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Posts Tagged ‘SWP

Socialist Worker Calls for an End to Violence Against Women.

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Trotskyist councillor caught up in far left turmoil: rape allegations against comrade : Heritage and Destiny

SWP Protests Today Against Violence Towards Women.

 

 

Rage against the sexist system returned to the streets on Sunday as around 4,000 people protested in central London.

The protest was called by Sisters Uncut after the Metropolitan Police broke up a vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common the previous night. Angry crowds gathered outside the Metropolitan Police’s headquarters, New Scotland Yard, to protest against the cops’ behaviour and the Tories’ draconian policing bill.

Socialist Workers Party leadership under fire over rape kangaroo court

2013.

 A woman has claimed she was subjected to a series of offensive questions about her sexual past and drinking habits after bringing an allegation of rape against a senior member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

The UK’s most prominent far left organisation is already facing a major showdown over previous handling of separate rape accusations against a senior party figure – identified by the party only as Comrade Delta. This weekend up to 500 members could quit the Marxist group over the alleged whitewash.

The SWP’s leadership is under fire for setting up a “kangaroo court” to hear allegations of rape and sexual misconduct dating back to 2008 against the man. The allegations made at the party’s disputes committee were dismissed by a panel of seven and never passed on to the police.

One alleged victim claimed that during the hearing, she was asked if she “liked to have a drink”.

A transcript of the SWP’s annual conference in January, leaked to the Socialist Unity blog, revealed that senior officials pleaded with hundreds of activists to trust in the committee’s verdict and reminded lay members that the party had “no faith in the bourgeois court system to deliver justice”.

On Sunday, scores of party members will gather in London after the leadership was forced to call a special conference to deal with the growing “In Defence of Our Party” faction which wants to challenge the way the allegations were heard and the organisation’s democratic structures.

Another woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has told the Guardian that she also faced a welter of inappropriate questions during her own disputes committee hearing after she reported being raped by another man in the party.

The young female member in the latest case says that the senior party member had physically abused her in front of other party members. Then, she claims, in early 2011 the male organiser pressured her into meeting and then raped her in her bedroom.

She felt that if she’d gone to the authorities, she would have be expelled from the party, because of the SWP’s hostility to the police. “If you go to the police you get kicked out automatically,” she said.

Following the incident she quit the party but a local organiser then persuaded her to take her allegations to party’s internal disputes committee.

The senior party member, who could not be contacted, has previously denied the allegations. However when she arrived at the hearing in late spring that year, she says the two judges in the case, Amy Leather and Pat Stack, were from the central committee.

She described the line of questioning during her hour long cross examination as offensive. “[They asked me] had you been drinking? … Are you sure that you said no, and are you sure you didn’t consent. Was he drunk? Because it would be different if he was drunk.”

She says she was also interrogated about her previous sexual history.

During the hearing two other women made allegations against the senior figure including attempted rape and sexual impropriety.

She says she was called back that afternoon and told the verdict. The committee did not rule on the truth of the rape allegation, she said.

She claims she was told the alleged rapist was going to be suspended and encouraged to read up on women’s liberation. She then says she was warned against speaking about the hearing.

“They said, if you go around calling him a rapist, you’ll be in trouble. If you tell anyone, you’ll be in trouble … They didn’t elaborate. They’re not the kind of people to get on the wrong side of.”

She added that she was coming forward two years later because she believes the SWP is a dangerous environment for women: “I want people to know it’s a systemic thing. They’ve done this a few times, covered things up in the interests of the party and it’s a dangerous environment to be in.”

The SWP has denied a cover-up and says they do not recognise this account of the hearing.

But participants in the disputes committee hearing described the line of questioning as “disgusting” and described the suspension as a travesty. “The fact that he got basically a slap on the wrist was just appalling.”

“They [the SWP leadership] are putting the interests of the party above the interests of the women … which I think gives a green light to people to behave in an appalling way to women because there’s now been two signals that you’ll get away with it.”

Responding to the allegations of mishandling an investigation, Charlie Kimber, the party’s national secretary said: “The SWP strongly contests major elements of this account of the disputes committee hearing. The woman concerned brought serious accusations to our attention, we investigated, found against the accused and took prompt action. Those are the facts of this case.”

Kimber said the SWP had taken effective action but said that he couldn’t go into further details as the matter was confidential.

He added: “I hope that after the party’s conference [on Sunday] we can move forward united.”

Here is ‘Comrade Delta’, Martin Smith, living the life of Riley:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 15, 2021 at 12:46 pm

The Last Stand of the pro-Brexit Left, “Brexit could have meant more than this” Socialist Worker.

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Non, Je ne regrette rein.

In his Tour d’ivoire an elderly Mandarin takes a Hittite tablet from his shelves. Reading the cuneiform he smiles at the clumsy use of the ergative case and puts it back. Ten centimetre long finger-nails grasp a porcelain cup of Darjeeling. Perry Anderson turns to his latest works.

The modern Montaigne marvels at the magniloquent phrases, the elegance of the periodic style. The enemy, Perry reflects, is just what the elites of Europe themselves decry and fear most: ‘populism’. His majordome brings a wafer biscuit. Europe’s most gefeiert Marxist pauses. How true, how very veritable, “But what would Brexit actually mean for the European Union, or for Ukania in parting with it? So far, all that was clear was that ‘Blairized Britain has taken a hit, as has the Hayekianized eu’ and ‘critics of the neoliberal order have no reason to regret these knocks to it’, against which the entire global establishment had inveighed.”

He winds up the gramophone and puts an Édith Piaf disc on. A delicious reverie begins,

These apparatus must be broken as organised institutions for any revolutionary transfer of power to occur. This can only be achieved by the creation of a organs of socialist democracy, mobilising a popular force capable of undermining the unity of the coercive unity of the established state, and cancelling the legitimacy of of its parliamentary machinery….The emergence of such forms of second power, incarnating the sovereignty of a proletarian democracy alternative and antagonistic to that of bourgeois democracy must be the long term of the socialist movement. (Arguments Within English Marxism. Perry Anderson. 1980)  (1)

Socialist Worker has also entered the land of dreams.

Brexit could have meant more than this

The feeling against the elites could have led to a Brexit in the interests of working class people. 

That would have broken from the pro-business single market regime but maintained and extended workers’ freedom of movement.

It would have been linked to more money for the NHS and education, a higher minimum wage, action on climate chaos and other issues. This is what supporters of a left exit from the EU (Lexit) argued. To win such a Brexit would have required mass pressure. 

Alas,

Instead the Tories have come up with various versions of Brexit designed to make it even easier for the bosses to exploit people.

So unforeseen…..

One chap who like his peer, Perry Anderson, regrets rein, is now the darling of the Express.

GEORGE GALLOWAY has demanded a clean break from the “fading, failing EU” as Brexit trade deal negotiations were extended until the end of the weekend

“The sun is rising in the East. I want to set sail for there. Brexit Now!”

The former Labour MP, who said he supported the Brexit Party at last year’s European elections, has been a vocal critic of the time the trade negotiations between Britain and the EU have taken.

One of his supporters tweeted: “I agree. Clean break then negotiate a Free Trade Agreement as a truly independent nation.”

Mr Galloway’s calls for a clean break come as Ms von der Leyen admitted it will now be “difficult” to reach a post-Brexit trade agreement as she ordered officials to step up no deal planning.

Here is one group that takes a different view:

 

*******

(1) Perry Anderson. Ukania Perpetua. New Left Review. 2/125. Sept/Oct 2000.

The European Coup Perry Anderson  London Review of Books Vol. 42 No. 24 · 17 December 2020

Pages 194 – 195. Arguments Within English Marxism. Perry Anderson. Verso. 1980.

Socialist Worker on Rozzers’ Undercover Infiltration of the Left in anti-Vietnam War Protests.

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Protesting against the Vietnam War in London, March 1968 | Kmflett's Blog

“The incompetence of the British left is notorious, and officers must take care not to get into a position where they achieve prominence in an organisation through natural ability.””

Coppers’ Report.

where they achieve prominence in an organisation through natural ability.”

 

Hat -tip to David W and to the Cdes of the SW.

 

How the spy cops were set up to infiltrate the left

Simon Basketter looks at documents from the undercover cops inquiry that show how the spies mobilised against the anti-Vietnam War movement

Up to 25,000 people took part in a protest outside the US Embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square on 17 March 1968.

Parliament and the press fumed with growing paranoia as the revolts of the year entered Britain.

The Guardian reported, “The demonstrators seemed determined to stay until they provoked a violent response.”

The Home Office and the Metropolitan Police Service demanded more information on the coming revolution.

One cop claimed, “We underestimated how many were coming. We were ill-equipped at the time and couldn’t bring enough men in to control it consequently when the violence erupted. We were amateurs then.”

Note this,

By the time the October 1968 Vietnam demo came round, Dixon predicted less trouble than had been seen in March.

The VSC was led by the orthodox Trotskyists of the International Marxist Group.

It also encompassed the International Socialists and some members of the Young Communist League.

They wanted the march to be peaceful and finish at a rally in Hyde Park. Maoists wanted a more direct confrontation in Grosvenor Square.

In the end the VSC march went off peacefully.

Excellent stuff though oddly they do not mention the quote that heads the present post.

More here:

These are extremely serious issues:

 

 

Much of the detail about the Vietnam protests and infiltration is already known

A brief history of political policing in Britain – Centre for Crime …

http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk › sites › files › Spycops in… 2018.

Spycops in context: Beneath the undercover policing scandal

From 1968 to 2008, the Metropolitan Police ran a secret unit – the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) – dedicated to full-time, long-term undercover infiltration of a wide array of radical political organisations. From 1999-2011, the Association of Chief Police Officers joined in with its own nation-wide squad, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).

In the report there is mention of infiltration in the VSC (Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, anarchists, ‘Maoists’ the RSSF (Revolutionary Students),and the IMG,

PENETRATION OF EXTREMIST GROUPS

“This study paper is based on experience gained over the
last four months: it does not pretend to explore all the
problems posed when Police officers are utilised for the
close infiltration of extremist organisations, but attempts
to lay down basic principles for that type of operation.
Appendix ‘A’ gives the suggested layout of an organisation
to be set up for the purpose: Appendix ‘B’ describes in
outline how officers currently employed in this way are
deployed.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 11, 2020 at 11:47 am