More than 35,000 people tuned in to see the broadcasting launch of the Labour Black Socialists’ (LBS) ‘selective strike’ campaign on Socialist Telly with Howard Beckett, Andrea Gilbert, Maurice McLeod and Ekua Bayunu. The group has announced that its members will not campaign for Labour candidates it does not believe are fully committed to fighting anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, racism against Gypsy Travellers and transphobia.
The group has begun weekly broadcasts on Socialist Telly to help members understand the issues and fight for policies from Labour on a range of issues impacting communities up and down the country. The series kicked off with programmes on homelessness, vaccinations and domestic violence.
LBS believe they are offering leadership party members need – and say that the response has been tremendous with members reporting back on meetings inside and outside party structures discussing the group’s statement and pressing motions through constituency parties from local party branches and union delegates.
Members of the Labour Black Socialist group have decided they have no alternative but to selectively down tools in 2021 election campaigns. The group is still in the Labour party and has chosen to stay and fight for and within the party that they support.
The Labour leaks document and the Labour Muslim network report on Islamophobia have shown that the current leadership is not taking these issues seriously. The group says there is a culture within the Labour party that looks the other way on anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, prejudice against the GRT and trans communities. It believes that there is a hierarchy when it comes to dealing with Racism within the Labour party and point out that the Forde inquiry is not a commitment from the current leadership.
LBS say they do not want the leader to resolve these complaints with the same ill conceived and undemocratic way identified by the recent EHRC findings and will be raising their concerns with other like-minded members of the party. They will be requesting that those who support them also put down their tools and campaign selectively for candidates whose commitment to justice for all is clear, irrespective of differences in class, race, ethnicity and religion.
A spokesperson for the group said:
The Labour Party will not get away with dismissing members’ concerns about racism and the group hopes action will be taken swiftly against those within the party who are found to be racist.
Across the Labour Party, members are welcoming this action from the Labour Black Socialists. Members are desperate for leadership on racism and how to actively fight it and that is obviously lacking from the current leadership. Labour Black Socialists are serious about providing that leadership. We ask those who support us to watch our launch show with Howard Beckett and to support our regular online tv show Socialism and Strawberries supporting action on issues in ethnic minority communities!
The group can be reached/followed at the addresses below:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The group’s statement, motions, interviews and articles are available here.
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