The Liberation Movement (TLM) has been active throughout the year attending anti-racist and trade union demonstrations, including on CWU, GMB, NUJ, PCS, RCN, RMT, UCU, Unison and Unite picket lines. Our co-chair Deborah Hobson spoke on the UCU Goldsmith’s University picket line in the summer. In September, I spoke at a rally for striking Liverpool dockers in the city. As a result of this, TLM got the support of Unite North West England Service Industries Branch, who also made a generous donation to TLM.
We got support and a donation from Unite’s South West London Community Branch, chaired by ex-CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes.
We’ve also been on the picket lines for nurses and teachers’. I supported a GMB march by cleaners and security workers – many of them people of colour – at my local Croydon hospital this month.
We’ve had a good presence on Chris Kaba protests in Brixton and central London (see the story about the campaign on this site). And we were privileged to be invited to be a speaker at the annual United Families and Friend Campaign (UFFC) Trafalgar Square to Downing Street rally and procession held by relatives of deaths in police, prison and state custody victims, where I was interviewed about it by Press TV and The Voice newspaper. Deborah’s cousin Roger Sylvester was murdered by the police and she also attended the demo.
She represented us as a speaker at The Monitoring Group’s House of Commons Ricky Reel 25th anniversary meeting, hosted by John McDonnell MP, who became a TLM supporter. TMG, where Deborah works, enthusiastically backs TLM.
As journalists, we covered the PCS union President, General Secretary and activists who took part on the rain-drenched but really inspiring People’s Assembly national TUC-backed demonstration against government’s austerity policy of cuts to public services.
For Black History Month (BHM), I attended the RMT Black Solidarity Committee’s event, where the guest speaker was Professor Lez Henry. It was a pleasure to meet their leading RMT Black activist who supports us.
I did a well-attended BHM talk to mark the centenary of Indian communist and Labour MP Shapurji Saklatvala first being elected to parliament and got a piece published in the Morning Star marking the occasion. The event was hosted by the London Borough of Wandsworth and generously supported financially by Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Council, TLM and my publisher Peepal Tree Press (https://www.peepaltreepress.com/books/comrade-sak).
I continue to work with Black activists in unions, including the NEU, particularly their Black members’ NEC representative, Denise Henry, who printed up 300 Black educators-targeted TLM flyers, at no cost to us. Denise got them put on the seats of every delegate at her union’s annual Black Educators’ Conference in Yorkshire in November, for which we owe her a huge thanks.
The IWGB union, which has had successes against employers like Uber, by joining up and representing their workers, had its 10th birthday party in Brixton, south London, which I attended.
As a guest at the TUC’s General Council dinner in September, I was on a table with PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka, and spoke with him about TLM, which he was keen about. As I will with NAPO’s GS of colour comrade Ian Lawrence and NASUWT GS comrade Patrick Roach, with whom I also spoke. Patrick headed up the TUC’s Anti-Racism Taskforce in the aftermath of the momentous Black Lives Matter protests.
Leading TLM East Midlands supporter Shamsher Chohan ran a successful Stand By Me event in Nottingham, in October. It’s her innovative bystander intervention initiative, of which TLM was a supporter. Among those people she managed to get to attend were Alex Norris MP, a TLM supporter, and his assistant.
I’m pleased to have been able to boost our Digital Team, so ably led by Kevin White, and expertly advised by Professor Jawed Siddiqi, with the addition of Newark-based Navada Taylor. She’s an artificial intelligence and data scientist masters graduate, who passed her MSc with a distinction. Navada is a Black woman and, a youth – by our standards 🙂 Our aim for 2023 is to better connect with and keep up to date our supporters. And, to more efficiently collect subscriptions to aid our much-needed fundraising.
Among other projects, TLM are keen to roll our race and class-based Liberation School for community groups and the labour movement as soon as possible.
I continue to work with comrade Clive Lewis MP, who does parliamentary and Twitter stuff for TLM.
Finally, I’ve joined up TLM to the Together with Refugees national coalition, as recommended by our amazing youth and students officer comrade Irfan Chowdhury. They, like us, oppose the vicious Tory government’s racist and xenophobic policies that have cost the lives of migrants, exposed by its callous treatment of asylum seekers in the English Channel and at concentration camp-type detention centres, including after the firebombing of one of them by a white supremacist terrorist.
Nottingham supporters launched the first TLM branch outside London in the autumn and more will follow in the new year.
Please join The Liberation Movement or donate to the organisation here: https://www.liberationmovement.org.uk/join/