[Marxism] UFPJ Assembly, February 19-21

acpollack2 at juno.com acpollack2 at juno.com
Fri Feb 25 23:25:45 MST 2005

On the one hand Yoshie describes an assembly with vibrant discussion and votes on strategy and actions. On the other hand, an assembly run by a steering committee portrayed as increasingly narrow and bureaucratic. To the extent the latter is true, that would argue for convincing UFPJ activists who eagerly debated and voted on proposals, to understand the need as well to discuss and decide on UFPJ structure -- against the resistance of the current leadership if need be. 

In such an effort of course cadre groups must lead.


-- Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu> wrote:
It must be said that Solidarity as a group does seek to support 
actions -- especially mass actions -- that will by called by UFPJ (as 
it has in the past).  The question is to what extent UFPJ leaders 
(staff and steering committee members), the majority of whom are (for 
lack of a better term) a little to the right of such political 
currents as Solidarity, the ISO, and so forth, make room for inputs 
from leftists who take a very dim view of the Democratic Party in 
particular and the idea of looking to legislators in general.  Being 
a steering committee member till the second National Assembly, I was 
nominally a "leader" also, but it was clear that my inputs (as well 
as inputs of like-minded steering committee members) practically made 
no difference on the coalition's politics even in rhetoric, let alone 
substance.  The changes made in the UFPJ strategic framework -- more 
clearly focusing on the opposition to the occupation of Iraq alone 
[compare the 2005 framework 
<http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=2676> with 2003 
framework <http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=1731>] -- and 
coalition structure (raising the cutoff age of who counts as "youth" 
from 25 to 30 and decreasing the proportion of representation of 
local/regional groups from 60% to 50% concerning the diversity 
criteria for steering committee member selection; giving the steering 
committee the power to add "five former members of the SC as 
non-voting ex-officio members of the new SC"; and establishing 
procedures to replace insufficiently active steering committee 
members by appointment rather than by election) are sure to diminish 
political diversity of the coalition both at the leadership and 
rank-and-file levels.

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