Resistance : Another one bites the dust

Following the purge of several dozen (that is, all) members of the Leninist Party Faction (LPF) from the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP), and the expulsion of James Crafti from the Melbourne branch of Resistance, comes news of the expulsion of another LPF member from the DSP’s Youth Brigade the same “independent” socialist yoof organisation, run by, for and on behalf of the yoof.

May 20, 2008

Resistance National Council Statement on the Expulsion of James Crafti and Shua Garfield

On May 18 the Resistance National Council (NC) voted to expel Melbourne Branch member James Crafti and Sydney Branch member Shua Garfield from Resistance.

This decision was not taken lightly and there have been very few, if any, cases where such disciplinary action has occurred in Resistance.

Both James Crafti and Shua Garfield have the right to submit a written appeal to the next Resistance National Conference and a report on the decision of the NC to invoke Rule 13 will be given at the Conference, as required in Rule 14, Section 6…

The statement then proceeds to outline the offences allegedly committed by the pair, the crux of which is the public expression of dissatisfaction with the DSP:

The NC reaffirmed our position of political solidarity with the DSP as outlined in the Resistance Constitution [unavailable online]. It ruled that Resistance members do not have a right to publicly and openly criticize the DSP. It was deemed that such attacks harm Resistance given that:

• Resistance supports building a revolutionary party as stated in the introduction to the Resistance Constitution.
• Resistance and the DSP have broad agreement over the main political issues.
• Resistance receives significant material support from the DSP including the use of GLW [Green Left Weekly] to publish a regular Resistance Page and the use their offices for Resistance activities.

Resistance does not deny its members their right to have criticisms of other organizations and our political perspectives. However there is a process, as outlined in the constitution, to convince other members of Resistance to alter our political positions and actions, including changing our long held position of working with and helping to build the DSP.

The Resistance National Conference will be held from Friday June 27–Sunday June 29 in Sydney, employing the slogan ‘Turn Anger into Action!’. As for the GLW, it describes itself not as the publication of either the DSP, Resistance or the Socialist Alliance, but “a proudly independent voice” which “aims to provide a much-needed forum for discussion and debate about changing the world”; GLW “is your paper. As a grassroots publication, it thrives on your input”. In reality, both Resistance, SA and GLW are strictly subordinate to the DSP.

As for Shua, aside from being a member of the LPF, their alleged crime was to send an email from the Sydney Resistance address, allegedly attacking Resistance/the DSP. The NC claims that this action constituted “a threat to the security of property of Resistance (particularly its membership lists)”, and therefore warranted their immediate expulsion. Thus:

In response to the posting to various email lists of public attacks on Resistance and the DSP by Sydney Branch member Shua Garfield, the NC voted to charge Shua Garfield with violating Article 2 of the Constitution and the Introduction to the Constitution. Shua Garfield’s actions also included accessing and using the [Sydney Resistance] email account to send a statement on the recent split in the DSP. The NC deemed that there was a threat to the security of property of Resistance (particularly its membership lists), as shown by the accessing of Resistance email accounts and lists, and therefore invoked Rule 13, Section 6 of the constitution to take immediate disciplinary action and expel Shua Garfield.

In re-asserting authority over the DSP, the leadership is certainly being thorough. The two main problems it will encounter in future will be accounting to curious members for the continued failure of SA to be anything other than a front group, and the inevitable demoralisation that such events as the expulsion of a significant minority of members from its ranks will have on those who remain loyal. As for those expelled, some may be tempted to (re-)constitute the LPF as a separate party; others, to join one of the other Leninist parties currently in existence: Socialist Alternative and Solidarity being the main contenders, Direct Action (a tiny group formed in 2006 by former members of the DSP) and the Socialist Party being others. On the other hand, some may even consider joining the Greens.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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12 Responses to Resistance : Another one bites the dust

  1. juancastro says:

    In other news (ish) from the left, a serious meeting aiming to build a broad election ticket to the left of the ‘left’ ALP students was held at Monash today. Around 20 people attended (a great outcome) and another meeting date was set for July the 23rd.

    I would encourage anyone interested to come along. There is room for anyone (to the left of the ALP) who is interested in being part of the resurrection of an independent, activist and participatory student union.

  2. liz says:

    Hey juancastro – haven’t seen you yet at G20 meetings.

    you coming? next meeting on 29th May (a Thursday night – special meeting after the case conference) 6pm at RMIT Student Union

    – and I have a ready slogan for the reformed student left at Monash. It was once “Fight the Student ALP – push David Taft down the stairs”, but we could easily change that to Matthew Hilakari – word is that he’s a right-wing boofhead even more so than brother Luke.
    And those stairs outside the Lot’s Wife office are very tempting.

    Also – is there anything to this? The letters exchanged between editors are interesting.
    Landeryou may be a right wing fuckstick, but this is funny…

    CORRUPTION: Zoe Edwards and Mat Hilakari Partners In Crime
    September 6, 2007

  3. @ndy says:

    Con Helas, President of the Monash University Tories, was also the subject of a scandal. News to me, if not to anyone else:

    A future Liberal leader writes: Multiculturalism is civilisation’s single greatest threat
    April 27, 2007

    Apparently, Con consequently lost his job as a staffer to Tory MP Andrew Robb.

  4. juancastro says:

    Yep, and Con came to the meeting yesterday basically asking to be kicked out… strange.

    Interesting that he lost his job as a result of that article, but was not expelled from the party…

    Liz, I’m not really interested in Matt or any of the ALP left. Apparently GO! is disintegrating anyway, bleh, who knows or cares. What’s really great is the number of people who were keen to get involved, and who even stuck around after the nearly 2 hour meeting to talk some more.

    RE the G20 meetings, I totally lost track. Next Thursday hey… I should go, though the boss won’t be happy. How’s Geoff’s case going? And did you get the donations from SAlt last week? Bit ironic given the initial response, but what can us mere mortals do other than bring it up at the conference later this year.

    I don’t think personal attacks on people is funny, even if the victims happen to be to the right of us… Dragging public discourse down to the level of insults and personal crap only benefits the (otherwise politically bankrupt) right.

  5. juancastro says:

    PS. to Liz:

    Geoff really looks up to you, so maybe it would be cool to take the opportunity to give him some reading or something at some point? He’s hostile to all the “old” working-class politics (not sure where he’s got that from) so maybe that would be a start.

  6. Warsaw Pact says:

    [Fly Away Peter!]

  7. Warsaw Pact says:

    [Peter is silly.]

  8. liz says:

    Oh juancastro – you do need to have a bit of a sense of humour about it! I never ACTUALLY pushed David Taft down the stairs – though he would always run down them to greet me, just in case… Can’t a girl have any fun? Sorry I forgot – politics is SERIOUS OKAY?! I’m not very good at being a grown up.

    And actually my real question was about whether the allegations of censorship of Lot’s Wife were for real – the student paper has actually been okay at times in the past (mostly when Aamer was wielding an iron fist wrapped in a graphic design monkey), and the question of whether it can publish freely without interference from the president of the student union is actually one that can materially impact on the functioning of this left that you suggest is rising phoenix like and all that. Perhaps a bit obscurely put… I’ll make more use of capitals in future.

    I can’t tell you any more about the case you’ve asked about. Sometimes laws about what can and cannot be published in regards to people of a certain age can function to keep the media the fuck off them, if that isn’t too obscure for you. If you want to ask a question like that, I suggest you email:


    and maybe somebody will tell you… :).

    Yeah – gee I wonder where hostility to what is presented as “old” working class politics comes from. The boss might be able to help you with that – I’m sure you don’t need me quoting him again. But again – this discussion is not the kind that I would have on a public list, though you seem quite intent on discussing people without their knowledge in public forums – and not people who claim positions of political authority that should be rightly interrogated (or pushed down the stairs, if you go in for that sort of thing)… I don’t know why that is, but I think its a little bit not nice. I’m just not going to have discussions with you on a list about discussions I may or may not have had with a mate, quite aside from the patronising assumptions you seem to make about who is or should be playing what role in somebody’s “political education”. So nyer, and all that…

  9. juancastro says:

    Fair call RE personal shit being discussed on a blog. I’ll see you on Thursday anyway, so hopefully will get some info then, and hopefully from the man himself!

    RE your critique of ‘political education’, I think it’s a bit lame to pretend that you/anybody with a bit of experience in activist circles doesn’t have valuable information to pass on to a younger, less experienced person. I clearly wasn’t after a ‘master and disciple’ type thing, but it doesn’t hurt to be pointed in the direction of some decent reading… I would argue it hurts to NOT be guided in this way, in light of all the guidance in other directions that every other major info-source in society would be providing.

    We’re all teacher-students (and student-teachers), didn’t you know? 🙂

  10. @ndy says:

    Socialist Alternative, March 7, 2008

    Condemn outrageous sentence of G20 protestor

    The jailing of Akin Sari for two years and four months, with a non-parole period of 14 months, for his participation in the protests at the G20 meeting in Melbourne in November 2006 is an outrage.

    This is an extremely heavy sentence for involvement in an altercation at a demonstration. Bosses who kill workers because of appalling safety conditions and corporate crooks who rip off millions from workers’ entitlements serve much less time than this.

    Socialist Alternative, like a number of organisations and individuals on the left, was critical of the tactics of the autonomist Arterial Bloc at the G20 protest. However that is not the main issue now. Akin Sari’s sentence represents an attempt to criminalise protest and sets a very bad precedent for the future. It is a continuation of the hysteria that was created by the media, the police and the Howard and NSW governments in the lead up to the protest against George Bush at the APEC Conference in Sydney last year.

    Behind all of this hysteria is the domestic agenda of the “war on terror”. While the main focus of this has been fear-mongering about Muslims, Liberal and Labor governments, the cops and the media have also seized the opportunity to equate demonstrations with terrorism, in order to intimidate people out of protesting.

    We cannot afford to be intimidated. Strikes, protests, sit-ins, occupations and demonstrations remain vital if we are to defend our rights, oppose wars, stand up to racism and improve the conditions of workers and the oppressed. And part of our defence of the right to protest must be a condemnation of the outrageous sentence of Akin Sari and a demand to free him.

    Mick Armstrong, Socialist Alternative, November 19, 2006

    I was one of the organisers of the G20 demo from the Stop the War Coalition and I am also in Socialist Alternative.

    The anarchist crazies involved in the ultra-violence were in no serious sense part of the demo. Just like their black bloc mates in Europe they simply exploited the demo for their own purposes.

    Right throughout the lead-up to the demo they made clear their hostility to and contempt for other protestors. On the day they did all they could to disrupt the demonstration and were hostile, abusive, threatening and ultra-sectarian towards people on the demo.

    Australia, fortunately, has not previously been blighted by the sort of black bloc anarchist activities which have had such a disastrous impact on demonstrations in Europe. These people are simply provocateurs that open up protests to police repression. In Europe their ranks have been riddled by police agents and fascists.

    What gave them a certain critical mass at the G20 was the presence of considerable numbers of anarchists from overseas. One of our members from New Zealand said he recognised at least 40 NZ anarchists. He knew at least 20 of them by name. There were also a considerable number of black bloc anarchists from Europe. We know of people from Sweden, Germany and England. These people are like football hooligans who travel the world looking for violence.

    On top of that there were also a considerable number of anarchists from interstate.

    Because of the behaviour of these provocateurs the media and the law and order brigade are having a field day.

    The left should offer no comfort to these crazies. We should do whatever we can to isolate them. They are wreckers. If they grow in Australia it will simply make it harder to build future protests and movements.

  11. liz says:

    – no problem with political education as a process in the way you’ve outlined. Its just that my experience with the organisation to which you claim affiliation gave me no reason to believe that you weren’t after a ‘master and disciple’ type thing. And not just your organisation. My experience with the number of Leninist organisations I have been in and around is the assumption that anybody not in the organisation is an empty vessel whose heads are to be filled with the correct thinking. Glad to know you think otherwise. I thought you might suggest something horrible like making the poor guy read Tony Cliff…

    “Fight the student ALP: push Matthew Hilakari down the stairs!”

  12. liz says:

    Oh yeah – money from SAlt received, I believe.

    We still need more – go to for details on donating…

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