We want unity in Lewisham

Submitted by SJW on 30 May, 2018 - 11:47 Author: Sacha Ismail
Lewisham momentum supporting the Southern Rail strike

Activists in Lewisham for Corbyn (the established Momentum group in Lewisham) are campaigning for a new, properly conducted, democratic AGM, and for the election of a broad, politically pluralist committee representative of Momentum activists in Lewisham.

This comes, after National Momentum decided to recognise a farcically inaccessible, irregular and undemocratic ad hoc split meeting in the front bar of a pub as an official Lewisham Momentum AGM. Lewisham for Corbyn have submitted complaints about this and the campaign of lies and slander conducted by Stalinist Red London supporters, absolute anti-Zionists and others against the group in the run up to the AGM.

In the meantime, we have tried to explain these issues to Momentum supporters and the wider left in Lewisham and beyond, held two meetings since the abortive AGM and are getting on with campaigning, in particular around supporting the Lewisham Southwark College strike and other issues of workers’ rights. However, rather than ignoring the other side in the split, we have approached them formally them with proposals for unity.

Unity for us means sitting down, talking and trying to work out how the two groups can be reunified. The existence of two Momentum groups in Lewisham is a gift to the right and can only weaken the left, not just in terms of duplication of effort but the bad blood and frustration that have been generated.

It also means unity in terms of campaigning. There is no argument whatsoever against the two groups working together in struggle, whether that’s the college strike, the by-election in Lewisham East or building up the left caucuses in Lewisham’s local parties.

We know that the hard-core Stalinists, who drove the slander-and-split campaign to pursue a vendetta against the AWL and other left-wing critics of the Momentum office and leadership, will resist unity or even talking.

But we believe that there are good activists around the other group who will see the sense in trying to heal the breach in the Lewisham left.

• For Lewisham for Corbyn’s open letter to the Amersham Arms Momentum group, see davelevy.info/lewisham-momentum

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