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In the last 12 months, we have assisted numerous Labour Party members who have been suspended or expelled. We looked through dozens of ‘evidence packs’ and found that in the overwhelming number of cases, comrades have been suspended for anti-Zionism rather than antisemitism. There are however a few problematic posts we have seen, where a member for example wrote “Jews” when they should have clarified that they meant “Zionists”. We spoke to members about those posts and hopefully helped to avoid such problematic posts in future. We also helped to draft a few responses to their suspension letters. But, in the vast majority of cases – even the most absurd ones – this has been unsuccessful, because this witch-hunt is not about eradicating antisemitism, but getting rid of the left.
A famous exception is the case of NEC candidate Jo Bird, who was suspended (along with Mo Azam and a number of other candidates) in the middle of the March 2020 NEC by-election. Together with the Labour Left Alliance, we campaigned for her reinstatement and urged our supporters to vote for her despite her suspension. She was reinstated within days. Click here and here.
LAW was one of the three founding organisations of the Labour Left Alliance in 2019 and we remain centrally involved. As part of the LLA, we have campaigned for the fight against the witch-hunt to take centre-stage in NEC elections, and in the Momentum NCG elections, by asking all candidates a range of questions on the subject of the witch-hunt, with some interesting answers – click here and here.
– We drew up a petition in support of and in cooperation of the Wavertree 4, who have been unjustly suspended in May 2020 – click here
– We published a petition, urging ‘Solidarity with Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy and all those unjustly expelled’ after the two MPs were criticised for speaking at a meeting organised by ‘Don’t leave, Organise’, which was also attended by Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker – click here
– We intervened in the Labour leadership election campaign and wrote a petition, which urged Rebecca Long-Bailey to distance herself from the Board of Deputies 10 Demands, which has been signed by almost 5,000 people – click here
– We responded to Keir Starmer’s announcement that he would implement the Board of Deputies’ 10 Demands – click here.
– We produced a joint statement with the Labour Left Alliance on the ‘leaked Labour Party report, demanding that all disciplinary cases of the last five years should be reviewed – click here.
– We have also begun to gather witness statements, analysis, reports, CLP statements on the ‘leaked report’ – click here
– We are currently planning a counter-conference to coincide with the publication of the so-called ‘investigation’ into the report. Confirmed speakers include Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Moshe Machover, Chris Williamson, David Miller and many more – registration and more details here
In the last year, we also fought and campaigned on:
– the unjust suspension of Pete Willsman – click here
– the overdue launch of trigger ballots, with an explanation of how CLPs can use them – click here. We also drew up a petition, warning of the dangers of a national government (which some Labour lefties had urged) – click here.
– the investigation of the Equality and Human Right’s Commission into the Labour Party, which we identified as being an integral part of the witchhunt – click here
– We helped to organise various dates of the showing of the excellent documentary ‘The Witchhunt’ with Jackie Walker.
– We also published model motions on a range of other issues – click here
Chris Williamson was the only MP who was prepared to campaign with us against the witch-hunt – which is of course exactly what he was eventually suspended for.
– We also collated all CLP motions and supportive statements in Chris’ support and organised and produced memes with quotes by Noam Chomsky, Mike Leigh, Lowkey and many others – click here.
– We researched and published guidance on why “there is no ban on motions in support of Chris Williamson” to counter the entirely false reporting in the media. We also published detailed guidelines on on how to move motions in support of Chris and how to overturn a hostile chair – click here.
We also organised a very successful intervention at Labour Party conference 2019 (as in 2018), with two stalls every day, signing up people and informing them of our fringe meeting which took place on the last day: over 250 crammed in the space to hear Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Chris Williamson, Asa Winstanley and Mike Cushman.
– Resolution1: The slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn – here
– Resolution 2: Why LAW opposes the IHRA ‘definition’ of anti-Semitism – here
– Resolution 3: LAW support to activists
– Resolution 4: Model motion – Objection to the Labour Party’s [Union’s] adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism – here
The May 4 2019 All Members’ Meeting (AMM) elected an additional four SC members and adopted three resolutions – here:
– Resolution 1: Proposal to expel Pete Gregson from LAW
– Resolution 2: Fighting the witch-hunt as key part of building the foundations for an independent, democratic Labour left
– Resolution 3: George Galloway and the EU elections
LAW Steering Committee, June 26 2020
LAW, BM Box 1488, London WC1N 3XX