Cambridge Group

Minutes of the March CPA meeting

There follow the minutes of our March meeting, with a report on our February demonstrations attached. Our next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday 6 April at 7.30 p.m., at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP.

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National demonstration: Health, Homes, Jobs, and Education

Saturday 16 April / 1 p.m. / Gower Street and Euston Road, London NW1

The People's Assembly has called a national demonstration for Saturday 16 April, demanding the basic social needs that austerity policies can't answer: health, homes, jobs, and education. Our London demonstration with 250,000 people last June was the first strong retort to the Conservatives' narrow election win in May. Now we have to show again the growing pressure for an alternative – and as with previous London demonstrations, the Cambridge People's Assembly will provide free transport!

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National demonstration: Refugees Welcome

Saturday 19 March / 12 midday / Portland Place, London W1A

Stand Up to Racism has called a national demonstration on UN Anti-Racism Day to restate that refugees are welcome in Britain, against the spiteful appeals of the rightwing press and the Conservative government. With others across Europe, we'll stand against racism in all its forms, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

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Budget day protest

Wednesday 16 March / 6 p.m. / Market Square (outside the Guildhall), Cambridge CB2

We're sorry to have had to cancel this planned protest.

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Support the junior doctors

Wednesday 9 March / 8 a.m. / Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ

Last month the government announced that it would quit negotiations with the British Medical Association (BMA) and simply impose its unsafe, unfair new contract on junior doctors in England. The junior doctors are beginning their fight against imposition with a 48-hour industrial action, providing emergency care only between 8 a.m. on Wednesday 9 March and 8 a.m. on Friday 11 March. They have the full support of the Cambridge People's Assembly, and we'd urge anyone who can to visit their picket at Addenbrooke's Hospital between 8 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

For Giulio Regeni (1988–2016)

As activists and trade unionists, we are appalled and saddened by the cruel murder in Cairo of Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge doctoral student working on Egyptian labour organization. His body, marked by torture, was found nine days after he disappeared with many Egyptian citizens on 25 January, during a crackdown on the fifth anniversary of the country's revolution.

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Agenda for the March CPA meeting

Wednesday 2 March / 7.30 p.m. / River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP

Everyone's welcome at our March 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 the latest draft.

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Meeting: Islamophobia, the New Racism

Tuesday 1 March / 7.30 p.m. / Keynes Hall, King's College, Cambridge CB2 1ST

The crude and hateful remarks of the would-be US presidential candidate Donald Trump have opened eyes, but reasonable people may still be reluctant to accept the idea that racism can target the religion of Islam. Yet what's happened in recent years, especially since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, can be understood as Muslim identities being recast as markers of racial difference – and so made available to hate.*

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National demonstration: Stop Trident

Saturday 27 February / 12 midday / Marble Arch, London W1H

Decommissioning the Trident nuclear weapons system and cancelling its £100bn replacement are an important part of the alternative to austerity. These weapons have no battlefield role, but are designed to kill civilians in terrifying numbers; their use would be criminal, and today the ensuing exchange would devastate life on our planet. Trident is one item of government spending that should be cut.

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Meeting: Cambridgeshire Health Service in Crisis

Wednesday 24 February / 7 p.m. / Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, Cambridge CB1 1LG

Addenbrooke's Hospital and the Rosie have been placed in special measures. The future of some clinical services at Hinchingbrooke Hospital is doubtful in view of a possible merger. And the £800m, five-year contract to provide older people's and community care services in Cambridgeshire, awarded to the NHS consortium UnitingCare after an expensive tendering process, has collapsed after eight months. The austerity policies of underfunding and marketization have left public healthcare in our county in crisis.

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