Know Your Rights: the campaigns of Bob and Roberta Smith

A review of Bob and Roberta Smith’s exhibition at the William Morris Gallery E17

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James B reviews the latest exhibition of Bob and Roberta Smith, finding a powerful defence of art as a human right, source of self-empowerment and tool of protest. The show until January 31 in Walthamstow’s William Morris Gallery.

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Eviction Resistance in Redbridge

Yesterday UNITE Community Waltham Forest and supporters successfully prevented the eviction of Jenny, an Ilford resident. Jenny, a parent with health issues, was threatened with eviction from a house which is in a bad state of repair and from which she wants to move. However Redbridge Council only offered her temporary accommodation in a one bedroom flat in Harlesden, far from her disabled parents, her surgery and hospital. For now she and her family have a roof over their heads.

Messages of support can be posted on UNITE’s
Facebook page

Here are some videos of the action:

George Monoux dispute: NUT statement on the suspension of strike action

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) branch has issued this statement following the temporary suspension of their strike action:

Following discussions between NUT officials and the Chair of Corporation, a new proposal has been put forward with the aim of resolving the dispute over the unfair sackings of Flor Thompson and Diane George. This will involve an independent adjudicator hearing evidence and presenting a new report to the Corporation. Any member of staff can present evidence to this adjudicator, and their evidence will be anonymous.

To facilitate an attempt to resolve the dispute, the NUT will co-operate with this process and has decided to suspend the action planned for this week. In doing so we wish to stress:

1) The NUT remains in dispute with the college on this issue.

2) We have made no commitment to respect the outcome of this process, especially as the adjudicator’s report goes to the Corporation itself. Our resolve the fight for a fair outcome of our members remains undiminished. The college in turn has not given any pledge to respect the findings of the adjudicator.

3) We have merely suspended industrial action for this week. Our ballot for discontinuous strike action remains in force and allows us to resume strike action next term should this be necessary.

The NUT remains easily the biggest union in the college and the overwhelming majority of our members have respected the picket lines. We congratulate our members for their continued solidarity and determination in the face of the barrage of propaganda and disinformation ranged against them.

Walthamstow eviction resistance workshop

Sunday 5 July 4-6pm, St Barnabas Church Hall, St Barnabas Rd, Walthamstow, E17 8JZ

Nearest rail: Walthamstow Queens Rd (Gospel Oak to Barking Line)

Nearest tube/rail: Walthamstow Central (Victoria line, also Liverpool St – Chingford rail)

Map/buses directions

And join us later next door where a pop up pub is selling fine ales from Wildcard Brewery

Organised by Unite Community Waltham Forest, Radical Housing Network and Eviction Resistance

For more information, contact: 0795 404 7527

Teachers at George Monoux College announce further strike action

Teachers at Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College have voted to step up their strike action in defence of two colleagues sacked for their union roles.

wpid-wp-1434999397873.jpegNational Union of Teachers (NUT) members at the college say that Flor Thompson, union health and safety representative, and Diane George, joint college rep, were victimised by college management and that the charges against them are ridiculous.
Flor Thompson was originally suspended in 2013 and sacked after one year’s suspension. She was later reinstated after a governors’ inquiry, only to be re-suspended and sacked in 2015 on a different set of trumped up charges. Diane George was also sacked this year.
After five days of strike action Principal Paolo Ramella and the college governors have remained intransigent and refused all attempts at a negotiated settlement. NUT members have voted unanimously for another 5 days of strike action this term and 3 more at the start of next term.
wpid-wp-1434988427653.jpegCollege NUT rep Pippa Dowswell, a supporter of Left Unity, said: “We are facing a hardnosed management who want to establish an autocratic regime. They have to understand that we will not allow our representatives to be victimised in this way. Our union executive has given our strike action 100% support. If management can pick off union activists, all teachers at the college are threatened.”

Join the pickets outside George Monoux College, 190 Chingford Road E17 5AA from 7-9 am on 24 and 25 June, and 1, 2, 8 and 9 July.

Community stops eviction in Walthamstow

Yesterday a group of campaigners and neighbours successfully prevented the eviction of a family from their home in Walthamstow. Eleanor Firman, of union Unite Community issued this statement:

Today myself and my local Unite Community group along with friends and neighbours plus Focus E15 and Radical Housing Network are all pulling together to help a mother and her two young children. She has complex health needs and is being evicted by her landlord in what looks like a revenge eviction. She had gone to a rent tribunal who lowered the rent to Local Housing Allowance rates. The landlord hardly waited a month before applying for repossession. This is totally unacceptable. I live a few streets away from the family and the property is identical to mine. It’s a friendly area but every year my neighbours and others like them are thrown out – its like clockwork, its so predictable. It’s usually so the landlord can put up the rent and avoid tackling repairs. I see it every week in this neighbourhood.  Property prices have doubled since I moved here a few years ago.  I always make friends with whoever moves in next door to me and warn them about the landlord (and the damp that is never sorted out). But it’s time to stop this exploitation. Everywhere people complain about the benefits bill yet its greedy landlords that are to blame. I love the community spirit around here and it hurts that these landlords spoil this and give Walthamstow a bad name. So today we’re resisting this eviction and sending the bailiffs away so this young mum and her family have time to get help from the council.

The local Guardian newspaper covered the story here and has a video of campaigners repelling the bailiffs

Whipps Cross Hospital: PFI is not our debt, scrap it now!

from Waltham Forest Trades Council

Demonstration – 12-2pm on Wednesday June 3rd – at the gate of Whipps Cross Hospital

It’s no accident that years of privatisation in all its guises, under governments of all colours, has undermined our NHS. Private profiteering companies suck the lifeblood out of the public purse for their own gain.

Nurses suffer pay down-banding. Some porters eke out a living on zero-hour contracts. Domestics struggle on different agency rates for the same job. At the same time overpaid high-handed managers make unrealistic, even bullying, demands.

Yet, despite such difficulties the staff at Whipps Cross do a marvellous job. Their loyalty and commitment is recognized by thousands of grateful patients, and even by the CQC – at least in words.

But Whipps Cross, all its staff and everyone in our borough face a real Emergency.

The response to the critical report of the CQC and the draining of finances due to exorbitant demands of PFI contractors at the London Hospital could pose a threat to the very existence of Whipps Cross. There are rumours of a state-of-the art hub, or something – but not a General Hospital. We cannot let this happen.

 

The Independent: ‘Hipster cop’ picture taken as police watched as tensions rose at EDL protest in Walthamstow

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/hipster-cop-picture-taken-as-police-watched-as-tensions-rose-at-edl-protest-in-walthamstow-10241268.html