, , , , ,

The next meeting of Harrogate Socialist Party is Tuesday 9th December, starting 7.30pm. The venue is the Stone Beck pub, Jenny Field Drive, Harrogate, HG3 2XQ.

Jamie Lewis, Harrogate Socialist party member, will be speaking on “The Mafia and the Labour Movement in Sicily”. Jamie, who has lived in Sicily, will be discussing the important role played by socialists and trade unionists in the fight against the Mafia and political corruption. There will be a literature stall at the meeting with further information. All welcome!  

Mafia (2)Socialists protesting against the Mafia in Sicily in the 1970s

During the Second World War the US military used the Mafia when it invaded Sicily in 1943 to counter the growing forces of the left. US agents admitted meeting Mafia boss Don Calogero Vizzini – who was made mayor of his hometown by the US army.

The first regional elections after the war took place in Sicily in April 1947. The joint Communist-Socialist ticket, promising land reform, won 29 seats in the Sicilian parliament. On 1 May 1947, peasants assembled at Portella della Ginestra, to celebrate their election victory and May Day. The Mafia fired shots into the crowd killing 12 people, including four children.

Many socialists and trade unionists in Sicily paid with their lives in the fight against the Mafia and for a socialist transformation of society. This included Peppino Impastato from Palermo who was a member of the PSIUP party (Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity). Peppino was murdered by the Mafia in 1978 by a charge of TNT placed under his body, which had been stretched over the local railway line.

Mafia (1)Peppino Impastato in 1977

For further information about Peppino and the fight against the Mafia in Sicily, see the following link:


TUSC & the Harrogate elections

Our first meeting of the new year will be focusing on the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC). The meeting will take place on Tuesday 13th January, 7.30 pm at the Stone Beck pub, Jenny Field Drive.

TUSC are aiming to stand candidates in at least 1000 council wards and 100 parliamentary constituencies in May 2015. We will be discussing TUSC and the election campaign at the meeting, both nationally and in Harrogate.

All the establishment parties are committed to austerity, privatisation and cuts. In contrast, TUSC council candidates are pledged to:

Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay & conditions

Support all workers’ struggles against the cuts and privatisation and defend the national collective bargaining arrangements for council workers

Reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges

Vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services or the transfer of council services to “social enterprises” or “arms-length” management organisations which are the first steps to privatisation

Refuse to implement the bedroom tax. Councils should write-off all bedroom-tax related areas and withdraw all court proceedings and evictions where the bedroom tax has been a factor

To find out more about the TUSC campaign in Harrogate and how you can get involved, contact us at: harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com

For further information about TUSC, visit their website at: http://www.tusc.org.uk