Sunday, July 05, 2009

Southall Black Sisters boycott London committee on violence against women

Southall Black Sisters were due to take part in an evidence session, meant to feed into London mayor Boris Johnson’s violence against women strategy. They have withdrawn from this because BNP member Richard Barnbrook is on the Health and Public Services Committee . Where to start ! Well the F-Word highlights their polices , positions and history on women's rights. This includes removal of witness protection in rape cases, tax reforms to return women to dependency on their husbands and an anti choice position. More details here. Given their homophobic, racist and sexist attitudes, what the fuck is Barnbrook doing on a committee looking at violence against women ??

Southall Black Sisters have issued a statement , reprinted on the F-Word. They are calling on other organisations who are due to present evidence to boycott the process:

How can a committee that includes a member whose political stance is to encourage hatred and segregation, address the call of black and minority women for justice in the face of domestic violence exacerbated by a draconian and punitive immigration system? The BNP’s agenda - to ‘preserve Britain’ for the ‘indigenous’ people of the UK - cannot mask its inflammatory anti-immigration and anti-progressive position. Its intention is to dehumanise and exclude all who fail to conform to its authoritarian, patriarchal and exclusionary notions of British identity. Such a stance is not conducive to shaping progressive public policies in any area, let alone on health or violence against women.

These are just some of the reasons why we urge all organisations who are due to give evidence to the committee to join SBS and the Eaves project in our boycott. Together, we can challenge and defeat racism, fascism and indeed all anti-democratic movements that seek to deny our common humanity and the rights that go with such recognition.

I'm not sure what the process is for choosing membership of committees, it may be he has a right to be on them all as representative of his Party? Anyone know? If so I suspect the GLA has no choice but to have him there.

That's the reality of the BNP getting elected ,it gives them a platform, rights and access to the political process . I hope the boycott makes an impact, it will though need the support of the other groups . I'd welcome thoughts on tactics, as more and more I suspect we will come up with this situation, where they have some input into areas where there policies are despicable and discriminatory.

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