Right-wing media claims Palestine solidarity activists in the US are influenced by foreign agents

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Original article by Natalia Marques republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

FOX News and other outlets, following massive pro-Palestine demonstrations across the US, claim demonstrators are driven by foreign funds not “organic rage”

On November 4, 300,000 people took to the streets in Washington DC to protest US funding of Israel and to call for a ceasefire (Photo: Sofia Perez)

As pro-Palestine demonstrations grow in size and stakes in cities across the United States, the mainstream media machine is working overtime to claim that demonstrators are being manipulated by wealthy donors abroad. Stemming from a Free Press article written on November 14, right-wing outlets have alleged that the People’s Forum, a socialist community space in New York, is bankrolling the Palestine solidarity movement, claiming that the organization has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

On November 4, more than 300,000 people took to the streets in Washington DC to protest US funding of Israel and to call for a ceasefire. A week later, a much smaller number, between 5,000 and 20,000 descended upon Washington to “march for Israel,” although mainstream outlets such as the New York Post claimed to see a crowd of 300,000 as well. 

The huge disparity in turnout for both DC events and the massive movement for Palestine cannot be due to “organic rage,” claims the mainstream media. In a November 15 segment, FOX News anchors express disbelief at the sheer scale of support for Palestine across the US, and try desperately to pin the success of the movement on outside forces. 

Socialists once again accused of foreign influence

FOX News is referencing the article written in The Free Press, a media company founded by notorious Zionist Bari Weiss, which claims that two of the People’s Forum’s donors, Jodie Evans and Neville Roy Singham, are “Chinese propagandists.” The article implies, much like a long New York Times so-called investigation from August, that because Evans and Singham fund projects that do not parrot State Department talking points on China, they are being somehow influenced by the Chinese Communist Party. 

This Times investigation provided the cover necessary for the Indian government to continue its attacks on left-wing media outlet Newsclick, which was accused in the Times article of “[sprinkling] its coverage with Chinese government talking points.” On October 3, Indian authorities raided the homes and offices of over 100 journalists, contractors, and former employees associated with the progressive news outlets Newsclick and Peoples Dispatch, as well as Tricontinental Research Services. Newsclick editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and administrator Amit Chakraborty continue to languish in prison on draconian anti-terrorism charges. Prior to the raid, an Indian official had directly cited the New York Times article.

“The Chinese Communist Party uses tools like Confucius Institutes on college campuses, TikTok’s addictive algorithm, and organizations like those that Mr. Singham funds to divide and weaken America,” US Representative Mike Gallagher, the chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, told The Free Press. Gallagher is rapidly anti-China, even for a US congress member, not only openly admitting that there is a “New Cold War” against China, but that the United States must win it.

Palestine solidarity movement accused of “dividing America”

FOX News anchors used these baseless accusations of Chinese funding and influence to attack the popular, dynamic, and youthful Palestine solidarity movement in the United States. As Israel continues it’s genocide in the Gaza Strip, its policies of raiding and bombing hospitals, schools, and mosques are becoming unpopular worldwide. But it is not the genocide that makes Zionism unpopular, claim the anchors, it’s Chinese foreign influence.

“You look at this, and you think, these kids are being used as pawns,” said FOX Business anchor Jackie DeAngelis about recent protests, which have been majority youth. 

“It’s so obvious that there’s an element of just wanting to create chaos, taking over streets, dividing America. It’s very consistent I think with what the Chinese Communist Party would like to see in America, a divided America. A ruined America,” added FOX Business anchor Brian Brenberg.

Brenberg claimed that a high school demonstration he witnessed for Palestine “was being controlled by somebody else, who was very much not a high school audience.” 

“It sounds like it might be this group behind it,” he said, referring to the People’s Forum specifically. 

Protestors as “outside agitators”

There is a long history of mass protest movements receiving these sorts of allegations. Claims that popular discontent is influenced by nefarious outside agents is a way to delegitimize those movements. Socialists in the 20th century were driven out of the public sphere due to accusations that they were “Russian agents” in the McCarthy era. Just a few years ago, the George Floyd uprisings were plagued by accusations of “outside agitators” coming to cities and stirring up riots, rather than what demonstrators were expressing, that millions of people hit the streets because they were tired of police brutality. 

In a clip from a May 2020 demonstration Minneapolis, BreakThrough News anchor Eugene Puryear asks a protester, “What do you say to the governor who’s saying, it’s people coming from outside [that are driving the protests?]” The woman, a mother of three sons, responds, “No. It’s tired people.”

“We’ve been quiet for too long,” she said. “I mean this from my heart. Tear it down!”

Organizations plan mass day of action

The People’s Forum issued a response to the right-wing media accusations. “We affirm our right to gather, rally, and protest to defend Palestine. This is as much a moral right as it is a legal one. Efforts to smear and defame supporters of Palestinian liberation will enter the ledgers of history as shameful,” read their statement

Alongside Palestinian groups, the People’s Forum is continuing to lead and organize protests. “History has shown us that those who stand on the sidelines and remain silent in the face of injustice are often judged harshly,” stated the organization. 

On November 17, the People’s Forum alongside the Palestinian Youth Movement, the ANSWER Coalition, and several other organizations are calling for another international shut down of “business as usual” to protest Israel’s genocide. There is a planned mass rally on the steps of the New York Public Library, planned closings by small business owners, student walkouts, and mass actions around the world.

Original article by Natalia Marques republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Continue ReadingRight-wing media claims Palestine solidarity activists in the US are influenced by foreign agents

Abbott vows to fight back after Labour’s ‘fraudulent’ investigation

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Union leaders and MPs demand justice for first black woman MP

Image of Dianne Abbot
Dianne Abbot MP

DIANE ABBOTT has called on Sir Keir Starmer to prove his commitment to fighting anti-black racism amid growing anger over Labour’s “fraudulent” investigation into the left-wing MP.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, TUC president Matt Wrack and scores of socialist MPs and activists have joined the campaign to restore Britain’s first black female MP’s Labour whip.

Speaking to the Morning Star, Ms Abbott said: “I appreciate the support. But this is all about much more than me.

“The issues are Labour Party democracy and the leadership’s commitment to recognising and fighting anti-black racism.”

Labour faces increasing pressure to conclude its investigation into the Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP’s comments about racism after she branded the process “fraudulent” in a statement earlier this week.


Continue ReadingAbbott vows to fight back after Labour’s ‘fraudulent’ investigation

Manchester launches first locally controlled bus service in four decades

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“I hope it signals the start of a public transport revolution across the whole of England,” says Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham.

Greater Manchester has retaken control of its buses after almost 40 years of deregulation.

As bus services were deregulated across the UK in 1986 – except in London where services remained under local control – the move represents the biggest change to public transport in a generation.

The privatisation of Britain’s bus sector was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government. At the time, the government predicted that the move would lead to “lower fares, new services, and more passengers,” while removing “any potential liability on the taxpayer.”

Instead, bus use has been in decline ever since, and today, much of the sector is in crisis, with taxpayers subsidising corporate profits. In Greater Manchester, the number of passengers using buses has fallen from 355m in 1986/87, to just over 182m at the end of 2019, just before Covid.

From September 24, a fleet of 50 zero-emission Bee Network-branded buses (ZEBs) will be in service. The buses offer a range of improved features for passengers, including two bays for wheelchair users, anti-slip flooring, audio and visual announcement systems, and hearing induction loops. Over the next two years, existing buses in Greater Manchester will be gradually upgraded to Bee Network buses.


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Jeremy Corbyn’s 40 years as MP for Islington North

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The Morning Star reports on marking 40 years of Jeremy Corbyn as MP for Islington North.

Supporters pay tribute to Jeremy Corbyn’s 40 years

BEN CHACKO reports from a Crouch Hill event where locals and community leaders gathered to celebrate the dedicated service of their member of Parliament

Image of Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party

COMMUNITY and faith leaders, peace and social justice activists and local Labour Party members paid tribute to Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday in an event marking his 40 years as Islington North MP.

An afternoon of film, talks, dancing and refreshments saw hundreds pack the Brickworks Community Centre in London’s Crouch Hill neighbourhood — sending a strong message to the Labour Party that the constituency continues to support the MP that the national executive committee has banned from standing on a Labour ticket.

The range of speakers showcased Corbyn’s unparalleled campaigning record. Shirley Franklin of the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition recounted their work together to protect threatened services at the hospital, Kate Hudson of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament spoke of his dogged attendance at anti-nuclear demos come rain or shine and fellow MPs John McDonnell and Claudia Webbe saluted the courage he had shown in the face of appalling abuse to champion vital but unpopular causes at Westminster over the years.

Founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum rabbi Herschel Gluck wryly pointed out that Jeremy resembled his namesake the prophet Jeremiah. “Jeremiah was a person who came with a message many people didn’t want to hear — and he was challenged but he continued to deliver his message,” he said.

‘We managed to achieve a fundamental change in political outlook’

After 40 years of being an MP, JEREMY CORBYN talks to Ben Chacko about the role of democracy, the long history of attacks on the left and the importance of taking a stand

It is war that comes to mind when I ask for his worst memories from 40 years in the Commons. Voting against the Gulf war in 1991 was “a very lonely place to be.” But the much bigger revolt against the 2003 invasion of Iraq didn’t cheer him. “Iraq was, in many ways, the worst because I don’t believe anyone that had objectively looked at any of the information at the time honestly believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

“You wouldn’t have to read very far into those documents to see that it was nonsense. Huge pressure was put on Labour MPs to vote for this — and that they did so was one of the low points.”

Corbyn’s courage showed what was possible

Despite the defeat of Corbynism, we now know more clearly than we have in decades how popular left-wing policies are if put to the public — and that’s all thanks to Corbyn’s bravery, writes CHELLEY RYAN

We were crying out for change, for Labour to become a real opposition, for hope — and Corbyn couldn’t resist that pressure despite his natural inclination to be part of the collective rather than lead it.

And that’s why we grew to respect, trust and even love him as a leader in a way that nobody, least of all Corbyn, could have ever envisaged.

Over time we were accused of being a cult with our “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” chant, scarves and badges. Frankly, we didn’t care. Not because we were a cult unless as some Corbyn supporters started to jokingly refer to themselves, they were members of “the cult of giving a f***.”

But because we knew this was never about Corbyn the man. It was all about what that man stood for and the hope he represented.

Having said that, we knew we owed that hope to the courage of that man and we loved him for it. And the more he was scorned and smeared and slandered, the more angry and outraged we became.

After all, we are a movement that only exists because of our intolerance of all things unfair and unjust, and the treatment Corbyn received from the Establishment, including — and especially — from the Labour rightwingers, was both of these things in spades.

Thanks to Corbyn and the movement that grew around him, we have seen how popular left-wing policy positions can be. We now know they almost won a general election despite the most hostile press and Parliamentary Labour Party in political history.

Continue ReadingJeremy Corbyn’s 40 years as MP for Islington North