Monday night marked the arrival of the Corbyn rally to Camden in North London, after the rally occurred in Birmingham and Liverpool over the weekend. An overwhelming crowd spilled from the main hall to the streets outside the Camden venue- with cheers of hope and excitement as the labour leadership contest continues to press on.
Pills and Polices were at the venue to join more than 1,500 supporters and engage in the ‘Corbynmania’ that has swept the nation’s interests by storm – particularly that of young people.
‘Stay together for a country that does not thrive on inequality and injustice’
The overwhelming support led to Jeremy Corbyn addressing hundreds of supporters outside the venue in the streets and two spillover rooms, before entering the main hall where hundreds more eagerly waited to hear what he had to say.
Corbyn: ‘Everyone is one accident away from depending on the NHS’
The National Health Service, welfare reforms, and the abolishment of tuitions were among the agendas addressed by Corbyn to his crowd of supporters. Undeniably, the topic that was of a great interest was the NHS, with the biggest cheers went to Corbyn calling defend ‘our national pride’ and to stop its privitisation.
Corbyn also tackled the current media narrative on immigration, particularly the situations faced by the migrants in Calais. “They are victims of a much wider issue” he said in his speech to the supporters, before discussing the ‘disgusting’ language used in reference to the migrants in Calais. “We need humanitarian solution to a humanitarian crisis”.
Owen Jones: ‘A movement is born, is it not?’
Owen Jones, author of ‘The Establishment’ and columnist who was at the rally, spoke about the abolishment of tuition fees as a vision of Labour under the leadership of Corbyn. This £10billion plan will mark the end of tuition fees, providing free higher education for all. Ken Livingston emphasised the requirement to invest in our public sector by the government. “If £375bn can prop up to the banking sector, we too can do so to invest in our public infrastructure”
Corbyn: ‘Why did only 47% of young people vote in the general election? It’s because they did not see enough of an alternative’
Despite overwhelming and ‘unfair’ media representation of Corbyn’s bid, the incredible atmosphere in the Camden Town hall defied media critics, as the labour leadership campaign intensifies. ‘It was truly empowering to see the passion and hear the sounds of cheers, hope and solidarity’ says one supporter.
Supporter: ‘Tonight is not about political labels, it’s not about personalities; it’s about policies affecting real people like me’.
Many of the supporters gathered for the rally were in fact young people, posing the question why young people are backing Corbyn? ‘Corbyn is the only real alternative to austerity and with many politicians viewing us as the disengaged voting demographics, tonight provides concrete evidence that young people are here to challenge the tory policies’ explained Natalie.
For others, Corbyn provided a genuine opportunity to fight back against austerity, something many felt that the other hopefuls are not fully challenging. However, it is not to say that there weren’t any sceptics in the crowd. One person in particular passionately told Pills and Policies: ‘What Corbyn will deliver for young people will be more years of tory rule’. For these critics, the thousands of supporters uniting in Camden is a miniscule of a victory, as the real obstacle for Corbyn is to win over the votes of people who voted for the Conservative government, but are not necessary tory to begin with.
Follow us on twitter to see our live tweets from the event.