SA Office bulletin
Wednesday 12 June
Taking the long view
The National Executive meeting last Saturday discussed the perspectives for the Socialist Alliance over the next two years. It is our ambition that the Socialist Alliance should be in a position to contest all nine regions in the 2004 European elections and the Greater London elections where we could see a candidate elected with 5 per cent of the vote. This is an ambitious goal. We will need some £75,000 for the deposits nationwide. But it is an achievable goal if we tap the potential for the Socialist Alliance in terms of recruiting members, establishing roots in communities and winning support within the trade unions. A paper from Liz Davies outlining her view on perspectives over the next couple of years will be circulated shortly. We hope that local Socialist Alliances will take up the debate.
Conference on the Euro
We are going to hold a national conference in London on the Socialist Alliance's attitude to the Euro and on wider European issues including the European Social Forum (see below). The conference will be open but only members of the Socialist Alliance will be allowed to vote upon the production of their membership card. The exact date and venue will be confirmed shortly but the most likely dates are either Saturday 5th October, or preferably Saturday 12th October. The National Executive would like to see the issue of Europe and the Euro debated in every local Socialist Alliance between now and the conference, at properly notified meetings and with fraternal and constructive discussion. Motions on the SA's attitude to the Euro may be submitted for the conference to the national office either by individuals or by local SAs. The deadline for motions will be August 31st. This will be followed by compositing and will allow local SAs and individual members to submit amendments to motions. Further details will follow. If you have any queries please refer them to the Euro Conference Arrangements Committee (EuroCAC) on the office email.
All out for the 'Stop the War on Asylum Seekers demo'
We hope that as many Socialist Alliance members as possible will come down for the national demo in support of asylum seekers in London on Saturday 22nd June. Transport is being organised across the country. We were alone in standing up for the rights of asylum seekers in the recent local elections. Since then, and as part of a quite deliberate policy of pandering to the racism of the BNP, Blunkett, New Labour, the Tories and the press have all been intensifying the scapegoating of asylum seekers. It's vital therefore that we have the biggest show of strength against the bigotry. We will have placards on the demonstration and leaflets. Please bring your local banners and come to the Socialist Alliance stalls before and after the march to help us give out SA material.
Trade union activists meeting
The Trade Union Organising Committee has called an activists meeting for Saturday 29th June at the South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London NW1, nearest tube Euston, entrance £5. Letters to all delegates to the March conference should be out by the end of the week. The purpose of the meeting is to review our interventions and progress at the union conferences that have been taking place over the last few weeks, to plan how to counter the right wing offensive, and to plan strategy for the next year.
The European Social Forum and the New Imperialism, New Internationalism conference
The National Executive wants to make building for the ESF in Florence from the 7th to the 10th November a national priority. A leaflet about the ESF will be coming out shortly together with a dedicated web page. In particular we want to build strongly in the colleges now and when they come back in September and amongst trade unionists. We intend to follow this up with a major open conference on the subject of 'new imperialism, new internationalism'. Date and venue tba but will probably be Saturday 30th November or Saturday 7th December.
Newsletters recently produced by Hackney and Manchester Socialist Alliances are now on the website. If you wish to post your newsletter on the website, please send it on a pdf file to the national office. And if you have good stories or information from which other SA members or local SAs will benefit, please let us know. The next bulletin will be going out on Monday 17th June. Deadline for inclusion in the bulletin is 10am Monday morning.
The National Executive
Minutes of the National Executive meeting last Saturday will be circulated shortly. In the meantime please find attached Liz Davies's notes from the executive. Three members of the National Executive have recently resigned. John Nicholson has taken a job in Namibia for two years, Dave Packer is suffering from illness and Dave Church feels he is not in agreement with the changes made to the structure of the Socialist Alliance in the December constitutional conference. We are very grateful for the contributions that all three members have given to the Socialist Alliance. In particular we are very grateful for the contribution made by Dave Church for some years as membership secretary and more recently as nominating officer. The constitution provides for the possibility of co-option to the National Executive on the basis of a two thirds majority of the members present and voting. The National Executive concluded that in general it was extremely reluctant to exercise the power of co-option as the Executive is a body elected by national conference and accountable to conference. However it was felt that as Dave Packer was a member of the International Socialist Group and that, as a result of his resignation, the ISG no longer had a member on the Executive, it would be appropriate in this instance to co-opt another member of the ISG and the Executive unanimously elected Alan Thornett.
Dates for the diary
(if there are events we've accidentally missed out, please let us know asap)
15 June: North regional demo in support of the Palestinians, Manchester, assemble 10.30am, Whitworth Park, Wilmslow Road, Manchester - march to city centre.
16 June: Stop the War Activists Conference - there will be a Socialist Alliance stall at this conference - help needed.
VENUE: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, central London (Holborn tube)
Speakers: Tariq Ali and Jeremy Corbyn MP
Workshops on ...
Plus: sessions on Iraq, Palestine, South Asia, Afghanistan
- How do we build the anti-war movement?
- Publicity and the media
- Local group campaigning
- The Don't Attack Iraq petition
- The 28 September demonstration
- Organising a national week of anti-war activity on 15-22 July
For more information please call 07951 235 915
17 June: Media Workers Against the War public meeting on asylum seekers, 7pm, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, Euston, London NW1 2BJ. Speakers include Gary Younge (journalist), Mary Brodbin (National Union of Journalists chapel committee, Express & Star), Mustafa Turus, Kurdish refugee, Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers. Help needed leafleting.
18 June: Demonstration outside India House, 5pm onwards, outside High Commission of India, Aldwych, central London, to protest against LK Advani (India's Home Minister) who is visiting the UK. LK Advani's Hindu fundamentalist government and supporters are responsible for pushing south Asia to the brink of nuclear war and for the horrific mass murder of Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat. Since Gujarat has witnessed horrific incidents of unparalleled violence that can only be described as genocide of innocent people. Over 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, have been slaughtered with more than 100,000 people displaced in under-resourced refugee camps. Houses have been systematically looted, businesses burnt down, countless women gang raped and many children murdered. The Government of India, led by Advani's BJP, has attempted a cover-up and deliberately heightened tensions between India and Pakistan bringing the region to the brink of a war and nuclear threat.
Called by AWAAZ-South Asia Watch - a newly established group supported by Aaj Kay Naam, Asian Women's Refuge, Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF), Dalit Forum for Social Justice (UK), India Forum, Indian Muslim Federation, Indian Muslim Council, Muslim Parliament, National Civil Rights Movement, SEWA Southall, Southall Black Sisters, Socialist Alliance, The Monitoring Group and many more.
For further information contact: 020 8843 2333, 020 8571 9595 or 020 8558 6399
19 June: Rally to defend Mark Serwotka, 7pm, Friends House, Euston Road, London (opposite Euston station).
21/22 June: Anti-capitalist demos at EU summit, Seville, Spain - for transport details etc, please contact Globalise Resistance email@example.com
22 June: National demo to 'Stop the War on Asylum Seekers', 12 noon, Malet Street, London. SA national leaflet on asylum seekers available from the office or the website.
29 June: SA trade union activists meeting, entrance £5, 12noon to 4pm, South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London, nearest tube Euston.
5 July to 12 July: Marxism 2002, central London. This will be a gathering of thousands of socialists, most of whom support the Socialist Alliance. The Socialist Alliance will be having a stall at Marxism and particularly over the weekend we need Socialist Alliance members to go round systematically signing up for membership those who are not members already. This is an opportunity to increase our membership enormously. Please contact the national office if you can help.
13 July: National Executive meeting, London
7 Sept: SA National Council, one delegate per affiliated local SA, 11am, Birmingham, venue tba.
28 Sept: National Stop the War demo, London
September/October: SA national conference open to all members on Europe, exact date, venue and other detail tba.
5 or 12 October: SA national conference open to all members on Europe, exact date, venue and other detail tba.
7/10 November: European Social Forum, Florence.
Rob Hoveman, National Secretary
Capitalising on our election success - 6 June 2002
Contact the SA office by phone on 020 7609 2999 or by email