The liaison committee of the National Network of Socialist Alliances in England met this weekend to give a push to its election campaign. The Socialist Alliance is now hoping to stand over 60 candidates in England in the general election. It is producing a national banner for the demo to save Vauxhall in Luton this weekend.
And it is urging all Socialist Alliance supporters to build the day of action for renationalising the railways on Saturday 27 January. National posters and a four-page brochure will be produced in the next few weeks, followed by a national press conference to launch the socialist election challenge.
Local Socialist Alliances around the country are also gearing up for the election. Eighteen people have already been selected as prospective candidates, with many selection meetings due to take place soon (see below). Socialist Alliances are also organising local events and stalls to raise the banner of the campaign.
In Tyneside the Socialist Alliance is organising a cavalcade in trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers' constituency on 7 February. Tyneside Socialist Alliance member Dave says, 'We are getting a Vauxhall car, a Nissan car and a Ford car. On each car we're going to make a sign of how many jobs have been cut.'
Sheffield steel worker Nick Riley reports, 'We've been getting 50 people to our local meetings in Sheffield to organise Socialist Alliance campaigning. 'Recently we've been prominently involved in helping to set up a campaign to stop the privatisation of a local school. We are also running regular stalls.' Richard from Exeter says, 'We have distributed 5,000 leaflets over the last ten days for our forthcoming public rally.'
'We had great success leafleting at local post offices and the fire station. We've also had two Labour Party members who have got involved in leafleting and building for our public rally.'
The UNISON union branch at Homerton Hospital in east London is organising a hustings with all the general election candidates for Hackney South, including Socialist Alliance candidate Cecilia Prosper.
The Scottish Socialist Party was standing in a council by-election in Whitecross-Kinneil ward in Falkirk on Thursday. The SSP is also standing in a council by-election in the Castlepark-Redburn ward of Irvine North council on 8 February.
Socialist Worker would like to hear of any activities or meetings of Socialist Alliances in England and Wales, or of the Scottish Socialist Party. Send your stories to Socialist Worker, PO Box 82, London E3 3LH, fax 020 7538 0140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Select candidates for left challenge
Meetings to select Socialist Alliance candidates are taking place this week in Tyneside, Bristol, Islington and Oxford. Other selection meetings include:
BRENT: Sunday 21 January, 3pm, Willesden Green Library Centre, London.
MANCHESTER BLAKELEY: Monday 22 January, 7.30pm, Abraham Moss Centre.
NOTTINGHAM: Monday 22 January, 7.30pm, International Community Centre.
BIRMINGHAM: Tuesday 23 January, 7pm, United Servicemen's Club, Gough Street.
SHEFFIELD BRIGHTSIDE: Tuesday 23 January, 7.30pm, St Thomas More's Church, Wordsworth Avenue.
SHEFFIELD CENTRAL: Monday 29 January, 7.30pm, Central United Reform Church, Norfolk Street (opposite the Crucible).
PLYMOUTH: Tuesday 23 January, 7.30pm, Plymouth Pavilions.
EXETER: Thursday 25 January, 8pm, Music Room, City Centre Public Library.
NORTH DERBYSHIRE: Monday 29 January, 7.30pm, Winding Wheel, Holywell Street, Chesterfield. Speakers include Ken Coates, former MEP.
IPSWICH: Tuesday 30 January, 7.30pm, Ipswich Town Hall.
TYNESIDE: Thursday 15 February, 7.30pm, Royal Station Hotel. Speakers include Tommy Sheridan, Scottish Socialist MSP.