Anti-racist Jackie Walker expelled from Labour

Jackie Walker, far left, and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, far right, speaking at a recent meeting against expulsions from the Labour Party.

Cathy Augustine

Anti-Zionist activist Jackie Walker was expelled from the Labour Party on Wednesday.

She told The Electronic Intifada on Thursday she was “livid” at the injustice, which included “racism at the heart of the process” against her.

Left-wing group Jewish Voice for Labour called the expulsion “a travesty of justice” and a “shameful conclusion” to a flawed process.

The group said in a statement that Labour would “come to be deeply ashamed of this passage in its history.”

The move comes two and a half years after Walker’s membership was suspended by party bureaucrats.

For the last few years, Walker has been targeted by Israel lobbyists as one of the high-profile cases of Labour activists they demanded expelled.

At a training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement in September 2016, Walker had questioned the defintion of anti-Semitism the pro-Israel group used.

“I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with,” Walker had said in reference to the material presented at the Jewish Labour Movement training.

Smear campaign

The trainer, Mike Katz, had used a definition which included talking about Israel as a “racist endeavor” as a supposed example of anti-Semitism.

Walker, along with many other Labour activists, rejects this definition as a political weapon created to attack and silence Israel’s critics, smearing them as racists.

The definition could ban Palestinians from talking about their lived reality under Israel’s system of apartheid, or from advocating a single democratic state in historic Palestine with equal rights for all its citizens.

At the training Walker also advocated for Holocaust Memorial Day to be expanded to “all peoples who experienced holocaust.”

Although it has been falsely reported by The Guardian and others that she accused the day’s organizers of “only commemorating Jewish victims,” Walker in fact said no such thing.

As The Electronic Intifada reported from the training session in question at the time, Walker was advocating for the day to include the millions of African victims of Britain’s transatlantic slave trade – what she and many other Black activists term the African holocaust.

Although it condemned Walker, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust soon confirmed that the day was indeed limited to comemorating the Nazi Holocaust “and subsequent genocides.”

Denied a voice

On Tuesday when the Labour Party hearing against her opened, Walker asked to briefly address the panel.

Subsequently, Walker said in a statement, she felt she had no choice but to walk out of the hearing.

This “forced me to have to withdraw, or put myself through racist abuse protected by the Labour Party,” Walker told The Electronic Intifada.

“What is so dangerous about my voice that it is not allowed to be heard?” she said in her statement on the day of the hearing.

“After almost three years of racist abuse and serious threats; of almost three years of being demonized, and now being ambushed by a batch of last-minute changes, I was astounded that the Labour Party refused to allow me a few short moments to personally address the disciplinary panel to speak in my own defense,” she said.

Her lawyers twice asked that several examples of racist statements against her be removed from Labour’s bundle of “evidence” against her.

Party officials refused the requests.

Examples included statements calling Walker “a white middle-aged woman with dreadlocks” who “claims to be part Jewish.”

Although Walker expected much of the hearing to be on the African holocaust, she told The Electronic Intifada that, “The only Black person in the hearing was a silent notetaker.”

She criticized the party for taking “No Black advice, no advice from anybody of African decent.”

Result leaked to the press

The outcome of the hearing was published by the Jewish Chronicle “before any of us were told,” Walker said on Thursday.

The Labour Party has habitually leaked suspensions to the press before the affected party members were even informed.

Walker is now considering her legal options.

“The Labour Party has already been put on notice about the legal response to my expulsion and its inclusion of abusive racist material to be used against me,” she said. “My legal team and I are now consulting on the way forward.”

Tags

Comments

picture

Jackie livid. What is she, a glutton for punishment? That is a badge of honor. She should wear it proudly.

Now on to more important matters, such as ridding the World of criminal imperialism.

picture

What a travesty. Jackie Walker was targeted by the Israel Lobby at the outset of this "antisemitism" campaign. Her expulsion is intended as a minatory lesson to others in the Labour Party, particularly those whose personal and familial history includes abuse at the hands of white supremacists.

Until the Labour Party purges itself of the Zionist fifth column which operates through front groups such as Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, this spectacle will be repeated year after year. To date, the party under Jeremy Corbyn has shown little appetite for confronting the menace represented by this element. Appeasement has never purchased peace, and Corbyn's supporters- the vast majority of members- are desperately searching for signs of life on this issue. Yet Labour continues to give ground, sacrificing valuable members and our hopes for a just settlement in Palestine to the likes of Ambassador Regev and his minions. Honestly, what will it take to put some backbone into this party?

picture

As a lawyer, if I try to introduce fresh evidence a few days before a trial in an english civil court, it's almost certain to be disallowed as unfair and prejudicial. I've never seen any witness statements which made racist allegations about another party in a case I've been involved in but would expect to successfully apply to have them struck out. I am appalled at the travesties of justice which the Labour Party has been involved in recently. Good luck to Jackie in any legal action she intends to take.

picture

There is no doubt in my mind that the only reason Jackie W has been targeted is her support of Palestinian human rights and that she has pursued this without recourse to racism/anti-Semitism. I understand why some pro-Israeli voices work to silencing her voice by way of smear/expulsion. What I cannot understand is the internal Labour Party processes. I am not a lawyer but we have all some concept of natural justice; that the accused is entitled to know his/her accuser and the substance of the accusation. We all understand that new accusations/evidence cannot be introduced without sufficient time for the accused to respond; and that penalties should be proportional and applied fairly. What is an offence in one is equally an offence by another. I too hope that Jackie can and does take legal action. Are the internal governance processes of the Labour Party subject to outside law?

But no, I really don't understand is why the pro-Israeli forces are allowing and cheering along these false charges of anti-Semitism. Jackie's expulsion is not going to cower her into giving up her activism or silence her voice. I wonder if this is just the start and she will be further targeted and attempts made to make her unemployable and persona non grata; that she gets the Steven Salaita treatment or is subjected to the harassment meted out to Gilad Atzmon by pro-Israeli groups and IMO to their eternal shame by Jewdas. Agree with him or not, Atzmon should not be denied the right to make a living as a musician.

If its all just part of the taming of Corbyn's human rights approach to I/P conflict, then its up to the rank and file to fight fire with fire and work towards pre-selecting people who will not allow Labour's social justice agenda to be derailed by the weaponization of anti-Semitism.

picture

Eliza, I don't have much experience of public law, but the LP has been sued in the past for administrative decisions. The test is whether the decision is one which no reasonable body would make in the same circumstances.
I think it would be very interesting to see what a judge made of the decision making process. We know for a start that a former Court of Appeal judge has grave doubts as to the IHRA definition of anti-semitism.

picture

Labour’s Leader Jeremy Corbyn and some of the Shadow Cabinet may be natural allies and supporters of Jackie Walker, but as long as ex-Blairites, Neo-Liberals and/or pro-Zionists have a disproportionate influence within the Party’s machinery injustices and travesties like this one will sadly continue. And, as Jackie herself has stated, will probably continue to be used to purge the Labour Party of any remains of dissenting, pro-Palestinian voices. Dark days indeed.

picture

This is a dark day for the Labour party as a representative of those who feel oppressed by Tories.

picture

The Israel Lobby must be investigated by the authorities for undermining British Democracy

Add new comment

Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.