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From: The Socialist issue 667, 20 April 2011: United action to defend NHS

Search site for keywords: Coventry - Socialist - Socialist Party - Socialist Alternative - TUSC

Coventry: support for socialists increases

Lenny Shail, Socialist Alternative candidate, Woodlands, Coventry

"There are times when working people like us have to stand up and be counted''. These were the words of Judy Griffiths, Socialist Alternative candidate in Coventry, at an emergency residents' meeting in the Charterhouse area of St Michael's ward.

The meeting was called in response to the news that the local public fields are to be stolen and potentially fenced off when a local school, which shares the fields, becomes an academy.

Judy's call has been replicated across Coventry. In every ward in the city, Socialist Party members are standing as Socialist Alternative - part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Our candidates will be the only ones who believe that working people and their families did not cause this economic crisis and shouldn't be made to pay for it.

Those standing include former councillor Rob Windsor, who is battling to retake his seat in St Michael's; trade union leaders and activists from the CWU, Unite, Unison, UCU and NAPO; leaders of the youth and student movement; and community campaigners.

The battle to re-elect Rob Windsor in St Michael's is likely to be very close once again. Despite losing last year Rob received the highest vote the Socialist Party had ever got in the ward.

Alex Gordon, president of the RMT transport workers' union, spoke at a regional TUSC meeting in the ward at the start of April which gave a huge boost to the campaign.

Khalid Bhatti from Socialist Movement Pakistan, the sister organisation of the Socialist Party, spoke at a meeting in a predominantly Asian area of Coventry.

Last weekend, over 50 people from around the country turned out in St Michael's to help build support and get ever more dayglo 'vote Windsor' posters beaming from windows around the ward.

Local trade union leaders and activists have pledged their support to the campaign. Even the taxi drivers association in the city, which has been in an industrial dispute with the council, has given its support to our candidates.

Support for socialists amongst young people has also been strengthened by Dave Nellist taking part in sixth form debates and by the leadership, organisation and ideas young Socialist Party members provided in the student movement at the end of last year.

The daily stalls in the city centre show that the events of the last 12 months have increased support for the Socialist Party, support that has been built up over decades of campaigning.

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Article dated 20 April 2011

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