Swarming the London Mayor's question time
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:
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
Online workers' rally: Taking fight to the bosses
SNP's independence referendum 2 'roadmap'
NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies
Boot private companies out of our NHS
Covid workplace safety
Derby Toyota plant Covid crisis
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
Strike back for free education
Socialist Students conference - Sunday 28 February
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
Film Review: Dear Comrades!
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 17 February 2021 |
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