This weekend saw Momentum kick off a series of larger events in Derbyshire with a Pro Jeremy Corbyn rally outside St. Peter’s Church in Derby. Close to 200 people turned up on 36 hours notice to listen to speakers show support for the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party as he faces a leadership challenge from an under-prepared Angela Eagle and her pink themed range of perfumery banners.
Despite an onslaught of rain putting off potential attendees, the turnout blocked the main shopping street in Derby
There was an hour of speeches from a variety of organisations. The bill was (there were a couple of minor differences on the day – photos below):
Phillipa Saddington – Secondary school teacher and NUT activist
Cecille Wright – Momentum National Exec
Peter Robinson- UNITE community
Bill Greenshields- Derby People’s Assembly
Uther Naysmith- Young Labour
Asha Mushru- junior doctors
Jyoti Wilkinson- Belper Labour Party
Katy Blair – FBU
Fionn Naysmith -Political writer/theatre director
Cheryl Pidgeon – Unite the Union
Paul Williams- PSC (tbc)
Moz Greenshields- TUC
Indian Workers Association
Jay Humphreys – Momentum Derbyshire
Ben Timberley – Erewash Labour Party
Jay Humphries, Secretary of Momentum Derbyshire said:
“This isn’t really about Jeremy Corbyn, it’s not about left wing ideas really anymore, it’s about our right to choose our leaders, about an adherence to democracy – something that the 172 members of the parliamentary party don’t seem to have any adherence to whatsoever. We need to be reaching out to the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve joined us over the last couple of weeks and evolve them, make them feel like they have a vested interest in the future of the party, which they do because the party itself has a vested interest in the future of the country. Together we will, we will – not we can – we will change the political system and we will change the face of the country.”
Jyoti Wilkinson from Belper Labour Party said: “People will not stand anymore for the malcontents in Westminster with blood on their hands; people do want to see new parliament politics and a change in politics and it does work, even on a local level, like it has in Belper. And it has worked in Belper; we got rid of two of the longest serving Tory councillors in Belper and things will change. They can and will change and people will believe that. You’ve got to be positive about it but we’ve also got to get to feet on the streets, get knocking on doors and spread the message.”
The overall message was hopeful and empowerment, and people attending the rally were encouraged to join the Labour Party, join Momentum and to also send messages of support to Jeremy Corbyn on postwards, which were provided.
The next Momentum event is on Saturday at St. Peter’s Church in Derby, where Richard Burgon MP (Shadow Justice Minister) will be discussing What’s Next For Progessive Politics.
There will also be a Belper event called Jeremy Corbyn4PM at the Queen’s Head on 23rd July at 7pm, which will include both speakers and a night of music and connectivity.
Speakers will be:
Chris Williamson – Former Derby North MP/Chair Derby North LP
Jason Humphries – Derbyshire Momentum Secretary
Jyoti Wilkinson – Belper Labour Party/Unite Community
Maurice Neville – AV Borough Councillor/Belper Labour Party
Carol Angharad – Belper Labour Party Chair
Sophie Vale – Notts Young Labour
There are also rumours of a Jeremy Corbyn festival in Derby but nothing is yet confirmed and it remains an idea that we will have to see if it pans out.