Labour Against the Witchhunt
Started 7 petitions
Open letter to Labour NEC: Chris Williamson's re-suspension is a travesty of justice
We, the undersigned, believe that the renewed suspension of Chris Williamson MP is a travesty of justice. We will be protesting outside the NEC meeting on July 9 2019, which will in all likelihood decide to overturn the decision of the NEC panel and send Chris' case to the National Constitutional Committee, which is still dominated by the right. A referral to this body usually leads to an expulsion. Please come along to show your solidarity with the only MP who has dared to stand up to the witch-hunters. The only one who has defended members wrongly accused of being anti-Semites. Now it's our turn to stand with him! (Tuesday July 9, 9am, Labour Party HQ, 105 Victoria Street, Southside, London SW1) We are particularly concerned that Keith Vaz’ U-turn seems to have been motivated purely by the pressure coming from the right inside and outside the party. Sadly but unsurprisingly, that now includes Jon Lansman. We presume Vaz initially judged the case by its merit and found – correctly – that Chris had not said or done anything that could be described as anti-Semitic or bringing the party into disrepute. Vaz quite rightly judged that the evidence did not warrant Chris’s ongoing suspension or his referral to the National Constitutional Committee (which is still dominated by the right). But Vaz’s U-turn and Chris’s renewed suspension, following the deeply undemocratic and hysterical letter organised by Tom Watson, symbolise how unfair and one-sided the whole disciplinary process really is. The right is calling all the shots - and Labour HQ seems to always do exactly what they demand. But the right will never be appeased. They will never accept Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, let alone prime minister. They will continue their campaign of sabotage, because he remains an unreliable ally from the ruling class’s point of view, especially given his strong support for the rights of Palestinians. There is very little chance that Chris will get a fair hearing from the NEC Disputes Panel, when several of those who will sit in judgment upon him have already torn his reputation to shreds on social media, without even having seen all the evidence. We therefore call on the NEC: to immediately reinstate Chris Williamson, as recommended by the NEC panel to immediately open trigger ballots so that Labour Party members can choose a parliamentary candidate who actually reflects their wishes to stop the practice of automatic suspensions and expulsions: members should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty
Reinstate Jackie Walker! Sign the letter the Guardian refused to print
The Guardian has refused to print this letter signed by almost 400 people within 48 hours of Jackie's expulsion (including Noam Chomsky, Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, Alexei Sayle and Ken Livingstone). It deems the issue "sensitive" and "controversial". We believe the real controversy is that hundreds of good socialists and anti-Zionists like Jackie Walker have been investigated, suspended and expelled. This witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters must stop! Dear Sir/Madam,The decision of the Labour Party to expel Jackie Walker for ‘“prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour” is both unfair and dishonest. Jackie was suspended over two years ago because of accusations of anti-Semitism yet her expulsion was for ‘misconduct’. [Labour expels Jackie Walker for leaked antisemitism remarks, March 27th] Jackie’s original remarks, such as "not having heard a definition of anti-Semitism I can work with", were obviously not anti-Semitic. Jackie’s real offence was being an anti-Zionist. Because of the difficulty of making a charge of anti-Semitism stick, Jackie’s alleged offence was changed to the subjective catch-all one of ‘misconduct’. If anyone is guilty of misconduct it is those in Labour Friends of Israel who defended Israel’s murder of over 200 unarmed demonstrators in Gaza over the past year. False accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ are the Zionists’ only method of defending the Israeli state.Jackie’s expulsion is an attack on free speech. Rather than defend the world’s only apartheid state Israel’s supporters in the Labour Party cry ‘anti-Semitism’.Over the past two years Jackie has been the victim of numerous attacks on social media which have questioned her Jewishness and talked about lynching and burning her. Not only has the Labour Party failed to defend her but it included some of this vile material within the dossier used to expel her, such as alleging she is "a white woman in dreadlocks". The expulsion of Jackie Walker is a matter of shame and we demand her immediate reinstatement.Yours faithfully, 1. Noam Chomsky2. Ken Livingstone3. Miriam Margolyes4. Alexei Sayle5. Asa Winstanley6. Steve Bell7. Tony Greenstein8. Jonathan Cook9. Prof. Haim Bresheeth10. Professor Dr Marco Chiesa11. Prof. James Dickins12. Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky13. Prof. Wade Mansell14. Prof. Dr. Willie van Peer15. Prof Megan Povey16. Prof. Chris Knight17. Prof. Stephen Wagg18. Kate Adams19. Philip Adams20. Alison Aiken21. Salma Ali22. Zulfqar Ali23. Nadia Amara24. Bonny Ambrose25. Ian Ampleford26. Sonya Andermahr27. Alan Armstrong28. Ben Armstrong29. Zac Arnold30. Shifa Askari31. Susan Atkins32. Cathy Augustine33. David Avery34. Clare Ayton-Edwards35. Greg Axsel36. David Bangs37. Frances Bartram38. Sid Bartram39. Graham Bash40. John Baxter41. Janet Beale42. Kevin Bean43. John Beeching44. Mark Bebbington45. Jonathan Bellos46. Karen Bett47. Sonali Bhattacharyya48. Peter Bloomer49. Nigel Bowden50. Lynda J Bowyer51. Gary Boyle52. Dr David Bramble53. Peter Breingan54. David Brown55. Judith Brown56. Theodore Brown57. Tarin Brokenshire58. Pam Bromley59. John Burgess60. Raymond Bush61. Cllr Steve Bush62. Robert Bunday63. Neil Cameron64. Sophie Cannivady65. Andrew Carter66. Avis Carter67. Jonathan Chadwick68. Phil Chetwynd69. Cyril Chilson70. Dr Tali Chilson71. Dominic Chiverton72. Rob Clarke73. Ted Clement-Evans74. Mike Clayton75. Roger Coates76. Matthew Collings77. Christine Connolly78. Marian Connollu79. Steve Connor80. Mariatu Conteh81. Ruth Cooke82. Andy Coombes83. Jonathan Coulter84. Maximilian Cowell85. Fiona Crawford86. Richard Crawford87. Sandra Crawford88. Lesley Crompton89. Phil Crowe90. Matthew Dale91. Gerald Daly92. Deborah Darnes93. Deborah Darnes94. Adrienne Davis95. John Davies96. Martyn Dawson97. Ian Day98. Richard Dixon-Payne99. Tony Dodds100. Catherine Doris 101. Cameron Dougherty102. Clare Dove103. Ian Dudley104. Ty Ebright105. Nancy Elan106. Cathy Farnworth107. Kamilia El-Farra108. Jackie Fearnley109. Jacqueline Finch110. Deborah Fink111. Dianne Fitzgibbons112. Jeanette Fletcher113. James Ian Fletcher114. Flick Foreman115. Nick Foster116. Philip Foxe117. Tom Foxe118. Tommy Fowler119. Ed Fredenburgh120. Glynis Freeman121. Helen Froggatt122. Suzanne Gannon123. Donna Gardner124. Suzanne Gannon125. Dr John Garrett126. Dr Peter Gates127. Chris Gaynor128. Gloria George129. John Gibson130. Daphne Gilbert131. John Gillespie132. Helen Glazier133. Deborah Good134. Angie Graham135. David Graham136. Elleanne Green137. Frankie Green138. Pete Green139. Sadie Green140. Sharen Green141. Peter Gregson142. Roger Grenville143. Helen Griffiths144. Nell Griffiths145. David Groom146. John McGrory147. Allan Grote148. Andrew Gunton149. Alex Gutteridge150. Natalie Guy151. Steve Hadden152. Barbara Hainsworth153. Paul Halas154. Grace Halfpenny155. Charlie Hall156. Dr James Hall157. Brigid Harbour158. Jenny Hardacre159. Emmet Haverty-Stacke160. David Hawkes161. David Hawkins162. Trefor Harris163. Alan Harrison164. Maggie Hartley165. Mervyn Hartwig166. Joseph Held167. Dorothy Hewitt Rimmer168. Greg Hewitt169. Ian Hickinbottom170. Debbie Hicks171. Mike Higgins172. David Hillman173. Simon Hindmarsh174. Simon Hinds175. Rebekah Hirsch176. Dr. Abby Hoffmann177. Diane Holland178. Rachael Holliday179. Doug Holton180. Dee Howard181. Mike Howard182. Anna Hubbard183. Alan Hubbard184. Richard Hughes185. David Humphrey186. Neil Hunt187. Jocelyn Hurndall188. Linda Irvine189. Diana Isserlis190. Lisa Jacks191. Andrew Jackson192. Glyn Jackson193. Maxine Jackson194. Rob Jefferson195. Glenn Jenkins196. Alexander Jones197. Barry Jones198. Cath Jones199. Cliff Jones200. Carolyn Jordin201. George Kambouroglou202. Stan Keable203. Afryl Kelly204. Helen Kemp205. Thea Khamis206. Faraz Khan207. Luqman Khan208. Shaista Khan209. Davy King210. Jennifer King211. Peter Kirker212. Ruth Knight213. Beverley Krell214. Janet Lambrou215. David Lancaster216. Erica Lang217. Diane Langford218. Bernice Laschinger219. Michelle Laufer220. Paul Lawlor221. Kay Lawrence222. Helen Lee223. Anna Lekay224. David Letwin225. Michael Letwin226. Les Levidow227. Bruce Levy228. Mark Lewis229. Nicholas Long230. Jake Love Soper231. Ian MacDonald232. Duncan MacPherson233. Dr Alan Maddisson234. Neil Man235. Sophia Mangera236. Hal Mansfield237. Helen Marks238. Zoe Mars239. Becky Matthews-Massey240. Bruce Mattock241. David Mattocks242. Darren Maurice243. Sandy McBurney244. Terry McCarthy245. Kathy McCubbing246. Terence McGinity247. Mike McGrath248. Steve McKenzie249. Fred McLean-Brown250. Isobel McMillan251. Ros Meadow252. Laurraine de Melchor253. Stephe Meloy254. Paul Meaney255. Michael Merritt256. Steve Merriman257. John Metson258. Jay Millington259. Simon Milner-Edwards260. Angie Mindel261. Anne Mitchell262. Matthew Montagu-Pollock263. Brendan Morgan264. Dittany Morgan 265. Pauline Moriarty 266. Shosh Morris267. Patricia Morrison268. Elizabeth Morley269. SABAH AL-MUKHTAR270. Catherine Muller271. Gareth Murphy272. David Myles273. Catherine Newall274. Katie Nikiforou275. Graham Noble276. Dr Stephen Norrie277. Eric Norris278. Caroline Nunn279. Steve Nunn280. Sean O’Donoghue281. Chris O’Donovan282. Dennis O’Malley283. Caroline O’Reilly284. Edmond O’Reilly285. Sheryl Odlum286. Jackie Oversby287. Tim Oxton288. Gill Page289. Pam Page290. Jeremy Parker291. Mieczysława Pascoe292. Frances Patterson293. Wendy Patterson294. Robert Payn295. Allan Pearson296. Richard Peirce297. Sarah Perrigo298. Susan Phasey299. Sasha Phillips300. Andy Phipps301. Lesley Phipps302. Miranda Pinch303. David Pinto304. Brian Precious305. David Prichard-Jones306. Bern Price307. Dipak Rajgor308. Dr Anandi Ramamurthy309. Scott Ramone310. Roland Rance311. Anthony Rawlinson312. Gwynne Reddick313. Nicola Redwood314. Nigel Reigate315. Peter Reilly316. Iain Rendell317. Dave Rendle318. Jon de Rennes319. Andy Richards320. Steve Richards321. Dorothy Rimmer322. Geoff Roberts323. Maria Roberts324. Bryan Roe325. Elke Rohn326. Lee Rock327. Ian Roddinson328. David Roger329. Vicky Russell330. Michael Sackin331. Kevin Safford332. John Sanderson333. Rob Sanderson334. Pauline Sault335. Nikki Scambler336. Sarah Scott337. Paul Scott338. Reg Scott339. David Selzer340. Paul Simm341. Andy Simons342. Wendy Sindall343. Mike Sivier344. Michael Skiggs345. Jane Smith346. Peter Smith347. John Smith348. Tracey Smith349. Wendy Smith350. Darbiana Souza351. Julie Speed352. Linda Speight353. David St Marthe354. Dave Statham355. Jan Steele356. Mark Strawbridge357. Paul Stygal358. Tom Suárez359. Sue Shaw360. Catherine Tanner361. Debbie Thompson362. Steve Tiller363. Paul Timperley364. Cathy Toulet365. Christine Tongue366. Julian Townsend367. David Travis368. John Tymon369. Mark Unsworth370. Paula Varley371. Barrie Vince372. Terence Viney373. Lorna Walker374. Robert Walker375. Adam Waterhouse376. Daniel Waterman377. David Watson378. Martin Watson379. Ian Wellens380. Tina Werkman381. Lee Whittaker382. Bruce Whitehead383. Stewart Whitehead384. Michael Wilde385. Stella Wilkinson-Maynard386. Clare Louise Wilmott387. Rita Williams388. Stephen Williams389. Norman Wood390. Avril Wooster391. Leonard Wright392. Zoe Zero393. Maciej Zurowski
No to a national government! Implement the trigger ballot now!
We are members and supporters of the Labour Party who support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. We believe that with the ongoing chaos over Brexit, there is a real possibility of another snap general election. While we welcome such an election, we believe there are some real dangers:1.) Unless the makeup of the Parliamentary Labour Party dramatically changes to more accurately reflect the will and composition of the membership, Jeremy Corbyn could well be held prisoner by a majority of MPs who are deeply hostile to the Corbyn project. As soon as Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader, a majority of Labour MPs plotted against him and attempted to sabotage every move. A witch-hunt was launched - backed by the Tory government and the media - which has seen thousands of members investigated, suspended and expelled.2.) There is also a danger that anti-Corbyn Labour MPs will join some form of national government – to stop Jeremy Corbyn from becoming prime minister. The PLP must change to stop such an outcome.We therefore call on the Labour Party NEC to urgently launch guidelines and a timetable to help branches and CLPs to get ready in case a snap election is called. Labour Party conference 2018 voted for trigger ballot reforms - although the overwhelming majority of members actually voted in favour of the much more democratic ‘open selection’ of all parliamentary candidates. It would be deeply undemocratic to deny members the chance to decide on who should represent them (as happened at the snap election in 2017, when CLPs were told the sitting MP would simply remain in place without any democratic input by the local members).Background: How do the reformed trigger ballots work? Labour Party conference 2018 voted to introduce two separate trigger ballots: one for all the branches of a CLP, another one for all local affiliates (trade unions, socialist societies, cooperative organisations). Once the NEC has published its timetable (and only then) are members and affiliates asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to retaining the sitting MP as the only candidate. If 33 % of a CLP’s branches or 33 % of the CLP’s affiliates vote ‘no’, then a full selection process starts – ie, a democratic contest between different candidates, including the sitting MP. Only full Labour Party members have a vote in this next stage of the process. We will be publishing model motions on this issue soon, see www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org
Momentum must ditch Jon Lansman!
Momentum was formed as an organisation whose primary purpose was to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and empower the grass roots. It is clear that Momentum has increasingly lost its way. We demand that Momentum’s unelected Chair, Jon Lansman, resign immediately or call for him to be removed by Momentum’s National Coordination Group. Failing that we believe a new pro-Corbyn campaign group is needed in the Labour Party. Background info:- Instead of supporting Chris Williamson MP from unfounded allegations of anti-Semitism (petition to reinstate him is here and model motions for your branch/CLP are here), Momentum's 'Open Letter' cowardly stabs one of the few left-wing MPs in the back.- In January 2017, just after he threw Jackie Walker under the bus when she was first falsely accused of anti-Semitism, Lansman abolished all democratic structures in Momentum and imposed his own constitution on the organisation.- Hundreds had already left Momentum when Lansman decided to ditch Pete Willsman (CLPD) as a candidate for the NEC - who was elected nevertheless. Thousands more are bound to follow over this latest act of cowardice. For more info on Labour Against the Witchhunt, click here.
Reinstate Chris Williamson MP!
Open letter: Reinstate Chris Williamson MP! We, the undersigned, believe that the suspension of Chris Williamson MP is an outrage. The allegation that Chris is downplaying anti-Semitism is totally unfounded. His comments, made at a Momentum meeting in Sheffield, were taken out of context in a deliberate attempt to ruin the reputation of both Chris Williamson and Jeremy Corbyn. He actually said: “The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party. I have got to say, I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic… We’ve done more to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any other party.” His comments are clearly neither anti-Semitic, nor denying the existence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party (or wider society). But he has quite rightly pointed to the fact that there has also been a political campaign to “weaponise” accusations of anti-Semitism. Chris is a target because he is one of the very few Labour MPs who have openly stood up to the witch-hunt of Corbyn supporters and because he has campaigned tirelessly for the much-needed democratisation of the party. Despite the departure of Iain McNicol as general secretary, the witch-hunt of left-leaning party members continues. The main target of this campaign is, of course, Jeremy Corbyn himself. But thousands of Labour Party members have been investigated, suspended and expelled, often on spurious grounds. Like Chris Willamson, they are the collateral damage in this campaign to ‘get’ Corbyn. We call on the Labour Party to immediately reinstate Chris Williamson MP and to apologise to him! Labour Party members may use LAW's model motion in their branch/CLP to demand the reinstatement of Chris.
Open letter: No, Jennie Formby, we will not be informers!
Open Letter: No, Jennie Formby, we will not be informers! We, the undersigned, are greatly concerned about recent communication from Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby aimed at Facebook groups which have ‘Labour Party’ or ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ in their title (the full letter is here). We are particularly outraged by the following passage which states “posts and conversations with antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory content” should be emailed to “email@example.com with screenshots and links […] if you believe the individual who has posted them may be a Labour member so that this can be investigated by the Party.” As Facebook users, we reject any attempt to make us informers to Labour’s dysfunctional disciplinary processes. Social media and Facebook are effective because they allow the exchange of ideas, even if at times clumsily expressed. Most Facebook groups police themselves adequately, without the assistance of a compliance unit, whose targets to date have almost exclusively been - on the left of the Party- supporters of Palestinian rights- critics of Israel and Zionism- and disproportionately black and Jewish Given the Labour Party’s recent adoption of the ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism published by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which in the words of the Jewish former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Stephen Sedley, is “calculatedly misleading" and the IHRA’s purposeful conflation of criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Semitism, we have no confidence that free speech to criticise Israel will be guaranteed, if this approach is accepted across social media. What constitutes anti-Semitism remains disputed. The traditional definition, as per the Oxford English Dictionary is, "hostility to or prejudice against Jews". The IHRA definition on the other hand takes up over 500 words, many of which refer to Israel. For example, John McDonnell stated in a recent interview with Jewish News: “What we’re saying is it’s anti-Semitic to oppose a Jewish state". We disagree. Opposing a state that systematically, and constitutionally, marginalises and demonises Palestinians while subjecting them to discrimination is by definition a form of apartheid. It is not ant-Semitic to state this fact. Your letter, as an attempt to make Facebook users responsible for the conduct of other group members, displays the same method used by the media to smear Jeremy Corbyn when he did not speak up against (the very few) people posting nonsense in a group he happened to be a member of. We believe the ongoing witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters is bringing the party into disrepute. Your email will yet again fan the flames of this toxic climate, leading to ever more malicious and vexatious allegations and complaints. We believe that open and democratic debate, without fear of being reported, is the best way to educate people and fight prejudice and racism. This new intrusion on free speech can only undermine the extraordinary effectiveness of social media as a tool to support the leader and the left in the party. We will oppose any attempt to outsource education on anti-Semitism to the Jewish Labour Movement, which is the British wing of the Israeli Labour Party and covertly filmed and leaked a video of Jackie Walker at a closed training event in order to damage the party. We remain determined to eradicate all forms of discrimination from our Party. When we see prejudice or hate, we always speak up. When we see discrimination, we always oppose it. When we are asked to behave unjustly, we always refuse. more info on Labour Against the Witchhunt
Anti-Semitism: Open letter to Jeremy Corbyn and the left on the NEC
Open letter to Jeremy Corbyn and the left on the NEC As socialist members and Labour Party supporters, we are firm opponents of all forms of racism, fascism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other kinds of oppression. Many of us have been actively campaigning against them for many years, often alongside you, John McDonnell and other comrades.We know anti-Semitism exists in society and needs to be combatted. But we are seriously worried about the current climate in the Labour Party, where any criticism of the actions of the state of Israel is now immediately conflated with anti-Semitism. But anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism. What we are seeing is a cynical alliance between those who wish to deflect criticism of Israel and Zionism, and the right-wing in the Labour Party and the news media, who oppose your wider politics. They are thereby undermining genuine anti-racism and opposition to anti-Semitism. Their real target is you, because they oppose both your record of internationalism, in particular your lifelong support for the rights of the Palestinians, and your commitment to socialism. That is what the few bitterly oppose: the many gaining power.In the last two years, more than 300,000 people have joined the Labour Party to support your progressive politics. Not all of them will have much experience of, for example, recognising anti-Semitic tropes. We believe the best way to combat any such naivety, lack of knowledge or problematic choices of words among Labour’s membership is through open debate and discussion. It is the sort of political education that has been lacking in Labour, a party that prides itself on fighting prejudice and discrimination and championing social justice.Yet we are witnessing the development of the opposite to open and frank debate. There is now a chilling culture of fear, self-censorship, of members afraid to openly ask questions and learn, particularly on social media. We have seen many good Corbyn-supporting comrades being thrown to the wolves of the Tory Party and their supporters in the mainstream media. They are publicly smeared as Holocaust deniers, anti-Semites, racists – and have no way of fighting back against such vile accusations. These types of smears have ruined lives. Labour’s broken disciplinary procedure, that voices on all sides now accept is not fit for purpose, has actually resulted in suicides.We therefore welcome your direction to the new Labour general secretary to at last implement the recommendations of the 2016 Shami Chakrabarti report about the party’s disciplinary procedures, based on natural justice and due process. As socialists we insist on our right to continue to publicly and sharply criticise the actions of a state that brutally oppresses Palestinians and black migrants. If we stop doing this, we stop being socialists.We also believe that the Party should thoroughly investigate the attempts instigated by an Israeli agent to infiltrate and subvert the Party, as revealed in the January 2017 Al-Jazeera exposé (http://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/ and we note that you called for an enquiry into the activities of the embassy officer who was caught discussing a plot to “take down” British politicians.The right-wing in the party will demand more and more scalps. But the history of appeasement in politics teaches us they will never be satisfied. Capitulation to their unscrupulous demands is not the answer. They can never have enough suspensions, enough expulsions, enough compromised principles, including your lifelong support for the rights of the Palestinians. We pledge to mobilise with comrades of all faiths and none to end the attacks against the Labour left, which daily damages the party’s effectiveness in helping those people most harmed by the austerity and cuts-obsessed Conservative government. We hope you will give your support.Initial signatories include:Moshé Machover, Israeli socialist and co-founder of MatzpenJackie Walker, chair of Labour Against the Witchhunt (and ex vice-chair of Momentum)Noam Chomsky, authorAsa Winstanley, investigative journalistMick Brooks, political secretary, Labour Representation CommitteeDeborah Hobson and Hassan Ahmed, co-chairs Grassroots Black LeftMike Cushman, chair Free Speech on IsraelLee Rock, Sheffield Labour Left ListGraham BashPete FirminSuzanne GannonIan Malcolm-WalkerKeith HendersonLouise ReecejonesPatrick HallChris Knight Join Labour Against the Witchhunt: http://www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org/contact/