We were informed about a new book about the life of Michael Albert, it can be found on ibooks and is in Graphic/Comic form.
At the last meeting Tom was asked to enquire into possible venues to host the National Gathering in Birmingham. Given the low level of interest to date and a disagreement that needs to be resolved we have decided to postpone the event. A separate anouncement on this issue has been posted by Tom,we will keep members informed of any developments.
Remy Herge a new French member of the Birmingham chapter was introduced and welcomed.
Stephen reported back about his involement in the Walsall Against the Cuts campaign and the 38 Degrees re-saving the NHS. Stephen has become part of the Walsall Against the Cuts team, organising various events and demonstrations. Stephen has been asked to take the lead as a patients represenative on a new scrutiny body within the new Clinical Commissioning Group.
Tom and Mark have had some success with their involment in the " Communities Against The Cuts" campaign. To date the group have had several successful efforts in preventing cuts in the Birmingham area. Tom and Mark attended a city wide event and Tom chaired an outdoor meeting of about 170 people. A protest was held outside the Birmingham Council House. A section of the demonstration marched down the main street in Birmingham, whilst a smaller group occupied the main council chamber. The police were called to control the event but Tom said they were rather supportive. This should not come as a surprise given that the Police are facing deep cut like all Public Sector workers. The event made television and local news and exposed that the local Labour Group are doing little to fight the cuts. More action is proposed for the 26th of February , IOPS again will participate.
Mark said that Tom did an excellent job of chairing the Birmingham Cuts event, and he said at the end of the event those in attendence were actually participating rather than simply moaning. Mark said that the anti cuts groups could use Z Social to network the West Midlands campaign he is going to suggest this at the next event.
Tom suggested setting up a Reading Group and to invite others on the left to attend and it was suggested that Preeti's list relating to issues and problems other left groups have grappled with should be set as our first topic.
Finally the introductory IOPS video was viewed and all members thought it was rather good.
Tom to send a post to all members about the postponement of the national gathering.
Tom to research pamphlet about IOPS.