Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25589
Posted on 6 June 2017 at 15:23 GMT
Huge crowd turns out in Gateshead to hear Jeremy Corbyn
Huge crowd in Gateshead to hear Jeremy Corbyn speak on 5 June photo Elaine Brunskill (Click to enlarge)
Elaine Brunskill, Northern Socialist Party secretary
Tyneside turned out en masse to hear Jeremy Corbyn speak in Gateshead on 5 June. A local paper estimated ten thousand people turned up. Even torrential rain didn't dampen the mood.
Young people were clearly in the majority among the crowd, and were so keen to see Corbyn that they weren't prepared to wait in the over-flow area (where there was a sound system) but clambered up a grassy bank to ensure they got a glimpse of him.
It is abundantly clear that Corbyn's policies - £10 an hour minimum wage, banning zero hour contracts, abolishing tuition fees - resonate with young people. They recognise that these policies could begin to transform their lives.
Socialist Party placards at the Gateshead Jeremy Corbyn rally on 5 June photo Elaine Brunskill (Click to enlarge)
Furthermore, these young people have taken the first step to ensure these policies come into fruition by registering to vote. Not only are they going to vote for Corbyn, but have been explaining to their friends, their families, and workmates the necessity to get Corbyn elected.
When Corbyn came on stage the atmosphere was electric. People who couldn't see him held their phones aloft to capture him on their mobiles. Others stood on tables and walls to get a better view. Every time he mentioned Tory cuts the crowd booed, this was followed by loud cheers whenever he put forward anti-austerity measures.
We heard later that in the Basque country and Spain people were posting pictures of the event - which shows the huge potential for working-class solidarity.
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The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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