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Jackie Walker, the ghost, says we must be free to speak

28 September, 2017 — By John Gulliver

Poster for Jackie Walker’s show The Lynching

JACKIE Walker is a strange non-person. She exists but not in the eyes of the Labour Party.

When I met her last year at the party conference she had begun to upset higher echelons in the party who accused her of being anti-Semitic.

I found that a curious state of affairs because Jackie is the daughter of a Jamaican mother and a Jewish American, whose family escaped from pogroms in Russia in the last century. But no matter, in the eyes of Labour officials Jackie had expressed anti-Semitic views.

Naturally, she denies that strenuously, and here we go again on what is meant by “anti-Semitism”. She has never denied the Holocaust but questions whether enough attention is paid to the African “holocaust”, that is the slave trade.

I met her again on Monday – but was I talking to a “ghost’! For the past year she has remained suspended by the Labour Party – and she has committed such “political” crimes that Labour banned her from the conference hall. Other non-party members such as business execs or certain pressure group supporters can enter the hallowed halls, but not Jackie.

So, while she is waiting for her appeal to be heard, she has devised a one-woman show about the lives of her parents and her own battles with racism in London. It was, apparently, a roaring success at the Edinburgh Festival. Next week she brings it to Theatro Technis in Camden Town.

It was due to be put on at a well-known hotel in Brighton this week but she had to call it off when – she claims – the management was warned it could only bring “trouble” to the hotel.

But she was able to stage it on Monday evening at another hotel, the Mercure, and I found it absorbing and revealing. “My mother refused to be silent in her time, and I refuse to be silent in mine…we must be free to speak about the rights of all people,” she said.

• Jackie Walker’s show The Lynching is at Theatro Technis on October 2 and 3. For more details and to book email: inmeds@yahoo.co.uk, or call 07989 070843.

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