A National Save our NHS March will take place on Sept 29th outside the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. The Save Lewisham Hospital campaign has booked a large coach to go to Manchester for the march. There are two pick up points, 6.45am at Lewisham Station or 6.15am at General Gordon Square in Woolwich. Tickets cost between £5 and £17 depending on how much you are able to pay. Email Paul Moore, Lewisham TUC, if you’d like to purchase a ticket at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delegates from Goldsmiths joined with over 4000 other people to attend the first national meeting of the People’s Assembly against Austerity in Central Hall, Westminster on Saturday 22nd June. It was a fantastic atmosphere of unity and determination to escalate and coordinate the opposition to cuts that are devastating communities, weakening public services and impoverishing growing numbers of people. The message was clear: we don’t want a few cuts or cuts in some places; we don’t want any cuts. The government’s austerity programme is ‘unjust, immoral and undemocratic’.
The opening rally heard from speakers including Frances O’Grady (TUC General Secretary), Owen Jones and Mark Steel. The Assembly then broke into workshops that discussed, for example, how to defend the NHS and public education, how to turn the tide on racism and anti-immigration discourses, what kind of tactics do we need in the anti-austerity movement, and how we can organise local People’s Assemblies. The final rally heard from a range of speakers including several union general secretaries who spoke of the need for militant action to break the government’s austerity agenda. One of the most powerful speeches about the impact of the cuts was from the comedian Francesca Martinez.
The Assembly adopted a statement that includes support for a national demonstration to defend the NHS outside Conservative Party conference on 29 September 2013 and for a national day of civil disobedience and direct action against austerity on November 5th. You can read the full statement at http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/draft-statement/.
It was the biggest single political meeting that I have ever been to and let’s hope that it marks the beginning of a genuine diverse, inclusive and powerful movement against austerity.
Dr Des Freedman
Reader in Communications and Cultural Studies
Secretary, Goldsmiths UCU
Members are reminded that there are two exciting and important events at Goldsmiths this week, that all members are urged to attend. Tonight (Monday 30th of April) Tony Benn will be speaking alongside Student’s Union president James Haywood in the Ian Gulland Theatre, discussing the worrying signs that Israel and the US are pushing for an attack on Iran. And on Wednesday, Goldsmiths UCU are hosting a talk from scholar Gavan Titley, author of The Crises of Multiculturalism, on racism in a neoliberal age. Both events are timely and relevant to our concerns as a union, and are opportunities to see some excellent speakers.Both events are open to all, so please do pass these details on to other interested parties. If you’re able to display a poster for Wednesday’s talk, please email email@example.com
Full details of the events are given below.
‘Don’t Iraq Iran’: Public Meeting with Tony Benn, 30th April [link]
Ian Gulland Theatre, 6pm
Iran is under threat of attack; an attack that would have even greater consequences than the disastrous war in Iraq. Meanwhile the Afghan war is lost but the killing goes on. Western powers are meddling in the Syrian revolution.
The Stop the War Coalition has called this meeting to discuss the threat of escalation in the so called ‘war on terror’.
Join speakers Tony Benn, John Rees and Goldsmiths Student Union President James Haywood to discuss how we can prevent another bloody and costly conflict.
What happens if you throw a war, & somebody comes? ‘Multicultural Crisis’ after Breivik
2nd May, RHB 137, 1pm
Goldsmiths UCU are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a talk from Gavan Titley, co-author of The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age (http://bit.ly/HNgVdD).
Gavan’s widely praised book challenges the familiar narrative of the ‘rise and fall’ of multiculturalism by questioning the existence of a coherent era of multiculturalism in the first place.In the wake of the Utoya massacre, for which Anders Breivik’s widely publicised trial is ongoing, and the political gains of the Far Right in many parts of Europe (see, for example, the current elections in France), Gavan’s work is particularly important. Are we witnessing multiculturalism in crisis, or the projection of neoliberal anxieties onto the actual reality of lived multiculture?
This talk is free and open to all. Please share the event on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/HSpUPv