SA Office bulletin
Monday 17 June
Perspectives for the next two years
The National Executive discussed a paper from Liz Davies outlining perspectives for the next two years at its meeting on 8th June. Following that discussion Liz has produced a redraft which we are now circulating to all Socialist Alliance members. We would be obliged if you could forward this to comrades not on the email list or without email. The executive will discuss it further, and take some decisions, at its next meeting on 13 July. Comments are welcome addressed to Liz, c/o the national office on firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference on Europe
Date and venue details have now been confirmed for the national conference on Europe. The date is Saturday 12th October. The venue is the South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London NW1, nearest tube Euston. The Conference Arrangements Committee had confirmed the following details for the conference.
Registration on the day will open at 10am. The conference will start promptly at 11am with the first session debating the Socialist Alliance's position on the Euro until 1.30pm. We will be inviting a number of guest speakers. The cost of the conference will be £10 waged and £6 unwaged. Leaflets for the conference with a booking form will be available in the next couple of weeks. There will be a creche but in order to plan creche provision we have a closing date for the creche of 28th September, two weeks before the conference. Again more details will be out shortly including an email address for creche bookings.
The closing date for motions for conference passed by branches or moved by individual members is 31st August. They must be submitted by email to the office at email@example.com and will then be circulated on the information list and posted on the website. Motions will preferably be no longer than one side of A4 in ten point but definitely no longer than two sides of A4. Following close of motions there will be a compositing process and then the further opportunity for local Socialist Alliances to debate amendments.
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. Some transport details were sent out last week. We will have placards with the slogans 'Defend Asylum Seekers-scrap all detention centres-end all immigration controls' 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 have now gone out. 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.
The results for the Challney by-election contested by the Bedfordshire Socialist Alliance were as follows: Labour 814 (38.5%), Liberal Democrat 619 (29.3%), Conservative 480 (22.7%), UKIP 154 (7.3%), Green 28 (1.3%), Socialist Alliance 18 (0.9%). In the aftermath of the very good results the Socialist Alliance obtained in the recent local elections, there is no disguising the fact this was a very disappointing result with the Socialist Alliance gaining under 1 percent of the vote. The comrades worked hard in the campaign with a good candidate but we were clearly subject to a severe squeeze between the Liberal Democrats, who were challenging Labour very hard, and the Labour Party. The Greens did poorly as well. Nonetheless comrades have gained valuable campaigning experience and now need to establish roots in an area where we had few local activists. A report from a Beds SA activist is included below:
'Comrades put a huge amount of work into the campaign. Two leaflets were distributed to every voter - one with the text in Urdu. Plus comrades canvassed key areas in the ward. What is clear from the result is that the Lib Dems have won the argument that they are the alternative to new Labour. Their vote went up by 400! Their leaflet "a two horse race" put to voters that they were the left alternative to Labour. What they missed out was any talk about asylum seekers, racism or war. We dealt with those arguments and clearly in many instances while people agreed with us on most issues they disagrees on asylum. The campaign was excellent preparation for next years local elections. I think the key lesson was that we have a year to establish ourselves as the real alternative to new Labour and shut down the progress being made by the Lib Dems which we will do by getting stuck in to local campaigns and by raising our profile.'
Dates for the diary
(if there are events we've accidentally missed out, please let us know asap)
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 cancelled. Indian home minister is no longer coming.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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: Pride festival and demo, London. We are hoping to have leaflets and a stall at Pride this year. If you can help please contact the office immediately.
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.
12 October: SA national conference on Europe, open to all members. South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London NW1, nearest tube Euston. Registration opens 10am, conference begins 11am sharp. Price is £10 waged, £6 unwaged.
7/10 November: European Social Forum, Florence.
30 November/7 December: New Imperialism, New Internationalism conference
Rob Hoveman, National Secretary
Taking the long view - 12 June 2002
Capitalising on our election success - 6 June 2002
Contact the SA office by phone on 020 7609 2999 or by email