Gould/DSP & Jakarta conference

Tom O'Lincoln red_sites at eudoramail.com
Thu Sep 26 18:28:24 MDT 2002

I've just read some of Bob Gould's open letter to Alex Callinicos for the first time. I didn't get to the end, and neither will most others -- Bob, you gotta learn to be concise :) -- but the following passage is near the front so it'll probably get read and therefore I want to correct some of the facts:

"At a recent conference in Indonesia ... the DSP rather inappropriately pulled on a public discussion on the nature of the Cuban political set up, without warning the Australian IS0 .... hoping to put them at a disadvantage thereby, with the PRD. Unfortunately for all concerned, this discussion was disrupted in mid-stream by the brutal intervention of the reactionary Indonesian State authorities..."

Not quite. Yeah they did spring a debate on us, inviting me to debate Cuba on 5 minutes notice. Doug Lorimer delivered a paper prepared in advance which was a lengthy attack on our tendency. Fortunately I had written something on Cuba in Indonesian and had the details in my head, so I was able to respond in both languages to some effect. An Indonesian comrade later remarked to me that "Doug seemed under-prepared". :)

But the whole debate proceeded without interruption, after which I went through three beers rather quickly... We weren't arrested till the next day. Then Doug and I and everyone one else fought a fine battle in the police station together which restored good feeling, and later a DSP comrade handsomely conveyed her regrets about what had happened in the Cuba debate.

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