briefing by dfsiopmhy6

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									           Anti Racist Anti Fascist Campaigning in
           the SERTUC Region
           Paper agreed by SERTUC’s Regional Council
           26 July 2008




           An Anti Racist Anti Fascist Action Plan for
           SERTUC and SERTUC affiliates for July
           2008 – June 2009


           Elections in 2009

           There will be local government (County Council – full membership) elections in
           May 2009 in the East of England and the South East.

           And European elections for MEPs by regional list system, 9 June 2009.



           Programme of Work

           This is a programme of work that SERTUC and its affiliates might undertake in the
           period through to the European elections in the summer of 2009.

           In this work our aims are to:

              •   Increase an awareness of the level of threat from the far right,

              •   Mobilise and enable trade unions’ and trades councils’ responses,

              •   Increase voter registration,

              •   Foster unity and joint working in the anti racist anti fascist movement,

              •   Stop the far right from winning elections and thereby gaining profile,

              •   Win the battle of ideas against the far-right.
briefing




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The new iteration of the Action Plan should be shaped by the following factors:

   •   SERTUC should remain highly committed to opposing racism and fascism,

   •   Our level of activity should be proportional to the degree of threat, should
       be relative to our overall resources and in the context of our overall work
       programme,

   •   SERTUC’s work should seek to build unity and mobilise partners’ resources
       and energies,

   •   SERTUC’s work should be targeted.


Aim: Secure leadership of Regional Council and
activity of SERTUC Equality Committees

   1. Re-publicise SERTUC’s anti racism anti fascism statement (motion) and this
       action plan to unions, campaign groups and regional partners.
   2. Hold a launch event in London, for ARAFAP 2.
   3. Use the campaign ‘pledge card’ to secure commitment of Executive
       Committee members, Race Relations Committee members and beyond.
   4. Make ‘anti racism anti fascism’ a standing item on the agenda of Regional
       Council and Executive Committee meetings.
   5. Invite prominent speakers to Regional Council.
   6. Seek to strengthen membership of the SERTUC Equalities Committees.


Aim: Support existing anti racist anti fascist
campaign organisations

   7. Support the activities of anti racist anti fascist campaign organisations, as
       appropriate, on a case by case basis.
   8. Support NAAR, including sponsoring its AGM, and seek to build affiliations
       to it.
   9. Support Searchlight, including build affiliations to Trade Union Friends of
       Searchlight.
   10. Support Unite Against Fascism, regionally. Urge UAF to properly constitute
       itself by holding an AGM and identify SERTUC Executive Committee
       members to represent SERTUC on the UAF steering group.




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  11. Support Love Music Hate Racism.
  12. Seek to build better understanding, communication, coordination and
     cooperation between existing campaigns.
  13. Support effective Race Equality Councils and publish contact details of Race
     Equality Councils in the region.


Aim: Seek to intensify unions’ prioritisation of the
issue, their commitment to structured work and
support their campaigns

  14. Liaise with senior regional officers and unions’ Regional Committees and
     their Equalities/Race Committees.
  15. Urge unions to map membership in targeted areas and to seek to mobilise
     local membership into activity.
  16. Support organising campaigns, including provision of training courses in
     organising skills.


Aim: Build awareness of elections and voter
registration

  17. Assemble and circulate information about:
                  i. Election dates
                  ii. Election boundaries
                 iii. Elections processes
                 iv. Eligibility for registration
                  v. Registration procedures and sources of advice
  18. Liaise with Operation Black Vote.


Aim: Mobilise trade unionists to engage in local
campaigns and provide access to useful information
and skills

  19. Seek to build stronger links between local anti fascist anti racist campaigns
     and trades councils.




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  20. Seek to broker links between unions and local UAF and Searchlight
      campaigns in areas where there is a significant far right threat, with a
      SERTUC Executive Committee member leading each liaison with a local
      group.
  21. Organise and publicise anti racism and anti fascism education courses for
      reps, as required by affiliates.
  22. Publish an occasional bulletin comprising motivational pieces, publicising
      anti racist and anti fascist demonstrations, alerting to BNP activity etc.
  23. Continue to publicise the e-version of SERTUC’s anti far right campaign
      guide for reps, that is available on our website.
  24. Circulate briefings to shop stewards/workplace reps, in association with
      unions.


Aim: Challenging negative public images and
promoting positive ones

  25. Continue to challenge negative media lines that are bigoted or prejudiced,
      seeking to break myths and promote positive images.
  26. Organise Black History Celebration events in 2008.


Aim: Work with regional partners

  27. Publish details of Labour Party Regional offices, try to collate a list of CLP
      trade union liaison officers.
  28. Build links with community groups, Race Equality Councils, regional
      assemblies, faith groups, research groups etc.
  29. Seek to establish collaborative work with NUS and with unions that
      organise in higher and further education.


Aim: Build a visible and dynamic SERTUC campaign in
Barking and Dagenham, to complement and seek to
consolidate existing campaigns

  30. Establish a dialogue with the officers of Barking and Dagenham Trades
      Council with view to re-launching the trades council, building affiliations



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     and establishing a local trade union joint anti far right programme of work,
     with SERTUC contributing to its leadership.
  31. Through the relevant unions, build links with the Black workers group at
     the local authority.
  32. Seek to build links with local community groups, faith groups, business
     lobbies etc.
  33. Urge unions to map their membership in the borough and to nominate a
     lead activist with whom SERTUC can work on anti far right campaigns.


Aim: To minimise the detriment caused by the
election of a BNP candidate to the London Assembly

  34. Marginalise Richard Barnbrook AM. Do not write to him, send him
      briefings, press releases, invitations to events or answer any
      correspondence from him. A question remains as to whether we should
      appear at any Scrutiny Enquiries that he might participate in and we might
      have to make a judgement on each case, perhaps refusing to answer any
      questions he might pose. Refuse to appear on any platform on which he is
      speaking.

  35. Liaise with leaders of the other political groups on the Assembly to
      encourage them to marginalise Barnbrook AM and urge them to support
      the application of agreed protocols relating to the working relationship
      between Assembly Members and GLA staff.

  36. Seek to expose him publicly, revealing the true character of his hate politics
      and his weak performance as an Assembly Member.

  37. Support Unison Greater London in its efforts to support its members at City
      Hall.


European Elections

  There are presently 9 MEPs in London, 7 in the East of England and 10 in the
  South East. The UK complement was to be reduced to 72 MEPs in 2009, 6
  fewer than in 2004. However, this depended upon the Lisbon Treaty being
  ratified so it seems likely that our region will elect the same number of MEPs in
  2009 as in 2004.

  MEPs are elected on a regional list system, presently the MEP that secured the
  smallest share of the vote in London is a Green, (8.35%), in the East of
  England is a Liberal Democrat (14%) and in the South East is a Green (7.9%).


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  The BNP gained 5.42 per cent in London, it achieved 14 per cent on average
  where it stood a candidate in the recent local council elections, albeit in the
  small number of seats which it contested. And the BNP might secure an anti-
  Europe vote particularly in the context of declining support for UKIP. The BNP
  does not have the infrastructure to run large campaign on a national basis.
  However, standing sufficient candidates would win it funding for circulation of
  election materials and the right to a ‘political broadcast’. So there is no room
  for complacency.

  It proposed that SERTUC:

  38. Seeks to develop links with MEP candidates to secure their support for the
      marginalisation of far right candidates.

  39. Seeks to develop closer working links with MEPs in our region, with a view
      to determining what pan regional strategies and messages might be
      effective in combating the far right.

  40. Explores with MEPs possibilities for coordinated campaign work against the
      far right in Europe, including any possible funding sources, such as Article
      13 of the Amsterdam Treaty.

  41. Seeks to instigate support for a pan European campaign by unions against
      the far right within the ETUC, via good offices of the national TUC.

  42. Organise events in London, the South East and the East of England, inviting
      a broad range of regional partners and campaigns groups, with the
      purpose of mobilising and consolidating campaigns against far right
      candidates.


  Laurie Heselden
  Regional Policy and Campaigns Officer
  SERTUC
  020 7467 1292
  lheselden@tuc.org.uk or at
  SERTUC, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
  SERTUC July 2008




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