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An Open Letter to Comrades

An Open Letter to Comrades

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Published by Christine Bird
With conference just weeks away, Mike Gonzalez appeals to SWP comrades to pull back from the edge of the abyss into which the organisation is heading.
With conference just weeks away, Mike Gonzalez appeals to SWP comrades to pull back from the edge of the abyss into which the organisation is heading.

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Published by: Christine Bird on Nov 27, 2013
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11/28/2013

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AN OPEN LETTER TO COMRADESComradesThe Socialist Workers Party is on the edge of the ayss! There ha"e een some recent signs of mo"ement on the iss#es that $rod#ced the crisis that has affected the $arty for the %hole of this year& the Dis$#tes Committee Re"ie% 'ody re$ort and the CC(s motion of regret %ent some %ay to ackno%ledging ho% serio#s %ere the di"isions a$$earing in the organisation! )t has een the arg#ment coming from the CC that the e*istence of the Re#ilding the Party faction has een the ca#se of those di"isions! We ha"e arg#ed thro#gho#t+ ho%e"er+ that a second+ #ndeclared faction e*isted in the $arty , a s#ggestion still stren#o#sly denied! At the recent North London aggregate to elect conference delegates+ ho%e"er+ the memers and s#$$orters of that secret faction ended their candidate statements %ith an identical $hrase! Only they %ere elected! Three highly res$ected and long standing $arty memers , incl#ding the  $arty(s recent candidate for -C- .eneral Secretary /Mark Cam$ell0 and the t%o comrades most res$onsile for de"elo$ing o#r analysis of the Middle East /Anne Ale*ander and Phil Marfleet0 , %ere not s#$$orted  eca#se they dared to criticise the %ay in %hich the CC had res$onded to the Re#ilding the Party faction! Not only %ere faction memers not elected+ #t these comrades , %ho are not memers of the o$$osition 1 %ere $#nished for failing to condemn those %ho are! The same thing is ha$$ening at other aggregates! An organised secret faction therefore clearly e*ists+ and it is dedicated to the red#ction of the $arty to a sectarian r#m$+ %hich %ill make it im$ossile to re$air o#r relationshi$s %ith the %ider mo"ement! The 2#estion for #s is3 %here is the Central Committee4 Why has it not $#licly distanced itself from this intensely factional eha"io#r and demanded that those comrades follo% the g#idelines it has set o#t+ demands they ha"e consistently made of the o$$osition4 We elie"e the reasons are clear& it is a section of the CC itself that is leading that faction and that has een directly res$onsile for the kind of destr#cti"e secret acti"ity that has een seen in North London and other aggregates! The signatories to this letter are committed to the $rinci$le of %orking class self1emanci$ation and the need for a roadly Leninist $arty& %e still ho$e that the SWP can ecome that $arty! None of #s %ishes to lea"e an organisation %hich many of #s ha"e s$ent decades trying to #ild! '#t #nless the $arty leadershi$ acts decisi"ely no% to ens#re that conference reflects the real arg#ments %ithin the $arty+ and that the aggregates and
 
elections of delegates still to come are cond#cted in a different %ay+ there %ill e an e*od#s that %ill decimate the organisation , regardless of %hat the faction leadershi$ says! This is not a threat+ "eiled or other%ise3 it is sim$ly a recognition of reality! The de$art#res are already ha$$ening and the only thing that has $re"ented an e"en greater le"el of resignations has  een the $ossiility that+ #nlike the S$ecial Conference in March+ this Conference might e cond#cted in a %ay that did not mean that the o#tcome %as decided in ad"ance! There is still time to $ro"ide the kind of leadershi$ that can ring #s ack from the rink! '#t that %ill only ha$$en if there is a decisi"e change in the cond#ct of the $re1conference  $eriod!This is not an iss#e of formal $roced#res #t of democratic eha"io#r in the organisation , the democracy that is at the "ery heart of the )S tradition! This egins y recognising that nothing is gained y acc#sing comrades of things %hich they ha"e not done+ that critical $ositions m#st  e o$enly arg#ed+ %hich RtP has done thro#gho#t #t %hich the #ndeclared faction led y memers of the Central Committee has not oser"ed! The s$lit that threatens to destroy the SWP is a real and immediate danger! We are eyond %ho said %hat to %hom! The stakes are as high as they can e! We are already an organisation isolated from the %ider mo"ement+ %ith "ery fe% yo#ng $eo$le+ %here $olitical deates ha"e  een re$laced y $ost#ring! There is still a sol#tion #t the lesson of North London is that the CC m#st no% take a firm $#lic stance! An a$ology to the t%o yo#ng %omen %ho ha"e s#ffered so adly o#t of the dis$#tes $rocess is not a loss of face #t a sim$le act of solidarity! That is ho% it %ill e #nderstood y all  #t the most rigid sectarians %ithin and o#tside the $arty! )t %ill allo% #s to egin to restore the health of the )ST+ %ork together %ith comrades in the trade #nion mo"ement and dee$en o#r #nited actions against the fascists!The $eriod et%een no% and conference can either reinforce the sectarian atmos$here and dri"e #s f#rther to%ards disaster or it can e #sed to generate the comradely deate and disc#ssion %hich %e ho$e %ill characterise the internal life of the $arty at and after conference! )t %as %hat %as agreed y all the signatories to the Democracy Commission and then #nanimo#sly agreed at the 5667 conference! )ts $ro"isions %ere not im$lemented then in any real sense! )f %e do so no% it may e $ossile to
 
sto$ the imminent s$lit! )t is the CC(s res$onsiility to set that in motion no%!) had ho$ed that this O$en Letter to the $arty co#ld go o#t in the national mailing! The CC decided this %asn(t $ossile #t ) elie"e firmly that many comrades %ithin and eyond the RtP faction %ill share its sentiments!)f yo# %ish to add yo#r name to this letter $lease email
 or
)n solidarityMike .Megan TChristine ')an 'Colin 'Dre% M Neil DPete CCathy PPeter DAndre% O;onathan NCamilo A)an <.raham C;ohn W'#nny L'rian PEli8aeth DTony W<elios A)an CPa#l 'Adam de C Nancy LRoger = ;im WMichal NAnindya '

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