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Hustings for the next 3 nights – public meetings so all welcome.

Tomorrow is Human Rights, organised by Amnesty International, at Northumbria University, Ellison Building, 7pm. Free entry.

Thursday is on the Arms Trade, organised by MedAct Tyneside, at Quaker Meeting House, Archbold Terrace, Jesmond, 7pm. Free entry.

Friday is Question Time on Europe organised by PCS – Make Your Vote Count campaign, 6pm. Free entry. Followed by Rock Against the Fascists gig at 8pm, Stage 2 Northumbria University, with Sticky Fingers and special guests – tickets £3 in advance or £5 on the door.

Come along and grill all your candidates!

PS The campaign has taken off so amazingly that my garden has suffered. But I have managed some rescue work over the weekend. I am also of course looking after dozens of seedlings from my school gardening club. Last week several Year 5 children came to visit our courtyard and were all asking to be in the club next year – so good to have the next enthusiastic bunch waiting in the wings!



    • phil mann
    • Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm
    • Permalink

    I am an ardent supporter of the Green Party and will sing from the rafters about their policies. What bugs me is that serious events like the public meetings mentioned in your blog are cheapened by events like ‘rock against the fascists’ or given over to arms trade campaigners. Every time I try and get people to vote green they fall back to the tired image of tree hugging hippies campaigning against society’s ills. ‘Rock against Fascism’ has no specific message and the speakers tend to have very narrow view of the subject (as is to be expected from students). I want to see my Party taking a more serious view of the forthcoming elections and talking about their policies, not the policies of the students at Northumbria University. If people want to spout about the arms trade and fascism then let them but not under the Green banner please. We need to be in power before we can tackle such huge issues and being so general loses us votes.

    • shirleyford
    • Posted June 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm
    • Permalink

    Phil, I’m sorry if you took my post about the hustings to mean that we have not run a serious campaign. A campaign team of active members from right across the North East Region has been working hard for months. Our Regional website has reflected that serious work. My blog has had to take a relatively low priority because of the sheer workload of media (tv, radio and press), organising (and delivering) leaflets and local newsletters, responding to a deluge of email enquiries and an unprecedented number of requests to speak at meetings and hustings.

    So my post about the three hustings was really to give a flavour of the variety of events. The two other candidates and myself have also attended hustings organised by the NFU (National Farmers Union), the Churches Commission (particular focus on trade justice), and the Global Health NGO Medact on Climate Change.

    The event on the Arms Trade was not a student event, it was an audience of committed health workers who genuinely wanted to hear the Green Party’s policies on this – which are excellent and highly ethical – something I am proud to sing from the rafters.

    The event prior to the Rock Against the Fascists gig was organised by the PCS (Public and Civil Service) union and although it was in Northumbria University, the majority attending were PCS members. Their questions were on policy on public services and again I was able to highlight our strong policy on protecting public services and opposing privatisation, eg of the Tyne and Wear Metro. I got a good response from the audience and several people came up at the end and said they were going to vote Green – as they did at all the events I spoke at.

    The gig after may well have been mostly attended by students, but anything that aims to politicise students and make them aware of the threat of the far right, must surely be a good thing. I want more students to be politically active and of course to join the Green Party. I feel it must be one of our priorities to reach students, in sixth form colleges as well as universities, and get Young Greens groups going in the North East. It’s certainly been a successful strategy in places like Norwich and Lancaster.

    I disagree that the Rock Against the Fascists gig had no specific policy. Like the Love Music Hate Racism events, it has a very specific aim to stop the rise of the racist BNP. The point of having lots of such events in the few weeks was specifically because the BNP have made the European election campaign a priority. They have thrown everything they have at winning an MEP seat, their target being the NW with leader Nick Griffin standing there. Let’s just hope the broad and united campaign against the BNP has worked, and that we don’t see Griffin elected on Sunday night….

    I would urge you to put your ardent support into action and get involved in the next election campaign – the general election, which could be rather sooner than anyone thought.

    Trust this answers your concerns, but feel free to continue the discussion!

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