In a disturbing development, the government today announced an investigation into Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other “progressive extremists”, as it sought to liken the ecological movement and the fight for racial justice to far-right thuggery and terrorism.
The Tories have hired a clapped-out ex Labour MP to be the witch hunter in chief – a certain Lord Walney, real name John Woodcock.
Woodcock performed his services to the ruling class of Britain by doing his best to destroy the Labour Party, during the time when it was led by socialist and staunch anti-racist Jeremy Corbyn.
We hope they are paying Woodcock well for his McCarthyism.
Woodcock, after citing the far right in passing, then focuses on his real target: “We must be vigilant against a similar blind spot in Britain to the prospect of progressive extremism.
“That is, unacceptable disruption or even violence carried out in the name of progressive causes to which the political establishment and large majority of the population have great sympathy, like climate change and racial injustice.”
In a backhanded way, Woodcock admits that there is no evidence of violence by Extinction Rebellion, in comments to the Tory rag the Daily Telegraph, where he mused: “There have been a number of, at the moment isolated, examples of climate change activist groups, particularly Extinction Rebellion, overstepping the mark into antisocial behaviour.”
Not content with attacking XR, he then went on to indulge in a bit of old-fashioned red-baiting (you know the line – ‘Are you or have you ever been a communist?’).
His target was the left-wing socialist group the Socialist Workers Party: “I want to look at the way antidemocracy, anti-capitalist far left fringe groups in Britain like the Socialist Workers Party tend to have much more success hijacking important causes,”said Woodcock.
Clearly the powers that be hate the idea of people exercising their democratic right to protest and to be anti-capitalist, as well as anti racist, it would appear.
Black Lives Matter Movement responds to anti-democratic witch hunt
BLMM activist Gary McFarlane, responded to the government witch hunt in comments supplied to the media.
“Tarring XR and BLM with the same brush as far-right terrorists is an outrage. Far from the noble Lord being independent, he is the hand-picked servant of a man – the prime minister – who described Black people using vile racist language, extremist language that thankfully most people left behind in the 1950s.
It is Boris Johnson who has made pedalling Islamophobia his trademark, and in so doing providing cover for far-right extremism. So if the Lord wants to fight extremism he should start with his employer.
“As for supposed left-wing hijackers, the Lord needs to brush up on his Black history. Many leading and influential figures in the fight for Black liberation were Marxists or influenced by Marxism – from Angela Davis to Paul Robeson, not to mention the great Black historians CLR James and WEB Du Bois (the latter being the founder of the NAACP).
“Also, one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival was a member of the Communist Party – Claudia Jones. The hugely influential Black Panther Party was a Marxist organisation – are they to be excised from history too by the Tories’ McCarthyite thought police?
“The truth is that both XR and BLM have wide support and encompass people of divergent political views united in common aims – and our rulers clearly find that a threat. Meanwhile, violent fascists go about their business relatively unmolested by the same authorities.”