An Invitation to attend the Islington People’s Assembly

September 8, 2011

Dear IHOOPS Supporter,

We would like to invite you to attend the Islington Peoples Assembly on Saturday Sept 17th, 12.30pm-5pm, at Caxton House, St John’s way, N19 3RQ.

We hope this is an opportunity for people to come together to discuss how to stop the government’s devastating cuts.

We have an excellent range of speakers, including: Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, NUT: Dr Brar, NHS surgeon and campaigner; and Weyman Bennett, Joint Secretary, Unite Against Fascism.

We also want the Assembly to be an opportunity to discuss an alternative to cuts and austerity. The workshops will aim to produce an alternative sets of demands for Islington.

We hope the Assembly will bring together many different people who are affected by the cuts, are campaigning against them and have ideas about the alternative to them. We hope you are able to attend.

Timetable

12.30-13.00 – Opening and Keynote speakers (including Ellie O’Hagan from UK Uncut, Jeremy Corbyn MP and Costas Lapavitsas from SOAS)

13.00-13.45 – Debate, ‘How should we organise to defend our local services and jobs’ (with Council leader Catherine West and IHOOPS activist Suzanne Jeffery)

13.45-14.45 – Workshops:

– Education for All: schools, colleges and universities

– Decent Pensions for All: the Fight for Dignity in Old Age

– The Attack on the NHS and Mental Health Services: Keep the NHS Public

– Housing: How the Cuts are Breaking Up Communities

– Attacks on Disability Benefits and Services: How to Resist

– One Million Climate Jobs: Solving the Environmental and Economic Crises

– The Cuts, Racism and Homophobia: the Fight for Equality

– Arts and leisure: Why the Cuts are No Fun

14.45-15.15 – Break (refreshments will be available)

15.15-16.15 – Reports from workshops

16.15-17.00 – Build an Islington People’s Manifesto from the results of the workshops, and Closing Speakers (including John McDonnell MP and Dot Gibson from the National Pensioners Convention)

To register in advance email:  islingtonhoops@gmail.com

Find the event on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=116578225107234

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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.