Defend Socialist Fight, Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan


19/12/2017 by socialistfight

Comrades and friends,

Please see if you can make this. We would appreciate some help and votes on 6 January.


The LAW meeting is at 12 noon on 6 January in the Calthorpe Arms, 252 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JR.

Defend Socialist Fight, Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan against the Tony Greenstein/Weekly Worker Witchhunt in Labour Against the Witchhunt on 6 January

Dear Comrades,

On 9 March 2016 Gerry Downing, a leading member of Socialist Fight, was expelled from the Labour party without a hearing or a right to appeal on the instigation of right wing Tory blogger, Guido Fawkes, which prompted David Cameron to ask a question in the House of Commons on his anti-imperialist positions on the Twin Towers and ISIS.

He was auto-excluded within two hours. On 2 April John Lansman followed up the witchhunt by getting a unanimous vote to expel him from the Labour Representation Committee for anti-Semitism. This had to be withdrawn because their Barrister would not say who presented the charge, what the actual charge was and refused to define anti-Semitism.

The Left Unity Disputes Committee rejected earlier charges of anti-Semitism against Ian Donovan laid by the Weekly Worker’s Communist Platform on 14 September 2014.

Finally, a broad campaign, Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW), was launched on21 October 2017 because professor Moshé Machover was auto-excluded, and, as the Labour Party Marxists reported he was only “one of a long line of socialists, Corbyn supporters and defenders of Palestinian rights expelled or suspended on bogus charges of anti-Semitism”. Socialist Fight participated in that launch in the persons of Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan and contributed to the discussion and to the collection, expecting to assist in its work.

However soon after that launch one Lee Rock began a vitriolic witch hunt against us, claiming we were anti-Semitic and should be expelled from LAW. The three remaining LAW Steering Committee members, Tony Greenstein, Stan Keable and Jackie Walker (Peter Firmin had resigned), duly obliged by auto-excluding us without a hearing or right to appeal, the very practice the group was set up to overturn in the Labour party. We were instructed not to attend to next LAW meeting as we were no longer members and we were blocked from the LAW Facebook page.

However, we did turn up early for the meeting on 2nd December with 3 supporters and, as Tony Greenstein reported the meeting was “effectively ambushed by a small Trotskyist grouping, Socialist Fight” i.e. our band of 5 managed to persuade the meeting, some 24 at its height, to refuse to accept the undemocratic, not to say autocratic, decisions of the triumvirate. We were accepted back in and reinstated in the Facebook page by Tony Greenstein.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of the matter. On 14 December Tony Greenstein resumed the witch hunt in an article in the Weekly Worker, Anti-Semites not welcome, Tony Greenstein explains why Socialist Fight must be excluded from Labour Against the Witchhunt. In it he pledged to try again to expel Socialist Fight from the next LAW meeting. This is his stance:

“There is no future for Labour Against the Witchhunt if Socialist Fight and its members remain an integral part of the organisation. For that reason I believe that it is essential that the next meeting, on January 6 should overturn the previous decision. If my views do not prevail, then I will resign from the organisation – as I believe will Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth of Grassroots Black Left.”
This is an appalling political stance, a refusal to accept labour movement democracy unless his views prevail, and demanding others walk out with him. Neither Gerry Downing nor Ian Donovan not any member or supporter of Socialist Fight, past or present, are in any way anti-Semitic. We are members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and are well-known defenders of Palestinian rights and opponents of the state of Israel. No one can point to a single act or political stance that is in any way racist or anti-Semitic except in the minds of those who want to appease the Labour party bureaucracy of Ian McNichol by proving they are neither revolutionary socialists and agree with him that Trotskyists should not be afforded any democratic rights whatsoever, a throwback to the Great Purges in the USSR in the 1930s and 1940s.

We appeal to you comrades to:

1.     Attend the meeting on 6 January, come a half an hour early, and speak and vote in our defence. It is an open meeting.

2.     Append you name to this statement by email or on our website, see below:
I defend the right of Socialist Fight Comrades to attend ad participate in the Labour Against the Witchhunt and reject the slurs of anti-Semitism directed against Socialist Fight and its two leading comrades, Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan.


The LAW meeting is at 12 noon on 6 January in the Calthorpe Arms, 252 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JR.
You can view Tony Greenstein’s Weekly Worker Article here:
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

4 thoughts on “Defend Socialist Fight, Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan

  1. Chris Barratt says:

    Please do not link the disgusting pro-imperialist politics & purges of the British Labour party to the sometimes misled but, in the main, anti-imperialist politics of the Soviet Union, especially in the 1930s-40s, when it was battling against Western & fascist subversion and deeply dangerous factionalising that threatened to split the state.
    There is ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTION – whatever the block-headed popular-frontist politics of the Stalin leading group.
    And what are you going to do if allowed to creep around inside the stinking class-collaborationist Labour party? Your membership would only be tolerated to the extent that you kept the moth-eaten flag flying for anti-Soviet anti-communism.
    If you had the temerity to argue for pro-workers state Leninist politics how long would you last?
    And by going along with all the ra-ra-ra for Corbyn are you not KEEPING UP THE ILLUSION in workers’ minds that “real change to all the bad aspects of capitalism” can be accomplished by foul bourgeois parliamentary democracy?
    As for the “left anti-semitism” libels and slanders of those who want to defend an inch of Zionland – the crime against humanity that is the occupation of Palestine, it is time for this abomination to be exposed as fascist apartheid as bad as Hitlerism.
    The worst enemies of Jews as people are those who would keep going the Zionist colony on Arab land. Until this crime is expunged, all Jews can only be seen as political supporters of Zionland (which their synagogues all pray for) to be HATED and DESPISED by the world’s masses UNLESS they go out of their way to loudly denounce ALL OF IT (as a handful of Jews do).


  2. Ian says:

    Tedious drivel. Spit abuse at the ‘pro-imperialist’ Labour Party as much as you like. It has the allegiance of the working class. You do not. And therefore your vitriol is just political masturbation. And your apologetics for the murder of communists by the Stalinist bureaucracy means you are little different to the LP bureaucracy in any case. No matter what delusions you may hold to the contrary.


  3. Viriato says:

    From afar, with little knowledge of the british politics I support nevertheless both comrades.
    Because they have, till now, defended a political line that is exactly, IMHO, what is needed to take humanity out of the capitalistic horror.
    All what they have written on Zionism is the truth and has nothing to do with anti semitism.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Iris Johnston says:

    Jews have every right to a national home and a state. So have the Palestinian people. The Jews’ historic land was Judea and Samaria, now incorporated into Israel and the West Bank. Jews have been living there continuously since Biblical times. Why should you deny them their right to a state, when you are perfectly content for Palestinian Arabs to have one? This is racism! The land was occupied for centuries by the Ottoman Empire; now it is divided between the Jews, in Israel and the Jordanians, in Jordan. The Palestinians have never had a state and didn’t make a claim for territory when Jordan occupied the West Bank. Why do you claim Israel is occupying “Palestinian” land? Bizarre!


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