SOCIALISTS WILL be standing in the elections for the Greater London Assembly in May. Socialists, trade unionists and community groups have united in the London Socialist Alliance (LSA). The LSA will contest seats on the Greater London Assembly, the new body which will come into operation at the same time as the mayor. Over the next two weeks elections will be taking place to select local LSA candidates.
Last week Weyman Bennett was selected to stand for the LSA in Haringey and Outer North London. Weyman spoke to Socialist Worker about why he is standing: 'I am a black socialist. I was the national organiser for the Coalition Against The Criminal Justice Bill. I am currently an organiser for the Mumia Must Live! Campaign. For years I have campaigned against Tory policies. What makes me sad is that I now see the New Labour government deporting asylum seekers. I see Jack Straw taking away the right to a jury trial and I see the police ignoring the recommendations of the Macpherson report. Black and white workers have to fight New Labour all the way.'
So far eight candidates have been selected: Paul Foot, Mark Steel, Janine Booth, Kate Ford, Jim Stanley, Candy Udwin and Weyman Bennett. Unlike the Labour Party, the London Socialist Alliance holds democratic elections to select their candidates. Everyone who wants to see a fighting socialist alternative to Tony Blair is welcome at these meetings.
If you want to campaign for the LSA or attend your local hustings phone 020 7582 9373.
THE LONDON Socialist Alliance pledges to:
- Stop the privatisation of London Underground and campaign to renationalise the railways.
- Fight for a fully funded NHS.
- Make the Metropolitan Police accountable and combat police racism.
- Campaign for a decent minimum wage without age restrictions.
- Oppose the sell off of council housing and build 25,000 homes every year.
- Set tough new controls on water and air pollution.
'LONDONERS NEED a choice. We need candidates who are going to campaign against privatisation in education, on the tubes and in Royal Mail. People are disillusioned with Labour. You need people who are in touch with the real issues.'
TONY NICOLAIDES, political officer, London North/North West Postal CWU (personal capacity)
'I'M SUPPORTING the London Socialist Alliance because we need people who will represent the working class of London. I don't want to let go of politics I've worked for all my life. I was born socialist and I'll die a socialist. If Blair had his way he'd have our kids back sweeping chimneys. We have to put across the message that instead of taxing the poor the government should be hitting the rich down the road in the City of London.'
TERRY LOVELOCK, UNISON rep, ICSL Cleansing, Islington council