‘Corbynite Superwoman’ Val Colvin went viral in 2016 when she was pictured, bedecked in a Corbyn t-shirt and fist raised, behind Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith during the infamous ‘ice cream rally’ in Liverpool. The image went viral, with Val photoshopped into various settings for political impact:
But when she’s not discomfiting political figures, Val – who also featured in Labour’s NHS campaign video for the General Election, is part of ‘We Shall Overcome’ (WSO), a nationwide organisation set up to help people in need.
WSO is staging a series of music, comedy and art events in and around Liverpool to raise funds and awareness, timed to start coinciding with the Tory party conference. The first took place last night and received rave reviews. Others are going on right now, this evening and over the next couple of weeks. Val wrote about WSO’s events and aims for the SKWAWKBOX:
WSO Liverpool & Merseyside by Val Colvin
I’ve just returned from the Triumphant Labour Party Conference, where Corbyn promised that once Labour got into power they would help the many. Amongst other things he promised to shake up the housing situation by controlling rents, building more houses and ensuring tenants have rights. He promised a fair wage for all and to stop the public sector pay cap. He promised free education and he promised to invest in the NHS. All of these interventions will lead to a healthier, fairer society.
However, he or Labour is not in power yet and while we wait until the Tory’s finally cave in and we take that opportunity to bring down that Government, there is still much to do. We cannot sit on our laurels. There are people out there who need our help NOW.
We Shall Overcome (WSO) is an organisation made up of people who want to help those so desperately in need. It’s a simple idea. Around the time of the Conservative Party Conference, hundreds of people across the UK organise a series of gigs or events in their local communities with the purpose of doing something practical to help those affected by austerity policy cuts. WSO is a banner under which musicians, artists and community organisers independently run and promote gigs and events in their local area, raising money and/or produce for charities directly in their own community.
Who runs WSO? We do, you & me. There is no central command but WSO is steered by a community of volunteers who created the idea, Joe Solo, Steve Goodall, Val Colvin, Pauline Town, Jamie Bramwell, Matt Hill, Pete Yen, Steve White & Tony Wright. Each event is independently run and promoted locally. WSO is an online community and we each do what we can to promote each other’s gigs and events.
WSO History – WSO was first established in 2015, the night of 7th May to be exact. Events were organised and took place over the weekend of 2/3/4th October 2015. The community grew and grew and eventually 250 gigs/events in 123 towns/cities across 8 countries and 3 continents, raised an estimated £125,000 of cash, food, clothing and bedding for those hardest hit by austerity. WSO 2016, 1-4th October, saw 265 gigs/events take place over 135 towns and cities. Our total raised over two years estimated to be £300,000.
Now we begin 2017 and we’ve been rather busy at the beginning of the year, with campaigning and canvassing at the General Election and what a great result that achieved but we’ve still managed to bag 200 events so far, with more and more coming in daily. As activists, it was well worth sacrificing our time at WSO to do so much for the Labour Party and help get them where they are now. At Conference you could see people sporting a WSO yellow badge, showing their support for anti-austerity causes, Dennis Skinner MP, Andy Kerr (General Secretary of the CWU), Jamie Bramwell (NEC), Claudia Webbe (Councillor) amongst others.
WSO Liverpool & Merseyside is coordinated by Val Colvin, with a number of people helping run events. We have 10 events taking place over three weeks – 8 music events, 1 comedy night and an art auction run by Adam Partridge of Flog It fame.
Support the events by you, come and join us in Liverpool and other towns and cities across the UK. Check out our national website to see what’s happening near you or check out WSO Liverpool & Merseyside.
If you want to get involved and organise your own event, you’re not too late. Contact your local WSO group for information. The event can be live music, poetry, comedy, theatre, DJ, film, sports, cake sale, sponsored run, food bank collections, anything that can raise money or produce to help those suffering from austerity cuts and poverty or homelessness or mental health issues or ……….. the list goes on and on, sadly. We are asking you to help humanity in a very small way.
WE MIGHT NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT WE WILL CHANGE SOME PEOPLES LIVES.
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