Monday, March 12, 2012

Hackney Unites update...get involved.

This email gives you notice of a couple of forthcoming meetings which we have been asked to publicise and asks for your support in distributing our forthcoming community newspaper.

Can you spare an hour to help organise our communities?
Hackney Unites is asking you to set aside one hour in early April to help distribute our free community paper: Hackney Unites. The articles are written, it is going to be a great read, but we need help to get it distributed through letter boxes and community outlets in the borough.

It takes just one hour to distribute 300 copies door to door, so we need just over 150 volunteers to take 300 and put them through their neighbours’ doors. If you can help, please sign up on-line: or simply respond to this email with your offer of help.

There are three key themes:
  • Mobilising our communities to vote in the Greater London Assembly elections. We want to play our part in preventing a repeat of the shameful result in 2008 when the racist British National Party gained a seat on the London Assembly. Due to the proportional representation system the BNP need just 5% of the London wide vote to win a seat, put another way, there needs to be 19 non BNP votes for every one they get. This is why every anti-BNP vote in Hackney counts.
  • Ensuring that politicians that stand for office in Hackney are answerable to our communities. This is why we are holding a hustings meeting on 29 April, when residents can put their questions to the four leading candidates for the North East London assembly seat. The hustings meeting will be the front page article under the headline: ‘They want our votes: we want answers!’ To help us estimate number please pre-register, and encourage others to do so by visiting the following website:
  • Organising our communities: with soaring unemployment, a housing crisis, and our services being threatened by cuts and privatisation, we need to find a strong collective voice. The paper will be featuring articles on the campaign and cultural groups in the borough who are trying to make a positive difference for our communities.

It is going to be a great read, so please, as requested above, if you can help with distribution, let us know: either complete the on-line registration or reply to this email

The papers will be available from 6 April and needs to be distributed before the 27 April.

Free Schools
If it is hard to imagine why anyone would be against a ‘free’ school, then it is a credit to whoever invented the name for schools which may well cost our children’s education very dearly. A private consortium is claiming the support of 500 parents to establish a ‘free school’ in Hackney. There are lots of concerns about these privately run schools, which suck cash out of the education budget and target resources at those children who are already the most likely to succeed. Local teachers, parents and residents are keen that there is a proper debate about our children’s education and have called a meeting at the CLR James library, Dalston Square, from 7-8:30pm on Wednesday 14th march.

Cultural links with Palestine
A group of young Palestinian women are currently on a skills sharing visit to the UK. The Beit Sourik/Hackney Twinning Group are keen to promote cultural links between Hackney and Beit Sourik in Palestine. They have organized an exchange which will bring ten young women from Palestine to spend ten days with ten young women from the UK. The project will give them an opportunity to find out about each other's lives as young women in Palestine and Britain and in country and city. They will prepare and teach each other a variety of skills, contrast the skills women had in the past and that young women need now and consider together how women's lives are changing. They will take pictures, video and write about the experience to make web material to record this experience.

On 20 March there will be an opportunity for members of our communities to meet some of these young Palestinian women and find out what their life is like in the occupied Palestinian territories.

6 - 7.30 pm
Basement Room, Dalston CLR James Library,
Dalston Square,
E8 3BQ
Refreshments available (donations welcome!)

This meeting has been organised by the Beit Sourik/Hackney Twinning Group
For more information email or phone 020 8802 4604

Unemployed Workers Project
With unemployment at a high, and with youth unemployment at a disgraceful level, Hackney’s unemployed are getting themselves organised. They meet every Friday at the tenants room in Navarino Mansions, on Dalston Lane (junction with Navarino Road) from 12 till 2pm, with a lunch included. They have regular guest speakers, are looking to create a workers co-operative to market the skills of the borough’s unemployed and are planning a major conference/gathering in Dalston in the next few months. If you know someone who is unemployed, (or under-employed) please encourage them to get involved. More info from

Please feel free to forward this email on to anyone within our communities in Hackney who may wish to support 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

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