Socialist Worker

Conference briefs

Issue No. 1978

The burning issue in Slough

Jazz Khan was Respect’s candidate in Slough during the May general election. He spoke to Socialist Worker about his local group’s plans for next year’s council elections

We managed to get a really positive campaign going for the general election, and we intend to build on that for the council elections.

I will be standing in Chalvey — an area of Slough where we were able to build a lot of support last year.

There is a big estate in the area where some of our supporters live, so there is a real chance that if we run the campaign right I could get elected in May.

One of the campaigns we’ve been really active in is against the council’s plans to build Europe’s largest incinerator on our doorstep.

These incinerators chuck out all sorts of chemicals, and we have not been shown evidence that they are safe. So Respect activists have spent the past ten months fighting alongside other local people.

In January we will start our election campaign by leafleting the entire ward.

Creativity works in West Central London

Delegates from West Central London have also been building their Respect group locally.

Rachel from the group said, “We make sure that we hold a monthly Respect event so that supporters can get together and discuss what is happening politically.

“But we’ve been careful to vary what we do as much as possible so we can attract new people to each meeting.

“In the past few months we’ve held a discussion on Venezuela and we’ve hosted a comedy night with Mark Steel.

“It means that we’ve managed to build a really diverse group.

“You need to have a bit of imagination. We advertise in Time Out magazine and the local papers as well as leafleting and sending out a mailing.”

Sanaa Hafez organised an fundraiser at one of the restaurants in the area. She said, “The owner gave us a set menu, so for every person who came Respect made £10.

“It was a great night. Respect not only raised its profile but also some money as well.”

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