13 February 2013
Over 70 people attended a meeting on Monday night to oppose plans to close Clapham Fire Station. Local trade unionists, activists, councillors and residents were packed into the Bread and Roses pub in Clapham, with many more outside unable to fit in.
The meeting was organised by the local Labour Party and speakers included Kate Hoey MP, Ian Lehair the Executive Council Member for FBU London, and local Labour councillors. Ian spoke about the need to build a broad community campaign and about echoed Matt Wracks call for occupations of fire stations.
Members of NUT, Unison, UCU and RMT all came to the meeting and brought messages of solidarity and support. Many said they had already passed motions through their branches pledging to support the firefighters if they take industrial action.
The mood for a huge fight back was clear in the room, hundreds of local residents have already signed petitions against the closure and even the local Tory party showed up to say they were against the closures!
Lots of people spoke about how devastating the cuts would be to Londoners and how Boris Johnson’s is putting lives at risk. The fire station closures were compared to the attacks on the NHS and people talked about the strength of the campaign to save LewishamHospital and how we can build something similar in Clapham.
The next key date in the campaign is the 16th March when there will be a South London protest against the closures. A march through Clapham was proposed and got a great response.
Everyone involved in the campaign will be out leafleting, petitioning and mobilising the biggest possible support the day. An open planning meeting has been called for 25th February in the Bread and Roses where all are welcome.