Thursday, February 23, 2012

A meeting and a newspaper‏

Hackney Unites is working closely with the group: ‘Together for Transport’ and are holding a meeting next Tuesday 28 February at the Homerton Library from 6.30pm. The idea is to create a rail users’ group for the borough’s train passengers. With threats of ever higher fares and proposals to cut ticket offices it is essential that rail users find a voice. Please attend this meeting if you can, and if you are on facebook please share the event page:

Mobilising our community
Hackney Unites began life as ‘Hackney Unites against the BNP’ and we have not forgotten our roots. With the Mayoral and Greater London Assembly elections in May, we are working on the latest edition of our community newsletter. Already we have promises of articles from a wide range of community groups keen to showcase the best of Hackney. However, this paper is not just about celebrating Hackney, it is also about mobilising our community. At the last GLA election the racist, homophobic and sexist British National Party got a candidate elected to represent London (i.e. us). The proportional representation system means they need just 5% of all votes cast to win a seat. Last time they won just over 5% of all votes past and one of their candidates became a Greater London Assembly member. We are working with the campaign organisation HOPE not hate to encourage voters to participate in the election and make it harder for the BNP.

You can help in several ways
1)      If you have something to share with the community, please consider writing a short piece for the paper. The copy date is 29 February, so if you have not done so, please register your interest
2)      We are planning a ‘Hackney Speaks Up’ initiative. Why not send us a quote about why you will be voting in the May election (not who you will be voting for, but the issues that motivate you to vote). We will be publicising these.
3)      We need volunteers across the borough to help distribute the paper. If you can help cover a few streets in your ward, or would like some for your church, or other community organisation, then please email

Please forward this message on to anyone within our communities in Hackney who may wish to support either of these initiatives.

Hackney Unites is a coalition for social justice, if you are not already on our mailing list, you can sign up on-line (  to receive regular updates.

Many thanks

John Page

Hackney Unites

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Staff our Stations - Public Meeting Thurs 28 February

Voluntary Sector Cuts - report a cut

Voluntary Sector Cuts is a new collaborative project which maps intelligence about voluntary groups experiencing reductions in public sector funding.
If you're involved in a voluntary or community group which has been told its statutory funding will be reduced, you can be part of this work by sharing your story. Just fill in this simple form to share your experiences and the impact the cuts will have on the people who use your services.
Your contribution will be crucial to building a wider picture of the scale of the challenge ahead in your community, your region, or nationally. Cuts that you share here will be made available publicly on the Voluntary Sector Cuts website. Please note that your contact details will not be made public.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exciting New Market: Hackney Homemade FOOD

Hackney Homemade FOOD,
the area’s first dedicated food & drink market will see artisan
producers selling breads, cakes, cheeses, meat, game, fruit & veg,
chutneys and pickles placed alongside street food stalls offering
everything from homemade sausages and salt beef burgers to Japanese
katsu curry and quesadillas.

market will be held weekly in the stunning grounds of the Grade II
listed St John at Hackney church, a building dating back to at least
1275. This is just opposite Hackney Central London Overground station,
and close to Mare Street.

each Saturday from 11am - 4pm, the market will embrace Hackney’s
creative side, with regular art installations and community projects set
to complement the food offering. The first market on Saturday will see
the incognito resident artist paint using just vegetables, with the end
product being auctioned off and proceeds going to St John’s church,
where the market is held. Those who follow the market @HackneyHomemade
on twitter can help decide the theme on which the artist will paint by
tweeting with the hashtag
#HackneyVegArt. The artist will decide a theme from all the suggestions at 1pm on Saturday,
when the art will commence.

regular highlight will be the pop-up teashop, which is run by
Haggerston Tearooms and will feature a large selection of loose leaf
teas and herbal infusions, plus  the chance to make your own blend.
There’ll also be plenty of seats dotted around so that customers can
kick back, relax and enjoy a bite to eat from one of the stalls rather
than rush home with their shopping.

All the details of the
market can be found on the website at

For more information, please contact Ben Norum:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


A message from BARAC...

Dear All
A reminder of our public meeting this Thursday  - see below for updated list of speakers. Please pass on to your networks and hope to see you there.

BARAC will be holding a public meeting to discuss race and racism in the UK following on from the sentencing of 2 of the killers of Stephen Lawrence 19 years after Stephen was murdered.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 9th February, starting at 6.30pm. At University of London Union (Malet Suite), Malet Street, WC1E 7HY, nearest stations Euston, Euston Square, Warren Street, Goodge Street and Russell Square.

Chair, Lee Jasper, Joint Chair, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC)

Zita Holbourne, Joint Chair  BARAC / PCS National Executive

Dr Richard Stone, Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Panel Member

Muna Hassan, Occupy London Stock Exchange

Michael Abatan, Justice 4 Jay Campaign

Aaron Kiely , NUS National Executive

Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, Society of Black Lawyers

On Tuesday 3rd of January we saw 2 of the killers guilty of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence sentenced to imprisonment for their crime. 

Doreen and Neville Lawrence fought an 18 year battle in their quest for justice for their son and whilst this was a positive outcome, it has come 18 years too late and the battle is still not over as at least 3 of those who were part of the gang that murdered Stephen are free.

We commend Doreen and Neville  Lawrence for the inspiration, strength, hope and determination they have brought to so many others facing racist attacks and race discrimination – whilst enduring their own prolonged battle.

10 years after the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and MacPherson Report, Dr Richard Stone who was a panel member of the Inquiry produced a review report which exposed the failure of government to implement the vast majority of the original recommendations.

Discrimination is impacting on all aspects of our lives, cuts to jobs and services, attacks on terms and conditions, in access to education, the criminal justice system, policing to name but a few.

Come along and hear the views of our panel speakers and debate the way forward in addressing these issues including the MacPherson report recommendations that have still not been followed through.

Best Wishes

Zita Holbourne & Lee Jasper
Co-founders/ National Co-Chairs
Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC UK)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Speaking up for our communities‏

In May, London will elect its Mayor and the 25 members of the Greater London Assembly. While many will be focused on the no doubt epic struggle between ‘Ken’ and ‘Boris’, there is an equally important struggle: to ensure that London is not disgraced by having a representative of a racist organisation elected onto the Greater London Assembly.

Four years ago, in part because of low turnouts in inner city boroughs (which tend not to vote for racist parties) the British National Party (the BNP) made a significant electoral breakthrough. In a proportional representation system, their member Richard Barnbrook was elected to represent London on what is known as the ‘top up list’.

With just over 130,000 votes (just 5.4% of the total votes cast) a man who represents a party of racial hatred and division was elected as a London-wide Assembly member to represent us (yes, us!).

The BNP went on the following year to win two seats to the European Parliament, and at one time it looked as if they may get an MP elected and win control of Barking and Dagenham Council. This was followed by the formation of the so called English Defence League, a bunch of racist thugs who have tried to bring terror to the streets of multiracial areas, such as Tower Hamlets.

Fortunately, and thanks to the hard work of community organisers up and down the country, the BNP’s electoral gains were stopped in their tracks, as communities mobilised to ‘get the anti-BNP vote out’. As a consequence, they were wiped out in Barking and Dagenham, and across the country. We need to ensure that the GLA election sees the continued demise of this truly nasty ‘party’.

How did they win?
Put simply, we did not get enough of our people to the ballot box. The BNP needed just 5% of votes cast to win a seat, so despite over 94% of voters picking other parties, the BNP still won an assembly seat.

To stop them winning again in May we need 19 anti-BNP votes to counter every one they receive. Our task, therefore, is to ensure that everyone in Hackney who opposes the ‘politics’ of hatred understands the consequence of not voting: everyone who votes for a party other than the BNP makes it harder for them to win a seat, while everyone who stays at home makes it easier for them.

Hackney Unites is committed in our constitution to ‘challenge racism and other ideologies of exclusion and division.’ To challenge the hatred of the BNP we will be running a voter registration and voter mobilisation campaign in the run up to the election in May. We will, as in previous years, be working closely with our long-term allies in the HOPE not hate campaign. The aim is to ensure that:

  • enough people vote for parties that don’t promote hatred and division in our communities,
  • the BNP lose their one seat, and
  • we restore some dignity to the London Assembly.
We will also be seeking to ensure that those politicians who want our votes understand that we expect them to be accountable to our communities. Hackney will face many challenges over the next four years, and we will need GLA Assembly members who are going to speak up for us.

We are planning to undertake a voter registration and mobilisation campaign: to get people on the electoral register, and then to get them out to the ballot box. By doing this we can not only beat the BNP, but we can strengthen our communities, and remind other politicians of their obligations to us.

Community newspaper
We are preparing another edition of our community newspaper written by and for our communities which will highlight the issues around the election (and insist that politicians listen to the needs of our communities). If you want to contribute something to this paper then please visit: to register your interest. If you have a good news story to tell about our community, a campaign which needs promoting, or if you simply want to explain the needs of the community you represent, then get in touch. We are also looking for photographs of our communities for the paper. Let us know if you have good quality photos in electronic format.

The deadline for all articles to be with us is Friday 24 February, but you will need to register your interest immediately if we are to reserve space for you.

Once the paper is published we will need lots of volunteers to help distribute it door-to-door, and at community venues across the borough.

How you can help
We are planning a weekend of voter registration activity over the weekend of 25 – 26 February. Put the date in your diary and email john.page45@btinternet to let us know if you want to get involved.

Community newspaper distribution
If you can help distribute in your street, or co-ordinate delivery in streets in your area let us know (email Also, can you join us on a series of co-ordinated deliveries on either over the Easter weekend of 7th or 8th of April, or 14th or 15 April.

We hope to distribute 50,000 papers, so we will need as much help as is possible. Drop an email to John.page45@btinternet with offers of help.

Other news
Please help publicise out unemployed workers project which now meets every Friday from 12 noon until 2pm at the Navarino Mansions tenants’ room, Navarino Mansions on Dalston Lane (junction with Navarino Road). More details from

Hackney Rail User Group
With fares rising above the rate of inflation, and a government report calling for the closure of ticket offices, it is time for rail users to develop an organised voice in the borough. Hackney Unites is working with a range of groups under the umbrella ‘Together for Transport’ with the aim of creating an authentic voice for Hackney rail users. We are holding a meeting at Homerton Library on Tuesday 28 this month. Can you help us distribute leaflets at any of the rail stations in the borough? If so please contact George:

Please cascade this on
If you are not already on our mailing list, you can sign up on-line ( to receive regular updates.

Many thanks

John Page
Hackney Unites