Steve Turner (UK)

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Steve Turner

Steve Turner is The People's Assembly Co-Chair

Latin America Conference 2021

Around 400 activists attended this year’s crucial Latin America Conference at Friends House in London on Saturday after unfortunately having to postpone the event in 2020 due to the on-going pandemic. The conference came at a crucial time for the region with progressive electoral victories in Nicaragua, Venezuela and most recently in Honduras.

Adrian Weir, from Unite the Union, opened the conference by welcoming recent progressive election victories

‘Socialists, trade unionists and progressives around the world have been inspired by left election victories across the continent again in recent years - the so called 'pink tide' is back, and with a vengeance.’

He introduced former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Ambassador Rocio Maniero, and Kate Hudson from CND. Spanish MP and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain, Enrique Santiago joined the plenary via video message.

“The region has changed, firstly with the arrival of AMLO in Mexico, the construction of progressive governments in Argentina, and Venezuela and Cuba emerging from brutal aggression by the United States”.

General Secretary of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union (BAFWU), Sarah Woolley was joined by TUC’s Mariela Kohon, Simon Dubbins, Unite, and Guisell Morales-Echaverry, Nicaraguan Ambassador for the second plenary titled, “Latin American Workers Fighting Back!”

Delegates were also treated to video messages from across Latin America fromManuel Diaz Tapia, Vice President of CUT Chile, Rosana Fernandez, Anti-Racism Committee, CUT Brazil and Julia Cabarcas, President of the Colombian Women’s Association.

Assistant General Secretary of Unite the Union, Steve Turner chaired the closing rally and was joined by Cuban Ambassador to the UK, Barbara Montalvo, TUC General Council International spokesperson Kevin Courtney, Young Labour Chair Jess Barnard, General Secretary of Liberation, Roger McKenzie and Jeremy Corbyn.[1]

Fire and Rehire

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January 20, 2022.

Homes for the People

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Steve Turner, Owen Hatherley, Jade Welburn, Laura Dickinson, Lorraine Douglas, chair Ben Chacko.

Cuban connection

Gilda Chacon Bravo, who died on 8 April 2021.

As European Officer for the Cuban Trade Union Federation (CTC – Central de Trabajadores de Cuba) Gilda looked after hundreds of British trade unionists who passed through the offices of the CTC on delegations to Cuba.

An English teacher by profession, Gilda became a trade union representative and leader in the Cuban teachers’ union (SNTECD) in 1981 and rose through the ranks, until she was appointed to the International Relations Department of the CTC in 1994. Gilda initially worked with many countries, including Australia, before take responsibility for the UK in 2013. She represented the Cuban trade union movement in many international arenas including the International Labour Organisation and World Federation of Trade Unions.

Gilda came to the UK twice, once in 2009 to attend the TUC Women’s Conference and to speak about the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and Federation of Cuban Women, and also in 2019 for the Unions for Cuba Conference to mark the 60th anniversary. On her visit in 2009 she also was also interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour.

Steve Turner (UK)Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary from Unite the Union who said:

“Gilda was a great friend of Unite the Union and is fondly remembered by many of our members who met her both in Cuba and the UK. She was the welcoming face of the CTC for those fortunate enough to take part in the delegations she organised. She always took the time to meet our May Day delegations at the airport, despite having many other groups and meetings to organise – a testament to her dedication as a trade unionist and her genuine warmth and friendship. She will be missed greatly and we pass on our condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.”[2]

Unemployment Fightback!

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May 29 2021.

Speakers include Bill Greenshields and Mollie Brown of the Communist Party of Britain, Steve Turner, Mark Porter of Rolls Royce Unite, Rohan Kon of Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise, Johnnie Hunter YCL, Laura Smith - ex Labour MP and No Turning Back campaigner, Helen O'Connor - NHS activist, Sabby Dhalu of SUTR and Jackie Simpkins of War on Want and Mike Lynch of RMT.

Cuba Solidarity at Labour Party Conference

Cuba Solidarity Campaign Monday, 4 October 2021.

After eighteen months and twenty online public meetings CSC was delighted to participate in and host our first face-to-face public meetings, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in September.

At the Labour Party Conference in Brighton we were invited to speak at ‘The World Transformed’, the Young Labour rally, as well as organising a fringe meeting as part of the main conference fringe programme.

CSC’s conference exhibition stall was extremely busy all week. Several MPs had their photographs taken with our ‘End the US blockade, 60 years too long’ poster, and it was great to see many existing CSC members visit to say hello and give their support, as well as Labour Party delegates who came to ask questions, buy gifts and join. More than 20 new members were recruited during the week.

On Saturday 25 September, CSC’s Natasha Hickman spoke at two events. Joining speakers from Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia at The World Transformed Festival running concurrently with the Labour Party Conference, she contrasted the lack of mainstream media coverage for the mass demonstrations against imperialism and right-wing governments that had been taking place in these countries for many months compared to the way that the same media had responded to localised and much smaller events in Cuba. The meeting, ‘Latin America Rising: Imperialism, Resistance and Solidarity,’ hosted by Alborada attracted more than 100 people. Later the same evening, Natasha told a crowd of 200 at the Young Labour Rally that there was nothing controversial about standing up against the US blockade whose aim was to starve the Cuban people into submission. Other speakers at the rally included MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon and Zarah Sultana.

On Monday 27 September a further 150 people listened to Cuban Ambassador Barbara Montalvo Alvarez speak at her first fringe meeting since arriving in the UK in March 2020. CSC’s meeting ‘Solidarity and resistance: Cuba’s fight against COVID and the US blockade’, was sponsored by Unite the Union, and chaired by the union’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner.

Grahame Morris MP told the audience about the measures taken both in and out of parliament by MPs to pressure the Biden administration to reverse sanctions imposed by Trump including allowing Cuban Americans to send family remittances to the island.

Labour NEC youth representative and junior doctor Lara McNeill shared her first-hand experience of training as a doctor in Havana and told the audience what it was like to work in Cuba’s world class healthcare system. She compared the cost of training to become a doctor in the UK and the debts students would rack up here with Cuba where medical training is free and as a result doctors came from much more diverse backgrounds than in Britain.

CSC Director Rob Miller closed the meeting with a call for solidarity given the current difficulties the island faced. “Cuba has given so much to the world, it is time for us to give something back” he said.

Labour MPs Mick Whitley, Navendu Mishra, Paula Barker, Rachel Hopkins, Kim Johnson and Sinn Fein’s Chris Hazzard and Mickey Brady attended the meeting and expressed their ongoing support.[3]

End Fire & Rehire

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Joe Clarke FDA, Steve Turner, Barry Gardiner MP, Daniel Kebede NEU, Ellie Mae O'Hagan CLASS, Laura Smith.

2019 Labour fringe

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September 2019 Teresita Vicente, Danielle Rowley MP, Steve Turner, Christine Blower, Huda Elmi, Marcus Barnett, Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Chair Karen Lee MP.

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Leaders

Leaders of Labour Assembly Against Austerity.

Co-Chairs: Steve Turner, Unite the Union Assistant General Secretary and chair of The People's Assembly Against Austerity, and Diane Abbott MP.

Vice-Chairs: Claudia Webbe MP and Mike Hedges, Chair of Unite London and Eastern region Labour Party Liaison Committee, Lucy Anderson (former MEP).

Patrons:

Peter Hain, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Elaine Smith MSP.

Zero Covid Conference

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November 2020 The People's Assembly organized an online "Zero Covid Conference". Participants included:

"Socialist Solutions"

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Labour Party conference fringe. Sponsored by Labour Assembly Against Austerity and Arise.

With Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, John McDonnell MP, Richard Burgon MP, Dave Ward, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Ian Lavery MP, Sarah Woolley, Holly Turner, Ruth Hayes, Mark Serwotka, Steve Turner, Nadia Jama.

"Fighting the Tories"

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Labour Assembly Against Austerity Labour conference fringe 2020.

Diane Abbott MP, Richard Burgon MP, Grace Blakeley, Jon Trickett MP, Laura Pidcock, Roger McKenzie, Steve Turner.

Morning Star 90th

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Amanda Martin, Gawain Little, Carolyn Jones, Annette Mansell-Green, Jimmy Macintyre, Steve Turner, Andy Bain, Ben Chacko, Meirian Jump, Mary Davis.

Morning Star conference

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"Economic democracy and Scotland's Crisis of Development"

Chair Lynn Henderson Scottish PSC.

Roz Foyer, Michael Roberts, Steve Turner, Lorna Slater, Paul O'Connell, John McDonnell MP, Beth Winter MP, George Kerevan, Denise Christie, Pauline Bryan.

Morning Star endorsement

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Morning Star

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Steve Turner and Ben Chacko.

Green New Deal for Workers

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Sakina Sheikh, Steve Turner, Tracey Hylton, Andrea Egan.

"What Next?"

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The People's Assembly Against Austerity September 12 2021 with Mark Serwotka, Shami Chakrabarti, Howard Beckett, Lindsey German, Barry Gardiner, Dave Ward, Sarah Woolley, Steve Turner, Holly Turner, Laura Pidcock, Fran Heathcote, Matt Wrack, Marvina Newton, Kevin Courtney.

Action for Jobs

The People's Assembly Action for Jobs September 15 2021.

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Steve Turner Unite the Union, Zarah Sultana MP, Nathan Allen Liberty Press.

"Organising the Working Class

A public workshop from the SE London Communist Party.

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Professor Roger Seifert, Roger McKenzie, Jo Grady, Professor John Kelly, Steve Turner, Sarah Woolley.

Centenary conference

Communist Party of Britain centenary conference August 1, 2020

Take the Road! - mass meeting for trade union and trades council activists

Speakers

CPB backing

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In 2021 Communist Party of Britain endorsed Steve Turner in his leadership bid for Unite the Union.

Ending Austerity Politics

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Labour Assembly Against Austerity Katy Clark MP, Owen Jones, Steve Turner, Polly Toynbee.

Ocalan campaign

A new campaign for jailed leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, to be released was launched on Monday 25th April at a packed meeting at the House of Commons organised by Labour MP Kate Osamor, with full support from the unions UNITE, Unison and the GMB.

Stephen Smellie, Deputy Convenor UNISON Scotland, and trade union liaison officer with the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, said: “This Government’s position is shameful, doing deals with Turkey to stop refugees coming while Turkey steps up its war on Kurdish people in Turkey, including aerial bombing.”

The meeting was also addressed by Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB, Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of Unite the Union, Bert Schouwenburg, the GMB’s international officer, Simon Dubbins, Director of UNITE’s international department; and a message of support from four Sinn Fein Westminster MPs was read out.[4]

Militant

Turner was a member of Militant Tendency in his youth.

References

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