Election 2015 – Put the candidates on the spot!

This is the leaflet we’ll be using at hustings and on the streets in the run-up to the election on 7 May.

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Leaflet – front & back
Leaflet – inside

Thanks to Fields of Light photography for allowing us to use their picture of our banner.

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: 24 hour Childcare – A “Revolutionary” idea that is an obtainable reform!

By Waltham Forest Left Unity member Susan Pashkoff.
Originally published at: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/15/1371096/-Anti-Capitalist-Meetup-24-hour-Childcare-A-Revolutionary-idea-that-is-an-obtainable-reform on 15 March.

Today is Mother’s Day in Britain (aka “Mothering Sunday”) and this topic is extremely appropriate. The idea of accessing 24 hour childcare is an old one … the questions that arise are why this is an important issue and why we should we be advocating for it? The next obvious question is how can we actually obtain it, in other words, what policies can ensure that this is viable and offers a positive transformation (that offers fulfilment to women and children where their needs and wants are covered) rather than a negative one?

How do we understand the oppression of women? Is it something that can be easily solved with reforms within the system (e.g., unequal pay, equality under the law, access to education and work)? Or does our oppression derive from the nature of class societies, property ownership, and our role in social reproduction? For me, it is the latter and that is why I do not think that reforms are sufficient, but they certainly can be done and must be done, if only to address inequality. These reforms may not affect our oppression much (which will require the overthrow of class societies based upon property), but they will make our lives easier and they will also get allies to understand the nature of our oppression. I do not know about you, but I simply refuse to wait until the revolution for women’s oppression to be understood and inequality to be addressed. We are raised in the context of our societies and if we do not address this before we transform society, then, I am certain that those raised in these societies will never understand the need for change (or it will always be put off as there are other more immediate things that need to be addressed, as usual).
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Sylvia Pankhurst anti-air war memorial re-dedicated

The anti-air war memorial erected by socialist and feminist campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst was re-dedicated in an event organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to co-incide with World Disarmament Day. The monument was put up by Sylvia on the grounds of the “Red Cottage”, her home in Woodford Green, in 1935 to show opposition to the fascist Italian government’s invasion of Ethiopia.

At the event a statement was read on behalf of her son Richard Pankhurst, who lives in Addis Ababa. Other speakers at the event included peace campaigner Bruce Kent, Pankhurst’s biographer Katherine Connelly, former Ilford North MP Linda Perham and Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green.

first-outing-of-LU-womens-caucus-banner

The Left Unity women’s caucus banner made its first outing at today’s re-dedication. In a bit of irony, the banners of several groups including CND, the Green Party women’s group and our banner were asked to be taken down as the event was “unpolitical”. Somehow, I doubt Sylvia Pankhurst would have agreed!

More information on Sylvia Pankhurst can be found here