Campaigning in East London
The campaign to get George Galloway MP re-elected to parliament on a Respect ticket in Bethnal Green & Bow, east London, started in earnest last weekend. Some 30 Respect activists set up a stall in Roman Road market, one of the most vibrant and mixed parts of the constituency. “There was a fantastic turnout from Respect activists, and our tabloids were being distributed everywhere,” says Jackie Turner from Tower Hamlets Respect. The Labour Party also briefly turned up to set up a stall, but soon shuffled off. “We outnumbered the opposition by at least six to one,” says Jackie.
Asylum rights activist Paulette North prepares to stand in Bristol East
Bristol Respect activists have been getting involved in local campaigns in the city, from defending council housing in Totterdown to protesting against the privatisation of Cosham Hospital in Kingswood.
Paulette North, Respect’s prospective candidate for Bristol East, is standing against pro-war New Labour MP Jean Corston.
Paulette is well known in the city for her work with the Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers Campaign.
She was among 30 activists who protested against the imminent deportation of Robinah Senoga, a 19 year old Ugandan refugee, outside 10 Downing Street on Monday of last week.
Respect activists are now busy distributing some 6,000 leaflets across the constituency and reaching out to the city’s various communities.
“We’ve made links by being at the mosques, week in, week out,” says Hannah Packman, a Bristol Respect activist. “People are now being greeted as friends at the mosques.”
Respect is also working on a series of fundraising initiatives to raise £4,000 for a new election statement. There is a sponsored walk on 10 April. One activist is even planning a pre-election parachute jump.
Tickets are on sale for an Italian-themed Respect dinner party on 30 April, including music and speakers such as civil rights solicitor Matt Foot.
London Respect Rally
Speakers include: George Galloway MP, Tariq Ali, Councillor Oliur Rahman, Janet Alder and former ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray
Wednesday 6 April, 7.30pm,
The Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate,
London EC2 (Liverpool Street station)