DEFEND THE GARSTON THREE AND INVESTIGATE LABOUR PARTY OVER EXPULSIONS #SupportGarston3
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We, the undersigned, as defenders of human rights, free speech and freedom of association, call for the UK Labour Party to immediately reinstate Bob Walker, Tony Lucock and Gerry Tyrell as full members.
We call upon the Party to establish an immediate inquiry to review all the circumstances of their expulsion; and also to investigate the operation of those office holders and units responsible for this and other recent disciplinary actions, including the moral, political and legal implications of their procedures and decisions.
Bob, Tony and Gerry are three disabled pensioners in their seventies who are active and valued members of Garston and Halewood CLP. Bob was democratically elected by CLP members in July to be their Vice Chair for Membership. They are lifelong socialists and trade unionists who have faced politically-motivated accusations that they support another party, simply because they attend a wide variety of public political meetings, including those of TUSC.
Sam Matthews, head of Labour's 'Disputes' (formerly the Compliance Unit) has expelled them without redress, despite photographic evidence that the three campaigned for weeks on end for a Labour candidate in a tory marginal during #GE2017.
The anonymity of their original accusers, the complete absence of due process, the sloppy responses of Labour’s disciplinary bureaucrats and the refusal of their own CLP chair and exec. to allow CLP members to debate an emergency motion (which demanded they be afforded due process) raises doubts about the motivations of all involved.
Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party has become a beacon of hope to millions around the world: animated by the principles of solidarity, freedom, peace and equality. A membership purge which targets lifelong socialists and champions of precisely these principles diminishes that light and damages the Labour movement.
The spirit and content of the charges against Bob, Tony and Gerry evoke the shameful tradition of American McCarthyism. The tactic of 'guilt by association' will inevitably rebound on the integrity and legitimacy of any who tolerate or employ them.
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