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17 February 2021

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Swarming the London Mayor's question time

Save Our Square protesters in Walthamstow, photo Paul Mattsson

Save Our Square protesters in Walthamstow, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Waltham Forest community campaign 'Save Our Square' and Socialist Party members organised what can only be described as a swarm of London Mayor Sadiq Khan's virtual Question Time on Thursday 11 February.

Our intervention not only reflected our determination to be heard, but gave a voice to the struggle happening outside on the streets of London. We put Khan and the London Assembly on the spot, demanding that our town square is not handed over to private developers to build unaffordable housing. We demanded action to build council homes to meet the needs of the 9,000 households on the housing waiting list in our borough.

Organising during lockdown has been a challenge, but we have successfully used social media. We encouraged all our supporters to register for the event with an image showing bees circling the words "swarm the mayor's question time" and with the accompanying link to registration. It was viewed 5,000 times in less than four hours.

We also prepared questions for our supporters to use as a guide. When our questions appeared in the chat of this virtual event, we encouraged our supporters to like each other's questions to force our questions up the agenda.

As the night wore on, Waltham Forest won the popular vote in virtually every category, leading the mayor to refer to us as the 'People's Republic of Waltham Forest'.

The event showed just how awful the current raft of assembly members and Khan really are. The Tories blamed Khan for not cutting more, and Khan blamed the nasty Tories for making him do it. Apart from our campaign there was a complete lack of urgency to fight back. The mood music from both Tory and Labour members was the inevitability of more austerity to come.

Our small swarm of bees represented the real fightback on the night. We need more of this, we need socialist and trade union fighters standing as candidates in the forthcoming Greater London Assembly elections on 6 May. We need socialists into City Hall.

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In The Socialist 17 February 2021:


News

Tory consultation on home-use abortion pills

Tory cladding money will not make us safe

Sham inquiry into 'progressive extremism' will not stop movements against capitalism

Cumbria mine: How can we fight for jobs and stop climate change?

Cryptocurrency bubble: Insanity of capitalism

News in brief


NSSN meeting

Online workers' rally: Taking fight to the bosses


Scotland

SNP's independence referendum 2 'roadmap'


NHS

NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

Boot private companies out of our NHS


Workplace safety

Covid workplace safety

Derby Toyota plant Covid crisis


Workplace News

Hackney teaching assistants strike against cruel and unnecessary job cuts

PCS: Reject the HMRC pay deal

Manchester Go North West bus drivers in all-out strike over fire and rehire dispute

London bus drivers set to strike over pay and conditions

Scaffolders' strike continues


Socialist Students

Strike back for free education

Socialist Students conference - Sunday 28 February


Campaigns

Socialist Party Black and Asian caucus

Remembering Mohamud Hassan - continuing the fight against police brutality

How you can amplify the Socialist's voice - Help us build subscriptions to the Socialist

Swarming the London Mayor's question time

Southern new members meeting - a vivid illustration of the appetite for socialist ideas

Doing all we can to fund the anti-cuts stand at the ballot box


Readers' Opinion

Film Review: Dear Comrades!

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

London:

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triangleGoodlord strike forces talks - solidarity needed

triangleSt Mungo's workers walkout

triangleHousing activists storm multi-million pound rental firm's offices

triangleDon't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest TUSC: On 6 May - Use your vote to fight education cuts

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Could Britain become a fascist state?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: What next in the fight against Covid austerity?

Socialist:

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triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

Housing:

triangleCladding: Tories refuse to protect leaseholders again

Social Media:

triangleTrump Twitter ban: only independent workers' voice can defeat right

Article dated 17 February 2021

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