’s interests and would have an appalling impact on their lives at work.”
The demonstration coincided with the arrival of the London Workers’ Memorial Day march at County Hall and the two events gave mutual support to each other.