Find below the text of Kalbir’s speech at the Lobby on Tuesday. In the spirit of her call to be united rather than divided, late notice of  a union solidarity event in support of the occupation for this Thursday evening, October 27 at St Paul’s Cathedral. If you are interested in coming along to see for yourself what the occupation is like or if you have already been down,  be there for 5.00 p.m. In the light of Canon Giles Fraser’s principled resignation it’s also an opportune time to show respect for his integrity.

St Paul’s Cathedral canon resigns

Kalbir Shukra

For In Defence of Youth Work 25.10.11

Today is a great turnout and massive credit has to go to the unions for pulling us all together like this.

I’ve been asked to speak today on behalf of the In Defence of Youth Work campaign, which is a campaign for a democratic, critical youth work practice rather than for a National Conscription Service. We are proud to be part of this coalition of Choose Youth and we’re proud to be part of any grouping that is going to put young people before the profits of bankers, politicians and private enterprise.

We cannot accept the wholesale destruction of our public services as a solution to the problems facing the rich – problems created by the corporate greed and bankers gambles that politicians supported. As we’ve already heard from speakers, our public services are being destroyed and its part of a massive assault on all working and middle class people – young and old, employed and unemployed, male and female.

But today is part of the spirit of resistance that we see spreading across the world. We are part of a rising world wide activist movement constantly inspiring and supporting each other – fighting for our rights, for our jobs, for services, for homes for freedoms. To strengthen our movements we have to keep connecting them. We have to refuse to be divided on the basis of one cut being kinder than another or some protestors being seen as criminals whilst others are respectable.

Have you noticed how police and politicians keep blaming parents for not keeping their young people at home when there is a protest? Well maybe its time to ratchet up some intergenerational solidairity so that instead of a curfew for young people we bring out more parents, more youth workers, more teachers and unions to support young people every time there is a protest and every time a young person is arrested and criminalised for joining a demonstration.

After today, there is another stand to be taken on 9th november against privatisation, fees and cuts starting at 12 noon at University of London Union, Malet Street. Lets build on today by connecting to that struggle and then to the next struggle after that. Because that how we’ll build the solidarity and unity that we need.

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