Jon Lansman reports on the launch of a new movement to advance Jeremy Corbyn’s agenda both within the Labour Party and beyond.
When Jeremy Corbyn entered the race to be Labour’s leader, we didn’t expect to win. From the outset we planned to build a new movement that would campaign for the policies and values Jeremy supported, which we believed were necessary for Labour’s survival as an alternative to the Tories, long after the contest was over. We also hoped to use the campaign to build up a database to organise the left more effectively in future.
We’ve now launched Momentum: the social movement that Jeremy promised in his campaign for a new politics, for peace, justice and equality. Within hours of its launch, we had 12,000 likes on Facebook and over 7,000 Twitter follows.
Momentum will campaign for Labour victories in 2016‘s elections. It will back Labour’s campaign to register voters to minimise the effect of the Tories’ immoral, self-interested attempt to gerrymander the forthcoming boundary commission.
It will campaign in communities and workplaces against evictions and for rent controls and against benefit caps. It will fight alongside trade unions and also campaign inside the Labour Party to make it the truly democratic organisation we need, rooted in communities and workplaces.
In the launch email, signatories Richard Burgon, Katy Clark, Clive Lewis, Becky Long-Bailey and Kate Osamor said, “Momentum will be our grassroots network to continue the work we have begun:
- To organise in every town, city and village to create a mass movement for real, progressive change.
- Make Labour a more democratic party, with the policies and collective will to implement them in government.
- To bring together individuals and groups in our communities and workplaces to campaign and organise on the issues that matter to us.”
We have every intention of making this a democratic movement. In the short term, we will be organising meetings of supporters across the country – many are already happening. They will determine their own local priorities and all we ask is they are inclusive and broad as was Jeremy’s support in the leadership election.
Momentum will have several roles. There will be an internally-focused Labour Party element which will need to organise within the policy process and for democratic reform. It will work with established left organisations and will have a steering group drawn from those components.
There will also be a more outwardly focused social movement, seeking to involve the widest possible range of people in local, workplace and national campaigns. Not everyone will be willing to join the Labour Party right now but they will want to work together with us to advance Jeremy‘s agenda.
Help the campaign grow. Like Momentum’s page on Facebook and share it with your friends. Follow Momentum on Twitter. Email your friends and get them to sign up. And please donate to Momentum – it isn’t going to be bankrolled by supermarket owners or global corporations.