Sunday, 21 March 2021

3,000 Demonstrate in Brighton Against State Racism and the Police and Crime Bill - But the Police Back Off

Zionist Gatekeeper Tries to Prevent Me Speaking at Rally

When I heard news of a Brighton demonstration at The Level, the traditional meeting place for socialists and radicals, I assumed that maybe a couple of hundred would turn up.

Instead there were thousands there. There was a massive police presence but they decided not to make themselves look stupid, unlike their counterparts in the Metropolitan Police. It was organised by Black Lives Matter Brighton and other unnamed individuals.

After various handpicked speakers had finished I got up to speak. About half a minute in, after I had announced that I had just been released from prison for trying to redecorate Elbit, an Israeli arms factory near Birmingham, the mike was cut off. A mysterious woman in red, a Zionist who was apparently one of the organisers, muttered that I was an ‘anti-Semite’.

Clearly one of Keir Starmer’s lapdogs had been let off the leash and the innocents of BLM had ignored the racist cuckoo in their nest. The organisers tried to explain to me that it wasn’t an open mike, which was untrue, and then the crowd started barracking them and demanding that I should continue.

Faced with appearing like the authoritarians they were demonstrating against, the organisers turned the mike back on!  And for 3 minutes I explained why it was that racism in Britain was not separate from the racist of the British Empire and Israel. The United States unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East was at the heart of Islamaphobia internationally which is why people like Tommy Robinson declare that they are Zionists.

I finished with a quotation from Nelson Mandela that 

we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

The Zionists have not hesitated to attack BLM for its support for the Palestinians. It would seem that some in the Brighton group have therefore tried to appease these Jewish supremacists and their New Labour hangers on rather than confront the fact that Zionism is just another variant of White supremacism.  It's not for nothing that racists and neo-Nazis like Tommy Robinson declare that they are Zionists. I guess I forced this contradiction into the open!

After I had spoken many people came up, including Palestinians, to say that they appreciated that I had spoken out as a Jewish anti-Zionist. One old trade unionist told me about the battles he had as an engineer with the Police 50 years ago at the Battle of Saltley Gate when thousands of miners and engineers forced the Police to close a large coke depot. This was the key even in the victory of the miners in 1972. 

We marched about 2 miles from The Level to the Hove Lawns on the seafront.  It was an exhilarating march and the chants made clear that Sussex Police, with their failures over the Jay Abatan murder 20 years ago and the tasering of a Black man on the Pier a year ago. The reception from ordinary people was uniformly supportive.

Afterwards and having spoken to other organisers I approached the woman in question and asked why she had called me an anti-Semite.  Apparently ‘other people’ had told her I was.  I asked for her name but she scurried away refusing to divulge her identity.

I have penned a letter to the organisers asking certain pertinent questions. The main point I have made in them is that you cannot divorce the racism stemming from Britain’s imperialist past from racism today and the establishment of Israel was very much part of the legacy of Empire.

Keir Starmer - a 'Zionist without qualification'


Below are a series of photos of the demonstration. It is clear that as the British State seeks to attack hard won democratic rights that we have a battle on our hands.  We have to get rid of the illusion that the Police are our friend. The State may appear benign but when, as seems certain, we enter a new period of austerity, the Police will be the Boris Johnson's boot boys.

The Labour Party is led, as Oliver Eagleton's excellent article demonstrates, by a 'long time servant of the British Security State' who declared that “I support Zionism without qualification.”

Tony Greenstein

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Letter to the Organisers of Brighton March Against the Police Bill and Black Lives Matter

Hi,

I’m sorry I didn’t get your name but you are I assume one of the organisers of today’s march against the Police Bill. 

First can I say what a wonderful gathering and march it was. I expected a couple of hundred, not a few thousand to attend and I pay tribute to the organisers. It shows the depth of opposition to this new attempt to deprive us of basic democratic rights.

I am sorry that there was an attempt to stop me speaking at today’s rally and it is that which I am writing to you about in an attempt to explain who I am, why I wanted to speak and why I found the purported reason for trying to prevent me speaking, ‘anti-Semitism’, so disconcerting given that Black Lives Matter has been accused of precisely the same.

I stepped forward to speak because I was only released on Tuesday from Winson Green Prison in Birmingham where I’d been remanded. I was one of a group of 6 Palestine Action activists who were driving to the Shenstone factory owned by  Elbit when the police stopped us. Elbit is an Israeli arms company which specializes in building the drones which are used to kill civilians in Gaza, Yemen, the Middle East generally and Kashmir.

The Police are now targeting Palestine Action for repression in a big way and that was why I wished to speak. I am also Vice President of Brighton & Hove Trades Union Council. 

My first political activities were against the Apartheid regime in South Africa. When I was 16 I took part in demonstrations against the visiting South African Springbok rugby tour.

In Brighton I was a co-founder of the Brighton & Hove Anti-fascist Committee and Secretary of the local Anti-Nazi League in the early 80s when the National Front was active. 

It is because I am Jewish that I could not oppose Apartheid in South Africa and then turn a blind eye to Apartheid in Israel. Israel was South Africa’s closest ally, militarily and economically during the Apartheid years.

In 1976 South Africa’s Premier John Vorster was a guest of the Israeli state. As Henrik Verwoerd, the architect of Apartheid said:

The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In this I agree with them. Israel like South Africa is an apartheid state.

There is an excellent 2 part article in the Guardian on Israel’s links with South Africa here and here. Israel is a state of Jewish Supremacy and Apartheid.  Even B’Tselem, the main Israeli human rights organisation has, after 30 years, come to this conclusion in a statement issued earlier this year.

The accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ made against supporters of the Palestinians and anti-Zionists is not new or surprising. How do you defend distributing vaccines to Jews but not Palestinians or other racist practices? You accuse your opponents of ‘anti-Semitism’.

In the same way defenders of South African Apartheid accused us of being ‘anti-White’ as did the National Front/BNP who used to organise under the slogan ‘rights for Whites’. 

When I stepped forward to speak a woman in red referred to me as an ‘anti-Semite’. I was expelled from the Labour Party as part of the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations against Jeremy Corbyn. The British press – from the Guardian to the Mail – supported these accusations, as did Boris Johnson and the Tory Party.

Friends such as Jackie Walker, a Black-Jewish woman was also expelled as part of this weaponisation of anti-Semitism. So too was Marc Wadworth, a long standing Black anti-racist activist. It was Marc who, more than any other single person, put the Stephen Lawrence campaign on the map when he introduced Nelson Mandela to Stephen’s parents.

The same Zionists who attack us as ‘anti-Semites’ are happy to hold hands with people like Donald Trump. But then it was Winston Churchill who divided Jews into good and bad when he wrote Zionism v Bolshevism. The point I made today is that racism in Britain cannot be separated from the history of the British Empire. We justified our conquests on the basis that those we colonised were uncivilized savages. In Kipling’s words it was the ‘white man’s burden.’  Zionism, the movement for a Jewish state and Jewish supremacy, was in alliance with the British Empire.

Those who orchestrated the false ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign against the left in the Labour Party, such as the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism are also attacking BLM as anti-Semitic. In the United States one of the main Zionist organisations, the Anti-Defamation League, has boasted of using Israeli Police to train 150,000 US cops as Amnesty has confirmed.

I am writing to you for two reasons. Firstly I find it disconcerting that someone involved in the organisation of today’s march echoes the accusations of the supporters of Israel that I am anti-Semitic. I would like confirmation that that is not the position of the organisers.

Secondly there is a large and active Palestine solidarity campaign group in Brighton and it would be good for there to be greater communication and work between the groups.  After all our enemy is the same.

In solidarity 

Tony Greenstein




















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