We, the undersigned, are committed to resisting rape culture and rape apologists wherever they arise in our networks.
Three weeks ago, we sent a letter to Jeremy Corbyn asking him to reconsider appearing as a speaker at ‘Stand Up To Racism’ conference, on 8th October. This letter was sent not only to Corbyn, but all speakers billed to appear at the conference. Our concern is that the Socialist Workers Party plays a leading role in Stand Up To Racism, despite its well-documented cover-up of rape allegations and treatment of sexual assault survivors in 2013.
After sending our letter to those billed to speak at the conference, at least one high profile speaker dropped out. We were also assured by a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s media team that Corbyn had agreed not to attend. However, on 8th October it was widely documented that Jeremy Corbyn went to the conference. We suspect that we were deliberately misled to stop us from going public with our concerns about Corbyn’s association with the SWP.
Some signatories have publicly defended Corbyn’s politics in the past. However we are all agreed that any platform for the SWP is counter-productive for grassroots community and labour organising. This is because of its leadership’s abuse and gaslighting towards women inside and outside the organisation. Stand Up To Racism cannot be an effective anti-racist movement if it actively condones misogyny by having rape apologists in its leadership and paid staff.
AFem organising committee
Bis of Colour
Black Lives Matter UK
Southall Black Sisters
London Campaign Against Police & State Violence
Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth
Nottingham Solidarity Federation
Individuals (Women and non-binary people of Colour)
Reni Eddo-Lodge, author
Pragna Patel, director, Southall Black Sisters
Gracie Mae Bradley, Coordinator, Against Borders for Children
Susuana Amoah, Activist
Rahila Gupta, writer
Manishta Sunnia, Oxford Black Women’s Group
Elaha Walizadeh, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation
Sanaz Raji, Unis Resist Border Controls
After the Guardian ran a story on this incident, we have decided to disclose an anonymised excerpt of WhatsApp messages which shows the “misunderstanding” and our agreed condition that a diary conflict (image 2) would not be an adequate explanation.