Cambridge Group

Concert: Refugees

Spoken word by HUGUETTE CHATTERTON / Music by HASEEB ARSHAD / BROKEN DIAMONDS / JOHNNY VOZA ZOLA

Saturday 25 June / 7.30 p.m. / Strummers, CB2 Bistro, 5–7 Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD

Last weekend Cambridge contributed six vehicles, carrying just under thirty people and over three thousand pounds' worth of aid, to the 250-vehicle Convoy to Calais in protest at the treatment of refugees by European governments. (In the event the convoy was refused entry by the French authorities: see the People's Assembly's report.) This weekend the Strummers music club has organized a concert to mark Refugee Week, and to say once again that refugees should be welcome in Britain.

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Taking back children's education

Monday 20 June / 7.30 p.m. / Friends' Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BA

The new Action Together for Schools campaign will hold a public meeting this evening, Taking Back Education, with the children's writer Alan Gibbons (books include The Shadow of the Minotaur and The Edge), the parent activist Anna Gordon, and the head teacher Tony Davies.

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Defending the public university

Monday 20 June / 5 p.m. / Room 2, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RX

A panel this afternoon will discuss the campaign for an alternative to the harmful marketization policies of the government's white paper on higher education, Success as a Knowledge Economy. Two founding members of the Council for the Defence of British Universities, Stefan Collini and David Midgley (University of Cambridge), and two contributors to the 'alternative white paper' titled Knowledge for a Successful Society, Kerry Harman (Birkbeck) and Sean Wallis (University College London), will speak and take questions.


Assembling the Cambridge convoy

The joint Cambridge effort towards the Convoy to Calais on Saturday 18 June, a moving demonstration of solidarity with refugees, is taking shape. We want an impressive convoy with as many vehicles as we can find – and as many passengers as we have seats to help unload the food, clothes, and other needed materials the convoy will transport to the warehouses that support the Calais camp.

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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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