Momentum branches and groups protest against the coup

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  • Barnet Momentum
  • Blyth and Wansbeck Momentum
  • Brighton and Hove Momentum 1)Brighton and Hove Momentum General Meeting, January 25
    1. We condemn the attempt by Jon Lansman and the majority of the Steering Committee to abolish the National Committee and the Conference Arrangements Committee, which was elected at the December NC meeting.
    1. It is not possible for the Steering Committee, which was elected by the NC, to abolish the very body which elected it.
    1. We do not recognise the newly-announced ‘Constitution’ imposed by way of an email.  It has no validity. We note that the Steering Committee, let alone the National Committee, was not even given an opportunity to discuss this proposed Constitution.
    1.  We particularly condemn the fact that those who refuse to accept an imposed, undemocratic Constitution, will be deemed to have resigned from Momentum.
    1.  We wish to give full support to the elected National and Conference Arrangement Committees.  We urge that a national delegate conference open to all Momentum groups and oppressed groups be convened as a matter of urgency and ask that in the meantime a bank account etc. be opened by the NC in order that the necessary financial arrangements can be mad
    1. We call on other Momentum groups and oppressed groups to boycott the proposed conference that Jon Lansman and the Steering Committee majority are organising.  It will be undemocratic and will not discuss policy, the new ‘constitution’ or motions.  Likewise we urge members to boycott elections to the new National Co-ordinating Group.  The NCG has no political, moral or legal validity.
    1. We urge that Jon Lansman and the Steering Committee majority to place all Momentum data in the hands of the Steering Committee and warn them that any ‘change in use’ of that data will be illegal under the Data Protection Act 1998.
    1. We hope that the Steering Committee rethinks its decisions as to the agreed Conference as it has clearly led to widespread anger and confusion amongst Momentum activists, including calls for a split.
  • Broxtowe Momentum
  • Cambridge Area Momentum 3)Cambridge Area Momentum
    meeting on January 29: 15 votes in favour of a motion condemning the imposition of the constitution, with 5 abstentions. 16 votes in favour of a proposal in support of local organisation and a local groups conference, with 4 abstentions.
  • Camden Momentum
  • Cheshire West and Chester Momentum
  • Coventry Momentum 4)Coventry Momentum A general meeting on January 19 voted with 18 votes for and one against the motion below. In addition, it was agreed that in the spirit of the vision of Jeremy Corbyn for a social movement that would work to change society, the Coventry Momentum local branch welcomes all socialists to its meetings.”This branch condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected national and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution by the steering committee majority.
    Calls on Momentum branches to oppose this coup against the members and urges the national committee to convene itself, re-elect a new steering committee, declare the constitution invalid, and renew the mandate of the Conference Arrangements Committee.
    This Branch agrees to send a motion and delegates to the National Conference when convened by the democratically elected Conference Arrangements Committee.”
  • Darlington Momentum 2)Darlington Momentum general meeting on January 17 voted unanimously for this motion, which was also adopted at an open meeting called by Northern Regional network on January 15.
    We call for people to stay members of Momentum including local groups and regional networks and continue to build a bottom up grassroots network
    We call for the restoration of Momentum’s democratic structures including regional networks and the convening of NC on 28 January.
    We propose local groups and regions, working with the NC call a national meeting of Momentum groups to discuss the way forward We will campaign for democracy in Momentum
  • Derbyshire Momentum 5)Momentum Derbyshire general meeting on January 17, unanimously passed this motion
    This meeting notes:
    – That on 10th January 2017 National Momentum announced the immediate adoption of a new constitution.
    – That this constitution dissolves the NC, SC and regional networks, including those on loomio.
    – Graphics were published on the momentum website explaining how to pass a motion or amend this new constitution.
    – That this constitution was voted for by only 6 members of the SC.
    – That the CAC was declared to be abolished.
    – That the National Conference planned for 19th Feb seems unlikely to proceed, with a gathering in London on the 18th Feb
    now being planned, where no motions are to be considered.
    – It is not necessary for all members of an affiliated group or a socialist society affiliated to Labour to be members of the Labour Party.
    This meeting believes:
    – That the adoption of this constitution has no legitimate basis, with no consultation of the membership.
    – That passing motions or constitutional amendments is now very difficult, and not conductive to grassroots democracy.
    – That the postponement of the 19th Feb conference, where this constitution could have been debated alongside that produced by Matt Wrack, is wrong and should go ahead.
    – That the expulsion of any momentum members not currently in the Labour Party, whether because of expulsions or in no party, is wrong.This meeting resolves:
    – To call on the NC to confirm the conference now planned for March as going ahead.
    – To call on the NC to reject the imposition of this constitution and instead present it for consideration at this conference.
    – That the NC should re-affirm that membership of Momentum is open to everyone who is a member of Labour or not a member of a party that stands candidates against Labour.
  • Enfield Momentum 6)Enfield Momentum on January 22 voted with 30 for, 2 against with 1 abstention:
    “Enfield Momentum condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected national and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution, all done without any mandate from the members.

    We also condemn that the constitution allows only 12 members of the NCG to be directly elected by the membership, thus ensuring Momentum ceases to be a democratic member led organisation.

    We call on all Momentum branches to oppose this coup against the members. We demand that the constitution be suspended, until such time that a democratic debate about the future of Momentum can be convened and an open and transparent decision reached. The terms of any constitution adopted by Momentum must be agreed by the informed consent of a majority of its members.”

  • Harrow
  • Hexham Momentum
  • Hounslow Momentum
  • Kirklees Momentum 7)
    • Kirklees Momentum general meeting, January 15
      This meeting notes:

      • That on 10th January 2017 National Momentum announced the immediate adoption of a new constitution
      • That this constitution dissolves the NC, SC and regional networks, including those on loomio
      • Graphics were published on the momentum website explaining how to pass a motion or amend this new constitution
      • That this constitution was voted for by only 6 members of the SC
      • That the CAC was declared to be abolished.
      • That the National Conference planned for 19th Feb seems unlikely to proceed, with a gathering in London on the 18th Feb
        now being planned, where no motions are to be considered.It is not necessary for all members of an affiliated group or a socialist society affiliated to Labour to be members of the Labour Party.

    This meeting believes:

      • That the adoption of this constitution has no legitimate basis, with no consultation of the membership.
      • That passing motions or constitutional amendments is now very difficult, and not conductive to grassroots democracy.
      • That the postponement of the 19th Feb conference, where this constitution could have been debated alongside that produced by Matt Wrack, is wrong and should go ahead.
      • That the expulsion of any momentum members not currently in the Labour Party, whether because of expulsions or in no party, is wrong.

    This meeting resolves:

      • To call on the NC to confirm the conference now planned for March as going ahead.
      • To call on the NC to reject the imposition of this constitution and instead present it for consideration at this conference.
      • That the NC should re-affirm that membership of Momentum is open to everyone who is a member of Labour or not a member of a party that stands candidates against Labour
  • Lambeth Momentum 8)Lambeth Momentum general meeting, February 16
    Lambeth Momentum condemns the undemocratic behaviour of the majority of the Momentum Steering Committee in trying to undermine the decisions of the December 3rd National Committee. The attempt to dissolve all elected committees and impose a new constitution on members without discussion is nothing less than an undemocratic coup by a small group of SC members.We oppose Momentum unquestioningly and without due process expelling all those previously expelled by the Labour Party Compliance Unit. We will continue to allow such comrades to remain involved in our local Momentum group so long as they meet our current membership criteria and we call, yet again, on national Momentum to agree fair and transparent disciplinary and complaints procedures.We call on the NC to immediately convene itself, nullify the imposed constitution, re-elect the Steering Committee and allow the Conference Arrangements Committee to carry on its work in organising a democratic, decision making conference in February))
  • Leicestershire Momentum 9)Leicestershire MomentumThe following motion was passed at our meeting of January 14th, 2017, 21 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions:Leicestershire Momentum opposes the imposition of a constitution on the organisation with no discussion or democratic process, and calls for the imposition to be immediately reversed.We want Momentum to move forward, focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies in the Labour Party as many local groups have been doing.We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We welcome the continuing functioning of the Momentum National Committee (NC) and call on our NC members to attend it, even if it is no longer recognised by the National OfficeWe call for a national conference with delegates from local groups to happen in March 2017 to allow groups to coordinate, learn from each other, discuss and make decisions on the way forward for Momentum.We also oppose summary expulsions from the Labour Party. And will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully involved in our local Momentum group.
  • Leeds Momentum 10)Leeds Momentum decided by a vote of 26 to 25 on January 15 to vote against the imposed constitution, though no motion was agreed on.
  • Lewisham Momentum 11)Lewisham Momentum, meeting on January 16: We are saddened by the attempted coup against democracy in Momentum by six members of the national Steering Committee, seeking to uproot what democracy exists and impose an undemocratic constitution by diktat.We believe the great majority of members, whatever their views on the shape of national structures, aspire to a democratic organisation in which those who make decisions are accountable. There is a minority, entrenched at the national centre of Momentum, who seem determined to prevent the consolidation of a functioning democracy of any sort, whatever the costs to the organisation and the movement.We want a democratic Momentum which debates and develops socialist policies as part of organising and mobilising to transform Labour and the labour movement. We need an end to bureaucratic manipulation from above, which has wasted so much time, energy and good will that should be used for productive work.
    We urge people not to resign or drift out in disgust. We:
    – will coordinate with others in Momentum to fight the coup and for democracy and socialist policies.
    – welcome the SC and NC continuing to meet
    – back the calling of a national conference of group delegates in March
    – to allow groups to coordinate, learn from each other and discuss the way forward (avoiding a clash with the 4 March NHS and 18 March anti-racism demos).
    We will elect five delegates and two alternates to attend this conference and the 18 February rally called by the office.
  • Liverpool Riverside Momentum 12)Liverpool Riverside Momentum
    The unilateral email proposal of January 10th 2017, originating from John Lansman and something calling itself ‘Team Momentum’, is undemocratic and therefore invalid. Liverpool Riverside Momentum calls on the National Committee to proceed with the national conference in February. We do not recognise the validity of the Momentum Christmas Questionnaire, or the abrogation of our democratic structures by John Lansman and the group around him
  • Liverpool Momentum
  • Medway Momentum
  • Newham Momentum
  • North Tyneside Momentum
  • Northamptonshire Momentum 13)Northamptonshire Momentum met on January 10 and “expresses solidarity and support for the Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee 2017 and look forward to attending their conference”.
  • Richmond Park and Twickenham Momentum 14)Richmond Park and Twickenham Momentum, meeting on January 12:
    This local group condemns the undemocratic behaviour of the majority of the Momentum Steering Committee in trying to undermine the decisions of the December 3rd National Committee. The attempt to dissolve all elected committees and impose a new constitution on members without discussion is nothing less than undemocratic action by a small group of SC members
  • Rotherham Momentum 15)Rotherham Momentum passed the following motion on January 24:That this branch:

    1. Recognises the key fundamental principle of Momentum is to strive for socialism, which currently includes supporting Corbyn to make the Labour Party more democratic with socialist policies that will eventually lead to a socialist Labour government;

    2. Recognises that fundamental to socialist principles is full democracy that involves full participation of the people;

    Therefore:

    3. Views with concern and does not accept the actions of a small number of people that have disregarded democracy to try to abolish the existing democratic structures and impose a new constitution with no transparent consultation and no ballot of the members;

    4. Resolves to continue to operate within the existing democratic structures, electing delegates and moving proposals to the representative bodies for consideration;

    5. Resolves to strive for a new constitution that includes the representative delegate structures that are essential for proper face-to-face debate, as well as online consultation and voting technology that ensures all members can participate and choose their representatives, validated and implemented through democratic means.

  • Sheffield Momentum (Steering Committee) 16)Momentum Sheffield steering committee meeting on January 17
    Momentum Sheffield’s Steering Committee opposes the undemocratic manner in which Momentum’s national constitution was imposed.We want Momentum to move forward and focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies and democracy in the Labour Party, and mobilising for a socialist Labour government. We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We have always encouraged our members to be Labour Party members and have stood against the summary expulsions from the Party on political grounds. We will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully active, including holding elected positions, within our local group. We call on Momentum to adopt the same position nationally.
  • Sheffield Momentum 17)Sheffield Momentum general meeting, January 25:
    Sheffield Momentum opposes the undemocratic manner in which Momentum’s national constitution was imposed.We do not believe the new Constitution establishes a member-led organisation. OMOV online will elect only an inbuilt minority of members (a maximum of 44%) of the new ruling National
    Coordinating Committee (NCG), with the other NCG members coming from ‘Labour public officer holders’, affiliated trade unions and ‘other affiliated organisations’, including ‘Left Futures’ (Jon Lansman’s own blog) and the NCG’s own power of cooption. Further, members’ ability to influence or change any NCG decisions is heavily restricted by artificially high thresholds.We want Momentum to move forward and focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies and democracy in the Labour Party, and mobilising for a socialist Labour government. We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We want Momentum to remain a *united* organisation, both nationally and locally, and do *not* support a boycott of the new national structures.We note that a large majority of groups that have met to discuss the imposition of the new constitution have opposed the process.We want to promote greater democracy and grassroots activity in Momentum and will work with others for a reasonable resolution to the current situation within a united Momentum.We will encourage our members to attend the national event on 18 February (or on a future date if it is postponed).

    We also support the call for a national network meeting of local Momentum groups to meet in March.

    We have always encouraged our members to be Labour Party members and have stood against the summary expulsions from the Party on political grounds. We will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully active, including holding elected positions, within our local group. We call on Momentum to adopt the same position nationally.”

    Bizarrely, the meeting also voted through a motion “supporting” the constitution, while another one “reluctantly accepts” the constitution.

  • Southwark Momentum 18)Southwark Momentum agreed this statement on January 11 in a meeting attended by Jon Lansman:”This branch condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected national and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution by the steering committee majority.”Calls on Momentum branches to oppose this coup against the members and urges the national committee to convene itself, re-elect a new steering committee, declare the constitution invalid, and renew the mandate of the conference arrangements committee.”
  • South Tyneside Momentum
  • South East Kent Momentum
  • Southwark Momentum
  • Thanet Momentum
  • Tower Hamlets Momentum 19)Tower Hamlets Momentum general meeting, January 18:
    To Team Momentum and Jon Lansman:
    Momentum Tower Hamlets condemns the imposition of a new constitution, the actions leading up to it, and substantial sections of the document itself. In addition we demand that the organisation takes steps to reject this undemocratic manoeuvre and respects the democratic mandate of its members as represented by the existing National Committee, National Steering Committee and regional delegates.This announcement has come at a critical moment not just for the central organisation and the Labour Party, but also for local groups that actually are engaging, building alliances and putting ‘shared values’ into practice. Tower Hamlets Labour party is currently in the midst of delayed AGMs in which Momentum members are actively engaged and seeking election. This action by the central organisation does nothing to support this, and adds fuel to the attempts to besmirch and ridicule our organisation.At best we can only accept this document as a draft resolution and demand that it be taken to the existing National Committee for discussion, amendment and endorsement. Given the ambiguity of the document we suggest that action is taken to address a number of issues and will draw attention to the most glaring problems:

    1. The incentive for this document is based on the pre-Christmas on-line survey, which undermined the previous democratic decisions of the organization, was not presented as a resolution or seeking mandate, and cannot be used as a basis for the imposition of a constitution. Subsequent communication claimed that the response was a huge democratic success, and by implication a mandate for subsequent actions. We reject this and point out that 40% doesn’t represent a majority, and the process represents nothing more than a democratic deficit in its representation of members.
    2. Whilst the wording and working of the proposed NCG is ambiguous the intention seems clear: rather than strengthen the voice of the membership the balance of power is weighed 16-12 against the membership in favour of unions, affiliates and elected MPs etc., so repeating the very structures that have held back the left of the Labour party itself.
    3. The document insists that membership of Momentum is dependent on membership of the Labour Party, and imposes a deadline for joining of 1 July 2017. We reject this as arbitrary and draw attention to the ongoing delays, confusion and inefficiencies of the Labour Party membership itself which in the last year has seen several local members waiting for over 7 months for their membership to be confirmed.
    4. We see no reason why members expelled (or by implication, refused membership) from the Labour Party should be automatically expelled from Momentum. One of the campaigns that Momentum embraced over the summer was to challenge the arbitrary and undemocratic nature of the expulsions and suspensions made. We will continue to accept membership to our local organisation by people who are in the process of committing to join both Momentum and the Labour Party, and we fail to see how one can expand membership of either without this right.
    5. A list of affiliate organisation has been presented with no debate and in an ambiguous and arbitrary fashion, mirroring the very processes that the Labour Party itself has used to silence voices from the left. We demand that all affiliate organisations are selected through an agreed democratic process, at annual conference, not by arbitrary mandate.
    6. The election by lot to a members council makes a mockery of the role of members and their authority over policy, structure and campaigns. It also reduces the central importance we in Tower Hamlets give to the democratic principle of accountability of elected officers within Momentum and the Labour Party. Being elected by lot absolves you of being held accountable, as well as reducing actual participation in the organising structures to a sham.Most importantly we absolutely condemn the options presented to members to challenge this constitution. We neither accept the dichotomy that members’ silence on this equals consent to the document, nor do we accept as an alternative cancellation of membership. By contrast the members of Momentum Tower Hamlets reject this constitution and insist that the members of the organisation are in fact sovereign, not an unelected bureaucracy or individual members wielding proprietorial leverage. We call on the members of Momentum and organised local groups to do the same, and continue your democratic participation campaigning with the Labour Party.We are Momentum and continue to act in Tower Hamlets under the democratic mandate that we have established.
  • Truro and Falmouth Momentum
  • Wandsworth Momentum 20)Wandsworth Momentum, meeting on January 19
    1. Momentum’s new national constitution has been imposed on members without discussion. This is not the “new kind of politics” that we support. Regardless of its merits and its defects, we reject the new constitution because of the way it was imposed on us.
    2. We are not going to leave Momentum, as has been demanded of those members who reject the new constitution. We will elect a Working Party to reach out to other branches of Momentum and to take all necessary steps to rebuild a democratic organisation from the bottom up.
    3. Our aim was and still is to create an open, pluralist, outward-facing network of activists working within the Labour Party to achieve a transformation of our society in the interests of the 99%. We support the 10 pledges issued by Jeremy Corbyn last year and will work to ensure they are the basis for Labour’s campaigning and next election manifesto

 

  • South Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee 21)South Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee, meeting on January 22:
    “That this meeting operates as a representative delegate committee until a new constitution has been validated through democratic means with consultation with all members.” So I believe the breakdown was: For: Rotherham x1, Leeds x1, York x2, Kirklees x2, Wakefield x1. Against: Calderdale x2, Bradford x1. Abstain: Sheffield x2.
  • Northern Momentum regional committee
  • Momentum National Committee 22)Momentum National Committee meeting on January 28;
    Proposal 1 – agreed as amendedWe share the outrage which has swept the country about the coup in Momentum. We urge people not to resign or drift out in disgust. We need to continue the fight for democracy, a campaigning orientation and socialist policies, so we can build up an organisation capable of transforming Labour and the labour movement. We note the large number of local Momentum groups which have already met and condemned the coup, and the significant number which have called for a national networking event for groups in March.More than one years afters its foundation, Momentum is nowhere near where it should be. Local groups have achieved amazing things but they have largely done this on their own. The top of the organisation has failed to develop the infrastructure, support and resources that should be available to members. Much worse, the behaviour of a portion of Momentum’s leadership has undermined the trust and goodwill without which we cannot function as a diverse, pluralist movement. The new constitution will entrench the power of one faction at the expense of the organisation as a whole.

    The debate in Momentum ins now not about what kind of democracy we have – it is about whether Momentum has democratic structures at all. We do not take a view on the debate between online and in-person voting systems. But Momentum needs democracy and accountability in order to be competent, in the labour movement, only our collective wisdom can win – the collective wisdom of local activists who fight for their communities, for their fellow workers, for a different kind of society. We want to build a world in which every aspect of our lives is democratic. Momentum must live its values throughout the organisation.

    We do not accept that the people who carried out the coup constitute the leadership of Momentum. We assert the role and responsibility of Momentum’s grassroots membership in formulating strategy, continuing our campaigns and holding organisations together.

    1. We call on everyone in Momentum to stay in the organisation and work constructively with each other wherever we can, whatever our differing views on the content of the new constitution or the manner of its imposition.
    2. We endorse the call made by a number of local groups for an national networking conference of representatives of local groups on 11 March. We call for as many local groups as possible to publicly endorse this call and to attend. This conference is not the “founding conference” that was planned for February, which was cancelled by the coup; and, while it may establish some connections or structures, it is not to set up a rival organisation to Momentum. Its purpose is to allow Momentum groups to – at long last – coordinate with each other on a national level: to learn from each other, discuss and develop campaigning ideas, and debate the way forward for Momentum, including the fight for democracy.
    3. We call on local groups to continue meetings including at the original regional level to coordinate activities, to create the support networks and infrastructure our members need, to run training and education for our members and activists and to share examples of goof practice; and to catalyse the formation of new local groups.
    4. We do not accept the coup and will not dissolve ourselves at a National Committee. We assert ourselves as a continuation of the structure established on 6 February 2016. We will elect a coordinating group at this National Committee.

    Proposal 2 – agreed as amended

    This Momentum National Committee believes that Momentum must be an open and democratic group which enables debate and informed decision making. Members should decide policy, structure and activity. Members should be able to initiate proposals, and then vote on various choices, based on information and arguments.
    The NC rejects the attempt to impose a new constitution for Momentum. This has taken place without members being allowed  to even see the specific proposals, let alone discuss them and then vote on them.
    The NC agrees to:
    Encourage Momentum members and local groups to remain in Momentum;
    Encourage local groups to continue to meet, and for members to form local groups where they are not meeting or cease to meet because the local officers are not convening them;
    Encourage those groups to link up in area and regional committees of local Momentum groups. Those meetings should agree the policies and the campaigning activity for their areas and regions, and decide on policies to take into the Labour Party and the wider community. Groups should also decide on candidates to stand and who to support in local and regional Labour Party elections;
    Encourage local groups to continue to accept participation from Momentum supporters who have been unjustly expelled, suspended or excluded from the Labour Party;
    Support the conference planned by the Conference Arrangements Committee;
    Suggest that the CAC holds that as a National Meeting of Momentum local groups, with voting by democratically elected representatives of local groups on the numerical basis by the last NC, and also open to observers without voting rights.

  • Labour Representation Committee 23)Labour Representation Committe:
    The following motions on Momentum were passed at the LRC NEC on January 21 20171) The LRC rejects the new constitution imposed upon Momentum. The new constitution dissolves the existing democratic structures of Momentum – the National Committee, the Conference Arrangements Committee and the Steering Committee – without proper discussion and without even consulting the first two of these bodies. It puts in their place a National Co-ordinating Group and a Members’ Council. Neither of these bodies have yet been elected or selected, so at present there is no governing body of Momentum at all.  Even when the National Co-ordinating Group and Members’ Council are in place there is no proper means of their members being made accountable to the membership. We shall fight for a democratic alternative to the new constitution.We condemn the way this new constitution has been put in place, with a simple email to the members of the Steering Committee asking for a Yes/No reply, with no discussion and replies from a bare majority of the Steering Committee without explanation deemed sufficient to dissolve the existing democratic structures.We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the regional structures of Momentum currently in place. It also thereby cancels co-ordination between regions.We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the power of the Conference to be a decision-making body.We reject the fact that the new constitution makes Momentum a body where all members of Momentum are required to be Labour Party members. While we believe that all members should be encouraged and convinced to become Labour Party members, the best way to achieve this is not by demanding LP membership as a precondition of becoming a member of Momentum. This rule also means that those unjustly expelled from the Party are ineligible for membership of Momentum.We call on all members of Momentum to maintain their membership and to campaign for it to become a democratic organisation. The LRC campaigns for Momentum to become a mass fighting socialist organisation committed to winning the widest support in the labour movement and in British society in order to win support for the policies on which Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership and to elect a Labour government committed to these policies.The LRC shall also be sending a delegation to the Momentum National Committee (which the new constitution claims to have abolished) due to meet on January 28th 2017.We want the LRC’s views on this matter to be published as widely as possible on our website and on social media.

    2) The LRC condemns the undemocratic closing down of elected bodies within Momentum, by its legal owner, Jon Lansman. We recognise that the particular history of Momentum’s brief existence required the transition from initial set up of a private company to a full-fledged socialist and Labour Party orientated organisation, which gave power to ordinary members through election processes and the formation of democratically elected representative bodies. The organic forms of representation that developed in local areas, in the form of branches and local groups, reflected the desire of Labour Party members and Corbyn supporters to build a coherent left, with a mission to transform the Labour Party as a vehicle of democratic socialist policies and for government, both locally and on a national scale. We acknowledge Jon Lansman has used his legal private ownership and staff he has appointed at the London office to circumvent the wishes of the wider active membership based in branches and local groups to destroy the current emerging national structure of Momentum.

    We therefore resolve to endorse the following:

    1. not to accept Momentum’s offer of a place on their National Co-ordinating Group, as outlined in their new constitution, as we cannot give legitimacy to its undemocratic actions;

    2. support measures to continue the plans for a national conference of what would have been representatives from local Momentum groups;

  • Red Labour organisers group 24)Statement from the Red Labour organisers group
    Red Labour was established in 2011, initially as an online project which sought to promote socialism within the Labour Party and help socialists organise within their respective Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). We subsequently moved into real world activities, establishing several groups in various parts of the country.We played a significant role in mobilising support for an anti-austerity leadership candidate in the summer of 2015, securing the nominations for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign and his election as leader in September 2015.We welcomed the establishment of Momentum and hoped it could be grassroots organisation which could harness the support for Jerem Corbyn’s socialist politics to help transform our party and communities. However, we are dismayed at recent developments within Momentum which are completely contrary to the Bennite tradition of grassroots democracy. Red Labour’s approach: ‘from the ground up, not the top down’, is more than a slogan.Therefore, we have taken the decision, as a collective, not to accept Momentum’s offer of a place on their National Co-ordinating Group, as outlined in their new constitution. This does not preclude us from working with Momentum activists at a local level or on joint campaigns, but we simply cannot endorse (or continue to support) the undemocratic actions of those at the top of Momentum. We hope Momentum are able to sort their issues out. In the meantime, we believe we need to focus our energy and resources on creating a party we can be proud of and ensuring a Labour victory at the next General Election.
  • Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee 25)Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee
    The Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) note with dismay the decision, of six people from Momentum’s Steering Committee (SC), to declare our National Committee (NC) and its decision to hold a conference with decision-making powers to be dissolved.We cannot understand how “the six” feel this benefits our aims. We call for the destructive and divisive actions from their email to be reversed immediately before any more damage is done to the organisation.
    Their ideas could have been democratically debated at the conference that we were working round the clock to organise. Instead they have attempted to declare changes with no mandate.However, committed members and agreed current structures cannot be dissolved by the click of an email from an office by half a dozen people.The CAC takes its direction from Momentum’s National Committee, as per the original remit we were given. Until that body meets and informs us our role has changed, we will continue working towards Momentum’s first conference. Further details of this will be announced through the same Conference Arrangements Committee Facebook page, and we would urge all members to look there (https://www.facebook.com/momentumconference17/…) for all future updates.All emails regarding conference business should now be sent to the new email momentumconference2017@gmail.com as we have been locked out of the original with no notice.
    Whilst a minority of our number have accepted the email from “the six” as legitimate, the CAC majority (and in effect the people who have done virtually all of the work to make a conference happen) are still able to organise a conference which brings together the key Momentum supporters.The conference will consider motions, be a place to network and to politically educate ourselves as per the original NC remit. The conference will fashion a clear strategy for democratising the Labour Party and fighting the effects of austerity in our communities.Considering Jeremy Corbyn is as safe as he will ever be in his position, but the Labour Party is not committed to the policies he was elected on, the discussion at this conference comes at a crucial time.
    Successfully achieving clear actions based on the above will be the only way that Jeremy Corbyns Labour party will win the political power the working class needs it to.
  • Member of Momentum Youth and Student Committee 26)Member of Momentum Youth and Student Committee We the undersigned members of the Momentum Youth and Students (MYS) committee express our collective disagreement with the statement published on the MYS page with regards to the imposition of a new constitution on Momentum by Jon Lansman and a slim majority of the Steering Committee. We also note with irony that the current Momentum Youth and Students committee effectively does not have any official authority to release such statements because according to the new constitution it effectively no longer exists.We believe the new constitution runs contrary to the very best democratic traditions in the labour movement. Far from ‘empowering members’, the sole democratic body in the constitution, the National Coordinating Group, only has 12 out of 30 seats on it directly elected by members. They are outnumbered by the seats given to affiliates (including Jon Lansman’s blog), trade unions and Labour elected representatives. Ostensibly introduced to prevent Momentum repicating the structures of a “political party”, the new constitution effectively mimics the Labour Party NEC.In order to make any proposal to the National Co-ordinating Group, a member has to get the support of at least 1000 members, which is a difficult task for grassroots members with limited national contacts or access to large email lists. A toothless Members’ Council will comprise 50 people selected by random lots but “shall not be required to make decisions on the operation of the constitution or administration of the organisation.” Make no mistake, members of Momentum under the new constitution have less of a voice than they did in the existing structures. It disempowers the grassroots membership and fortifies a totally unaccountable central organ.Disgracefully, in a move to silence prominent critics of the new structures, the new constitution bars Labour Party members who have been unfairly expelled from the party by the Compliance Unit from being members of Momentum. This has the implication of indirectly handing over control of Momentum’s membership criteria to Iain McNicol, expressly contradicting Momentum’s voted-on policy to fight the witch-hunt of socialists.We believe that the process by which the new constitution has come into force is not a result of a legitimate debate within existing democratic structures. As a sub-committee of the National Committee, whose mandate had run out in July 2016, the Steering Committee does not have the power to make constitutional decisions about Momentum, and did so solely to head-off the planned and more representative Momentum national conference in February.The online survey that is cited to support the actions of the Steering Committee was fundamentally misleading, and backed up by the sort of resources, mass emails, all-member text messages and support from leading Labour figures that Momentum’s outward facing campaigns, such as on the NHS, could only dream of.
    Nowhere in the survey was any respondent asked about the specific structural proposals set out in the constitution. We also note that a consultative survey is not the same as a vote, is not in any way democratically binding and was not presented as a way of making constitutional decisions. It is far from clear if the respondents to the survey are more representative of Momentum members than the members who go to meetings, after all only 40% of the membership responded to the survey, and the evidence from the survey is that 40% of Momentum members go to meetings.We believe that Momentum, in order to be successful, has to be based in local groups with the power (and the data) to organise themselves as part of a socialist organisation on a national platform where decisions are made democratically and openly. We do not believe it is up to the owner of Momentum to effectively dissolve all existing structures through an email vote wrapped up within an hour. Democracy cannot be passive assent, it has to be deliberative, done through serious debate and discussion that takes place across the country. We maintain our support for the National Committee meeting called on 28th January, and believe that the National Committee remains the sovereign decision-making body in Momentum and Conference must be organised according to its decisions.Momentum continues to be one of the most potentially transformative forces within the Labour movement. That is why we must continue to assert ourselves as grassroots members organising in branches across the country to change the Labour Party. The Steering Committee’s recent actions are an act of sabotage against what we can achieve as an organisation.Rida Vaquas
    Ed Potts
    Hattie Craig
    Monty Shield
    Liam McNulty
    Josie Runswick
  • LGBT+ Forum 27)LGBT+ Forum: Motion to Momentum London LGBT+ Meeting, 14 January
    1. Momentum’s new national constitution has been imposed on members without discussion. This is not the “new kind of politics” that we support. Regardless of its merits and its defects, we reject the new constitution because of the way it was imposed on us.
    2. In particular we note with concern the total lack of consultation with any liberation groups, the absence of mechanisms for liberation groups to feed into Momentum and ensure equality, and the ongoing lack of progress in establishing liberation groups around the country due to lack of action by the office.
    3. We are not going to leave Momentum, as has been demanded of those members who reject the new constitution. We authorise our elected Steering Committee to reach out to other Momentum groups and to take all necessary steps to rebuild a democratic organisation from the bottom up.
    4. Our aim was and still is to create an open, pluralist, outward-facing network of activists working within the Labour Party to achieve a transformation of our society in the interests of the 99%. We support the 10 pledges issued by Jeremy Corbyn last year and will work to ensure they are the basis for Labour’s campaigning and next election manifesto and work for the election of a Labour Government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.
  • Proposal on MxV platform ((Proposal on Mxv platform: Reject the decision by Jon Lansman to dissolve the current structures and CAC
    We condemn in the strongest possible terms the moves by Jon Lansman and his clique to usurp and undermine the democratic decisions made by the majority of the Momentum National Committee. These undemocratic, behind-the-scenes manoeuvres demonstrate that Lansman and co. can no longer be a trusted and should be replaced immediately by accountable representatives, elected through the previously existing democratic structures of the Regional and National Committees. The newly imposed constitution is completely undemocratic and should be withdrawn immediately. Instead, the plans drawn up by the previously elected Conference Arrangements Committee should be used as the basis for a national conference of elected delegates to discuss and decide upon the way forward for Momentum and the Corbyn movement.We call for:
    * The immediate restoration of all democratic structures within Momentum.
    * The national conference to proceed in its previously agreed form, as a democratic conference to discuss motions and decide policy on the basis of elected delegates from local groups.
    * For an emergency National Committee to discuss this coup and hold those responsible to account.

 

References   [ + ]

1. Brighton and Hove Momentum General Meeting, January 25
  1. We condemn the attempt by Jon Lansman and the majority of the Steering Committee to abolish the National Committee and the Conference Arrangements Committee, which was elected at the December NC meeting.
  1. It is not possible for the Steering Committee, which was elected by the NC, to abolish the very body which elected it.
  1. We do not recognise the newly-announced ‘Constitution’ imposed by way of an email.  It has no validity. We note that the Steering Committee, let alone the National Committee, was not even given an opportunity to discuss this proposed Constitution.
  1.  We particularly condemn the fact that those who refuse to accept an imposed, undemocratic Constitution, will be deemed to have resigned from Momentum.
  1.  We wish to give full support to the elected National and Conference Arrangement Committees.  We urge that a national delegate conference open to all Momentum groups and oppressed groups be convened as a matter of urgency and ask that in the meantime a bank account etc. be opened by the NC in order that the necessary financial arrangements can be mad
  1. We call on other Momentum groups and oppressed groups to boycott the proposed conference that Jon Lansman and the Steering Committee majority are organising.  It will be undemocratic and will not discuss policy, the new ‘constitution’ or motions.  Likewise we urge members to boycott elections to the new National Co-ordinating Group.  The NCG has no political, moral or legal validity.
  1. We urge that Jon Lansman and the Steering Committee majority to place all Momentum data in the hands of the Steering Committee and warn them that any ‘change in use’ of that data will be illegal under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  1. We hope that the Steering Committee rethinks its decisions as to the agreed Conference as it has clearly led to widespread anger and confusion amongst Momentum activists, including calls for a split.
2. Darlington Momentum general meeting on January 17 voted unanimously for this motion, which was also adopted at an open meeting called by Northern Regional network on January 15.
We call for people to stay members of Momentum including local groups and regional networks and continue to build a bottom up grassroots network
We call for the restoration of Momentum’s democratic structures including regional networks and the convening of NC on 28 January.
We propose local groups and regions, working with the NC call a national meeting of Momentum groups to discuss the way forward We will campaign for democracy in Momentum
3. Cambridge Area Momentum
meeting on January 29: 15 votes in favour of a motion condemning the imposition of the constitution, with 5 abstentions. 16 votes in favour of a proposal in support of local organisation and a local groups conference, with 4 abstentions.
4. Coventry Momentum A general meeting on January 19 voted with 18 votes for and one against the motion below. In addition, it was agreed that in the spirit of the vision of Jeremy Corbyn for a social movement that would work to change society, the Coventry Momentum local branch welcomes all socialists to its meetings.”This branch condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected national and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution by the steering committee majority.
Calls on Momentum branches to oppose this coup against the members and urges the national committee to convene itself, re-elect a new steering committee, declare the constitution invalid, and renew the mandate of the Conference Arrangements Committee.
This Branch agrees to send a motion and delegates to the National Conference when convened by the democratically elected Conference Arrangements Committee.”
5. Momentum Derbyshire general meeting on January 17, unanimously passed this motion
This meeting notes:
– That on 10th January 2017 National Momentum announced the immediate adoption of a new constitution.
– That this constitution dissolves the NC, SC and regional networks, including those on loomio.
– Graphics were published on the momentum website explaining how to pass a motion or amend this new constitution.
– That this constitution was voted for by only 6 members of the SC.
– That the CAC was declared to be abolished.
– That the National Conference planned for 19th Feb seems unlikely to proceed, with a gathering in London on the 18th Feb
now being planned, where no motions are to be considered.
– It is not necessary for all members of an affiliated group or a socialist society affiliated to Labour to be members of the Labour Party.
This meeting believes:
– That the adoption of this constitution has no legitimate basis, with no consultation of the membership.
– That passing motions or constitutional amendments is now very difficult, and not conductive to grassroots democracy.
– That the postponement of the 19th Feb conference, where this constitution could have been debated alongside that produced by Matt Wrack, is wrong and should go ahead.
– That the expulsion of any momentum members not currently in the Labour Party, whether because of expulsions or in no party, is wrong.This meeting resolves:
– To call on the NC to confirm the conference now planned for March as going ahead.
– To call on the NC to reject the imposition of this constitution and instead present it for consideration at this conference.
– That the NC should re-affirm that membership of Momentum is open to everyone who is a member of Labour or not a member of a party that stands candidates against Labour.
6. Enfield Momentum on January 22 voted with 30 for, 2 against with 1 abstention:
“Enfield Momentum condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected national and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution, all done without any mandate from the members.

We also condemn that the constitution allows only 12 members of the NCG to be directly elected by the membership, thus ensuring Momentum ceases to be a democratic member led organisation.

We call on all Momentum branches to oppose this coup against the members. We demand that the constitution be suspended, until such time that a democratic debate about the future of Momentum can be convened and an open and transparent decision reached. The terms of any constitution adopted by Momentum must be agreed by the informed consent of a majority of its members.”

7.
  • Kirklees Momentum general meeting, January 15
    This meeting notes:

    • That on 10th January 2017 National Momentum announced the immediate adoption of a new constitution
    • That this constitution dissolves the NC, SC and regional networks, including those on loomio
    • Graphics were published on the momentum website explaining how to pass a motion or amend this new constitution
    • That this constitution was voted for by only 6 members of the SC
    • That the CAC was declared to be abolished.
    • That the National Conference planned for 19th Feb seems unlikely to proceed, with a gathering in London on the 18th Feb
      now being planned, where no motions are to be considered.It is not necessary for all members of an affiliated group or a socialist society affiliated to Labour to be members of the Labour Party.

This meeting believes:

    • That the adoption of this constitution has no legitimate basis, with no consultation of the membership.
    • That passing motions or constitutional amendments is now very difficult, and not conductive to grassroots democracy.
    • That the postponement of the 19th Feb conference, where this constitution could have been debated alongside that produced by Matt Wrack, is wrong and should go ahead.
    • That the expulsion of any momentum members not currently in the Labour Party, whether because of expulsions or in no party, is wrong.

This meeting resolves:

    • To call on the NC to confirm the conference now planned for March as going ahead.
    • To call on the NC to reject the imposition of this constitution and instead present it for consideration at this conference.
    • That the NC should re-affirm that membership of Momentum is open to everyone who is a member of Labour or not a member of a party that stands candidates against Labour
8. Lambeth Momentum general meeting, February 16
Lambeth Momentum condemns the undemocratic behaviour of the majority of the Momentum Steering Committee in trying to undermine the decisions of the December 3rd National Committee. The attempt to dissolve all elected committees and impose a new constitution on members without discussion is nothing less than an undemocratic coup by a small group of SC members.We oppose Momentum unquestioningly and without due process expelling all those previously expelled by the Labour Party Compliance Unit. We will continue to allow such comrades to remain involved in our local Momentum group so long as they meet our current membership criteria and we call, yet again, on national Momentum to agree fair and transparent disciplinary and complaints procedures.We call on the NC to immediately convene itself, nullify the imposed constitution, re-elect the Steering Committee and allow the Conference Arrangements Committee to carry on its work in organising a democratic, decision making conference in February))
  • Leicestershire Momentum ((Leicestershire MomentumThe following motion was passed at our meeting of January 14th, 2017, 21 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions:Leicestershire Momentum opposes the imposition of a constitution on the organisation with no discussion or democratic process, and calls for the imposition to be immediately reversed.We want Momentum to move forward, focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies in the Labour Party as many local groups have been doing.We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We welcome the continuing functioning of the Momentum National Committee (NC) and call on our NC members to attend it, even if it is no longer recognised by the National OfficeWe call for a national conference with delegates from local groups to happen in March 2017 to allow groups to coordinate, learn from each other, discuss and make decisions on the way forward for Momentum.We also oppose summary expulsions from the Labour Party. And will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully involved in our local Momentum group.
9. Leicestershire MomentumThe following motion was passed at our meeting of January 14th, 2017, 21 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions:Leicestershire Momentum opposes the imposition of a constitution on the organisation with no discussion or democratic process, and calls for the imposition to be immediately reversed.We want Momentum to move forward, focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies in the Labour Party as many local groups have been doing.We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We welcome the continuing functioning of the Momentum National Committee (NC) and call on our NC members to attend it, even if it is no longer recognised by the National OfficeWe call for a national conference with delegates from local groups to happen in March 2017 to allow groups to coordinate, learn from each other, discuss and make decisions on the way forward for Momentum.We also oppose summary expulsions from the Labour Party. And will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully involved in our local Momentum group.
  • Leeds Momentum ((Leeds Momentum decided by a vote of 26 to 25 on January 15 to vote against the imposed constitution, though no motion was agreed on.
10. Leeds Momentum decided by a vote of 26 to 25 on January 15 to vote against the imposed constitution, though no motion was agreed on.
  • Lewisham Momentum ((Lewisham Momentum, meeting on January 16: We are saddened by the attempted coup against democracy in Momentum by six members of the national Steering Committee, seeking to uproot what democracy exists and impose an undemocratic constitution by diktat.We believe the great majority of members, whatever their views on the shape of national structures, aspire to a democratic organisation in which those who make decisions are accountable. There is a minority, entrenched at the national centre of Momentum, who seem determined to prevent the consolidation of a functioning democracy of any sort, whatever the costs to the organisation and the movement.We want a democratic Momentum which debates and develops socialist policies as part of organising and mobilising to transform Labour and the labour movement. We need an end to bureaucratic manipulation from above, which has wasted so much time, energy and good will that should be used for productive work.
    We urge people not to resign or drift out in disgust. We:
    – will coordinate with others in Momentum to fight the coup and for democracy and socialist policies.
    – welcome the SC and NC continuing to meet
    – back the calling of a national conference of group delegates in March
    – to allow groups to coordinate, learn from each other and discuss the way forward (avoiding a clash with the 4 March NHS and 18 March anti-racism demos).
    We will elect five delegates and two alternates to attend this conference and the 18 February rally called by the office.
  • 11. Lewisham Momentum, meeting on January 16: We are saddened by the attempted coup against democracy in Momentum by six members of the national Steering Committee, seeking to uproot what democracy exists and impose an undemocratic constitution by diktat.We believe the great majority of members, whatever their views on the shape of national structures, aspire to a democratic organisation in which those who make decisions are accountable. There is a minority, entrenched at the national centre of Momentum, who seem determined to prevent the consolidation of a functioning democracy of any sort, whatever the costs to the organisation and the movement.We want a democratic Momentum which debates and develops socialist policies as part of organising and mobilising to transform Labour and the labour movement. We need an end to bureaucratic manipulation from above, which has wasted so much time, energy and good will that should be used for productive work.
    We urge people not to resign or drift out in disgust. We:
    – will coordinate with others in Momentum to fight the coup and for democracy and socialist policies.
    – welcome the SC and NC continuing to meet
    – back the calling of a national conference of group delegates in March
    – to allow groups to coordinate, learn from each other and discuss the way forward (avoiding a clash with the 4 March NHS and 18 March anti-racism demos).
    We will elect five delegates and two alternates to attend this conference and the 18 February rally called by the office.
  • Liverpool Riverside Momentum ((Liverpool Riverside Momentum
    The unilateral email proposal of January 10th 2017, originating from John Lansman and something calling itself ‘Team Momentum’, is undemocratic and therefore invalid. Liverpool Riverside Momentum calls on the National Committee to proceed with the national conference in February. We do not recognise the validity of the Momentum Christmas Questionnaire, or the abrogation of our democratic structures by John Lansman and the group around him
  • 12. Liverpool Riverside Momentum
    The unilateral email proposal of January 10th 2017, originating from John Lansman and something calling itself ‘Team Momentum’, is undemocratic and therefore invalid. Liverpool Riverside Momentum calls on the National Committee to proceed with the national conference in February. We do not recognise the validity of the Momentum Christmas Questionnaire, or the abrogation of our democratic structures by John Lansman and the group around him
  • Liverpool Momentum
    • Medway Momentum
    • Newham Momentum
    • North Tyneside Momentum
    • Northamptonshire Momentum ((Northamptonshire Momentum met on January 10 and “expresses solidarity and support for the Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee 2017 and look forward to attending their conference”.
    13. Northamptonshire Momentum met on January 10 and “expresses solidarity and support for the Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee 2017 and look forward to attending their conference”.
  • Richmond Park and Twickenham Momentum ((Richmond Park and Twickenham Momentum, meeting on January 12:
    This local group condemns the undemocratic behaviour of the majority of the Momentum Steering Committee in trying to undermine the decisions of the December 3rd National Committee. The attempt to dissolve all elected committees and impose a new constitution on members without discussion is nothing less than undemocratic action by a small group of SC members
  • 14. Richmond Park and Twickenham Momentum, meeting on January 12:
    This local group condemns the undemocratic behaviour of the majority of the Momentum Steering Committee in trying to undermine the decisions of the December 3rd National Committee. The attempt to dissolve all elected committees and impose a new constitution on members without discussion is nothing less than undemocratic action by a small group of SC members
  • Rotherham Momentum ((Rotherham Momentum passed the following motion on January 24:That this branch:

    1. Recognises the key fundamental principle of Momentum is to strive for socialism, which currently includes supporting Corbyn to make the Labour Party more democratic with socialist policies that will eventually lead to a socialist Labour government;

    2. Recognises that fundamental to socialist principles is full democracy that involves full participation of the people;

    Therefore:

    3. Views with concern and does not accept the actions of a small number of people that have disregarded democracy to try to abolish the existing democratic structures and impose a new constitution with no transparent consultation and no ballot of the members;

    4. Resolves to continue to operate within the existing democratic structures, electing delegates and moving proposals to the representative bodies for consideration;

    5. Resolves to strive for a new constitution that includes the representative delegate structures that are essential for proper face-to-face debate, as well as online consultation and voting technology that ensures all members can participate and choose their representatives, validated and implemented through democratic means.

  • 15. Rotherham Momentum passed the following motion on January 24:That this branch:

    1. Recognises the key fundamental principle of Momentum is to strive for socialism, which currently includes supporting Corbyn to make the Labour Party more democratic with socialist policies that will eventually lead to a socialist Labour government;

    2. Recognises that fundamental to socialist principles is full democracy that involves full participation of the people;

    Therefore:

    3. Views with concern and does not accept the actions of a small number of people that have disregarded democracy to try to abolish the existing democratic structures and impose a new constitution with no transparent consultation and no ballot of the members;

    4. Resolves to continue to operate within the existing democratic structures, electing delegates and moving proposals to the representative bodies for consideration;

    5. Resolves to strive for a new constitution that includes the representative delegate structures that are essential for proper face-to-face debate, as well as online consultation and voting technology that ensures all members can participate and choose their representatives, validated and implemented through democratic means.

  • Sheffield Momentum (Steering Committee) ((Momentum Sheffield steering committee meeting on January 17
    Momentum Sheffield’s Steering Committee opposes the undemocratic manner in which Momentum’s national constitution was imposed.We want Momentum to move forward and focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies and democracy in the Labour Party, and mobilising for a socialist Labour government. We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We have always encouraged our members to be Labour Party members and have stood against the summary expulsions from the Party on political grounds. We will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully active, including holding elected positions, within our local group. We call on Momentum to adopt the same position nationally.
  • 16. Momentum Sheffield steering committee meeting on January 17
    Momentum Sheffield’s Steering Committee opposes the undemocratic manner in which Momentum’s national constitution was imposed.We want Momentum to move forward and focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies and democracy in the Labour Party, and mobilising for a socialist Labour government. We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We have always encouraged our members to be Labour Party members and have stood against the summary expulsions from the Party on political grounds. We will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully active, including holding elected positions, within our local group. We call on Momentum to adopt the same position nationally.
  • Sheffield Momentum ((Sheffield Momentum general meeting, January 25:
    Sheffield Momentum opposes the undemocratic manner in which Momentum’s national constitution was imposed.We do not believe the new Constitution establishes a member-led organisation. OMOV online will elect only an inbuilt minority of members (a maximum of 44%) of the new ruling National
    Coordinating Committee (NCG), with the other NCG members coming from ‘Labour public officer holders’, affiliated trade unions and ‘other affiliated organisations’, including ‘Left Futures’ (Jon Lansman’s own blog) and the NCG’s own power of cooption. Further, members’ ability to influence or change any NCG decisions is heavily restricted by artificially high thresholds.We want Momentum to move forward and focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies and democracy in the Labour Party, and mobilising for a socialist Labour government. We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We want Momentum to remain a *united* organisation, both nationally and locally, and do *not* support a boycott of the new national structures.We note that a large majority of groups that have met to discuss the imposition of the new constitution have opposed the process.We want to promote greater democracy and grassroots activity in Momentum and will work with others for a reasonable resolution to the current situation within a united Momentum.We will encourage our members to attend the national event on 18 February (or on a future date if it is postponed).

    We also support the call for a national network meeting of local Momentum groups to meet in March.

    We have always encouraged our members to be Labour Party members and have stood against the summary expulsions from the Party on political grounds. We will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully active, including holding elected positions, within our local group. We call on Momentum to adopt the same position nationally.”

    Bizarrely, the meeting also voted through a motion “supporting” the constitution, while another one “reluctantly accepts” the constitution.

  • 17. Sheffield Momentum general meeting, January 25:
    Sheffield Momentum opposes the undemocratic manner in which Momentum’s national constitution was imposed.We do not believe the new Constitution establishes a member-led organisation. OMOV online will elect only an inbuilt minority of members (a maximum of 44%) of the new ruling National
    Coordinating Committee (NCG), with the other NCG members coming from ‘Labour public officer holders’, affiliated trade unions and ‘other affiliated organisations’, including ‘Left Futures’ (Jon Lansman’s own blog) and the NCG’s own power of cooption. Further, members’ ability to influence or change any NCG decisions is heavily restricted by artificially high thresholds.We want Momentum to move forward and focus on campaigning, building support for socialist policies and democracy in the Labour Party, and mobilising for a socialist Labour government. We want to build Momentum as a democratic movement to enable this.We want Momentum to remain a *united* organisation, both nationally and locally, and do *not* support a boycott of the new national structures.We note that a large majority of groups that have met to discuss the imposition of the new constitution have opposed the process.We want to promote greater democracy and grassroots activity in Momentum and will work with others for a reasonable resolution to the current situation within a united Momentum.We will encourage our members to attend the national event on 18 February (or on a future date if it is postponed).

    We also support the call for a national network meeting of local Momentum groups to meet in March.

    We have always encouraged our members to be Labour Party members and have stood against the summary expulsions from the Party on political grounds. We will continue to allow those expelled on this basis to be fully active, including holding elected positions, within our local group. We call on Momentum to adopt the same position nationally.”

    Bizarrely, the meeting also voted through a motion “supporting” the constitution, while another one “reluctantly accepts” the constitution.

    • Southwark Momentum ((Southwark Momentum agreed this statement on January 11 in a meeting attended by Jon Lansman:”This branch condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected national and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution by the steering committee majority.”Calls on Momentum branches to oppose this coup against the members and urges the national committee to convene itself, re-elect a new steering committee, declare the constitution invalid, and renew the mandate of the conference arrangements committee.”
    18. Southwark Momentum agreed this statement on January 11 in a meeting attended by Jon Lansman:”This branch condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected national and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution by the steering committee majority.”Calls on Momentum branches to oppose this coup against the members and urges the national committee to convene itself, re-elect a new steering committee, declare the constitution invalid, and renew the mandate of the conference arrangements committee.”
    • South Tyneside Momentum
    • South East Kent Momentum
    • Southwark Momentum
    • Thanet Momentum
    • Tower Hamlets Momentum ((Tower Hamlets Momentum general meeting, January 18:
      To Team Momentum and Jon Lansman:
      Momentum Tower Hamlets condemns the imposition of a new constitution, the actions leading up to it, and substantial sections of the document itself. In addition we demand that the organisation takes steps to reject this undemocratic manoeuvre and respects the democratic mandate of its members as represented by the existing National Committee, National Steering Committee and regional delegates.This announcement has come at a critical moment not just for the central organisation and the Labour Party, but also for local groups that actually are engaging, building alliances and putting ‘shared values’ into practice. Tower Hamlets Labour party is currently in the midst of delayed AGMs in which Momentum members are actively engaged and seeking election. This action by the central organisation does nothing to support this, and adds fuel to the attempts to besmirch and ridicule our organisation.At best we can only accept this document as a draft resolution and demand that it be taken to the existing National Committee for discussion, amendment and endorsement. Given the ambiguity of the document we suggest that action is taken to address a number of issues and will draw attention to the most glaring problems:

      1. The incentive for this document is based on the pre-Christmas on-line survey, which undermined the previous democratic decisions of the organization, was not presented as a resolution or seeking mandate, and cannot be used as a basis for the imposition of a constitution. Subsequent communication claimed that the response was a huge democratic success, and by implication a mandate for subsequent actions. We reject this and point out that 40% doesn’t represent a majority, and the process represents nothing more than a democratic deficit in its representation of members.
      2. Whilst the wording and working of the proposed NCG is ambiguous the intention seems clear: rather than strengthen the voice of the membership the balance of power is weighed 16-12 against the membership in favour of unions, affiliates and elected MPs etc., so repeating the very structures that have held back the left of the Labour party itself.
      3. The document insists that membership of Momentum is dependent on membership of the Labour Party, and imposes a deadline for joining of 1 July 2017. We reject this as arbitrary and draw attention to the ongoing delays, confusion and inefficiencies of the Labour Party membership itself which in the last year has seen several local members waiting for over 7 months for their membership to be confirmed.
      4. We see no reason why members expelled (or by implication, refused membership) from the Labour Party should be automatically expelled from Momentum. One of the campaigns that Momentum embraced over the summer was to challenge the arbitrary and undemocratic nature of the expulsions and suspensions made. We will continue to accept membership to our local organisation by people who are in the process of committing to join both Momentum and the Labour Party, and we fail to see how one can expand membership of either without this right.
      5. A list of affiliate organisation has been presented with no debate and in an ambiguous and arbitrary fashion, mirroring the very processes that the Labour Party itself has used to silence voices from the left. We demand that all affiliate organisations are selected through an agreed democratic process, at annual conference, not by arbitrary mandate.
      6. The election by lot to a members council makes a mockery of the role of members and their authority over policy, structure and campaigns. It also reduces the central importance we in Tower Hamlets give to the democratic principle of accountability of elected officers within Momentum and the Labour Party. Being elected by lot absolves you of being held accountable, as well as reducing actual participation in the organising structures to a sham.Most importantly we absolutely condemn the options presented to members to challenge this constitution. We neither accept the dichotomy that members’ silence on this equals consent to the document, nor do we accept as an alternative cancellation of membership. By contrast the members of Momentum Tower Hamlets reject this constitution and insist that the members of the organisation are in fact sovereign, not an unelected bureaucracy or individual members wielding proprietorial leverage. We call on the members of Momentum and organised local groups to do the same, and continue your democratic participation campaigning with the Labour Party.We are Momentum and continue to act in Tower Hamlets under the democratic mandate that we have established.
    19. Tower Hamlets Momentum general meeting, January 18:
    To Team Momentum and Jon Lansman:
    Momentum Tower Hamlets condemns the imposition of a new constitution, the actions leading up to it, and substantial sections of the document itself. In addition we demand that the organisation takes steps to reject this undemocratic manoeuvre and respects the democratic mandate of its members as represented by the existing National Committee, National Steering Committee and regional delegates.This announcement has come at a critical moment not just for the central organisation and the Labour Party, but also for local groups that actually are engaging, building alliances and putting ‘shared values’ into practice. Tower Hamlets Labour party is currently in the midst of delayed AGMs in which Momentum members are actively engaged and seeking election. This action by the central organisation does nothing to support this, and adds fuel to the attempts to besmirch and ridicule our organisation.At best we can only accept this document as a draft resolution and demand that it be taken to the existing National Committee for discussion, amendment and endorsement. Given the ambiguity of the document we suggest that action is taken to address a number of issues and will draw attention to the most glaring problems:

    1. The incentive for this document is based on the pre-Christmas on-line survey, which undermined the previous democratic decisions of the organization, was not presented as a resolution or seeking mandate, and cannot be used as a basis for the imposition of a constitution. Subsequent communication claimed that the response was a huge democratic success, and by implication a mandate for subsequent actions. We reject this and point out that 40% doesn’t represent a majority, and the process represents nothing more than a democratic deficit in its representation of members.
    2. Whilst the wording and working of the proposed NCG is ambiguous the intention seems clear: rather than strengthen the voice of the membership the balance of power is weighed 16-12 against the membership in favour of unions, affiliates and elected MPs etc., so repeating the very structures that have held back the left of the Labour party itself.
    3. The document insists that membership of Momentum is dependent on membership of the Labour Party, and imposes a deadline for joining of 1 July 2017. We reject this as arbitrary and draw attention to the ongoing delays, confusion and inefficiencies of the Labour Party membership itself which in the last year has seen several local members waiting for over 7 months for their membership to be confirmed.
    4. We see no reason why members expelled (or by implication, refused membership) from the Labour Party should be automatically expelled from Momentum. One of the campaigns that Momentum embraced over the summer was to challenge the arbitrary and undemocratic nature of the expulsions and suspensions made. We will continue to accept membership to our local organisation by people who are in the process of committing to join both Momentum and the Labour Party, and we fail to see how one can expand membership of either without this right.
    5. A list of affiliate organisation has been presented with no debate and in an ambiguous and arbitrary fashion, mirroring the very processes that the Labour Party itself has used to silence voices from the left. We demand that all affiliate organisations are selected through an agreed democratic process, at annual conference, not by arbitrary mandate.
    6. The election by lot to a members council makes a mockery of the role of members and their authority over policy, structure and campaigns. It also reduces the central importance we in Tower Hamlets give to the democratic principle of accountability of elected officers within Momentum and the Labour Party. Being elected by lot absolves you of being held accountable, as well as reducing actual participation in the organising structures to a sham.Most importantly we absolutely condemn the options presented to members to challenge this constitution. We neither accept the dichotomy that members’ silence on this equals consent to the document, nor do we accept as an alternative cancellation of membership. By contrast the members of Momentum Tower Hamlets reject this constitution and insist that the members of the organisation are in fact sovereign, not an unelected bureaucracy or individual members wielding proprietorial leverage. We call on the members of Momentum and organised local groups to do the same, and continue your democratic participation campaigning with the Labour Party.We are Momentum and continue to act in Tower Hamlets under the democratic mandate that we have established.
    • Truro and Falmouth Momentum
    • Wandsworth Momentum ((Wandsworth Momentum, meeting on January 19
      1. Momentum’s new national constitution has been imposed on members without discussion. This is not the “new kind of politics” that we support. Regardless of its merits and its defects, we reject the new constitution because of the way it was imposed on us.
      2. We are not going to leave Momentum, as has been demanded of those members who reject the new constitution. We will elect a Working Party to reach out to other branches of Momentum and to take all necessary steps to rebuild a democratic organisation from the bottom up.
      3. Our aim was and still is to create an open, pluralist, outward-facing network of activists working within the Labour Party to achieve a transformation of our society in the interests of the 99%. We support the 10 pledges issued by Jeremy Corbyn last year and will work to ensure they are the basis for Labour’s campaigning and next election manifesto
    20. Wandsworth Momentum, meeting on January 19
    1. Momentum’s new national constitution has been imposed on members without discussion. This is not the “new kind of politics” that we support. Regardless of its merits and its defects, we reject the new constitution because of the way it was imposed on us.
    2. We are not going to leave Momentum, as has been demanded of those members who reject the new constitution. We will elect a Working Party to reach out to other branches of Momentum and to take all necessary steps to rebuild a democratic organisation from the bottom up.
    3. Our aim was and still is to create an open, pluralist, outward-facing network of activists working within the Labour Party to achieve a transformation of our society in the interests of the 99%. We support the 10 pledges issued by Jeremy Corbyn last year and will work to ensure they are the basis for Labour’s campaigning and next election manifesto

     

    • South Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee ((South Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee, meeting on January 22:
      “That this meeting operates as a representative delegate committee until a new constitution has been validated through democratic means with consultation with all members.” So I believe the breakdown was: For: Rotherham x1, Leeds x1, York x2, Kirklees x2, Wakefield x1. Against: Calderdale x2, Bradford x1. Abstain: Sheffield x2.
    21. South Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee, meeting on January 22:
    “That this meeting operates as a representative delegate committee until a new constitution has been validated through democratic means with consultation with all members.” So I believe the breakdown was: For: Rotherham x1, Leeds x1, York x2, Kirklees x2, Wakefield x1. Against: Calderdale x2, Bradford x1. Abstain: Sheffield x2.
  • Northern Momentum regional committee
  • Momentum National Committee ((Momentum National Committee meeting on January 28;
    Proposal 1 – agreed as amendedWe share the outrage which has swept the country about the coup in Momentum. We urge people not to resign or drift out in disgust. We need to continue the fight for democracy, a campaigning orientation and socialist policies, so we can build up an organisation capable of transforming Labour and the labour movement. We note the large number of local Momentum groups which have already met and condemned the coup, and the significant number which have called for a national networking event for groups in March.More than one years afters its foundation, Momentum is nowhere near where it should be. Local groups have achieved amazing things but they have largely done this on their own. The top of the organisation has failed to develop the infrastructure, support and resources that should be available to members. Much worse, the behaviour of a portion of Momentum’s leadership has undermined the trust and goodwill without which we cannot function as a diverse, pluralist movement. The new constitution will entrench the power of one faction at the expense of the organisation as a whole.

    The debate in Momentum ins now not about what kind of democracy we have – it is about whether Momentum has democratic structures at all. We do not take a view on the debate between online and in-person voting systems. But Momentum needs democracy and accountability in order to be competent, in the labour movement, only our collective wisdom can win – the collective wisdom of local activists who fight for their communities, for their fellow workers, for a different kind of society. We want to build a world in which every aspect of our lives is democratic. Momentum must live its values throughout the organisation.

    We do not accept that the people who carried out the coup constitute the leadership of Momentum. We assert the role and responsibility of Momentum’s grassroots membership in formulating strategy, continuing our campaigns and holding organisations together.

    1. We call on everyone in Momentum to stay in the organisation and work constructively with each other wherever we can, whatever our differing views on the content of the new constitution or the manner of its imposition.
    2. We endorse the call made by a number of local groups for an national networking conference of representatives of local groups on 11 March. We call for as many local groups as possible to publicly endorse this call and to attend. This conference is not the “founding conference” that was planned for February, which was cancelled by the coup; and, while it may establish some connections or structures, it is not to set up a rival organisation to Momentum. Its purpose is to allow Momentum groups to – at long last – coordinate with each other on a national level: to learn from each other, discuss and develop campaigning ideas, and debate the way forward for Momentum, including the fight for democracy.
    3. We call on local groups to continue meetings including at the original regional level to coordinate activities, to create the support networks and infrastructure our members need, to run training and education for our members and activists and to share examples of goof practice; and to catalyse the formation of new local groups.
    4. We do not accept the coup and will not dissolve ourselves at a National Committee. We assert ourselves as a continuation of the structure established on 6 February 2016. We will elect a coordinating group at this National Committee.

    Proposal 2 – agreed as amended

    This Momentum National Committee believes that Momentum must be an open and democratic group which enables debate and informed decision making. Members should decide policy, structure and activity. Members should be able to initiate proposals, and then vote on various choices, based on information and arguments.
    The NC rejects the attempt to impose a new constitution for Momentum. This has taken place without members being allowed  to even see the specific proposals, let alone discuss them and then vote on them.
    The NC agrees to:
    Encourage Momentum members and local groups to remain in Momentum;
    Encourage local groups to continue to meet, and for members to form local groups where they are not meeting or cease to meet because the local officers are not convening them;
    Encourage those groups to link up in area and regional committees of local Momentum groups. Those meetings should agree the policies and the campaigning activity for their areas and regions, and decide on policies to take into the Labour Party and the wider community. Groups should also decide on candidates to stand and who to support in local and regional Labour Party elections;
    Encourage local groups to continue to accept participation from Momentum supporters who have been unjustly expelled, suspended or excluded from the Labour Party;
    Support the conference planned by the Conference Arrangements Committee;
    Suggest that the CAC holds that as a National Meeting of Momentum local groups, with voting by democratically elected representatives of local groups on the numerical basis by the last NC, and also open to observers without voting rights.

  • 22. Momentum National Committee meeting on January 28;
    Proposal 1 – agreed as amendedWe share the outrage which has swept the country about the coup in Momentum. We urge people not to resign or drift out in disgust. We need to continue the fight for democracy, a campaigning orientation and socialist policies, so we can build up an organisation capable of transforming Labour and the labour movement. We note the large number of local Momentum groups which have already met and condemned the coup, and the significant number which have called for a national networking event for groups in March.More than one years afters its foundation, Momentum is nowhere near where it should be. Local groups have achieved amazing things but they have largely done this on their own. The top of the organisation has failed to develop the infrastructure, support and resources that should be available to members. Much worse, the behaviour of a portion of Momentum’s leadership has undermined the trust and goodwill without which we cannot function as a diverse, pluralist movement. The new constitution will entrench the power of one faction at the expense of the organisation as a whole.

    The debate in Momentum ins now not about what kind of democracy we have – it is about whether Momentum has democratic structures at all. We do not take a view on the debate between online and in-person voting systems. But Momentum needs democracy and accountability in order to be competent, in the labour movement, only our collective wisdom can win – the collective wisdom of local activists who fight for their communities, for their fellow workers, for a different kind of society. We want to build a world in which every aspect of our lives is democratic. Momentum must live its values throughout the organisation.

    We do not accept that the people who carried out the coup constitute the leadership of Momentum. We assert the role and responsibility of Momentum’s grassroots membership in formulating strategy, continuing our campaigns and holding organisations together.

    1. We call on everyone in Momentum to stay in the organisation and work constructively with each other wherever we can, whatever our differing views on the content of the new constitution or the manner of its imposition.
    2. We endorse the call made by a number of local groups for an national networking conference of representatives of local groups on 11 March. We call for as many local groups as possible to publicly endorse this call and to attend. This conference is not the “founding conference” that was planned for February, which was cancelled by the coup; and, while it may establish some connections or structures, it is not to set up a rival organisation to Momentum. Its purpose is to allow Momentum groups to – at long last – coordinate with each other on a national level: to learn from each other, discuss and develop campaigning ideas, and debate the way forward for Momentum, including the fight for democracy.
    3. We call on local groups to continue meetings including at the original regional level to coordinate activities, to create the support networks and infrastructure our members need, to run training and education for our members and activists and to share examples of goof practice; and to catalyse the formation of new local groups.
    4. We do not accept the coup and will not dissolve ourselves at a National Committee. We assert ourselves as a continuation of the structure established on 6 February 2016. We will elect a coordinating group at this National Committee.

    Proposal 2 – agreed as amended

    This Momentum National Committee believes that Momentum must be an open and democratic group which enables debate and informed decision making. Members should decide policy, structure and activity. Members should be able to initiate proposals, and then vote on various choices, based on information and arguments.
    The NC rejects the attempt to impose a new constitution for Momentum. This has taken place without members being allowed  to even see the specific proposals, let alone discuss them and then vote on them.
    The NC agrees to:
    Encourage Momentum members and local groups to remain in Momentum;
    Encourage local groups to continue to meet, and for members to form local groups where they are not meeting or cease to meet because the local officers are not convening them;
    Encourage those groups to link up in area and regional committees of local Momentum groups. Those meetings should agree the policies and the campaigning activity for their areas and regions, and decide on policies to take into the Labour Party and the wider community. Groups should also decide on candidates to stand and who to support in local and regional Labour Party elections;
    Encourage local groups to continue to accept participation from Momentum supporters who have been unjustly expelled, suspended or excluded from the Labour Party;
    Support the conference planned by the Conference Arrangements Committee;
    Suggest that the CAC holds that as a National Meeting of Momentum local groups, with voting by democratically elected representatives of local groups on the numerical basis by the last NC, and also open to observers without voting rights.

  • Labour Representation Committee ((Labour Representation Committe:
    The following motions on Momentum were passed at the LRC NEC on January 21 20171) The LRC rejects the new constitution imposed upon Momentum. The new constitution dissolves the existing democratic structures of Momentum – the National Committee, the Conference Arrangements Committee and the Steering Committee – without proper discussion and without even consulting the first two of these bodies. It puts in their place a National Co-ordinating Group and a Members’ Council. Neither of these bodies have yet been elected or selected, so at present there is no governing body of Momentum at all.  Even when the National Co-ordinating Group and Members’ Council are in place there is no proper means of their members being made accountable to the membership. We shall fight for a democratic alternative to the new constitution.We condemn the way this new constitution has been put in place, with a simple email to the members of the Steering Committee asking for a Yes/No reply, with no discussion and replies from a bare majority of the Steering Committee without explanation deemed sufficient to dissolve the existing democratic structures.We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the regional structures of Momentum currently in place. It also thereby cancels co-ordination between regions.We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the power of the Conference to be a decision-making body.We reject the fact that the new constitution makes Momentum a body where all members of Momentum are required to be Labour Party members. While we believe that all members should be encouraged and convinced to become Labour Party members, the best way to achieve this is not by demanding LP membership as a precondition of becoming a member of Momentum. This rule also means that those unjustly expelled from the Party are ineligible for membership of Momentum.We call on all members of Momentum to maintain their membership and to campaign for it to become a democratic organisation. The LRC campaigns for Momentum to become a mass fighting socialist organisation committed to winning the widest support in the labour movement and in British society in order to win support for the policies on which Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership and to elect a Labour government committed to these policies.The LRC shall also be sending a delegation to the Momentum National Committee (which the new constitution claims to have abolished) due to meet on January 28th 2017.We want the LRC’s views on this matter to be published as widely as possible on our website and on social media.

    2) The LRC condemns the undemocratic closing down of elected bodies within Momentum, by its legal owner, Jon Lansman. We recognise that the particular history of Momentum’s brief existence required the transition from initial set up of a private company to a full-fledged socialist and Labour Party orientated organisation, which gave power to ordinary members through election processes and the formation of democratically elected representative bodies. The organic forms of representation that developed in local areas, in the form of branches and local groups, reflected the desire of Labour Party members and Corbyn supporters to build a coherent left, with a mission to transform the Labour Party as a vehicle of democratic socialist policies and for government, both locally and on a national scale. We acknowledge Jon Lansman has used his legal private ownership and staff he has appointed at the London office to circumvent the wishes of the wider active membership based in branches and local groups to destroy the current emerging national structure of Momentum.

    We therefore resolve to endorse the following:

    1. not to accept Momentum’s offer of a place on their National Co-ordinating Group, as outlined in their new constitution, as we cannot give legitimacy to its undemocratic actions;

    2. support measures to continue the plans for a national conference of what would have been representatives from local Momentum groups;

  • 23. Labour Representation Committe:
    The following motions on Momentum were passed at the LRC NEC on January 21 20171) The LRC rejects the new constitution imposed upon Momentum. The new constitution dissolves the existing democratic structures of Momentum – the National Committee, the Conference Arrangements Committee and the Steering Committee – without proper discussion and without even consulting the first two of these bodies. It puts in their place a National Co-ordinating Group and a Members’ Council. Neither of these bodies have yet been elected or selected, so at present there is no governing body of Momentum at all.  Even when the National Co-ordinating Group and Members’ Council are in place there is no proper means of their members being made accountable to the membership. We shall fight for a democratic alternative to the new constitution.We condemn the way this new constitution has been put in place, with a simple email to the members of the Steering Committee asking for a Yes/No reply, with no discussion and replies from a bare majority of the Steering Committee without explanation deemed sufficient to dissolve the existing democratic structures.We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the regional structures of Momentum currently in place. It also thereby cancels co-ordination between regions.We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the power of the Conference to be a decision-making body.We reject the fact that the new constitution makes Momentum a body where all members of Momentum are required to be Labour Party members. While we believe that all members should be encouraged and convinced to become Labour Party members, the best way to achieve this is not by demanding LP membership as a precondition of becoming a member of Momentum. This rule also means that those unjustly expelled from the Party are ineligible for membership of Momentum.We call on all members of Momentum to maintain their membership and to campaign for it to become a democratic organisation. The LRC campaigns for Momentum to become a mass fighting socialist organisation committed to winning the widest support in the labour movement and in British society in order to win support for the policies on which Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership and to elect a Labour government committed to these policies.The LRC shall also be sending a delegation to the Momentum National Committee (which the new constitution claims to have abolished) due to meet on January 28th 2017.We want the LRC’s views on this matter to be published as widely as possible on our website and on social media.

    2) The LRC condemns the undemocratic closing down of elected bodies within Momentum, by its legal owner, Jon Lansman. We recognise that the particular history of Momentum’s brief existence required the transition from initial set up of a private company to a full-fledged socialist and Labour Party orientated organisation, which gave power to ordinary members through election processes and the formation of democratically elected representative bodies. The organic forms of representation that developed in local areas, in the form of branches and local groups, reflected the desire of Labour Party members and Corbyn supporters to build a coherent left, with a mission to transform the Labour Party as a vehicle of democratic socialist policies and for government, both locally and on a national scale. We acknowledge Jon Lansman has used his legal private ownership and staff he has appointed at the London office to circumvent the wishes of the wider active membership based in branches and local groups to destroy the current emerging national structure of Momentum.

    We therefore resolve to endorse the following:

    1. not to accept Momentum’s offer of a place on their National Co-ordinating Group, as outlined in their new constitution, as we cannot give legitimacy to its undemocratic actions;

    2. support measures to continue the plans for a national conference of what would have been representatives from local Momentum groups;

  • Red Labour organisers group ((Statement from the Red Labour organisers group
    Red Labour was established in 2011, initially as an online project which sought to promote socialism within the Labour Party and help socialists organise within their respective Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). We subsequently moved into real world activities, establishing several groups in various parts of the country.We played a significant role in mobilising support for an anti-austerity leadership candidate in the summer of 2015, securing the nominations for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign and his election as leader in September 2015.We welcomed the establishment of Momentum and hoped it could be grassroots organisation which could harness the support for Jerem Corbyn’s socialist politics to help transform our party and communities. However, we are dismayed at recent developments within Momentum which are completely contrary to the Bennite tradition of grassroots democracy. Red Labour’s approach: ‘from the ground up, not the top down’, is more than a slogan.Therefore, we have taken the decision, as a collective, not to accept Momentum’s offer of a place on their National Co-ordinating Group, as outlined in their new constitution. This does not preclude us from working with Momentum activists at a local level or on joint campaigns, but we simply cannot endorse (or continue to support) the undemocratic actions of those at the top of Momentum. We hope Momentum are able to sort their issues out. In the meantime, we believe we need to focus our energy and resources on creating a party we can be proud of and ensuring a Labour victory at the next General Election.
  • 24. Statement from the Red Labour organisers group
    Red Labour was established in 2011, initially as an online project which sought to promote socialism within the Labour Party and help socialists organise within their respective Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). We subsequently moved into real world activities, establishing several groups in various parts of the country.We played a significant role in mobilising support for an anti-austerity leadership candidate in the summer of 2015, securing the nominations for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign and his election as leader in September 2015.We welcomed the establishment of Momentum and hoped it could be grassroots organisation which could harness the support for Jerem Corbyn’s socialist politics to help transform our party and communities. However, we are dismayed at recent developments within Momentum which are completely contrary to the Bennite tradition of grassroots democracy. Red Labour’s approach: ‘from the ground up, not the top down’, is more than a slogan.Therefore, we have taken the decision, as a collective, not to accept Momentum’s offer of a place on their National Co-ordinating Group, as outlined in their new constitution. This does not preclude us from working with Momentum activists at a local level or on joint campaigns, but we simply cannot endorse (or continue to support) the undemocratic actions of those at the top of Momentum. We hope Momentum are able to sort their issues out. In the meantime, we believe we need to focus our energy and resources on creating a party we can be proud of and ensuring a Labour victory at the next General Election.
  • Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee ((Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee
    The Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) note with dismay the decision, of six people from Momentum’s Steering Committee (SC), to declare our National Committee (NC) and its decision to hold a conference with decision-making powers to be dissolved.We cannot understand how “the six” feel this benefits our aims. We call for the destructive and divisive actions from their email to be reversed immediately before any more damage is done to the organisation.
    Their ideas could have been democratically debated at the conference that we were working round the clock to organise. Instead they have attempted to declare changes with no mandate.However, committed members and agreed current structures cannot be dissolved by the click of an email from an office by half a dozen people.The CAC takes its direction from Momentum’s National Committee, as per the original remit we were given. Until that body meets and informs us our role has changed, we will continue working towards Momentum’s first conference. Further details of this will be announced through the same Conference Arrangements Committee Facebook page, and we would urge all members to look there (https://www.facebook.com/momentumconference17/…) for all future updates.All emails regarding conference business should now be sent to the new email momentumconference2017@gmail.com as we have been locked out of the original with no notice.
    Whilst a minority of our number have accepted the email from “the six” as legitimate, the CAC majority (and in effect the people who have done virtually all of the work to make a conference happen) are still able to organise a conference which brings together the key Momentum supporters.The conference will consider motions, be a place to network and to politically educate ourselves as per the original NC remit. The conference will fashion a clear strategy for democratising the Labour Party and fighting the effects of austerity in our communities.Considering Jeremy Corbyn is as safe as he will ever be in his position, but the Labour Party is not committed to the policies he was elected on, the discussion at this conference comes at a crucial time.
    Successfully achieving clear actions based on the above will be the only way that Jeremy Corbyns Labour party will win the political power the working class needs it to.
  • 25. Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee
    The Momentum Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) note with dismay the decision, of six people from Momentum’s Steering Committee (SC), to declare our National Committee (NC) and its decision to hold a conference with decision-making powers to be dissolved.We cannot understand how “the six” feel this benefits our aims. We call for the destructive and divisive actions from their email to be reversed immediately before any more damage is done to the organisation.
    Their ideas could have been democratically debated at the conference that we were working round the clock to organise. Instead they have attempted to declare changes with no mandate.However, committed members and agreed current structures cannot be dissolved by the click of an email from an office by half a dozen people.The CAC takes its direction from Momentum’s National Committee, as per the original remit we were given. Until that body meets and informs us our role has changed, we will continue working towards Momentum’s first conference. Further details of this will be announced through the same Conference Arrangements Committee Facebook page, and we would urge all members to look there (https://www.facebook.com/momentumconference17/…) for all future updates.All emails regarding conference business should now be sent to the new email momentumconference2017@gmail.com as we have been locked out of the original with no notice.
    Whilst a minority of our number have accepted the email from “the six” as legitimate, the CAC majority (and in effect the people who have done virtually all of the work to make a conference happen) are still able to organise a conference which brings together the key Momentum supporters.The conference will consider motions, be a place to network and to politically educate ourselves as per the original NC remit. The conference will fashion a clear strategy for democratising the Labour Party and fighting the effects of austerity in our communities.Considering Jeremy Corbyn is as safe as he will ever be in his position, but the Labour Party is not committed to the policies he was elected on, the discussion at this conference comes at a crucial time.
    Successfully achieving clear actions based on the above will be the only way that Jeremy Corbyns Labour party will win the political power the working class needs it to.
  • Member of Momentum Youth and Student Committee ((Member of Momentum Youth and Student Committee We the undersigned members of the Momentum Youth and Students (MYS) committee express our collective disagreement with the statement published on the MYS page with regards to the imposition of a new constitution on Momentum by Jon Lansman and a slim majority of the Steering Committee. We also note with irony that the current Momentum Youth and Students committee effectively does not have any official authority to release such statements because according to the new constitution it effectively no longer exists.We believe the new constitution runs contrary to the very best democratic traditions in the labour movement. Far from ‘empowering members’, the sole democratic body in the constitution, the National Coordinating Group, only has 12 out of 30 seats on it directly elected by members. They are outnumbered by the seats given to affiliates (including Jon Lansman’s blog), trade unions and Labour elected representatives. Ostensibly introduced to prevent Momentum repicating the structures of a “political party”, the new constitution effectively mimics the Labour Party NEC.In order to make any proposal to the National Co-ordinating Group, a member has to get the support of at least 1000 members, which is a difficult task for grassroots members with limited national contacts or access to large email lists. A toothless Members’ Council will comprise 50 people selected by random lots but “shall not be required to make decisions on the operation of the constitution or administration of the organisation.” Make no mistake, members of Momentum under the new constitution have less of a voice than they did in the existing structures. It disempowers the grassroots membership and fortifies a totally unaccountable central organ.Disgracefully, in a move to silence prominent critics of the new structures, the new constitution bars Labour Party members who have been unfairly expelled from the party by the Compliance Unit from being members of Momentum. This has the implication of indirectly handing over control of Momentum’s membership criteria to Iain McNicol, expressly contradicting Momentum’s voted-on policy to fight the witch-hunt of socialists.We believe that the process by which the new constitution has come into force is not a result of a legitimate debate within existing democratic structures. As a sub-committee of the National Committee, whose mandate had run out in July 2016, the Steering Committee does not have the power to make constitutional decisions about Momentum, and did so solely to head-off the planned and more representative Momentum national conference in February.The online survey that is cited to support the actions of the Steering Committee was fundamentally misleading, and backed up by the sort of resources, mass emails, all-member text messages and support from leading Labour figures that Momentum’s outward facing campaigns, such as on the NHS, could only dream of.
    Nowhere in the survey was any respondent asked about the specific structural proposals set out in the constitution. We also note that a consultative survey is not the same as a vote, is not in any way democratically binding and was not presented as a way of making constitutional decisions. It is far from clear if the respondents to the survey are more representative of Momentum members than the members who go to meetings, after all only 40% of the membership responded to the survey, and the evidence from the survey is that 40% of Momentum members go to meetings.We believe that Momentum, in order to be successful, has to be based in local groups with the power (and the data) to organise themselves as part of a socialist organisation on a national platform where decisions are made democratically and openly. We do not believe it is up to the owner of Momentum to effectively dissolve all existing structures through an email vote wrapped up within an hour. Democracy cannot be passive assent, it has to be deliberative, done through serious debate and discussion that takes place across the country. We maintain our support for the National Committee meeting called on 28th January, and believe that the National Committee remains the sovereign decision-making body in Momentum and Conference must be organised according to its decisions.Momentum continues to be one of the most potentially transformative forces within the Labour movement. That is why we must continue to assert ourselves as grassroots members organising in branches across the country to change the Labour Party. The Steering Committee’s recent actions are an act of sabotage against what we can achieve as an organisation.Rida Vaquas
    Ed Potts
    Hattie Craig
    Monty Shield
    Liam McNulty
    Josie Runswick
  • 26. Member of Momentum Youth and Student Committee We the undersigned members of the Momentum Youth and Students (MYS) committee express our collective disagreement with the statement published on the MYS page with regards to the imposition of a new constitution on Momentum by Jon Lansman and a slim majority of the Steering Committee. We also note with irony that the current Momentum Youth and Students committee effectively does not have any official authority to release such statements because according to the new constitution it effectively no longer exists.We believe the new constitution runs contrary to the very best democratic traditions in the labour movement. Far from ‘empowering members’, the sole democratic body in the constitution, the National Coordinating Group, only has 12 out of 30 seats on it directly elected by members. They are outnumbered by the seats given to affiliates (including Jon Lansman’s blog), trade unions and Labour elected representatives. Ostensibly introduced to prevent Momentum repicating the structures of a “political party”, the new constitution effectively mimics the Labour Party NEC.In order to make any proposal to the National Co-ordinating Group, a member has to get the support of at least 1000 members, which is a difficult task for grassroots members with limited national contacts or access to large email lists. A toothless Members’ Council will comprise 50 people selected by random lots but “shall not be required to make decisions on the operation of the constitution or administration of the organisation.” Make no mistake, members of Momentum under the new constitution have less of a voice than they did in the existing structures. It disempowers the grassroots membership and fortifies a totally unaccountable central organ.Disgracefully, in a move to silence prominent critics of the new structures, the new constitution bars Labour Party members who have been unfairly expelled from the party by the Compliance Unit from being members of Momentum. This has the implication of indirectly handing over control of Momentum’s membership criteria to Iain McNicol, expressly contradicting Momentum’s voted-on policy to fight the witch-hunt of socialists.We believe that the process by which the new constitution has come into force is not a result of a legitimate debate within existing democratic structures. As a sub-committee of the National Committee, whose mandate had run out in July 2016, the Steering Committee does not have the power to make constitutional decisions about Momentum, and did so solely to head-off the planned and more representative Momentum national conference in February.The online survey that is cited to support the actions of the Steering Committee was fundamentally misleading, and backed up by the sort of resources, mass emails, all-member text messages and support from leading Labour figures that Momentum’s outward facing campaigns, such as on the NHS, could only dream of.
    Nowhere in the survey was any respondent asked about the specific structural proposals set out in the constitution. We also note that a consultative survey is not the same as a vote, is not in any way democratically binding and was not presented as a way of making constitutional decisions. It is far from clear if the respondents to the survey are more representative of Momentum members than the members who go to meetings, after all only 40% of the membership responded to the survey, and the evidence from the survey is that 40% of Momentum members go to meetings.We believe that Momentum, in order to be successful, has to be based in local groups with the power (and the data) to organise themselves as part of a socialist organisation on a national platform where decisions are made democratically and openly. We do not believe it is up to the owner of Momentum to effectively dissolve all existing structures through an email vote wrapped up within an hour. Democracy cannot be passive assent, it has to be deliberative, done through serious debate and discussion that takes place across the country. We maintain our support for the National Committee meeting called on 28th January, and believe that the National Committee remains the sovereign decision-making body in Momentum and Conference must be organised according to its decisions.Momentum continues to be one of the most potentially transformative forces within the Labour movement. That is why we must continue to assert ourselves as grassroots members organising in branches across the country to change the Labour Party. The Steering Committee’s recent actions are an act of sabotage against what we can achieve as an organisation.Rida Vaquas
    Ed Potts
    Hattie Craig
    Monty Shield
    Liam McNulty
    Josie Runswick
  • LGBT+ Forum ((LGBT+ Forum: Motion to Momentum London LGBT+ Meeting, 14 January
    1. Momentum’s new national constitution has been imposed on members without discussion. This is not the “new kind of politics” that we support. Regardless of its merits and its defects, we reject the new constitution because of the way it was imposed on us.
    2. In particular we note with concern the total lack of consultation with any liberation groups, the absence of mechanisms for liberation groups to feed into Momentum and ensure equality, and the ongoing lack of progress in establishing liberation groups around the country due to lack of action by the office.
    3. We are not going to leave Momentum, as has been demanded of those members who reject the new constitution. We authorise our elected Steering Committee to reach out to other Momentum groups and to take all necessary steps to rebuild a democratic organisation from the bottom up.
    4. Our aim was and still is to create an open, pluralist, outward-facing network of activists working within the Labour Party to achieve a transformation of our society in the interests of the 99%. We support the 10 pledges issued by Jeremy Corbyn last year and will work to ensure they are the basis for Labour’s campaigning and next election manifesto and work for the election of a Labour Government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.
  • 27. LGBT+ Forum: Motion to Momentum London LGBT+ Meeting, 14 January
    1. Momentum’s new national constitution has been imposed on members without discussion. This is not the “new kind of politics” that we support. Regardless of its merits and its defects, we reject the new constitution because of the way it was imposed on us.
    2. In particular we note with concern the total lack of consultation with any liberation groups, the absence of mechanisms for liberation groups to feed into Momentum and ensure equality, and the ongoing lack of progress in establishing liberation groups around the country due to lack of action by the office.
    3. We are not going to leave Momentum, as has been demanded of those members who reject the new constitution. We authorise our elected Steering Committee to reach out to other Momentum groups and to take all necessary steps to rebuild a democratic organisation from the bottom up.
    4. Our aim was and still is to create an open, pluralist, outward-facing network of activists working within the Labour Party to achieve a transformation of our society in the interests of the 99%. We support the 10 pledges issued by Jeremy Corbyn last year and will work to ensure they are the basis for Labour’s campaigning and next election manifesto and work for the election of a Labour Government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.
  • Proposal on MxV platform ((Proposal on Mxv platform: Reject the decision by Jon Lansman to dissolve the current structures and CAC
    We condemn in the strongest possible terms the moves by Jon Lansman and his clique to usurp and undermine the democratic decisions made by the majority of the Momentum National Committee. These undemocratic, behind-the-scenes manoeuvres demonstrate that Lansman and co. can no longer be a trusted and should be replaced immediately by accountable representatives, elected through the previously existing democratic structures of the Regional and National Committees. The newly imposed constitution is completely undemocratic and should be withdrawn immediately. Instead, the plans drawn up by the previously elected Conference Arrangements Committee should be used as the basis for a national conference of elected delegates to discuss and decide upon the way forward for Momentum and the Corbyn movement.We call for:
    * The immediate restoration of all democratic structures within Momentum.
    * The national conference to proceed in its previously agreed form, as a democratic conference to discuss motions and decide policy on the basis of elected delegates from local groups.
    * For an emergency National Committee to discuss this coup and hold those responsible to account.