Media’s Ash Sarkar announced she has pulled out of speaking at an upcoming People’s Assembly demo, apparently because she couldn’t bear to share a platform with pro-Brexit trade unionist Eddie Dempsey.
RMT activist Eddie Dempsey insisted that “bringing people together to call a general election” should be the left’s priority after two activist journalists pulled out of a rally because of his presence.
Ash Sarkar and Owen Jones said they would no longer speak at Tuesday’s People’s Assembly rally calling for a general election after an attack on Twitter by Pete Radcliff, who was expelled from Labour in 2016 for supporting the Alliance for Workers Liberty.
Mr Radcliff said he could not believe that they would “share a platform with someone like Eddie Dempsey who openly supports No Deal in complete opposition to Labour’s policy.”
Ms Sarkar then said that she had agreed “before I saw the speakers list” and would pull out. Owen Jones replied “same — and I’ll be focusing my energy on building for tomorrow’s big #StoptheCoup demo.”
I can’t speak for Owen. But I was invited to speak at a demo by a mate, and said yes before I saw the speakers list.
I pulled out of speaking at the demo next week. It’s not a no platform – the organisers can invite who they want – but sharing this one isn’t for me. https://t.co/nEgHl7zFfg
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) August 30, 2019
To suggest not sharing a platform with a Lexit supporter who openly supports a no-deal Brexit is quite appalling. It may not be Labour Party policy but neither was a referendum of any sort for over two years. This did not stop groups like the Alliance for Workers Liberty from continually pushing for a second referendum knowing full well Jeremy Corbyn and the leadership had said no second referendum under any circumstance.
Asher Later seemed to backtrack a little maybe not realising the amount of support Eddie Dempsey as amongst the working class tweeting back to Spiked who wrote an article in support of Eddie and pointing out the ridiculous of the situation in the current circumstances saying:
“Ash Sarkar just No Platformed a pro-Brexit trade unionist The middle-class left gets more ridiculous by the day. Link
Ash Sarkar and Owen Jones would do far better to remember the words of ‘Jo Cox’ than the likes of Pete Radcliff.
We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.
I withdrew from speaking, and at no point asked protest organisers to disinvite Eddie Dempsey. If anything, I no platformed myself.
I guess freedom of speech doesn’t include the right not to participate if you don’t want to? https://t.co/rtW2CvhwNg
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) August 30, 2019
Eddie Dempsey proves more magnanimous than most…
Eddie Dempsey proves more magnanimous than most realising that in or out of the EU the Tories are the immediate enemy to the working class
Eddie as built up quite a following over the years with his down to earth real politics and opinions a working-class hero the kind the Labour party are solely in deficit.
Eddie has frequently put his body on the line to fight fascists on the streets and has, for example, supported Black Lives Matter rallies, a fact which his denouncers cynically ignore.
Eddie is right to say that many workers hate the liberal Left in these industrial Labour Heartlands the deindustrialised communities. Eddie is also right that they have good reason to do so: their sense of abandonment and betrayal, particularly by the Labour party, is firmly rooted in reality.
Eddie is also correct to identify the Labour party’s shift away from a class-based politics; again, this is widely noted in the academic literature, not just in Britain but across Western social democracies; indeed, it has been actively encouraged by many left-wing intellectuals.
There are a few things that have kept the Left alive and kicking in our regions over the last few years, Jeremy Corbyn and the chance for radical change. Change with real investment, promises of jobs, a new manufacturing initiative, social housing and reinvestment into infrastructure.
Grassroots movements like the People’s assembly and Grassroots momentum. A few good Left-wing MP’s like Chris Williamson campaigning for Open democracy. Then there are the working-class union leaders and activist travelling the country like Eddie standing up against inequality and workers rights. Fighting racism and defending socialist values at every juncture.
This broadchurch as to endure, what comes next will be a defining moment in the Labour Parties history do we march forward in unity or do we continue the petty squabbles that have continued to plague the party?
Mr Dempsey told the Labour Heartlands that the fight to bring down Boris Johnson should not be policed on Leave or Remain lines.
“The referendum has brought out the limits of the political system and what happens when the people vote against that system’s interests,” he said.
“This broadchurch as to endure, what comes next will be a defining moment in the Labour Parties’ history do we march forward in unity or do we continue the petty squabbles that have continued to plague the party?
“The royal prorogue is just another example and raises the question of moving beyond the last feudal relics of the system. An election is the only way out of this. That requires bringing people together on the socialist left whether they are Leave or Remain, as we have done before and will have to do again when all this is settled. The real problem is we need to own this country, and we don’t.”