Cambridge Group

Drop the unfair library charge

Cambridgeshire County Council announced last week that it plans to introduce a reservation fee of £1 for all adult library users from 13 June. As a result, users who are not able to travel into the centre of Cambridge but instead request books to collect at their nearest branch will in practice no longer have access to a free public library service.

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Agenda for the June CPA meeting

Wednesday 1 June / 7.30 p.m. / River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP

Everyone's welcome at our June meeting, at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre (halfway along the road, opposite the junction with Beche Road and next to a small playground). As always we'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's a first draft.

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Strike in the universities

Wednesday 25 May / 12.30 p.m. / Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, Cambridge CB1 1LG

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) on the academic and support staffs at Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge will strike tomorrow and the next day for better pay, gender equality, and improved job security. The employers' national offer of a 1.1 per cent pay rise doesn't address a decline of 14.5 per cent in the real value of average pay in higher education since 2009, and they have refused to offer any action on the stubborn gender pay gap or their increasing use of casual contracts.

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PTA meeting: parents, teachers, activists

Tuesday 24 May / 7.30 p.m. / CB2 Bistro (upstairs in the library), 5–7 Norfolk St, Cambridge CB1 2LD

Everyone's welcome at the second meeting of the new local campaign against the Conservative government's education policy (see the introduction given in our last meeting), which builds on the pupils' strike of 3 May against standard assessment tests (SATs). Among other things, the campaign has to agree a name!

Convoy to Calais planning meeting

Tuesday 24 May / 7.30 p.m. / CB2 Bistro (downstairs in the basement), 5–7 Norfolk St, Cambridge CB1 2LD

The Convoy to Calais on Saturday 18 June will be a demonstration of solidarity with refugees, protesting their treatment by the British and other European governments at the same time it offers practical aid to those camped at Calais. It's organized by the People's Assembly, Stop the War Coalition, Stand Up to Racism, Unite the Union, the Communication Workers' Union, TSSA, War on Want, Momentum, and the Muslim Association of Britain. In Tuesday's meeting we'll develop ideas to build local support for the convoy.

Truth for Giulio: public meeting

Friday 19 May / 7 p.m. / Friends' Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BA

More than four months after the murder of Cambridge student Giulio Regeni during his fieldwork in Egypt, this public meeting will bring together students, academics, trade unionists, and other local residents to continue the campaign for justice; not only for Giulio himself, but also for the many Egyptian citizens who have suffered a similar fate.

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Minutes of the May CPA meeting

There follow the minutes of our May meeting, including an introduction to the new education campaign, and with a report on the national demonstration of 16 April and a development of its demands attached. Our next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday 1 June at 7.30 p.m., at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP.

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#JC4PM tour in Cambridge


Tuesday 17 May / 7.30 p.m. / Cambridge Corn Exchange, Wheeler Street, Cambridge CB2 3QE

The struggle against austerity was greatly reinforced last year by the arrival of the Labour Party under its new leader Jeremy Corbyn, elected by an overwhelming majority of members and supporters. Now the #JC4PM tour has been organized 'to show support for Jeremy's campaign to transform the way politics is conducted', and for the 'politics of hope' he represents.

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Education campaign meeting

Tuesday 10 May / 7.30 p.m. / CB2 Bistro, 5–7 Norfolk St, Cambridge CB1 2LD

Local organizations and individuals will meet on Tuesday to discuss a broad campaign to fight the harmful proposals of the government's recent white paper on education, including the forced conversion of all schools in England into academies, the removal of the requirement for teachers to be qualified, and the removal of the requirement for parents to sit on governing bodies. The Cambridge People's Assembly will support this campaign in any way it can.

Pupils' strike

Tuesday 3 May / 10 a.m. / Brown's Field Community Centre, 31A Green End Road, Cambridge CB4 1RU

As previously noted on our mailing list, parents in Cambridge and elsewhere will take their children out of school today, in protest at the standard assessment tests (SATs) for seven and eleven year-olds that place children under stress and narrow their education. We'll meet from 10 a.m. to 12 midday at Brown's Field Community Centre, for a forest school session and bike track play.

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