Aaron Porter accuses Alliance for Workers Liberty of anti-semitism?
Members of the socialist group the Alliance for Workers Liberty have blogged claiming that their members led the chants of 'Aaron Porter you are a f******ing Tory too', which were heard as something rather more racist by a Daily Mail journalist:
Yesterday’s incidents were begun by a group of students from the Hull and Leeds anti-cuts campaigns accosting Porter. This group included several AWL members (incidentally, the one who took the lead and shortly afterwards led chants against Porter, Chris Marks, is Jewish - as many of the anti-Porter protesters will have been). We were at the front of the crowd which chased Porter and thus would have heard any racist chants – let alone a “barrage”! We were also in possession of two of the four megaphones involved.
No racist chants can be heard on YouTube videos of the protest
The quality of the Daily Mail’s ‘evidence’ (“A photographer said he also heard cries of ‘Tory Jew scum’”) should tell you something about the veracity of their claim. (In fact the chants were "Aaron Porter, we know you, you're a fucking Tory too" (not Jew!), "Students, workers, hear us shout, Aaron Porter sold us out" and "Porter - out".) The Mail's accuracy can also be gauged from the fact it claims Porter took refuge in University of Manchester Students’ Union, when in fact it was Manchester Metropolitan Union.
More shockingly the AWL suspect that Aaron Porter may even be promoting this in an attempt to salvage his sinking political carreer:
Porter himself is promoting the claim of racism, writing to his NUS executive colleagues: "I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather than focusing on the issues." Note the obviously false suggestion that the alleged racist abuse came from a large number of people, defining the character of the protest, rather than one or a small number of individuals.
My relations with the AWL could be better but they have been wronged and should be defended. If Porter has evidence he was racially abused he should produce it, racism is wrong and if it did occur must be condemned but the evidence seems to be thin at best or lacking entirely at worst.
Like the WMDs in Iraq this looks like noxious New Labour spin. May be the Weapons will turn up and video evidence of racial abuse will be made available but like the AWL I am doubtful.
Looks like a slur on the left.