Beyond Covid-19 is a programme of online event organised by Southwark and Lambeth Green Parties taking place during the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic.
For this event we will be looking at how Council processes can perpetuate racial prejudice and structural inequality in residents’ lives. Even more importantly, we’ll be looking at how we can address and overcome these obstacles.
We are delighted to welcome guest speaker Benali Hamdache.
Benali is an experienced Green campaigner and missed out on becoming an Islington Councillor in the 2018 elections by just 73 votes. He has previously been the Green Party’s Equalities Spokesperson and was co-author of our LGBTIQA+ and BAME manifestos.
In an interactive event, Benali will guide attendees through identifying areas where racism and other forms of prejudice can show in local Council decision making. He will use case studies to find solutions to these problems, so that we can be better prepared to recognise and tackle them in real life scenarios.
This event is for all members and supporters, not only those working directly with councils, so please share the invitation widely.
Note: RSVP for this event is via the Lambeth Green Party Action Network site, which you can reach here. You need to sign up for this event to receive the necessary log in details.
If you wish to send questions for the speaker in advance, please send them by email.
For (optional) background reading ahead of the event, you may find the following links of interest:
- Our Commitment to People of Colour (Green Party, 2019)
- Green Party Manifesto (2019) – Discrimination is addressed in The Green Quality of Life Guarantee (p.60).
- Staff accuse Lambeth Council of institutional racism (The Guardian, 2018)
- Racist bullying rife in London council (The Guardian, 2003, focused on Lambeth Council)
- How councils can work with local people to combat racism (The Guardian, 2014)
- Definition of systemic racism in sociology - focused on the United States, but a useful introduction to understanding systemic racism.
With so many fewer cars on the streets during lockdown, air pollution has fallen by up to 50% and people have been walking and cycling to local shops and parks, as well as to work.
But now, as lockdown eases, cars are returning to the streets. If Southwark doesn’t act to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists, all Southwark residents will suffer.
- Many people will not be able to travel safely to work. The majority of residents don’t have access to a private car and there will be reduced capacity on public transport for months to come.
- More people will choose to drive, creating gridlock - causing delays for those who do need to use motorised transport, including delays to buses.
- Increased air pollution means more heart disease, asthma and strokes, as well as exacerbating the impact of coronavirus.
It's a question of social justice: 60% of Southwark residents do not have access to a car. With limited capacity on public transport, they need safe ways to walk and cycle. Workers in health care, retail and construction who can’t work from home are more likely to be on lower incomes and most in need of safer ways to commute.
If Southwark Council doesn’t act quickly, there’s a real risk that as people avoid public transport, Southwark will become a corridor of choking gridlock, from the southern suburbs to the river.
Meanwhile, people still need extra space on pavements for daily exercise, recreation and essential tasks while keeping a safe distance from each other.
But the last few months have shown that rapid changes are possible.
Photo (above, and top): the Low Traffic neighbourhood around Van Gogh Walk, LambethRead more
In early May, Southwark and Lambeth Green Parties welcomed Siân Berry as first guest in its speaker programme, Beyond Covid-19. The topic: Universal Basic Income (UBI).
With much to cover, Siân provided an informed and passionate overview of Green Party policy on this issue and explained some of the research that has gone into this globally, as well as answering members’ questions. It became clear that the concept of UBI and the support and resilience it provides was a key policy that first attracted Siân to the Green Party.
Beyond Covid-19 is a programme of online Speaker Events for members and supporters of the Green Parties of Lambeth and Southwark. At each event we hear from topic experts and consider ways to ensure that the lessons from coronavirus lead to a more positive and robust future for all.
This event focuses on The Green New Deal and we are delighted to welcome Molly Scott-Cato to guide the discussion. MEP for the South-West of England from 2014 – 2020, and Professor of Green Economics, not surprisingly, Molly speaks for the Green Party on finance issues.
(Required RSVP is at the foot of this page).
In 2008 The Green New Deal was published. Co-authored by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, it advocated the re-regulation of finance and taxation and called for major government investment in renewable energy sources as a way out of the Global Financial Crisis.
More than a decade since its publication and in the midst of another crisis, now is a fascinating moment to bring the two together: can investment in the Green New Deal successfully navigate both the current pandemic and tackle the environmental and climate emergency? The Green New Deal was at the heart of the Green Party manifesto at the last General Election and the associated investment - £100 billion per year – grabbed headlines and rightly presented a radical agenda for change and a sustainable future. With eye-watering amounts directed at plans for mitigating the effects of the pandemic not surprisingly many now see the Green New Deal as considerably more realistic than just a few months ago.
What can we do to make the case for the Green New Deal effectively?
How do we support the movement to ‘build back better’ and not slip back to the carbon-reliant damaging economic model?
How does the Green New Deal translate to local communities?
In addition to hearing Molly’s views you can raise your own questions (email email@example.com). We look forward to welcoming you to this event and to your contributions.
RSVP to this event below to receive the necessary details on how to attend.
A few links to further reading that you may find interesting ahead of the event:
The world wasn’t ready for a Green New Deal in 2009. Today it may be Article by Guardian Economics Editor, Larry Elliott, 28 May 2020
Green Party manifesto on Green New Deal https://campaigns.greenparty.org.uk/manifesto/#gnd
The original report from 2008 https://neweconomics.org/2008/07/green-new-deal
…and finally - just because we love it - a deliciously powerful moment from Molly’s time at the European Parliament when challenged by Brexit MEP Robert Rowland on her economic credentials. Oh, dear... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zazbg2om_Gk