Counterfire members building the 5 November demonstration around the country Counterfire members building the 5 November demonstration around the country

Activists have been out across the country building for the demonstration on 5 November, reports Chris Nineham

The mood on the streets is incandescent. People are queueing up to get leaflets for the demonstration, to sign petitions and to get involved in campaigning.

The local People’s Assembly was out in force in central Manchester on Saturday. The group had a PA system playing political songs which helped to draw people in. Activists report loads of people stopping to chat with many leaving their emails saying they wanted to help out with the campaign. Demand for coach transport is growing all the time. The first coach is now full and the PA are considering getting a second booked.

Last Saturday in Glasgow people queued up to sign a petition calling on the Tories to go, despite the pouring rain, with many of them saying they want to help out. One person involved said that ‘the reception was absolutely brilliant, the moment they heard we were attacking the Tories, people would stop, turn back and grab leaflets and take Counterfire papers.’

At University College in London students are out campaigning most days for the demo. On every stall there are more people taking leaflets and committing to come on the demonstration. A group of students are organising a get together to make banners and plan for the biggest possible student contingent on the demo.

In Peckham in South London on Sunday there were 13 people out on the People’s Assembly stall including Labour party members, ‘Don’t Pay’ campaigners, members of XR and people from a local strike solidarity group. One participant  reports ‘The reception was amazing, we had hundreds and hundreds of leaflets but we had given them all out in an hour.’ The following night 60 people came to a People’s Assembly meeting down the road in New Cross and planned more activity to build the demo.

A People’s Assembly stall in Stoke Newington in Hackney on the weekend also got a brilliant response with many saying they will come on the demo.

In Bethnal Green on Saturday, Counterfire members gave out 500 leaflets for the demo. 50 people signed up to get involved. A significant minority of people already knew about the demo.

Bristol report their first 70 seater coach is nearly sold out, and they are busy raising money from the local unions for a second right now. Normally coaches really start to fill in the last week before the demo. They are holding a mass rally in central Bristol next Saturday.

More coaches are being put on daily including recently Colchester Trades Council, Milton Keynes and Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly. Go to the PA website for more details.

What you can do to help build the demo:

  • Order leaflets from the People’s Assembly and organise a leafletting session where you are.
  • Put up leaflets in local shops 
  • Leaflet local picket lines and your local university
  • Download the model resolution supporting the demonstration and pass it in your union branch, trades council of party branch.
  • If there is no transport already arranged from your area, contact local unions and your trades council and ask them to lay a coach on. 

Before you go

If you liked this article, please consider getting involved. Counterfire is a revolutionary socialist organisation working to build the movements of resistance and socialist ideas. Please join us and help make change happen.

Chris Nineham

Chris Nineham is a founder member of Stop the War and Counterfire, speaking regularly around the country on behalf of both. He is author of The People Versus Tony Blair and Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukacs.

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