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Way Forward for Respect meeting “terrific success” – Respect now preparing to select mayoral candidate

June 20, 2010

Over a hundred people from all sections of the community packed out the theatre at Oxford House yesterday afternoon to hear Salma Yaqoob, George Galloway, Abjol Miah and others leading a discussion on the way forward for Respect. Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob declared the meeting “a terrific success”.

Abjol Miah, Councillor Harun Miah and Sabby Dhalu, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, led discussion about the threat from the English Defence League, the council leadership’s disastrous attempts to undermine the march and the role of the media in stimulating ignorance, prejudice and bigotry against the Muslim community. The importance of the march today was emphasised by all.

There was analysis of the election results which had been disappointing for Respect. However there were positives. In Tower Hamlets 17,000 voters had voted for Respect, a solid core from which to build. the Con/Dem coalition government was bringing in devastating cuts. Illusions in the progressive nature of the Lib Dems in particular would be dispelled. And here in Tower Hamlets it will be Labour’s 41 councillors who will be implementing the cutbacks, the redundancies and the pay cuts.

George Galloway pledged to do everything possible to ensure that Councillor Harun Miah was joined by more Respect councillors as soon as the opportunity arose.

Salma Yaqoob, the Respect Party leader, demonstrated why the cuts were not only unnecessary but counter-productive even in their own terms and were driven by an ideological agenda to cut welfare and make working people pay for the bankers’ crisis.

There was also brief discussion of the Viva Palestina initiative and its huge success in drawing attention to the plight of the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza.. Notice was given of the Viva Palestina Summer School in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon from 25th July to 31st July and the Viva Palestina convoy being organised to leave London after Ramadan in late September.

Finally the meeting voted to support the selection of a mayoral candidate. This will take place at a meeting in Tower Hamlets on 19th July.

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