HARINGEY SOLIDARITY GROUP SOME ACTIVITIES: 1990-2021
May 11, 2021
PART 1 — SOME ACTIVITIES: 1990-2005 [Written 2005]
In an attempt to look forward at where HSG fits into any political strategy in Haringey, its useful to first look back. So, here is a look at the first 15 years (written in 2005). The information is huge, so this can be no more than a brief and slightly chaotic look. We have tried not to see things as “successes” or “failures”. Where one person will see failure, another will see success. And vice versa.
The obvious place to start, as it was the forerunner of HSG, was the anti Poll Tax Campaign. Much has been talked about this strong and inspirational campaign (see our booklet), so I won’t say much. However, we were one of the only local anti Poll Tax groups who stayed together after the defeat of the poll tax. This was a very positive decision. In 1998 we played a large role in organising a national Mayday conference in Bradford, and then a Community Action national gathering for radical community based groups. If more of the hundreds of anti poll tax groups had formed into independent community action/solidarity groups back in 1990 maybe we wouldn’t be reinventing the wheel as we seem to be doing. But, hey, we live and learn…
In April 1991 we had the first meeting as Haringey Solidarity Group and by January 1992 we had formed three separate groups around the borough in Tottenham, Green Lanes, and Wood Green. Not being able to sustain three separate groups we all came back together as HSG in September 1994. In 1991 we had sub groups of HSG for: the environment, housing, publicity, transport, women, anti-racism, industrial, police monitoring, council monitoring, and disability issues. There were something like 30/40 active people. In the early days we were using an office at the Unwaged Centre in West Green Road. Later in 1997, we opened up our own office just off Green Lanes, which in 2005 we decided to close down due to the costs involved.
Looking back, we can see the same issues cropping up time and again. In 1993 we were campaigning (and won) against the council taking parts of our parks for financial gain. In 1994 we were already trying to stop the slow invasion of Controlled Parking Zones and Red Routes. And in 1995 we talked about our relationship with the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA), which the Hackney Independent group had formed out of. Then there have been the continual racist & state attacks we have been a small part in trying to fight: Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign; Tottenham Three Campaign; Joy Gardner, Michael Menson, Roger Sylvester, Winston Silcott Campaign, and the police harassment of Delroy & Sonya Lindo and their family.
We have supported workers in struggle since 1990 where we can. There have been the Arnaouti bakery workers; council workers; postal workers; Building Workers Group; Hillingdon workers; Liverpool Dockers; and one of the major campaigns we were involved in was the JJ Fast Food workers dispute in Tottenham in 1995 (see our booklet on this for fuller details).
There have been dozens of campaigns we have been part of as well. As a flavour some are: anti McDonald’s campaign, endless campaigns and demos against Council cuts, campaigning against harassment of local prostitutes, fighting the 1996 Asylum Bill (Act), against the Private Finance Imitative (PFI), campaigning against the unsustainable redevelopment of the Hornsey Waterworks; anti-war / anti-arms trade stuff; going down to Newbury to support the road protestors; helping set up a Haringey Squatters Group; being part of the group in the 1990s who were fighting the Council’s plans to privatise Alexandra Palace and its parklands; police monitoring and publicity; trying to help and support other groups around London and the UK who wanted to form HSG type groups; the campaign against the Child Support Agency in 1993/4; supporting the setting up of the Haringey Furniture Project; and putting teams in for a London wide 7 a side loony left football competition.
There have also been a number of campaigns we have started and run in Haringey (sometimes linking up with other groups to form London or nationwide campaigns). Again, because of space, I will be brief. We had a very active claimants group which not only campaigned against the JSA, New Deal and Project work, but for better conditions for workers in job centres. We linked with other groups to form the nationwide Groundswell claimants network. We met nationally for 2 or 3 years and organised two large London demos. This was one of the first times we had managed to link claimants and job centre workers in one campaign.
We worked with lecturers and students at the College of North East London in Tottenham to fight both cuts to the college and attacks on staff conditions. Linking staff and students was an important part of this one that came from them not us. Tottenham Law Centre was threatened with closure by Haringey Council. Because of our links with the local community we helped for over a year or so to fight this closure. In 1995 we were part of a larger Haringey campaign to Fight Against Cuts in Education. Again, we linked with other groups around the borough. We were instrumental in planning & calling the initial meeting of a Haringey Anti-Racist Group after a number of racist incidents in Haringey. We planned the meeting (with others) and secured the venue so those attending felt safe. Unfortunately this group declined quickly once they sought respectability and became the Haringey Anti-Racist Alliance, elected steering committees and wanted a lot of council input. It became no more than a talking shop and soon collapsed.
We campaigned against the destruction of some of Downhills Park to make way for private football pitches which would then be hired back out to the people of Tottenham. And we won this one. We were instrumental in starting and partly running the Haringey Local Exchange & Trading Scheme (LETS). This worked independently for a few years but eventually joined the larger North London LETS, as numbers were falling. We started a local anti-advertising campaign, campaigning to get billboards removed whilst encouraging ‘subvertising’ of them. We have continually, over the last 15 years, campaigned against elections both locally and nationally, by trying to leaflet flypost and inform people as to their pointlessness. Each time we tried to use the opportunity to show local people there is a different, and in our view, better way of organising their lives and communities.
In 2002 we held a week of events around Mayday. This included stalls, leafleting and a highly successful local Mayday conference. This included producing 15,000 copies of a new free local paper. We’ve also publicised and taken part in many London Mayday events and national anti-capitalist / anti-G8 protests, and many other countrywide events and initiatives. Every year we’ve done a national mailout to similar local radical groups and centres to encourage better communication and co-operation.
In 2000 some members of HSG came together to form a housing co-op. Although they still do not have housing, the group have stayed together and tried continuously to find land in Tottenham to build a housing co-op and community space. HSG initiated the Haringey Against ID Cards campaign, by calling the first public meeting of the group in Tottenham. Some of us are involved in local residents’ associations and the group has been able to support them and the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations.
Just a few of the other things we can think of in no particular order were: Women within HSG formed a successful women’s group for 2 or 3 years. We also formed a men’s group to challenge our attitudes as men and look at claims of oppression and overbearing attitudes within HSG. This group didn’t last very long! Michael Portillo dared to have a party, to celebrate him being a politician for 10 years, in Haringey (at Alexandra Palace). After some fierce campaigning work we got a large noisy crowd to the event. The party was “spoiled” for a lot of those attending as the crowd threw eggs, flour, tomatoes and more at the bigwigs attending. Gordon Brown also attended a meeting in Wood Green and was met with customary eggs and stuff. Oh the good old days! And loads of us raised money for HSG by working behind bars at festivals. Money which we used to pay for everything we did and also managed to donate to a lot of other groups who needed it including setting up a ‘bust fund’ to support any Haringey activists arrested.
Throughout the 15 years since 1990 there was one thing consistent within HSG, although this ebbs and flows depending on how strong the group is. That is our solidarity work and propaganda. HSG has produced dozens of leaflets and posters in huge quantities. We must have produced at least 10,000 posters and 100s of 1000s of leaflets on a huge variety of issues. We have regularly been on street corners, at festivals, going door to door giving out this literature. On top of this we have had two regular newsletters “Haringey Community Action” and “The Haringey Indypendent”. The former got up to 12 pages and 12,000 copies four times a year. There was also a newsletter called “Tottenham Free” but before HSG’s time.
We have consistently put up posters all around the borough informing people about a number of issues and generally rabble rousing. Whenever we have heard of racist or fascist graffiti or posters they been removed very quickly. Over the years we have run many stalls, and at our height we had a telephone tree of 40 people so we could react to issues immediately. And every month, for the last 15 years, without fail, we have mailed out our minutes and a range of independent local and national literature to all local residents on our mailing list (120 people in 2005). Lastly the office and our PO Box have come to the rescue of many a group. The office has been used by a number of other groups, as has our telephone, photocopier and postal address.
PART 2 – SOME ACTIVITIES: 2005-2020 [Written 2021]
Throughout the whole period we continued to:
– write, produce & distribute tens of thousands of copies of our regular free Newspaper each year (but not in covid era)
– hold regular open meetings at least monthly, with an open agenda for reporting, discussing and organising activities, numbers attending fluctuating between 3 and 15 people (currently averaging 4-6). 15-20 attend HSG Strategy Days.
– circulate minutes to all supporters, including monthly posted mailings (with a range of documents and a list of Coming Events) until a few years ago
– hold discussions, usually during our meetings, on a whole range of relevant topics
– manage a supporters’ email list for wider announcements and communication
– do regular street (and event) stalls, leafleting and occasional flyposting, usually with our own original material
– manage a website with local news and views
– manage an office, with a photocopier other radical groups/campaigns can access
– promote and support a wide range of local groups / campaigns / activities / issues / networks / protests, including help initiate and support new groups and campaigns
– set up or help set up and support ongoing independent groups, initiatives and networks, eg Haringey Independent Cinema monthly showings/talks (until 2017), Radical History Network of NE London monthly talks/discussions (until 2016), the Our Tottenham network (from 2013 – ongoing), and Haringey Housing Action Group and related housing actions (ongoing)
– note the efforts of other borough-wide grassroots networks our members may be involved in eg Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Friends of Parks Forum, Haringey TUC, Sustainable Haringey
– promote and support relevant national (and sometimes international) groups/campaigns/activities/issues
– make links with other similar groups around London and the UK, including spending around 10 years promoting the Radical London network, and helping organise Community Organising meetings and stalls at the annual Anarchist Bookfair
– Campaign against Brighthouse loan/hire shop opposing exploitation of people who are hard up
– Support for Mayday/Oxford Circus arrestees
– Haringey Against ID Cards picket of Home Office. Part of successful national campaign calling for mass non-registration.
– Support for local campaigns around planning/development issues and threats
– Help organise national Community Action conference in Bethnal Green.
– Publish ‘Opposing Anti-Social Behaviour in Haringey’ leaflet, about the anti-social behaviour of landlords/bosses/government/police etc
– Host Community Organising meeting at the Anarchist Bookfair
– Distribute ‘anti-election’ posters
– Organise critical mass bikeride
– Organise HSG Strategy Day of discussions
– Do leaflet opposing the UCKG religious cult/con
– Produce and locally distribute leaflet against the annual Arms Fair in London.
– Support campaign against the development of the Fountain Pub
– Hold discussions during year on How a revolution could develop / State repression / Single Issue Campaigns /
– Support during year national campaigns vs Olympics / anti-G8 / for Freedom to Protest /
– Launch Haringey Independent Cinema with 120 attending a screening of ‘McLibel’. Next films are ‘Battle of Algiers’, ‘Salt of the Earth’, ‘Riff Raff’..
– Help launch the Radical History Network of NE London, with the first discussion ‘London Support for the 1990s Liverpool Dockers Strike’.
– Help launch London-wide network of local radical/solidarity groups, eventually named ‘Radical London’
– Haringey Against ID Cards successfully defend their right to hold stalls on Wood Green High Rd
– Support picket lines as thousands of local government workers strike over pensions
– Continue to oppose and subvert billboard advertising
– Did survey of the interests of our members/supporters
– Hold discussions during year, including on Freedom To Protest
– Help organise Haringey Anti-Poverty Initiative leafleting/protests, as part of London Coalition Against Poverty
– Support Parents Against Privatisation public meeting vs sell off of Children’s Centres
– Support ‘Save St Ann’s Hospital’ campaign, and Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition opposing closures of local GP practices
– Support Sustainable Haringey network, and Camp for Climate Action
– Support Postal Workers dispute picket lines
– Support campaign to defend and restore Wards Corner
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with ’43 Group’ anti-fascist film and talk / Unbearable Lightness of Being / etc
– Radical History Network talks/discussions continue with 1968-74 strike wave / 60th Anniversary of the NHS / etc
– 350 attend Wards Corner Community Coalition public meeting. Later in the year over 300 link hands in a ‘Hands Off’ protest around the site
– 250 attend our Haringey Independence Day event with stalls, talks, films, food etc. We produce Haringey Directory of local campaigning groups.
– Support ‘Save our Surgeries’ health campaign weekly protests outside St Ann’s Hospital
– Support community campaigns to save Post Offices facing closure
– Support during year national campaigns including re No Borders (including development of a Haringey migrants support group) / and No Sweat (solidarity with low paid) / etc
– Prune our postal mailing list from around 120 (?) to 75.
– Support Sustainable Haringey network activities, and produce an HSG ‘Here Today, Here Tomorrow’ statement/leaflet.
– Run a stall at the Lordship Rec festival
– Support strikes over sacking of local government union activists: We distribute leaflet written by an HSG member on strike
– Hold an HSG Strategy Day of discussions about how to improve our effectiveness, agreeing to focus on ID Cards, State control, and anti-poverty campaigning
– Support Haringey Justice for Palestinians
– Continue to oppose UCKG (who as a result get kicked out of Wood Green Library and Sainsbury’s)
– Continue to support Health cuts weekly pickets (for over 6 months), a two-pronged march to Ducketts Common (70 attended), and an occupation of a Primary Care Trust meeting.
– Repossessions Group meet monthly to oppose evictions and ‘gate-keeping’, organise protest at Apex House, and leafleting of courts. Also HSG continue to support Haringey Defend Council Housing campaigning
– Distribute HSG leaflets as part of Haringey Sustainability Month, and week of action during Copenhagen Summit talks
– Support tube workers strike pickets.
– Initiate broad-based support group for Visteon workers occupying their car factory in Enfield (and the resulting workers’ campaign afterwards). HSG member is inside throughout the week long occupation. We do a special booklet to capture all this.
– Support ongoing local Post Office workers strikes and help set up very active broad-based Support Group
– Second HSG ‘Haringey Independence Day’ bigger and better than first year.
– Continue to be a key mover in the Radical London network, 15 of us attend a two-day 250-strong Anarchist Conference in Mile End, and we support an Anarcha-Feminist Discussion Day.
– Take part in large anti-G20 protests in central London
– Oppose Welfare Reform Bill with lots of local leafleting of local DSS, advice guides and flyposting too, and set up a Haringey Claimants Action Group (meeting monthly)
– Continue to look for a building to use as a Haringey Social Centre
– Organise Facilitation Training for 10 members of HSG
– Radical History Network talks/discussions continue with ‘The Tottenham Outrage’ / ‘The Plebs League’ / Wapping Printworkers Dispute’ / ‘Miners Strike’ /
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with ‘Death of a Bureaucrat’ / Free Mumia Abu-Jamal’ / ‘Age of Stupid’ / ‘Winstanley’ / ‘The Take’ / ‘Delicatessen’ / ‘Babylon’ / ‘Lives of Others’
– HSG discussions this year include ‘What to do about the financial crisis’ / ‘Anti-capitalist Economics’ / ‘Working with people whose politics we disagree with’ / ‘Supporting claimants struggles’ / ‘HSG and gender issues’ /
– Support during year national campaigns/events including industrial disputes / Earth First gathering /
– Support for Sustainable Haringey and Haringey Sustainability Month, including organising a protest at a BP garage
– HSG Housing Action Group continue to leaflet (eg twice monthly outside Apex House), flypost, protest and support individuals, and criticise proposed Spurs re-development due to lack of social housing
– HSG Claimants Action Group leaflet outside Jobcentre, produce Housing Benefits guide
– Support for industrial disputes including CONEL (UCU union), Local Govt (PCS), Coca Cola factory in Edmonton, Seven Sisters railworkers picket, Firefighters pickets, Construction workers and blacklist action group protests in central London. Also actively support a student occupation at Middx University.
– Support for health cuts campaigns, including new Defend Whittington Hospital Campaign which organises a march (500 attended) and later a lunchtime protest at main entrance (400 attended)
– In the face of £46m Council budget cuts, initiate the launch of a Haringey Alliance for Public Services attended by 9 borough-wide organisations and networks. Regular well-attended planning meetings, mass leafleting, stickers and protests (including 200 on a march, and regular ‘open mike’ rallies outside the Civic Centre), and ongoing support for public sector workers (especially when taking industrial action eg Nov 30th day of action), and service/facility user groups.
– work with local Catholic Worker centre and No Borders in solidarity with migrants and refugees
– Produce and distribute special Totally Independent (5000 copies) putting the alternative to electorial politics
– Attended national conference in Nottingham of the Community Action Network. HSG also do workshop on Radical Community Organising at Peace News camp.
– 19 members attend the HSG Strategy Day
– new HSG leaflets include UCKG (handed out outside their Wood Green High Rd base) /
– Radical History Network talks/discussions continue with: ‘Poll Tax: 20 years on’ /
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with: ‘Sometimes In April’ / ‘Waltz with Bashir’ / ‘Offside’ / ‘Gaslands’
– HSG discussions this year include: ‘Defending public services from massive cuts’
– 180 attend HSG Quiz Night for 22 local community groups/campaigns
– HSG Claimants Action Group join protests at ATOS Medical Examination centres. Then merges with Housing Group.
– Housing Action Group continue as in 2010. Support Defend Council Housing protest at Lynne Featherstone (Govt Minister) surgery.
– Haringey Alliance for Public Services continue to be a major presence all year (as above). 600 attend Union anti-cuts march to Civic Centre. Strategy conference. 200 people in mass occupation of Civic Centre – 2 HSG activists arrested (we ensure they get full support, and the eventual verdict is ‘no case to answer’). Workers and user groups campaigns continue all year (eg re care homes, health services, parks, youth clubs, autism action etc). On March 25th HAPS hold 250-strong local march and in preceding days distribute 50,000 leaflets to publicise March 26th TUC March – up to 1 million attend, and HSG join contingents from Haringey.
– Also support June 30th national pension cuts strike pickets, and November protest at North Mid Hospital against visit of Government Minister for Health. Many HSG members very active in HAPS, help with leafleting and stalls, and help develop regular London Anti-Cuts Alliances meetings all year.
– Take part in ‘UKUncut’ series of anti-cuts theatrical protests/occupations in Wood Green High Road (Topshop, banks etc)
– We support Wards Corner Community Coalition lobbying; opposition to eviction of large Dale Farm travellers site in Essex; a Tottenham Palestine Literary Festival; Legal Defence & Monitoring Group; and the ‘Occupy’ movement London protests
– A few days after the wave of riots which started in Tottenham after the shooting of Mark Duggan, we help Haringey APS, the N.London Community House and Hackney APS organise a 3,000-strong ‘Give Our Kids A Future’ march from Hackney to Tottenham. Support Tottenham Defence Campaign public meeting and ‘bust cards’ mass leafleting
– create and start to use an HSG office. Start HSG admin sub-group meetings.
– we discuss and prepare an HSG street and neighbourhood reps network across Haringey
– support central London ‘Mayday’ march and protests
– New HSG leaflets include ‘How to sue the police’
– Radical History Network talks/discussions continue with, eg. ‘The Luddites’
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with ‘Frida’ / ‘Made In Dagenham’ (with Visteon workers doing a talk) / ‘Land and Freedom’ / ‘Life Is Beautiful’. HSG also collaborate with Reel News local screenings, including in Sustainability Month.
– Haringey Alliance for Public Services continues its activities, with HSG support, as the Council announces a further £20m cuts in 2012 and then £24m in 2013. 100 attend Civic Centre protest. Local pension strike pickets. 20 Haringey activists (including HSG) meet up to attend 100,000-strong TUC November demo. But effective national action against Govt cuts is receding.
– HSG support local people arrested or jailed for anti-cuts or riot-related reasons
– Over 150 activists, in 18 local teams, take part in second HSG Quiz Night
– Support Fuel Poverty Action local protests; Haringey Migrants Action Group and its drop in centre sessions; 1000-strong march against privatisation of Downhills School and other forced ‘Academies’; Boycott Workfare activities, eg picket of Wood Green Superdrug; International Womens Day event; Tottenham Defence Campaign leafleting and flyposting; Support Wards Corner Coalition (eg 200 protestors attend and walk out of a controversial Council/Developer meeting); industrial disputes eg over victimisation at CONEL;
– HSG continue to investigate setting up a Social Centre; continue to discuss setting up a Haringey Living Wage Campaign;
– Haringey Housing Action Group holds Strategy Day and steps up its regular activities. HSG leaflet ‘Landlords Forum’ to demand they reduce rents. HSG members organise Affordable Housing meeting – 35 attend, and some private tenants present later set up a Haringey Private Tenants Action Group. Protests at Apex House and Drivers & Norris Letting Agents in support of private tenants. Organise housing and other discussions in tent at Lordship Rec festival. HHAG demo and mass leafleting along Green Lanes stopping to inspect ‘crime scenes’ ie Letting Agents.
– New HSG Reading Group set up – issues include prisons, privilege, S.Africa shackdweller movement, Wretched of the Earth, Economic Growth
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with ‘Children of the revolution’ / ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ / ‘Black Power Salute’ / ‘The Riots’ (with panel discussion including Duggan family – nearly 200 attend) / ‘Fear eats the soul’ / ‘Do the right thing’ / ‘Matewan’ Plus Reel News screenings too.
– Support commemoration event for our member, Alan Woodward, who died in October.
– 18 members take part in HSG Strategy Weekend in November. The working group on ‘planning and gentrification’ decides to call an Our Tottenham conference in the New Year.
– 110 activists from over 30 local groups attend the April conference launch of the Our Tottenham Network, and adopt Community Charter. This sets the scene for years of inter-group solidarity, lobbying and campaigning. 60 attend OT ‘street assembly’. Negotiate with Spurs Board Execs..
– HSG Benefits sub-group protest around new Govt Benefits Cap and Bedroom Tax, and support new Haringey Alliance for Benefits Justice. Lots of postering. Our member the Rev Paul Nicholson creates acres of media publicity for his personal non-payment stand re Council Tax (in solidarity with low income families) and the resulting legal action. Group did Benefits Campaigning workshop at Anarchist Bookfair.
– HSG and SolFed anti-workfare pickets of Argos, Homebase, Homes For Haringey, Poundland, Marks and Spencers (15 people);
– HSG help coordinate Haringey Decent Homes For All mini-conference at Wood Green Library (55 attend). Haringey Housing Action Group active all year. Also the Private Tenants Action Group leaflet of Haringey Landlords Forum and another Green Lanes protest. Reps attend London-wide housing action network.
– HSG support ‘1000 Mothers March’ down Tottenham High Rd, protest vs poverty.
– Support Fuel Poverty Action local leafleting/protests; NHS week of action; squatting in south Tottenham; Launch of Tottenham Rights and commemorative events for Mark Duggan; Haringey anti-raids (migrant solidarity) network; workshop at N.London Peoples’ Assembly (200 attend a Day School); anti-fascist (EDL) mobilisations around London;
– Continue to discuss and prepare an HSG street and neighbourhood reps network across Haringey.. some local area groups begin to form loosely..
– Organise a ‘Zombie Disco’ which raises £1,000.
– Continue to the main driving force for the Radical London efforts to encourage radical solidarity groups throughout London.
– HSG Reading Group issues include: Sex workers
– Radical History Network talks/discussions continue with, eg: General Strikes (20 attend) / Struggles to protect green spaces
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with: ‘Nostalgia for the light’ / ‘Spirit of ‘45’ / ‘Nighthawks’ / ‘Cointelpro 101’ (200 attend – Q&A with 2 ex-members of Black Panther Party) / HIC organise a week-long Haringey Film Festival (in Wood Green Cineworld?) including 70 attending ‘Cathy Come Home’.
– Note: there are also HSG ‘admin/solidarity’ meetings in between monthly general meetings. Continue to discuss how to involve more people, challenge sexism and support women members, and how to develop a wider network of reps around Haringey (but this proves too challenging).
– We continue to be the driving force in the Radical London network encouraging the development of local groups in other boroughs.
– Our Tottenham organise two major conferences during the year promoting community plans and empowerment: in February 100 people from 42 groups attend; in October the conference follows a Tottenham Community Empowerment Week and 75 people from 37 local groups attend.
– NHS campaigning continues, including focus on St Ann’s Hospital.
– Continue to organise Benefits leafleting.
– Support St Mungos workers strike
– Step up our anti-workfare campaigning and protests, including at Bridge To Success, Urban Futures [including an occupation], regular pickets outside the North London Hospice shop, and forging links with campaigns outside Haringey.
– Haringey Housing Action Group continue to meet fortnightly and also organise solidarity actions. Private Tenants Group and Haringey Defend Council Housing also active – HDCH coordinate the fightback against Council plans to demolish many estates.
– Support second Tottenham ‘1000 Mothers March for Justice’ (100 take part)
– Support 1000-strong protest outside Tottenham Police Stn to condemn Mark Duggan inquest verdict
– Support launch of Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance exposing the undercover policing ‘spycops’ scandal, including supporting 2 members of HSG who had been targeted;
– HSG Reading Group issues include: ‘Woman on the edge of Time’ / ‘The progressive plantation’
– Radical History Network talks/discussions continue, eg: Radical and anti-authoritarian youth movements /
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with, eg. ‘The Parade’ / ‘Storm Center’ / ‘Miners Shot Down’ / event with Haringey Justice for Palestinians
– Group continues to meet fortnightly.
– Continue to actively support Haringey Alliance for Public Services meetings, lobbies, march (500 people) and leafleting opposing another £70m planned cuts by the Council
– Continue intense anti-workfare campaigning and protests, including at N.London Hospice shop, TASL, Finsbury Pk station wardens, Restore, and Job Centres (at one point leafletting daily).. some targeted organisations begin to pull out of scheme. Help organise national Boycott Workfare conference attended by 25 groups.
– HHAG continues to meet fortnightly. Also hold a picnic. Haringey Defend Council Housing active all year. HSG support both, and also networking with other London housing groups.
– Our Tottenham continue to oppose threats of demolitions of estates (including Love Lane and Broadwater Farm) and other sites, and support community solidarity and empowerment. HSG join protest during Council/developers walkabout around threatened sites. HSG members get involved in developing a community plan to buy the St Ann’s Hospital site now up for sale.
– We organise a benefit gig at Tottenham Chances
– Haringey Independent Cinema events continue with, eg. ‘Concerning Violence’ / ‘Ararat’ /
– Continue to support the Haringey Migrant Support Group, and a local anti-raids network.
– Help organise the London Anarchist Bookfair, in Haringey this year. 70 meetings in programme (largest ever). We do specialist local publicity leafleting.
– We float the idea of setting up an HSG email discussion list.
– Distribute Housing Benefit guide.
– Continue to support St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust (StART) campaign to buy the site.
– Our Tottenham focus mainly on responding to the draft Local Plan, and linking with others doing the same. Haringey Defend Council Housing focus on support for residents of Council estates opposing demolition threats.
– HSG actively support (eg with mass leafleting) large and successful anti-HDV campaign to prevent Council putting £2b worth of public land and assets into hands of a ‘Haringey Development Vehicle’ to be run by Lendlease. 1,000 attend march to Civic Centre, probably the largest local march for decades.
– Support Disabled People Against The Cuts.
– Again help organise the London Anarchist Bookfair in Haringey (Park View Academy). Following a dispute at the event over some contentious leaflets and physical threats to one of our members we produce a special statement in support of women’s rights, transgender rights and comradely debate over these issues.
– Stop HDV campaign continues, resulting in removal of most of the key Councillors responsible.
– Try to support Tottenham Chances facing sell off, but don’t wish to get embroiled in an internal and byzantine power struggle.
– Continue to support Haringey Defend Council Housing and the Haringey Housing Action Group. Also the Our Tottenham network. And St Ann’s hospital site campaigning (100 attend StART AGM).
– Agree to back Parks Charter and the work of the Friends of Parks Groups movement (over 50 such groups in Haringey).
– Agree to back Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance events to celebrate 50 years of movements for change since Grosvenor Sq protests in 1968, despite police infiltration and repression efforts.
– Continue to produce the Haringey Totally Independent, and also support and distribute the London-wide anarchist paper Rebel City.
– £585 raised in commemoration of Guy Peterson who died last year (a former active HSG member). Money donated to the Markfield Project.
– Support opposition to the introduction of Universal Credit into Haringey
– Support campaign to prevent fascist activist leasing The Elmhurst pub.
– Support London Anarchist Festival, noting that there is no Bookfair this year
– Continue to produce and distribute our local Newspaper and help with Rebel City.
– activities continue, despite having to be mainly online due to the pandemic.
– a major public meeting planned for the spring (on the lessons to be learned from recent international mass uprisings in many countries) has to be cancelled at the last minute
– host 3 national Community Action networking online meetings with similar groups around the UK
– Support Black Lives Matter movement, including local anti-harassment picket of Tottenham Police Station
– Support Kill The Bill campaign/protests vs new Government bill giving police even greater powers to suppress protests
– We set up separate HSG announcements and discussion email lists, and reactivate our website. We draft and adopt a new ‘Manifesto’ outlining some of the group’s key principles and politics.
– To celebrate HSG’s 30th anniversary 20 people attend an online review/discussion, and we plan a films/social event in Lordship Hub.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Part 1 compiled by Tony Wood. Part 2 Compiled by Dave Morris.
Based on the minutes of meetings (although there are gaps in the files).
Apologies for any omissions or inaccuracies – they are not deliberate!