SWP poorly treat 2 young women member victims of sexist behaviour/rape by CC member. Lessons for ultra/anarchist groups?

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hubbahubba
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Apr 25 2013 11:33
Steven. wrote:
One example I guess is Sam from Anarchist Federation who was booted out in a survivor-led process, whose case has been linked to earlier in the thread.

I couldn't find that link but would be interested to read about it.

no1
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Apr 25 2013 12:56

here's the link: http://www.afed.org.uk/blog/society/194-af-statement-on-the-disassociati...

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Entdinglichung
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Apr 30 2013 14:39

http://www.internationalsocialistnetwork.org/index.php/ideas-and-argumen...

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Entdinglichung
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Jun 26 2013 12:21

http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/swp-hits-new-low-in-traw...

a new recruit for UAF Ipswich

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Reddebrek
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Jul 5 2013 08:10

Page is dead could you give us a summary?

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Entdinglichung
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Jul 5 2013 11:39
Reddebrek wrote:

Page is dead could you give us a summary?

a former Tory councillor who had been persecuted for acts of indecency against minors

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Reddebrek
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Jul 5 2013 12:23

Fucking hell, I hope the post is dead because the SWP didn't know and canned them when it came out. To think the original posts in this thread weren't the bottom of the barrel is just shocking.

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Steven.
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Jul 9 2013 11:05

Interesting new statement from over 200 dissidents within the party following the suspension of four more members over this. The statement also says that 400 members have left so far over the scandal, including nearly all the students, that 15 party workers have either quit or been sacked, and that attendance at Marxism may drop by 50% this year as people boycott the event:
http://revolutionarysocialism.tumblr.com/post/54901525674/statement-on-t...

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Entdinglichung
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Jul 9 2013 11:18

and some scheduled speakers who are still SWP members have withdrawn from participating at Marxism 2013

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Entdinglichung
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Jul 9 2013 13:51

http://revolutionarysocialism.tumblr.com/post/54997628147/bank-accounts

Quote:
The existence of bank accounts has been used to single out individuals for suspension. This is a distraction from the fact that the SWP faces its greatest ever crisis. There are two accounts set up by oppositional members of the SWP. One has been used to cover the tremendous expenses incurred during the pre-conference period when members of the IDOOP faction had to self fund travel to aggregates around the country and rack up large telephone bills, as well as supplementing childcare for individuals travelling to meetings.

Jason Cortez
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Jul 9 2013 22:03

They are even expelling people ho are advertised to speak at Marxism, it looks to be a pitifully poor parody of its past performances.

no1
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Jul 10 2013 08:29

The 4 have now been re-instated:

Quote:
As you may know, the National Committee on Sunday suspended four comrades from membership pending an investigation. There was evidence that these four had initiated or signed up to a bank account which was designed to finance a split from the SWP and to make a different group financially viable. We have received assurances after the NC that "the bank account has been closed" and that there will not be any similar account created. We have also been told that comrades are "not agitating for a split". The Central Committee is pleased that these undertakings have now been given. We call on all comrades to end factional activity and to take part in discussion inside the party structures, publications and at Marxism 2013. On that basis we are lifting the suspensions on the four comrades that were passed at the National Committee on Sunday. Solidarity, Charlie Kimber, SWP national secretary

Defiant response from the 4 who have been re-instated:
http://revolutionarysocialism.tumblr.com/post/55039976342/a-statement-fr...

Tbh, if the SWP CC can't even arbitrarily expell/suspend members anymore then they're just about to disintegrate.

rooieravotr
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Jul 10 2013 16:09

Some analysis, just posted: http://libcom.org/blog/trotskyism-edge-swp-crisis-10072013

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ocelot
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Jul 11 2013 13:11
no1 wrote:
The 4 have now been re-instated:
[...]
Tbh, if the SWP CC can't even arbitrarily expell/suspend members anymore then they're just about to disintegrate.

Yes, but.. Read the subtext of this http://revolutionarysocialism.tumblr.com/post/55121115026/marxism-2013-festival

Quote:
In response to Sunday’s suspension of four opposition supporters, the opposition asked many party members who were listed as speakers at Marxism to withdraw from their meetings, as a solidarity gesture that would help get the suspensions lifted. The suspensions have now been lifted. We thank everyone who offered to withdraw in solidarity, and are happy that they can all now speak as was originally planned.
[...]

So they are saying it was the potential embarrassment of the speakers at Marxism pulling out that forced the rowback. I wouldn't give many odds to them still being there once Marxism is safely out of the way. Also, from that same post:

Quote:
[...]
We want Marxism to be the place for open, honest and comprehensive debate. We ask all members to play their part in making this a reality. Achieving a united party is going to require debate and time. However sharp the arguments involved over the coming days, weeks and months, they need to be conducted in a tone that respects the fact that there is more that unites us than divides us.

which begs the question of how "safely out of the way" Marxism ends up being. Could be a very ghoulish spectacle.

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Jul 11 2013 13:22

http://www.ulu.co.uk/news/index.php?page=article&news_id=376413

Quote:
ULU Statement on 'Marxism 2013'
9th July 2013 12:06 pm
Author: ULU

'Marxism’ is the annual summer school event of the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). This year, part of the event is scheduled to take place inside the ULU building on Malet Street.

The SWP booked its rooms at full commercial rate (around £17,000) through the ULU conferencing department, over which we have no direct oversight. We are now putting in place measures to ensure that democratically elected officers have powers over ULU conference bookings in future.

Given the actions of the SWP in the past year, we feel that it is necessary to make our position clear that as elected officers – like many others in the student movement – see the SWP’s handling of recent rape allegations against a senior member as a despicable act of denial, nepotism and sexism.

The handling of the dispute around these allegations has exposed something much deeper that needs to be challenged. During the recent dispute, the SWP leadership has responded to criticism on an issue of women's rights by calling its critics “feminists”, as if that was something bad. Criticism of the SWP leadership has been silenced and suppressed at every turn.

We recognise that not everyone in the SWP agrees with the behaviour of its leadership. However, given that the SWP is an organisation in which there is little scope for organised internal dissent, allowing the event to continue with no public intervention would be tantamount to complicity in the situation.

It would be wrong for the SWP to use its muscle to shut down debate and escape accountability for its actions. We think that student activists should actively confront the SWP over these issues at Marxism 2013.

There can be no business as usual in these circumstances.

• ULU Officers and other student activists will be attending the event in order to challenge the conduct of the SWP on the issues outlined above.

• We will be holding meetings in parallel with the summer school inside the ULU Building, which will be open to all attendees and students. The content of these meetings will be determined by the ULU Women's Officer and feminist activists across London.

_______________________________________________________

ULU is currently putting together a series of workshops running in parallel during the weekend. Our main meeting in parallel with ‘Marxism 2013’ will take place on Sunday at 1pm in room 2A. It will be a space for discussion among student and leftwing activists. All are welcome.

The student movement, the left and women’s liberation. How can we fight sexism in our movement?

The shameful events inside the SWP, along with other recent incidents in the left and the labour movement, pose the questions of fighting sexism and women’s oppression not only in society but in our own organisations. What do these events mean? How can we make sure that the student movement and the broader left is not only a safe space but also a credible and effective force for in the fight for women’s liberation?

Speakers will include feminists from the student and labour movements.

rooieravotr
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Jul 21 2013 03:12

Not absolutely sure but it seems that 'Delta", has finally lost his remaining position. This: http://internationalsocialistnetwork.org/index.php/ideas-and-arguments/organisation/swp-crisis/resignations/186-good-riddance-now-sack-the-rest. It talks of "Delta's "resignation"".

rooieravotr
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Jul 21 2013 03:22

http://sovietgoonboy.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/exit-delta/

Quote:
Delta has resigned from the SWP.

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Choccy
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Jul 21 2013 10:56

more saying so http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/martin-smith-resign...

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Steven.
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Jul 21 2013 11:18
rooieravotr wrote:
http://sovietgoonboy.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/exit-delta/

Quote:
Delta has resigned from the SWP.

now I wonder if the SWP leadership are really wondering if defending him was worth it?

rooieravotr
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Jul 21 2013 11:52

Steve:

Quote:
now I wonder if the SWP leadership are really wondering if defending him was worth it?

Good question. I don't believe for one minute that Delta's 'resignation' was voluntary. In other words, the CC finally got rid of him. I have no proof of that, but do we really believe this Delta guy saw sense without a bit of prodding? I don t believe it will save the leadership people will see this as admission of guilt, and - because of the long thelay - a very unwilling admission as well. Worst of both world.

On the effects: I think it will give new strength to those SWP oppositionists who see it as proof that the party still can be saved, can be "reclaimed" for "the real IS tradition". The whole melodrama will drag on and on.

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Steven.
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Jul 24 2013 10:11

Michael Rosen wrote a good open letter to the SWP about this on his blog. And SWP loyalist wrote this response, which is pretty eye opening about how fucked up and insane they are:
http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/trenchant-reply-from-swp-...

wojtek
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Oct 12 2013 12:01

(trigger warning) Rape in the SWP: a comrade’s testimony and experience of the disputes committee

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Entdinglichung
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Oct 24 2013 11:46

http://fightingdemocraticunison.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/for-a-fighting-...

Quote:
We are UNISON activists who are committed to organising a democratic rank and file organisation within our Union, not least because we believe that such an organisation could maximise the effectiveness of the Union’s opposition to all forms of oppression. We have involved ourselves with UNISON United Left because we have believed that it has had the potential to become such an organisation. We have decided that at this point it is necessary for us to resign from UNISON United Left. This is not a step we have taken lightly – we have been committed to the project of building a vibrant left movement within UNISON for many years and we believe this is needed more than ever at the moment, given the scale of the attacks on UNISON members across all sectors and the failure of the UNISON leadership to mount a sufficient challenge to this government.

However, we feel that within any left movement certain basic principles must always be upheld, one of which is a commitment to fighting for women’s liberation and against sexism, and it is clear that in the United Left we are working with some people who have betrayed this principle in a very serious way. We are speaking of supporters of the leadership of the Socialist Workers’ Party, who have stood by the leadership of their organisation over the past year as details have emerged of the rape and sexual harassment of female members of the party, and the utter failure of the organisation to support these women and to take appropriate action against the perpetrators. We do not propose here to go into detail about the specifics of these cases – details are available in many places for people to find, and we are happy to speak individually to anyone who wants more background and evidence for our claims.

We feel that remaining in an organisation with and supporting (ie in internal unison elections) those who support the leadership of the SWP In their denial and cover up of rape allegations would betray the principles of a safe space for women which should be at the centre of our rank and file organisation of UNISON. The cover up and trivialisation of rape is not compatible with a commitment to left wing politics, and it is not possible to see those who do this as part of the left. We are committed to encouraging more women to be part of the labour movement, and we think women should be able to expect rank and file trade union organisation to be a safe space. The SWP is clearly not an organisation that is safe for women to be part of, and will not be until it takes serious steps to become one. The attitude the party has taken to the rape cases endangers female members of that party, and women in general.

We will continue to work alongside all members of the left within UNISON who do not take the position of the leadership of the SWP, in order to further our common aims, and we will look to create organisational spaces for this kind of work to happen. It is vital that the rank and file UNISON members organise within UNISON for the reasons outlined above and we will seek to create an organisation that organises electorally, works with the wider left in the union, supports disputes and campaigns throughout the union, an organisation that is a space for women. We will seek to endorse candidates in elections who stand up for the socialist, feminist, anti-racist principles that should be common sense on the left.

We believe that rank and file UNISON members have an opportunity to organise to realise the potential of our trade union to defend our interests, including by resisting all forms of oppression. Developments in the SWP have highlighted that UUL, as an organisation in which avowed supporters of the leadership of that Party are prominent, cannot realise this potential. We call upon all UNISON activists who are committed to building an inclusive, democratic rank and file organisation to sign this statement, resign from the United Left and to join us in building such an organisation.

proletarian.
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Nov 1 2013 22:29

Interesting recollections from former WRP CC member regarding abuse similar to that of the SWP.

http://coreyansel.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/parallels-on-the-pseudo-trotskyist-left-the-swp-uk-and-healys-wrp/

aargh
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Nov 13 2013 00:49

Delta was not kicked out as that would mean admitting they were wrong. He left to avoid the repercussions of a second woman's case against him being fully heard, i.e that he would be shown to be what he really was. If he ever decides to come back to the party it's been decided he has a 'case to answer' for the sexual harrassment of a work colleague. By resigning, he avoided this.

In fact, comrades have set him up in a PhD to do further 'work' with young and vulnerable women! http://libcom.org/blog/martin-smith-given-phd-place-liverpool-hope-unive... After his first move out of the central committee, he abused again, this time a young work comrade, no-brainer what might happen now they've moved him again sad

backspace
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Nov 18 2013 11:08

Unrelated to the above post, I heard the ISN was recently / is now having an internal debate about whether to employ a full timer or not, with a substantial faction against, surprising for ex SWP members.

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Entdinglichung
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Jan 21 2014 15:44

a document by Solidarity about dealing with sexism and sexual violence in their org: http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/sexualviolenceprocess

TC1932
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Jan 22 2014 19:52

Here's three useful recent articles about the SWP from well-informed ex-members. The first is from Sovietgoonboy:

'This is the way the party ends: not with a bang, but with a whimper'
(the comments section is also definitely worth a read)

The second article is by Sam Farber which (perhaps unintentionally) helps dismantle the myth that things were much better in the days of the International Socialists.

In his article, Farber points out that 'at the beginning of the missile crisis in October 1962, [Tony Cliff] predicted in all seriousness that there would be no war — because the rate of profit was too high ... [And in 1968 he thought that] the new outbreaks of racism ... [meant] that Fascism was a real and immediate threat.'

The important point being not that Cliff got it so wrong (getting it wrong is one of the left's favourite habits) but that so many smart people were impressed by Cliff's obvious shallowness:

Sam Farber: 'Tony Cliff as a Socialist Leader'

This piece from a more recent SWP leader is also worth a look and shows the severity of the present SWP collapse:

SWP: Resignation of recent CC member

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Jan 23 2014 13:16

Thanks that makes for some interesting reading, I think that resignation letter might be useful in the Library as it shows how abusive and false "Democratic" Centralism is and how such parties operate.

In addition to exposing how flawed such groups commitment to women's liberation is in theory and practice.

Battlescarred
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Jan 23 2014 13:52

Interesting but really to read Lyndsey German deny her own overbearing and bullying behaviour whilst in SWP is totally laughable. As regards the denial of the tactic of ostracism NOT being used inside the SWP until recently go tell it to the marines. My long term companera was in the SWP in the 1970s and was being groomed for high leadership role. When there was a theoretical disagreement over a point of economics she and others were ostracised by the leadership and she avows that this was a regular tactic employed by them.
Interesting to hear mention of the sleazy Nagliatti, one time Industrial Organiser. He returned to Italy and became chief industrial adviser for FIat, instructing them on how to fight militancy in their car factories.