From the excellent Spotlight News

Yesterday, the Board of Deputies successfully threatened organisers of a “Stand Up to Racism” event. Glyn Secker, Secretary of JVL, was due to give a speech at an event called “Stand Up to Racism” in Tower Hamlets on Holocaust Memorial Day, however the Board of Deputies (BoD) put pressure on Tower Hamlets to cancel the room booking and pressured the event organisers to drop Glyn or risk losing the room.

Secker is in fact a Jewish activist who has fought racism and intolerance all his entire life. Members of his family fled the pogroms in Poland and Romania and narrowly escaped being sent to Auschwitz.  He also lost a great aunt in France and his partner lost an entire generation of her family to the extermination camps in Austria

In his excellent speech (full transcript here), Secker would have spoken about how, because of the Holocaust, Jews have “a particular moral voice, and thereby a particular responsibility… the responsibility to protect liberty, freedom of speech and freedom of association for everyone.” He goes on to remind us all that “Human rights are not divisible” and when we coin the phrase “Never again”, we should mean “Never again, for anyone.”

He would have concluded this touching speech with what he termed “the sacrilege of adapting Dylan Thomas’ poem” but having read Glyn’s version I have to admit I found myself moved to tears…

Do not go blind into that dark night,
Our age should burn and rave at this our day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go blind into that dark night.

And you, my comrade, here on this great height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
We will not go gentle into that dark night.

We’ll rage and fight, and fight in rage
There shall be no dying of the light.

If the likes of Glyn Secker and Jeremy Corbyn are the kind of people that the Board of Deputies want to silence then it’s time we all took a stand and whole heartedly rejected the Board of Deputies. I call on all Labour members to rally behind Glyn and Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) and, if you haven’t already done so, show some real solidarity and put forward a motion asking your CLP to affiliate with Jewish Voice for Labour.

If you’d like a little more information on the Board of Deputies to present to your CLP then I’d urge you to please read and share the Spotlight Exposé: Who are the Board of Deputies of British Jews?

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