BLM Oxford accused of antisemitism after posting notorious mural

The group later apologised and removed the image, saying they 'stand resolutely against antisemitism'


Black Lives Matter Oxford has been accused of antisemitism after using an image of a controversial mural to illustrate a Facebook event.

The use of the image by the group on their "Freedom Summer BLM" event was first noticed by local Liberal Democrat councillor Alexandrine Kántor, who said in a tweet that the group "seems to think antisemitism is a [sic] acceptable way to fight racism."

The image has since been taken down and an apology issued by BLM Oxford. 

The mural, "Freedom of Humanity", was removed in 2012 over claims it perpetuated antisemitic tropes. The artist Mear One has denied it is antisemitic, instead maintaining the mural was about "class and privilege".

The mural caused controversy when former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn questioned why the image was being removed from a wall in East London in a Facebook post. He later claimed he hadn't looked at the image closely enough and offered his "sincere regret".

In their apology, BLM Oxford said they "absolutely do not condone the image used and have since removed it.

"We will use this time to learn from their mistakes and ensure every person who attends our events feels safe. We stand resolutely against antisemitism, and see our struggles for liberation as interconnected."

Cllr Kántor said the apology was "appreciated and accepted", stating further that "I do not think they have an issue with antisemitism, it was a case of not being aware and they have learnt from it and took action on their staff members to ensure this does not happen again.

"Mistakes can happen and become opportunities to learn and educate ourselves. It is quite rare to receive an honest and meaningful apology, as well as actions to ensure this won't happen again."

Later on, Cllr Kántor added that the Black Lives Matter movement "goes beyond the one organisation and should be supported regardless as everyone will win to end structural racism."

BLM UK were last week accused of using language associated with antisemitism after claiming "mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism."

A post on the movement’s official Twitter feed expressing opposition to the proposed annexation of the West Bank also accused Israel of pursuing "settler colonial pursuits."

In response, the group issued a statement in which they claimed they had been the victim of “media antisemitism slurs”.

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