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Jackie Walker: She has a right to have her story heard. Who is trying to deny her that right? And why?

Remember Jackie Walker, the former vice-chair of Momentum who was ousted from her position and suspended from the Labour Party on the basis of spurious claims of anti-Semitism concocted by the Jewish Labour Movement, Israel Advocacy Movement and complicit “news”papers?

It seems Ms Walker turned her experience of being smeared as an anti-Semite into a stage play, The Lynching – and now film-maker Jon Pullman has created a full-length movie about it, entitled The Political Lynching of Jackie Walker.

Shot in the UK and Europe, with commentary from friends and foes, the movie follows Ms Walker’s activities for more than a year, filming her at work, in performance, and across the kitchen table to interrogate the issues that lay behind the headlines, and the woman behind the activist. The film was due to have its premiere screening at the Labour Party Conference on the evening of September 25.

But the screening had to be cancelled – and the auditorium evacuated – after organisers received a bomb threat.

Obviously, at the time of writing it is far too early to make any suggestions about who may be responsible – but we may definitely suggest that whoever it was disapproves of free speech, especially if it presents a coherent, logical and possibly persuasive narrative that is different from their own personal bias.

And what encouraged them to commit this prank (I would be very surprised if there really was a bomb at the Liverpool auditorium in which the film was due to be screened)? Well…

May I draw your attention to this article, which I regret to inform you was published by a periodical known as The Sun which describes itself as a newspaper (although opinion on this is divided).

Headlined Fury as far-left activist who said Jews were behind the slave trade tells Labour members she’s been ‘lynched’, the piece states: “A far-left activist who was kicked out of Labour for making anti-Semitic slurs is putting events at the party conference – in which she claims she was “lynched”.

“Jackie Walker has sparked fury by hosting a film and a play at the annual get-together aimed at clearing her name.

“Ms Walker was formerly vice-chair of Momentum but was fired after she claimed Jews were responsible for the slave trade.

“Labour MP Louise Ellman blasted the attempts to promote her worldview, saying it was “disgraceful” for banned activists to be tolerated by other party members.”

This smear piece was accompanied by an image of a flier advertising the film screening, which clearly showed its date and location: Blackburne House, Georgian Quarter, Falkner Street, Liverpool at 7pm on September 25.

I call it a smear piece because it presents a lie as truth – that Ms Walker “claimed Jews were responsible for the slave trade”.

This is based on a fragment of a conversation between Ms Walker and a friend on Facebook’s private Messenger service, that was hacked by members of the Israel Advocacy Movement and given to the Jewish Chronicle as proof of anti-Semitism.

But Ms Walker, speaking afterwards, explained that she was referring to the Caribbean slave trade, of which her own ancestors had unique experience. This is from an article written nearly two years ago: “Yes, I wrote “many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”. These words, taken out of context in the way the media did, of course do not reflect my position. I was writing to someone who knew the context of my comments. Had he felt the need to pick me up on what I had written I would have rephrased – perhaps to “Jews (my ancestors too) were among those who financed the sugar and slave trade and at the particular time/in the particular area I’m talking about they played an important part.”

For the record, my claim, as opposed to those made for me by the Jewish Chronicle, has never been that Jews played a disproportionate role in the Atlantic Slave Trade, merely that, as historians such as Arnold Wiznitzer noted, at a certain economic point, in specific regions where my ancestors lived, Jews played a dominant role “as financiers of the sugar industry, as brokers and exporters of sugar, and as suppliers of Negro slaves on credit, accepting payment of capital and interest in sugar.””

It’s a bit different when you see the full picture rather than just a fragment, isn’t it?

Hugo Gye, who wrote the Sun piece, would have had no excuse for ignorance of the facts of the matter – including the fact that Ms Walker has not been found guilty of any anti-Semitism at all by the Labour Party’s own disciplinary mechanism, so what motivated him – and the newspaper – to promote the lie?

Was it mischief?

Remember, Ms Walker is a former vice-chair of Momentum, and Momentum has banned The Sun from its fringe events at this year’s Labour conference.

By publishing its story about Ms Walker, along with details of the film screening, this publication might as well have been giving instructions to anyone with an agenda to push the false accusations of anti-Semitism and suppress the facts.

The bomb threat could easily have been triggered by this bitchy story.

We may never know for sure.

But, like so many of the accusers’ recent efforts, it seems likely that this attempt at repression will backfire.

People are going to ask why.

Why seek to silence an accused person who was only trying to put forward her side of this case?

What does this film show, that the accusers have to fear?

The threat – to kill by explosion people attending the premiere – is so extreme that people will want to know the answers to these questions. Is the accusers’ case really so fragile that they have to resort to such extremes in a bid to maintain the illusion of Ms Walker’s guilt?

Well? Is it?

Jackie Walker isn’t the only person to face vexatious claims of anti-Semitism.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court

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