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. There are a few at the moment…….
Before I crack on with everything can I firstly draw your attention to the all-Birmingham members-only Momentum meeting this Sunday, the 30th, to discuss the election plan. More details further down.
General election, June 8th
Naturally our priorities have changed somewhat in the last 7 days. We’ve gone from prioritising the mayoral and local by-elections to now having 6 weeks to fight a general election.
Obviously we are all rather electioned-out but sadly we are going to have to go again as this one is very, very important. We have 6 weeks to close a 20 point gap in the polls and defend what we have already in Birmingham (9 of the 10 seats) and we’ll be campaigning alongside a new candidate in Edgbaston following Gisela Stuart’s decision not to stand this time around. South Birmingham Momentum are under no illusions, this is going to be the fight of our lives and we have a few weeks to change a lot of minds. Many of the sitting Labour MPs are not to our liking, to put it mildly, and we should have been given a chance to vote for our candidates, but we are where we are.
Momentum members from across the city will be coming together next Sunday to plan how best to help (more details below) and there are loads of campaigning sessions already planned. There is plenty of information on our social media and also, obviously, on the Birmingham Labour Party website. We’ll try and keep everything as up-to-date as we can and this newsletter will serve as a snapshot everything coming up that we know of. The individual CLP sections are below and we’ll be keeping a spreadsheet with everything we know about here. We are hoping to make it an all-Birmingham affair very shortly.
Hall Green and Perry Barr ward by-elections
Please don’t forget the by-elections in Hall Green and Perry Barr wards on the 4th May (the same day as the mayoral vote). It’s fair to say that the Hall Green campaign in particular has been eventful so far, and not for good reasons, but clearly the priority now is to get the Labour candidate elected. Liz Clements is standing for our party – she’s been out a lot and has been joined by many members and local councillors – but still needs more help. In Perry Barr Mohammed Hanif is the candidate and he has to try and overturn a previous Lib Dem majority of 1200 votes, so it is going to be tough. If you go on the Birmingham Labour Party website and search for forthcoming events there is stuff going on all the time, be it door-knocking or leaflet drops. You can also find out more about the Hall Green campaign on their branch Facebook page Momentum activists will be out in force too.
Hope Not Hate workshop: Wednesday 26th of April
HnH are running a “having difficult conversations” workshop in support of their friends at Bearwood Action for Refugees. This will be of particular interest to people who missed an opportunity to take part in this excellent training session when last run in Birmingham (several MSB members were present and we really enjoyed it!) The session is being run in the lead up to Bearwood Action for Refugees ‘RefuTea Party’ (and AGM). This workshop introduces some practical tools for activists wanting to engage with people who are not sympathetic to our views. More details and registration for this event can be found here.
“Freed Voices of Detention” discussion, April 27th
Birmingham People of Colour Collective along with “Freed Voices” are holding a “Freed Voices of Detention” discussion at Birmingham City University. This event aims to shed light on the nature of immigration detention centres in the UK as recounted by ex-detainees as well as organising for the Yarlswood Detention Centre demonstration on 13th of May. Click here for the Facebook event, or register on Eventbrite.
West Midlands Mayoral ‘cultural’ hustings, 28th April
On Friday 28 April 2017 WGGB, BECTU, Equity and the Musicians’ Union are giving you the opportunity to question the mayoral candidates and hear their vision for the cultural and creative sectors. It kicks off at 7:45pm, is being held at the Birmingham Rep and you can book tickets and get more information here.
Stirchley Library meeting: 29th April
The next Friends of Stirchley Library (FOSL) meeting is scheduled for Saturday 29th April, 11am – 1pm, Stirchley Community Church. After the collection of money at the last meeting, with which some bookmarks were printed, they’ll be asking for donations to fund printing some posters.
BTUC “May Day” Rally in Birmingham City Centre, 29th April
Birmingham Trades Council are having a rally at the Council House on Saturday the 29th at 12:30pm with speakers from a variety of local unions and campaigning organisations, including our friends at Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham. It should be an interesting event. More details here. There is also a rumour of refreshments being available…………
**All-Birmingham Momentum members meeting,
Sunday 30th April**
Momentum members in Birmingham are coming together on Sunday 30th April, in the rear function room of the Highbury Pub, Dads Lane, Stirchley, B13 8PQ at 3pm to discuss our plans for the general election and how best to mobilise support for our city’s Labour candidates. We face the fight of our lives and we need to throw everything we have into this.
This is a members’-only meeting. If you are a current member of Momentum you are more than welcome to join us. If you are new to the organisation or haven’t attended a meeting before, please bring some proof of your membership with you on the day so we can check who has attended. **We will also be doing a collection for a local foodbank on the day so please bring along any donations.**
KONP Birmingham meeting Wednesday 3rd May
KONPB do a huge amount of brilliant work but are always in need of more help. For those who are interested in supporting and/or joining KONP and contributing to campaigns their contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings are 1st Wednesday of every month (except August), so people can drop in any time. The next one is on the 3rd May at 7:30pm at the Wellington, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN Currently they have campaigns on the STPs in Brum/Solihull and Black Country. the Midland Metropolitan Hospital (PFI/2) and they are looking to do some more work on the mental health arrangements for young people 0-25 years in Birmingham – currently ‘red risk’.
Please get involved in and support KONPB in any way you can.
Stand Up To Racism Summit, 6th May:
“Confronting the Rise in Racism”
An SUTR summit takes place on Saturday 6th May at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. Lots of workshops and speakers including Saira and Saffiyah whose picture during an EDL confrontation last Saturday went viral around the world. You can book your spot here.
FOLOB planning meeting 5.30pm Monday 8 May
Friends of the Library of Birmingham’s next planning meeting is on Monday the 8th May at the UNISON office,19th Floor, McLaren Building, 46 Priory Queensway, Birmingham B4 7LF These meetings are open to all, so do join them.
A Moral Economy – a talk by Ann Pettifor,
Wednesday 10th May
Ann Pettifor, an advisor to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, was a founder and leading spirit of the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign which in 1998 brought 70,000 people out in a human chain onto the streets of Birmingham. After 2000 she joined the New Economics Foundation where she headed their research unit. She set up Advocacy International, a UK-based consultancy that advises governments and international organisations and has helped secure debt relief for the governments of Guyana, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The talk starts at 18:30 and is going to be at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham B4 7SX. To register click here.
Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party conference: “What is Conservative Party education policy?”, Thursday 11th May
M+KH branch have decided to put every single other Labour ward in Birmingham to shame by hosting their own conference but it looks absolutely brilliant – and as far as we know it is still going ahead. What is Conservative Party education policy doing to our schools? What is the alternative vision? There will be loads of speakers and discussion, it is on Thursday the 11th May and will be held at Moseley School & Sixth Form Centre, Wake Green Road, B13 9UU. It’s free to attend but you’ll need to register.
MSB stalls committee meeting: 15th May, 10am
Our stalls co-ordinator Chris has organised the next meeting of the stalls committee on Monday the 15th May, 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.
Sat 20th May: Unite STP Campaign Conference
Unite union are organising an STP Campaign Conference to be held at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham city centre, runs from 10:30 until 13:30 and you can register for it here. Speakers will include John Lister (Health Campaigns Together), Gill George, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Defend Our NHS and Sarah Carpenter (Unite national officer for health), speakers from Solihull KONP and Birmingham KONP. STPs are going to have a massive effect on what happens to the NHS over the next few years and activists campaigning against them or for radical changes need to be armed with the full story – this will be a great opportunity to get that.
Women’s March against Trumpism: 20th May
On Saturday May 20th the anti-choice fraternity is organising its own UK version of ‘March For Life’ in Birmingham with the slogan ‘life from conception – no exception’. Abortion Rights is joining up with women’s groups as part of the Women’s March Against Trumpism to call its own demonstration against the misogyny and sexism that Trump galvanised in his election campaign that is creeping over here. More details here – the 20th is going to be a very busy day politically in Birmingham!
Edgbaston constituency dates for your diary
- Tuesday 25th April (Door knocking)-Bartley Green-Meet at junction of Glen Side and Stevens Avenue (B32 3RU) at 6:15pm.
- Wednesday 26th April (Phone bank)-Meet at 4 Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston (B15 3BE) at 6:00pm.
- Thursday 27th April (Door knocking)-Edgbaston-Meet on corner of Woodview Drive and Charlotte Road (B15 2HB) at 6:15pm
- Saturday 29th Harborne High Street stall- stall starts at 10am – meet at the stall on Harborne High Street (B17 9NT) at 10:30am for door-knocking.
Hall Green constituency dates for your diary
- Door-Knocking Session with Sion Simon: Tuesday 25th April, 5:30pm to 6:45pm, in Kings Heath. Meeting point outside the Baptist Church, Kings Heath High Street. This session concludes just before the West Midlands Mayoral Election Campaign hustings.
- Door-knocking for by-election: Tuesday April 25, 6pm – 8pm, Junction of Shafmoor Lane and Reddings Lane, Hall Green, Birmingham B28 8TD
- Moseley Forum, together with Kings Heath Residents Forum, Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum and Brandwood Forum have organised a hustings event on the 25th April for the inaugural West Midlands Mayoral Election. All six candidates have confirmed their attendance. Kings Heath Baptist Church, 80, High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ: 7:30pm start but get there early to guarantee a seat! More details here.
- Door-knocking for by-election: Wednesday April 26, 10am – 12pm, 23 Ingestre Road, Birmingham, B28 9EQ
- Door-knocking for by-election: Wednesday April 26, 6pm – 8pm, Junction of Shafmoor Lane and Arcot Road, Hall Green, Birmingham B28 8LY
- Door-knocking for by-election: Thursday April 27, 2pm – 4pm, meeting at 426 Sarehole Road, Birmingham B28 0AJ
- Door-knocking Session combined with Street Stall, Saturday 29th April, 10:00am to 12pm, combined with the Street Stall and Door knocking in support of Sion Simon’s campaign. Meeting point outside Asda on Kings Heath High Street.
- By-election leaflet drop: Sunday April 30, 2017 at 10am – 11am, 56 Scribers Lane Hall Green B28 0NZ
- Thursday 4th May: Door knocking session on the day of the West Midlands Mayoral Election. This is designed to the Labour vote out on the day itself. Meeting point, All Saints Church, Kings Heath.
Selly Oak constituency dates for your diary
- Door knocking in Brandwood: Wednesday 26th April: 6.00-7.30 meeting 32 Hough Rd.
Northfield constituency dates for your diary
- Tue 25th April, 2pm – door-knocking in West Heath, meeting by Fairfax Road shops (B31 3SB).
- Tue 25th April, 6pm – door-knocking in West Heath, meeting by Fairfax Road shops (B31 3SB).
- Wed 26th April, 2pm – door-knocking in Allens Cross, meeting at the corner of St Helier’s Road and Cheverton Road (B31 1RU).
- Wed 26th April, 6pm – door-knocking in Allens Cross, meeting at the corner of St Helier’s Road and Barnsdale Crescent (B31 1QP).
- Thu 27th April, 2pm – door-knocking in Rednal, meeting at the corner of Bristol Road South and Chapelfield Road (B45 9NX).
- Thu 27th April, 6pm – door-knocking in Frankley, meeting at the corner of Holly Hill Road and Charnwood Close (B45 0JR).
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 email@example.com. As things develop further post-conference we’ll keep you informed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
MSB social media classes
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: email@example.com
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!