Chris Williamson MP: Unity is strength!

republished from Labour Briefing

Chis Williamson MP explains how to fight smears and insults

Efforts by opponents of common sense socialism to prevent a meeting in Sheffield about why we need an anti-war government were frustrated when Sheffield Labour Left stepped into the breach.

The meeting was originally going to be hosted by  Sheffield Labour Students.  But after a hateful smear campaign by my opponents, which included smearing me with false accusation of antisemitism, the students voted to pull the meeting.

However, the haters didn’t bargain for the strength of solidarity in Sheffield, and an alternative venue was found at short notice.  A successful meeting took place, which was addressed by myself and Steven Bell from Stop the War.

We all need to remember that as we get closer to a general election the smears, insults and intimidation will only increase.  But this episode perfectly illustrates the importance of the old labour movement maxim that unity is strength.  If we stand together we shall overcome.

88 Labour Party members sign petition to Sheffield Labour Students: Reverse your decision!

Today, we have sent the following petition to Sheffield Labour Students, which has been signed by 88 members of the Labour Party in Sheffield.

As Labour party members in Sheffield, we are disappointed that Sheffield Labour Students has cancelled its ‘Why we need an anti-war government’ meeting featuring Chris Williamson MP.

We note that at a time of heightened militarism across the world, this event was too important to cancel. Cancelling it is highly counterproductive to the aim of a peaceful, progressive society we are all working towards.

We also note that Chris Williamson is a champion of the anti-racist movement and has campaigned for many years against racism, fascism and anti-Semitism. The portrayal of him as anything other than this is wrongful and dangerous to the entire ant-racist movement.

We call on Sheffield Labour students to reverse the decision made to un-invite Chris Williamson to speak.

We stand in solidarity with Chris Williamson against the injustices that are so prevalent in this country and the whole world. Continue reading 88 Labour Party members sign petition to Sheffield Labour Students: Reverse your decision!

Chris Williamson MP in Sheffield – uncensored!

It was great that Sheffield Labour Left were able to host the meeting with Chris Williamson MP and Stephen Bell from the Stop the War Coalition.

Initially Chris and Stephen were due to speak at a meeting to be hosted by Sheffield Labour Students (SLS) at the University of Sheffield. Following a complaint by the Sheffield Jewish Student Society, which accused Chris of “encouraging a culture of anti-Semitism”, the executive of Sheffield Labour Students came under pressure to cancel or postpone the meeting. Initially the SLS – ostensibly run by a left-wing majority – held firm against these disgraceful attacks. But not for long. The SLS’s event organiser (who is also a member of the steering committee of Sheffield Momentum) resigned from his position, because he had “hoped that the committee would listen to and accommodate the requests of a minority group”.

Continue reading Chris Williamson MP in Sheffield – uncensored!

Motion to affiliate to Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) 

This CLP, noting that Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), launched at the Labour Party conference in September 2017:
  • stands for rights and justice for Jewish people everywhere, and against wrongs and injustice to Palestinians and other oppressed people anywhere
  • takes inspiration from the long history of Jewish involvement in the trade-union movement and in antiracist and antifascist struggles, including the anti-apartheid and civil-rights movements, and aims to strengthen the labour movement in its opposition to all forms of racism including antisemitism, broadening the movement’s appeal to all sections of British society;
  • aims to contribute to making the Labour Party an open, democratic and inclusive party, encouraging all ethnic groups and cultures to join and participate freely;
  • resolves to affiliate to Jewish Voice for Labour.

    Adopted by Crookes and Crosspool Labour Party branch and then Hallam CLP

Urgent press release, November 7 2018

Tomorrow: Despite anonymous threats, public meeting with Chris Williamson MP in Sheffield to go ahead

URGENT PRESS RELEASE

This meeting was initially to be hosted by Sheffield Labour Students, but they cancelled it after the Sheffield Jewish Society complained about Chris Williamson MP, who supposedly “has encouraged a culture of anti-Semitism”.

Sheffield Labour Left totally rejects this allegation. We are in full solidarity with Chris Williamson MP, one of the MPs who stands up for Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. We believe it is very important to hold public debates without fear of censorship. We therefore decided to host this meeting at short notice instead. Continue reading Urgent press release, November 7 2018

Petition to Sheffield Labour Students re: cancelled meeting with Chris Williamson

As Labour party members in Sheffield, we are disappointed that Sheffield Labour Students has cancelled its ‘Why we need an anti-war government’ meeting featuring Chris Williamson MP. [Click here for more info]

We note that at a time of heightened militarism across the world, this event was too important to cancel. Cancelling it is highly counterproductive to the aim of a peaceful, progressive society we are all working towards.

We also note that Chris Williamson is a champion of the anti-racist movement and has campaigned for many years against racism, fascism and anti-Semitism. The portrayal of him as anything other than this is wrongful and dangerous to the entire ant-racist movement.

We call on Sheffield Labour students to reverse the decision made to un-invite Chris Williamson to speak.

We stand in solidarity with Chris Williamson against the injustices that are so prevalent in this country and the whole world.

Initial signatories (all in personal capacity):

  • Joseph Ashton, President, Sheffield Hallam Students Union Labour, Sheffield Hallam CLP
  • Lee Rock, Convenor Sheffield Labour Left & Trade Union Liaison Officer Sheffield Hallam CLP
  • Joel Thorpe, Vice Chair Membership, Sheffield Hallam CLP
  • Dave Smith, Unite the Union EC Member for NEY&H, Heeley CLP and Sheffield Local Campaign Forum delegate
  • Joe Simpson, Treasurer, Sheffield Hallam CLP

To add your signature, please email us – telling us your name, CLP and any position in the Labour movement

Public meeting with Chris Williamson MP: Why we need an anti-war government

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Because of “anonymous threats” our previous venue has cancelled our booking. But we are pleased to say that the meeting is now co-sponsored by Sheffield TUC and has been moved to Sheffield Trades and Labour Club, 200 Duke Street, Sheffield S2 5QQ.

This meeting was initially to be hosted by Sheffield Labour Students, but they cancelled it after the Jewish Society on Sheffield Uni campus complained about Chris Williamson MP.

Sheffield Labour Left believes it is very important to hold debates like this, without fear of censorship. We are in full solidarity with Chris Williamson MP, one of the MPs who stands up for Corbyn’s policies. We therefore decided to host this meeting at short notice instead.

The other speaker is Stephen Bell from the Stop the War Coalition. The meeting will be chaired by Sheffield Labour Left convenor Lee Rock.

Thursday, November 8 2018, 7.30pm, 200 Duke Street, Sheffield Trades and Labour Club, Sheffield S2 5QQ.

More info:

  • Click here to read our petition to Sheffield Labour Students
  • Click here for more info on the cancellation
  • Click here to read a statement issued by the Stop the War Coalition, criticising the decision to cancel the event.