Mayor poll boycott

Arecent meeting of Middlesbrough SA featured a discussion on anti-racism, during which it was agreed that ?anti-Nazi? sentiments are not enough. Alongside mobilising for a counter-demonstration against the National Front and building for the Anti-Nazi League Oldham ?Respect? Carnival in October, the meeting decided to approach the local Asian community to discuss the way forward for fighting racism.

Debate also focused on the forthcoming October referendum for an elected Middlesbrough mayor. Although disagreements clearly existed, a majority voted to actively campaign for an abstention/spoiling of ballot papers. The referendum offers choices which massively restrict local democracy and accountability and we need to expose this charade being placed before the people of Middlesbrough.   

The former head of Cleveland police, Ray Mallon, has already declared his intention to stand. Known as Mr ?Zero Tolerance?, he apparently has the support of several so-called ?left? Labour councillors.

Other issues included the Newcastle Unison strike on September 28, building SA membership and the need for the group to be more focused, with regular political discussions and activities.

The next meeting is on Tuesday September 25 at Elder Court Community Centre, off Grange Road, Middlesbrough.

Tom Evans