Report of CoR Steering Committee Meeting

The Coalition of Resistance held a Steering Committee Meeting on 25 May 2012. Listed below is a brief summary (BPACC is affiliated to CoR and was represented at this meeting):

Present: 49 members.

Romayne Phoenix, Chair, welcomed the platform speakers.

Wendy Savage, Co-Chair of Keep our NHS Public, outlined the cuts to the NHS and the privatisation agenda. The current focus of the campaign is to persuade Chairs of Clinical Commissioning Groups to adopt John Lister’s pledges of no commercial confidentiality, keeping services, and local consultation. GPs should have patient participation groups and members should use them to agitate.

Andy Bain reported on the TSSA conference and anti-austerity debate. The conference had affiliated to the Coalition of Resistance and Greek Solidarity Campaign. Linking further with trade unions was an open door for CoR.

Rachel Newton of People’s Charter stressed that the 20th October demo was an opportunity to bring many anti-cuts groups and unions together; she proposed a joint fringe on cuts at the TUC 9-12th September.

Andrew Burgin drew attention to reasons for the weakening of the government’s position since the March demonstration. The increasing crisis across Europe showed that we needed to be part of the link up with the European left, and encourage the TUC to invite international speakers. We need a committee to build for the demonstration, and will organise a central London rally.

15 members spoke from the floor. Among points made were the following:

A big demonstration could change the balance of forces; the march needs to have an NHS focus and section near the front; the NUS has called a march for the same day; the message should be ‘their crisis’, ‘no cuts’; CND is organising a ‘Cut Trident’ section on the march; should a rally be placed before or after the demo; getting speakers into local groups is important; local mobilisation via trades councils; we should use 38 degrees and online publicity.

Paul Mackney spoke from the platform on the Greek Solidarity Campaign, the recent delegation to Greece, activities and meetings, and the current party situation in Greece. The SERTUC had voted to affilate to the Greek Solidarity Campaign and there was strong support from other unions. It was suggested by Jeremy Drinkall and agreed that there would be a protest at the Greek embassy on the day of the election in Greece Sunday 17th June. Jeremy has agreed to help arrange this. The Greece Solidarity Campaign will work on this too – there is some discussion as to whether the embassy is the best place to go and we will also talk to the ‘We are all Greeks’ group. Further information about this will follow.