Orwellian email warns members not to participate in protests against Israel’s obliteration of Gaza so that Labour can be ‘welcoming for all members’
Right-wing Labour general secretary David Evans has issued a warning to members that they may be expelled if they participate in protests against Israel’s war on Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
With demonstrations taking place in a number of cities today in solidarity with oppressed Palestinians, Evans’s email notifies members that MPs have effectively been banned from taking part – and warns members that they face disciplinary action if they choose to do so. Even being photographed next to the ‘wrong’ person in a crowd could see a member expelled.
Perversely, Evans excuses this action on the grounds that members protesting may compromise Labour’s ability to fight racism – the party right’s widespread racism toward Muslims, Black people and Gypsy Roma apparently doesn’t count – and to keep the party ‘welcoming’ for all members (presumably except Palestinians).
The email also bans motions against Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians, and social media comments the party may dislike – and invites members to report on each other:
In light of current and fast-changing events in Israel and Gaza, I wanted to share the below guidance with CLPs and BLPs. This is in line with guidance that has been circulated to other units of the Labour Party.
Upcoming protests and demonstrations
There will be a number of protests and demonstrations taking place over the weekend. Elected representatives have been given strong advice not to attend any of these events, and I would urge you to exercise similar caution. Not only is this in the interests of our members’ safety, but also to avoid placing colleagues in a position where they may share a platform with, or are close to, individuals that threaten to undermine the values and principles of the Labour Party.
In the event that individual members are in attendance at these protests and demonstration, I ask that no Labour Party banners are taken along. Individuals will not have the ability to control who they will be photographed alongside, and this risks threatening the Labour Party’s ability to campaign against any form of racism and discrimination.
The Party’s leadership has been clear that Labour fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself, rescue hostages and protect civilians in line with international law. We must also distinguish the terrorists Hamas from the people of Palestine, and Labour has called for humanitarian access to Gaza, for food, water, electricity and medicines. [Skwawkbox note: Keir Starmer backed Israel’s decision to cut water, food and medicine supplies so this is doublespeak]
I recognise that these tragic events in the Middle East will trigger great emotion and debate. However, I will not let that become a flashpoint for the expression of views that undermine the Labour Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all its members. This includes attempts to table motions at meetings that are prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Labour Party and risk infringing the Labour Party’s Codes of Conduct on Antisemitism and Islamophobia. Accordingly, and consistent with previous precedent, any such motions will be ruled out of order.
If you have further queries in this regard, please direct them in the first instance to your regional or national office.
Members are reminded that they are expected to treat all people with dignity and respect, whether offline or online. Whilst members should feel able to take part in lawful and respectful discussion, abusing someone online is completely unacceptable. Further, officers should ensure that official social media accounts are not used to promote statements or events that are likely to bring the Party into disrepute. The Labour Party stands against all forms of abuse, and we will take action against those who commit it. Harassment, intimidation, hateful language and bullying are never acceptable.
Members are encouraged to review the Labour Party’s Code of Conduct: Social Media Policy here: https://labour.org.uk/resources/labours-social-media-policy/
Any member found in breach of our rules, codes of conduct, policies and/or guidelines of the Labour Party will be dealt with according to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party, and this may include being investigated and becoming subject to disciplinary action.
Reporting complaints to the Labour Party
No member of the Labour Party shall engage in conduct that brings the Labour Party into disrepute or which undermines the Labour Party’s ability to campaign against any form of racism, including (but not limited to) antisemitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia and anti-Black racism, as well as disablism or discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. Be assured that the Labour Party takes complaints seriously and we will investigate any such complaints fully and in line with our procedures.
If you or someone else considers that a Labour Party member has breached our rules, this should be reported to us here: https://labour.org.uk/resources/making-a-complaint/. In order to learn more about how the Labour Party handles complaints, visit: https://labour.org.uk/complaints/.
Starmer’s hatchet man is making clear to all members that if they are not prepared to abandon decency and leave the Palestinians to the brutalities of their occupiers, they face expulsion.
It is clear that Starmer and co are on the side of the oppressors and this email’s feeble attempt to disguise that as somehow ‘fighting racism’ is a farce.
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