SINCE THE INAUGURAL MEETING of the new Grassroots Black Left (GBL) movement in Nottingham, we have been overwhelmed by support.
African, Caribbean, and Asian Labour members from around the country came together on 9th September for the event that endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s progressive leadership of the Party. They adopted an eight-page Black Agenda that focused on the fight for socialism, racial and social justice.
A motion opposing the exclusion and suspension of party members by the right wing using bogus allegations of antisemitism - particularly the singling out of black activists Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth and many Muslims - was passed unanimously.
Veteran socialist Mike Wongsam, active in a branch of Birmingham Momentum, said: “The time has come for Grassroots Black Left. At this exciting moment when we have an ally, Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour’s leader, a nationwide, grassroots, left wing organisation of black party members who support his progressive politics, is long overdue.”
The former chair of the Labour Party Black Sections added: “The 1980s, from which Corbyn emerged, was a high point in the black struggle and we should learn why that was. We are necessarily grassroots and our black consciousness is best expressed by Malcolm X who said there can be no white and black unity until there is black unity.”
It was noted Momentum had introduced liberation strands in its organisation whose right to have direct representation on the national body had been taken away by the leadership earlier this year. But, despite that, these strands were always going to fail as they were not grassroots-led. GBL will correct that.
Recent years have seen the retreat of black consciousness, but there is now a Corbyn-led upsurge in the fight against neo-liberalism. So we now need to rediscover our unity. The resurgence of the left, with Corbyn’s leadership victories, provides us with an opportunity to do that.