A black activist who has campaigned against racism throughout his life is seeking donations towards a legal fighting fund to help overturn the suspension of his membership of the Labour Party.
Marc Wadsworth, who lives in Thornton Heath, in the Croydon North constituency of Steve Reed OBE, the former vice-chair of Progress, has been suspended from the party for nearly two years, without ever being given the right to an appeal or have a hearing of his case.
He believes that he has been targeted as part of an attempted purge of Corbyn supporters by right wingers in the party.
Wadsworth says that he has been “smeared and vilified as anti-semitic”, despite his life-long anti-racism record.
“I have been unfairly treated by people in the Labour Party who were keen to rid it of Jeremy Corbyn supporters,” Wadsworth said today.
“My crime, as a black activist, was to call out an opponent of the party leader at the launch of the Shami Chakrabarti report into anti-semitism and racism. I didn’t know the Labour MP was Jewish, yet I’ve been smeared and vilified as ‘anti-semitic’. As someone who has fought racism and anti-semitism all my life, including side-by-side with Jewish comrades against the fascist BNP, I have been devastated by the false allegation against me.”
Wadsworth, who works as a documentary film-maker and journalist, founded the all-party, all-faith Anti-Racist Alliance in 1991, an act which saw him placed on a death list by the far-right Combat 18 group.
Wadsworth later helped Doreen and Neville Lawrence to set up the Justice for Stephen Lawrence campaign, to fight for justice for their teenaged son, killed in a notorious racist murder in south London 25 years ago.
Through the Anti-Racist Alliance, Wadsworth organised a huge demonstration in Norbury following the brutal racist murder of a young Afghan, Ruhullah Aramesh. The event was attended by Lawrences, and the Nobel prize-winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
By being suspended, Wadsworth has been banned from attending meetings of his local Constituency Labour Party, or playing any role in the running of the party or standing as a Labour candidate at the local elections.
“I hope the good readers of Inside Croydon will make a donation, no matter how small, to help me clear my name and fight for justice,” Wadsworth said today.
If successful in reaching its target, Wadsworth hopes that it will meet his legal fees to ensure that the Labour Party, finally, gives him a fair hearing. No money pledged will be taken if the campaign’s £5,000 target fails to be reached within the deadline.
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