Cambridge Group

Year two in Cambridge

We present an unsigned review of the work of our second year. The Cambridge group was founded at the end of June 2013.

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What next? Special meeting

Wednesday 19 August / 7.30 p.m. / 82 Akeman Street Community Room, Cambridge CB4 3HG

As announced on the mailing list last week, we're holding a special meeting tonight to plan for the rest of the year and to discuss the direction of the group: that is, how we can avoid the Cambridge People's Assembly becoming another local campaign group and make sure it's an instrument that other groups can use as needed! This will be an open discussion without an agenda.

Please notice the new, wheelchair-accessible venue.

Agenda for the August CPA meeting

Wednesday 5 August / 7.30 p.m. / CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD

Everyone's welcome at our monthly meeting, in the basement room at the CB2 Bistro. As always we'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's the draft which circulated on our mailing list at the end of last week.

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End zero-hours contracts at Sports Direct

Saturday 18 July / 12.30 p.m. / Sports Direct, Lion Yard, Cambridge CB2 3NA

Cambridge Unite Community has called a picket of this branch of Sports Direct in protest at the company's practice of hiring the majority of its staff on insecure zero-hours contracts. This is a company which, as reported in today's Guardian, can afford to pay its managers total bonuses of £155m after a pre-tax annual profit of £300m. It and others can afford better terms for workers.

Towards democracy

Our friends and affiliates in The Cambridge Commons held a remarkable conference on democracy in Britain, Magna Carta 2015, at the Cambridge Union on Saturday 6 June (one of a series of events sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund to mark the eight hundredth anniversary of the charter). We present below the three reports written by one speaker, Guy Aitchison (King's College London), originally published on the Politics in Spires blog in its Great Charter Convention series.

We thank Guy and Politics in Spires for their kind permission to republish the reports.

  1. The prospects for democratic renewal
  2. Issues for democracy in the digital age
  3. The public realm, parties and corporate infiltration
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Minutes of the July CPA meeting

Please find below the minutes of our July meeting. Our next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday 5 August at 7.30 p.m., at the CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD.

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Emergency austerity budget protest

Wednesday 8 July / 5.30 p.m. / Station Road (outside the railway station), Cambridge CB1

On Wednesday the chancellor, George Osborne, will give his second budget in four months, to tell us what he didn't want to tell us before the election – above all, how the Conservative government will find an extra £12bn in welfare cuts.

The prime minister, David Cameron, has hinted at major cuts to tax credits. Journalist observers suggest disability and housing benefits are other likely targets, while the household benefit cap introduced by the Conservative-led coalition government may be lowered. Wealthy households meanwhile are expected to be given an inheritance tax break.

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National demonstration at the Conservative Party conference

Sunday 4 October / 12 p.m. / Manchester Central Convention Complex, Windmill Street, Manchester M2 3GX

The People's Assembly has called a four-day national demonstration against austerity at the Conservative Party's 2015 conference. After Cambridge's terrific response to the End Austerity Now demonstration in London on 20 June – we took around 160 protesters there and back on three coaches, while more made their own way – the Cambridge People's Assembly will again provide transport! This time it's going to be cheap rather than free: tickets are £15 (waged, full time), £10 (waged, part time), or £5 (unwaged).

You can book your seat on Eventbrite.

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Minutes of the June CPA meeting

Please find below the minutes of our June meeting. Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 1 July at 7.30 p.m., in the library room upstairs at the CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD.

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From a diary

There follows a diary entry made on the return journey from the End Austerity Now demonstration in London last week, by one of around 160 protesters who travelled on three coaches from Cambridge.

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