Steve White and the Protest Family
Local UCU and UNISON members joined together for an incredible night at the packed Bread and Roses
on Fri 6th June. We had live music from John Torjussen, Christine Asamoah and Steve White and the Protest Family, poetry readings and inspiring speeches, a raffle and a bucket full of solidarity.
John Torjussen played a set of roots reggae and soul standards with his Hammond organ vibes joined by guest violinist Ben Gunnery. Ben, who has played for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, turned up unannounced and improvised throughout the set completely unrehearsed. It was very special. Ben told us “We played along to some old school reggae. Lovely atmosphere, very positive energy. Fighting for a just cause and great to see so much solidarity”.
Christine Asamoah won lots of new fans and friends with her divine R&B brit pop sound performing songs from her current album ” Who I am”. I think we’ll be seeing more of her in the future!
Amongst the performers were Joe Bangs who performed his latest poem.
“Wonderful, creative and witty with a powerful message” as an audience member told me.
The public got its first airing of Johnny Mooney’s sparkling new song Gimme Some Education. An anthem for our times if ever we needed one more! It’s available to buy through bandcamp, with all takings going to our strike fund
We had an uplifting message of support from Steve Pryle from the Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council. He also pledged the local strikers 6 tickets for the Glastonbury festival which will give us the opportunity to speak and bring awareness of this campaign to festival goers. Let’s aim to deliver speeches from every forum, including the Pyramid stage to raise awareness of our campaign!
Jason and Henry from the 3 COSAS campaign who had also been out on strike on Friday, came and spoke about their struggle defending some of the lowest paid workers in the country. 3 Cosas are so named because they are fighting to ensure that all workers have access to three things: Sick pay, holidays and pensions.
Graham Topley, former chair of Lambeth UCU gave a rousing message of support to keep up the pressure and win the battle. He also donated a case of wine, sold and drew the raffle prizes with branch secretary Mandy Brown. Mandy gave a rousing speech with an uncompromising message. “We will win this dispute”
The night came to a conclusion with a blistering set from Steve White and the Protest family living up to their billing as ‘The world’s favourite east London semi-acoustic singalong political folk punk group‘. The local branch has made some inspirational friends in the last few days!
We made over £400 with the sheer hard work of Eli, Jim, Johnny and of course the wonderful support of the many who turned out to make the event a resounding success.
Whoever you are and whatever you did on Friday to make it such a memorable night LC UCU and UNISON branches would like to extend their many thanks for your exceptional generosity and continued support.
Next one Fri 27th June at the Bedford arms, Balham.