Cambridge Group

Agenda for the April CPA meeting

Wednesday 15 April / 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. (We moved from our usual first Wednesday to avoid a clash with another meeting to which we'd been kindly invited to send a speaker.) We'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's the draft which circulated on our mailing list last week.

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Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public hustings

Monday 13 April / 7.30 p.m. / Wesley Centre Nave, Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, Cambridge CB1 1LG

This event wasn't quite finalized when we noted some forthcoming Cambridge hustings events last week, but our close allies in Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public will hold their own hustings on Monday 13 April, examining the parliamentary candidates' views on the ongoing privatization of the NHS and its consequences. The candidates will be Chamali Fernando (Conservative Party), Julian Huppert (Liberal Democrats), Rupert Read (Green Party), and Daniel Zeichner (Labour Party).

People's Convention for the NHS

Saturday 11 April / 10 a.m. / Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW

The People's Convention for the NHS has called a national conference ... to unite broad layers in defence of our NHS and to bring together campaign groups, activists, health workers, trade unions, pensioners' groups and anybody concerned with the future of our NHS. We aim to build the strongest forces possible and maximum unity in the fight for our NHS.

Among many good speakers at the conference we have to mention the admirable journalist and signatory to the People's Assembly founding statement, Owen Jones (latest book The Establishment); our terrific guest of December, John Hilary (War on Want, latest book The Poverty of Capitalism), explaining why the TTIP trade deal is so dangerous; our friend Martin Booth (Stop the NHS Sell-Off in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough), speaking from experience on 'NHS Privatization: How to Fight it and Win'; and the People's Assembly's national secretary, Sam Fairbairn. Another CPA friend, Steve Sweeney, has been working hard to organize the Convention. Its supporters include Keep Our NHS Public, People's Vote for the NHS, and of course the People's Assembly alongside many others.

We're asked to register to attend this free event.

Protest against privatization at Cambridge Central Library

Saturday 28 March / 10 a.m. / Outside the Central Library, Lion Yard, Cambridge CB2 3QD

Proposals put to the County Council's Highways and Infrastructure Committee for 17 March would mean a major loss of free public space for library users ... The proposal to lease a 'large proportion' of the third floor to a multinational corporation would see those who cannot afford to pay crowded on to the remaining two floors.

Make sure to attend a protest and petition-signing tomorrow against the privatization of part of Cambridge Central Library! The third floor presently houses the library's local studies collection, community meeting rooms, and cafe, but proposals passed by the County Council would have it leased to Kora, a subsidiary of the multinational office services corporation Regus Group. The protest has been called by Cambridge and District Trades Council and Unison Cambridgeshire County Branch (whose press release we quoted above). The independent petition against the proposals, opened last week, already has over 2,000 signatures.

Election hustings

The Cambridge People's Assembly draws members from at least six political parties, and from the majority who don't belong to any. Since the only thing on which we necessarily agree is that austerity is ruinous and must be defeated, we won't support any candidate for any political office. Rather we came together to support political action outside the structures of government, by trade unions, community and student organizations, and all others working under the word solidarity.

That doesn't leave us as bystanders when the politics of office press most urgently, as they will in the weeks before the general election on 7 May. We think the argument against austerity has to be carried into the election campaign wherever possible – so we're pleased to be involved in some of the hustings events below.

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Minutes of the March CPA meeting

Please find below the minutes of our March meeting. Our next meeting will be held in early April.

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NHS Not for Sale, with Allyson Pollock

Monday 16 March / 6 p.m. / Friends' Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BA

The Coalition Government abolished the public NHS in England when it passed the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 ... The Act effectively reduces the NHS to a funding stream and a logo. Behind the logo, corporations bid for health contracts in a regulated market.

The public health doctor and campaigner for a public NHS, Allyson Pollock (author of NHS plc, on an earlier stage of privatization under New Labour), will show 'why the marketization prescribed to cure the NHS is having such disastrous side effects' at an event on Monday organized by the Cambridge Green Party 'to enthuse and inspire the fightback'. Our close allies in Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public will also contribute, alongside the Greens' parliamentary candidate in Cambridge, Rupert Read. This is a free event.

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Education Question Time

Wednesday 11 March / 6.45 p.m. / Lab 002, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT

As part of the parallel education manifesto campaigns by the National Union of Teachers and the University and College Union, the two unions are holding an Education Question Time in Cambridge, with the teachers and educationalists Tony Booth (University of Cambridge), Julia Flutter (Cambridge Primary Review Trust), Philipa Harvey (NUT), Andrew McGettigan (Central St Martins and City Lit), and Wendy Scott (consultant). Their expertise will be on hand as we work out, what education system do we have? And what education system do we want?

We're asked to register to attend this free event.

E-mail lists

We'd like to encourage every reader to join our mailing list, and to consider joining our discussion list!

The mailing list is another channel like this one for communications in the name of the group, usually prepared by the secretary or treasurer, such as notices of events or links back to the minutes and agendas we post here. Subscribers can expect to receive two or three e-mails a month. This is a list for everyone: members, sympathizers, fond enemies. To join, please write to

The discussion list is for the keen: any subscriber can post to it, and every other subscriber will receive that post. It's a channel for sharing news or reading, testing ideas, and organizing action. To join, please subscribe to the Google Group, Cambridge People's Assembly.

Agenda for the March CPA meeting

Wednesday 4 March / 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. We'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's the draft which circulated on our mailing list yesterday.

Read more

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