Glaswegian activists show us how to deal with rape apologists! The SWP physically attacks our Scottish comrades for shutting down the speech of a key SWP player in the coverup of a rape committed by an SWP leader.
Dave Sherry was invited to speak in his capacity as UNITE Scottish Federation of Housing Associations branch secretary, but one of his other roles is as a member of the Disputes Committee of the SWP which it has emerged has delivered a “not proved” verdict in the case of senior party member Martin Smith raping a teenage member of the party. It has also taken it upon itself to “rule” on several other rape cases. That Disputes Committee, and all in the SWP who have lined up to support it and silence internal dissent against its decision to even entertain holding its own rape trial, let alone come to the decision that they “didn’t think that Comrade Delta [Martin Smith] raped W” (Candy U, Disputes Committee member, from leaked transcript of an SWP conference), is a Committee of rape apologists. The ins and outs of that case and the other rape cases the SWP Disputes Committee have felt it appropriate to try to cover up, and the droves of activists who have left the SWP as a result, have been discussed extensively elsewhere. (There is a round up of almost every article written about the current SWP crisis here if you’re so inclined)
When Dave Sherry took to the megaphone to speak to the crowd, a group of activists (from a variety of backgrounds and affiliations, or none) booed him. We shouted “rape apologist”, because that’s what he is. We disrupted his speech because he does not have a right to speak for any progressive movement. His uninterrupted presence would have been an indication that we condone the things he has done, and we don’t, and we shouldn’t. We started when he spoke and we finished when he finished.
They were shouting at us to shut the fuck up, to leave the Bedroom Tax demo and “go back to our rape demo”, telling us we would be arrested for telling the truth about Dave Sherry’s involvement in a rape conspiracy. We were called “middle class” for you know, thinking rape is a problem that shouldn’t be swept under the carpet. Josh Brown (Glasgow SWP Organiser) was repeatedly giving us the fingers from the middle of the speakers platform – while Sherry spoke next to him, while wearing a stewards’s bib, and while most of the crowd probably had no idea what was going on – but they say we were the ones making a mockery of the demo?? Funny that.
Dave Sherry should never have been asked to speak at such an event, which is far too important to be used as a vehicle to re-establish the credibility of deeply uncredible and frankly dangerous people and organisations. We need to keep this up, and provide no platform to the SWP (but in particular actual Disputes Committee members such as Sherry). It’s appalling to see supposed “socialists” assaulting and screaming at young women speaking out against a rape cover-up, but in a way at least they are ready and willing to show their true colours – it should become clear to all who needs to be avoided for the safety of activists and the health of our movements.This is how rape apologists should be treated.