John Mann MP makes a stand against the antisemitism on display on Wall Street.

John Mann MP outlines his concern with the rise of antisemitism at the Occupy Wall Street protests which has led him to table an Early Day Motion.

OWS has sadly come to be associated with antisemitism.
John Mann MP
On 31 October 2011 15:39

As a member of the Treasury Select Committee I have not pulled my punches in questioning representatives of the banking sector.

I have been outspoken in my condemnation of unfettered bonuses and benefits in the city. I can well understand the frustrations of those that are campaigning at St. Paul's and beyond for a fairer, better-regulated banking sector.

What I cannot understand and will not tolerate is those protest camps playing host to or fostering racism.

As has been widely noted, I recently tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) about the antisemitism that has infested the ‘occupy’ protests, most obviously on Wall Street.

From Los Angeles to Chicago to New York the pictures and videos speak for themselves. However, these images represent the few moved to action; arguably more sinister is the undercurrent of conspiratorial whispers which paint a picture of capitalist greed hung on a hook of one people, the Jews.

Our All-Party Parliamentary Group identified antisemitic discourse as a key problem as early as 2006. We have been working ever since to try and identify opportunities to counter it. From Ministerial conferences on internet hate through to educational sessions with leading parliamentarians, we will identify practical solutions to stamping out hateful messaging of this sort.

It was only natural then that I should table an EDM which highlights the problem with the protests. I hope colleagues of all parties will sign it and read more about the issue. I hope that the protest leaders will act quickly and decisively to remove any antisemitic sign or banner that they see. I hope they will be forthright in their condemnation of this racism. And I hope that society at large will take up the baton in challenging this ugly discourse wherever they see it – online or beyond.

Ultimately antisemitism – as with all racism- is a societal issue, which needs a societal response.

John Mann is the Labour Member of UK Parliament for Bassetlaw and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnMannMP

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