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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
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
Thursday 5 February / 7.30 p.m. / CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD
Everyone's welcome at our monthly meeting. We'll agree the agenda at the start, but here's the current draft.Read more
Thursday 4 December / 7 p.m. / Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road, Cambridge CB1 1JW
TTIP is ... correctly understood not as a negotiation between two competing trading partners, but as an attempt by transnational corporations to prise open and deregulate markets on both sides of the Atlantic.
Thursday's event can't be missed: John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want (latest book The Poverty of Capitalism), will introduce the threat of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.
This is the trade agreement in secret negotiation between the United States and the European Union, under which workers' rights, product standards, and environmental regulations would be targeted as so many barriers to trade, and public services broken up as unfair monopolies. Meanwhile under the mechanism of 'investor–state dispute settlement', transnational corporations would be able to sue states should their elected assemblies pass laws which might curb profits in any way – which is why the People's Assembly Conference 2014 described it as 'a frontal assault against democracy'.Read more
Thursday 27 November / 7.30 p.m. / Cambridge Union, 9a Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UB
People's Assembly activist and press officer Clare Solomon is a guest at the Cambridge Union student debating society tonight, speaking against the motion, 'This house believes that austerity works'. You can imagine what she'll be up against, so if you're a Cambridge Union member, please go along and give Clare some moral support!
Some readers will recall Clare's speech at the Women's Day event we held on 8 March with the Cambridge and District Trades Council. No doubt she'll be as brilliant tonight.
Thursday 27 November / 5 p.m. / Room 5, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, Cambridge CB2 1RX
There is a tension within radical politics that has stubbornly refused to ease. Street movements and university theorists are as likely to appear worlds apart as to be well integrated, with worries on either side that the other is missing something vitally important.
Tonight Cambridge Defend Education will hold the last seminar in its important series Critical Theory and Practice. Following Nina Power, Göran Therborn, Bruno Bosteels, Ed Emery, and Peter Thomas, this time the philosopher Peter Hallward (latest book Concept and Form, as joint editor with Knox Peden) will give a seminar on 'Organizing Capacity'.
This is going to be great.