magazine

Archive for the ‘QUAC’ Category

Pride

In Pride, QUAC on 26/06/2014 at 6:01 pm

cropped-images.jpg

Queers against the Cuts will be marching with the Queer Friends of Chelsea Manning on Saturday. Queer Friends of CM are registered to take part in the march and have asked us to join them. Details of where to meet are below – from Queer Friends of CM.

We’ll be near the corner of Baker Street and Dorset Street from 12pm – the parade sets off at 1pm. The nearest tubes are Baker Street and Marble Arch. We’re right in front of a Brazilian float, so that should be quite easy to spot!

Hopefully we can all meet up for a drink or a coffee after we reach Trafalgar Square

No More Austerity March

In Cuts, QUAC on 18/06/2014 at 6:28 pm

site_slide_no_more_austerity

Come join us on No More Austerity March

Saturday 21st June 2014

The march, called by the People’s Assembly,  will be from BBC HQ in Portland Place to Parliament Square.

We hope to form a LGBTQ block with other radical LGBTQ groups.

We shall be meeting up in front of the University of Westminster Regent’s Park Campus:

309 Regent St

London

W1B 2UW

https://www.google.com/maps/place/University+Of+Westminster/@51.5158938,-0.1414864,16z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x7eeacce91dcc14fe?hl=en-GB

12.45 – prompt

Looking forward to seeing you

Were Back – Next Queers Against the Cuts Meeting

In QUAC on 07/05/2014 at 6:37 pm
Meeting

Meeting

 

After a hibernation Queers Against the Cuts is back.

Our next meetings shall be at

 

Thursday 29 May 2014

 

7 pm

at

UNITE House,

128 Theobald’s Rd,

London WC1 8TN.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.519026,-0.1169441,16z

Unite House is wheelchair accessible.

Parking in the area is very poor.

Unite the house is however well serviced by public transport:

Tube:  Holborn

Buses: 1, 8, 25, 59, 68, 91, 98,168, 171, 188, x68,242, 243,  341, 521

 

 

 

Don’t Let the Racist Divide us: Up date on demo

In Anti-Fascism, QUAC on 31/05/2013 at 9:25 am

The police have told the BNP that their demo must take place in Whitehall. They initially said they would defy the police, and continue to assemble in Woolwich. But now they have moved their protest to central London, so the Unite against Fascism counter-demo has also moved.

Don’t let the racists divide us

Saturday 1 June

Assemble 12 noon

Downing Street, London – nearest tube Charing Cross

 

Get to the demo from the Trafalgar Square end of Whitehall. Don’t go to Westminster – the BNP are assembling there.

Queers Against the Cuts has invited members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans  Communities to come a join them at the demonstration  called by  Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in Woolwich this Saturday

Saturday 1 June,
12 noon
General Gordon Square,
Woolwich, London
SE18 6HX
 Next to Woolwich Arsenal DLR/Rail station
The UAF demonstration has been called in response to the way that the far right English Defence League and the Fascist British nationalist Party have exploited the terrible murder of Lee Rigby. This has included the BNP targeting Lewisham Islamic Centre where the Daily Mail, Evening Standard are claiming that Michael Adebolajo has visited.
“We were all horrified by the brute murder Lee Rigby, ” said Richard Farnos Co-Convener of Queers Against The Cuts. “Including  members of the Lewisham Islamic Centre who condemned it .  On the other hand the BNP and EDL have wallowed in the Lee Rigby’s death, opportunistically using it to spread hate and violence, demonising a whole community for political act of an individual.  It would rather be like suggesting that all heterosexual men where paedophiles because of the abuses of Jimmy Saville.”

Next Queers Against the Cuts Meeting

In QUAC on 24/02/2013 at 10:55 am

clapham libraryThe next meeting of Queers Against The Cuts will be:

Thursday

18th  April 2013

7  pm to 9 pm

Clapham Library

Mary Seacole Centre,

91 Clapham High Street,

SW4 7DB.

The Rise of Fascism in Europe and its Impact on the LGBT Community

In QUAC on 12/02/2013 at 11:17 am

7.30pm, Friday 22 February

Meeting Room 4, Clapham Library,

91 Clapham High St, SW4 7DB

The rise of Golden Dawn in Greece and other far right groups in Europe under austerity has echoes of the rise of fascism in the 30’s.  As part of LGBT history month, Queers against the Cuts are organising a multi-media event to explore and discuss the rise of fascism in Europe and its impact on LGBT communities in the then and now!

This event will include

  • Readings from Christopher Isherwood’s ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ by – David Sharkey
  • Greece – Fighting Fascism and Homophobia  by a speaker from Syriza (Greek political party)
  • Homophobia and Fascism in the UK by a speaker from Black Pride
  • LGBT Life in 20s and 30s Germany by Colin Wilson, Queers against the Cuts
  • Fighting Fascism and Austerity by Rachel Newton, Queers against the Cuts
  • Music by Denis Fernando

 

Clapham Common tube

Light refreshments available

 

 

Defending Lewisham’s Hospital

In QUAC on 28/01/2013 at 8:05 pm

lewisham hospital demo 26/1/13Along with the nurses who starred in the Olympics opening ceremony, footballers from Millwall and thousands local people who have never been on a demo, Queers Against the Cuts supported the mass demonstration against cuts at Lewisham hospital in south east London on Saturday 26th January 2013.

The 25,000 who marched in protest at plans to axe the A&E department and maternity wards at Lewisham Hospital to help tackle a £207 million private finance initiative crisis at two neighbouring hospitals.  The plans, that are due to be decided upon by  Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt by February 1 would mean that there would be one Accident and Emergency department for an area representing over 700,000 people.  Under the proposals, a mother needing an emergency Caesarean section at Lewisham will no longer have an operating theatre on site but will be sent by ambulance to Woolwich or Kings College Hospital in Lambeth.  Kings College as estimated that its already overworked A&E (one of the busiest in the country) have predicted its demand increased by 45 percent.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African church leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner and defender of LGBT rights has described proposals to axe casualty and maternity services at a highly-rated London hospital as “scandalous”.  Archbishop Tutu said “that he hoped that good sense will prevail.”

Queers Against the Cuts -Annual Report

In Cuts, QUAC on 13/01/2013 at 1:42 pm

Queers Against the Cuts was first launched on the 19th January 2011 in Brixton. The aims of the group were agreed to as follows:

• To campaign and defend all jobs, services and benefit rights and oppose privatisation.
• To highlight the disproportionate and adverse impact the huge reduction of public spending has on LGBTQ communities.
• To mobilise the LGBTQ communities against the cuts.
• To promote discussion of alternatives to the cuts and reconstruction of a more LGBT friendly public service
• To work in partnership and build alliances with others the fighting the cuts.

While at the time it felt like an uphill struggle, looking back over the last two years of Queers Against The Cuts we have achieved a lot more than we often realise and especially when you consider most our active members are largely extremely stretched activists. Nevertheless I feel that we had laid down solid foundations for Queers Against the Cuts both organisationally and financially for the future.

Membership

We have managed to build up a mailing membership of 119. By looking through the names the gender mix can be estimated at 50% male; 42% female; and 8% unclear or queer.

We have also had an affiliation from the Unison London Community and Voluntary Sector branch.

QUAC Meetings

Meetings sizes have been smaller, however since we have regularised and introduced political discussion items at the beginning of the meetings the numbers attended have, on the whole, crept up.

We organised a public meeting on 1st November 2011 at Conway Hall the speakers included Maria Exall, Chair of TUC LGBT committee, Phyll Opoku Director UK Black Pride, and Deborah Gold GALOP

We also organised an ‘open’ meeting on 28th July 2012 which began with a presentation by Joseph Healy on benefit cuts: DLA and HIV+ people, and Housing Benefit cuts.

Marches

A core part of our activity has been helping to ensure a visible LGBT presence on major marches and protests including:

• A Defend the NHS TUC ‘candle-lit’ vigil outside Parliament – 7 September 2011
• TUC ‘March for Alternative’ – 26th March 2011
• Pension Strike March – 30th November 2011
• TUC ‘Future that Works’ March on 20th October 2012.
• CoR Europe Against Austerity protest – 14th November 2012

Prides

Another core activity has been ensuring an anti cuts presence on Pride marches. We have taken the banner to the last two London Pride Marches and Brighton Pride marches where we have given out leaflets.

Last year we also attended the East London Pride with the banner taking a prominent place on the march. We also had a stall at Oxford House and a ‘platform’ speaker at one of the workshops.

At this year’s Brighton Pride we were guests of the new formed Brighton Queers Against Cuts (BQAC). The bloc was moved to the back of the march where we received harassment by the police. At one point members of BQAC were kettled for the ‘crime’ of letting people join the parade. If had not been for the intervention of Caroline Lucas MP and Peter Tatchell we would have been thrown off the march. Perhaps more worrying was that this was instigated by the Pride stewards with one them questioning whether we should be at Pride at all as we were “too overtly political”.

A more friendly pride has been Black Pride – which we attended two years running, where there was a higher level of political awareness among both the organisers and many of those attending.

Following the problems at World Pride in London QUAC members attended a meeting organised by the TUC. Colin Wilson was elected to represent QUAC at a future meeting which finalised the establishment of a set of principles which London Community Groups demanded that London Pride be based on.

Blog

We have set up and managed a blog on wordpress.com called queersagainstthecuts@wordpress.com. We have made 20 posts including reproducing press releases; reproducing articles published elsewhere; news items and information about events and activities. It has a small but regular readership and has played a vital role in raising our profile particularly at times of high interest such as after Brighton Pride.

Press Releases

We have produced over 5 press releases sent to the left press; LGBT press; and the Guardian. These press releases include:

• Panning the Prime ministerial speech given at the Downing Street reception for the LGBT community.
• Yes to sex and relationships education, No to Nadine Dorries’s sexist proposals on abstinence education
• Calling for Cameron to rethink Housing Benefit Cut
• Queers Kettled at Brighton Pride.
• Joining Us on 20th October 2012 – March and Remembrance

Out Against Austerity

We support the SERTUC LGBT Committee initiative to bring together LGBT community groups including 17-24-30 no to hate crime campaign; Brighton Queers Against Cuts; Left Front Art; NUS LGBT Campaign; Campaign for Homosexual Equality; The London Queer Social Centre, Queer Resistance; and Queer Strike; to work towards a maximising LGBT presence at the TUC ‘Future that Works’ March on 20th October 2012.

This finalised in a well attended public meeting on the 27 September 2012 at UNITE House in Holborn. (for which we moved our regular meeting).

Coalition of Resistance

It is QUAC policy to support all Anti-cuts alliances (including the Right to Work; National Shop Steward Network; People’s Charter; Unite the Resistance and Coalition of Resistance) while calling for uniting between all of them.

However the anti-cuts alliance with which we have worked with most closely with has been Coalition of Resistance (CoR). As Convenor I have attended National Council and Joseph Healy and Terry Conway are currently members of the Officers Committee (although not in a QUAC capacity).

We have had delegations to 3 conferences organised by CoR and we have had platform speakers in two workshops.

Other Activities

We have undertaken other activities including:

• Having speakers at Lambeth Peoples Assembly; the Campaign for Homosexual Equality
• Leafleted November 21st LGBT History Month pre-launch; Soho 19th November 2011; Queer Question Time February 2012; Mayoral Queer Hustings April 2012;
• Distributed over 2500 ‘postcard’ leaflets
• Produced QUAC enamel badges that are selling like hot cakes

The Future

At the October 2012 meeting the future of campaigning was discussed. The feeling of the meeting was that QUAC was at a turning point. Whereas hitherto we were largely raising awareness within other campaigns or community events QUAC needed to move on to focus, although not exclusively, on a limited number of specific campaign. The campaigns or issues it was agree to focus on for 2013 were:

• The effects of Housing Benefits/Council Tax Benefit cuts on LGBT people;
• The effects that benefit changes (particularly PIP) are likely to have on HIV+ people.
• Supporting and prompting the NHS “No Private Providers” campaign organised by Keep the NHS Public

It was also agreed that in LGBT history month we should organise an event that draws parallels between the rise of Fascism in Europe in the 30’s and now.

In order for these campaigns and events to be successful we need to strengthen the organisation including the following:

• Broaden the workload which is currently left to a very small number of individuals.
• Develop the blog including getting more regular posts and a wider group to write for it
• Build better relationship with other campaign groups particularly Queer Resistance and LGBT trade union groups.
• Get speakers at other groups
• Increasing the number of affiliates
• Increasing the number of regular donations
• Improving internal communication (possibly through a ‘private’ blog)

Other things we may consider in doing include:

• Writing a pamphlet on QUAC position
• Organising a funding event
• Producing more fundraising/promotional material
• Support the development of QUACs in other parts of the country.
• Organising social activity

R Farnos
Richard Farnos – Convenor

Queers Against The Cuts – Annual General Meeting

In QUAC on 04/11/2012 at 1:17 pm

The Annual General Meeting of Queers Against the Cuts shall be held on:

Thursday 29th November 2012

7 pm – 9pm

Vida Walsh Centre

2b Saltoun Road

Brixton

SW2 1EP

Please make every effort to come to this meeting as it will be important to moving on our campaigning activity.

We really need people to think what they can do to help develop the organisation, and yet we all appreciate that people have other commitments.  So instead of being a list of job titles such as Chair, Secretary etc to elect to we will draw up a list roles or task that people can take on one or more.

We also have to make some amendments to the constitution around voting, which while dull is necessary.  For a copy of the constitution please look at the ‘Constitution’ page.

Getting to the Vida Walsh Centre

The Vida Walsh Centre is in Saltoun Road, Brixton and sits on the southern edge of Windrush Square near (what will be) the Black Cultural Archive Centre . It is a small community centre connected to a small block of flats. As it is managed by Age UK Lambeth if find a large logo next to the door.

The full address for Vida Walsh Centre is 2b Saltoun Road, Brixton, SW2 1EP

For a map of the address of the area please click below:

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=531094&y=175152&z=0&sv=sw21ep&st=2&pc=sw2+1ep&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf

Rail: The nearest ‘mainline’ station is Brixton and the nearest tube Brixton, which is on the end of the Victoria Line. Herne Hill Station, which is on the Thameslink is hearty walk or short bus ride away.

Buses: Brixton is well served by buses including: 2, 3, 35, 37, 45, 59, 109, 118, 133, 159, 196, 250, 322, 333, 345, 355, 415, 432, P4 and P5.

To see the Transport for London ‘spider’ bus map for Brixton please click on the link below:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/brixton-2034.pdf

Parking: Most parking restrictions end in Saltoun Road and surrounding streets by 7 pm – however finding a space may be difficult. Immediately outside the centre is some disabled parking and parking for a car club.

All the welcome

LGBT and Disabled communities fighting the cuts

In Benefits, Cuts, QUAC on 04/11/2012 at 12:39 pm

By Dr Joseph Healy (This article first appeared in Eco-socialist)

Firstly, it is necessary to state that as a HIV+ gay man I straddle the divide between both communities but it is also necessary to point out, that there is already a large overlap between both communities. Many older LGBT people are disabled, there are many disabled people who are LGBT and, of course, there is the large number of people living with HIV, some of whom, like me, for over 20 years. Both communities are in the firing line for these cuts, although it is more obvious how it affects the disabled community than the LGBT one. The response of both communities has also been markedly different and there are lessons to be drawn from this and also warnings.

Apart from the large pan anti-cuts organisations such as Coalition of Resistance (where I am a national officer) a large number of anti-cuts organisations have arisen voicing the protest of various communities and putting their agenda forward to both government, trade unions and national anti-cuts bodies. These have ranged from Women Against the Cuts to Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts. One of the most active has been DPAC (Disabled People Against the Cuts) although it is necessary to state that there have been other disabled groups also actively campaigning against the cuts, such as Black Triangle, based in Scotland. DPAC have organised high profile protests, such as the Alternative Paralympics, which included a large picket outside the HQ of ATOS Medical Services. DPAC members have also spoken at national anti-cuts rallies and seem to have a national structure as well as several very active bloggers. They have brought to the attention of the press and public the deep impact that cuts in the welfare budget to payments such as Disability Living Allowance will have on the lives of disabled people, including those living with illnesses such as HIV, cancer and sickle cell.

Less obvious, and partly because of its relative lack of protest until now, is the impact of the cuts on the LGBT community. There is a general view of ‘the pink pound’ etc and that the LGBT community is insulated against austerity. This is not the case. Much of the LGBT voluntary sector which meets the needs of those such as young homeless LGBT people who have often been the victims of bullying etc, are threatened by the cuts. One such organisation is GALOP which deals with hate crime against LGBT people and also relations with the police. Many older LGBT people also live alone and a recent Stonewall survey indicated a high rate of social isolation and mental illness among this group because of a history of harassment and discrimination. In order to mobilise the LGBT community against the cuts we formed QUAC (Queers Against the Cuts) a year ago and I am its Treasurer. So far we have marched in the Brighton and London Pride parades, taken part in Black Pride and held public meetings on issues such as the impact of the cuts in housing benefit on young LGBT people as well as the reduction in disability benefits and their impact on HIV+ LGBT people. Both communities are being targeted by these cuts which hit the most vulnerable and both are determined to resist.