Birmingham election launch
Around 300 people attended a rally in the Sparkbrook mosque community centre in Birmingham last Saturday for the Respect election launch in the area.
The meeting launched the campaigns of Salma Yaqoob who is standing in Sparkbrook ward, Salma Iqbal in Springfield ward and Lynne Hubbard in Moseley & Kings Heath ward.
Salma Yaqoob spoke about the inequalities in Birmingham. People face lower life expectancy, poorly funded schools and hospitals while the council spends thousands on giving some areas a face lift.
She said, “This is not just about having Muslim or Asian representatives in the council – we already have six or seven of those. But I have been to the council chamber and seen first hand that these people do not represent us, they represent Labour or the Conservatives.
“That is why it is so important to have Respect councillors who will really represent the community.”
Lynne Hubbard spoke about New Labour’s attacks on the NHS and how they were affecting the local hospital. She said, “They say that cutting thousands of jobs won’t affect the service provided. We are not stupid. We know that it cannot help but affect NHS care.”
Tower Hamlets campaign has hit the streets
Paul Fredericks, the Respect candidate in the Weavers ward in Tower Hamlets, east London, spoke to Socialist Worker about the campaign there.
Paul said, “The campaign has been going well.
“Last weekend we went out canvassing and got to speak to around 30 people. We also go leafleting one evening a week and hold a weekly stall in Brick Lane. The reaction we get from people is fairly positive.
“A lot of time has been spent, at the start of our campaign, getting in touch with people who have supported Respect in the past and those we have campaigned alongside in the past like Defend Council Housing and other local campaign groups.
“We have held various meetings in the ward, talking about issues ranging from the war to housing.”
Rolling them over in Bristol
Around 150 people, many of them from the local area, attended a Respect public meeting in Lockleaze ward in Bristol last week.
They heard George Galloway MP speak in support of Respect candidate Jerry Hicks, who was sacked from Rolls Royce for his union activities. It was a very good meeting. We have now leafleted the ward four times and are planning to start canvassing.