Meeting next week

November 6, 2011

Islington trades unionists and anti-cuts campaigners will be meeting next week to build maximum support in Islington for up to 3 million public sector workers likely to be striking on Wednesday 30 November in defence of their pensions.

The meeting, called by IHOOPS (Islington Hands Off Our Public Services), will also be discussing how those of us who use the borough’s libraries can unite with the staff who work in them to resist cuts in the service imposed on the Council by the Conservative and Lib Dem Coalition government.

IHOOPS spokesperson, Ken Muller, said:

“After it was revealed last week that the directors of the top hundred companies in the UK paid themselves a 49% pay increase last year, we want to hear no more from the likes of Cameron and Osborne that we are all in this together. It is disgusting that, when the Tories’ fat cat friends are continuing to live it up on their bonuses, the rest of us – not just in the public sector, but in the private sector too – are being told to pay more and work longer for substantially reduced pensions. It is equally disgusting that they are depriving the 99% of ordinary people of important services like libraries at a time when they are doing nothing about the £120 billion in taxes avoided or evaded by the rich every year. The Tories and their millionaire friends must be laughing all the way to the bank. They will not be smiling on 30 November.”

For further information, contact: Ken Muller on 07950075088.

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Block the Bridge – Block the Bill

September 24, 2011

The government is just weeks away from destroying the NHS forever.

This is an emergency.

On Sunday October 9th, UK Uncut will be on Westminster Bridge to block the bill.

IHOOPS will be joining them.

On one side of Westminster Bridge is Parliament. On 7th September, MPs in the Commons voted for the end of the NHS as we know it. Yet the coalition’s Health and Social Care bill was not in the Lib Dem manifesto. It was not in the Tory manifesto. None of us voted for this.

On the opposite side of the bridge is St Thomas’ Hospital, one of Britain’s oldest medical institutions. If the bill passes, hospitals like St Thomas’ will be sold to private corporations, the staff put on private payrolls and beds given over to private patients. Despite the government’s lies, this bill represents the wholesale privatization of the NHS and, with it, the destruction of the dream of comprehensive healthcare provided equally to all.

On October 12th, the Lords have a chance to vote down the bill, and a huge Liberal Democrat rebellion is brewing. We have one last chance to save our NHS.

On Sunday 9th October, just three days before the Lords vote, join UK Uncut in a spectacular act of mass civil disobedience to block the bill. By blocking Westminster Bridge we symbolically block the bill from getting from Parliament to our hospitals. Yes, it will be disruptive. Yes, it will stop the traffic. But this is an emergency and we have to shout as loud as we can.

Get to the middle of Westminster Bridge shortly before 1pm. When Big Ben strikes one, pick one of the tactics below and help block the bridge:

* Bring some fake blood and play dead
* Bring hospital radio to the bridge with some music and comedy
* Bring a nurse for a resuscitation skill-share
* Dress up in scrubs and perform an operation
* Enjoy a picnic overlooking Parliament
* Share stories about the the NHS
* Invite a friend from across the pond to describe the reality of a privatised healthcare system
* Invite older generations to describe a time before universal healthcare
* (if you’ve got other good ideas, email them to ukuncut@gmail.com)

Invite everyone you know to the Facebook event, and make sure you click ‘attending’ – the action will only go ahead if 1000 or more people plan to attend. We’ll be in close contact with St. Thomas’ before and during the protest to ensure access for emergency vehicles.

We will not let a coalition of millionaire politicians and private health lobbyists destroy our NHS.

Be on Westminster Bridge for 1pm on October 9th and together let’s block this bill from getting to our hospitals.

See you on the bridge.


ATOS recruitment fair, 30th September

September 23, 2011

Hello all,

This is just to alert you to the intention of ATOS to run a recruitment fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington from noon til 6pm on the 30th September.

Here is some more information about ATOS, and a case study, if you’re interested, and we’re certain many of you will be.

There will be a meeting at Disability Action In Islington on Tuesday 27th of September at 6.30pm to plan for the event.

See you there,

IHOOPS

The Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=181940165210541


Report on the Anti-EDL demo, 3rd September

September 7, 2011

Merilyn Moos reports for IHOOPS from the anti-EDL demo:

The day was ours.

The victory over the English Defence League last Saturday was a real achievement. Thousands of anti-fascists, trade unionists and members of the local community marched through Whitechapel and helped stop the EDL in its bid to demonstrate in Tower Hamlets. They had bragged that they were coming to the heart of Tower Hamlets – “marching into the lion’s den” in the multiracial, multicultural borough. Despite a national mobilisation, they failed utterly. Only around 600 members of EDL made it to their final rally point – at Aldgate, crucially outside the Tower Hamlets borough boundary. Between 1500 and 2000 joined the Unite Against Fascism and United East End anti-EDL demonstration.

The EDL had nowhere to go. The RMT railworkers’ union prevented the organisation’s planned “muster” at Liverpool Street station, by threatening to close the station down if the violent racists were allowed to gather there. They had already been refused any venue in Tower Hamlets, including Sainsbury’s car park. The EDL’s fallback plan to meet at pubs in Euston was scuppered when the pubs declared they would not host the racists either. Their journey south was then held up when RMT members closed the tube station. Plus, Tommy Robinson, the leader of the EDL, was arrested.

When the EDL had left the area, the anti-racist protestors marched in their thousands back down Whitechapel Road, chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Black and white unite and fight, smash the EDL”.

Many groups supported the Unite Against Fascism demo. The speakers included CWU deputy general secretary Tony Kearns, East London Mosque’s Dilowar Khan, former MEP Glyn Ford, veteran local antifascist Phil Maxwell, Terry Stewart of LGBT group Out East, former council leader Phil Maxwell amongst many others. Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone sent a message of support, saying: “This is a fitting response to those who peddle hatred and fear.”

We need to show the greatest possible opposition to the racists and fascists. We stopped them in Tower Hamlets. Now we need to ensure that they do not threaten Islington’s multiracial, multicultural community.

The EDL will try to exploit high unemployment, youth disaffection, increasing homelessness and the attack on social services and the NHS. ‘Look at us,’ they will say. ‘We have the answer.’

We know where their answer leads. We must not let that happen here.

 

An Islington UAF group is in the procerss of being set-up. For further information, contact gabriella: gabriella@blueyonder.co.uk


Update on the national demo against the EDL

September 1, 2011

Important – New assembly point
The  corner of Vallance Road and Whitechapel Road, London E1 (near East London Mosque) Islington UAF supporters, trade unionists, IHOOPS activists etc are meeting at 10.30am @ Highbury & Islington tube to travel to the assembly point. Please bring banners.

UAF and United East End is calling on antiracists and antifascists across the country to mobilise for the demo against the English Defence League in Tower Hamlets, for this Saturday 3 September.

The leader of the English Defence League has confirmed that the EDL intends to go ahead with its planned demo in Tower Hamlets on Saturday 3rd September. EDL leader Stephen Yaxley Lennon (AKA “Tommy Robinson”) told BBC London his group would “still show up” in the multiracial, multicultural London borough, despite the home secretary’s ban on marching. He said: “We’ll have a static demonstration and we’ll have our voices heard,” he told BBC London.

On its facebook page the racist organisation said:  Tower Hamlets demo is NOT banned. What they have done is banned our ‘march’ but we WILL still have a static demo. Remember that we have to walk to ‘muster points’ and from those muster points we have to walk to the demo area.

The EDL’s statement makes it clear why we need the biggest possible mobilisation for the antiracist counter-demo called by UAF and United East End for Saturday 3rd September

 Speaking at a UAF/United East End meeting hosted by Tower Hamlets Trade Unions, CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said:

‘I’m proud of our union’s association with UAF and we are sponsoring the event on 3 September.  We need everyone out on Saturday, as many people as we can. We’ll be out in great numbers and we’ll push back the EDL on Saturday’.

 Sign the petition 

UAF also believes it is wrong for the home secretary to have extended the ban on marching to all organisations. It is appalling that the government is treating antiracists and the host of trade unions, local community organisations and faith groups in Tower Hamlets in the same way as the racists and fascists of the EDL.

Please sign the petition, and pass on the link – http://is.gd/sept3petition – to everyone you know.

See you there

IHOOPS


Stop the EDL – Tower Hamlets – 3rd September

August 15, 2011

IHOOPS officially supports the march against the EDL on the 3rd September.

The EDL – a racist and Islamophobic organisation – is planning to march through the Tower Hamlets borough on the 3rd September.  Given the recent atrocities in Norway, opposition to the EDL is of even greater importance. The links between Breivik and the EDL have been made clear.  Not only has Breivik publically stated that he was inspired by the EDL, but numerous members of the EDL have voiced their support of his actions. One EDL supporter defended Breivik claiming “This man is no terrorist, he is a soldier in the war against Islam. God bless him”.

The EDL’s attempts to stir up racist hatred against Muslims in the multicultural, multiracial East End of London have been met with a wave of condemnation from across Tower Hamlets’ diverse community and beyond.

Last year, 5,000 people marched through the East End to oppose the EDL – even though the EDL had already been forced to cancel their own event, admitting that it would be “a suicide mission” in multicultural Tower Hamlets.

Unite Against Facism (UAF), who have called the demo, have stated “we want a huge turnout in Tower Hamlets to deal a more decisive blow to the EDL and its poisonous racist ideas.”  The only way to stop racism is to confront it head on.

Details:

Assemble from 11am, Weavers Fields, London E2 6HW
Saturday 3 September


Give Our Kids A Future!

August 12, 2011

A North London Unity Assembly Demonstration

Saturday 13th August, 1pm

Assemble Gillet Square, Dalston, N16 at 1pm. March to Tottenham Green, N15

Our communities need a united response to both the riots and the causes of despair and frustration that can result in riots.

We call for:

– A culture of valuing, not demonising, youth and unemployed people
– Support for those affected by the rioting, including the immediate rehousing of people made homeless, grants for affected small businesses, and restoration of damaged areas
– Reversal of all cuts to youth services in our boroughs
– No cuts to public services! Instead, investment into community-led regeneration of our communities, including access for all to decent housing, jobs, education and sports facilities
– An independent community inquiry into policing methods in our boroughs, and an end to discriminatory stop and search
– Availability of legal support for all those people arrested by police. Young people face potential sentences that will affect them, their families and their wider communities for years to come. Recommended solicitors are Bindmans 0207 833 4433 and Hodge, Jones and Allen 07659 111192

We are responding to the events of the last few days, in particular the Tottenham protest over the killing of Mark Duggan and the disturbances that followed in Tottenham and Hackney.

By coming together and calling for unity we want to encourage all sections of our local communities, young and old, black and white, residents and workers, to work together to find solutions to some of our long-standing problems.

We know there are all kinds of strong feelings and differing views. We do not claim to represent the whole community, but merely seek to promote unity in the communities in which we live and work.

Simply labelling rioters as opportunistic criminals does little to relieve tensions and provides a poor explanation for the worst riots in decades. While the shooting of Mark Duggan provided the trigger, against a background of oppressive policing, especially towards ethnic minorities, the root causes are deeper.

Our communities have been blighted by high levels of deprivation, poverty and lack of opportunity for decades. Inequality is growing and recent funding cuts to local services, particularly youth facilities, along with rising unemployment, and cuts to EMA and benefits have exacerbated the conditions in which sections of frustrated young people turned to rioting, which unfortunately has resulted in people losing their homes and small/family businesses losing their livelihoods.

Britain is a wealthy country, but with deep inequality. The economic crisis created by greedy bankers and financial speculators is further impoverishing already poor areas like Tottenham and Hackney. The £390 billion of combined wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain should be redirected to fund the services we all need.

In the last few months we have seen mass local protests against cuts, student occupations to defend free education, a half-a-million strong demonstration on March 26th, and 800,000 public service workers out on strike on June 30th.

We need to build on these and other inspiring local and national struggles. Let’s work together for a decent society, based not on greed, inequality and poor conditions, but on justice, freedom, sharing and co-operation.

The North London Unity Demonstration has been called by an ad hoc open assembly of 70 community activists on Tuesday 9th August. It is supported by the Hackney Alliance to Defend Public Services, Haringey Alliance for Public Services, Haringey Trades Union Council, Day-Mer (Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre), NLCH (North London Community Centre), Day-Mer Youth, Alevi Cultural Centre, Fed-Bir, Kurdish Community Centre: Roj Women, Halkevi, Gik-Der (Refugee Workers Cultural Association). Britania Peace Council: Hundred Flowers Cultural Centre, TOHUM, Socialist Party, Youth Fight For Jobs, Right To Work, Red Pepper.