The Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign starts 2013 in fighting mood

The Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign (CSHC) plans to broaden our campaign for housing for the Counihan family and against cuts and evictions in Brent in 2013. In November 2012 we won our first victory in our battle with Brent Labour council, who have been forced to reinstate the Housing Benefit which Brent withdrew from the family when they declared them ‘intentionally homeless’ in April 2012.

At our last meeting the CSHC agreed the following objectives :

  • To secure social housing for the Counihans in Brent
  • To support and defend all Brent residents made homeless or facing eviction by Brent Council
  • To link up with other anti-cuts groups in Brent and NW London and coordinate activity

We demand that Brent Council must:

  • Oppose all cuts AND set a needs budget based on engaging Brent public, community groups, trade unions
  • Cap rents in Brent at an affordable rate and prevent profiteering by rogue landlords
  • Build genuinely affordable housing for working class people in our area.
  • Take into public ownership all properties in Brent that have been vacant for over a year, with compensation to be paid only on the basis of proven need
  • Campaign for a genuine living wage in Brent


1. No evictions pledge launched

The CSHC has launched a pledge for all Brent councillors to sign stating that they won’t enforce evictions in Brent. The pledge reads:
‘I pledge not to support any eviction proceedings against Brent residents who haven fallen into arrears due to recent changes in benefit rules.
I fully support the anti cuts campaigns in Brent and I will actively support a campaign of mass resistance to this government’s cuts programme.’

 2. Taking it to the streets

The CSHC stared the new year in fine style when 20 people supported the street stall at Kilburn Square on Saturday 5 January. Banners were displayed by CSHC, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, the campaign to Free Mumia abu Jamal and Boycott Workfare, showing the breadth of involvement in the campaign.

Every week at Kilburn Square we meet people who have been evicted in Brent and our presence every Saturday gives local people confidence that there is an organisation in Kilburn that is serious about fighting cuts and evictions.

The CSHC has also supported events for Justice for the 33 RMT agency workers sacked by London Underground and in solidarity with disabled prisoner Daniel Roque Hall.

3. Brent Councillors challenged by CSHC at meetings

At the Brent Labour Representation Committee meeting on 7 January Isabel and Sarah Counihan challenged the Labour leader of Brent Council, Muhammed Butt on his record of making people homeless. Disgracefully, Butt shouted at 15-year-old Sarah and has yet to apologise.

On Tuesday 8 January at the Brent Forum ‘Are we pricing the poor out of Brent?’ Isabel Counihan and Robin Sivapalan challenged Brent councillors and officials. The meeting was shocked when Isabel spoke about the advice she received from Brent Housing that her family should go and live in a field in Ireland.

On Wednesday 9 January the campaign asked Councillor Claudia Hector to sign our no evictions pledge. She refused and made a lot of false claims about the Counihans in an effort to justify her refusal. Later on, Councillor Hector claimed in an email that she had been bullied and harassed.

None of these unpleasant tactics from Brent Labour will deter the family and the campaign from fighting for justice.

4. Public Meeting - No evictions! No cuts in Brent! Thursday January 31st 7pm.

Have you had an eviction notice or had your benefits cut?
Have Brent told you that you will be housed outside the borough?
Are you opposed to council cuts and the way Brent is attacking services for working class people?
Come to our meeting to join the resistance to evictions and cuts in Brent.
If you are opposed to council cuts and the way Brent is attacking services for working class people come to our meeting to discuss how we can step up the campaign to defend working class people in Brent.
Venue: Salvation Army Hall, 55 Chichester Road, Kilburn NW6 5QW (near Kilburn Park Tube)

You can support the Counihan Family Campaign by making a Paypal donation at

Find out more on facebook – look for Counihan Battlebus and Counihan Sanchez Housing Campaign

Jimmy Mac

Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign
07958 157 392


Housing for the Counihans! Housing for all!

No cuts in Brent! No cuts at all!

On Saturday 1 December, the Counihan Sanchez Family campaign had its second successful march through Kilburn, north London.  The march resonated with working class people on the streets, who are all too aware of the savage council cuts. The family campaign banner led the march, followed by banners from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group and the Labour Representation Committee. The march was loud and vocal to the end, with speeches, chanting, singing and poetry.

The family is just one of many who are on the receiving end of the massive welfare cuts which are forcing working class families out of Brent.  The Counihans had their housing benefit cut after declaring that they had inherited a small plot of land in Ireland (worth only £18 per week in rental income). The march celebrated a victory, as last week Brent council told the family they will get their housing benefit back. Although this is just the start of the family being housed back in Brent (they are currently living in temporary accommodation in Ealing) it is a massive boost as it shows that campaigning works.

The Counihan Sanchez family are clear that their fight is the fight of all those facing eviction and homelessness and many people who are similarly affected are coming forward to join the campaign. The demonstration  stopped outside the house of Nigel Firminger to pay him respects, Nigel took his life after his benefits were cut, and he could no longer cope with the financial pressure and demands on him.

A victory for the Counihans is a victory for all those fighting the cuts. In the words of Sarah Counihan, aged 15, said: 'We are growing, not going'.

Come to the public meeting:

Thursday 6 December, 6.30pm, Salvation Army Hall, 55 Chichester Road,

Kilburn, NW6 5QW

Email the campaign: on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
and look for details on facebook: Counihan Battlebus


Growing campaign for Brent Family facing eviction - October 2012

Counihan Family Campaign

Sarah Counihan-Sanchez aged 15 told a packed public meeting at the Marian Centre in Kilburn on 17 October how her family had received a third eviction order from Brent Council and have been ordered to quit their temporary accommodation by 8 November. The family were evicted by Brent Council in April 2012 18 months after they declared £18 a week income from a small plot of land they had inherited in Ireland.


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Hands off Somalia! No to the lies of the BBC - British bourgeois corporation! – 30 June 2012

Hands off Somalia!  No to the lies of the BBC - British bourgeois corporation! – 30 June 2012
On Saturday 30 June, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supported a successful demonstration called by the Hands Off Somalia campaign (HOS) outside the BBC in Portland Place London.

The demonstration was called in response to the biased and selective coverage of Somalia, and in particular to the use of documentaries such as Escape from the world’s most dangerous place to build up propaganda in favour of imperialist intervention, both military and otherwise,  to ‘save’ Somalia from itself.


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Imperialist Hands off Africa public meeting – 16 June 2012

Imperialist Hands off Africa public meeting – 17 June 2012

On 16 June 2012, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! spoke alongside other groups at a public meeting of the Hands off Somalia campaign, entitled Imperialist Hands off Africa, in Shepherds Bush.

The conference meeting was organised by HOS to bring awareness and action around the new scramble for Africa which is being lead by the British government and its imperialist allies. The other groups speaking on the platform were Uhuru, Pan Afrikan Women's Association (Moyo-Wa-Taifa),

Supporters packed the meeting at the Horn of Africa Community Centre to discuss the legacy and impact colonialism has left on Africa as well as the alternative and ways to oppose British imperialism.

Speakers highlighted the theme of anti-imperialism and socialism as well as African unity and revolutionary consciousness. This was emphasised through many lively performances from poets and artists including, Ibrahim Sincere, Zena Edwards, Mohamed Ali, Awoowe Hamza which electrified the room with uplifting revolutionary ideas. Marcel Cartier, US rapper and supporter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, performed an acapella version of his track, Hands off Africa, with his collaborator, Nana D.

Fight Racism Fight Imperialism speaker Anthony gave a modern and historical analysis of how Europe and Britain in particular has underdeveloped Africa in order to ensure it could manipulate the continent to feed its parasitic capitalist class. The speech explained the need to take action in Britain to oppose imperialism at every level and opportunity as a key to smashing the capitalist system. The message was that taking action to expose and undermine imperialism is an urgent priority.

Hands off Somalia speaker Muna discussed the oppression that the Somali community faces here at home in Britain and reinforced ideas that they should not fear the British state's threats but rise to them in order to oppose racial targeting and persecution.

The meeting also contained an extensive discussion with the audience who spoke on varying ways to improve our struggle and identify where we can increase consciousness on the role which imperialism plays in dividing and ruling us all.

Finally, Hands off Somalia announced their upcoming event 'Rage Against the BBC' which will be a protest and picket held outside BBC Broadcasting House on 30 June to oppose the lack of coverage on explaining the true causes of underdevelopment in Somalia.

Hands off Somalia!

Hands off Africa!


Hands Off Somalia: public meeting, London – 28 April 2012

Hands Off Somalia: public meeting, London – 28 April 2012Hands Off Somalia: public meeting, London – 28 April 2012

On Saturday 28 April, Hands Off Somalia (HOS), held a public meeting to discuss the British government’s threat of military intervention in Somalia, and to raise awareness about the campaign.  HOS was initiated by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in January 2012, to mobilise opposition to an international conference hosted by David Cameron in London on 23 February, which was convened to deal with what he terms ‘a failed state’. The campaign was formed together with people from the Somali community in London and other anti-imperialists, and held a big demonstration outside the venue of the conference.


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Celebrating 53 years of the Cuban Revolution - London, 7 Jan 2012

January 2012 marks 53 years since the triumph of the Cuban revolution. Rock around the Blockade, the RCG campaign in solidarity with socialist Cuba, celebrated the occasion with a street rally in Angel, North London. We publicised the case of the Cuban 5, anti-terrorists jailed in the US in 2001 for trying to peacefully prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba.
In February our 12th solidarity brigade will leave for Cuba. We will take donations for sports equipment for Cuban youth, to coincide with the London olympics. To donate, go to or you can attend a classical music concert on Friday 20 January in London, where all proceeds will go to the brigade donation.
Go to the rock around the Blockade website -


Classical music concert with Cuban musicians

Friday 20 January, 6:45pm

Raising funds for material aid to Cuba
The concert celebrates the 53rd anniversary of the Cuban revolution and all proceeds will be donated for sports equipment for Cuban youth, in the year of the 2012 London Olympics. The donation will be presented during our solidarity brigade to Cuba in February 2012.

Tickets £10

Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL

Nearest tube: Warren Street

Classical music concert with Cuban musicians

Eralys Fernandez – piano

Eralys FernandezEralys studied piano at the Guillermo Tomas Music Con­servatoire, the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and the Higher Institute of Arts in Cuba. In London she completed a Masters in Advanced Performance (piano and harpsichord) at the Royal College of Music, and a post­graduate course in harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Eralys’ repertoire includes early music, classical, latin jazz and flamenco. She is also an arranger and composer and in 2010 she released an album, An Afternoon in Havana, to critical acclaim. Click here to read more about Eralys Fernandez , ,

Ahmed Dickinson - guitar

Ahmed DickinsonAfter graduating in Cuba from the Higher Institute of Arts, Ahmed came to England to study with Carlos Bonell and Chris Stell at the Royal College of Music. In 2006 he under­took further studies with Rob­ert Brightmore at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Ahmed specialises in a reper­toire by Cuban composers, from classical works to the more contemporary ‘filin’ movement. In September 2011 he launched his fifth release, Latin Perspective with the Santiago Quartet. The album features music by Leo Brouwer, Javier Alvarez and Miguel del Aguila. Click here to read more about Ahmed Dickinson ,

Paula Martinez - violin

Paula MartinezPaula graduated from the Higher Conservatory of Music in Oviedo, Spain, before pursuing postgraduate studies in London, Boston and New York. Today Paula is busy performing as  a soloist, recitalist and orchestral player. A keen chamber musician, she performs regularly with the Venezuelan guitarist Miguel Clavijo and with the pianists Sergey Bezrodny and Marco Fatichenti. Click here to read more about Paula Martinez

Emma Blanco - violin

Emma BlancoEmma graduated from the Royal College of Music, where she was a co-leader with the National Musicians’ Symphony Orchestra. Her repertoire ranges from classical and chamber to contemporary Latin and Cuban music. Since 2008 Emma has collaborated with Cuban musicians. Performing with Ahmed Dickinson and Hammadi Rencurell as Trio Mestizo, she released her first album, The Havana Suite, in 2011.


Neus Guiu - piano

Neus GuiuFrom Tarragona, Catalonia, Neus graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Bacelona in 1999. After a postgraduate degree in piano and accompaniment in the Netherlands, Neus came to the Royal College of Music in London, where she gained a Masters in accompaniment in June 2008. She has performed both as soloist and accompanist in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.


Buy tickes online now

Organised by Rock Around the Blockade

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 07865 453 033


FRFI out on strike day, 30 Nov 2011

FRFI out on strike day, 30 Nov 2011London, 30 November 2011 - FRFI marched with around 30,000 striking public sector workers in protest at pension cuts. Nationwide around 2 million workers from 30 trade unions were on strike. The attack on pensions will see the value of public sector pensions cut by £2.8 billion, just a fraction of the massive assault on living standards, through which the ruling class are attempting to make ordinary people pay for the crisis of capitalism. We say, ‘No cuts, full stop!’


Electricians against the cuts - 9 Nov 2011

Electricians and activists arrived at the site of The Pinnacle in Bishopsgate at 7am this morning, to protest against 35% pay-cuts in the trade, forced de-skilling and corporate greed. 500 protesters occupied the roads where speeches were held about the big seven corporations that are looking to destroy existing employment agreements and reduce pay whilst they continue to rake in enormous profits.


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Public Rally: Speak out against the Cuts: Stop the Real Looters!

Saturday 1 October 2011

1 - 3 pm

Outside Angel tube

Upper Street, Islington, North London

RBS bank has been bailed out with £45 billion of taxpayers money, yet it's employees continue to receive millions of pounds of bonuses,while essential services are being cut.

This is a blatant example of how the poorest are being made to pay for the capitalist crisis while the rich continue with the looting that they call financial speculation.

Join us for an afternoon of music, protest, speeches and street theatre outside RBS in Angel North London ( directly outside Angel tube) to highlight the real crooks: the banks and multinationals and the media and politicians that defend them.

Come in fancy dress: the theme is bankers and robbers, to reflect the highway robbery that we are being asked to accept.

In July we paid a similar visit to RBS, see this excellent video of what happened:

RSVP on facebook:


Cuban 5: 13 years of unjust imprisonment - 10 Sep 2011

cuban 5 london sept 2011

On Saturday 10 September, as part of the international days of action for the Cuban 5, on the 13th anniversary of their incarceration in US gaols, members and supporters of Rock around the Blockade in Britain, supported by the Revolutionary Communist Group, held street rallies in four cities: In Glasgow by Donald Dewar Statue, in Newcastle at Grey’s Monument, in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens and in Trafalgar Square in London.


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FRFI Sponsored Bike Ride, Hackney to Waltham Abbey, 3 July 2011


Supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! cycled 35 miles along the towpath from North East London to Waltham Abbey and back to raise money for our fighting fund through sponsorship pledged in advance. The cyclists are now collecting the promised money and we aim to reach our target of £1,000.

Star of the ride was Max, aged 8, who cycled with no assistance all the way to Waltham Abbey. Join us on our next sponsored ride.


Bank robbers demonstrate against the cuts in Angel - London - 16 July 2011

Bank robbers demonstrate against the cuts in Angel - London - 16 July 2011

What is the crime of robbing a bank, compared with the crime of founding one? so said Bertold Brecht.

With this in mind, supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! descended on RBS at the Angel Islington in north London on Saturday 16 July dressed as bankers and robbers to highlight the daylight robbery of our health, education and public services.


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Robin Hood and his merry men fight the cuts - 11 June 2011


On Saturday 11 June in Angel, north London, Robin Hood and his merry men joined a Speak Out Against the Cuts event, targeting the Angel branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland, recipient of £45 billion of public money in the 2008 bail out.

The event was called by FRFI and publicised via the UK Uncut website. Protestors highlighted the role of RBS and other banks in precipitating the capitalist crisis, and the fact that saving the banks is a priority for the British government, at the expense of the public services that millions of ordinary people depend on.


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UK Uncut Day of Action to Save the NHS - 28 May 2011

On Saturday 28 May, Angel, north London, was the site of a drop-in surgery for people worried about the bad effects of the cuts on their health. This event was called by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! as part of the UK Uncut day of action to save the NHS, which saw banks throughout the country occupied and turned into hospitals.

Protestors dressed as doctors, nurses and patients set up their cuts consultation inside the Angel branch of RBS, recipient of £45 billion of bail out money – 40% of the annual NHS budget!

The patients’ recovery was assisted by ukulele players and energetic speeches, making sure that the public understood why we were there.


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Event report – Speak Out Against the Cuts – 21 May 2011

Event report – Speak Out Against the Cuts – 21 May 2011
On 21 May, Angel in North London was the scene of a vibrant street rally against the cuts, called by the RCG and supported by hundreds of passers by angry at cuts to services and welfare rights.

RCG supporters set up a stall with colourful banners and a sound system, which they used to talk about the cuts in the context of a deliberate attack against working class living standards. We are clearly not all in this together when the real incomes and standard of life for most people in the country are falling, while those on the Sunday Times Rich List managed to increase their wealth by 18% over the past year. Passers by stopped to sign a petition and take leaflets about a local anti- cuts meeting in Holloway on Weds 1st June.

In Islington borough (which includes Angel) the Labour-led council is implementing £52 million of cuts this year alone, axing 350 jobs and slashing services for young parents and the elderly.

The same story is repeated across London and the country – ConDem cuts are being passed on by pliant councils, including Labour ones.

Let’s follow the example of the people of Spain, who are taking to the streets to reject cuts to services and to demand a break with their mainstream parties.

We will not pay for the capitalist crisis!

Come and join us at the meeting in Holloway on Weds 1 June. Details here:


Palestine Action Group Nakba commemoration demo outside M&S Newcastle - 14 May 2011

Palestine Action Group Nakba commemoration demo outside M&S Newcastle - 14 May 2011

On 14 May supporters of Palestine Action Group (PAG) and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in Newcastle staged a vibrant demonstration outside Marks & Spencer in commemoration of the Nakba (catastrophe) in 1948, when 700,000 Palestinians were expelled as the state of Israel was brought into being.

The protest focused on the continuing theft of Palestinian land, through the construction of the ‘apartheid wall’, and violence by armed Israeli settlers and the Israeli military. The state violence of the Israeli Defence Force, who demolish homes and bomb civilian areas, and the violence of armed fascist setters cannot be separated. Both aim to make life so difficult for the Palestinian people that they choose to leave their land.


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Camden Against the Cuts, Monday 28 Feb 2011

camden_protest1On Monday 28 Feb FRFI supporters joined the protest outside Camden Town Hall as the Labour controlled council inside passed cuts to local services.

Gradually the march built up with a sizable contingent of local people, young people and people whose services are directly facing cuts, City Farm, Day Care Centres and Youth Clubs. On the march a good chant got going, ‘ConDem Labour all the same – they all play the banker’s game etc. SWP supporters and others refused to join in, opposing the position that Councillors who vote for the cuts are enemies of the working class.


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Islington Labour Council sets police on anti-cuts protesters - 17 Feb 2011

On 17 February, around 200 demonstrators, including supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, marched on Islington town hall in north London to demonstrate against the council's 2011/12 cuts budget. The budget will contain £52 million in cuts to jobs and local services, including 350 job losses and swingeing cuts to youth services, day centres, transport services and rises in tenant charges. Demonstrators made their presence felt on the steps of the town hall, before entering the public gallery to make their feelings felt.

In an Equality Impact Assessment delivered to the meeting, the council declared that its priority was to ‘make Islington a fairer place’. The blatant untruthfulness of this was demonstrated only a few paragraphs later, where it noted that the cuts would have ‘a direct impact on residents who receive services from the Council and this will mainly be younger, older, disabled and poorer residents’. With cuts that mean slashing essential services to these very people, the Labour council has shown just whose side it stands on.


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London branches

North London
020 7837 1688



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