[Marxism] Re: Real Left Unity

Jose G. Perez elgusanorojo at bellsouth.net
Fri Jun 18 12:45:50 MDT 2004

On the issue of the SWP having been "purged" from CISPES, David Walters
writes that my assertion that it was done by the SWP leadership is
wrong. "I was in CISPES when this happened, having just left the SWP.
There was a purge initiated by non-BPR (a section of the FMLN)
supporters/leadership of CISPES of the three leading members and
founders of CISPES: Rachael Fruit, Alan Benjamin and Harvy MacAurthor."

Obviously I was being a bit facetious when I responded to the question
about the SWP having been banned from CISPES in that way. But it is
*absolutely* true that the SWP central leadership had a hostile,
sectarian stance (there's that word again) towards ALL non-party
initiated activities around Cuba and Central America. 

This grew out of the turn to industry, which, I'll remind people who
were there and explain to those who were not, wasn't projected merely as
a factory colonization project but a complete and radical change in how
we did all our work. The solidarity work was meant to go in and through
the unions and our fractions, apart form that, only ultra-narrow
SWP-dominated projects would be countenanced (such as the Militant/PM
tours). At a time when literally THOUSANDS of young people from the
United States were travelling to Nicaragua to see the revo for
themselves, we brilliantly decided to set up our own narrow tours so
that our folks wouldn't get contaminated by the "petty bourgeois left."

With this line, the SWP in one fell swoop managed to wreck BOTH the
possibilities for doing any fruitful union work AND any possibility of
doing fruitful solidarity work.

Yes, I know, there was branch "A" that did this, and YSA local "b" that
took part in that and so on. For the first several years AFTER the
*industrial* turn (Feb. 1978) the leadership had to wage a fairly
systematic campaign against a tendency of the comrades to revert to the
old line, especially because the turn was presented on a false basis,
i.e., as a turn towards increasing opportunities and a rising wave of
struggles, including decisive class battles, in the next immediate
period. In reality nothing was going on in the union movement of much
significance, and certainly nothing resembling even a tiny uptick, never
mind the world-historic explosion Jack had seen in his crystal ball, so
the tendency for the old training to come back and reassert itself was

I don't know what happened in CISPES after early 1984, I was sent to
Nicaragua and did not come back for several years. But I do very much
know what the SWP's national leadership's approach was, and that
approach was unremittingly hostile and sectarian.


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