Why I’m standing: Sarah Wrack, Valley

Sarah on the National Union of Students demonstration in 2012

I first moved to Waltham Forest in 2004, when I was 15. I didn’t spend much time here then – it was before I got involved in politics, all my friends were still in Tower Hamlets and as far as I was concerned, there was nothing to do here.
But when I came back from university in 2010, I started a job in Leytonstone and moved into a shared rented house just down the road. I was a member of the Socialist Party by then and so got to know lots of other activists who worked and lived in the borough.
At the end of 2010 I organised groups of college students from Leyton Sixth Form to protest as part of the student movement against the tuition fees rise and scrapping of EMA.
I helped set up the Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts Union and in 2011 we marched through the borough against the devastating cuts being made by the local Labour-led council, particularly to children’s and young people’s services.
In 2012 I took part in the campaign against the far-right, racist English Defence League who attempted to march in the borough twice. There was a fantastic response from the community and we stopped the EDL holding their rally in August and scared them off completely in September.
In 2013 I was involved in the campaign led by Whipps Cross hospital workers in defence of the hospital and trade union rights and against cuts and down-bandings, including a great demonstration through the borough, led by the nurses affected.
So in 2014 I’ve decided to stand as part of the Waltham Forest Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition list against all cuts. I’m standing because these fantastic campaigns might have successes or failures, but the bosses and politicians always have more attacks around the corner.
The issues aren’t separate – NHS cuts, council cuts, racism, the anger of young people – all a result of the capitalist system we live under that is run purely for the profit of the super-rich 1%. I’m fighting for a system democratically run by and for the 99% – one that can provide everyone with a decent home, education, job, healthcare and leisure time.
I’m standing because I want the 15 year olds in the borough today to feel engaged – to be involved in fighting to make the borough, and society generally, better for themselves and their futures. I don’t think any of the main parties are capable of offering that, but TUSC is.

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