For quite a while now, I’ve been amazed at the amount of tolerance that’s been shown for Red London, a “communist” meme page known for taking nazi 4chan memes and literally just replacing the word “Hitler” with “Stalin”, as well as for obsessive, personalised vitriol against their opponents on the left, such as posting fake screenshots of people’s posts and editing them to include references to child pornography. It seems that the Red London crew may have finally pushed their luck too far and generated something of a backlash; while I have no particular fondness for the Clarion/AWL lot who wrote the following statement, I think they’re are absolutely right in saying that the kind of spiteful bullying that Red London practice has no place in any movement for a better world. A lot of Red London’s influence is in the Labour left, and it’s frankly not my place to join in with Labour’s internal debates, as if anyone even cares what I have to say; but I would encourage people active in trade unions, Kurdish/Rojava solidarity and anti-fascism to discuss how we should relate to each other and what standards of behaviour we expect. And to make it very clear to these 4chan chekist-wannabes that they can go piss on their own floors in future, or maybe go through another miraculous political transformation and emerge as centrists or something.
“We the undersigned, coming from a variety of political viewpoints on the left, strongly oppose the politics of the ‘Red London’ Facebook page and the wider culture of lying and harassment it has promoted and contributed to, poisoning the environment of the left.
Under the guise of “banter”, Red London bullies and harasses, targeting their opponents on the left – particularly Trotskyists, anarchists, feminists. They use out-and-out slander, for example making accusations of support for child abuse. They denigrate “identity politics” while promoting a toxic version of white male identity politics under the false label of class politics, serving to excuse nasty and abusive attitudes. They produce memes and use language conveying racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic messages. They are or pose as English nationalists. They consistently and crudely glorify Stalin, Kim Jong-un, Enver Hoxha, Bashar al-Assad and similar.
Such politics and methods pollute the left and weaken the fight to transform society – as does any collaboration with them. Any serious leftist who in any way has links or cooperates with Red London will break that off and speak out against them and what they represent.
We need a democratic left and labour movement in which differences, even sharp ones, are debated honestly and in a comradely way, not responded to with slander and abuse.”
[note: I haven’t formally added my name to the statement because I try to avoid using my legal name for this kind of stuff, and I don’t think that an anonymous anarchist’s pseudonym would carry that much weight in this context, but the authors are welcome to list it if they’d like.]