AN OPEN LETTER FOR KEN - LUKE PEARCE

Dear Fellow Londoners,

I've decided to write to you today to remind you that Wednesday 16th April is your last chance to register to vote in the forthcoming London elections to be held on 1st May. I also want to encourage you to vote for Ken Livingstone for Mayor of London. Some of you may already be thinking "politics = boring-bald-white-men-with-expensive-kitchens" (incidentally, a good description of the people who swore at me as I was out leafleting yesterday), but democracy could be just the worthwhile distraction you need if like me you're preparing for exams! My apologies to those of you reading this who have already made up your minds.

Anyone who lives in London, is over 18 and is a British, EU or Commonwealth citizen can vote. If you weren't put on the electoral register when you moved into your current living space then you'll need to register. To do this click here: London Elects or call 0800 876 6444. If you can't be bothered or have decided that you hate all the candidates then please just vote to stop the racist British National Party getting the 5% they need to gain a London Assembly seat and the funds that go with it (they polled 4.9% last time, and just imagine how many Mein Kampfs Nick Griffin could buy with £50,000pa).

Aside from his latest policies, I think the main reason I'll be backing Ken Livingstone is his foresight: he's consistently proven himself to be ahead of his time in making the case for a number of issues that people in the past considered to be fringe or 'looney', but are now in the political mainstream. Since before the 1980s he's been a tireless campaigner for racial and sexual equality, against Apartheid and the far-right. More recently, he opposed the Iraq war; the London Congestion Charge has proven that politicians do have the power to change travel behaviour; and Ken's inclusive approach to community relations has shown that multiculturalism can succeed (racist attacks in London are down more than 50% since 2000). Ken continues to take a stand on the environment, the London Living Wage and subsidised travel for the poorest Londoners, and his achievements have been recognised internationally.

I won't recite the successes of the past eight years; you can read them here.

Ken's 2008 policies include: overseeing the massive investment in London's transport that is taking place including the £10bn Crossrail project; maintaining the London-wide Low Emissions Zone and introducing a £25 daily charge for gas-guzzlers entering central London (Porsche are suing over this!); maintaining the policy that 50% of all new housing should be affordable; making the freedom pass for elderly and disabled Londoners valid 24-hours a day; 1,000 more police; extending the student travel discount to one-day travelcards; maintaining free travel for under-18s on the buses and a £78m programme to set up youth centres.

Ken is not perfect but he does understand the need to keep a balance between principle and political practicalities rather better than most mainstream politicians, who seem to have decided that politics is about playing on prejudice and appealing to narrow self-interest in 'middle England' rather than persuading people to support a clear and principled political narrative. I know that many of you will find it hard to vote for Labour after Iraq and other issues, but Ken has had the courage to depart from the government over things such as the war, Trident replacement and the anti-immigrant rhetoric, and I think the few politicians in power who go against the grain like that deserve our backing.

Boris Johnson, the only other candidate with a chance of winning the mayoral election, publicly opposes the Kyoto Protocol, derides the Congestion Charge and other measures to reduce car use and protect the environment, and has made some pretty unfunny remarks about black people. Behind the buffoonery and TV appearances, Boris is just very right wing: see here for a good report on this.

I encourage you to watch the Party Election Broadcasts (more revealing about the relative attitudes of the candidates than you'd normally expect from such propaganda:

Boris Johnson: http://www.backboris.com/video/08_04_08_peb.php
Brian Paddick: http://www.brianpaddick.org/brian-paddick-tv-broadcast-477
Ken Livingstone: http://www.kenlivingstone.com/page/invite/broadcast

Or you can watch them all and find out more on the BBC here.

"You know, whenever George Dubya Bush appears on television, with his buzzard squint and his Ronald Reagan sidenod, I find a cheer rising irresistibly in my throat. Yo, Bush baby, I find myself saying, squashing my beer can like some crazed redneck: you tell 'em boy. Just you tell all those pointy-headed liberals where to get off." (Boris Johnson, Lend Me Your Ears p317)

I think I agree with Charlie Brooker: "I wouldn't trust Boris to operate a mop, let alone a £10bn Crossrail project." (Guardian, 14 April)

Happy voting,

Luke
Compass Youth Activist

Hope not Hate


Mayor of Paris joins Ken Livingstone on campaign trail

The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, joined Ken Livingstone on the campaign trail in London today in support of his bid to be re-elected Mayor of London on 1 May.

Mayor Delanoe was re-elected Mayor of in Paris last month, and his decision to join Ken Livingstone on the stump shows the high regard in which London’s Mayor is held by leaders of other key cities throughout the world - and underlines the importance of the Mayoral election for London’s standing internationally.

Ken Livingstone’s campaign said:
“London’s international status is key to its economic success, and it can only be maintained by taking the right decisions in the interests of London.”

The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, joined Ken Livingstone and the Labour Movement for Europe (London & South East) campaigning in Islington today and then held a joint press conference, where Mayor Delanoë said that close cooperation between big European cities was strengthening all of them - and that Ken Livingstone should stay in that team to ensure this continues. He said: ‘London would be weaker if it were to be isolated'. He also said it would be dangerous for Europe if London had mayor supported by the far right:

Mayor Delanoë said today:

‘It is important for Europe that London should maintain its position as a leader working with European cities. London is a city that has made a great deal of progress since Ken Livingstone was elected.

‘Elections are about real issues around values and convictions

‘In terms of economy London has a spirit of healthy economic attractiveness that it is helping us all move forward.

‘I have seen that with Ken as Mayor London has made great strides forward. We have got together as Mayors of world cities to ensure we tackle climate change. Ken has made a great commitment to this. I have learned from London about the impact of solidarity when dealing with the homeless.



‘With our friends we have formed a strong team of Mayors - we need Ken to stay in that team to ensure this progress continues.

‘The cities of the 21st century are cities of great diversity in their population. As with myself, Ken believes it is necessary to bring all people together and ensure we benefit from the richness of all their contributions.

‘It would be dangerous for Europe if London had a Mayor who had been supported by the far right.

‘London would also be weaker if it were to be isolated. I think London needs a serious Mayor - because it is a very serious job.'

In the last week the London election, Mayor Delanoe’s backing for the re-election of Ken Livingstone was echoed by other Mayors from around the world.

In the last week the London election, Mayor Delanoe’s backing for the re-election of Ken Livingstone was echoed by other Mayors from around the world.


Mayor Klaus Wowereit, City of Berlin, said:
“It has been a great pleasure to work with you to build ties of friendship between Berlin and London and this has been of great value for the citizens of both of our cities.

“Your leadership, both, in breaking new ground with radical policies to improve public transport and protect the environment in London and your openness to ideas from cities, like my own, facing similar issues has marked you out as a great ambassador for London internationally. I am glad that we have been able to count one another as true friends. I look forward working with you for many years to come.”


Mayor Gavin Newson, City of San Francisco said:
“London has a great leader in Ken Livingstone. His willingness to take brave, forward looking decisions – such as to tackle congestion – have provided hope and inspiration to city leaders around the world. It was Ken’s drive and leadership that made it possible for 40 of the world’s largest cities to come together in the C40 to tackle climate change, something that would have been unthinkable otherwise. It has also been a pleasure to work with a fellow Mayor who puts into practice in his city the values of tolerance and celebrating diversity that I am so proud to represent in San Francisco.”



Mayor David Miller, City of Toronto said:
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Mayor Ken Livingstone, the inspiring founder and leader of the C40 Climate Group of major international cities. His vision and commitment have established London as a global leader in the fight against climate change and demonstrate how cities like ours can drive progress to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Who can deliver a better and fairer deal for London?




JUSTICE 4 CLEANERS


We are now entering the final phase of the Justice 4 Cleaners campaign in the City of London, who will be targeting cleaning contractors who have either not signed or not implemented an agreement for living wages and conditions for the cleaners.

A meeting of cleaners and activists will be held at Unite T&G Central Office at 128 Theobalds Rd Holborn on Saturday May 10 @ 12 noon

We appeal for your help in winning this fight for some of lowest paid workers in our city please come to the meeting and take part in the demonstrations and protests.

On this day will be organising : Lobbying for migrant workers rights & Justice for Cleaners demonstrations against cleaning contractors and their clients

Justice for Cleaners key demands are:

A living wage which is now at £7.20
Sick pay (at least 10 days)
Holiday pay (at least 28 days including bank holidays)
Respect for work which is performed by precarious migrant labour.
Rights at work protected by the trade union

"We are working hard for companies earning millions of pounds but we can't afford to feed our children. Cleaners come out of your cleaning cupboards and fight for justice." said cleaner Abiola Arowolo, getting the campaign for justice underway outside KPMG's offices in the City of London in March 2006

We need your support if J4C are going to be as effective as the last time we organised a round of demonstrations against the major cleaning contractors in central London in late 2006 / early 2007.

Contact Unite organiser Anita Ceravolo with any queries: 07 900 405 787 .

VOXPOPS ON COMPASS

Voxpops on the PES Manifesto

WE'RE ALL LONDONERS


Estimates are that about 1 million Non-British EU Citizens live in London. Germans, French, Italians, Scandinavians, Poles and many more - all EU-nationalities live and work here. However, these Non-British EU Citizens are four times less likely to be on the electoral register than UK citizens.

You might say this we don't care about the society we live in, we don't want to integrate into British society. We have heard this over and over again...

"There seems no reason to behave respectfully towards that little old woman coming out of the Post Office if you feel that she belongs to a culture that is alien from your own... Why not piss against the wall if you feel that it is not really your wall, but part of a foreign country.'" (Boris Johnson, Lend Me Your Ears, p207)

In contrast to some prejudice against foreigners, we are London citizens like everyone else. And we are eligible to vote in the London elections on 1 May. We live in London. We commute in London. We work in London. We pay taxes in London. We breathe the London air. We value the British sense of fairplay as much as the fish and chips.

Most of all, we want to contribute to London functioning better for everybody who lives here.

That is why we care about how London is run who it is run by.

Many issues with high prominence on the Continent are reflected positively in Ken Livingston's work for London so far and in his future plans. Ken's commitment to environmental issues matches the beliefs of many Europeans, as does his support of the London Living Wage campaign, transport policy and Safer Neighbourhood policies.

Ken has made living in London more affordable. There are free language courses for new arrivals and free travel for children, disabled people and pensioners. Now Ken also ensures that those who buy less polluting cars pay much less than those who don't. And of course, he also works for the aim that 50% of new homes should be cheaper homes to buy and homes at affordable rents. Many EU citizens, especially those who have recently come to the UK from new EU member states, are employed in the lower paying sectors of the labour market. The introduction of the living wage by Ken Livingstone and subsequent increases of it has already benefited these workers.

Ken has made living in London much easier. Through introducing the Oyster card (now over 10 million signed up), public transport has become easier to use, and Ken has doubled the night bus network. Ken has made London the only major city in the world where there has been a significant shift from the private car to public transport, cycling and walking. He not only talks about tackling climate change but actively implements effective measures towards this end. Every tonne of CO2 not emitted in London has a positive impact on the rest of this globe.

Ken has made living in London more fulfilling and empowering, not just through cheaper access to cultural events but also through investing in education and skills. He has helped to provide better facilities for young people outside of school hours and pioneering equalities policy before anyone else so everyone can enjoy the same rights.

Even EU citizens who only plan to live here for a few years or less benefit from re-electing an administration which is doing so much to get London moving, to reduce anti-social-behaviour and crime by rolling out Safer Neighbourhood Teams of Police in all of London's boroughs.

Protecting London from the xenophobic far right

There is a very real threat of reactionary and divisive candidates, with the extreme right BNP party only missing out on a seat by 0.2% in the last London elections. We need to prevent those parties who are trying to break up the bonds between Londoners. London is a world in one city. The global becomes local and the local becomes global.

Ken is the one politician in London who has fully grasped this trend and is utilising it to the benefit of all Londoners, including standing up to foreigners living in London, as he has done supporting the Polish community against the Daily Mail over its reporting of Poles in the UK. Under his time as mayor, London has overtaken New York to become the most successful city in the world, but most importantly he has constantly ensured that all Londoners benefit from this success.

"People from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential...They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves." (Ken Livingstone, 7th July 2005)

David Schoibl, Chair of Labour Movement for Europe (London & the South East)
Claude Moraes, London Labour MEP
Mary Honeyball, London Labour MEP
Robert Evans, London Labour MEP
Gemma Tumelty, President of the National Union of Students
Chuka Umunna, Compass Management Committee
Martin Rathfelder, Director of SHA
Henning Meyer, Managing Director of Social Europe
Conor McGinn, Irish Londoners for Ken
Tijs Broeke, Chair of the Dutch Labour Party London Branch
Axelle Lemaire, Chair of the French PS London Branch
Stefan Marx, Member of the German SPD London Branch
Maite Morren, LSE Labour Committee (in a personal capacity)
Christos Loutradis, Greeks for Ken Livingstone
Marta Krokos, Poles for Ken
Samuel Tarry, Chair of Compass Youth
Cesar Calderon, Chair of Las Ideas


If you would like to find out more about the Labour Movement for Europe (London and South East)'s activities, please check out our website at http://www.lme-lse.org.uk or email lme.lse@hotmail.co.uk.

You too can sign this statement, please add your name and/or organisation in the comments section

Join the group

Join the cause

Pledge your support

Become a fan

Print out customised flyers

Promote on your site or blog

Create a local version of this pledge

Text 'pledge werealllondoners’ to 60022 (in the UK only)

How about a new bike hire scheme?



See here for Ken Livingstone's proposal for a new hire bike scheme

HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU

JOIN US TO WATCH BRICK LANE

An invitation from Nick Gavron, Deputy Mayor of London

We all know how important the upcoming elections are. We simply can't afford to lose - London needs a Labour Mayor and Labour representation in the Assembly, otherwise all the progressive things we have achieved over the past eight years are at risk. Imagine waking up to Boris Johnson as Mayor, with the BNP in the Assembly! So we need to do everything we can to ensure this does not happen.

I am fighting a difficult but vital battle in Barnet and Camden against the current GLA member, Brian Coleman. To say he is an arch-Tory is an understatement- he has opposed every positive initiative Ken and I have introduced; free travel for young people and the congestion charge to name but two.



So with the aim of raising money to fight the Tories in Barnet and Camden, I would like to invite you to a special fundraising screening of the movie "Brick Lane". The screening will be preceded by a drinks reception, and the broadcaster Simon Fanshaw will lead a post-film discussion with the Director, Sarah Gavron and the writer of "Brick Lane", Monica Ali.

The screening takes place on Sunday 20th April at 5.15pm at the Prince Charles Cinema, just off Leicester Square.

Tickets cost £15 with proceeds going to Labour's Barnet & Camden London election campaign, and will include a drinks reception

How to purchase tickets

There are two simple options, available from 1-9pm daily:

In Person: Purchase in person from the cinema Box Office - 7 Leicester Place, WC2

Over the Phone: Contact the Box Office on 0870 811 2559 for credit/debit card bookings (25p/ticket)

I very much hope that you will be able to join us at what will be a great night- and for a very good cause! If you are able to help out at all in Barnet and Camden during the next few weeks your help would be much appreciated. Please get in touch with Alison Moore at alisonfmoore@hotmail.co.uk if you can spare a few hours.

Let's keep London Labour!!

Best wishes,

Nicky Gavron
Deputy Mayor of London and Labour Assembly candidate for Barnet and Camden

Our voices are more powerful than their headlines

This video tells a story, it brings to life people's experiences, their issues, their enthusiasm. It's so refreshing that amongst the fear stoked by some, Londoners from all parts of the city, from different backgrounds, are expressing a sense of hope and reassurance that Ken Livingstone will not only make sure that all Londoners can benefit from the success of the capital, but that they all feel they have a say. Our voices are more powerful than their headlines


LONDON UNITED

Reading Kevin Mattson's article on the "Micro Man" reminded me (not that I should need reminding) that we should stop making assumptions about the electorate.

The assumptions are that southerners are "so prosperous, so comfortable and so self-centred that all they want to be is demanding consumers whether at the supermarket or in public services"... the imaginary Mondeo Man or Worcester Woman or now in London, between the Rich Greater London and the Poor Inner London. Is the category of citizen not missing?

In reality, many would vote for policies like Surestart (childcare more costly in the capital), affordable housing (ditto) and a living wage (more temp/agency work) for example.

The assumptions that marginals and lower middle classes are the key to a Labour victory, when our support amongst lower middle class voters has dropped by 9 percentage points since 2001 but that it has also dropped by 8 points amongst working class voters. Maybe we need to start treating people like the citizens that they are, with their complexities and contradictions.

Winning the new progressive consensus needs to be rooted in values that embody greater equality and democracy and policies that connect with people's everyday lives.

We need to recognise that the consensus is not about building a vision based on the power of weak ties (who isn't in favour of choice or opportunity?) and a strategy of triangulation (always meeting the other party half-way). Indeed, should we be wheeling and dealing our values just to reach a fabled consensus, if we have to concede on a more equal and democratic society?

We need to recognise the ambuiguity of preaching a new progressive consensus. This cannot be the same consensus as Labour enjoyed in the 20th century, primarily based on class and labour structures, not the same consensus as the triangulation towards a virtual magnetic centrism, where people are led to confuse Brown with Cameron, both professing the dawn of this fabled progressive consensus.

A new progressive consensus should be inviting, inspiring and emancipating



We need not only to include but invite all progressives, especially those excluded from political and civic participation, whether by lack of access or interest. For this to happen, it needs to be make sense to them, that connects to their everyday lives and their moral values. It also needs to be worthwhile for them, that they can make a difference in a way which is accessible and purposeful. It needs to instill a sense of enthusiasm and emancipation, that by working with others towards this common endeavour, they can contribute to emancipating others by emancipating themselves.

We need narrative about what we mean by progressive and what this might look like in practice. Progress can be objective - improvement of what exists currently - or subjective - improvement towards a vision of what we strive for. Therefore "our" vision of progress should be about continuously looking towards building a more equal and democratic society.

How do we get there?


Can we learn from the experience of running London? Despite some saying that he was "bad for business", Ken Livingstone has made London the most successful city in the world, overtaking New York, with productivity up by 25%. But as we know, celebrating wealth doesn't always help reduce inequalities. By making sure that every Londoner feels that that they can share in their city's wealth and success, Ken has constantly tried to make everyone's lives
  • more affordable, through introducing the living wage, ensuring free travel for children, disabled and pensioners, while now ensuring that those who buy less polluting cars pay much less than those who don't and of course, ensuring that 50% of new homes should be cheaper homes to buy and homes at affordable rents
  • easier, through introducing the Oyster card, doubling the night bus network and being the only major city in the world where there has been a significant shift from the private car to public transport, cycling and walking
  • safer, increasing the police force and making sure that every neighbourhood has a regular beat as well as reducing crime by 6% (including knife/gun crime by 22%)
  • more fulfilling and empowering, not just through cheaper access to cultural events but also developing education and skills or providing greater facilities for young people (especially outside of school hours) and pioneering equalities policy before anyone else so everyone enjoys the same rights
As opposed to Boris Johnson, with Ken, the category of citizen is never missing...
"There seems no reason to behave respectfully towards that little old woman coming out of the Post Office if you feel that she belongs to a culture that is alien from your own... Why not piss against the wall if you feel that it is not really your wall, but part of a foreign country.' (Boris Johnson, Lend Me Your Ears, p207)
"People from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential...They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves." (Ken Livingstone, following 7th July 2005 bombing)

IT'S NOT FUNNY, IT'S OUR FUTURE


U Day - Be part of history

Tuesday 29 April

150 stations - 600 people - 150,000 leaflets

U-day is the day for YOU to show your opposition to the racist BNP. The Hope not Hate campaign, supported by the trade union movement, will be leafleting as many underground and overground stations across London as possible.

Let's show that London chooses HOPE over hate.

As of Friday 4 April 155 people have already signed up to a station. Join them. Be part of the biggest anti-fascist leafleting session in British history.

Supported by GMB and RMT Trades Unions

A blogger, a calculator and 12 times clueless Boris

As we reported here, a blogger and a calculator helped to shape a serious debate about who is competent to lead a great city like London.

In a BBC interview last week Boris Johnson claimed that the cost of his policy of bringing back buses with conductors would be £8 million a year. He repeated his claim that it would cost £8million on 4 March. Boris Johnson has underestimated the cost of his bus policy by at least £100 million per year (as says an independent assessment here). That would mean a bus fare increase from 90p for a single journey to £1.05, or an increase in the cost of a weekly bus pass from £13 to £15.



After two decades of neglect, a £1 billion a year Tube invest programme is underway. Ken's expanded bus services so that 90 percent of London households are within 400 metres of a bus stop. We've expanded investment in cycling, resulting in an 83 percent increase in cycling levels over the past five years.

And although people now take it for granted, he's brought in Oyster cards, abolished bus and tram fares for children and defended the Freedom Pass from Tory attacks that it is a 'stealth tax.'

He will now introduce 24 hour operation of the Freedom Pass - giving older and disabled Londoners free travel before 9am and throughout the day. He will extend the student travel discount to Oyster One Day Travelcards; and maintain free travel for under-18s on the buses.

So what do you think are the big issues in this area?

THE LISTENING CAMPAIGN!

On the 9th of April in Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London Citizens will be organising a mayoral debate between 2,500 London Citizens leaders and the 4 main Mayoral Candidates, Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick and Sian Berry. The Candidates will be asked to respond briefly to a Citizens Agenda for London, including measures to make London Better Housed, Fairer, Safer and More Welcoming. This Agenda was voted on in February by London Citizens member groups. More details can be found on the website of London Citizens:



Everyone from London Citizens member communities is requested to attend, this is a once in four years opportunity to make politics responsive to our concerns. We come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from churches, mosques, schools and universities. This will be an inspiring example of what truly democratic politics can achieve.

See their agenda below

LONDON CITIZENS exists to enhance the governance of London by strengthening civil society and involving thousands of organised and informed citizens – and their institutions - in the public life of the capital.

In the Autumn of 2007 LONDON CITIZENS three Assemblies in West, East and South London launched a ‘Listening Campaign’ across our diverse membership. This Campaign has been focused on building a ‘Citizens Agenda for London’ which will be presented to the main Mayoral candidates on April 9th. The election for a new Mayor for the next four years takes place on May 1st.

We estimate that over 50,000 families have contributed to our developing ‘Citizens Agenda for London’. As with all that LONDON CITIZENS does this campaign has been driven by hundreds of community leaders who have reached out in and across their own group involving local schools, clubs and voluntary associations. CITIZENS has also been supported by 70 plus students and academics from the Geography Department of Queen Mary, LONDON UNIVERSITY who spent six weeks in nine of our member communities ensuring that as many people as possible were involved in answering the simple question ‘What would you like the next Mayor of London to do for you and your family and neighbourhood?’.

On 24th January 2008, in The London Muslim Centre, delegations of young LONDON CITIZENS gathered to consider the responses of young citizens from our member groups to this process of ‘Listening’. There was lively debate, passion, oratory and democracy. Two major issues were voted on as YOUNG CITIZENS concerns. These were then pooled with the other issues that had been agreed by the three CITIZENS Assemblies of WLC, SLC and TELCO at their January ‘08 leaders meetings. On Saturday, 2nd February LONDON CITIZENS held a day workshop which was open to all members interested in refining and crafting the various issues which had come from our members and agree specific Proposals that would make up our ‘2008 CITIZENS Agenda for London’. At the end of this Workshop delegates agreed to put the following Proposals to a great LONDON CITIZENS Delegates Assembly on February 19th in St Paul’s Church, Hammersmith, so that all our member groups have the final say on the issues we put to the person who would be Mayor from May 1st onwards. These proposals are not in any order of priority and may still need further refining as we meet with the candidates and their advisers in March to explain our Proposals and agree the rules for LONDON CITIZENS ‘Mayoral Accountability Assembly’ on April 9th.

‘2008 CITIZENS AGENDA FOR LONDON’


1. A GREENER, CLEANER LONDON

Mayor to
  • offer financial and planning incentives for energy efficient homes and workplaces for insulation and energy reduction, as well as for the higher up take of alternative energy production across the capital.
  • regulate the distribution of all free newspapers in London in order to clean up our streets and reduce the environmental damage generated by these papers and associated litter.
2. A SAFER LONDON

LONDON CITIZENS commits to train and appoint fifty ‘City Safe’ Street Champions and pilot this project and a local ‘City Safe Concordat’ for six months in Newham.

Mayor to
  • actively support and endorse LONDON CITIZENS ‘City Safe’ model across the capital.
  • work with LONDON CITIZENS to set up an ‘Accreditation’ and ‘Awards’ scheme for ‘City Safe Champions’ (e.g. street cleaners, TfL staff, Park Wardens, postmen and women, traffic wardens) to be the eyes and ears of London’s streets and look out ,with respect, for London’s young people.
  • provide the resources and leadership to ensure that the ‘school run’ is better supported by more buses and conductors/responsible adults at key times; involving teachers, youth workers, police community support officers e.g. Croydon route 468 experiment.
3. A FAIRER LONDON

All candidates to be asked to publicly commit to ‘The London Living Wage’ initiative; by staffing and supporting the Mayor’s Living Wage Unit; making the annual announcement of the Living Wage figure; and ensuring this wage is paid across the GLA ‘family’;

The Mayor to
  • ensure that LDA grants and support go only to employers and projects accredited as ‘Living Wage Employers’.
  • support LONDON CITIZENS ‘Living Wage Accreditation’ process for London’s hotel and hospitality sector by the GLA web site and London Tourist Board only recommending hotels and restaurants that are ‘Living Wage’ accredited, especially in the run up to and during the 2012 Olympics.
  • organise, fund and host a promotional international ‘Living Wage’ conference aimed at the public sector across Europe intended to persuade other capitals (and UK major cities) to become ‘Living Wage’ cities.
  • to attend a LONDON CITIZENS Annual ‘Living Wage Employer Awards’ Ceremony.
4. A BETTER HOUSED LONDON

All candidates to be asked to commit to the principle of Community Land Ownership as a solution to the affordable housing crisis in London – and to the proposed Community Land Trust pilot specifically;

The Mayor to
  • ensure that at least 2012 family units of affordable housing are provided on the 2012 Olympics site in East London by 2013 through ‘Community Land Ownership’ methods and another 2012 homes built in South and West London on LDA or public land.
  • use the new strategic powers of the Mayor over the planning process to designate land for the ‘Intermediate Housing Market’ – shared ownership, rented, part buy, CLT’s and mutual home ownership.
  • within a year of office announce the Mayor’s ‘Standard of Affordability for Housing’ using the Living Wage principle as the framework.
  • to publish an annual ‘Housing Needs’ index.
  • to work with LONDON CITIZENS to pilot a variety of sustainable, carbon neutral housing projects across the capital.
5. A MORE ACCESSIBLE LONDON

All the candidates to be asked to commit to promote a safe, supervised and accessible transport system across London and
  • pilot a trial of conductors/supervisors on buses at peak times, especially at school run times and rush hour.
  • introduce subsidised travel/Oyster Card for under 21 year olds in full time vocational training or full time education.
  • provide cycle racks at stations.
  • ensure all stations are staffed when open and that any retailers on TfL property are encouraged through subsidised rent etc.
6. A MORE WELCOMING LONDON

All candidates to be asked for their support for the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ campaign.

The Mayor to
  • announce and brand London as a ‘Strangers into Citizens’ city – on headed note paper, web site, flyers etc.
  • establish a budget to support the development of medical care (through groups like Medicine du Monde), English Language Classes, legal advice etc, for ‘irregular and destitute migrants’.
  • allocate a budget of at least £500,000 and named staff to support the implications of London’s status as a ‘Strangers into Citizens’ city.
  • provide Travel Cards for Section 4 Support Asylum Seekers who are required to ‘report’ to the BIA offices regularly.
  • ensure that ‘The Londoner’ newspaper includes regular features which challenge negative stereotypes and include positive stories of ‘irregular migrants’ and London’s history as sanctuary for migrants fleeing poverty and tyranny.
  • brand the annual ‘RISE’ festival and similar LDA funded cultural events with the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ logo and message.
  • lead the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ national march and Rally on May Day 2009.
  • instruct the Metropolitan Police to not cooperate with the Borders and Immigration Agency’s ‘dawn raids’ and other high profile assaults on London’s established migrant communities until the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ campaign is won.
7. A YOUTHFUL LONDON

On condition that LONDON CITIZENS delivers 100 summer paid (Living Wage) work placements and persuades the private sector to deliver another 500 from the summer of 2009;

The Mayor to
  • provide a further 500 paid summer work placements across the GLA ‘family’.
  • recognise LONDON CITIZENS ‘Young Citizens Forum’ and attend our Annual Delegates Assembly to respond to Young Citizens Proposals and ideas – and account for LDA ‘young peoples’ projects and strategy.
  • instruct the LDA ( and encourage the Learning and Skills Council) to invite bids for funding from novel and original ‘Apprenticeship Schemes’ (cf ex Industrial Training Boards) and account to LC ‘Young Citizens’ Assembly on the growth and development of this model of Apprenticeships across the capital.
All candidates will then be asked

8 A BETTER GOVERNED LONDON

Where all citizens play a part, vote and participate in public life;

Will you agree to work with LONDON CITIZENS, meet with us regularly (at least twice a year) and ensure that we are involved in all the major strategic decisions which effect us and our families and neighbourhoods?

'Strangers into Citizens’ is an on going campaign voted on and acted on by LONDON CITIZENS members in 2006/7. It is intended to persuade the government to agree an ‘earned regularisation’ for certain groups of ‘irregular’ migrants who have lived peacefully in the UK for at least four years. They must also have not committed any serious crimes and be willing to learn English to be then granted the right to work over a two year ‘probationary period’. On the production of good employer or community references after this period (six years) we propose they should be granted ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ and a pathway to citizenship agreed.

Deborah Littmann, Co-Chair of the London Citizens Living Wage Network attended our debate organised by LME




CONGRATULATIONS FOR TWO LEADING LIGHTS AT NUS AND IUSY


We would like to congratulate our very own Compass Youth activist Jacinda Ardern on her election as President of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY). She is only the second female President of the organisation so an even more historic victory for feminism.

Jacinda Ardern said she was both humbled and excited by her election. “IUSY plays a huge role as an international platform for youth organisations all over the world. It’s a real privilege to have the chance to play such a significant role in the organisation, particularly having come from such a small country.”

The International Union of Socialist Youth encompasses socialist, social democratic and Labour Party youth organizations from more than 100 countries, and represents over 143 organisations.

IUSY holds consultative status with the United Nations, and works closely with bodies such as the European Youth Forum within the European Union.

Barcamp for youth engagement


A Barcamp for online youth engagement has just been set up here, inspired by Tim Davies. The event is planned for May 17th 2008 in London - and will be a co-creation of all those who want to take part.

What is a barcamp?

It's an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees.

Online youth engagement?

These are the themes that are emerging for this, but feel free to add more and propose sessions you'd like to facilitate here.
  • Online information services for young people
  • Supporting young people's online interaction and activity
  • Researching young people and the internet/blogging/social networking etc.
  • Developing online tools and platforms for young people
  • Exploring online technologies in education and participation
  • Young people's civic engagement online
  • School councils online (Primary et. al.) to encourage participation and develop IT/networking skills
  • On-line video and web radio
Find the latest and easy registration on the UK Youth Online PageFlakes Page

Already there are some inspiring participants, so join in!

Activists in Spain to support Zapatero

Compass Youth members actively supported the Spanish Socialists to re-elect Zapatero and are proud that the PSOE won the elections as mentioned here.

Please see here the report by Francisco Roa Bastos reports that 23 young PES activists from 13 different European countries have just returned home after two weeks in Madrid, Spain, where they were supporting the PSOE and its leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Hailing from Belgium, Estonia, France, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, their efforts in support of local Spanish activists campaigning for the recent general election (9 March) were warmly received by the PSOE. The local party achieved excellent results in the election, and the experience of campaigning proved extremely valuable for the European activists themselves.



These 23 activists, coordinated by Rodrigo Parra of PSOE, took part in various activities over the course of the two weeks and were always identifiable as members of PES. Their presence was cause for much interest and goodwill from the local people.

The main expression of their support came in the form of attendance at rallies great and small, and as such they had the chance to hear speeches given by Zapatero himself, Felipe González, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega (Vice President), Pedro Solbes (Vice President), Miguel Ángel Moratinos (Minister for External Affairs), Elena Valenciano (International Secretary of PSOE), and various other ministers of Zapatero’s first administration. These events varied greatly in size, with some boasting crowds of thousands while others attracted but a few dozen residents of the surrounding neighbourhood. It was in this latter kind of gathering that the presence of the PES activists was most obvious, often drawing applause from the audience.

Besides these rallies, the European activists were able to attend various trade-specific events, such as the Zapatero’s address to the UGT union, as well as talks given by the Minister for Education, Mercedes Cabrera, at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and by the Minister for the Environment, Cristina Narbona, at the Complutense University. They also had the chance to attend events held by the Zapatero Supporters’ Group (PAZ) and by the Vice President. This second event, concerning cooperation and development initiatives, even saw one of the European activists address the audience on the importance of PSOE’s policy in this area, a gesture greatly appreciated by those in attendance.

Apart from these events, the group also participated in more concrete activities like handing out leaflets in various neighbourhoods and towns on the outskirts of Madrid. This proved to be an excellent experience, because it allowed for direct contact with the locals, who often expressed their surprise and delight that people would come so far to support Zapatero and Spanish socialism. The group left these neighbourhoods with memories that will not soon be forgotten. Thanks to the minibus made available to them, they were also able to visit numerous towns in the surrounding area in order to deliver senate ballot papers that would otherwise have failed to arrive in time for the elections, exploring at the same time Madrid’s rural periphery. Some of the European activists also helped out by calling citizens to remind them of their right to vote on election day.

Overall, these two weeks represented an enriching and memorable experience for all of those young Europeans involved. It allowed them to gain greater insight into Spanish politics and to make contact with their colleagues from the PSOE. But beyond that, this collective project involving activists from all over Europe also gave real substance to the gradual emergence of European socialism.

“Going to Spain to campaign with my colleagues from the PSOE and the PES was a really good experience. It allowed me to reaffirm my support for Zapatero and for his government, who serve as a model for every member of the PES, given that they represent a modern and efficient version of socialism. It was also very interesting because it allowed me to participate as a European in a national campaign: me and the other European youth activists were able to work together in a country that was not our own, helping a “brother” party of the PES to win in national elections. I don’t know how much we were able to contribute, but we did learn a lot, not least that Europe is constructed step by step, in part through initiatives like this one. Of course, this in itself isn’t enough, and there’s a lot to do, like maintaining the contacts we have in our own countries while creating others, especially with those Europeans that live in our home cities. But the European activists of the PES do exist, and they have shown that once again.” (Francisco Roa Bastos, France)

“Before arriving in Spain, I was unsure of what exactly to expect from our two weeks in Spain as part of the Europeans with Zapatero division of the Zapatero Supporters’ Group, but in retrospect the experience was definitely a positive one. Despite the inevitable teething problems that come with any new initiative, it was fascinating and heartening to see how positively the Spanish people responded to our presence, even where ideological differences existed. Quite apart from making contact and exchanging ideas with our local colleagues, these were also two weeks of valuable debate and argument within the group of European activists itself. It’s hard to put a concrete value on such intangible benefits of European cooperation, but in my experience to date this project has been unique in its ability to demonstrate the potential of political action at the increasingly important European level.” (Asa Cusack, Ireland).

Look out very soon for an inspiring voxpop at Compass Youth's recent PES Manifesto conference from Alejandro Olmos Marcitllach, Spanish Socialist Youth (JSE) and all Spanish citizens in London are invited to mobilise to re-elect Ken Livingstone here. Watch out for a flyer in Spanish.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP TRAINING

We're really honoured that that the Skoll Foundation has just awarded our close friends OneVoice an Award for Social Entrepreneurship. This prestigious award joins One Voice into a fantastic network of social entrepreneurs working for change in critical areas across the world.

Update from the Middle East

Both despite and because of the unbearable current situation and continuing setbacks to the negotiations process, OneVoice is pushing ahead in 2008 to change the political climate from one of despair, apathy and disillusionment to one of visualising the potential of what a peace settlement could mean, and investing a sense of urgency in civil society to push the process forward.
An expanding investment in youth leadership will be at the core of their work as OneVoice's Ramallah and Tel Aviv offices train young Israelis and Palestinians in public speaking, conflict resolution and how to carry a message of non-violent activism to their own communities.
As part of the expansion of the programme, OneVoice Israel recently launched advanced Leadership Seminars and a Youth Advisory Council with our most senior leaders attending a meeting with Knesset Member, Ephraim Sneh. Likewise, OneVoice Palestine has spent three months conducting Youth Workshops in all our West Bank districts and has also just launched its own Youth Advisory Council.



Recent Youth Leadership Activities

OneVoice Youth Leaders Meet with Martin Luther King III in Jerusalem
In Gaza, OneVoice Palestine has held four town hall meetings over the past three weeks in Jabalia, Bait Hanoun, Bait Lahia and Dear El-Balah reaching over 150 people. Our town hall meetings focus on talking about the issues pertaining to a two state resolution and the challenges civil society needs to overcome to achieve peace.
Click here to see some pictures from the town hall meetings in Gaza.
Here in the UK...
We're delighted to announce that Hitham Kayali joins the UK team as our Director for Outreach and Education. Prior to joining OneVoice in the UK Hitham completed his MA degree in Peace and Reconciliation at Coventry University and has previously been involved with OneVoice when he was in Palestine as well as working for Middle East Non-violence and Democracy (MEND) and Amnesty International. Hitham will continue to build on work already undertaken to promote OneVoice's message on UK University Campuses, countering polarisation and deteriorating community relations fostered by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We'd also like to welcome Jake Hayman back to the UK after three years based out of OneVoice's New York office. Jake will be continuing to work at the heart of OneVoice's development as a paid consultant and we also wish him luck on the business venture he's starting alongside his work at OneVoice.
Upcoming Events

As One Voice seek to build UK-based support networks for our teams in the Middle East, we will be holding our next youth leadership training seminars in the UK on April 24th and 25th in Coventry. If you know any great 18- 30 year olds feel free to nominate them! Please also get in touch with Hitham, hitham@onevoicemovement.org, to organise an event in your own community.

PEOPLE AND POLITICS DAY - MAKE EUROPE PERSONAL!

The European Union has a huge influence on everything from the food we eat, tourism, tackling climate change and our national security. Yet for most it is a distant institution about which they know very little.

People and Politics Day Europe is the largest event of its kind in the UK. We aimed to bring together 2,000 young people with some of the biggest names in politics as well as campaign organisers and youth groups. It has been designed to complement citizenship education and political studies for Key Stages 4 and 5.

The aim of the day is to make citizenship education personal, focussing on how the European Union influences all our daily lives. It is a unique opportunity for young people from around the UK to engage with senior political figures and to experience politics in a way which is real to them. We will be exploring what is and is not decided at an EU level, the implications for Britain’s own government and what role Britain plays in influencing it.

Amisha Ghadiali, a social entrepreneur from Compass Youth asks "we need your voice!"



How did it go?

The day was split in two. In the morning we held two main question and answer sessions with a panel of politicians and campaigners on how Europe affects our daily lives and the role Europe has in tackling global issues. In the afternoon we held a series of different debates on specific topics, ranging from crime through to climate change.

In addition, we had an exhibition area in which we will be inviting political parties, campaign organisations and other organisations with an interest political engagement and
education to provide participants with information.

People and Politics Day was organised by Unlock Democracy. The European Commission, the Electoral Reform Society, the Ministry of Justice and the Parliamentary Education Service have supported this project.

A NIGHT OF HOPE THIS SUNDAY

Sunday 6th April 2008
The Grave Maurice, Whitechapel Road E1
(10 metres from Whitechapel Underground)
19.00hrs-01.00hrs

Featuring Live Sets From:

KRAK (former members of the Babyshambles)
The Mentalists (accoustic set)
The Screaming Blue Jays
Skinny White Boys
(DJ'ing reggae/ska/whatever)

Showing Films:
Who Shot The Sheriff (Directed by Alan Miles)
Hope Not Hate 2007 Tour (Gregg McDonald & Searchlight)

£7 on the door or £5.50 in advance

(It is strongly recommended tickets are bought
in advance to advoid disappointment)

CLICK HERE TO PAY ONLINE

contact: m.collins@opwedge.org.uk | 020 76818652

Proudly Supported By
Trade Union Friends of Searchlight | Labour Friends of Searchlight
GMB Young members | Philosophy Football

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