[Marxism] Steve Bloom: Assessing the Cleveland Conference
arthurymer at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 3 20:02:46 MDT 2008
Steve Bloom's report on the National Assembly in Cleveland
omits a fact so important that the report is a distortion of what
actually happened: Bloom does not inform the reader that the
meeting voted decisively in favor of an amendment to change
the name of the National Assembly itself to include Afghanistan
in the name.
Bloom explains that he "did not take time to elaborate" the
Afghanistan discussion, because "a consensus developed in the
end." This is false. There was not a consensus on the question
of Afghanistan. The leadership of the Assembly, including
Jerry Gordon, Jeff Mackler, and all of Socialist Action, opposed
the Afghanistan amendment, spoke against it, and voted against it.
Yet a decisive majority defied the leadership and voted in favor
of the amendment. This amendment changed the name of the
National Assembly to include Afghanistan in the name, and
added "and Afghanistan" to every mention of Iraq in the National
Assembly's action proposal.
And by the way, the original motion to change the name of the
National Assembly to include Afghanistan in the name was
submitted by the League for the Revolutionary Party (LRP),
which Bloom dismisses as one of the "various sects" that "came
to disrupt and expose." The LRP did not disrupt, we did expose,
and we exposed so well that we played a key role in winning a
clear majority of the assembly to support our motion on Afghanistan.
The two times that an LRPer, Jeff Covington, spoke from the floor
against the leadership of the anti-war movement and of this assembly
for their accommodation to the Democratic Party, his statements
were repeatedly met with loud applause from a significant portion
of the meeting. A number of people approached him
afterward to thank him for his comments.
For the record, Carol Seligman of Socialist Alternative as well as
the Freedom Socialist Party / Radical Women also supported, spoke
for, and voted for the Afghanistan amendment. The Spartacist
League and the Internationalist Group indeed only came to denounce
-- the IG made the embarrassing mistake of walking in and denouncing
the assembly for not opposing the occupation of Afghanistan, shortly
after the assembly had just voted in favor of the amendment to oppose
the occupation of Afghanistan. A stopped clock is sometimes right,
but not this time.
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