Almost 1,500 people have been involved in Labour In Exile’s first fightback meeting on Saturday 27 March.
More than 550 people registered for our Zoom meeting and the rest watched via Facebook, many of them live. You can watch the video below. People from across the country, including comrades who have been expelled and suspended as well as many still in the Labour Party, spoke about their opposition to the assault on democracy by the current leadership.
In the first part of the meeting we heard reports about how comrades are carrying on the struggle for socialism and free speech by setting up “shadow” or “ghost” CLPs. The second part of the meeting saw the launch of eight fightback working groups. These will tackle everything from transforming the Labour Party and analysing the witch-hunt to engaging with the media and the weaponisation of antisemitism.
With a number of local elections in the pipeline, we suggest that comrades take an active approach by asking their local Labour Party candidates some important questions. Ideally, please try to organise local hustings events. We want to publicise the names of those candidates who are prepared to sign up to the pledges below – they surely would be worth campaigning for!
As part of the fight-back against the witch-hunt of socialists from the Labour Party, LIEN is conducting a survey of all members of the network in order to determine the extent of the number of suspensions, resignations and expulsions since 2015 when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader. By building up a detailed picture of the mass purge we will be in a stronger position to take counter-action, including legal action if necessary. The more members who participate, the greater will be the weight of the outcomes, so your cooperation in this survey will be much appreciated.
Watch this powerful testimony by Benjamin Davy, suspended member from Plymouth CLP, who explains why he has become involved in the Labour in Exile Network. There are many more comrades who feel similarly and we have already posted some of them on our website here – please send us your video and/or short article!
This is the text of a speech given by GRAHAM BASH at a meeting “The Labour Party, Free Speech and Democracy” held on Saturday 30 January 2021. Graham Bash has been a Labour Party member for 52 years, and is the political officer for Jewish Voice for Labour. Graham speaks in a personal capacity about how the Left should respond to the current attack on free speech in the Labour Party.
I want to make two basic points:
First, this attack on free speech is unprecedented in my lifetime.
Secondly, although we are facing and fighting this attack primarily in the Labour Party, it is an issue that goes well beyond the Labour Party.
TO THE LEADER AND THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE LABOUR PARTY
We the undersigned members of the Labour Party demand:
• the restoration of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn;
• the reinstatement of all Labour Party members wrongly suspended or expelled since the appointment of the current general secretary;
• a review of all previous suspensions and expulsions imposed during the previous leadership;
• a root and branch reform of the deeply flawed complaints and disciplinary processes of the party;
• and an immediate restoration of the right of constituency parties to freely discuss and pass motions on political issues as they see fit.
Until these demands are met we will pursue a policy of non-cooperation with the party’s general secretary, regional officials and the governance and legal unit, and we will absolutely refuse to comply with any advice, guidance or instructions from any of the above which we consider unfair and discriminatory.
As members of the labour movement we are taking immediate, collective action in solidarity with our comrades who have been unfairly punished.
We are a new kind of non-geographical Constituency Labour Party (modeled on the Labour International CLP), for all those who no longer feel that they are welcome in the Labour Party.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been suspended or expelled from the Labour Party. It began under Jeremy Corbyn with the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign whose aim was to protect the Israeli state from criticism.