Socialism Across the Downs

Robin Hanford of Sussex LRC writes:

Readers will be familiar with Trotsky’s concept of ‘permanent revolution’ — well in Sussex we have had to develop a theory of ‘permanent activism’ just to keep up with local events.

Robin Hanford

Robin Hanford – Photo: Louise Whittle

Recent campaigns we have been involved in include a dispute between privatised GMB health workers and their unethical employer Sodexo after they failed to pay staff properly. These situations may only get worse now that Matthew Kershaw (who London readers may recognise as the person who led the omnishambles of the South London Healthcare Trust) is in charge of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, and Unite has already begun opposing Kershaw’s cuts.

We are also gearing up for a major wave of industrial action as a result of the “Pay Modernisation Programme” (big cuts) being introduced by the Green Party in Brighton and Hove with support from the Tories which will leave hundreds of workers £95 per week worse off. This proves what Sussex LRC has said since it was formed, that you can’t trust the Greens when it comes to protecting public sector pay!

The EDL will be trying to march through Brighton on the 22nd of April in its “March for England”. We will be opposing it on the streets and will be hoping for a show of antifascist strength as inspirational as the Battle of the Level that took place in Socialism Across the Downs Brighton against the BUF in 1948.

No article about our activities would be complete with out a mention of our Brighton Fringe events coming up in May where we will be proud to host speakers such as John McDonnell MP, Katy Clark MP, Mark Serwotka (PCS), Christine Blower (NUT), Owen Jones, and of course Tony Benn and many more as part of the largest arts festival in England. Due to our involvement in the activities above, not to mention other campaigns and the Sussex University Occupation, we have made many friends who are very eager to come along and as a result some events are half full already. So please book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!


Photo: Sussex LRC

Photo: Sussex LRC

On Saturday 6 April 500 NHS workers, patients and local people turned out on the mass demo against proposed cuts at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals in Brighton.

The demonstration followed the appointment of new NHS Chief Executive Matthew Kershaw, whose first act in the role was to announce £30million of cuts to staff and services within the Trust. Kershaw comes to the south coast fresh from spearheading the attack on Lewisham Hospital.

The demonstration was the initiative of GMB’s Southern Region, and attracted wide support from other trade unionists as well as members of the local Labour Party.

The banner of the Sussex Labour Representation Committee led the protestors down the windy hill to a lively rally at which speaker after speaker stressed the need to match the mobilisation seen in Lewisham – and to tell Kershaw he’s not wanted in Sussex.

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