On 26th January, while the Tory government was self-imploding and letting down ordinary people, residents from across Gloucester joined Dawn Butler MP to launch a people-powered movement in Gloucester.
This event was Gloucester’s launch of community organising.
Community organising is unlocking the collective power that lies in normal people when we come together to fight on an issue that affects us. It celebrates the fact that while the Tories have money, the Labour party has people power. Labour has a long history of people working together collectively to win meaningful changes in our society. This new election-winning strategy is about making sure that our campaigns are not just for the many, but run by the many.
Across the country, over the last few months, 30 newly employed community organisers have brought together over 5000 workers, business people, faith leaders, parents and neighbours under the Labour banner. They have been building the people power that we need to start winning on local campaigns.
On 26th January over 100 people from across Gloucester came together to talk about the issues that Gloucester is currently facing and plan to start tackling them. We spoke about the local campaigns that we want to win on.
The meeting covered:
- Keeping the Crown Post Office
- Ensuring that Gloucester has a refuge for women escaping domestic violence
- Getting Gloucester City Homes to give £10,000 they promised for youth services
- Improving working conditions at Gloucester Quays
- Ending Gloucester Council’s contract with AMEY and ensuring recycling/waste management is a publicly run and accountable service
- Many other local issues that Gloucester people want to campaign on
Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities was there to input vital expertise and experience into our plans to rebuild Gloucester for the many. Dawn was the first ever Afro-Carribbean government minister as Minister of State for Youth Affairs and is an experienced Trade Unionist. In her words:
“Politics matters. Now more than any other time is the time to say that it matters. And each and every one of you has the power to change it. There are more of us that want to see the change than there are who want to destroy it”
Dawn also gave us a rendition of her ‘theme tune’ which inspired us to realise the power that we hold to change things:
Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
I obviously want to see a Labour government elected at the next general election. But the people of Gloucester can’t wait until then. With increasing homelessness and food bank use, public services being sold off to private profit-hungry companies and an NHS that is on its knees, the people of Gloucester need to see change now.
I am so excited about the potential for community organising has to start rebuilding Gloucester right now.
If you are interested in getting involved in community organising in Gloucester, contact Louie: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07802861991