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25 November 2016

Momentum’s The World Transformed to launch “Take Back Control“ Brexit events

Organisers of the radical politics festival are focusing on marginal constituencies. 

By Julia Rampen

The World Transformed, Momentum’s politics festival, is planning up to 100 local Brexit events in 2017 under the banner “Take Back Control”.

The festival, which grew out of the grassroots movement supporting Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, first made an appearance in Liverpool during the Labour party conference, when it held a series of alternative lectures and debates.

Organisers say the event for next year’s conference in Brighton will be “ten times” the size, include up to a thousand speakers on arts and politics, and involve the whole city. 

But they are also targeting marginal constituencies and areas with high Ukip support with a string of local events discussing Brexit.

Joseph Todd, one of the organisers, told The Staggers: “Take Back Control was employed during the referendum in one way, but there is a real sense people are losing control of their lives, how things should change, where they should go.

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“We really want to emphasise the left has an answer to this. We want people to be empowered to take back control of their railways and their hospitals.”

The organisers are in discussion with constituency MPs and “many have been really excited about it”, he said. 

The World Transformed is asking supporters to donate from £1 upwards to carry out the plan. The first events are planned for March 2017, when Article 50 is due to be triggered.

In addition, organisers already have their eyes on next year’s Labour conference. “This is going to be ten times bigger,” Todd said.

The organisers hope that, like the Edinburgh Fringe festival, The World Transformed will take over the city for most of a week.

“Politics isn’t just about sitting there having debates, passing motions,” he said. “It is an experience rooted in people’s everyday lives, everyday struggles.”

While The World Transformed is “definitely” part of Momentum, according to Todd, its exact relationship remains under discussion, as does its relationship to the wider Labour party. Some critics of Corbyn remain suspicious of both it and Momentum, which they view as rivals to the mainstream Labour movement.