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We Must Defeat IHRA A.S. definition

£610 of £12,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 5 months
Support the fighting fund to prevent the Labour Party, trade unions and local authorities from using the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism as an excuse to expel, suspend or sack members who decry Israel as a racist endeavour and criticise its cynical use of the Holocaust to get what it wants.

I am a member of the Labour Party and a soon-to-be-ex-GMB shop steward and seek funding to help prevent the Party  or the unions from using the IHRA under any circumstances to sanction members. My test case will challenge allegations of anti-Semitism and of bringing the Labour Party and GMB into disrepute that arise from the petition at www.tinyurl.com/israelihra and associated updates. The logic goes that if they are unable to expel me, they will be unable to expel anybody because justice must be administered equally, if it is to have any value. Whilst the GMB actually are expelling me, claiming my words to be anti-Semitic, I aim on using the courts to force a Judicial Review which will make the union give me back my membership and my shop steward role. If I win, this will set a precedent that will show the IHRA definition is unfit and illegal; that it is, as Palestininan trade unions say, a “politicised and fraudulent definition of anti-Semitism". To help me win, I have persuaded the best lawyer in the UK to act on my side; Michael Mansfield QC.

The above petition is headed "Labour members declaring Israel a racist endeavour ask NEC to abandon full IHRA" . It is an open challenge to Labour's National Executive Committee, who in September adopted the full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which if followed means that the  statement "we declare Israel to be a racist endeavour"  now determines we are anti-Semites. This petition and my criticism that Israel misuses the Holocaust to justify Palestinian oppression is why the GMB want me out; I understand the Zionist Momentum and JLM  member Rhea Wolfson  to be the one behind the complaint who first drew union bosses' notice to my campaigning.

I aim to prevent Labour or any trade union using the IHRA  as a basis to discipline members. In its wholesale application to Labour's 550,000 strong membership, many would go so far as to say the IHRA is leading the Labour Party to assist Binyamin Netanyahu in his mission to destroy Jeremy Corbyn. It has also led to the silencing of free speech for many of the UK's 6.5 million trade unionists. At least two Council workers have suffered too, one by suspension, the other by dismissal.

In a political party founded on equality and social justice, it is not just myself and the hundreds of others who've signed the petition that stand to benefit if we win the right to stay in Labour and in our trade unions. It will become apparent that the IHRA is an unworkable policy in barring statements pointing out that to be an Arab in Israel is - and always has been - to be a second-class citizen.

Winning this battle will help benefit all in the Middle East, caught up in conflict.

Why? Because freedom of speech on Israel allows Party and union members - and public employees - to declare that defeating apartheid requires the next Labour Government to impose sanctions.

If other countries then follow suit in sanctioning  Israel, we might yet see it forced to abandon its 60+ race laws  to give Palestinians (including those in Gaza and West Bank) the right to vote in Knesset elections in a single-state solution. An Israel that gives the 'right to return' to those made homeless in the 1948 Nakba and which makes reparations in accordance with UN resolution 194, reaffirmed every year since 1949. An Israel that gives true equality to all who live there.

We may then bring peace for Palestine and Israel, in our lifetime.

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Your contribution will help pay for Legal Spark solicitors  in Glasgow to work with myself and Michael Mansfield QC ,  who wants to defend me, to quash charges of anti-Semitism for breaching the IHRA definition. In the course of this action we shall prove decisively that to be anti-Zionist is not to be anti-Semitic. The case may take days, it may take months, but it has begun; Labour demanded a written response to their allegations  by 15th October. This was my response . The GMB had sent a letter explaining I was to be expelled on 22nd Dec 2018 after I submitted this response to their allegations. I lodged an appeal, held in London on 5th March. Rabbi Ahron Cohen attended to tell the GMB Appeals Committee that nothing I had said or done was anti-Semitic. They expelled me anyway. Read my "Statement from Pete Gregson on his failed appeal to the GMB against expulsion" at  tinyurl.com/gmbstatement 

I shall likely need £12,000 to pay legal costs; this figure is a solicitor's early estimate- if it goes to a judicial review, costs may rise further. If it does not, surpus funds will be donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians . In any event, your money will go to help Palestine.

Your contribution will help in securing free speech on Israel, both in the Labour Party and in those many institutions that have adopted the full IHRA in the UK- the unions, the councils, the schools and colleges, the police, the government itself. We must be free to decry racism wherever it shows its face - including in Israel, where the apartheid system discriminates against any who are not Jews.

Please blow the winds of change and give whatever you can afford – thank you. Notes on donating are below, after this video - "The Lobby" -  which shows how Israel fuels the pernicious IHRA policy in the UK.



PS I registered a complaint against the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel  for getting Labour into this mess - they  feature in the above video - a complaint which was immediately dismissed . Whether you're in the Party or not, you can help make Labour's Head of Complaints listen: just please click here 

PPS  If you want to know more of who I am, click here 

PPSS Donating? When asked for a tip, click 'other' and you can decide the amount.
Also, if you choose to remain anonymous, you won't be able to leave a comment

If you want to use PayPal, please note GoFundMe cannot process payments to them. You can pay into the Paypal fund I've set up- click on https://paypal.me/pools/c/89NAi60vnq to do so.  If you email me at postmaster@roseburn32.plus.com I will add your amount to the total on this website; if you want to be identified please give me your name - and if you want, a comment; I can add that too.
If you would prefer to send a cheque, please make it out to Peter Gregson and post it to   Art et Facts Gallery, 19 Roseburn Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5NG  
Thanks!

PPPSS Do you want to receive regular updates but cannot sign the petition yourself? Please email me at postmaster@roseburn32.plus.com  and I will add you to the mailing list.
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Dear Supporter,
Thanks for your contribution; I've almost raised enought to cover what I spent on legal fees before Xmas (£900).. I think I have some way to go to get to my £12,000 target!
My GMB appeal hearing is on Tuesday 5th March- more info on it at
www.kidsnotsuits.com/rally-at-gmb-appeal-for-shop-steward
If I lose my appeal, I shall discuss with Michael Mansfield as to whether I must raise a court case seeking a Judicial Review of the GMB's decision in Scotland or in England (there are two different legal systems in the UK). I shall then proceed to instruct solicitors. If in England I'm thinking of Rheian Davies at DH Law (but if any of you can think of others, please let me know). If in Scotland I'll approach Balfour & Manson.
They will in turn, instruct Michael to prepare an "Opinion" as to my likely success in court. (I have to do it this way, Michael does not do "Direct Access").
Anyway...
If you want to be kept updated on progress, please drop me an email to postmaster@roseburn32.plus.com as I won't post updates here very often.
If you signed the original petition against the IHRA, or if you already are on my "key player" mailing list, you don't need to bother, as you'll be getting updates already.
Thanks again for your support.
Best wishes
Pete Gregson
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Financial position so far: £900 on legal fees. That's
£200 - first GMB letter
£200 - second GMB letter
£500 - getting a view on how to proceed and reviewing my case; also reviewing my case against Merseyside Police for undermining my freedom of speech at Labour Conference; possible compensation might help pay GMB court costs
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£610 of £12,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 5 months
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