Published and promoted by S. Bartle on behalf of Brent Green Party and Shaka Lish and Michaela Lichten c/o 23 Saltcroft Close, Wembley, HA9 9JJ and promoted by Aidan Cottrell-Boyce on behalf of John Mansook c/o National Green Party office, The Biscuit Factory, Unit 201 A Block, 100 Clements Road, London, SE16 4DG.



23 May 2017

The Green Party has suspended campaigning today after last night's terrorist attack in Manchester.

roysandison via lists.riseup.net 

8:54 AM (31 minutes ago)
to greenleftdiscu.
The Green Party has suspended campaigning today after last night's terrorist attack in Manchester.

All national campaigning events, including the billboard launch and Welsh Green Party manifesto launch are cancelled.

In a statement following the attacks, the Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:

"Our thoughts are with those affected by this appalling incident in Manchester. For young people to be targeted in this way is utterly atrocious.

"As ever our emergency services have done us proud - and we pay tribute to the police, firefighters and paramadics who stepped up in this time of need.

"Our country will never be divided by terror. The people of Manchester showed last night just how strong the bond of friendship is between the people who live on these islands - and in the coming days and weeks we'll show that we won't let terrorism tear us apart."

22 May 2017

A nationwide billboard campaign is being launched today across the country accusing Theresa May of being a 'threat' to our public services. The People's Assembly has hired over 40 billboards, mostly in key marginal seats, which display a large picture of Theresa May with the words 'I am a threat, to your local hospital, to your child's education, to your standard of living, to your job security, to your pension, to you peace and security'.

I_am_a_threat_2.png

We are launching a crowdfunding drive alongside the billboard campaign so we can organise more advertising in the last week of the election campaign. We want to put up more billboards, adverts and organise actions across the country to expose the truth of Tory policies. We're taking back space that's usually only reserved for the big business and corporations. The more money we raise the bigger impact we can have, but we only have a very short time to make this happen and we've now used up every penny we have! The Tories get massive donations from a few millionaires but we have the strength of our numbers. Please donate!
 
thumbnail_Bury_New_Rd_48.jpg
Sam Fairbairn, National Secretary of the People's Assembly, said "
She is a threat to everything we rely on from cradle to grave. The crisis in the NHS was created by the Conservative government and they're doing nothing to address it. She's snatching free school lunches off infants while her plans to restructure our education system will leave schools without proper funding. University students are being strapped with lifelong debt. Employers are allowed to get away with paying poverty wages on insecure or zero hour contracts and she wants to rob people's houses from them & their family cover the costs of looking after them in old age."
"In one of the most important elections for generations we want to expose the lies behind Theresa May's soundbite rhetoric. We'll do everything we can to make sure Theresa May and her government for the super rich isn't returned to Downing St."
We're also asking everyone to get down to one of the billboards and take a snap and share online with #ToriesOut.

Why not save the image and make it your cover pic on Facebook or Twitter?

FULL LIST OF PLACES HOSTING THE POSTER (so far!)

  1. Barking (Rainham Road)
  2. Barking (Ilford Lane)
  3. Birmingham (Summer Hill Road)
  4. Birmingham (Tyburn Road)
  5. Birmingham (Lichfield Road)
  6. Birmingham (Bordesley Green Road)
  7. Birmingham (Lodge Road)
  8. Birmingham (Long Acre)
  9. Birmingham (Bordesley Green Road)
  10. Birmingham (Bordesley Green Road)
  11. Bolton (Bury New Road)
  12. Brent (Chamberlayne Road)
  13. Bristol (Laurence Hill Roundabout)
  14. Cardiff (Cowbridge Road West)
  15. Cardiff (Cathay's Terrace)
  16. Cardiff (Nantgarw Road)
  17. Carlisle (Port Road)
  18. Coventry (Albany Road)
  19. Croydon (London Road)
  20. Croydon (Stafford Road)
  21. Croydon (Purley Way)
  22. Leeds (Bridge Road)
  23. Manchester (Grosvenor Street)
  24. Manchester (Oldham Road)
  25. Manchester (Rochdale Road)
  26. Manchester (Hyde Road)
  27. Sheffield (Broad Lane)
  28. Sheffield (Penistone Road North)
  29. Sheffield (Neepsend Lane)
  30. Sheffield (Abbey Lane)
  31. Wandsworth (Garratt Lane)
  32. Wandsworth (Upper Tooting Road)
  33. Wandsworth (Putney Bridge Road)
  34. Manchester (Bury New Road)
  35. Wandsworth (Upper Richmond Road)
  36. Wandsworth (St Johns Hill)
  37. Birmingham (Summer Hill Road)
  38. Wood Green (Turnpike Lane)
  39. Birmingham (Icknield Port Road)
  40. Leeds (Tong Road)
  41. Sheffield (Penistone Road)
  42. Southampton (Mountbatten Way)
  43. Wandsworth (Swandon Way)
  44. Westminster (Harrow Road)
For a full list of exact dates for each billboard you can download the spread sheet here.  

The more you can do to help with this initiative the bigger the reach it will have, so please make a donation and get down to one of the sites and help us spread the message online. Let's take back the space and get the #ToriesOut.

Solidarity.

The People's Assembly Against Austerity
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

20 May 2017

The Green's anti-dote to May's war on young people

The Green Party will launch its youth manifesto today, promising to crack down on unpaid internships, protect renters and cancel student debt. Co-leader Jonathan Bartley, the Young Greens and the party’s young candidates will outline a series of pledges at an event in London.

The Green Party’s youth policies will include:

  • Interns and trainees entitled to the national living wage
  • Introduce a living rent for all through rent controls and more secure tenancies for private renters
  • Abolish tuition fees and cancel all student debt 
Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader, is expected to say:

The Conservative Government has launched a war on young people, taking public debt and hanging it around the necks of the next generation - cutting their housing benefit, increasing tuition fees and scrapping education grants. 

Young people matter and a political party that fails to work with and listen to young people, that ignores them in favour of older voters, that thinks of the future only in terms of their tenure in office not the lifetime of today’s youth, is not a political party at all but a closed-off clique.

The Green Party wants to make schools and universities a springboard for life. We’re offering young people a better future, whether it’s a quality education, secure job, or a warm, safe home.

The Green Party will build a raft for young people negotiating the Brexit storm. Young people have the most to lose from an uncertain future outside the EU, and we’re promising a referendum on the final Brexit deal, with the chance to stay in the EU if voters don’t like the Government’s deal.

9 May 2017

H&K: No standing down without agreement on Brighton and Isle of Wight

Tulip Siddiq, Dee Searle (Chair) and John Mansook last night
Following a meeting of Brent and Camden Green parties in Kilburn on Monday 8th May, Green Party members in Hampstead & Kilburn have voted that the prospective parliamentary candidate John Mansook will stand in the constituency in the upcoming General Election, rather than stand down and pursue a local electoral alliance. 

Brent and Camden Green parties would like to thank Labour’s incumbent Tulip Siddiq for coming to speak at the meeting, which was conducted respectfully at all times. In particular, they would like to commend her efforts to persuade Labour’s National Executive Committee to stand aside for the Greens in Brighton Pavilion and the Isle of Wight, and her voting record on key Green issues including resistance to fracking, renewal of Trident and HS2.

However, Labour’s lack of willingness to enter into electoral alliances with the Green Party in constituencies where the Greens have a better chance of winning – particularly Brighton Pavilion and the Isle of Wight – was a key factor in the vote. This followed new advice not to stand aside from the Green Party leadership unless Labour was prepared to withdraw in these constituencies. Members did add a condition that keeps an option open for standing aside in Hampstead & Kilburn if there is movement from Labour on electoral alliances nationally before a deadline of 12pm, Wednesday 10 May.

Hampstead & Kilburn Green Party candidate John Mansook said:
Any electoral alliance needs to be a true alliance, not a one way street. Sadly there hasn’t been any movement towards this from the Labour Party nationally. While we are very grateful to Tulip for coming to speak to us and advocating electoral alliances publicly in recent days, any decision to stand aside would have been very difficult knowing Labour are not likely to reciprocate. One of the Green Party’s key platforms in the upcoming campaign will be to change our unfair voting system, so that discussions like this are unnecessary and people can vote for what they believe in.
Camden Green Party co-Chair John Holmes said:
Brent and Camden Green Parties have selected an excellent local candidate in John Mansook, who is deeply connected with many of the issues facing residents of Hampstead and Kilburn. Voters deserve the option of being able to vote for him and for the Green Party’s unique policies, including a commitment to reverse privatisation in the NHS and measures that will dramatically cut Britain’s contribution to climate change. We can only deprive voters of that opportunity if Labour works with us to increase our Green voice in Parliament.
This is the resolution passed last night:
The members of the Brent and Camden Green parties living in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency resolve:

1) To publicly thank Tulip Siddiq for meeting the parties, for the efforts she has made to secure a progressive alliance for the 2017 General Election and the undertakings she has made to work for a progressive alliance in future
2) With regret, unless the Labour Party agrees to the reasonable demands of the Green Party nationally to withdraw the Labour candidates in Brighton and the Isle of Wight by noon on Wednesday 10th May, we will submit our nomination for John Mansook to be our candidate.
3) If an agreement is reached nationally, the election agent is instructed not to submit our candidate’s nomination.

2 May 2017

Introducing Brent Green Party's parliamentary candidates for June's General Election

Brent Green Party has selected its candidates for the General Election giving Brent voters a chance to vote for what they believe in, fresh voices in Parliamment and a different, principled, way of doing politics.

These are our candidates:

Shaka Lish, Green Party candidate for Brent Central
Shaka Lish has been selected to challenge Dawn Butler in Brent Central:
I am a life long Brent resident, conceived in Harlesden, born in Kilburn, grew up in Queens Park and now reside in Willesden. I wasn’t always political but like many, after the Iraq war I was left with so many questions about politics in the UK. Questions like, what makes democracy work for the people, not just the powerful? Since then, I have become more engaged with issues that I am passionate about and also more informed. Since the global crash in 2008, there has been a change in the world. What appeared at first as an opportunity to change the way we are living – address climate change, inequality and neoliberalism – has actually appeared tighten the grip of disaster capitalism. There comes a time when we have to stand up to be counted and take part in effecting the change that we wish to see in this world. By standing for the Green Party I believe I am doing just that. The local, to the national, to the global, are all intimately interconnected. We begin locally but this inevitably has echoes further afield.

I have been a professional singer pursuing a career in music since leaving school and been lucky enough to make music, travel the world and share my creativity on a platform. Although I still make music, I have nurtured another passion - for social justice and for helping others. I recently became a mature student and finished an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and History and currently I am finishing an MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation, at SOAS. Being lucky enough to get a grant to study, I know how enriching education is, so I am adamant tuition fees should be scrapped and that we should not create barriers to knowledge through eye-watering debt. Education is a social good for all.

My undergraduate dissertation was on the subject of climate change and it has been frustrating to watch how science has led the way but unfortunately our leaders have been slow to act. My priority would be to hold the government to account and to keep campaigning for investment in green initiatives, transport and technology.
I am passionate about community, the environment, equality, the NHS, animals and education. I often feel so inspired by what could be possible, how the country can be transformed for the good of all, not just the few. I see a country where we have clean air, renewable energy, we look after our environment, we care for the vulnerable, have meaningful and secure work and where everyone gets the opportunity to thrive and fulfill their potential. I know this is possible but I also know it can only be achieved together.

My local campaign would focus around these areas –
  • Put pressure on the council to make commercial recycling mandatory, not optional.
  • Campaign for more local cycling hangers – and for this to feed into a more coherent transport policy.
  • Push for procurement of local land for community resources such as youth activities and allotments
  • Create a plan that gives locals more power to decide on their dominant energy sources and scrap any disincentives to renewables.
  • Strive for any new developments in Brent to be accompanied by appropriate services to sustain the growing population of residents – such as medical care, childcare, community resources and activities. Not just shopping facilities.
The opportunity to stand as an MP is humbling as it is a service to my community. Brent is a community that has given me opportunities and support and I would be proud to stand as a Green Party representative and spread the message to make sure people know, a better world is possible.
Michaela Lichten, Green Party candidate for Brent North
 Michaela Lichten has been selected to challenge Barry Gardiner in Brent North:
I’ve been a resident of Brent for over 30 years and am passionate about the built and natural environment.
So much of society is weighted against ordinary people and with the crisis in Housing and Education worsening, new and innovative solutions need to be found to halt further inequalities.
With Brexit now triggered The Green Party can ensure we don’t stop being Europeans. I’m proud to stand for The Green Party which has long been a feminist party, with policies including improved maternity services, quotas for women on boards and working with organisations to advance women's equality and employment opportunities. I’d strive to be a good constituency MP concentrating on local issues such as housing, schools, open spaces, pollution and the provision of good quality care for the elderly that doesn’t solely rely on the, often unpaid, contribution of the families of those effected. I’d work to provide better support for carers.
There are around seven million carers in the UK with 700,000 being under 18; I’d work to ensure that young carers and young adult carers are given vital support throughout their education. Having been a carer myself, for my husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s, I identify with the many carers that are over 65 and struggling with their own health issues and who deserve better support.I believe that it’s the duty of MPs to listen to, and be reachable by, the constituents that elect them. If elected I will work to raise the concerns of Brent residents with relevant Ministers ensuring a local influence at Westminster.
tweet: @michaelalichten
John Mansook, Green Party candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn
 John Mansook has been selected by Brent and Camden Green Parties to challenge Tulip Siddiq in Hampstead and Kilburn
I have lived in Brent all my life and I am also active in my community raising awareness and giving advice to residents. I believe because of my occupational and life experience I am able to identify and communicate with younger voters in Brent. I am aware of the issues such as poor health, pollution, crime, cuts to youth services and lack of affordable housing all of which affect the quality of life of all residents in Brent especially the next generation. My daily exposure to different groups such as elderly and disabled people has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the impact cuts to funding has had on the quality of life for the most vulnerable society. This awareness has motivated and mobilised me into action.

I am a diabetes community champion and I attend community events to raise awareness about diabetes and to educate the citizens of Brent on health and wellbeing. I have also previously volunteered in Camden working with the Leighton Project as a swim buddy which helped disabled young adults overcome their fear of water and become self- confident in water and ultimately learn how to swim. I have also volunteered in Camden on health and activity awareness days promoting health and wellbeing within the Borough.

27 Apr 2017

Urgent appeal as Sufra Food Bank demand rockets as a consequence of new benefit cuts

Thursday, 27 April 2017


Urgent appeal as Sufra Food Bank demand rockets as a consequence of new benefit cuts

Mohammed S Mamdani, Director of Sufra NW London, writes a lively Newsletter to supporters of the food bank and food growing project. His personal message is often humorous but beneath the humour lies anger at the injustice he sees through his work at Sufra.

Here is his latest message:

 Forgive my sarcasm, but I can just imagine the Department for Work & Pensions’ delight, three weeks into the latest round of benefit cuts. Cuts that will save mere pennies in the big scheme of things and penalise thousands of children with a life of poverty.

So what's it all about this time round? Until recently low-income families have received child tax credits to support the upbringing of a new generation. Now that we’re chucking out EU migrants, we desperately need to start reproducing so that we have a home-grown crop of economically active workers to pay for the social care of our elderly folk.

However, as of 6 April, families will only receive tax credits for their first 2 children, with no regard for any additional children in the family. It's a kind of state-sponsored baby sanction! The only consolation is that victims of rape will be entitled to additional tax credits - but you’re going to have to prove it!

I can just hear you sniggering. Most rape victims can hardly fathom reporting their violation to the police. Now you've got to tell the random dude who sits in the job centre too.

It's a double whammy since Her Majesty has also cut widows allowance (and the accompanying payments to a child who has suffered the bereavement of a parent). So, when your darling suffers a heart attack and drops down dead, don't grieve for too long. Wipe away those tears and be in work by Monday morning.

But why should British tax-payers pay for the upkeep of other people’s children?

Because children who grow up in poverty perform less well in school and have a lower life expectancy than their peers. And with the NHS crisis and a new funding formula for schools that will result in teacher redundancies, it will end up costing the nation more to deal with in the long-term.

Let’s not forget that hundreds of thousands of WORKING families rely on child tax credits. Parents who slog day and night, often in service industries or low skilled work. With almost all their wages covering the rent, child tax credits put food on the table.

And why are we subsidising working parents? So that we can continue to enjoy cheap take-outs, cheap clothing and cheap entertainment. Since we won’t pay more for goods and services, employers refuse to pay a sustainable, living wage. It is impossible to support a family, whilst earning the minimum wage (which equates to an annual income of £13,650). We’re paying for other people’s children, because we’re screwing them over in the work-place.

I accept that some parents are ‘irresponsible’ in their life-style choices (they are far fewer than the tabloids would make us believe). But why should we punish their children?

OK, I’ve got that off my chest now.

URGENT FOOD APPEAL

As you can imagine, demand at the Food Bank has skyrocketed. Looking around our storage facility, all you see are empty shelves. We’re surviving from one week to another.

I have no shame in dropping to my knees and begging you for your generous food donations. We need practically everything: long-life milk, tea (we’ve never been short on tea before!), biscuits, juice, rice, jam, cereal, instant noodles, soup, tinned fish, fruit and vegetables, toiletries, nappies… you get the drift.

The only items WE DON’T NEED are pasta (but yes to pasta sauce), baked beans and tinned chick peas.

If you can’t be bothered to head down to Lidl, like me, you can place an online order for delivery to us, or make a donation here towards our food budget. We promise that any donation made on this page will be restricted to food bank supplies. No admin costs.

VOLUNTEERS FOR SUPERMARKET COLLECTION

We’ve scheduled two emergency food collections at local supermarkets, but we need volunteers who can help for a few hours on the day to distribute ‘shopping lists’ to guests, smile profusely and guilt them into making a food donation at the end of their shop.

Saturday/Sunday 13/14 May 2017 
Sainsbury’s Willesden Green – Register here.

Saturday/Sunday 20/21 May 2017 
Waitrose Brent Cross – Register here.

Fahim and Saba, who will oversee the collections, will be working across two weekends. That’s 19 days in a row without a day off. So please pity them, and help out.

Also, our youth volunteers, who normally assist with our supermarket collections, are all revising for exams, so it’s time for the oldies to step up.

INTERFAITH FOOD WASTE ‘IFTAR’

To mark Ramadan, we would like to invite members of the community to an interfaith ‘food-waste’ iftar (the fast-breaking meal at sunset) at Sufra NW London on Saturday 2 June from 8:00pm.

The event will be an opportunity to see our work first hand, and celebrate our strong relationship with all of North-West London’s faith communities who sustain the food bank operation. Faith leaders from all denominations will also share their faith-inspired, ethical perspectives on food waste.

The event will conclude with a meal prepared entirely from food waste! And it’s free to attend. You can register here.

AND FINALLY…

We need to borrow a cement mixer for a couple of weeks on the garden, so if you have one handy (like we all do), please get in touch.

24 Mar 2017

Clean Air for Brent

Clean Air for Brent is a coalition of local residents' groups, Transition Towns, Friends of the Earth and the Council to improve air quality in the borough.  We met earlier this week, and are keen to involve people in having their say on air quality in Brent and also on diesel vehicles, especially in view of the results from our pollution monitoring in October.

Last October we carried out air pollution monitoring in Willesden, Dollis Hill and Cricklewood, and found 7 out of 10 sites were above the EU legal limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), with Cricklewood Broadway being well over twice the limit (see maps here and here).  For more about the project see our online group.

Brent Council
 is consulting residents and businesses on its Air Quality Action Plan for the next 5 years.  You have until Thursday 30th March to add your comments. Please take a little time to read the plan and respond to the survey online here.  You can also email feedback to ens.monitoring@brent.gov.uk

If you have less time, please sign one or more of these petitions against diesel.  It is largely the increase in diesel vehicles that is having such an impact on the air we breathe:

-Ditch diesel in the UK by Friends of the Earth
-One directed at car companies from Greenpeace.
-You can also write to MEPs asking them to clean up vehicle testing.  They will be voting on this issue on 5th April.
And feel free to pass on this email to your friends and family.
Many thanks,
Viv
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Transition Willesden
Making Willesden Green

Universal Credit: Claimants ‘stealing food’ to eat due to benefit delays

Universal Credit: Claimants ‘stealing food’ to eat due to benefit delays

Alan Wheatley

Notes


At Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group's weekly business meeting on Thursday 23 March, though we warmed to the page 2 prominence given to your news story 'Universal Credit: Claimants "stealing food" to eat due to benefit delays: Finance chief warns people are being forced into new debt',(1) we were very concerned at what to us seems a fundamental error in one sentence of your report.

That error concerns the length of wait for Universal Credit payments to be processed. You report, 'In some cases, people are waiting up to six weeks before claims are processed.' Waits as long as six weeks for benefit claims to be processed and "unacceptable" telephone helpline service standards are nothing new and pre-date Universal Credit and even the 2010 General Election. In November 2006 Community Care magazine reported: "MPs slammed Jobcentre Plus for leaving 21 million calls unanswered. Despite government claims of improvements, stories of poor service continue to mount."(2)

Where our 'experts by experience' would disagree with your report is that we believe your report should state, 'People wait a minimum of six weeks for claims to be processed.' Those delays are exacerbated by the income fluctuations caused by processing of Universal Credit claims in zero hours economies; and the DWP's deepening reliance on 'pay-as-you-go' call-centre service delivery that  penalises economically vulnerable people for their vulnerability.

Now, as you report, 'Telephone calls [to the Universal Credit helpline] can cost up to 55p a minute from pay-as-you-go mobile phones, which are commonly used by people with lower incomes. Wait times to speak with an adviser can be very long – one claimant in Camden has reported that their phone bill for a month was over £140, used almost entirely on calls to the DWP.”' That is an all-too-common experience, leading in many cases to rent arrears and subsequent evictions.

This sickening system leads more and more people to sickness and suicide, while the DWP refuses to take lessons from coroners courts and insists instead that disability benefit claimants be reassessed every six months as standard.(3) Against that backdrop, Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group will be highlighting local benefits-related suicides on Monday 3 April as follows:

12 Noon: Assemble outside Kilburn Jobcentre, Cambridge Avenue, NW6 5AH for rally with local Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, PCS (jobcentre workers union) National Executive Officer Zita Holbourne and Brent Trades Council Executive Committee.
12:45: Black Flag march to Paddington Cemetry via Kilburn High Road.
13:30: Address at Leon Burmont graveside by Dawn Butler MP and RMT Political Officer Cat Cray.

14:00: Prince of Wales PH, Willesden Lane NW6 for Tea & Sandwiches

14 Mar 2017

A message from Grunwick 40 and mural artist Anna Ferrie



News from Grunwick 40
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A message from Grunwick 40 and mural artist Anna Ferrie


Hello, especially to those who came to our mural workshops in Willesden last year.

We wanted to let you know about progress with the Grunwick 40 commemorative mural as many of you have been asking for an update. We had hoped to have the mural up by now but issues with site permissions and bureaucracy have meant that we can't yet move forward to install the panels. However, the mural composite designs are done and incorporate all of the artwork that was produced in the workshops. We are working hard to speed up the process to ensure the mural can be installed and unveiled within the next few months and we hope be able to bring you a firm date soon. In the meantime, you may be interested in The Art of Protest event later this month where we'll be discussing the different ways that art can be used to remember radical histories. We hope to see you either there or when we launch the mural!


Anna Ferrie and the Grunwick 40 team