Last weekend's demonstration once again showed that organisation is key in forcing change
Saturday's Not one More day #ToriesOut demonstration was a fantastic display of opposition to a failing, flailing government. If you weren't on it (you should have been!), you have probably seen the pictures. It was big, loud, angry, confident and incredibly mixed. Contempt for the government mixed with outrage at the utterly avoidable Grenfell tragedy and disbelief at the appalling freeze on public sector pay.
But what made it a really unique experience and especially important, was the wider context. Despite the full force of establishment opposition, despite the rotten state of our society, for the first time in decades, the left is beginning - just beginning - to shape society.
So the demonstration was a show of support for a Corbyn government, but also a statement to the current regime that we are not going to sit and wait for it to collapse of its own stupidity, incompetence and hatefulness. On the contrary, we are going to do everything possible to hasten its downfall. In particular, as so many speakers said, this demonstration must be seen as a springboard for a monster mobilisation at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester on 1st October.
This is important because we shouldn't underestimate the Tories' ability to cling on to power. Nor can we ignore the plotting on Labour's right. Opportunities like the one we have now don't come around too often and when they do they have to be seized.
And there is another, longer-term reason why Saturday mattered. If we do manage to get a Corbyn-led government, no-one should believe that it will be the end of the story. That will be the point at which the establishment really starts to pile on the pressure, not just through the media but through the banks, the courts and the civil service. You name it, every ruling class institution will be mobilised to undermine, derail, and demoralise a Corbyn government.
This is why have got to start organising for Manchester now. It was a shame that, despite John McDonnell's brilliant call out for the demonstration, Momentum and the Labour Party didn't push for the demonstration nationally. But this just underlines that in the months up to the Manchester protests we have got to deepen and broaden the movement. We need People's Assembly organisation in every town, city and neighbourhood.
Workplace organisation also needs strengthening. It's a glaring contradiction that more than 13 million people voted for Corbyn but only just over 6 million are in unions. We need union recruitment drives everywhere we can, and getting contingents of people from your workplace to Manchester is a good way to help rebuild people's confidence and capacity for self-organising.
So get in touch with your local People's Assembly. If there isn't one where you are, think about setting one up.
We also need to take seriously strengthening of the extra-parliamentary left. A political approach has to have an organisational expression. If you believe that what happens on the streets, in communities, and in workplaces matters for all our futures then please think about joining us and being part of the big change. Corbynism itself is as much as anything a product of the mass protest movements of the last couple of decades. Those movements are going to be crucial in the months and years ahead. The moral has to be that things only happen when you start to get organised. Join us.
More articles from this author
- The secret ambulance driver: ‘this strike isn’t just about pay, it’s about saving our NHS’
- CWU: Post Office workers keep the fight alive with more strikes - News from the Frontline
- Royal Mail: best and final offer met with no confidence in CEO - News from the Frontline
- University strike: the rising has begun
- ‘The point is to change it’: Why you should come to Marxism in a Day
- Fair pay or fire strike: FBU move to industrial action ballot - News from the Frontline
- Sporting values built on bloodied sand: Qatar 2022