Clarion editor Rida Vaquas, who sits on the Momentum National Coordinating Group as a Midlands-Eastern-Western region representative, has submitted the following motions to its meeting on 1 July.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. She can also put you in touch with the other left/pro-democracy candidates elected to the NCG, Sahaya James and Yannis Gourtsoyannis from the London-South Eastern region.
This is the first normal NCG meeting since its inaugural meeting, since the second meeting was devoted entirely to General Election business. We will publish a report from that meeting before 1 July, and a report from the 1 July meeting shortly afterwards.
BUILDING YOUNG LABOUR GROUPS
To build on its unprecedented surge of youth support, Labour needs to draw as many young supporters as possible into membership, activity and discussion.
One important way to do that is by building local Young Labour groups as centres of campaigning, discussion and social activity. By local we mean something like a constituency or a relatively small borough, not just one group for a large city (obviously cross-city coordination is good too).
Previous surges of the Labour left, eg in the 1950s and 80s, saw the blossoming of such local Labour youth groups. We need to ensure that this one does too. The circumstances surely make it possible.
Momentum will therefore launch a campaign, in the first instance an online propaganda campaign, for the setting up of local YL groups. We will produce materials to help our members, supporters and other Labour members do this. We will use existing examples (eg in Wandsworth, Stourbridge, Darlington) to illustrate what is possible.
We will also lobby the leadership of Young Labour and the party leadership to campaign for this.
Responsibility will belong to young (under 27) members of the NCG, coordinated by YL NC member Rida Vaquas.
STOP THE PURGE
Stopping the use of expulsions and suspensions as a factional weapon against the left is an important part of the fight to democratise and transform the Labour Party.
If the party machine can get away with expelling socialist activists, suspending left-wing local parties, etc, it is more likely to attempt a wider purge later – and in any case will be harder to bring under control. “An injury to one is an injury to all”.
Momentum will make clear on our social media that we oppose such expulsions. We will call for people expelled for belonging to socialist groups (eg Workers’ Liberty, Socialist Appeal) or for previously supporting another party to be reinstated; for a pluralist democratic culture in the party; and for a radically reformed membership/disciplinary system which meets standards of natural justice. We will approach the leadership and NEC members to advance these goals. We will sponsor and convene a national meeting of organisations campaigning on these issues by the end of October.
Witch-hunts in the Labour Party will not be replicated in Momentum. Until the situation in the party changes, the norm will be that socialists expelled from Labour will remain full members of Momentum. Momentum must uphold due process and have its own democratic procedures for dealing with suspensions or expulsions of members.
Noting the importance of the Picturehouse strike, and that PH management have escalated the dispute by sacking BECTU reps at the Ritzy, we will
1. donate £1,000 to the Picturehouse workers’ strike fund and
2. encourage our local groups to do collections and/or organise fundraisers; build links with PH workers and invite a speaker; and organise actions and seek to make contact with workers at unorganised Picturehouses and other Cineworld cinemas.