Meet the socialist third year running for Selly Oak council
She spent four hours up a tree protesting
In the midst of deadline hell and pre-anxiety over who you’re going to go for in the Goldrush season, it’s easy to neglect your extra-curriculars.
But not for Keturah Prendergast, the 21 year old who is running to be a councillor for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) – a left wing party whose main goal is to completely abolish austerity in Britain and beyond.
After joining the Socialist party in first year and attending various rallies and protests, English student Keturah went on to join TUSC last year.
If elected as Selly Oak councillor, she plans to stick to TUSC’s principles of writing off all bedroom tax arrears, refusal to raise council tax, and complete rejection of attempts to privatise public services.
She told The Tab: “One of my main focuses for Selly Oak would definitely be local families and children. I’ve worked with kids from this area for quite a long time and have plainly seen what is needed to make their lives better.
“Another issue I’d focus on changing is recycling in Selly Oak. Rubbish is no longer collected from most people’s roads, leading to more litter on the streets which we’ve all noticed.”
Alongside her dissertation and several other commitments, this year Keturah has attended multiple demos and protest meetings, as well as making her way to different parts of Birmingham to give talks on the TUSC.
But she’s found clever ways of building her campaign in with normal student life.
“Without disclosing where, I did some guerilla flyering around campus whenever I went to the loo last semester. It definitely worked for efficiency.
“My other passion is vegan baking, so there’s been a lot of fundraising cake sales this year too.”
The bulk of her campaigning has been online, but she’s also been putting in hours of time leafleting for the MP candidate for Erdington, Ted Woodley.
She added: “As socialists, we believe the global crisis, caused by the most wealthy in society, has been paid for by the least fortunate, which is fundamentally unfair and unjust.
“TUSC are now the sixth largest party in the UK in the local elections, which is really exciting as councillors can have a real impact on people’s lives.”
And if you want final, concrete proof of her passion, look no further – last week Keturah spent four hours up a tree in protest… the week before her dissertation was due.
“It was near Selly Oak hospital and they were trying to cut it down to make room for a new development.
“It was pretty stupid to be honest because it was so close to my dissertation deadline, but I just couldn’t leave it alone. Even the tree surgeons said they thought I was mad.”
Remember to vote in the general election on May 7.