In the run up to the EU referendum we’ve heard every kind of claim and counter-claim by the official Leave and Remain campaigns. The truth is, both sides are being led from a right wing, committed to building up the power of an ever-shrinking elite. But who’s going to discuss our interests in the debate? Will being in or being out deliver a more humane society?
On Tuesday 6th June York People’s Assembly gathered together a mix of social justice, workers’ rights and environmental campaigners to discuss what would make a better world. This included War On Wants’ John Hilary and Left Leave campaigner Maxine Bowler to represent the Leave side. Whilst Green Councillor Lars Kramm and ‘Another Europe Is Possible’s Michel Chessum putt the case for Remain. Thanks also to the more than fifty people who came to take part, rather than staying at home at listening to David Cameron and Nigel Farage on television. Sally chaired the meeting and introductions were made by Chris and Jane outlining as well the York arm of the Convoy to Calais on June 18th, along with a request for funds for that, and to pay for the room and expenses.
York People’s Assembly is not taking a position on Leaving or Remaining – doing so would undermine the diverse spread of passionate people who make up the group. We wanted to create the possibility of a fresh debate on new terms.
Whilst the debate was open and maintained a civility throughout it was accepted by all the speakers that the racist elements in the public debate were fuelled by concerns over immigration, and that this needed to be debated by the left. However all speakers considered that immigration had always existed and should continue to happen but this was marred by the neoliberal 1% seeking to exploit workers, whether in country of origin and at their destination.and using them as scapegoats for austerity.
In one of the largest demonstrations the city has seen for years, over a thousand people marched the streets yesterday, calling for refugees to be made welcome in York.
Starting in torrential rain at St. Helen’s Square and finishing with blue skies at the Minster, the weather on the day was perhaps symbolic of the way attitudes have changed in Britain towards the humanitarian crisis. In the past weeks, some of the world’s most desperate people have faced an onslaught of abuse and degradation from our media and government. Yesterday marked the beginning of a compassionate approach to the issue from ordinary people, coinciding with events across the country.
UKIP are planning for their annual conference at the end of September… and so are we. They’ve decided to make our lives a little easier by bringing it to Doncaster. As Britain faces the threat of growing right-wing militancy, we’re committed to meeting that threat as well as providing a serious alternative agenda. Activists in Doncaster have called a “Stand Up To UKIP” march on 27th September, and we want to help them give UKIP a right Yorkshire welcome! To get organised, there’ll be a quick meeting at 6.30pm on Monday right before the York People’s Assembly meeting.
Click to read what Paul Nuttall thinks should happen to the NHS
UKIP might be firing its candidates for expressing their extreme views in public, but check out what one of their current MEP’s has to say on the NHS. According to his website, Paul Nuttall MEP “would argue that the very existence of the NHS stifles competition”. You can see his full statement on what should happen to the NHS here. No wonder UKIP won’t advertise policies that affect anyone other than immigrants. Please use your vote against them on May 22nd!
Members of local campaign group York Unity are looking for extra help spreading the message about the UKIP threat. They’ve got 8000 flyers to hand out, starting with an event in St Helen’s Square from 12 to 2pm on Saturday 10th May.
Recently, thousands of UKIP’s own fliers were returned to their Freepost address by angry voters. But the party looks set to win the UK vote in this month’s European Elections. They stand a chance because many simply won’t show up to the polls to vote, resulting in Britain being represented by allies of tax dodgers and racists, rather than defenders of workplace rights and the environment.
A gloriously sunny London day welcomed over ten thousand marchers from all over the country on March 22nd for Stand Up To Racism and Fascism – the march and rally organised by Unite Against Fascism. The event marked United Nations Anti Racism day, with parallel events in Glasgow and Cardiff, and throughout Europe.The challenge now is to build on this so that we can defeat the racist BNP and UKIP at the European elections.
Join York UAF members at TSSA Offices on Nunnery Lane – 6pm on Tuesday 15th April to discuss how this can be achieved locally.
Across Europe, far-right threats are becoming reality, with parties like Golden Dawn in Greece and Hungary’s Jobbik gaining seats and inspiring violence. May’s Euro-elections Andrew Brons, BNP MEP for Yorkshire is seeking re-election.
York Unite Against Fascism and York TUC have organised a coach from York for the TUC backed “Stand up to racism and fascism” demonstration in London on March 22nd. Click here to buy your coach ticket.