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Dear <<First Name>>

Sadly, Ken Loach has now become the most prominent victim of Keir Starmer's witch-hunt against socialists. He has been expelled, because as sponsor of Labour Against the Witchhunt, he dared to stand shoulder to shoulder with the hundreds of socialists and pro-Palestine campaigners who have been smeared and vilified by the right - the exact definition of what solidarity is all about. We have conveyed our gratitude and solidarity to the comrade. 

Dozens have now received their “Notification of Possible Automatic Exclusion from Membership of the Labour Party” over their alleged association with Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour In Exile Network and Socialist Appeal.

As we wrote last week, these letters confirm that in order to be considered a member or supporter of LAW, you will have to have committed one of following “acts”:

  • “membership of the organisation; contributing written material to the website of the relevant organisation; encouraging others to join the relevant organisation; and / or, participating in an event organised or hosted by the relevant organisation.”
  • “Other acts include repeatedly liking or sharing LAW content on social media or participating in the LAW Facebook group.” 

The Labour Party has of course no access to our database. Which is why the letters contain this little gem: “failure to provide evidence that you are not a supporter of LAW, as defined by the NEC above, is very likely to lead to your automatic exclusion from membership of the Labour Party.” 

Proving a negative is of course logically and practically impossible and reminds us of the way alleged witches were supposed to prove their innocence: by drowning. 

Members have 7 days to answer the charges and will be automatically excluded if they do not reply. Some people have informed us that they are considering answering in the style of the McCarthyite witch-hunt, declaring “I am not now nor have I ever been a member of Labour Against the Witchhunt”.

The LAW steering committee does not consider this kind of response to be a betrayal of the comrades’ support for our organisation. Quite the opposite: Nobody should feel under any moral obligation to tell the truth to the witch-hunters, who have lied, sabotaged and smeared thousands of us. Much better comrades are able to continue the fight against the right wing inside the Labour Party – if they can stomach it. 

Find below the excellent response by comrade Graham Bash of Jewish Voice for Labour and the Labour Representation Committee to the charges against him. 

LAW of course continues to accept as members all those who have been suspended, expelled or have left the party in disgust over the direction taken by Keir Starmer. We will be discussing the next steps in our important campaign in our next members’ meeting on Saturday August 28 at 6pm – sign up here to attend: https://membermojo.co.uk/labouragainstthewitchhunt. Mored details below. 

In solidarity, 

Jackie, Tina, Kevin, Stan, Tony and Steve
LAW Steering Committee



Graham Bash's response to the charges against him

Dear GLU,

I am in receipt of your email of 13th August and respond as follows.

1.  The Open Letter from LAW was dated January 2020. The date of the proscription of LAW was July 2021. LAW was not a proscribed organisation at the time I signed the letter.

2. I am not a current member of LAW. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no such category as LAW ’supporter’. I therefore deny that I am a ‘supporter’ of LAW. There is no justification for this investigation.

3. I am in full agreement with LAW - and with several Labour Party socialist organisations, and with hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members - in their opposition to the witch-hunt of Labour Party members and to the bans and proscriptions of socialist organisations. 

I oppose the factional attacks on Labour Party members carried out by the pro-establishment wing of the party. I oppose the shutting down of constituency parties, the imposition of candidates for national and local elections, the interference in the way constituency parties are allowed to run their meetings, the suppression of free speech and the suspension of party members for opposing the removal of the parliamentary whip from Jeremy Corbyn, and for holding views contrary to the faction which now controls the party.

Socialists are being removed from the party at the same time as the leader of the Labour Group in Ashford remains in post after calling for a Home Guard to repel asylum seekers!

The current leadership is endangering the very existence of our party and destroying the trust of hundreds of thousands of new members who joined us in and after 2015 in the belief that Labour could become a vehicle for socialist transformation in this country and a beacon of hope to all those fighting for justice throughout the world.

I have been a party member since December 1968 - for over 52 years - and have participated in every General Election campaign since 1970, fighting for a socialist Labour government. I am chair of my constituency party. I am political officer of Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). I am political secretary of the Labour Representation Committee. I have been a member of the Labour Briefing editorial board for over 40 years.

I fear I may become yet another Jewish victim of the witch-hunt - see JVL’s recent submission to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. 

I will continue to fight for socialism in Britain and internationally - inside the party if I may, outside, if I must.

Graham Bash



Saturday August 28: All-members' meeting


The steering committee of Labour Against the Witchhunt proposes to hold the next all-members' meeting on Saturday August 28 at 6pm (for a maximum of 2 hours). We want to collectively discuss a number of important issues and our campaigning strategy for the next few months, including: 

1) Bans and proscriptions and how to fight them
Including an update from 'Defend the Left' campaign 

2) 'Unite the Left' initiative
We have been invited to participate in this initiative. The steering committee has decided to participate, pending the final decision by this members' meeting. We will hear an update about this initiative, which is not without its problems

3) Our plans at Labour Party conference 2021
We are encouraging as many comrades as possible to come to Brighton in order to participate in the 'Resist at the Rialto' events (please register at https://www.theresistevent.com)

A paper from the LAW steering committee is to follow, but in the meantime, please send any motions to info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org

We will be running this meeting as a webinar, which is slightly less ‘democratic’, but provides more security for comrades. Participants can not be seen by others, as their camera is off. If somebody wishes to speak, they can either do so with their camera switched off or on. Also, do feel free to change your name when registering for this event or 'rename' yourself in the meeting (but please do send us an email if you do so: info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org). If you're having trouble with either, just send us a quick email and we can rename you once in the meeting. 

All paid up members of LAW will now have received a Zoom registration link for this meeting via a separate email - please register asap.

LAW's sponsors include:
  • Alexei Sayle, comedian
  • Ken Livingstone
  • Professor Moshé Machover, Israeli socialist and founder of Matzpen
  • Ian Hodson, president of the Bakers Union
  • Ken Loach, film director
  • Noam Chomsky, author and activist
LAW’s honorary president is Moshé Machover

Join or affiliate
http://www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org/contact/

Donate:
Make donation or standing order to 
LAW, Sort code 309473 Account No 21409868
Or make a Paypal donation here
 
LAW email newsletter. Share:
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Contact: 
info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org
07817 379568
LAW, BCM Box 1488, LONDON WC1N 3XX.
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Labour Against the Witchhunt · BCM Box 8932 · London, England WC1N 3XX · United Kingdom

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