by New Worker correspondent
It was standing room only for late-comers at the Marx Memorial Library as the hall filled to capacity last week to hear campaigning journalist Vanessa Beeley give a report on the struggle against terrorism in Syria. The 65 or so people in attendance at the meeting, sponsored by the New Communist Party (NCP) and Socialist Fight, were shown eyewitness testimonies from civilians fleeing their imprisonment at the hands of terrorist factions inside Syria’s industrial heartland of Aleppo.
Vanessa Beeley, whose reports of the Syrian people’s defence of their popular front government have gone all round the world, exposed those darlings of the imperialist media who call themselves the “White Helmets” as nothing more than the civil defence team of the Nusra Front who rarely went beyond treating injured militiamen in the part of Aleppo the terrorists controlled until December 2016.
She held the audience spell-bound in an hour-long exposé of the crimes of the Nusra Front and other Al Qaeda-linked militias who are financed and armed by imperialism and the feudal Arab oil princes. Theo Russell from the NCP and Socialist Fight’s Gerry Downing both gave rousing support for the Syrian people in the real war against terror.
Whenever Vanessa speaks it attracts the unwelcome attention of Syrian traitors living in Britain and supporters of the reactionary Muslim Brotherhood, and the meeting on 1st March was no exception. Prior to the meeting the Marx Memorial Library (MML) had received a complaint – and threat of demonstration outside the MML if the meeting wasn’t cancelled – from an American journalist and a telephone call from “an independent journalist based in Turkey with contact with the BBC”, which it quite rightly ignored.
On the night a number of these elements turned up to leaflet the meeting and hurl abuse at those they deemed to be “Hezbollah scum”. A couple of plants inside the hall detonated stink-bombs in a childish attempt to break up the meeting, and two others launched into a rant against the main speaker during the question and answer session before being escorted out of the building. Able stewarding foiled all attempts to break up the meeting or silence Vanessa Beeley, whose efforts along with other independent journalists working in Syria have done so much to expose the lies of the imperialist media.