MSB Newsletter 19/06/2017

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Welcome to the latest Momentum South Birmingham newsletter – your unmissable weekly digest of all the interesting things going on politically in our area and beyond.

In the city of Birmingham at least it has been a comparatively calm week politically. Although there is plenty going on it isn’t happening at the manic pace of the last couple of months….. for now.

But of course, in London we had the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire where the death toll continues to mount. There have been arguments that the left are politicising the event but when the disaster is the fault of political decisions made by politicians at local and national level over the course of a generation it is hard for any response not to be…….. political. We are witnessing the human consequences of what happens when an ideology that treats working class people as a nuisance at best, and at worst cattle, comes to dominate. Hopefully the Corbyn surge is the beginning of a process where that ideology is challenged and then consigned to the dustbin by a socialist Labour government.

We also heard the terrible news this morning of events outside Finsbury Park mosque – which brings the counter-demo against a mobilisation by Britain First next Saturday into sharper relief. More details below.   

James

 

New to the Labour Party?

Many of us are fairly new to the Labour Party and it can be quite an intimidating environment with labyrinthine rules and procedures that are at times baffling – with all the different abbreviations and structures it can be like learning a new language! Momentum Sheffield (who look almost as amazing as MSB…..) have produced a very helpful guide for newcomers that explains the structures, rules, terms and puts things in day-to-day language. It’s worth a read even if you are an experienced old hand! A pdf is attached and a link to the document is here.

Screening of ‘Dispossession’ and Q+A, 22nd June

For some people, a housing crisis means not getting planning permission for a loft conversion. For others it means, quite simply, losing their home. Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a feature documentary directed by Paul Sng (Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain) and narrated by Maxine Peake, exploring the catastrophic failures that have led to a chronic shortage of social housing in Britain.

The film focuses on the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates across the UK and investigates how the state works with the private sector to demolish council estates to build on the land they stand on, making properties that are unaffordable to the majority of people.

Dispossession is the story of people fighting for their communities, of people who know the difference between a house and a home, and who believe that housing is a human right, not an expensive luxury.

Following the screening there will be a Q&A discussion featuring Paul Sng (Director), Dr Lisa McKenzie (London School of Economics), Robert Clayton (author and photographer of Estate), Tim Morton (housing consultant) and host Tom Murtha (Social Housing Under Threat). It starts promptly at 8pm and there are more details here.

UAF counter-protest against Britain First, Saturday 24th June

Unite Against Fascism Birmingham have called a counter-demo against a planned Britain First mobilisation this Saturday in town. It starts at 12 noon. More details to be confirmed – check the facebook group for updates and a link to a flyer to print out or share online is here: UAF Brum Britain First A5

Corporate immigration briefing,

Saturday 24th June, 1pm

If you fancy something slightly more sedate than the UAF counter-demo our friends at Right2Work UK are inviting you to join them to explore corporate immigration, an important area of law to help protect and preserve the right to work for migrants. There will be expert speakers – including a couple of members of MSB. It starts at 1pm and is being held at Unit 4, Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5RT (we had an all-Birmingham Momentum meeting there a couple of months ago). Here is a link to the flyer with full details: refugee week event

Birmingham Humanists Meeting, Tuesday 27th June

Birmingham Humanists have organised a discussion meeting on Tuesday, 27 June – Jeremy Rodell speaking: ‘The changing landscape of religion and belief in the UK: a Humanist response’, 7.30 – 9.30pm @ Moseley Exchange, 149–153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP.  Below is a link to the flyer and their upcoming programme of events.

Birmingham Humanists DiaryJun2017

Birmingham Against The Cuts meeting, Wednesday 28th June: ‘Come Together To Campaign Against The Cuts in Birmingham’

BATC are bringing together 4 campaigns opposing austerity and privatization on the 28th for an evening of speakers and debate. 7pm at the Council House. Speakers include John Lister from Health Campaigns Together. Below is (another) flyer – just think of all the paper we are saving!BATC flyer-page-001

The Great Get Together – until the 2nd July

Attached below is a programme of events promoted by our friends at Hope not Hate as part of the “The Great Get Together” – a collaborative project involving organisations in Birmingham, the Black Country and Dudley.

GGT-2017-06-03-EVENTS

MSB stalls committee meeting: 3rd July, 10am

Our stalls co-ordinator Chris has organised the next meeting of the stalls committee on Monday the 3rd July, 10am, at Loco Lounge, Kings Heath High Street. Chris is always on the lookout for people to join the committee. Stalls and campaigning have been crucial to the development of the group. You might even get your picture taken with John McDonnell! Email Chriskuriata@live.co.uk for more info.

Northfield constituency dates for your diary

  • Nothing in the diary this week – everyone is very tired after an absolutely herculean effort in the last few weeks!

Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary

  • Nothing in the diary this week – everyone is very tired after an absolutely herculean effort in the last few weeks!

Hall Green constituency dates for your diary

  • Nothing in the diary this week – everyone is very tired after an absolutely herculean effort in the last few weeks!

Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary

  • Brandwood Forum meeting (this is a public meeting, apolitical, and not a Labour Party event but it obviously focuses on the effects of government and council policies on the area): Wednesday 21st June at Monyhull Church 7- 8.30pm.

 

Burton Unite members in dispute with Argos –

let’s support them!

While of course the eyes of Momentum South Birmingham were mostly fixed on the general election and ensuring our city’s constituencies returned Labour MPs, we should not forget that there are industrial disputes going on that can and should be supported. One of those is just down the road in Burton where Argos workers organised by the Unite union are on strike.

There is much more information here: please offer any help you can at this very busy time for all of us. 

Fundraising survey

Our fundraising co-ordinator, Nicky, has drawn up a quick survey for members and supporters to fill in to canvass our views on what we want. If you have a spare couple of minutes please fill it in here.

MSB statement on the July 2015 ‘freeze date’ decision

The Birmingham Board of the Labour Party, in their infinite wisdom, decided to retain the July 2015 freeze date for members to participate in the selection of candidates for the 2018 local election elections. We have published a statement that you can read here and rest assured it will not be the end of the matter. Momentum seeks to get Labour members elected to public office. Labour will only succeed in doing that if it engages with its new members and gives them a say. The decision is a monumental act of folly.

‘Regional’ Momentum co-ordination

Cecile Wright, one of our elected NGC reps for the large ‘region’ that Birmingham and the West Midlands sits in, would like to keep in touch about how she can best open communication with us to better represent us on the Momentum Council. She wants people to feel free to get in touch with her and her email is c.wright230@ntlworld.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.

School cuts

The NUT have set up a school cuts website providing information on what is going on and the likely effects. You can email your MP through the website, it only takes a minute. Please click here. Since the New Year a number of parents groups have sprung up across the country to fight for more funding for our schools. It is an important development that parents have started to organise because Governments cross parents at their peril. Please visit their website.

South Birmingham Momentum T-Shirts

Not before time in our view, wear it with pride: MSB t-shirts are going to be ordered: £10 red with South Birmingham Momentum on it. If you would like one email

nicky151289@gmail.com

MSB social media classes and blog pitches

Nicky Brennan, one of our social media managers, has started running classes if you are uninitiated in Facebook and Twitter etc. and want to learn more about how to make best use of them – they are crucial part of modern political campaigning and you are never too old to learn something new! If you’re interested get in touch with Nicky: nicky151289@gmail.com

We are also looking to get more original content on our blog – it is a somewhat underused resource for discussing ideas and giving our members a platform to write about the issues of concern to them. Drop Nicky a line if you have any ideas – particularly if they are about local issues and our campaigning – or things you think we should be doing more on and want to draw attention to.

Ward and CLP meetings

If you want the group to publicise upcoming local Labour Party activities and branch and CLP meetings to encourage attendance, please let us know either by emailing me direct or the group account below; our wonderful social media managers Kate, Lucy, Nicky and Sam will do the rest!

https://www.facebook.com/momentumbirminghamsouth/

https://momentumsbham.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/@MomentumSBham/ 

MomentumbhamSouth@hotmail.com 

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/momentum-south-birmingham

http://www.leftwardtendency.co.uk/wall-of-fame

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