Archive for February, 2010

Students & University Staff Fight the Cuts!

February 25, 2010

Students and Staff from Portsmouth University stood united yesterday under the banner ‘No Cuts! Defend Jobs and Education!’as they held a rally outside University House in protest against proposed cuts to the University Art Department.

 Student Hannah Besford, 19, who chairs the University of Portsmouth Against Education Cuts campaign said: ‘We have decided to fight back against these cuts. We are fighting for our lecturers, for ourselves and for our education.

‘This is about raising awareness and getting students to realise if we put up enough of a fight we may be able to protect our education.”

 The campaign is supported by UCU, the University and College Union, Portsmouth Students’ Union, Portsmouth Socialist Students Society, Portsmouth SWSS and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: Portsmouth North Campaign.

 The proposed cuts are but the first in a series of attacks on education which will take place in the run up to the election and beyond ,and it is crucial that students and workers stand together in solidarity.

 The fact that these cuts are starting before a general election reveals how the big three parties speak with one voice on the question of cuts. The only debate in Westminster today is how quickly the axe men will be unleashed.

 The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition stands alone as the voice against cuts and in defence of Jobs, services and quality education.

The T.U.S.C Portmouth Campaign is pledged to standing alongside workers and students to resist cuts and defend jobs wherever cuts will be proposed. We believe that only by standing together will we, the ordinary working people of this city, be able to defeat the cuts, defend our jobs and build a real political alternative that fights for us.

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Save Portsmouth FC: Can a Supporters Trust Help Fans Reclaim the Game

February 12, 2010

Save Portsmouth FC: Can a Supporters Trust Help Fans Reclaim the Game?

“Open the books! We don’t want your lies!” This was the message to the owners of Portsmouth Football Club as 200 fans met to launch the ‘Portsmouth Supporters Trust’ in the same week the club was given 7 days to challenge a high court winding up order.

The fans anger at the continued financial mismanagement of the club failed to be calmed by the club’s official spokesman who emptily promised “everything will be fine, what ever happens next week.”

“It’s not the threat of relegation, or the performance on the pitch we’re angry with,” said one supporter, “it’s the fact that these owners have been taking our money and we don’t know where it’s gone. We’ve been lied to and left in the dark. We want the books to be opened.”

The meeting was also addressed by Liberal Democrat City Council leader Gerald Vernon Jackson, who outlined what little the council would do to safeguard Fratton Park, the team’s historic stadium, if the club went to the wall.

 TUSC Portsmouth North supporters, welcomed the foundation of the trust and challenged the councilor, asking why the council could not take the stadium under public ownership as a community asset in a form of ‘local nationalisation,’ a demand echoed by fans who want the new trust to fight for supporters.

TUSC Portsmouth North calls for the new supporters trust to be a  campaigning organisation which represents and fights for fans. We want the owners of Portsmouth Football club to be held to account, the books to be opened and for the club to be put back in the heart of the community

Bob Crow launches Portsmouth TUSC

February 8, 2010

Bob Crow launches Portsmouth TUSC

 “Every victory we’ve won since the war is up for grabs.” That was the rallying call from RMT general secretary Bob Crow as he launched the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) general election campaign in Portsmouth North by outlining the need to defend jobs, homes and services from the most savage attacks in a generation.

Over 60 local trade unionists and socialists attended the meeting at Unity Hall in Fratton and unamimously endorsed Mick Tosh, RMT activist and former RMT executive committee member as the TUSC parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth North.

While Bob’s speech was mainly aimed at the attacks being prepared by the big three parties against working people he also stressed the danger of the far right. When considering his own constituency of Barking, where BNP leader Nick Griffin intends to stand, Bob commented: “You need to build homes, build hospitals and give people jobs, that’s how you beat the BNP and that’s how we’ll lay the foundation for a new political party for working men and women.”

His message of defiance was matched by contributions from the floor, as speakers who have participated in industrial struggles across the region, including the postal strike, the Ford dispute in Southampton and the Vestas occupation on the Isle of Wight, declared their support for Mick Tosh and TUSC.

As people queued to volunteer to help and make donations the spirit of the meeting was summed up by one local man who, on collecting his TUSC Portsmouth North membership card, said: “I’ve been waiting over thirty years for something like this.”

Ben Norman -Socialist Party Portsmouth