Fightback – and win?Posted: October 30, 2000
text of IWCA leaflet given out at the Hackney Empire Fightback rally on Saturday 28th October
We are under attack from two sides. Not only is the Council cutting back our essential services, but they are encouraging developers and housing associations to gentrify our Borough and ‘socially cleanse’ the Borough of us – the working class majority.
Resistance to both these attacks must be from the estates and the communities most affected. While it’s obvious that demonstrations and lobbies are one way to show public anger at Hackney Council, it’s vital that we do not allow these protests to run out of steam in a succession of dwindling marches and rallies. We cannot allow those who are only interested in selling their papers and ‘building the party’ to hijack our genuine anger.
Posters saying “The Council must fight” are leading us in the wrong direction. The Council won’t fight. Instead we need to decide what which essential services we cannot lose, draw a line in the sand and plan what steps we will take to defend them. The nursery occupations are a good example of taking practical action – calling for “no cuts” at all is not. We would have no problem cutting councillors’ expenses and Max Caller’s three grand a week salary for starters.
Labour MP’s should not be given a chance to speak during this campaign. The Labour government has proved no better at funding Hackney than the Tories. Go round our estates and anyone will tell you that the Hackney Labour Party is a middle class party that has no interest in representing the working class.
We need to go beyond protest. We need to replace the four middle class parties on Hackney Council with working class representatives. The IWCA will be standing in the next council elections in the Shoreditch Neighbourhood. In other wards we ask tenant associations and community groups to consider putting up their own candidates.
If you want to discuss any of these points, or would like to get involved in the IWCA’s consistent approach to community politics in Shoreditch – including surgeries, repairs canvasses and distribution of a local newsletter to 10,000 homes – then get in touch.