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Sheffield Labour Left 

A bulletin for Sheffield Labour Party Members who support the direction the party is moving under Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell.
For Socialism. Opposing racism, antisemitism and Zionism.
Opposing all expulsions/exclusions targeting the left.
Bulletin No 15, April 4 2019

The witch-hunt continues!


Jackie Walker expelled. 

 

Following hot on the heels of Chris Williamson’s suspension for “a pattern of behaviour” (whereby the actual ‘behaviour’ remains unspecified but appears to concern allegations of anti-Semitism), we saw the sorry sight of Jackie Walker being expelled under the usual catch-all charge of “bringing the party into disrepute”. She was charged of course with anti-Semitism – and brandished as an anti-Semite in pretty much every news outlet. But Labour’s compliance unit knew full well that such an allegation would bring with it the possibility of a court action – where such an allegation would simply not stand up.
 
Incredibly, there are still some – ostensibly on the left of the party - who refuse to accept what is staring them in the face: i.e. that there is a witch-hunt going on against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. Because to do so would mean actually having to stand up and fight back, rather than sit back and leave it to others to take a stand and take the risks.  Except of course, staying silent when good socialists are under attack does nothing to help get a genuine socialist-led government elected. Quite the opposite: By allowing this witch-hunt to continue and grow, we are in danger of losing sight what the ‘Corbyn project’ was supposed to be all about: fighting for a society of solidarity, justice and equality.
 
A disproportionate number of Jewish members have been expelled (or suspended and then reinstated) over allegations of anti-Semitism.  Why is that?  Are there really so many Jewish anti-Semites in the Labour Party?  Nope, the thing they tend to have in common is that they are on the left of the party, oppose the actions of the state of Israel and reject Zionism as a political ideology. For those on the right of the Party, and those who support the actions of the state of Israel, it is these anti-Zionist socialist Jews that are disparagingly called by their opponents 'the wrong kind of Jews'.
 
Of course, there are Labour Party members who hold prejudiced views – that is to be expected in a party of over 500,000 members. All cases of genuine anti-Semitism need to be properly dealt with: In some cases this will involve explaining to the person why something they have said/written/shared is anti-Semitic and perhaps issue them with a warning.  In other cases, where the members refuses to acknowledge they have been anti-Semitic and show no signs of changing, then an expulsion may well be necessary. This should not be an expulsion for life, because as socialists we recognise (and are dependent on) the capacity for people to change, to learn and to grow as individuals.

Click here to watch the video from the excellent March 25 meeting 'Defend the Left' with Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone and Graham Bash. Click here for a short film about the lobby outside Jackie's expulsion hearing, produced by Jon Pullman, who also put together the excellent film 'The Witchhunt'.
 
May Day Weekend!

Saturday 4 May: Sheffield May Day
13:00-14:00
Assemble at Devonshire Green for a march through the city centre to Barkers Pool

14:00-15:00
Rally at Barkers Pool with Len McCluskey (General Secretary Unite) and more

15:00-16:30
Food, drink and music at DINA, 32 Cambridge Street

16:30-18:00
Panel Debate: Economy for the Many not the Few, featuring Rebecca Long-Bailey MP Shadow Minister and economist Grace Blakeley

19:30-23:00
Party at DINA, featuring the Free Radicals, Out Aloud and Joe Solo
 

Sunday 5 May: Hallam CLP Annual International Worker’s May Day Fair
Crookes Social Club (Mulehouse Rd, S10 1TD) from 2pm until 6pm.  Stalls, music and a bar!
 

Monday 6 May:  Chesterfield May Day
Assemble 10.30am by Chesterfield Town Hall to march to rally in New Square.  Speakers and stalls.
A sad fairy tale …
 
Once upon a time, there was the District Labour Party, but it was replaced with the Local Campaign Forum.
 
So, many moons ago, a meeting was held where changes to the DLP/LCF were discussed.  Amendments were proposed, voted upon and won. The members were so happy!
 
However… some officers seemed unhappy with the way the elected delegates had voted. And thus, the minutes of said meeting were simply never issued.
 
In the villages and towns of Sheffield, the people began to wonder if some of the officers were being obstructive in order to maintain their tenuous hold on the LCF? And maybe, just maybe, they were trying to avoid the LCF becoming a real campaigning organisation on behalf of the Labour Party in Sheffield?
 
Some members finally complained that, 11 months after the meeting, there were still no minutes. Finally, the powers replied: Apparently, they are now too busy to write them because of the local elections on May 2.
 
Incensed by this lack of justice, many LCF delegates are now considering making an official complaint… in the hope that we might see a happy ending to this sorry tale.

Sheffield Labour Left Open Meeting for members and supporters of Jeremy Corbyn

'Building the Labour left to help deliver a socialist-led Labour government'

Thursday, April 18 2019, Crookes Social Club, Mulehouse Road, S10 1TD, from 7.00pm.

Speakers:
Chris Williamson MP (awaiting final confirmation)
John Dunn (Ex-miner, Orgreave Truth & Justice campaigner, surcharged Clay Cross councillor)

 

The left in the Labour Party has always needed a grass-roots campaigning force to help build support for a socialist-led labour government. And to defend such a government once elected.  In many localities left groups have formed, and are being formed. The Labour Representation Committee have agreed to start working towards a left network.  Is it now time to discuss how we can link up with others to build a left alternative in the party?

Please come along, contribute your ideas and listen to the views of others.


“Youth are passed through schools that don't teach, then forced to search for jobs that don't exist and finally left stranded in the street to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them."
 
Huey P. Newton, Co-founder of the Black Panther Party (February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989)
Events in April and for May Day


Wednesday 10 April:  Community Stall at Firth Park on Universal Credit. 11am till 1pm Firth Park shops.

Ongoing until 14 April:  Who We Are: Exhibition of photographs by Martin Jenkinson.  At Sheffield's Weston Park Museum.

Thursday 18 April:  Sheffield Labour Left Open Meeting on 'Building the Labour Left to help deliver a socialist-led government.' See box.

Friday 19 April:  Sheffield South East CLP monthly meeting.  7.15pm @ Spa View Community Church, Hackenthorpe, S12 4HD.

Tuesday 23 April:  SYMAAG Organising Meeting.  6.30pm to 8.30pm at The Sanctuary, Chapel Walk.

Tuesday 23 April:  Monthly meeting of Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC).  Open to union delegates and observers. 7.00pm @ Trades & Labour Club, 200 Duke Street, S2 5QQ.

Wednesday 24 April:  Sheffield Stop & Scrap Universal Credit monthly planning meeting.  URC 12.30pm to 2.00pm.

Thursday 25 April:  Sheffield Hallam monthly CLP meeting.  Wesley Hall, Crookes, S10 1UD from 7.30pm.

Friday 26 April:  Penistone & Stocksbridge monthly CLP meeting.  Wortley Hall starting at 7.00pm.  Delegates only voting, but all members can attend.

Saturday 4 May:  Sheffield May Day celebrations. (see above)

Sunday 5 May:  Hallam CLP May Day Fair. (see above)

Monday 6 May:  Chesterfield May Day celebrations.  (see above)
Initially set up as Sheffield Labour Left List (SLLL) as a network to help co-ordinate the left across the six CLPs covered by Sheffield. After a productive first 12 months and 10 bulletins, we changed to Sheffield Labour Left, electing a temporary Steering Committee, in December 2018.

We have a page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldlabourleft.org), where you can find an archive of our previous bulletins. We are working on populating the website some more, feel free to send us material.

We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.

Want to get involved? Contact us at the email address below.

 
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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