We have published an online briefing which brings together images and other evidence to show how the Red London group operates and trace the development of the witch-hunt against the AWL.
Red London is a Facebook page which deploys unevidenced smears rather than polemic against people they politically oppose. Its administrators are anonymous. The group also builds support for contemporary Stalinist state formations (e.g. North Korea, China), praises “High Stalinism” (the USSR in the 1930s and 40s) and is strongly aligned with the Communist Party of Britain, and its paper the Morning Star.
RL people are also Labour supporters and members. Red London’s favoured “hate targets” are Trotskyists, anarchists and “Radical Liberals” — people who are tagged with caricatured identity politics and support for “political correctness”. All of this while promoting a general anti¬liberal (small “l”) politics, akin to trolling.
As unpleasant as this is, most of it can be politically critiqued. In contrast, since 2016 the group have made a specific attack on Workers’ Liberty which is straightforward slander, accusing us of vile and criminal activity. We have been accused of condoning or even actively promoting paedophilia or child abuse. No evidence has been or can be offered for this claim, yet it has been shared, promoted and cynically used in one form or another by others, and the “story” has spread.
Since they first appeared the AWL has reported the slanders to Facebook, the police, Momentum and the Labour Party. But our complaints have been obstructed by the fact that Red London’s output is anonymously produced, and the anonymity is protected by friendship groups and cliques. Such cliques always splinter. This happened over a recent (justifiable) accusation of transphobia against Red London. Some members of the clique fell out with others. In the fall out certain people were identified by their former friends as being linked to Red London. That has provided material for the briefing.
We are also concerned, politically, to push back against the growing popularity of the idea that murderous totalitarian Stalinist regimes have been authentically socialist. We show how a wider milieu allowed itself to be associated with, or at least influenced by, Red London’s culture (for example the practice of using a “vigilance salute”). We publish this briefing because we believe that people who make unsubstantiated slanders are a poison in the labour movement. If they are allowed to get away with it their method of reckless slandering will spread and it will become increasingly hard to tackle.
We urge everyone who has been associated with Red London in the past, even by liking or sharing their posts, and even if they agree with Red London’s general political views on the old USSR, to actively disassociate themselves from the group.