We were saddened to learn that Pansy Jeffrey has passed away. Her son Howard Jeffrey shares his mother’s story.

“My mother came from Guyana to England in the early 1950s. She worked as a nurse for St Charles Hospital, midwife for Hammersmith Hospital and a health visitor for the London Borough of Camden.

After the Notting Hill race riots, she was appointed by Kensington Citizen Advise Bureau (CAB) to try and improve race relations in the area.  The job required her to liaise with political parties and social workers, and she became the governor for three schools in the Kensington and Paddington areas. She was also seconded to the Race Relations Commission’s social services section.

At this time Lord Soper, a prominent Methodist minister, sent three ministers to work in North Kensington. My mother worked with this group including the Rev David Mason to set up the Notting Hill Social Council. They also created Notting Hill Housing Trust, and she remained with the Trust for six years.

My mother worked for the Kensington CAB for 27 years and during this period of time she was involved in several interesting projects. She was a committee member of the North Kensington Law Centre – the first in Britain which was started by Lord Tony Gifford. She was also involved in the Bero Housing Project chaired by Bishop Wood, was a committee member of the Community Education Trust that worked with Caribbean pupils in Islington to improve their performance at school, as well as Treasurer for the Notting Hill Carnival Committee for one year.

She also worked for 17 years as Justice of the Peace (JP), much of that time as a Senior JP at Horseferry, Marlborough, and Bow Street Courts.

By the end of the 1970s it became clear that there was an increasing number of senior citizens of Caribbean origin who were suffering from isolation and loneliness.  In 1980 my mother opened a drop-in centre for them in her office.  This evolved into the Pepperpot Club which later moved to purpose-built accommodation in Ladbroke Grove. When my mother retired, she became its President for Life.  The Queen visited the Pepperpot Club twice – once when it opened and again on its 25th anniversary.

I have many fond memories of mother, including her always having an open house with lots of people from the world of politics and culture passing through. These people included  George Lamming, Cy Grant, Cheddi Jagan, Maya Angelou, Ram John Holder, Norman Beaton, Lord Gifford,  MP lady Margaret Hodge, Jeremy Coburn, Trevor and Mike Phillips to name but a few.  There was a constant feeling of living in a happy loving family, a sense of security and having lots of positive role models around you.”

Same meat different gravy

Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, extreme right-wing bigot. How much that makes him different from most other Presidents of the United States is, of course, open to question. When does a quantitative change become qualitative?

What is clear is that there is a reactionary offensive taking place in the USA which is emboldening the extreme right worldwide. We see the rise of the Front National in France and Geert Wilders in Holland, while Turkish President Recep Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister “Bibi” Netanyahu are consolidating their power. All are using extreme nationalism and racism to blunt opposition and pursue policies aimed at enriching the oligarchy’s they represent.

In particular we need to remember that the main enemy is at home, so let us not forget our own Theresa May who completes the set of reactionary leaders. The present British government’s policies do not differ very much from Trump’s, it is just that May has better manners. He wants to build a wall, she already has the Channel, their anti-immigrant stance is the same, the deportations are the same. May is currently even refusing to recognise the right to stay of EU citizens who have made their lives here perfectly legally. Trump denies the existence of Climate Change and signs off the Dakota access pipeline, while the British government promotes fracking. Trump tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act and May starves the NHS of finance. Both are stoking islamophobia, both are war-mongers – the list of comparisons go on, but essentially it involves the use of nationalist rhetoric to cover economic policies that enrich the already wealthy at the expense of working class living standards.

But the working class movement can defeat this. Let us take the small example during the last election in Britiain. The Thanet Stand Up to UKIP collective, who campaigned solidly for a year and more before the election, stopped Nigel Farage winning what he thought would be a shoe-in. By campaigning on specific policies that unite the maximum number of people in opposition to the present government’s agenda, we can start to rebuild a movement for socialism. By organising international solidarity with the victims of Trump, Netanyahu and Erdoğan we can strive to make that movement Internationalist rather than National Socialist.

Cutlass #9

The latest issue of the CLS bulletin, “Cutlass”, has now been published and may be downloaded from here…

Articles on:

  • Workers in Solidarity
  • Report from the Tivoli Committee on their recent actions to seek justice for the victims of the Tivoli Massacre
  • Housing – the broken market
  • Destination Guyana
  • Why we should add Climate Change to the claim for Reparation for Slavery in
    the Caribbean
  • Book launch – “Killing Communists in Havana”
  • Cuban posters for African liberation 1967 – 1989

International Women’s Day

Global Women’s Strike events on Wednesday 8 March in London, UK
Central Family Court, First Ave House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP
Stop the unjust separation of children from their mothers, and the rise in children taken into care, forced to have contact / live with violent fathers, or adopted against their mother’s wishes.
Old Palace Yard (opposite House of Lords)
We can all say why we’re striking and what changes we want.
The All African Women’s Group will perform their short play about the sexism and racism of the immigration system – from Yarl’s Wood Detention and Removal Centre to the courts.
We invite all anti-austerity MPs, especially women, to join us in support of our demands.
St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ
Honouring the Southern Peasant Federation of Thailand who risk their lives defending land and water from corporate land grabs.
On 8 March 2017, women in over 40 countries will take time off from waged and unwaged work – for the whole day, or for hours or minutes – to protest, march, flash mob, put a broom outside our door, hang a banner from the window . . .
InvestinCaringlogo crop
The call for this International Women’s Strike (IWD) follows mass protest in 2016 against men’s violence in Argentina and the criminalisation of abortion in Poland, and the women’s marches against Trump which mobilised millions in the US and 15 other countries, including 100,000 in the UK. The Women’s March UK and US have endorsed the IWD call.
To join, call a huddle where you are or come to ours, work out your demands and actions, publicise them – we can help. In London, Global Women’s Strike and Women of Colour GWS are coordinating actions against violence, poverty, discrimination, exploitation, war.

Listen to two meetings about Walter Rodney

22 October 2016 – Education for Liberation – A Conference on the Legacy of Walter Rodney  at University of Westminster

Speeches by Professor Richard Drayton, Dr Maria del Pilar Kaladeen and Bekeowei Okoro can be heard here…

23rd June 2016 called by the Socialist History Society, Caribbean Labour Solidarity and UCU London Retired Members at MARX MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Speakers Leland De Cambra and Cecil Gutzmore can be heard here…

What’s the new Radical? Deep Roots and New Shoots in Black publishing

Eric & Jessica Huntley c.2000s © Mervyn Weir
Eric & Jessica Huntley c.2000s © Mervyn Weir

In the radical tradition of Bogle-L’Ouverture and New Beacon Books, avant-garde Black publishing takes centre stage at the 12th Huntley Annual conference. Hosted at London Metropolitan Archives on Saturday 4 March, the Friends of the Huntley Archives at LMA invites an intergenerational audience of participants and contributors to: take a bold look at the place of “Blackness” then and now; share new ideas on contemporary and progressive Black publishing interventions and accessible social media tools; and co-curate sessions to re-image critical themes around publishing methodologies, through an exploration of the prism of ‘the Archive Document’. A creative youth-focused programme runs in parallel to the conference to explore Blackness and Identity.

conference details…