Help Mike Sivier fight libel claim by Rachel Riley & Tracy-Ann Oberman

by Mike Sivier

Help Mike Sivier fight libel claim by Rachel Riley & Tracy-Ann Oberman

by Mike Sivier
Mike Sivier
Case Owner
I am a news reporter with more than 25 years' experience who currently runs the influential Vox Political website. I am also a full-time carer for my disabled partner.
13
days to go
£28,273
pledged of £25,000 stretch target from 1,469 pledges
Pledge now
Mike Sivier
Case Owner
I am a news reporter with more than 25 years' experience who currently runs the influential Vox Political website. I am also a full-time carer for my disabled partner.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: July 15, 2019

Did Rachel Riley's 'Durham Miners' tweet upset you? Support Mike's libel fight!

Rachel Riley wants you to believe she has been wrongly targeted by me with a claim that she bullied a teenage girl. Read this tweet and consider who you believe is right.

Yup - she compared the Durh...

Read more

Most people who know of Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman will consider them to be minor television personalities, known for Countdown and EastEnders respectively.

But I know them as a pair of Twitter bullies who harassed and intimidated a teenage girl who suffers extreme anxiety.

Who am I?

My name is Mike Sivier. I am a news reporter of 25 years' experience, currently running a political news and opinion website after giving up my day job to become a full-time carer for my disabled partner.

I am probably best-known for exposing the thousands of unexplained deaths of people who claimed sickness benefits but were denied them after taking the Conservative government's punitive work capability assessment.

More recently I have met criticism over my interest in the misuse of accusations of anti-Semitism for political purposes. My research and articles on this matter attracted libellous articles about me in the national newspapers in early 2018.

I took all of the newspapers involved to the press regulator IPSO, and all have been forced to publish articles correcting their false claims.

What happened?

When I wrote an article about their Ms Riley and Ms Oberman's bullying of a teenage girl, they threatened to sue me for libel, claiming that they did not behave in the ways I stated and that I had caused serious damage to their reputations.

You can read my article here. Another piece with further information can be found here. As you can see, both pieces are based on actions that are directly attributable to these people.

My piece on the intimidation of the teenager provoked a huge attempt at bullying on Twitter - known as a "dogpile". You can read my report about it here.

Why is this important?

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that Ms Riley and Ms Oberman justify their behaviour by saying it is part of the fight against anti-Semitism. It is nothing of the sort.

It is vital that this cynical manipulation of the debate on anti-Semitism should be fought. Bullying a school-age young person under the pretence of fighting anti-Semitism may lead to genuine hatred of Jews - on the grounds that they are using their ethnicity to seek unfair advantage over others.

And if they get away with this, who else are they likely to victimise? Already we have seen multiple political attacks on the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, with accusations of anti-Semitism that have been proved false. Ms Riley is a part of that - and you can read more on this element of the story here.

How much am I trying to raise?

These are well-paid, well-resourced TV personalities. They are targeting people like myself, who have little money, with the cynical intention of embroiling us in legal proceedings that will cost more than we can afford, in order to force us into giving up and paying them money they do not deserve.

I have already committed nearly £5,000 in solicitors' fees to this case. It is likely to cost much, much more. I am hoping to raise an initial £5,000 with this appeal, with a "stretch" target of £25,000, to cover the costs of retaining solicitors and a barrister who can take this case to court and put a stop to this nonsense.

At the moment my solicitors are preparing my case and would like to interview witnesses. This alone may cost several thousands of pounds. We believe we have a very strong case but we need to be able to take it to court and have it heard.

Otherwise, this case will be a victory of wealth over justice.


Image Caption:

Mike Sivier has been the victim of false accusations before - in 2018 he was accused of anti-Semitism by newspapers including The Sunday Times and it took him nearly a year to secure corrections from them.

Recent contributions

Be a promoter

Your share on Facebook could raise £26 for the case

I'll share on Facebook
Update 19

Mike Sivier

July 15, 2019

Did Rachel Riley's 'Durham Miners' tweet upset you? Support Mike's libel fight!

Rachel Riley wants you to believe she has been wrongly targeted by me with a claim that she bullied a teenage girl. Read this tweet and consider who you believe is right.

Yup - she compared the Durham Miners' Gala with a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan.

And the organisers were not amused:

We're observing a pattern of behaviour that, in my view, is indefensible. That's probably why Ms Riley threatens litigation against anyone who points this out.

The Durham Miners' Association hasn't (at the time of writing) reached the point where court action is inevitable - but I have.

So if you know someone who has been infuriated by Ms Riley's treatment of the good people who organised, attended and performed at the Gala, please invite them to do one or all of the following:

Please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

It's only my personal opinion but I think that Ms Riley's behaviour is utterly unacceptable. If you agree, please spread the word about my campaign as widely as possible.

Update 18

Mike Sivier

July 15, 2019

If you hated the BBC's biased anti-Semitism doco, support Mike's libel fight!

My fight against Rachel Riley's libel accusations and the groundswell of rage against the BBC's hugely biased and unfair Panorama documentary, Is Labour Antisemitic?, have their roots in the same issue.

You can tell that they are related because the so-called whistleblowers who put their heads above the parapet to accuse Labour of anti-Semitism are now suing that party for libelling them in its response - using the same lawyer Rachel Riley hired to pursue me: Mark Lewis.

Labour's response stated: "It appears these disaffected former officials include those who have always opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, worked actively to undermine it and have both personal and political axes to grind. This throws into doubt their credibility as sources."

If the party has evidence to support these claims, then they form a perfectly reasonable statement of opinion.

The status of these people as whistleblowers will be highly contentious as they have to fulfil certain criteria to qualify. Whistleblowing may be done to employers who have a policy on such matters; by seeking legal advice; or by telling a "prescribed" person or body that deals with the issue they are raising.

It seems unlikely that a BBC reporter will be among the "prescribed" people dealing with issues relating to anti-Semitism, although I am prepared to be proved mistaken if necessary.

To close the circle: I was the victim of allegations of anti-Semitism. During the course of an 18-month-long investigation, details of the claims against me were leaked to the press several times, including a false accusation of Holocaust denial for which The Sunday Times had to make a lengthy correction earlier this year.

Developments to do with the controversy over the BBC documentary lead me to believe that my details may have been leaked by one of the former Labour employees quoted by Panorama.

If this is true, then there can be no claim that the provision of that - false - information to a third party was justified. This also calls into doubt all the other information that was used, eventually, to expel me from the Labour Party.

I have already contacted Labour, seeking clarity on this matter.

If you were offended by the claims aired in the BBC documentary, and you want to do something to make your feelings known, then may I strongly suggest you contribute to my campaign fund to fight Ms Riley's libel claim against me?

There is a strong connection between the false anti-Semitism accusations made by the former Labour employees and the false anti-Semitism accusation that lies at the heart of Ms Riley's claim against me. Note that Mr Lewis is the solicitor in both matters.

A victory for me will give all those people second thoughts.

So:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

If you believe in justice - and you think it is being subverted - then it is time to make a difference. Your donation could do that.

Update 17

Mike Sivier

July 13, 2019

Little things can make a huge difference - especially in Mike's libel case

The CrowdJustice campaign raising funds to fight libel claims against me (Mike Sivier) by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman has reached - and passed - its stretch target of £25,000. Thanks and well done, everyone!

Sadly Ms Riley has filed court proceedings individually and this means I need at least £10,000 more, in order to mount a successful initial defence. I may need much more later, if this celebrity persists in trying to prove that she has enough money to silence me.

(Because, let's face it, she doesn't have a case. She did what I said she did, and it had the consequences I described. Her entire strategy is to price me out of justice with expensive proceedings.)

That's why I am so grateful that more than 1,000 people have stood up to support me, with average donations of around £25.

But I wanted to say that the smaller donations are just as important as the larger ones. They show that justice has popular support.

That's why I have been dismayed to read some of the self-deprecating comments attached to the smaller donations: "Sorry I can't pledge more", "Wish I could give more", "It's all I can afford".

Those donations are just as valuable to me as the large amounts. Those of you who are digging deep to find something to give clearly value what I'm doing very much - and that is hugely important to me, and to this case.

It has been said that good journalism isn't writing what those in power want people to read - that's public relations. Good journalism is publishing what they don't want you to know.

It is hugely important to be able to demonstrate that people of all walks of life - especially those who don't have much to spare - value this.

If you can't afford more than a fiver - so what? If I had 1,000 such donations, I'd be halfway towards the sum I need to mount a successful defence against Ms Riley at the forthcoming preliminary hearing.

I would hate to think people were being put off because they don't think they can give enough.

So now I have to take you all back to the usual instructions:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

Super-rich Rachel Riley wants more than £100,000 from me - despite the fact that I'm a carer with hardly two beans to rub together - not for justice but because she thinks she can. You are helping prove her wrong with your donations - no matter what the amount may be.

Update 16

Mike Sivier

July 12, 2019

Mrs Mike's emotional support for Vox Political writer against Riley lawsuit

Those of you who follow my Vox Political website will be aware that I am a carer for a person with a long term illness and disabilities - and I have to report that she isn't happy.

I don't think there's much to say beyond her own words, so her she is:

"Woke up bad after Mike got his letter saying Rachel Riley is taking him to court for standing up for a teenage girl she bullied.

"All I was thinking was what if he loses, what's going to happen to us, and it brought me down. It made me feel very anxious, on top of my own problems, and I just felt crap.

"I thought, I've been doing better every day lately, now I've come down again and it's putting extra strain on things but I'm also angry about people calling Mike a liar.

"He always checks the facts and he always does what's right so when I woke up I talked to him about it, and he asked if I wanted him to give up. NO!

"I'm too angry with her and the fact that she can't see what she's doing wrong."

So there you have it.

Mrs Mike suffers with anxiety-related illnesses - so she sympathises with the teenager Ms Riley bullied for obvious reasons.

I was grateful when she said I must keep fighting - more so when she started getting responses like this:

"I've never known Mike to lie about anything ever + I've known him about 15-20yrs he's a good + kind man luv to u both xx"

But I need funds, otherwise my fight will fall flat.

It's only two days since Ms Riley filed court proceedings against me and already my appeal is nearly £5,000 richer - but libel cases are fantastically expensive.

I hate to ask for more because it seems too much to ask, but there's nothing else for it. Get ready for the hard sell:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

You have already shown me that you want me to keep fighting.

I need to be able to take this fight to the finish.

Update 15

Mike Sivier

July 11, 2019

Riley's followers try to 'dogpile' Mike over CrowdJustice page

In my previous update, I drew your attention to the fact that Rachel Riley's solicitor reckons my CrowdJustice page is an "aggravating" factor in the libel she reckons I have committed against her.

This information comes in a letter that doesn't actually assert that any of my claims about her are untrue.

Apparently my mention of the facts of the case here means the upset and harm caused to her was "greatly exacerbated".

It's nice to know this page is so popular (and it certainly does seem to be, as I'll explain shortly).

Her supporters' club - a network of Twitter trolls, mostly anonymous - was certainly watching when I reported that Ms Riley had filed proceedings against me. And they were desperate to put people off donating to my cause.

"Hey if you want to prove a fool and his money are easily separated then fund this racist who was expelled from labour. That’s right to [sic] antisemitic even for them," tweeted an anonymous troll calling him/herself 'The Caped Joo Sader. And he tagged in Ms Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman for good measure.

It was an obvious attempt to discourage you from helping me - and part of an attempted 'dogpile' - in which a co-ordinated group of Twitter trolls gang up on a victim and abuse that person in such a way that no response is possible.

And it failed spectacularly.

My appeal has gained more than £3,000 - in hundreds of new donations - in the slightly-more-than-24-hours since my last report.

I think the reason is clear from the following comment, made by a donor who shall remain heroic: "Solidarity! More people are rooting for you than you'll ever hear about."

I'm extremely grateful for every penny - and I need them all. With the next stage of this affair likely to cost more than £20,000 alone, I need at least another £13,000 to mount an effective defence.

So I have to repeat my appeal:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

Ms Riley wants to claim damages of £50,000, with more than £100,000 likely in costs - for the heinous crime of telling the world what she has done. Let's send her a clear message in response.

Update 14

Mike Sivier

July 9, 2019

Rachel Riley launches court proceedings - donate to the defence fund now!

Rachel Riley has filed proceedings against me for libel. She wants £50,000 plus costs - and her costs are likely to be a six-figure sum - along with an injunction for me not to repeat the claims against her that you can find here.

That is a terrifying amount of money for a person of modest means to face. Remember what I've been saying all along - that this is a matter of wealth trying to beat justice? I think that particular case has been proved.

She is also claiming that this crowdfunding page is an aggravating factor - that my appeal for help after she tried to bully me with her overwhelmingly superior funds has made matters worse. How do you feel about that?

She can only take money from me if she wins, though. And she won't win in court.

But we need to make sure this case gets to court.

Costs for a preliminary hearing are likely to be more than £20,000 - and after the work my legal team has done already, my fund stands at only a little more than £4,000.

So I need a bit of help.

I'm going to scrape around my savings and put everything I can into the fund, and I'm appealing for you to find whatever you can spare, to help get this into court - and then have Ms Riley's case struck out.

I can't go into the details, for obvious reasons, but my prospect of winning is good. So please help make it better.

You may be familiar with the following requests:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

I have spent the last few months urging others facing the same accusations to hold their nerve, and now I need to hold mine.

Your continued support will help me do that.

Update 13

Mike Sivier

June 27, 2019

Musician's apology proves this fight is about wealth v justice

Today a musician from the band Reverend & the Makers caved to pressure from the legal team representing Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman and apologised for commenting on the issue for which they have been trying to sue me for libel.

I'm not going to comment on the text of Jon McLure's apology because it won't have been written by him.

I can tell you that I know why he made it: He had been so badly intimidated by the threat of court action by the Riley/Oberman legal team that he said he was becoming ill.

He told me, and others, he felt he was drowning, and could not handle a court case.

So he gave these people exactly what they wanted - an apology, and financial reward, without the exposure that court would have cost them.

He didn't have the cash to fight a legal action, he said. The complainants did, of course.

Mr McLure is not to be criticised for his actions. His health was at risk.

And his story shows the situation is exactly as I have stated since I started this crowdfunding campaign: This is an attempt by wealthy people to create a false impression of their own virtue by abusing the justice system to intimidate people who don't have as much money as them.

Put simply, this is a battle between wealth and justice - and in the case of Mr McLure, justice has lost.

I have no intention of buckling in the face of such appalling behaviour.

If anything, it merely illustrates most graphically the reason for donating to my campaign.

So please forgive me for repeating what I have stated many times before:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

Please don't let the wealthy abuse the justice system to make more cash - and spread flattering falsehoods about themselves.

Update 12

Mike Sivier

June 20, 2019

No news is BAD news for Mike's libel defence - so please donate!

It is nearly two months since I or my solicitors heard anything from those acting for Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman in their false claim of libel against me.

This does not mean they have given up. In fact, I think they are waiting to find out the result of my crowdfunding appeal before deciding whether to file proceedings against me.

It is a financial consideration, you see; it has nothing to do with whether I wrote anything defamatory about the two complainants - and we all know that I didn't, in any case.

I think they are waiting to see if I will have raised enough money to be able to defend myself against them in an expensive court case.

At the time of writing, it seems likely that I will not. Libel cases are incredibly expensive and donations to my CrowdJustice appeal have slowed to a trickle.

So my appeal today is for you to ask yourself: Do I want these two people to win, just because they are filthy rich? Am I happy to watch British justice lowering itself to the gutter in that way? Or will I do what I can to make sure that this does not happen?

Those of you who have donated already - many times, in some cases - have already done more than most. But you are best-placed to get the message out to the widest possible number of potential doners.

Here comes the important part that you may have read many times before:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If the complainants file proceedings after this appeal closes, it will be too late for you to donate.

Please help give them a good reason to think twice about it.

Update 11

Mike Sivier

June 12, 2019

Libel case against Mike could drag on for another year so please donate

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that neither I nor my solicitors have heard anything from those acting for Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman since late April. We sent a letter in early May that has received no response.

This suggests that they may have decided not to take any further action - and this would make sense as a court trial would involve discussion of the complainants' behaviour that would certainly prove to be deeply embarrassing to them.

The bad news is that the rules mean they may hold the threat of a trial over me until May 2020.

They have one year from the date I published my article to issue their claim form - and four months in which to issue it after that date.

This means I need to keep my defence fund topped up - which means I must ask you to keep donating to it and keep sharing the appeal so other people can find out about it and make their own contribution.

The response since I started this appeal has been overwhelming. I have no doubt that the fact it has received nearly 1,000 individual donations has given my opponents cause to reconsider their approach.

If they thought public opinion would be on their side, it seems clear they were wrong.

And as further posts on Twitter are solidifying views against them, it seems unlikely that public opinion will swing into their favour.

But I must plan for the possibility that they will continue their attack anyway.

Those of you who have been following this matter from the start may know the following by heart:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

It seems we have the initiative at the moment. Let's not lose it.

Please help ensure this nonsense is squashed.

Update 10

Mike Sivier

June 6, 2019

Another own goal for Rachel Riley and her impressionable friends

One would have thought a woman who is keen to take dozens of people to court for libelling her would be more circumspect about defaming someone else, but that seems not to be the case for Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman.

It seems they have swallowed a Guido Fawkes fabrication about Jeremy Corbyn hook, line and sinker.

The Fawkes blog has published a smear piece for the D-Day 75th anniversary commemorations, claiming that Mr Corbyn endorsed calls for the UK to disarm during World War II, in an article he wrote in 2003.

But it neglects to mention that Mr Corbyn was reviewing a book about the late Labour MP George Lansbury, who did indeed call for disarmament at an alarming moment in history.

So Mr Corbyn did quote extracts from George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour, as he does here and as Guido quotes: “As war broke out in 1939 he wrote ‘I am also quite certain that the first great nation that declares its willingness to share the world’s resources, territories and markets and also disarms will be the safest in the world’

But he also wrote - omitted by Guido: “George lived out his years in frenetic activity for peace travelling across Europe and the United States preaching pacifism and calling for a world conference on economic justice. He controversially met both Hitler and Mussolini in this effort, to no avail. The dogs of war were already out”. That is hardly a ringing endorsement for Mr Lansbury's approach.

The paragraph that Guido claims shows Mr Corbyn's support for George Lansbury's views was in fact referring to the book, not the man: “I hope Tony Blair, on his travels on behalf of George Bush, reads at least that part of this wonderful work.

It was a comment on the book - and a dig at the warmongering of the then-Labour leader, who at the time was heavily involved in military adventures in the Middle East that ended up causing nothing but more trouble.

Ms Riley failed to check the context and swallowed Guido's story whole:

This is a woman, let's not forget, who is currently suing Labour officer Laura Murray for defamation over her tweet following the egg attack on Jeremy Corbyn in March, in which she endorsed the opinion "If you don't want eggs thrown at you, don't be a Nazi" with the words "Good advice". She is claiming that Ms Murray's observation that she was calling Mr Corbyn a Nazi is "an appalling distortion of the truth", we are told.

Yet her own Twitter feed shows her supporting an appalling distortion of the truth by the Guido Fawkes blog.

And so, it seems, did Ms Oberman.

If you can find the relevant tweets on their respective Twitter feeds, look at the number of people who have supported Ms Riley and Ms Oberman - more than 478 in the former case, 247 in the latter. That's a lot of gullible people who have been taken in by a lie - because people they revere have repeated it?

Fuller details of this affair may be found on Zelo Street.

These are the people who are trying to sue me for defamation. If you think they should not be allowed to get away with it - which seems clear from this evidence alone - please contribute to my defence fund. They have wealth; I do not.

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Don't let them buy a win if you don't think they deserve it.

Update 9

Mike Sivier

June 4, 2019

Funds are rolling in but Riley is on her way to court

Nearly £1,000 has been added to my appeal for funds to fight false libel claims by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman, since CrowdJustice extended the campaign by 30 days.

We now have nearly £16,000. It's a brilliant start to the extension period and a huge step towards the stretch target of £25,000.

And it may be vital. Last weekend it was revealed that Ms Riley is launching court action for libel - against a Labour Party officer who drew what many consider to be a logical conclusion about one of her tweets.

Is Ms Riley likely to win? I don't think so. But it shows that she will go through with her threats of litigation.

So let's make sure that, if she tries it on me, she has a fight on her hands.

Followers of this issue will know that I believe the complainants in this case are hoping I will not be able to raise enough money to put up a reasonable defence against them, while they have the advantage of substantially larger cash reserves.

This is a battle between wealth and justice, with wealth being used to hide the facts.

Please help ensure that the facts cannot be denied.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Every penny helps. Every share on the social media helps. Please help.

Update 8

Mike Sivier

May 30, 2019

New lease of life for Mike's libel defence appeal

Just when I was getting ready to admit defeat, CrowdJustice has granted my funding campaign an extra 30 days.

The appeal - for funds to fight false allegations of libel by TV personalities Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman - had raised £15,000 of its £25,000 "stretch" target, and I thought that was a very good result.

After all, I'm not a well-known celebrity - just a minor internet political commentator - and I had been accused by hugely-popular media darlings.

So 60 per cent of the "stretch" target, in the fact of determined attempts by some of their supporters to deny my claims and belittle my case, seemed an excellent result.

Would it be enough? I doubted it.

But it was a declaration that many people - nearly 1,000 - are not prepared to let wealthy celebrities make a mockery of the British justice system and it gave me hope that my opponents in this matter might reconsider their apparent plan to use their financial resources to stifle the facts.

And then I received an email from CrowdJustice saying my appeal would be automatically extended for another 30 days.

Now it is possible that we can reach that £25,000 target after all.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

I'm sure there are many more people who would be willing to help this struggle for justice against privilege.

Please help me find them - because I'm still determined not to apologise to two bullies for the results of their own ill-advised acts.

Update 7

Mike Sivier

May 26, 2019

New developments mean Mike's libel defence needs your support!

With just three days left in my crowdfunding appeal, my case is still developing and funds are still desperately needed.

I'm not at liberty to say what the latest developments are, but they are highly encouraging.

And this means that the need for funds to ensure this case can be heard is as great as ever.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is <a href="https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/">https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/</a>

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

The people who accused me of libel are continuing to behave in the same way that caused me to write about them in the first place.

They need to be sent a message - that what they are doing is wrong and that they must stop.

They won't do it of their own accord.

Please help me to make them see reason.

Update 6

Mike Sivier

May 25, 2019

Another milestone for Mike's libel defence appeal

My appeal for funds to fight false libel accusations by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman reached another landmark yesterday: £14,000 raised!

I'm hugely grateful to the many hundreds of people who have contributed.

And with five days left before the end of the appeal, it is still possible to raise a significant amount more.

So please keep spreading the word, and encouraging as many people as possible to help

To recap: I have been accused of libel by TV personalities Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman after I published an article criticising their characterisation of a teenage girl with anxiety issues as an anti-Semite. The girl suffered harassment and intimidation as a result of their attention.

All the details are on this CrowdJustice page, so please make sure as many people as possible get to see the link: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

I'm not going to apologise to two bullies for the results of their ill-advised actions.

But the legal bill they are forcing on me, to fight the nonsense of a case they are making against me, would be crippling for a person of my limited means.

They know this. It seems to me that they are deliberately targeting people like myself, who have little money, with the cynical intention of embroiling us in legal proceedings that will cost more than we can afford, in order to force us into giving up and paying them money they do not deserve.

That is not justice. That is abuse of the justice system.

So I launched a crowdfunding appeal on the CrowdJustice website - initially aiming to raise £5,000 towards my own legal fees (I have already put £5,000 of my own money towards my defence).

Thanks to the generosity of the public, that £5,000 target was reached in a single day.

There's a "stretch" target of £25,000. Can it be reached in five days? I don't know.

Let's try.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ 

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

This is a struggle between wealth and justice.

Let's make sure justice wins.

Update 5

Mike Sivier

May 18, 2019

Are supporters of my accusers invading my privacy to threaten me?

Here's a strange thing. I've started receiving emails from someone claiming to have infected my computer with a virus.

That's all I know as I found them in my junk mailbox and didn't open them. I deleted them instead.

Presumably there's a threat to do some kind of harm to my system, or to publish secrets that I don't want people to know, if I don't cough up some cash. There's always a threat of some kind involved in these things.

As I say, I deleted the messages so I don't know what it was. It's my policy, for reasons that should be obvious.

But then I thought: "Why now?"

We know that supporters of the two TV personalities who are alleging libel against me are skilled in tracking down people they want to target.

Those people, their relatives and friends, employers, and the heads of academic institutions where some are studying have been contacted with malicious messages. That fact is one aspect of my case.

I heard tonight that one person lost their job because of the lies these people peddle.

That revelation made me question whether the emails I had received might have been sent by supporters of my opponents, with the intention - at the very least - of knocking me off-balance; re-directing my concentration away from the case.

I wonder if those responsible will take this any further.

I wonder, also, if right-thinking people are prepared to accept that supporters of my opponents are invading the privacy of strangers in order to harm them.

Are you?

If not, I've got a remedy: Support my crowdfunding appeal so I can defend myself against the false claims levelled against me.

I cannot win this case on my own and the amount raised so far - while impressive - isn't enough to see a court case through to its conclusion.

Think of it this way: If you say something these people don't like, you could be next on their list.

And that is not a welcome thought!

If you have already contributed, please don't feel pressured into doing so again unless you genuinely have the spare cash to justify it. If you haven't - and you can - please do.

And please share the web address of the crowdfunding appeal - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ along with this message. Too few people know about this! We need the world to know what's happening here.

Update 4

Mike Sivier

May 16, 2019

Libel defence appeal is halfway to deadline - and bang on target!

Today I get to send heartfelt thanks to everybody who has donated to my libel defence appeal - nearly 700 of you!

You have raised more than half the "stretch" target of £25,000 - and in half the time allocated by the kind people at CrowdJustice to achieve it.

So we're exactly on course to reach that target!

I am extremely grateful - especially as these funds are already being used.

Crowdjustice has sent slightly more than £8,000 - nearly two-thirds of the total raised so far - to my solicitor, to fund vital work on the case.

Besides paying the cost of corresponding with the solicitor acting for the TV personalities who are accusing me, it will also be used to secure expert advice from a barrister on the merits of my case - and to obtain evidence from witnesses.

But you can see that, even though those of you who donated to the fund have achieved so much, there is a lot left to be done. I am left with slightly less than £5,000 - and it will be extremely difficult to mount an effective defence with only this much, if the case is brought to court.

So, please - if you haven't donated yet, please do. Every contribution, from the largest to the smallest, will help win this case for justice.

If you have donated already, please share information about the appeal on the social media you use, so that people who may not know about the case can come to https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ and (hopefully) make their own contribution.

I've said it before but it bears repeating: This case pits justice against wealth. I have the facts of the case in my favour - but my opponents have money. It seems they are hoping I run out of funds before the facts can be aired in court.

I think that is an abuse of the justice system.

If you agree, please help: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ 

Update 3

Mike Sivier

May 13, 2019

Mike's libel defence: Don't let the bullies win with lies

I read an iNews article saying Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman "have called out antisemitism" - but that's not all they do, as we know.

They use the cover of "calling out antisemitism" to bully perfectly innocent people, such as myself and the teenage girl at the centre of the libel case I'm fighting.

The mainstream media don't see it that way, because they don't have any verifiable information to prove it.

That is another reason this case is so important.

It provides undeniable evidence of their unacceptable behavioiur.

And it also shows that they were quite happy for their followers to intimidate the people they picked on.

If you have contributed to my appeal, then you may have received a communication via Twitter, Facebook, or even one of the smaller social media platforms, suggesting that I'm a horrible person and you shouldn't have given me any money.

It's how they work - bullying, intimidation, pressure.

And it may be working for them. Donations have certainly tailed off over the last few days.

But I need the money as much as ever. I don't have a large TV company salary to splash around on my defence.

All I have is hard evidence of what these individuals have done. And I want the world to see it - especially mass media publications like iNews.

So, please, make a donation. Even if - especially if - you have been contacted and discouraged from doing so.

Don't let the bullies win because of lies.

And don't let them win because you forgot to tell your friends!

You can do this several ways:

  1. Email five friends who may be sympathetic, and encourage them to donate.
  2. Share the campaign on Facebook: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/
  3. Tweet the campaign link to your followers.

Supporters of this campaign have done fantastically well so far - but there's still a long way to go and we're a long way from our target.

Together, we can make it.

Update 2

Mike Sivier

May 8, 2019

This is why your donations are so vital to Mike's libel defence

I heard from my solicitor today.

He has been trying to find a barrister we could pay to provide an expert opinion on the defence I'm putting forward against the false accusations of libel that have been made by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman, and has offered me two choices.

One would cost most of the money that has been raised by my crowdfunding appeal so far. The other would require me to raise thousands more than I already have.

And then I may need even more cash to fund these lawyers' fees at court!

It is a wise move to have this advice as it could open up "no win, no fee" funding and/or insurance to protect me against the claimants' costs in the unlikely event that I lose.

This is why it is so important to raise as much cash as is humanly possible.

The case against me is flimsy, but my opponents are celebrities - which means they are extremely well-financed. I am not. We believe they are hoping I run out of money before the case reaches court and their behaviour is scrutinised - minutely - in the glare of the national media spotlight.

Please ask yourself: Do you want these people to have a free rein to perpetuate falsehoods - and to bully people like you into accepting them - because too few people thought it was worth supporting a strong defence against them?

This is a conflict between wealth and justice. It is winnable - but only if the arguments are heard.

Donations to the appeal are approaching another milestone figure - £10,000. And only a few hundred people have donated.

This case could be vital for thousands, but they probably don't even know about it.

Please tell them about it - any way you can. Email everyone in your address book; put it out on your Facebook page - and on any other pages where you think it would be relevant to other users; tweet about it on Twitter; and put it out on the other social media platforms you use.

And please add another donation yourself, if you can manage it.

This is about the people standing up to the privileged. Where do you stand?

Update 1

Mike Sivier

May 6, 2019

Massive support for Mike's libel defence fund!

What a difference a few days can make!

When I started this fundraising campaign, I thought it would be hard to reach even the initial target by the deadline. It was reached - and exceeded - the day after the appeal started.

And now, just six days into this campaign, you have helped raise more than one-third of the "stretch" target of £25,000.

I'm extremely grateful - but the campaign needs more. Let me tell you what I'm doing with the money:

My solicitors are already in contact with the representative of Ms Riley and Ms Oberman and are impressing on all concerned that their case lacks substance.

We also intend to use your money to seek the opinion of a specialist counsel. This will allow me to decide how best to use further funds that you raise to help me defend the facts.

And I will need more. We're still a long way away from the target - but you've made a great start.

Please keep giving if you can - and keep sharing this campaign with friends and contacts who may also wish to donate.

I'll keep you informed of further developments.

    There are no public comments on this case page.