WOOD Green and Hornsey Workers Revolutionary Party candidate Anna Athow and her campaign team won big support on Wood Green High Street on Saturday.
Workers and youth expressed their hatred of austerity and the Tories, with many saying they will vote for Athow and a number joining the Workers Revolutionary Party and Young Socialists.
Dora Zachariou, 54, told News Line: ‘Things are not good – there’s wars and terrorists. The poverty here is bad. We shouldn’t have poverty in Britain. The Tories plan to take away free school meals. That shouldn’t be happening. We need a change. You need a party that looks after people.’
Kitchen assistant Agnes Essuman, 32, said: ‘What the Tories are doing is not fair. When they were building this country in the past, they relied on getting slaves from Africa. Now, they want to stop immigration. Britain has taken the resources from Africa and people are still poor there. The British governments are slave drivers and they treat workers in Britain just as badly. It’s all about money – the rich. What the Conservatives are saying is all lies. I will vote WRP on June 8th.’
Charity worker Chikellu Obuanta, 32, said: ‘I want the Tories out. I’m campaigning for the people of Biafra who were left to starve by the British government. May is supporting the Boko Haram Nigeria government. Here in Britain there is no work and people are suffering. My wife is a college lecturer and she finds the wages low with the cost of living going up. She’s had a pay freeze for years.’
Joining Chikellu, his wife Amata said: ‘Labour looks after working people, the unions are stronger under Labour. But the Tories don’t listen to our union, they shout us down. They don’t feel our pain. It is not a government that represents the working people. People aren’t comfortable now, we are being squeezed.’ Chikellu continued: ‘If May doesn’t go out there will have to be a revolution. We have got to get beyond capitalism and get a workers government and socialism.’
James Pickett, 24, a shopworker, said: ‘Life is difficult for young people. I live in a care home. Where I work the pay is not good. The Tories are cutting the NHS. It’s wrong to close hospitals. Young people being homeless, living on the streets is wrong. We all need a decent home. We need a different government – a better one that looks after ordinary people. We need a change.’
Another young man, Sam N’dungu, said: ‘My grandfather was in the Mau Mau. One of my great aunts fed the fighters as a little girl. Our family all supported the Mau Mau – they were freedom fighters. I was born in Kenya and have been here for 24 years, thanks to the Labour Party at the time. It’s much harder for people to come to Britain now, under the Tories. It’s hard getting a living these days. Even in my family, people are using food banks.
‘The price of food is going up. People don’t have the money to have a decent life. I’m all for Corbyn. He was the only person who helped me when I had a problem with housing. The thing is, will the City and the bankers let him do what he’s promised? I can see people getting angry about that. There will be struggle, which is a good thing in a sense. We have to be prepared to make change and to fight the establishment. We need a workers’ government and socialism. I’m all for socialism. I’ve joined the WRP and will vote for Anna Athow.’
Natalia Adamaczyk told News Line: ‘I was a care worker. I worked six days a week and the hours were long, too. The pay wasn’t bad but they took money off towards the company car and to pay for the petrol. I had £150 a week taken over this. So the job was not worth doing. I liked the people I cared for but I couldn’t afford to live. Now I’m working for a shop.
‘We need a change, especially in care work. The private companies are really not giving people proper training, they just want to make money. I want a change for people to be looked after.’
Young mother Yordanka Georgieva said: ‘We need a better life. Our children need a better future.
‘Education in this country is at a good level but cuts are a threat to education. The school where my children attend does not have enough money to refurbish the buildings which are old. And the school doesn”t have enough money to equip the playgrounds – so the playgrounds are empty.
‘And workers in the NHS are not well paid. The NHS doesn’t have enough money to pay all the doctors and nurses. We need a change to have a better future.’
WRP candidate, Anna Athow, said: ‘We had a tremendous day on the High Street. Lots of people wanted to talk about getting Theresa May and the Tories out. Obviously, there are lots of people voting Labour because they hate Tory policies. But they are very aware that big business and the bankers are going to do everything to stop a Labour government carrying out its policies.
‘People agree that there will be a struggle after the election to make sure that Corbyn’s policies are carried out. Today we signed up people who agreed that it will need a revolution and that workers must take over the banks and industries. People agree that we need a workers government.
‘So many are disgusted over Theresa May taking away school dinners from children and closing hospitals. People are talking about the difficulties in getting a place to live and a decent wage. People are opposed to the wars in the Middle East, and that was another reason they joined the WRP.’
After the High Street campaign Anna went along to give her support and talk with striking cinema workers in her constituency who are fighting for a Living Wage. Crouch End Picturehouse workers walked out and formed a picket line at 4pm
BECTU branch chairman John Karley told News Line: ‘We’re on strike today with staff from four other cinemas. We’re demanding the London Living Wage and fairer pay. We are also demanding the company drop the suspension against the union reps. We’re hoping for more action from other cinemas with more staff getting involved. Seven of the union reps in Brixton and Hackney have been suspended and face disciplinary action.
‘They want to break the union and intimidate the staff. We are determined to win now and are asking staff at the other cinemas to join the union and show they won’t be intimidated.’