For the first time in more years than I can remember, Brighton & Hove Trades Council organised a May Day demonstration. It was held at the Level. The theme of the demonstration was the Police, Crime & Sentencing Bill which will make illegal all demonstrations that cause a ‘nuisance’ or are in any way effective. It is a clear threat to the rights of workers You will be able to hold demonstrations in future only if they are ineffective. A telling commentary on capitalist democracy today.
Howard Beckett – Unite Left Candidate for General Secretary
The main speaker was Howard Beckett, the left’s candidate in the Unite General Secretary election. There were a host of other speakers including Mark Abel from UCU, Sue from the Campaign to Save Brighton University’s One World Nursery, Matt Webb, Secretary of the Trades Council, Lloyd-Russell Moyle MP for Brighton Kemptown, Steve from Save the NHS campaign and myself.
After the rally the Stop the Bill Campaign organised a march to Brighton Clocktower via the Police Station chanting ‘Sussex Police are not innocent’ amongst other slogans.
Sue speaking from the Campaign to Save the One World Nursery
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who was sacked from Sir Starmer’s shadow cabinet has been extremely weak and wobbly on the Zionists’ fake anti-Semitism campaign. Indeed when I was suspended from the Labour Party in 2016, Brighton & Hove District Party voted to oppose my suspension. Lloyd however, as Chair of the Party, wrote secretly to right-wing General Secretary Iain McNicoll urging that my expulsion be sped up. I obtained his correspondence from a Subject Access Request. Although Lloyd’s name had been redacted it was not difficult to work out the rat who wrote it!
When a Facebook post of Lloyd’s from 2009 was found saying:
“The point is people who are form Jewish descent/Jewish but are not Zionist is that the two are not automatic that you can be proud of being Jewish but realise that idea of inheriting/claim a land that you may have never visited or seen but have a ‘heritage’ claim for is not progressive in its very nature…
Terrorism feeds of violence, that is why it is only Israel that can stop the violence, it was the National Party in South Africa that had to make the first steps.”
All of these comments were true but instead of standing by them Moyle apologised and withdrew his comments saying that:
“I have now deleted these posts and recognise why they were offensive.”
The Jewish Chronicle quoted Moyle as saying that he would be contacting the Jewish Labour Movement for talks, adding:
“I am completely and unreservedly committed to supporting Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner’s pledge to rid the party of antisemitism.”
This has been typical of the cowardice of the Campaign Group ‘left’ which has consistently retreated on its support for the Palestinians and opposition to Zionism.
I therefore pointed out in my speech that the respected Human Rights Watch last week described Israel as guilty of the crime of Apartheid. This followed the declaration by Israel’s main human rights organisation B’Tselem in January that Israel was an apartheid state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.
In an immediate response to HRW’s 231 page report, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which describes itself as the ‘voice of British Jews’ ‘condemned’HRW’s report and defended Israeli Apartheid by pointing to a few token Arab ambassadors, judges and professors, as if this somehow negates the demolition of Palestinian homes, the destruction of Palestinian villages, the segregated education sector and the refusal of Israel to vaccinate the 5 million Palestinians living under its military rule.
It was the Board of Deputies which accused the Labour Party of ‘anti-Semitism’. A campaign which led to the overthrow and then suspension of Jeremy Corbyn and hundreds of expulsions and suspensions in the Labour Party including myself. It should be clear even to the most stupid member of Momentum or the Campaign Group of MPs that the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign was concerned about one thing only – Corbyn’s support for the Palestinians. It had nothing to do with anti-Semitism.
It is therefore to be welcomed that Lloyd defied the McCarthyist 10 Pledges (in fact Commandments) of the Zionist Board of Deputies.
When I spoke (see above) I recalled that the last time I spoke at a Stop the Police Bill demonstration I had only just been released from Birmingham’s Winson Green Prison where I had been remanded as a result of the arrest of 6 supporters of Palestine Action who had intended to redecorate Elbit’s Shenstone factory of death where engines are manufactured for their killer drones.
At today’s march I laid into the Labour Party which is led by someone who describes himself as a Zionist (i.e. racist) without qualification. Starmer had originally intended to abstain on the Police Bill as he had ordered Labour MPs to do on the Spy Cops Bill. This was in order to demonstrate that the Labour Party, now it was ‘under new management’ would be a responsible party and not challenge neo-liberal economics or imperialist foreign policy.
Speaker from Labour Party Black Socialists
It was therefore extremely welcome to see hundreds of people at the rally, not only older trade unionists but hundreds of younger people with a variety of posters and banners.
I also learnt from Sue who spoke from Save One World Nursery at Brighton University that their nursery is under threat of closure. I have a very personal interest in this.
44 years ago I led the campaign, as Vice President of Brighton Polytechnic Student Union, to establish a nursery at the Poly. In 1979 we were successful. Now the contribution of Brighton University’s VC and Administration to women’s equality and the provision of workplace based child care is to abolish the nursery on grounds of cost.
This outrageous decision should not be accepted. Please sign the petition and join the campaign.