Group set up to protest Labour’s expulsion of members accused of antisemitism expels members for alleged antisemitism

Ben Kentish — The Independent Jan 2, 2018

A campaign group that was set up to protest against the expulsion of Labour Party members for alleged antisemitism has expelled some of its own members who it says are antisemitic.

Gerry Downing, who was excluded from Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW), has accused the group of conducting its own witch hunt against him.

He is now planning a protest at the same location as a LAW meeting on Saturday, in a bid to be readmitted to the group. 

Setting up a Facebook page called “Reject Bogus Left Antisemitism”, Mr Downing accused LAW of wanting a “witch hunt [against] genuine anti-Zionists and revolutionary socialists”.

He claimed the group wanted to demonstrate to Labour’s General Secretary, Iain McNicol, “that they really will never cross the line from defence of the democratic rights of Palestinians to advocating revolutionary solutions to these situations”. 

Mr Downing was suspended by Labour in March 2016 after it emerged he had tweeted a link to an article on the website of the Socialist Fight group, with which he is involved. It called for Marxists to “address the Jewish Question” and claimed the “Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie” had “played a vanguard role for the capitalist offensive against the workers”.

He had also written a blog about the 9/11 attacks in which he suggested a campaign of violence against the US “is progressive, no matter how distorted its actions are, and must never be ‘condemned’”.

Mr Downing was kicked out of Labour shortly after then Prime Minister David Cameron quoted the blog at Prime Minister’s Questions.


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