It was great that the Barnsley Chronicle ran an article on our Footy Tournament, not so great they failed to report who organised it! ever vigilant our ESOL team (namely Brian Clark) picked up on this and got this exellent letter published this week to set the record straight.
I would like to add to the article in the 29th January edition concerning Jabber (Jimmy) Mohammed and the 5 a side football tournament which took place on 16thJanuary. This event was unique because it was organised by two passionate football fans, Linda Hughes (Unite Union Learning Organiser) and Joe Rollin (Unite Industrial Organising Officer) as an anti-racist event and to show support for refugees and asylum seekers. It was decided to organise using the title “Celebrating diversity through learning” and supported by Barnsley FC Community Trust, Learn with Unite, Achievement through sport, Professional Footballers Association, Union Learning Fund, Show Racism the Red Card and Barnsley Trades Union Council. Following negotiations with Barnsley Football Club the tournament was held in their Training Academy and 16 teams were invited to take place. The teams from Barnsley, Doncaster, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, London, Middlesbrough, and Sheffield were not all refugees or asylum seekers, but all anti racist.
The Barnsley team were people attending ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) lessons organised by Unite the Union held at Quaker House in conjunction with The British Red Cross.
At half time Kenny Barron Unite the Union’s Head of Lifelong Learning presented ESOL certificates and medals to the Barnsley ESOL Team and a free buffet was provided by the Professional Footballers Association.
Now is a really important time to stand up against Islamophobia and in defence of refugees. I’m proud we had a good public meeting and rally in Barnsley in December to say “Refugees are Welcome Here” when the South Yorks Casuals marched in our town. We need to keep up our public presence to drown out the voices of hatred which try to divide our community.
Unite Against Fascism is supporting the national demonstration against racism and fascism which is taking place in London on Sat March 19th. We have a bus booked from Barnsley – more details to follow, but if you want a seat on the bus please let me know.
There will be an open organising meeting at the YMCA Blucher St Barnsley on Tues 23rd Feb at 6.30. We will be discussing local activities including holding a public meeting in advance of the national demonstration. All are welcome to come along and help build the anti-racist movement in Barnsley.
Hoping to see you on 23rd. If you cant get there but can use leaflets etc to advertise local events, please let us know.
This is a guide to Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War, beginning in the 19th century with the conditions and movements which led to the social revolution of 1936, and ending with the fall of the city on 26 January 1939 when Franco’s tanks drove down the Diagonal and set about destroying everything the Republic and the revolutionaries had built. Stories from the aftermath of the war, the exile and the Franco regime are also included. In addition with dealing with the more obvious issues such as anarchism, the Spanish Republic, Catalonia, George Orwell, the aerial bombing, and the May Days, etc, the book also looks at themes such as the People’s Olympiad, the American Sixth Fleet in the city, Barça, urbanism, Nazis in Barcelona, Robert Capa, the Spanish in the Holocaust, poster art…
Intertwined in the text are contemporary quotes and a few personal accounts of people who experienced the war or its aftermath. There are also biographies of figures such as Salvador Seguí, Ramón Mercader, Andreu Nin, Francesc Boix and Lluís Companys. The book is divided into two main sections: a history of the war from the perspective of Barcelona, followed by a guide to related sites which have often been included as an excuse to tell stories or illustrate wider issues. The book ends with an extensive glossary.
Thanks to those of you who came to yesterday’s public meeting “Refugees Are Welcome Here”. We had a brilliant meeting attended by around 40 people. Speakers included from refugee and asylum seeker support groups, a journalist from Eritrea, someone who visited the Calais refugee camp only 2 weeks ago and gave a moving descriptions of conditions there, and a local journalist. Over £100 was donated to the Trades Council appeal to support the Calais refugees and Unite’s local work with asylum seekers and refugees in Barnsley.
Things are looking very positive for next Saturday’s rally in opposition to the South Yorkshire Casuals anti-immigration march (11am May Day Green). I hope you are able to get along. I have attached the leaflet for the rally – feel free to publish this around your own networks and contacts. We hope as many people as possible will be prepared to say a few words at the rally so that our message that the racists of the SYC do not represent the people of Barnsley comes across loud and clear.
Unite Community activists John Dunn and Stuart Crosthwaite we among the speakers today at the Barnsley Anti-racist meeting. The meeting was organised to galvanise support for next Saturday’s Anti-fascist protest in the town.
Our new banner was on display too, the first of many outings no doubt! Thanks again to the organisers of the meeting. United we are strong!
Recently one of our Unite Activists took part in a Tour of Barcelona to learn about, The Spanish Civil War, a pivotal event in working class history and with the defeat of the workers movement saw the rise of fascism across Europe. Below are details on how took book the tour, information and films.
“Do you want to know how the people of Barcelona lived 70 years ago at the height of the Civil War? Relive the historic events in Barcelona between 1936 and 1939 with an expert historian while you discover some of the key areas of the city.”
“We invite you to take a journey back in time and discover, with an expert guide, what everyday life was like in Barcelona for more than 30 months when Barcelona was in the rear-guard of the Spanish Civil War. The 1936 Olympic Games, the defeat of the military uprising, the libertarian revolution and the militia, the realities of daily life, the “May Riots”, Stalinism in Barcelona and the systematic bombing of the city. Using first-hand witness accounts and rigorous documentation, the guide will take you to the sights that were directly involved in the conflict. You’ll discover places that survived intact despite being under threat of shootings, lootings and bombing raids. A fascinating route through history and the streets of Barcelona which has left us such unforgettable places as the Plaça de San Felip Neri, a beautiful spot that reminds us of the harshness of the conflict where you can still see the scars of a bombing raid that took place during the Civil War. It also looks at the hopes of the libertarian revolution and the most moving accounts such as George Orwell’s brilliant Homage to Catalonia.”
We found this old leaflet from the 1980’s, proving that Barnsley fans have a proud history of Anti Fascism.
We need to continue that struggle today and not let the far right divide us, whether it’s the EDL , BNP or UKIP. The Barnsley Unite Community Center proudly supports our local fanzine West Stand Bogs and advertise in every Issue. Check them out here. United We Are Strong!