Keep All-Women Shortlists Female!

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Raised by 1,564 people in 7 months
Comrades, we are a group of Labour women who want to ensure all-women shortlists (AWS) remain reserved for females and that women's representation in the party increases. We believe that the election of self-identifying transwomen as women's officers and their inclusion on all-women shortlists is reducing and undermining female representation in the Labour party.

We are absolutely committed to trans people, as a marginalised group, living free from discrimination and violence: we need trans representatives, trans councillors and trans MPs in our party. We are socialists and we are egalitarians. However, trans representation must not happen at the expense of female candidates and we are furious that we are having to fight another battle for women's representation, just 100 years after the suffragette victories.

We have been advised that a legal challenge to the Labour party on this could be winnable. The party has recently allowed males to be elected as women's officers and males to be selected over females in all-woman MP candidate selections. This has happened because Labour, in practice, has started to define 'women' by sex AND by self-identification. Labour is now relying on these two antithetical definitions of 'woman' to choose candidates which is the cause of this conflict of interests. We need a resolution.

Self-identification does not define men as women, in law or in fact. Labour conference has neither agreed nor even debated self-id or rule changes to the Labour party's AWS selection process. Women, as a marginalised group, are entitled to AWS under Equality Act 2010 exemptions. Trans people who have had gender reassigment are also, rightly, protected as a group under the act but men who simply self-id as women are not. Only party members can change party rules, not its MPs, not its general secretary and not its paid bureaucrats.

As socialists we understand class analysis and we know the most meaningful way to classify women is by sex. Women are classified as second class citizens because of our biology. None of us can keep our sex a secret and if we could there would be no pay gap and no #MeToo. Whereas no one can tell what another person's gender identity is (if they even have one) just by looking at them. Sex, along with poverty, age, disability and race, is one of the major oppressive hierarchies in the world today. Women's biology has always the basis for our oppression worldwide BY MEN. Feminism is defined as the movement to liberate all women from sex-based oppression.

Self-id also impacts on lesbians and gay men who, by definition, are not homogenderists but homosexuals. Lesbians and gays are currently afforded legal, sex-based  protections from discrimination and these are already being diluted by self-id. We believe gender is a manmade, toxic set of stereotypes, used to restrict men and women and we want to see it abolished, not codified into law. We support all gender non-conforming people: be they lesbian, gay or trans. Feminists have always been the vanguard of the fight for people to live their lives in a gender non-conforming way and will continue to do so - but never at the expense of women's rights and representation.

We do not classify people based on a set of gendered ideals by which most will fail: the superficial markers of clothing, hairstyles and make-up... or by body type, weight, or perceived femininity or masculinity. We do not assess people's worth by the way they look or speak - women and men succeed as women and men simply by being. The same is true for girls and boys. All girls are acceptable as girls and all boys are acceptable as boys, however they dress, look or behave. We condemn the medicalisation of pre-pubescent kids who are encouraged to take puberty blockers if they play with the 'wrong' toys or want to wear the 'wrong' clothes. Conservatives see a boy in a dress and want to change the outfit, liberals see the dress as fine but want to change the kid's body. Socialist feminists want kids to be kids and wear what tf they want.

Every penny of the money we raise will go entirely on our legal funds, we will produce all our bank statements, legal bills and legal updates and upload to this site. We want our donors to make the decisions on how to move forward and we will crowdfund direction as well as money. We will follow where you lead, and will keep in regular contact by email, so we can democratically decide how we do this, what we want to achieve, how we go about it and who we employ to act on our behalf.

Your support will mean a great deal to women, it will mean there are people who care, who have not forgotten them. It will mean they are not politically homeless: we stand with them.

 Please do not give more than you can really afford, it's not necessary...  and don't feel you have to donate - your support and your help in sharing the crowdfunder is enough and IS appreciated.

Any left-over funds will go to fight against self-id, against the medicalisation of children and to keep women's spaces female-only, specifically: women's hospital wards, gyny screening, prisons, domestic violence shelters, changing rooms, saunas, spas, sleeper train carriages, scholarships, quotas and national and international women's sports.

We all know that only the Labour party has the best interests of women at heart. Please help us to overturn the decisions of the party liberals, weather vanes and bureaucrats to prove this is the case. Self-id is a tory manifesto policy for heaven's sakes... which gives us all an idea of just how bad an idea it is.

Your solidarity is appreciated and ours is eternal.

Jennifer James           Garston and Halewood CLP
Dr. Viv Pointon            Stone CLP
Emma Salmon              Bexhill and Battle CLP
Suzanne Weaver        Stroud CLP
Pilgrim Tucker              Vauxhall CLP
Christine Bayliss        Bexhill and Battle CLP
Miranda Yardley        Southend West CLP
Samantha Marshall-Cameron.    Sheffield Central CLP
Debra Atkinson         Chesterfield CLP
Alice Bondi                    Women's Officer Penrith and the Border CLP
Karen Kruzycka         Romford CLP
Avril Moussalli            Altrincham & Sale West CLP
Jan Oliver                      Enfield North CLP
Toni Morris                   Vauxhall CLP
Jacky Holyoake         Halesowen and Rowley Regis CLP
Matesa McKeefery  Rossendale and Darwen CLP
Eleanor Hill                   Cardiff West CLP
Bronwen Davies        Cardiff North CLP
Emma Aynsley             Cardiff Central CLP
Susan Matthews        Dulwich and West Norwood CLP
Catherine Costello   Hartlepool CLP
Jessica Budynkiewicz    Bournemouth East CLP
Rachel King                   Moseley and Kings Heath CLP
Claire Jones                  Leeds North West CLP
Chinzia Ogilvie            Portsmouth South CLP
Dinah Stubbs                Islington South CLP
Sian Henry                     Watford CLP
Liz Vickers                      Winchester CLP
Barbara Ulargiu          Bermondsey & Old Southwark CLP
Stacey Charlesworth    Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP
Rebecca Heath            Brent CLP
Debra Halliday            Huddersfield CLP
Cátia Freitas                 Esher and Walton CLP
Liz Hemingway            Knowsley North CLP
Emma Thomas             Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP
Cherry Austin               North Herefordshire CLP
Shelley Charlesworth     Islington North CLP
Stephanie Shelford     Lewisham Deptford CLP
Dr Lesley Semmens    Bradford West
Abigail Wyatt                  St Ives and Penzance CLP
Louise Paine                     St Ives CLP
Mandy Moore                Canterbury CLP
Karen Ingala Smith       Walthamstow CLP
Susi Wisniewski             Warwick & Leamington CLP
Penny O'Donnell          Gedling CLP
Phoebe Alexander        Middlesbrough and South East Cleveland CLP
Paula Boulton                 Corby and East Northants CLP





And Our Male Allies:
Michael Murphy           Tiverton & Honiton CLP
Christopher Goldie     Bury North CLP
Michael Weaver            Stroud CLP
Lee Holland                      Newport West CLP
Mark Wisniewski          Warwick and Leamington CLP
Ken Stringer                    Telford CLP
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Hi all,

I wanted to mention the Jess Bradley news in case anyone has missed it. Jess Bradley is a high-profile transwoman, and the National Union of Students' trans officer.

Jess 'identifies as a woman' and has been advocating on national tv and in government select committees for transwomen to have access to all women's rights and spaces, be it changing rooms, hospital wards, prisons, sports etc.

So it turns out Jess has been getting his dick out and masturbating in public. At his place of work, on trains, at bus stops and in public parks. And photographing himself doing it and posting to social media. He's also been reblogging paedophilia. There's evidence of this on my timeline, search @msjenniferjames and 'for the record'.

Jess Bradley is exactly the type of man we are worried about and I think the news about his criminal behaviour MAY represent a turning point in our fight. Extremist trans activists can no longer use the 'this would never happen' argument. Jess Bradley is probably one of their best known advocates. Some trans people have gender dysphoria and are 100% genuine and just want to live their lives. Others, like Jess, are men with a fetish and we just unwillingly form part of their fantasy. That's all I have to say on that.
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There's a facility on gofundme to individually thank each donor... I started to use it when we kicked it off but soon got overwhelmed by the task... as there's 1,600 donations!

Anyway I just want each and every one of you wonderful women (and the handful of loyal male allies) to know... that... I have read evey single one of your names and every single comment.

When I feel apathetic and need motivating about the case or when I feel daunted by the climb ahead I sit down and read through the donors' names and comments. So many of you are not doing this for yourselves, even, but for the next generation of women.

I read your ideas, support, praise and solidarity in this and it is the most wonderful feeling... the warmth and connection I feel is powerful. I know that you have my back and you know I have yours. Thank you.

Now the Labour party are literally wriggling madly in a last-ditch attempt to avoid having a court make decision on self-id I will tell you straight... I can smell victory.

It's not a bad life is it. :-)
#IGetByWithALittleHelpFromMyFriends

Jennifer
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At long last we have heard back from the Labour party solicitors... see update below.

TLDR: we're taking them to court. You made this fight possible and I can promise you we are not going to back down.

I will publish bank accounts for May, June, July over next couple of days.

On a personal note: I am still suspended from the Labour party who are alleging that I have 'broken Labour party rules'. Nothing more specific than that and I am told I have a hearing coming up.

Very best wishes to all

Jennifer

CROWDFUNDER STATEMENT
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We wrote a further pre-action protocol letter to the Labour Party on 7th June 2018 asking that they agree a question to be put before the High Court in order to have a legal determination on whether transwomen without a GRC should be permitted to stand on all-women shortlists in the Labour Party.

We had hoped that the Labour Party, while not agreeing on the substantive issue, would see fit to facilitate a Court determination on the legal issue.

After considerable delay and a request for an extension for a reply to 27th July, we received their Solicitors’ letter late on 27th July. The letter makes it clear that they intend to take every point and will do their utmost to prevent a Court getting to determine the issue.

It is apparent from their letter that they will seek to take every single technical legal point to do their best to avoid a Court decision. We had hoped that the Labour Party would agree to a lower-cost expedited hearing on the legal issue, but they appear determined not to do so.

We are therefore preparing to issue proceedings and I will be having telephone conferences with the Solicitors and Counsel at the end of this week. I will update you further when more information is available.

We continue to instruct Bhogal Partners Solicitors, and via them, Amanda Jones of Counsel.
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Re yesterday's update, to answer a few questions people have raised.

The reason we have put in a further pre-action protocol letter in relation to our proposed Part 8 claim is that we wish to find out exactly which issues the Labour Party agrees upon with us and which are different.

We also want to attempt to agree a question to be determined on the law by the High Court. All of this will make the proceedings more focused and shorter. It means that both our claim and the defence can be focused on the important issues without arguing about matters which are not material.

We hope that the Labour Party in its response will cooperate in attempting to put the important issues before the Court in the best possible form so that the matter can be determined properly and shortly.

As well as preparing this letter, which was sent yesterday, we are also preparing the particulars of claim and accompanying evidence so there should be no delay in filing and serving the claim at the High Court.
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Official statement:

We have today sent to Jennie Formby, General Secretary of the Labour Party, our final pre-action letter before bringing a claim to the High Court under Part 8 for a declaration of the law relating to all-women shortlists.

We have taken this step in the hope of agreeing as many issues as possible and in particular agreeing a question which should be put before the High Court for its consideration.

We have also expressed in that letter that we continue to rely upon the legal submissions made in our first letter under the Equality Act Section 104. We have set out a number of questions that we have asked the Labour Party to answer, including the parameters of the proposed hearing.

We have given the Labour Party 14 days to reply, and unless (which appears unlikely) they concede that only legally female people qualify for all-women shortlists, we will be bringing a claim under Part 8 of the Civil Procedure Rules shortly after that period expires.

We continue to instruct Bhogal Partners Solicitors, and via them, Amanda Jones of Counsel.
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