After weeks of smears against Jeremy Corbyn, the fightback has begun. Two bold campaigns have launched to counter the representation of the Labour leader, and his party, as racist.
Corbyn is a lifelong anti-racism campaigner, including on the issue of antisemitism. And, while antisemitism is present on the left and right of the UK political spectrum, it’s more prevalent on the right. But, despite all this, much of the media has painted the Labour leader, and the movement that supports him, as rampantly antisemitic.
A Jewish network of Labour members, however, is taking action to challenge this.
The Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) group is urging Jewish Labour members to send it testimonies of their experience in the party. The callout is a direct challenge to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) group, which has referred the party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on the grounds that it is ‘institutionally antisemitic’. JVL writes:
The CAA is now soliciting testimonies from Labour Party members in support of its complaint.
If you believe Labour is being misrepresented and traduced, now is the time to speak up.
We need your testimonies about your experiences in the Labour Party to submit to the EHRC.
In short, it’s calling for Jewish Labour members to “stand up and be counted”. And it’s not alone in mounting a fightback.
Take ’em to the cleaners
I have had enough of the Labour Party, its leader and membership being persistently libelled.
I propose a legal fund be established by the party, funded by donations from members and supporters, to take legal action against those who choose to malevolently libel the party.
— Damian from Brighton (@damian_from) August 26, 2018
As its creator explains on the crowdfunding page:
This fighting fund will be used to litigate against those who maliciously and malevolently libel the Labour Party.
Damian From Brighton has set a goal of £250,000 for the fundraiser, which will be donated to the party for the “explicit purpose of taking selected malevolent libellers to court and to the cleaners”.
Clearly, these Labour members are choosing not to take the attacks on Corbyn, and the wider party, lying down. Given the ferocity and frequency of the smears, however, it’s not surprising people have had enough – and are taking action to stop them in their tracks.
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Featured image via Rwendland – Flickr