Latest News From UK Groups
Starting in the north, the Sheffield group is linking up with the excellent city-wide Festival of Debate (2017) with two initiatives: first a postcard campaign asking questions to prompt discussion on inequalities, the plan being to have the postcards at various places and events, and then collate them as a display and/or publication (partly prompted by this excellent initiative). The second is a public meeting on Basic Income, though that is still in early stages. Over in Oswestry, the local group already has a very ambitious plan for the year including work on housing and homelessness, health inequality and human rights. This work involves collaboration with other groups, campaigns and expert speakers and is supported and promoted by the group's excellent monthly newsletter called The Leveller which has a healthy circulation.
Moving south, the North Somerset group held a well-attended public meeting with economist Stewart Lansley and Tom Wilkes from the nearby Swindon group as guest speakers. The meeting has energised the group and grown its membership as well as making valuable links with the local media. The group has met subsequently and agreed an action plan for the year, including work on awareness-raising, making links locally with influential people and living wage campaigning. And nearby in Bristol the local group remains busy as shown in this guest blog from Mary Rivers (guest blogs from local groups are very much welcomed by The Equality Trust).
Not far away, the Swindon group is gearing up to support the launch of ‘Spirit of Swindon’ which will take place on March 30th when Bishop Lee Rayfield will speak on the same platform as Stewart Lansley. In the meantime, the group recently participated in the Community Conference organised by the Swindon Equality Coalition and also penned its third article in a local free magazine which focused on local health inequality. Over in Cambridge, the local group has some great initiatives planned, including: A Young People's Assembly (4th March) to engage with millennials on the major issues of the day, a series of high-profile, expert speaker talks based on the theme of imagining what living in a more equal society might look like (May onwards) and also more public engagement around their Cambridge Can Do Better manifesto for the upcoming local elections in May. More information can be found on the group's website.
And, finally, in the capital My Fair London is getting ready for the #OurNHS demo on Saturday 4th March along with staff from The Equality Trust. We are meeting at 12pm outside the Tavistock Hotel in Tavistock Square. All are welcome to join us!
New Groups: We are currently advising potential new start up groups in Oxfordshire and Rhyl If you live in these areas and want to get involved, please contact Bill Kerry for further details.
DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017
December saw the launch of The Equality Trust's new activist campaign pack Inequality Is Not Inevitable which has an emphasis very much on local group work. If you want to get involved campaigning for a fairer, better UK this pack is the best possible starting point.
Group News: Starting off in the north, the Sheffield group supported the Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise march on 17th December in the city and, amongst other things, is planning to take part in the national demo toSave the NHS on 4th March in London (The Equality Trust and other affiliated local groups will also be supporting this march). To the west, the Oswestry group has plans to support their local food bank as well as having guest speakers on housing and health inequalities lined up in the early part of the year. The group is also contemplating a screening of The Divide documentary at some point.
Over in South Wales, the local group is expanding its reach from its Newport base with the launch of a new offshoot in Swansea which held its first very "lively and buzzy" meeting on 16th January. The group also continues to develop its work around Brexit and the need to protect the rights of working people. Back over the border, the Bristol group is working with the Mayor's newly created 'City Office' which is committed to tackling inequality in the city and is prioritising solutions to the problem of homelessness in the area, not just in winter but for the long-term as well.
Not far away, and as we go to press, the North Somerset group is holding a public meeting on 26th January to discuss inequality and what can be done locally. Economist Stewart Lansley is the guest-speaker and the event is also hearing from the nearby Swindon group. Talking of Swindon, the local group presented recently at the Swindon Community Conference and has plans for a 30th March event also featuring Stewart Lansley who will be speaking alongside the Bishop of Swindon. The group (and the Bishop) are also active in providing a series of articles for the local newsletter Swindon Link highlighting economic inequality and related issues under an initiative entitled The Spirit of Swindon.
In the capital My Fair London attended the anti-Trump protests, including the Women's March on 21st January, to highlight the importance of tackling economic inequality and to make links with other progressive groups. They are also developing their plans for the year including influencing the Mayor and his advisers, publishing short pamphlets and campaigning with the hoped-for return of their inflatable Giant Banker symbolising fat-cat pay.
New Groups: We are currently advising new/potential start up groups in Swansea, Rhyl, Kingston (Surrey) and the Brixton/Herne Hill area of London. If you live in these areas and want to get involved, please contact Bill Kerry for further details.