Momentum statement against suspension of Jackie Walker

The following is Momentum’s statement condemning the treatment of Jackie Walker, who was suspended from the Labour Party earlier this month. I endorse it.

For the statement Momentum put out when I was expelled from the party (I’m fighting for reinstatement), see here.

For an article from Workers’ Liberty on anti-semitism and the left which discusses Jackie’s case, see here.

***

Momentum condemns the suspension of Jackie Walker, Vice Chair of our Steering Committee, from the Labour Party on 4 May.

Jackie, a black activist of Jewish heritage and lifelong anti-racist campaigner and trainer, was suspended by the party for alleged antisemitism following an article that appeared in the Jewish Chronicle, which quotes statements she made on Facebook discussing her family history.

We are extremely concerned by the lack of due process in this case, and the failure to apply the principles of natural justice. Journalists were briefed about Jackie’s suspension by party staff before she had been informed. Indeed, she is still yet to receive any formal notification of either her suspension, the basis for it, or a timetable for her hearing.

As the suspension was not briefed to the press as without prejudice, it has been interpreted by some as a presumption of guilt before any process has taken place. Momentum calls for the immediate lifting of her suspension and for new rules to be put in place by the party to govern the handling and the press briefing of sensitive disciplinary matters, and for all suspensions to be agreed in advance by NEC members after the person concerned has the right to make representations.

Momentum unambiguously condemns antisemitism and welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s launch of an expert-led inquiry. We hope that this inquiry is the start of a process of investigating how all forms of racism and oppression that exist in society replicate themselves in any way within the Labour Party.

For the labour movement to fight racism and oppression effectively, we need comradely self-criticism, education, and awareness raising of these complex issues. We pledge that Momentum will play a productive role in this process.

Advertisements

Two Momentum regions call for an EU “in” vote – keep up the pressure!

aeip

At the London Momentum regional delegates’ meeting on Saturday 30 April – which I’ll report on soon – delegates voted by a substantial margin to endorse the motion on the EU referendum submitted to the 21 May Momentum national committee by the Northern (North East and Cumbria) region.

The vote in the North was unanimous bar one. The vote at our London meeting was 19-6-1. I think that shows those who argued this issue is too divisive for Momentum to take a position are wrong. In any case, this is a crucial issue and we need to take a stance on it.

Let’s keep up the pressure and win Momentum to campaign for “in” on and after 21 May.

(Northampton Momentum has passed a similar position, as has Lambeth. Please let me know any other groups that have do so on and if you’d like to work together on this: jillmountford@rocketmail.com)

Here is the motion.

EU REFERENDUM – FOR A LEFT “IN” VOTE

Britain leaving the EU would be a victory for the nationalist right and their campaign against migrants, almost certainly reshaping the British political and social landscape for the worse.

The EU promotes neoliberal policies in the interests of capitalism – but so does the UK. The British ruling class and government will press ahead with attacks in or out – and outside the EU, the barriers to their assault will be lower, while barriers between us and our brothers and sisters in other countries will be higher.

We support an “in” vote.

***

We oppose David Cameron’s reforms, which attack the rights of workers and migrants. We endorse Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a “Europe that puts people, not multinationals, at its heart”, through “public ownership […] democratisation, stronger workers’ rights, sustainable growth and jobs”, won through “alliances across Europe to end austerity”.

We call for:
­• Cross­-European working­-class and social movement struggles against austerity and for levelling up wages, conditions, services and rights, funded by taxing the rich and public ownership of finance;
­• Radical democratisation, including empowering the European Parliament;
•­ An end to “Fortress Europe” – freedom of movement and equal rights for all.

***

Using the slogans “Another Europe is possible”, “For a workers’ Europe” and “For a socialist Europe”, Momentum nationally will campaign for an “in” on this basis, making defence of migrants, anti­austerity and international solidarity central. This will include an urgent press release, a leaflet and a rally in London at least.

We will work with Labour, with “in” unions, and with the Another Europe is Possible network.

We call on the whole of Momentum to campaign on this basis.