How we took on racism in the wake of 7/7 bombings
In the days after the 7/7 bombings in London ten years ago, the police and international media suddenly occupied Beeston in Leeds.
Two of the suspected bombers had lived and worked in the area.
We felt it was important to have a united response.
Seven days after 7/7 there was a huge lunchtime vigil outside a local community centre, the Hamara. It was made up of young and old, and people of all faiths.
Later that day, Leeds Stop the War had organised another vigil in the town centre. A small group of us met and walked to that vigil from Beeston carrying a Peace and Unity in our community banner.
The response from the general public was fantastic. People came out of gay bars to clap us.
That night I was invited to a meeting at one of the local mosques. I was the only white person and only woman there.
Shahid Malik, who was Labour MP for Dewsbury at the time, didn’t want any of the events that anti-war activists were proposing.
We won the argument for another march in Beeston the following Saturday.
We collected people during the march, including a white guy who was in the middle of shaving so joined us with half a beard.
By the time we reached the war memorial we had hundreds of people, our local MP, councillors and the international press.
Another march took place the following week and went into the centre of Leeds
Books of condolences were set up in the shops. A coach was booked to take residents to London where they could show their respect to the victims.
A year on a peace tree was planted in the park, and ten years on we had a peace concert.
We are a poor inner city area, but I am very proud of our community. We didn’t let the racists divide us.
And when the press wrote the most disgusting things about Beeston we stood up collectively against them.
Sally Kincaid, Beeston, Leeds
Greek vote shows up the system
The Greek no vote is a serious setback for the neoliberal agenda.
Could this be Europe’s 2008 Lehman Brothers moment, when a chain reaction of banking collapse was only prevented by massive state intervention?
The GDP of Greece is only 1.5 percent of that of the European Union. If it proved to be “too big to fail” the ineffectiveness of recent regulation will be exposed.
Greek workers need to keep up their heroic resistance.
Dermot Smyth, Chesterfield
This is no game. It’s clear that the European Union will try the most brutal and underhand means to destroy this rebellion.
I hope that people in this country at last realise that austerity is simply a class deception and weapon.
The People’s Assembly protest on 20 June must be followed up.
That is our best support for the Greeks.
Richard Banker on Facebook
It was so cheering to see the crowds in Greece after the No vote won.
I worried people might buckle under the threats from the bankers and fear that if they voted no things would get even worse.
It shows what is possible if, even in such circumstances, people can still stand together and resist.
Natasha Binns, Brighton
Young and old unite to stop pensions swindle
I went to my first National Pensioners Parliament in Blackpool recently.
This week the Tory chancellor will make Blackpool the deprivation capital of Britain.
Each person there is set to lose £836 on average because of the £12 billion welfare cuts.
The National Pensioners Convention has called for “intergenerational campaigning” and direct action if needed.
The propaganda of bulging pension pots hides the fact that the average state pension is a third of average earnings.
Some will have to work for 35 years to get a full state pension. Many will never achieve that.
Many face being swindled out of a state pension.
We need young and old to fight for justice together.
Joel Hirsch, east London
Tube strike wins support in Athens
The insurgent Athens Metro workers express their solidarity to the striking staff of the London Underground.
We recently occupied our bosses’ office because we want to throw out the corrupt management of the Athens Metro company.
Many workers had placed great hopes in the left government to at least limit bosses’ oppression in the workplace. But in the workplaces it was like no election had taken place.
That’s why we occupied, and that’s why there was an overwhelming vote in the recent referendum.
Read my report at maxhtikh.blogspot.gr—and innovate militantly!
Nikos Sbarous, rail engineer and senior safety union rep, Athens Metro
No support during night
Austerity causes more people to suffer mental distress.
I work nights in the NHS. It is a regular occurrence that there are no beds in mental health hospitals in all of England at night.
Malcolm Jones by email
Rage against Tory austerity
Garry Johnson is a punk poet whose poems and song lyrics have a raging social conscience.
He twice “died” in the operating theatre last year. But he came out of retirement after the general election to record the protest single United Against Austerity.
He will risk his life to appear at the Rebellion festival in Blackpool on
9 August against doctors’ advice.
Emma Rule by email
Posters for empowerment
The see Red Women’s Workshop provided posters, illustrations, and printing for the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Its aim was to challenge negative stereotypes of women and promote empowerment.
A selection of posters is on display at Huddersfield Art Gallery in West Yorkshire until 19 September.
John Appleyard, West Yorkshire
Council allows fascist march
A little over a month ago nine Christians in the US state of South Carolina were murdered by a self-confessed white supremacist.
The National Front in Britain celebrated this on Facebook. The group West Yorkshire National Front posted offensive material.
Christians Against Extremism (CAGE) express their outrage at Wakefield Council’s decision to allow the National Front to march and rally through Wakefield on 25 July.
At the same time a “We Are Wakefield” celebration of tolerance and peace has been banned.
Louis Kasatkin, Convenor, CAGE