Socialist Worker

Black activists launch cuts campaign

Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK is a new campaign. It has been initiated by Zita Holbourne, a member of the PCS national executive committee and the TUC Race Relations Committee, and Lee Jasper, political adviser to the 1990 Trust. Zita

Issue No. 2212

BARAC is a coalition of black public and voluntary sector workers, trade unionists, community organisations, service users and concerned individuals. It aims to create a critical mass of opposition to the intended government cuts to services and jobs.

The main objectives of the campaign are:

  • To campaign in defence of jobs and services
  • Highlight the disproportionate and adverse impact of the huge reduction of public spending on deprived communities, in particular black communities
  • Provide a campaigning platform to fight against cuts to jobs and services including on any adverse, disproportionate impact on black workers and communities
  • Work in partnership and build alliances with others facing and fighting similar attacks

African, Caribbean, Asian and other minority ethnic communities constitute some of the poorest sections of British society and the cuts will have a devastating impact on them.

This will be through cuts to jobs that will impact on the lowest paid and lowest grades where black workers are disproportionately located. Cuts to valuable services provided by the voluntary sector where large numbers of black people are based and funded through local or central government will also have an impact.

The government must adhere to equality legislation and policies. Part of our campaign strategy is to challenge any failures of employers and service providers to comply with the public sector duty on race and carry out equality impact assessments prior to making any changes/cuts in order to identify and address any disproportionate impact on race or other equality grounds.

The impact on multiple grounds must also be addressed and we think that there will be an even worse detrimental impact on black women. Alongside this we need to highlight the alternatives to these cuts, for example the £120 billion lost through tax evasion and avoidance.

The government has a responsibility to address the social and economic deprivation black communities already face and a duty to protect against any further discrimination or disadvantage.

Individuals or organisations who would like to sign up to BARAC and/or attend our next meeting on 5 August in London should get in touch with zita@pcs.org.uk This is a UK-wide campaign so we are interested in making links in all areas


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News
Tue 27 Jul 2010, 17:54 BST
Issue No. 2212
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