Socialist Worker

Jeremy Corbyn inspires supporters to fight for a different society

by Nick Clark in Brighton
Issue No. 2573

Corbyn inspires his supporters in Brighton (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Vindicated by the general election, thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters gathered in Brighton ahead of the Labour Party conference, yesterday, Sunday. They’re feeling confident, enthusiastic and raring to chuck out the Tories.

Corbyn spoke to a huge crowd at a park in Brighton on Saturday evening. There was a celebratory, festival atmosphere as crowds gathered an hour before he started speaking.

Pointing to the changed dynamic inside the Labour Party, Corbyn's told the crowd, "I don't think there's ever been an event like this to start off conference before".

He added, "The election showed us something very special about this country. Remember all those experts that gathered around the late night discussion tables and every morning radio show to write us off.

"We didn't let them take away the hopes of so many people with their meanness, their nastiness and their austerity-led politics. We showed we had the strength outside parliament to change things."

Corbyn encouraged all of his supporters to keep fighting to get the Tories out.

"You don't achieve change just in those frenetic few days during a general election," he said. 

“Together— together—we can, and will, do it".

His speech reflected the mood among his supporters, exhilarated at the prospect of replacing the Tories with a Corbyn-led Labour government.

Sussex university student Kirsty told Socialist Worker, "We heard about this rally twenty minutes ago and ran to get here. Corbyn gives people hope—that’s the most important thing that we have to keep up".

Her friend Georgia said, "Corbyn's different. He wants to change politics—and he wants people to be involved."

Exciting 

Health worker Emma told Socialist Worker, "I'm super excited about Labour. I work in the NHS so it's really important for me that we get the Tories out.

"I got really involved in the general election. I was out canvassing in all weathers.

"People have to keep getting involved. During the general election we felt a real sense of purpose—there was a clear target with a deadline. It's harder to stay involved day-to-day but we have to keep that up."

Steve said, "Jeremy has been amazing since the general election—his speeches, his presence.

"I just really want to get rid of the government.. I work in social care and we've had cuts across the board.

"I've lost 16 colleagues this year. It can't carry on like this."

And Annie said, "There's a wind of change. Labour, with the help of Momentum, has really taken off.

"We have to keep doing what we're doing—building support and recruiting people to Labour".

Earlier that day hundreds of people gathered for the first day of the World Transformed festival. 

The event, running alongside Labour conference, brings activists together for political debate and discussion. Many of the meetings had queues stretching down the street to get in.

One meeting, launching the book The Corbyn Effect, debated the changes in society that led to the explosion in support for Corbyn—and what to do with it. Some activists talked about the fight to make Labour meetings more political and democratic.

Others talked about the ongoing battle against the right. One speaker said, "For the first time in years I can feel the appetite for change.

"The Tories and the right think they are the only people who are fit to govern and they're shit scared of what's going on.

"It's quite obvious that there's an undercurrent of people who won't accept what they say any more."


Free movement—a key issue for the movement 

One meeting saw people pack into a hall to debate "Should Labour support free movement?"

Labour conference will debate a motion on whether to defend the right of European Union migrants to live and work in Britain freely.

Speaking from the platform, Eddie Dempsey from the RMT union's national executive committee said migrants are a "reserve army of Labour" used to drive down wages.

But the audience at the meeting overwhelmingly backed arguments for the right of migrants to live in Britain without more immigration controls.

One speaker from the floor said "if you say the answer to low wages is to curb freedom of movement, you're saying it's migrant's fault."

She got a huge cheer when she said, "Migrants are part of the working class".


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