Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Demos planned for UN Older People’s Day 1 October 2016

Demos planned for UN Older People’s Day 1 October 2016

This year, the NPC will be marking UN Older People’s Day on 1 October with a series of protests around the country aimed at highlighting the need for a new National Health and Social Care Service (NHSCS). A briefing to help those taking part is available for download here. The protest will include the use of these skeletons – as a way of getting our message across – “We want decent social care now – before it’s too late!”.
Skeletons Blackpool 2016.

Over the last few years, the NPC has been organising around the UN Day of Older People. This year we intend to use it to call for improvements in social care and the introduction of a National Health and Care Service, funded through taxation. This briefing provides guidance as to what affiliates/regions/local groups/members can do to support the campaign on the day.

On the day we are asking supporters to carry out some or all of the following:
·         Give out leaflets to the general public (these will be provided centrally, but there will be a cost for postage).
·         Organise a demonstration outside a town hall/care home/in a town centre or anywhere that the public will see you, using the Skeletons (see picture below). It is quite simple to organise and requires masks, disposable decorating suits, folding chairs (if required) and placards/posters (the template for these will be provided centrally).
·         Let the local media know that you are holding the demonstration and it may get some local publicity.
·         All of this activity need only take place for a couple of hours at a suitable time during the day.

The message
  • The NPC will be using the day to highlight the need for a National Health and Care Service, funded through taxation, as the best way of improving the standards and quality of care, along with securing better terms and conditions for staff.
  • If asked why we are using skeletons in the protest we can say that pensioners only make the headlines when they die, but the failure of our care system is going on every day and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Practical points
·         The materials for the Skeleton Protest can be acquired locally, or you can order them from the following websites:

·         The campaign poster for the day is A3 and can be stuck onto cardboard so that the skeleton can wear it around their neck (see picture). The A4 template for the poster is included with this briefing.
·         Start planning now and let the NPC office know what you are doing so that we can build up a picture of activities across the country. We will use this information as part of a national press statement.
·         We are keen to join with members of those unions whose members are involved in the delivery of social care: Unite, Unison and GMB. Many of these will have their own local retired members that may come along and get involved on the day. Try to make contact with these local branches either directly or through the local trades union council in your area and ask for their help.
·         Make sure you get a picture of your protest and send it to us so that we can use it in future campaign work.

For more information
If you need any further information contact the NPC National Officer, Neil Duncan-Jordan on or T: 07432-575251.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Grunwick strike began 40 years ago today: 'WE ARE THOSE LIONS' - commemoration events

Saturday, 20 August 2016 


From Grunwick40
It's an important day.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first moments of the Grunwick strike – and we're proud to announce our plans to commemorate it. 

We'll be running a series of inspiring, thought-provoking events exploring Grunwick and its legacy, launching with Grunwick Memories on Saturday 27 August.

Grunwick Memories is a free event, giving you the opportunity to explore and contribute to the Grunwick archive held by Brent Museum and Archives. Come along and take part in a story sharing session and add your memories and experiences of the strike to the Archive. You will also get an exclusive look at some of the materials that will feature in the upcoming exhibition.

Grunwick Memories will take place at Brent Archive, on the second floor of The Library at Willesden Green, Willesden High Road NW10 2SF, from 2-4 pm on Saturday 27 August. Please join us!Email or call 020 8937 3600 for more information.

Other upcoming events:
• We are those lions: The story of the Grunwick strike 1976-78 exhibition, launching October 2016 at The Library at Willesden Green. Look out for the launch date – coming soon.
• The Great Grunwick Mural unveiling, Chapter Road, NW10. Be the first to see our amazing murals in place near the original Grunwick site. The design and unveiling details are still under wraps, but we'll be revealing details over the next few weeks, along with the names of our special guests, who'll be providing music and entertainment.
• Explore Grunwick in more detail at our November events, a film screening and discussion on “Race and the Unions” at SOAS, November 2nd, and Grunwick 40: The Conference, The Library at Willesden Green, November 26th – booking for these events will open in October.

Yours in solidarity,

Grunwick 40

PS: Don't miss out on the reissued anniversary edition of Grunwick: The Workers’ Story, by Jack Dromey and Graham Taylor, with an updated introduction – due out in late September.

acknowledgements to Martin Francis

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Grunwick Changed Me

Grunwick Changed Me

Maya Amin-Smith explores the impact of the Grunwick dispute, which began in August 1976, and finds out how members of her family became involved, and how they look back on it now.
The Grunwick dispute, at a film processing plant in north west London, is widely regarded as a landmark in British trade union history. For the first time, a high-profile strike involved women from South Asian immigrant communities, many of whom were fairly recent arrivals in the UK. Few if any had experience of industrial action - and the press at the time quickly noticed what they called 'strikers in saris', an image which challenged the perception that strikes were largely led by white men.
But aside from the public legacy of the Grunwick dispute, what was the personal impact on the people involved?
Maya Amin-Smith was born fifteen years after the strike was abandoned, into an Indian family of East-African immigrants. Her family had settled in the Chapter Road area of Dollis Hill where the Grunwick factory was situated. Indeed, two of her great aunts worked at the film processing plant themselves.
There's little sign now in the narrow streets of Dollis Hill that this was once the site of a long and bitter struggle, but now that the dust has settled, Maya explores the impact that this industrial action has had not only on her family, but on families like hers within the South Asian immigrant community, and how it's remembered now.

Monday, 8 August 2016

The People's Assembly will be holding a major conference and a national demonstration at Theresa May's first Tory Party Conference as Prime Minister.

The People's Assembly will be holding a major conference and a national demonstration at Theresa May's first Tory Party Conference as Prime Minister. These events will take place over 1st and 2nd October demanding an alternative to 'Austerity Britain'.

Saturday 1 OctoberThe People's Conference: Our Alternative To Austerity

@ Birmingham Town Hall >> Register your place

Sunday 2 OctoberNational Demonstration: Tories Out - Austerity Has Failed

@ Victoria Square, Birmingham >> Please invite and share on Facebook
We face insecure employment, low pay, and a drive to privatise our public services. There’s a growing housing crisis, our NHS is going through the biggest funding squeeze since it’s foundation, and our Education system is over-stretched. Local services have been shut down as huge budget cuts are forced on councils.

Big business, corporations and the richest are squireling away money in offshore tax havens, awarding themselves bonuses, while immigrants are blamed for problems they had no hand in creating. And everyone else is told to tighten their belts.

Austerity has clearly failed the majority but what is the alternative? At the conference we will explore and discuss how it's possible to achieve a society where everyone has secure housing, jobs and decent education. It will counter the lies that will come out of the Tory Conference over the following days, and will propose a series of actions over the coming weeks and months that can create a movement that stops austerity in it's tracks. The demonstration will be a visible display of mass opposition and intervene in the mainstream debate when all we'll hear in the media is the austerity obsessed narrative coming out of their conference.

See you in Birmingham!

The People's Assembly Against Austerity