Defend, Attack, Build, Create! says Cllr Jo Bird

Speaking at a rally in Liverpool on 21st December Jo Bird, a Labour councillor and member of JVL offered four proposals for what we do next.

We repost her speech below.

Like many people here, I am mourning for the socialist Labour government that the country did not elect, last week.

As well as being an elected Labour Councillor on the Wirral, I’m also Jewish. I’d like to wish everybody a happy Hannukah festival which starts tomorrow.

We are facing at least 5 years of very nasty Conservative government. They are going to batter our communities and batter the environment. So what are we going to do about it? I’ve got 4 proposals about what we do next.

Defend, Attack, Build, Create!

First: Defend! We need to defend each other from this hostile environment and oppressive regime. Defend each other from smears. So whenever anyone is attacked on facebook, attacked in the right-wing media, attacked in the school grounds, attacked at work, then defend each other. Defend. Speak out and stand up. That’s what happened to me when I was suspended – people spoke up and that’s one of the reasons I was unsuspended very quickly.

Labour Against the Witch-hunt [[email protected]] are a great support network for that. Given them your support.

Secondly: Attack, attack, attack! Attack the hate-mongers, attack the wolf-cryers. Those who point fingers at witches, those who cry wolf – they should know there are consequences to their actions. Expose them, call them out, reveal their track record, name their behaviour and attack them back.

Thirdly: Build! We need to build creative communities, resistant and resilient communities. We need to meet our own needs – clean air, clean water, decent work, homes for the homeless, good food. Bread and roses. Together, we can offer collective solutions to some of those problems. Like keeping wealth local in our communities, more devolved powers for Liverpool City Region, the solidarity economy.


Fourthly: Create! If you are a dancer, an actor, a film-maker, an instagrammer, a poet, a singer, a writer, a banner-maker, a musician – we need you. We need your banners, we need your costumes, we need your creativity. We need a festival of resistance! Some of that we’ve seen today.

Elected Labour politicians like myself, we are just the political wing of a movement – the Labour, trade union, co-operative and creative movements. I’m just one elected representative, but we are part of the wider movement – keep building it.

We are the people who started, “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!”  This is what creativity can do. This is what Merseyside can do. We are the people.

Thank you to the organisers of this march. Thank you to everybody who came.

We are not going anywhere. We are part of the resistance. I’ll see you soon.

See Jo Bird’s website here

Comments (3)

  • Jessica says:

    I keep saying it… So here goes again…

    Jo is right on all fronts.

    But everyone is ignoring the reality that there are mechanisms within the Labour Party that are enabling the rotters to take hold of power and use it to attack our movement from within.

    We have to identify how and where hypocrisy, cronyism, conflict of interest and low standards enables these people and groups to anchor themselves – and we must be prepared to humble ourselves enough to admit that through laziness, myopia and conceit, WE, THE MEMBERS have enabled this to happen. And then we must act to remove the rules, procedures and processes that have left the front door and the back door open to hostiles.

  • This is a wonderful article! Please continue spreading the word. I will too.

  • Edith Dyas says:

    JC and the true Labour Party have been badly let down by the false friends, liars and cheats within the Party, as well as the known enemies from without. As a result of their behaviour, the working people of Britain have been similarly betrayed, and the doors have been open to let in the enemies of equality, fairness and compassion. Our Country now stands on the brink of destruction, not physical destruction, but the removal of everything that made Britain a good place to live, we are about to sink into an abyss of despair. JC has understandably resigned from his position as our leader, and we need to be very, very careful about who we choose to replace him! It cannot be anyone on the right of the Party who are more akin to the Tories than they are to Labour, it cannot be anyone who has sought to undermine J C and his policies, it cannot be anyone who has made up false accusations against JC and the Party, it cannot be anyone who is prepared to meekly bow down to the demands of the State of Israel, the leader has to have the courage to speak out about the State of Israel and their unspeakable treatment of other Nations. This caveat also applies to any other Nation that thinks it can get away with mistreating others, and that also applies to our own Government if necessary. The Labour Party has always stood for decency, fairness and equality, it’s aim is to create a better, fairer life for all, not just for those who hold the power in their hands. This is a very big ask and any would be candidate needs to think very carefully and search their own heart for their reasons, before putting their name forward. I must add that so far I have not seen any would be candidates who can fulfil this criteria!

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