A group of activists has arranged for three billboards to be repeatedly driven past Labour Party Head Office to draw attention to the Party’s failure to deal with the antisemitism crisis that has arisen under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Timed to coincide with a Parliamentary debate on antisemitism called by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the billboards are being driven past Labour Party Head Office, along Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Palace Road, York Road, Belvedere Road, Millbank, Lambeth Bridge, Whitehall, Strand and Waterloo Bridge.
In a statement, the activists said: “Inspired by the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri the billboards will remind Labour and the world how much remains to be done to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party. This grassroots initiative reflects frustration at how little has been done by Labour to tackle antisemitism. Every day seems to bring new revelations. For the Jewish Community to hold two well-attended rallies in the space of weeks to protest at antisemitism within Her Majesty’s Opposition, for the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks to say that he will not meet the Opposition Leader – these are unprecedented times which call for unprecedented action. The idea came from a group of Labour Party members and ex-members, but the repercussions of antisemitism in Labour reach well beyond the Party. Some 130 donors ‘crowdfunded’ the initiative – donors of all religions and none, from all walks of life, some with political affiliations, some not.”
The activists have generously decided to donate excess funds from their crowdfunding campaign to Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds the spirit of those who have staged and funded the billboard protest. The billboards point out, firstly, that Labour is now a safe haven for antisemites, including Holocaust deniers; secondly, that antisemitism within the Labour Party is now institutionalised; and thirdly – and the cause of both of these – that it has failed to act appropriately using clear and transparent disciplinary processes to deal with racism within the Party.
The activists’ protest echoes our recent demonstration demanding that all political parties adopt policies appropriate for dealing with antisemitism, and specifically that Jeremy Corbyn is held to account under Labour’s own rules, which led to us yesterday delivering one thousand disciplinary complaints to Labour Head Office.
The protest takes places the on morning after the news broke that Jeremy Corbyn has invited a variety of groups to a roundtable meeting next week, including Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). JVL is a small, unrepresentative fringe group that was set up last year with the apparent purpose of protecting Mr Corbyn against accusations of antisemitism by dismissing them as a right-wing smear campaign. This is yet another two-fingered salute to the mainstream Jewish community.
Today’s action could not be more timely.
Following our demonstration outside Labour Party Head Office on 8th April, we said that we would return on 13th May if there had been no improvement. We regret that it is looking likely that we will need to return. Please sign up for updates at antisemitism.org/demonstration.