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In this, our fair city, Conservative opposition to long-running anti-arms trade campaign Smash EDO is something of a given. They support the dealing of weapons to human-rights abusing regimes and we oppose them. Recent tactics from their side have included tabling motions condemning Smash EDO's (non-existent) plans to target Jubilee celebrations or Olympic Torch ceremonies. Nothing outside the usual hurly-burly of local politics.
But something nastier has bubbled up from inside the Tory cauldron. Back on April 30th Robert Nemeth, Deputy Chairman (political) of B&H Tories (and co-incidentally manager of the office of Mike Weatherley, Tory MP for Hove) posted a claim that Smash EDO had put anti-semitic graffiti on the inside of a squatted building (since evicted). The date of the 'revelation' was well chosen – the evening before a major demonstration outside EDO MBM's factory.
In the event the accusation boiled down to the fact the in the same building where there was a Smash EDO banner, the word 'Jew' had been enigmatically scrawled on a door. Below it somebody had sinisterly (or not) added a cross in a different colour. The fact that the building has been empty for years and has been squatted numerous times didn't stop Robert from penetrating to the dark heart of the Protocols of the Elders of Smash EDO. Fearlessly ripping off the campaign's mask of liberal hippy tolerance he denounced them as 'anti-Jew to the extreme'.
Having misrepresented these pictures to label the group as anti-Semitic, Nemeth then spent the month of May denouncing SMASH EDO via his twitter account, “@Smash_EDO followers are often anti-Jew, no doubt about it”. By 2nd May Nemeth was claiming Smash EDO had an “anti-Semetic [sic] stance”. By 27th May he was referring to Smash EDO's “militant anti-Jew stance”. On 7th June Nemeth dubbed the Summer of Resistance campaign a “Summer of anti-Semitism”. Energetically re-tweeting Rob's insights was one Graham Cox, former head of Sussex CID and now Tory Councillor.
UNDER THE WEATHERLEY?
Adding her own bile was Rachael Bates , Mike Weatherley's P.A. Choice comments include “smash edo are anti-semitic and absolutely vile” and that they were “the equivalent to Nick Griffin”. Is this all going on with Mike Weatherley's approval? We think we should be told.
The June issue of Latest Homes, an estate agent's rag that clutters up Brighton, ran a column by Nemeth where he repeated the allegations. Smash EDO wrote to them – and as soon as Latest Homes had a chance to check out the facts, the comments about the campaign were removed and and an “unreserved apology” was given. Mike Weatherley MP, however, has refused to distance himself from Nemeth's smear campaign.
Funnily enough almost as soon as Nemeth received this very public rebuke articles started to appear on Indymedia denouncing SMASH EDO for expelling its Jewish members. Needlessly to say this story is complete bullshit but it appears and re-appears on various open publishing websites. Even we've been drawn into the fray with one troll claiming that the truth about the exodus of Jews from the campaign was detailed in an 'excellent SchNEWS article'. Excellent it might be – but it doesn't exist.
Now it's almost certain that this whole smear is actually aimed at the local Greens, the Tories main rivals for control of the local council. According to Andrew Beckett, Smash EDO spokesman “Mike Weatherley seems to think that the Greens are vulnerable to accusations of running too closely with the black block. Well that's politics we guess, but to drag the spectre of anti-semitism, responsible for so much horror historically and still a real evil today, to try and grab a few votes underlines the morality of the Tory Party”
P.S Nemeth got a minor come-uppance this week when he was covered in glitter by an outraged squatter at a talk he was giving on the “Housing Crisis”.
For a complete list of Nemeth's tweets
Three anti-nuclear activists are found guilty in a Tenessee court room and now wait to be sentenced after breaking into a top US nuclear weapons facility.
Squatted community social centre and veg shop opens in Lewes.
UPDATE: They finally coughed up. After two days of consistent hassling by activists at the Department for Transport earlier last month, during which one person got nicked, the DfT sheepishly released the previously top secret (read: problematic and embarrassing) documents about the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.
'Ground the Drones' demo to take place in Lincoln this Saturday as UK expands armed drone programme - and international resistance to the Drone Wars amps up.
New Squat Law Fails In Court
Recent announcement by Environmental Agency grants permits to EDF aiding the production of nuclear energy at Hinkley Point C.
If the “world leaders” heading to Enniskillen in June were hoping for an easy protest-free ride they were sadly mistaken
Anti-cull travellers and squatters plot land seizures.