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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Ethnic minorities and separate organisation

I have been involved with front line trade union organisation and community campaigns for the last 25 years and I am now very much part of a community based campaign to improve the organisational effectiveness of the Greek community in London which numbers something around 300,000.

The one question I have been frequently asked, mainly by those on the left, is whether there is a need for separate organisation and it has been suggested, on some occasions, that by going down that road we create division.

My answer to that is the answer that some in my community have given me many times. They feel that they are not listed to and that they are often ignored. My own view is that we must organise within existing structures and compliment what is already there. No one should be going down the road of trying to replace effective organisations like the existing TUs or the main political parties. So the need to encourage members of the community to participate fully in the democratic process of this country is a good one. The aims, for example, of Operation Greek Vote are clearly defined and the objective there is to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote registers and does so. This is a project that should be supported by the TUs and the Labour party.

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