Monthly Archives: December 2013

Durham Unite Community branch in action

On Monday the 6th & 7th January 2014 Durham Unite Community are taking the campaign to support people who have been victimised by Tory & Libdem welfare/benefits and job cuts into our communities.

Increasing numbers of people are facing hardship brought about by tougher regimes in Jobcentres, leading to sanctions for vulnerable people, and many are turning to foodbanks in one of the richest countries in the world.

Cuts have also decimated support organisations so Unite community are attempting to get people working together and supporting the building of collective community based solutions to these bread and butter issues. We have linked up with the Durham foodbank, and we are focusing on debt issues too, which are particularly relevant after the expensive Christmas period.

On the 6th of January from 11am we will have a large stall in Durham Market place and on the 7th we will be touring local town centres, such as Chester Le Street, and some estates. We will have our campaign material, and representatives from other organisations, including the Durham Foodbank, to help spread a positive New Year message with.


A welcome ‘Reality Check’ in the migrant debate

In the lead up to the 1st January changes for Romanian and Bulgarian workers, we have seen a range of politicians and media spouting a load of nonsense about the possible impacts, and some vile attempts by reactionary right wing groups to incite hatred against these workers.

In the face of that, the South West TUC has produced a new guide – “Truth, Lies and Migrants” which exposes many of the myths and looks at the reality.

The North East of England has a fraction of the number of migrants coming to this country of the South West, so it really is safe to say that if there isn’t a problem there then there certainly isn’t one here, despite what the hate mongers try and tell you.

The guide is highly recommended reading and can be found at the link below:

Unite Christmas Appeal – Give Our Kids A Christmas

After a year of cuts, cuts and more cuts from the coalition government, hundreds of thousands of families have been forced to use food banks to feed their children. For many, putting food on the table is difficult enough on any normal day – Christmas will be even more difficult.

That’s why Unite, The Trussel Trust and the Daily Mirror have launched an appeal to help thousands of families have a proper Christmas meal this year.

If you are able to give anything to help, please try and do so. There are a number of easy ways you can help:

Text FBOX99 with your donation to 70070

Donate on-line at

Give over the phone by calling: 01722 580 208 (lines open 09:30 to 17:00)

For more information about Foodbanks in this area, visit

Campaign Bootcamp

Unite are planning to sponsor four places at the 2014 Campaign Bootcamp.

Campaign Bootcamp has been set up to teach a new generation of activists all the essential skills needed to organise and run small or large scale campaigns, and equip them to pass these skills easily on to others.

After a successful pilot in 2013, Campaign Bootcamp now intends to launch as an organisation which can provide training worldwide, and help young campaigners across the globe to really make a difference to their society.

If you would be interested in attending camp bootcamp, please Email

People’s Assembly Action Plan 2014

Representatives from People’s Assembly local groups and supporting organisations met last Saturday to agree and plan the next steps for the campaign. We agreed on the following action plan for 2014:

Jan / Feb: Hands off our Unions – defend the right to resist
National speaking tour starting with rally in Central London at the end of January following the statement launched in the Guardian.
Click here to sign the statement

3 Feb – 7 Feb: Student week of action – ‘No sell off of the student loan book’ Actions on campuses across the country. Click here for actions

22 February: Women’s Assembly Against Austerity. Click here to register
Launched in the Guardian this week

15 March: Re-call People’s Assembly conference
Emanuel Centre, London. More info soon.

19 March: Budget Day – ‘Britain needs a pay rise’
Demonstrations, protests and actions across the country

22 March: support for ‘No to racism and fascism’ demonstration.

May Day: support for May Day protests and demonstrations

21 June: People’s Assembly National Demonstration London
National demonstration and free festival in Central London. More info soon.

October: TUC National Demonstration London

Fundraising appeal

We have a packed timetable of events and actions to mobilise for in the coming weeks and months. All of this costs money and we urgently need increase our regular monthly income to be able to properly staff our national office, and fund these exciting initiatives.

We are asking all supporters of the People’s Assembly to make a regular donation, however big or small. Donations can be set up on our website. Thank you for your continued support.


Unite Community will be participating in a number of these events across the country – watch this website and keep in touch with the Durham Centre for full details nearer the time.

Durham Trades Council & People’s Assembly Christmas Social

Xmas Social Wednesday 18th December, People’s Bookshop, 6pm – 8pm

As we don’t have a CDTUC meeting this month, we thought it would be nice to have an informal Christmas get together instead. As it happens, so did the Durham People’s Assembly, so we decided to join forces next Wednesday. We’ll have some music and refreshments and it’ll be a chance for people to catch up. I dare say that mince pies will make an appearance at some point. The social is at the same time as our normal meetings (6pm – 8pm). We’ll also be going to the pub afterwards (probably the Swan and Three Cygnets on Elvet Bridge), so if you can’t make the social in the bookshop, but can meet us later, feel free to do so. The invite extends to friends, partners etc.

Event poster to download and share

Hope to see you on Wednesday.

Ben Sellers

Secretary, County Durham Trades Union Council

Unite Community at the DMA XMAS School

Unite Community were invited along to the Durham miners Association Christmas School held in newcastle on the 30th November.

At the school, there was some excellent discussion about the aims and objectives of the Community Support Centre, and what has been done to date.  David Condliffe, Unite learning officer gave a presentation about the skills and training which would be made available through the centre, and Robbie Faulds, a volunteer from the centre, spoke about how the welfare advice provided by the centre would be put in to a political context.

A key message was that, as well as giving out welfare advice, the centre aimed to educate on the political motives behind the welfare “reform” programme being pursued as part of the austerity agenda.  Much of this is summed up in the following video, which was shown and went down very well with the DMA members.

You can download a copy of the video by clicking here then clicking on download.

The event was a great success and further strengthened the ties between Unite community and the Durham miners.

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