NHS demonstrators holding banner NHS in Crisis Demo 3.1.18. Photo: Counterfire

The demos this summer give us a chance to recapture the spirit of last year’s insurgency and take the fight to the Tories. We must take it

Creating an economy that delivers for people’s needs rather than the shareholders’ portfolios will require not just a sharp redistribution of wealth but social control of investment decisions. 

It’s going to take big mobilisations to popularise and to push through these kind of radical policies. That is why we must not play a political waiting game. Jeremy Corbyn’s breakthrough came during last year’s general election when he was whipping up a storm touring the country publicising a progressive manifesto. He spoke to tens of thousands of people in stadiums, in town halls and parks, on beaches and at festivals, promising big changes. It was this insurgent campaign that convinced people he was not just a normal politician, and that he was prepared to appeal to the people to take on the establishment and the right wing in his own party. 

Rather than waiting for a 2022 election campaign, we should be doing everything we can to re-capture that spirit this summer. The demonstration over Grenfell on 16 June, the NHS anniversary demo on 30 June and the protests against Trump’s visit in July are all opportunities to take the fight to the government. Each one of these mobilisations can help to put the most important questions back on to the political agenda at a time when the media and the political classes are obsessed with the issue of Europe. 

They can also help create a crisis that May can’t survive. There is no question her government is vulnerable. The growing rejection of austerity polices in the country makes it inherently unstable. It is an open secret that back bench MPs are plotting to replace her with a Gove caretaker government. Following the magnificent pro-choice vote in the Republic of Ireland, the mood for change in Northern Ireland has made her reliance on the DUP less and less defensible. 

Every protest, every demonstration,  and every strike, increases the pressure on the Tories. 

It is important at the same time that we use these national events to deepen and widen the movements of resistance everywhere. In many places the People’s Assembly is the go-to organisation that draws together trade unions, local campaigns and progressive politicians into a force to be reckoned with. We need that kind of organisation everywhere. 

Find out more about the upcoming demonstration ‘NHS at 70: Free, For All, Forever’