A quick round up of recent activities and links to further information in case you have missed things over the last few very politically-charged weeks.
“WHERE’S LWD? Labour Conferences in ’22 and ’23
We made sure LWD was visible and audible at this year’s conference, despite being denied a stand in the Exhibition Hall. Our new tote bags, T shirts, pins and badges were on show throughout the conference, worn by our many supporters. Alongside Lesbian Labour, we handed out leaflets outside the conference venue every morning (see leaflet attached) and also organised informal but highly visible daily pop-up events inside the conference centre to give delegates and visitors, denied the opportunity to talk with us at a stand, at least some chances to meet Working Group members and other signatories including MPs and councillors. Sadly, having at various points been told the stands were fully booked, there were several empty stands, as you’ll see from our Twitter coverage during conference and this is an image of an empty one we wanted to rename as Stand 155¾.
Conference goers and other stand holders were almost unanimous in agreeing that we should have been given a stand. Many took our leaflets saying of course they agreed with our Declaration although some said they were still terrified to be seen to do so for fear of abuse by other party members.
Our packed-out fringe meeting What do Women Need from the Labour Manifesto? and Labour’s refusal of our exhibition stand application and of the applications from LGB Alliance and FiLiA, received coverage in the The Morning Star , The Observer and GB News. Over 700 people listened via the livestream on the night to speakers including MPs Diana Johnson, Tonia Antoniazzi and Rosie Duffield and heard a message of support from Marsha De Cordova. Several other Labour Peers and MPs were in attendance in support.
Sonia Sodha in her Observer piece also talks about the bullying and intimidation suffered by women in the Labour Party for speaking out on women’s sex-based rights and this was a theme reflected by speakers on both the panel and from the floor at our conference fringe meeting. There was the usual demonstration outside the secret venue by those who believe we should not be allowed the freedom to meet or speak.
You can watch the recording of our fringe meeting here.
Please do what you can to make sure that Labour MPs and elected officials (as well as the unelected Party staff who are also allowed to hold sway over decisions) know your views on the need to accept our applications for stands at regional and national conferences in 2023. Without free speech for gender critical voices, the party stands no chance of developing robust and fair policies on sex and gender.
SNP plans to reform the GRA in Scotland to introduce self-ID
LWD wrote to all Scottish Labour MSPs asking them to come out to speak with LWD supporters at the Women’s Rally on 6 October outside Holyrood. They have a vital role to play in relation to the SNP’s ill thought-out Gender Recognition Reform Bill.
Watch the video of the amazing #Women’sRally speeches, including by Scottish Labour councillor Alison Ann Dowling, former MSP and Labour leader at Holyrood Johann Lamont, and Lisa Mackenzieof MBM here.
Shereen Benjamin, LWD Working Group, and Ann Henderson, former NEC member, spoke at the WPUK webinar on 4 October about this new Bill. A video of the webinar will be available soon on the WPUK You Tube channel.
FiLiA conference 22 – 24 October Cardiff
Many LWD signatories will be attending the FiLiA Conference. We’re organising a LWD get together on the Friday evening, a breakfast on Saturday morning, and a further get-together on Sunday. Come and speak with us at our stall or better still, join us at one of our meet ups.
We are involved in a workshop on Sunday at 4pm on working with other political parties on women’s sex-based rights.
You can register for the conference here. Download the Whova App for your conference programme and join the Labour Women’s Declaration community for details of meet ups and other information.
Help us grow our networks within the Labour Party and Trade Unions
Within LWD we have private networks throughout the UK including local and regional, country-wide in Scotland and Wales and a UK-wide network of gender critical Labour councillors.
If you would like to know what’s going on in your area and to link up with other LWD supporters in your CLP, drop us an email and we’ll do what we can to link you up with others in order to take action together in support of sex-based rights. We are also happy to provide speakers at local and national meetings. The tide is turning in the UK. Labour is behind the curve, but with your help they can catch up in time to be the next party of government.