Freedom of Speech under threat

Brighton’s Quaker meeting house, which cancelled Chris Williamson’s booking

JVL Introduction

For those who aren’t yet aware of it, two venues in Brighton have now been intimidated into cancelling venues when Chris Williamson was scheduled to speak.  It is part of a coordinated campaign to attack supporters of Palestinian rights.

Both venues were threatened with violence if the meetings went ahead.


This article was originally published by Skwawkbox (SW) on Sat 10 Aug 2019. Read the original here.

Quakers: we were “forced to cancel Williamson event due to threats of violence” – but police now involved

Second venue to receive sinister messages from opponents of left-wing MP

As the SKWAWKBOX has reported, Brighton’s Holiday Inn was one of two venues to cancel a booking by MP Chris Williamson for Thursday evening.

The Holiday Inn received ‘abuse and threats’ from Williamson’s opponents – including a sinister visit by two men who warned staff that “there will be consequences” if the event went ahead. The hotel had failed to notify police as of Friday night, in spite of its duty of care to staff.

Williamson was recently reinstated from a suspension by the Labour Party but the reinstatement was set aside after a right-wing MP on the panel that decided to reinstate him claimed he was under the influence of prescription drugs after other right-wingers complained about the decision. The media frequently claim Williamson has said Labour had been ‘too apologetic about antisemitism’, but video evidence showed he was referring to the party’s response to unfounded complaints.

The second venue to cancel Williamson’s booking was the (Quaker) Friends Meeting House in the south coast town – but the Quakers have now confirmed that their decision was also triggered by “threats of violence”.

An email sent by the organisation’s national communications lead Jane Dawson to an enquirer confirmed the grim fact:

However, while Sussex Police said this week that the Holiday Inn had not reported the threatening messages and visit, Ms Dawson told the SKWAWKBOX that the police are now involved.

Our Brighton Meeting will make its own statement, but I can confirm that they were contacted by the police, who have unilaterally decided to investigate.

The SKWAWKBOX is waiting for Sussex Police press office to confirm whether the force is including the Holiday Inn incidents and evidence – which includes CCTV footage – in their investigation.


The threats and intimidation suffered by venues simply for taking an event booking from an elected member of Parliament tell a very different story than that which is usually presented by the corporate media.

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Comments (10)

  • S H says:

    Our good peaceful socialist friends like Chris Williamson are being treated worse than guards at concerntration guards. WTF is going on in Britain?

  • Richard Hayward says:

    Readers may find this link to a detailed description of the events in Brighton of interest :

  • S H says:

    Where is the bloody media coverage and outrage at the THREATS AND VIOLENCE from these BULLIES who are chasing around our great campaigning COMRADES like Chris and stopping them holding meetings? BLOODY DISGUSTING. Comrades support all the marvellous independent news outlets and websites that are being threated and intimidated by the Israeli lobby including Rachel Riley and Tracy Oberman. After they tried to use the boycott tool that they deem ‘anti semitic’ when it’s against them, they then tried to stop the brilliant The Canary from reporting but who actually got MORE subscriptions as a result. This is the way to fight back comrades. Deselect the traitorous Blairite rightwing muppets, Kyle the dipstick and the disappearing Wally Watson.

  • Sara says:

    I remember watching years ago the landmark historically important series ‘The Nazis: a Warning from History’ and of course being terribly appalled and distressed at the atrocities committed but what I was really unware of and very distrubed by was the mass complicity and cooperation of ordinary German people in helping the Nazis in targeting anyone that they deemed ethnically ‘unpure’ or just ‘different”. The scene that always stayed with me was when the programme makers found some paperwork for deportations to the concentration camps not destroyed by the Nazis. In there they found the name of a woman who reported her neighbour who she thought was ‘gay’ and she was then taken away and later brutally killed. They located the now elderly woman informer who still claimed she did nothing wrong and her neighbour deserved to be removed. Other similar cases showed that people used this disgustingly horrendous method to take out anyone that didn’t like, were jealous of and who had more than they had and were then allowed to take their vacant homes and possessions when they were gone. Now in the midst of the most shocking betrayal of our freedoms and civil liberties I am horrified to see eerily similar tactics are being deployed by the modern day witch hunters who are using appallingly disingenuous methods to remove anyone they deem a threat to their power, champions of the poorest people and anyone that would help to end the suffering of the oppressed Palestinians. I stand in complete solidarity with Chris and our great socialist friends being harassed and bullied. Please stay safe and strong everyone.

  • Terry Clarke says:

    I’m astounded neither organisation demanded police protection against direct threats of violence in order to prevent a Member of Parliament exercising hi Right to Free Speech on th UK Mainland.

    Isn’t that what the police are there for?

  • David Stretton says:

    If what just happened to Chris had taken place in Putin’s Russia it would have been all over the MSM & BBC. The British MSM are either incompetent or complicit either way they are a disgrace.

  • John says:

    The situation is actually getting worse by the day.
    Having forced a bogus definition of antisemitism on to the Labour Party through the use of the faulty IHRA definition and examples, a number of local councils have also started adopting a definition and examples of so-called Islamophobia, based virtually word-for-word on the faulty IHRA definition and examples but with the word Jew being replaced by the word Muslim.
    What next?
    A further attempt to reintroduce blasphemy laws in the UK by passing an anti-Christianism definition and examples based on the IHRA wording?
    Then what?
    Anti-Hinduism or anti-Sikhism definitions and examples similar to the faulty wording of the IHRA definition and examples?
    This is clear intolerance being spawned by zionist extremists, which threatens to wholly undermine the principle of free speech in the UK and anywhere else in the world.
    It is time that people in the higher echelons of the Labour Party woke up to what is really going on in our society.
    Idiots like Hoffman are so literally hell-bent on defending racist supremacism in Israel that they will commit any atrocity to ensure that it continues.
    The Labour Party seriously needs to wake up and stand alongside good people like Chris Williamson to defeat zionist racism.
    Finally, why are the police not properly investigating and prosecuting the vile people making threats of violence and intimidation against venues and staff?
    The truth is that we are all being badly let down by cowards in the Labour Party and in the authorities who should keep the good people like us safe.

  • Carmen Malaree says:

    It’s very convenient to conflate antisemitism with criticism of the Netanyahu regime and portray those who defend Palestinians’ rights as violent people. With the help of the media this can be very effective but it’s the worst policy to achieve any solution for the people to live in peace. It only inflames the situation. One can see how things have changed since the arrival of Netanyahu’s government which has kept Israelis and Palestinians more and more separated, has sowed division and created insecurity and fear for Israelis in order to keep them on his side.

  • Barbara Iqbal says:

    Are either/both of the venues in Caroline Lucas’s constiuency? I would be interested in her comments.

  • Sheena says:

    Shocking tactics and intimidation from the Israeli lobby enforcers which the British media totally ignores. On the point of Caroline Lucas total silence on this she like the traitor MP Kyle is another the list of people who have let us badly down. While our friend Chris was suffering this awful treatment Lucas was busy cosying up to the anti Jeremy Corbyn hypocritical gang and sending a ridiculous tweet trying to stab Jeremy in the back which backfired spectacularly. Ash Sakar called her out on her behaviour ‘Hilarious in this attempt to f*** over Corbyn by invoking the most shallow identity politics, @CarolineLucas
    has forgotten that black and brown women are MPs too’
    Ash was replying to;
    Caroline Lucas calls for emergency female cabinet to block no-deal Brexit
    Replying to
    Greens are the New LibDems, LibDems are the new Tory and Tories are the new Brexit Party.
    And that most of those white midde class people she wants in cabinet are the ones who have voted reguarly for austerity policies and cuts that have destroyed the lives of millons of working class black and brown women too.

    Thank God we have JVL protecting us.

Comments are now closed.