Players going cold on Black Lives Matter UK movement after hard-Left manifesto

In one case, BLM’s Oxford branch publicized an upcoming protest via Facebook with a picture of an antisemitic mural, then took it down.Op-ed

Jackson Delong ,

football
football
צילום: איסטוק

It took a good couple of weeks, but the Premier League seemingly have finally twigged that plastering ‘Black Lives Matter’ over the shirts of Britain’s top footballers may possibly end up backfiring, according to journalist Guy Adams.

The sentiment behind the gesture was doubtless honourable: In the wake of George Floyd’s death, our national sport wanted both to state revulsion at police brutality against folks of colour, also to campaign against systemic racism that still exists in pockets of British society.

But as with all good ideas, the devil lay firmly in the detail.

Specifically, for all its catchy PR stunts, the UK arm of Black Lives Matter is proving to be a highly problematic pressure group, pushing a divisive hard-Left policy agenda.

The stated aims of its cabal of leaders – currently anonymous, as the Armenian Reporter revealed– include planning to ‘abolish’ both capitalism and the police and close every UK prison.

It took a good couple of weeks, but the Premier League seemingly have finally twigged that plastering ‘Black Lives Matter’ over the shirts of Britain’s top footballers may possibly end up backfiring, writes Guy Adams.

Meanwhile the organisation, which calls it self ‘@UKBLM’, also boasts a dubious – plus some say very ugly – record on anti-Semitism.

As an effect, the Premier League was forced to issue a statement yesterday distancing it self from Black Lives Matter UK, and instead stressing that football merely wishes to support ‘a single objective of eradicating racial prejudice’.

Players, who have dutifully been ‘taking the knee’ before every recent game, also provide growing misgivings about @UKBLM, as MailSport revealed yesterday.

Their view is summed up by former Wolves player Karl Henry, who said: ‘The most the UK has now had enough of this organisation.’

Dissent can also be being heard in the commentary box, where many now believe the essential message of the campaign – that black lives matter – is being seriously tarnished by the group.

On Tuesday, Sky Sports pundit and former Manchester United skipper Patrice Evra, who’s black, was joined by host Kelly Cates and fellow experts Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville in ditching Black Lives Matter badges from lapels.

It seems they have cottoned on to my disclosure in these pages nearly a week or two ago: That, like so many other noble causes from environmentalism to human rights, the Black Lives Matter movement is fast being hijacked by Left-wing extremists who now wish to utilize it to advance a rackety and in a variety of ways dangerous political agenda.

The Army has come round to the view. While several police forces asked officers to ‘take the knee’ at protests last month, defence officials this week barred servicemen from making the gesture simply because they deemed it too political.

To understand why, one need only visit the crowdfunding website GoFundMe, where Black Lives Matter UK has solicited a lot more than £1million in donations.

Most of the 34,000 donors were doubtless motivated with a well-meaning want to help expel racial inequality.

However, for readers who look hard enough, the page reveals they’re giving to an organisation whose stated aims may also be to ‘dismantle’ capitalism.

Buried in the small print is another odd revelation: @UKBLM intends to pay some of their cash on ‘strategies for the abolition of police’.

The sentiment behind the gesture was doubtless honourable: In the wake of George Floyd’s death, our national sport wanted both to express revulsion at police brutality against people of colour, and to campaign against systemic racism that still exists in pockets of British society

Quite how either of the policies would benefit folks of colour is anyone’s guess.

But since top-flight football is just a highly-capitalistic realm which pays its stars hundreds of thousands of pounds each week, is sponsored by a number of the world’s most lucrative brands and relies on law enforcement to maintain public safety at matches, you can see why the Premier League might object.

That’s not all. On Twitter, where Black Lives Matter UK had been active since 2016, it has campaigned for a raft of other bizarre far-Left policy goals including the closure of all Britain’s prisons and detention centres on the causes that they are ‘inhuman, overcrowded and unsafe’.

Then there is certainly the thorny issue of anti-Semitism. As I revealed last month, among its founder members, Ewa Jasiewicz, was banned from speaking at one of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour conferences after it emerged she had spray-painted ‘Liberate all ghettos’ and ‘Free Gaza and Palestine’ on one of the few remaining walls of the Warsaw ghetto in 2010 – where around 92,000 Jews died in the Second World War.

What’s more, @UKBLM’s Facebook page contains posts supporting the alleged BDS movement, which demands a boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

In December, it publicised a demo against ‘the crimes of the Israeli defence forces’. And this past year, it demanded Eurovision be moved from what it dubbed ‘Apartheid Israel’.

To Jewish groups, this raises a significant red flag: Many regard the BDS movement as intrinsically racist because they believe it unfairly singles out Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, for scrutiny that is not put on other regimes.

They were therefore deeply concerned at the weekend to see Black Lives Matter UK wade deeper in to this choppy water by utilizing its Twitter account, that has 73,000 followers, to create a criticism of what it calls Israel’s ‘annexation’ of the 'West Bank'.

It read: ‘[As] mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades. Free Palestine!’

The use of the phrase ‘gagging’ in that context is undoubtedly anti-Semitic as it advances the conspiracy theory – first popularised by the Nazis – that Jews have conspired to secretly exert get a handle on over Western politics and the media.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: ‘It is beyond disappointing that Black Lives Matter UK, a supposedly anti-racist organisation, has leaned into the anti-Semitic trope that British politics is ‘gagged’ in terms of debating Israel, a claim specially preposterous because Israel is among the most-discussed foreign policy problems in this country.’

But as with all good ideas, the devil lay firmly in the detail. Specifically, for all its catchy PR stunts, the UK arm of Black Lives Matter is proving to be a highly problematic pressure group, pushing a divisive hard-Left policy agenda. Pictured: One of its tweets last week

But as with all good ideas, the devil lay firmly in the detail. Specifically, for several its catchy PR stunts, the UK arm of Black Lives Matter is proving to be always a highly problematic pressure group, pushing a divisive hard-Left policy agenda. Pictured: One of its tweets last week

Karen Pollock, of the Holocaust Educational Trust, added: ‘Gagged? Gagged by whom? The insinuation is depressingly clear.’

Meanwhile the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism accused @BLMUK to be ‘bigots’ who have been ‘treading a well-worn path walked by many extremists and abhorred by real civil rights leaders like Dr Martin Luther King.’

Also at the weekend, Black Lives Matter’s Oxford branch chose to publicise an upcoming protest via Facebook containing a picture of a notorious anti-Semitic mural created in east London by the graffiti artist Mear One.

The mural, criticised for containing what Jewish groups have called a ‘variety of vile anti-Semitic tropes’, was famously (and very controversially) defended by Mr Corbyn within a row over whether it should be removed.

It shows hook-nosed Jewish bankers playing Monopoly on a board supported by crouching human figures representing the oppressed masses they purportedly get a handle on.

After this awkward fact was pointed out, Black Lives Matter Oxford deleted the post and apologised.

Be that as it might, this is not the kind of organisation to which Premier League clubs would wish to be associated.

Elsewhere, allegations of anti-Semitism against Black Lives Matter UK are particularly awkward for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Last month, that he posed for photographers while that he ‘took the knee’ in his office, as shadow justice secretary David Lammy attacked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab for declining to do so.

What’s more, Sir Keir recently sacked shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey for using Twitter to endorse an article in the Independent newspaper that contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

Yet the group that he so publicly endorsed stands accused of sharing anti-Semitic images and conspiracies.

In a BBC interview on Monday, Sir Keir sought to distance himself from @UKBLM, saying he took the knee to aid the wider anti-racism movement, rather than this organisation.

He stressed: ‘Nobody ought to be saying such a thing about defunding the police.’ Black Lives Matter UK responded via Twitter, saying that when that he was Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir was ‘a cop in an high priced suit’.

As the vehemence of this statement perhaps suggests, most of the organisation’s key players hail from the now marginalised Corbynite wing of Labour – and also have often dabbled in party politics.

On the eve of the last election, for example, @UKBLM publicised a ‘f*** Boris’ party at a nightclub in east London.

It has additionally called for a ‘ban’ on austerity, calling it a ‘neoliberal, racist, classist, sexist government measure which plunges our society into further deprivation’.

In a mission statement published on Facebook, which at times reads like a parody, it claims to exist to advance a grocery list of sometimes obscure causes, saying it campaigns against: ‘Homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, queerphobia, transphobia, sexism, misogyny, misogynoir, enbyphobia, ableism, racism, anti-Blackness, islamophobia, whorephobia, ageism, fatphobia, eugenics, discrimination, stereotypes, respectability politics, stigmatisation of HIV, stigmatisation of addiction.’

Little wonder that through the years @UKBLM has pursued some bizarre campaigns, many of which may have little obvious link to race relations.

Their 1st public protest, after being formed in July 2016, was to blockade a few major airports on the cornerstone climate change is ‘racist’.

Since the demonstrators arrested at one such protest at London’s City airport were white and middle-class, the move was widely derided.

Lee Jasper, former race adviser to the mayor of London, dismissed the protesters as ‘publicity-grabbers’ who have been ‘all called Tarquin’.

Stafford Scott, of the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign, said the only real black part of the protest was the Tarmac on the runway.

In newer times, @BLMUK has lent support to ‘can’t pay won’t pay,’ which lobbies for folks who rent property to stop paying their landlord, and a campaign to shut all construction web sites because of Covid, saying: ‘The Government and councils are placing development, property and capitalism over people’s lives.’

Perhaps the most alarming thing about @BLMUK, however, is that the people behind it remain anonymous.

Despite having raised £1million, the group has no leader, no board of trustees or directors, no internet site, no address, no spokesman and no presence at Companies House, the Government’s registry of UK firms.

It isn’t a registered charity and contains never filed accounts.

Responding to concerns concerning this lack of both transparency and accountability, the group pledged on June 13 that ‘in the coming days’ it would develop a website making its structure and remit clear.

Websites have a few hours to create. None has yet appeared.

Although crowdfunding is almost entirely unregulated, GoFundMe appears to have growing concerns.

It promised a week or two ago to ‘undertake vetting’ of the group to test it’s a satisfactory recipient of funds. But whether any vetting has yet occurred is unclear.

On Wednesday evening, David Jones, James Collins and Ashley Cole continued to be wearing the badges in Sky’s coverage of Bournemouth vs Newcastle and Everton vs Leicester. The Black Lives Matter logo was also shown on the broadcaster’s pre-match graphic

In the meantime, cash continues to roll in to the increasingly controversial group’s coffers.

Perhaps the next choppy waters, for the world of sport at the least, will involve next week’s Test Match between England and the West Indies, where visitors will carry the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’ on their collars.

It has additionally been reported the tourists have been in discussion with England about if the home team will also create a show of support.

One of the sport’s most influential commentators, the Test Match Special pundit and former England player Ebony Rainford Brent has meanwhile announced she’s getting involved in a fundraising cycle ride for Black Lives Matter UK.

Both those initiatives were, however, announced prior to the recent kerfuffle over anti-Semitism.

We shall find out in the coming days if cricket follows football in stepping from the anti-racism group which now finds itself accused of the very thing it exists to abolish.

Jackson DeLong is a writer and actor.

Reposted with permission from The Armenian Reporter.




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