Socialist Worker

Corbyn cheered and May heckled as campaigning draws to a close

by Kurly McGeachie and Héctor Puente Sierra
Issue No. 2557

Crowds in Croydon respond to Jeremy Corbyns Birmingham speech

Crowds in Croydon respond to Jeremy Corbyn's Birmingham speech (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Jeremy Corbyn told thousands of Labour supporters at six simultaneous rallies, “We are going all-out to win this election”.

He addressed a crowd of 6,000 in Birmingham, last night, Tuesday, who chanted his campaign slogan “for the many, not the few”.

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His speech was relayed to events in Barry, Brighton, Croydon, Glasgow, and Warrington where senior Labour figures joined left wing celebrities.

Corbyn said, “Let's work together across the whole country to show them our programme is real, serious and here. And we are real, serious and here.

“And do you know what? We are going to change things.”

In an atmosphere of solidarity strangers nodded and smiled at one another.

The crowd brought together young and old, disabled people, students, heath workers, teachers, unemployed and a generous mix of ethnicities.

Jane was there with her teenage daughter. She told Socialist Worker, “I’m one of many who have found themselves on no income as a result of my disability benefit being stopped.

“I was deemed fit for work, yet employers won’t hire me due to my disabilities. I’m terrified of what’s going to happen if Jeremy doesn’t win.”

Young

One 24 year old first time voter added, “Jeremy Corbyn represents the interests of young people. He wants to scrap tuition fees and preserve the NHS.”

Over 1,000 people joined a rally with shadow chancellor John McDonnell in Croydon, south London, where Tory housing minister Gavin Barwell has a majority of just 165.

The crowd was enthusiastic as Corbyn talked about his plan to fund schools and hospitals.

Jenny told Socialist Worker, “I’ve already voted for Labour by post. I’m a nurse, so I know well what the Conservative Party has done to the NHS”.

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Samuel, a teacher, added, “I have 35 students in a classroom. That’s a problem worth fighting against.”

Turnout at some events was small compared to the massive rally in Gateshead on Monday.

But Corbyn’s ability to draw and impress crowds is a world away from Theresa May’s lonely campaign.

She got up early on Wednesday morning to pose with butchers at London’s Smithfield meat market. They heckled her, shouting “Vote Labour” and “end police cuts”.


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