About 200 people packed the Respect meeting with George Galloway MP and John Rees at the CWU union conference last week.
It came after several days of discussion about the government’s threats to privatise the post, and of what attitude we should take towards Labour.
It was the biggest fringe meeting of conference and the only one where people anxiously discussed at what time they would have to get there in order to secure a good seat!
At the end of the meeting 15 delegates joined Respect, and another six signed up afterwards.
A number of people with senior positions in the union joined up and that is very welcome and important. But it was crucial that people at a rank and file level got involved.
Geoff, one of those who joined, said, “I loved what Galloway did when he went to the US senate, but I was equally impressed by his speech at the meeting because it took up all the issues — pensions, privatisation, housing and more.
“Two other people joined as well. We’re going to have a go at a meeting in the workplace.”
Amy, another of those who joined, said, “Labour has abandoned us, Respect is filling the gap for those who want a radical voice.”
Respect members in the CWU
Nearly 200 people came to Preston Guildhall on a hot afternoon to hear George Galloway make the case for joining Respect. George was joined on the platform last Sunday by local Respect councillor Michael Lavalette, Saeed Ahmed from the local Jamea mosque and journalist Yvonne Ridley.
Flores Sukula, a 19 year old refugee, spoke about the campaign to save her and her family from deportation. Estelle Cooch from Lancashire Youth Council argued that everyone should get to Edinburgh and Gleneagles. Twenty people joined Respect.
Over 400 people attended the Respect rally in Lambeth and Southwark, south London last week. “The crowd was incredibly diverse,” says Katya, “Some 32 people joined, 162 left their details and £800 was collected.”
A rally in Newham, east London, drew 289 people. Among the speakers was Rod Finlayson, a T&G steward from Ford’s Dagenham plant. Twenty eight people joined.
Seventy people attended a Respect meeting in Islington, north London, with seven joining.