February days of action: Focus E15 mothers campaign steps up the pressure

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February has been a busy month for the Focus E15 Campaign, with organised and lively events stepping up the pressure on Newham's Labour council, and building the campaign. Lets hope March will be an even busier month, pushing the message - social housing, not social cleansing!

On Friday 21 February, the Focus E15 campaign held their 'Focus Fun Bus Big Day Out'. Focus E15 mothers and their supporters, including FRFI/RCG, and friends took thousands of signed petitions to hand in to Boris Johnson, mayor of London, at City Hall. Travelling on a decorated open top bus, the campaign was heard loud and clear as the bus went from Stratford, east London, to the embankment near Tower Bridge, singing and chanting 'social housing, not social cleansing', demanding the basic right of secure social housing, not insecure private-sector rented accommodation. 

 

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Protest against Atos 19th February London, Euston Head Office

 

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Joined the London National protest against Atos called by Black Triangle, Disabled People against Cuts and others outside Atos head office.

A lot of new jargon is necessary to understand what is happening to benefits cuts at this time. But the strong message of the protest was that we had all better understand because any one of us could end up unable to work for the long or short term because of an accident, the onset of mental illness, disability or disease.

The £500 million contract from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with the multi national company Atos Healthcare was set up in 2010 with the aim of testing all 1.5 million people on sickness benefits in the UK. The Work Capacity Assessment (WCA) is a computer-led points-based assessment by often medically non-qualified Atos staff to determine whether to move people from Disability Benefits (DI) and put them on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

 

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Focus E15 and Newham Council: The Lies and the Truth

The Focus E15 campaign has now been fighting for social housing in East London for over six months. The Newham Labour council has responded with lies and spin, attempting to cover up their attacks on the working class, and their absolute complicity with the project of cuts and austerity. Below we republish, with permission, an exchange from the Focus E15 Mothers Campaign Facebook page. Daniella, a supporter of the campaign had written to councillor Ellie Robinson, the executive member for Safeguarding and Community Affairs, and received the predictable slippery reponse. Below this Jasmin Stone, one of the mothers leading the campaign, explains the reality of the behaviour of Newham council and the East Thames housing association. FRFI/RCG continues to support and organise with the Focus E15 Campaign. Social housing not social cleansing!

 

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Focus E15 mums say keep us in London, social housing not social cleansing

On Friday 17 January, Focus E15 mothers, their babies and supporters of the campaign held a tea party in the showflat in the East Thames Housing Association offices, with decorations, party poppers, balloons - the children had fun, the mothers were happy and the message was clear - secure social housing in London.

East Thames is the landlord of Focus E15 hostel, where the young mothers and babies who are on the homeless list of Newham Council, have been temporarily housed. The young mothers have been offered properties as far away as Hastings and Birmingham, in the private-rented sector, while East Thames has thousands of properties in East London and Essex, and Newham Council has boarded up properties in Stratford such as the Carpenters Estate.

 

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Brixton: Town Hall protest against Lambeth College sell-off and Bedroom Tax benefits cuts

Members of the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) joined 200+ protesters, including students, teachers, campaigns and people from the community assembled outside Lambeth Town Hall last night to tell the council they are against the bedroom tax, benefits cuts and the sell-off of Lambeth College.

Earlier that evening 60+ students, teachers and activists assembled outside Lambeth College on Brixton Hill to oppose the sell-off of the site to private developers. Campaigners are demanding the principal Mark Silvermann recognises the groups demands, which also cover issues such as expensive canteens and lack of childcare.

Protesters march down Brixton Hill

Members of the South London RCG with their big sound system joined protesters from the Save Brixton College campaign to take to the roads for a march down Brixton hill and around the Brixton market area. People joined on the way for chants and speeches on the microphone, explaining how the council is doing nothing to stop the sell-off of the college.

 

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Focus E15 mothers: One step forward!

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On Saturday 16 November, Focus E15 mothers, their babies together with FRFI and other supporters were out in force on the streets of Stratford.

A significant victory has just been achieved. The mothers have received a letter from East Thames, the housing association that runs Focus E15 hostel, saying that the support that was removed in September has been reinstated. This means that the council has had to backtrack on its decision to remove the £41,000 Supporting People funding stream to the mother and baby unit.

 

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First public meeting of the Focus E15 mothers’ campaign

On Saturday 12 October, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! with Focus E15 Mothers and friends, family and supporters came together at Ithaca House in Stratford, E15. It was the first public meeting of the campaign, to update everyone about the campaign so far and plan ahead.

Young mothers and mothers-to-be from Focus E15 mother and baby unit are taking action because the unit has lost £41,000 of council funding from the council and faces closure. They have been warned to start looking for accommodation and some of them have been served with eviction notices from East Thames Housing Association, which administers Focus E15.

 

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Support the Focus E15 Mothers!

On Saturday 5 October, the Focus E15 Mothers campaign held a lively rally on the streets of Stratford, East London. Mums, children and supporters made speeches, petitioned and publicised the campaign, encouraging local people to attend a public meeting this Saturday (see details below).

The Focus E15 Mothers are a group of young mothers and mothers-to-be facing eviction from their homes at the FocusE15 centre, a hostel for young people in Stratford that includes a mother and baby unit.

 

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Stop the EDL march - eyewitness report

Eyewitness report of mass arrests at East London demo against the EDL - 7 September 2013

On Saturday 7 September, 5,000 people assembled at Altab-Ali Park, named in honour of a young Bangladeshi textile worker murdered by fascists in 1978, in an attempt to stop the fascist English Defence League from marching through Tower Hamlets, East London, an area with a large Asian population. An FRFI supporter who was at the demonstration reports.

 

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Street Party to resist the threatened removal of the Counihan family - 27 May 2013

The Counihan-Sanchez family from Kilburn are continuing to resist attempts by Brent Labour council to make them homeless. The Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign (CSHC) are supporting the family and continuing to fight all evictions and cuts in Brent. The family of seven were made homeless by Brent after they declared £18 a week income from a plot of land in Ireland. Since April 2012, the family have been in shoddy accommodation in Ealing which costs Brent council £500 per week.

 

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UEFA out of Israel! Israel out of Palestine!

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FRFI activists in London and Manchester are participating in the international campaign to demand that UEFA pull its Under-21s final football tournament out of Israel, where it is due to be held from 5 to 18 June 2013.

In London, on 24 May, activists assembled outside St Pancras Inter­national station to receive around 40 activists from several European countries, mainly France, who arrived to cheers and chants of Free Palestine! Boycott Israel! We then set off for a 250-strong march to Grosvenor Hotel in Park Lane where the UEFA annual congress was taking place. FRFI was among the coalition of groups which organised the day of action, along with Football Beyond Borders and Red Card Israeli Racism – which held a five-hour rally outside the hotel. A small group of intrepid activists even managed, later, to get past security and protest at the UEFA dinner itself. In front of guests including David Beckham and Alex Ferguson, one got onto the platform to denounce Israel and another stood behind UEFA president Michel Platini holding a flag.

 

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Defend Whittington Hospital! We want our NHS back!

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16 March 2013 – RCG supporters joined up to 5,000 people marching against the proposed sell off at Whittington Hospital in Archway, North London. The march started at Highbury corner and closed-off the busy Holloway Road as it made its way up to the hospital at Archway.

 

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Lewisham Hospital and the PFI parasites – Feb 2013

Lewisham Hospital is being sacrificed to parasites. The government’s plans to remove its Accident and Emergency service, maternity wards, paediatric and other services in order to provide private companies with extraordinary profits, which furnish the pleasures of multi-millionaires.

The South London Health Care Trust (SLHT) has run up a deficit of £15 million over the past 3 years. In 2012 the cost of servicing its debt is estimated to have been £61m – nearly 15% of its income. The SLHT total debt burden exceeds £2bn.

 

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Defend Whittington Hospital - 12 Feb 2013

Five hundred people attended a Stop the Sell-off meeting chaired by Jeremy Corbyn MP on Tuesday 12 February at Archway Methodist Church in Islington called by the Defend Whittington Hospital Campaign. Two weeks ago the Whittington Management Board announced that buildings would be sold, staff accommodation demolished, 570 jobs in nursing and administration would go, beds to be reduced from 330 to 177 and birth services to be capped at 4,000 per year.

 

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Defend Lewisham Hospital! - event report - 26 Jan 2013

Lewisham Hospital march

On Saturday 26 January 25,000 people march through Lewisham, south east London, in a show of strength against plans to close Lewisham Hospital. No provision has been made for the 30,000 emergency admissions and complex cases every year that would need to go out of area if this hospital is lost. Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich (QEH), already struggling, would become responsible for providing A&E services to 750,000 people from Lewisham. QEH and Princess Royal Hospital Orpington are being bankrupted by unaffordable Private Finance Initiative schemes - £250 million that will be £2.5 billion when repaid. Matthew Kershaw, who has been appointed as a special administrator, has decided to axe Lewisham Hospital, a thriving busy hospital in a neighbouring borough. This is no solution.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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 17October 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.

 

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

Hands 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 www.ratb.org.uk/donate 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 - www.ratb.org.uk

 

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.

 

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FRFI out on strike day, 30 Nov 2011

FRFI out on strike day, 30 Nov 2011

London, 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.

 

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London branches

North London
020 7837 1688
northlondonfrfi@gmail.com

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