Trouble at Historical Materialism Conference Mill : Call for Solidarity

As leftist trainspotters and ‘revolutionary socialists’ generally would be aware, the Socialist Workers Party‘s poor handling of a rape allegation has had serious ramifications for the party’s public standing: this has included its relations with aligned parties elsewhere in the world (details of the scandal and response can be found on Jim Jepps’ site and the blog established by dissident/former SWP members).

In Australia, the local iSt franchise is Solidarity. In February, the party’s National Committee issued a statement to its members pledging total support to the SWP. This statement, seemingly intended for internal consumption only, was published online and constitutes the only public statement on the matter the group has issued to date.

Solidarity’s support for the SWP has not pleased everyone. A number of those invited to speak alongside of its members at the upcoming Historical Materialism conference in Sydney (July 26/27) have today issued a public statement of their own, declaring that in the absence of “any evidence of a change of position by Solidarity, we will not be taking part”.

Those who support their decision are also being invited to say so.

See also : Holding on, terra firma, April 24, 2013.

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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3 Responses to Trouble at Historical Materialism Conference Mill : Call for Solidarity

  1. LeftInternationalist says:

    Solidarity should have publicly diassociated itself and condemned the SWP’s handling of this issue when it was first revealed, instead of saying nothing about it on their website (sticking your head in the sand has never been particularly conducive to fixing one’s problems- unless you’re trying to suffocate yourself) and only later we find out, thanks to @ndy, that Solidarity has pledged ‘total support’ to the SWP. This is certainly the wrong thing to do- if Solidarity members do take genuine solidarity seriously, they should be pledging to put issues of sexual violence to the fore, discuss how and why this has occurred, and, so to speak, put the interests of the oppressed before the interests of the particular organisation, i.e. the SWP. Clearly the SWP has undergone a major degeneration- when you have some of its most talented and prominent members (like China Mieville and Richard Seymour, who have put up with a number of things the SWP has done they thought were done stupidly, or initiatives which went in an excessively sectarian or opportunist direction) as well as plenty of sincere socialists leaving its ranks in disgust, there is clearly something gone very wrong here.

  2. Evan says:

    I know that Solidarity only had a handful of members before the NC statement, but have any Solidarity rank-and-file members left the group because of the leadership’s support of the SWP?

    Are the people invited to HM in leadership roles in Solidarity?

    I’m curious as I can’t find much information on this.

  3. Angela says:

    I don’t know about the first question, but on the second see my comment under the fold

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