USA/Canada

Solidarity-US says “not dissolving”

You recently reported our convention’s motion to “to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre” as a kind of “dissolution”, and implied that we are “too small, weak, elderly, and divided to function as an organisation”.

This characterisation is speculative and inaccurate. There was no motion to dissolve Solidarity or fundamentally alter its organisational structure at the convention.

More on why ISO collapsed

Author

Martin Thomas

At Socialist Alternative's (S Alt's) "Socialism Sydney 2019" event I was able to talk with some people from S Alt about the collapse and disappearance, in March-April this year, of the International Socialist Organisation USA.

The ISO was the biggest group outside Australia with which S Alt had links. With maybe 900 members, the ISO was, and had been for a while, the most active revolutionary socialist group in the USA. Its political history could be traced back (with twists and shifts along the way) to the Workers' Party of Max Shachtman (from 1940).

The rise of the DSA: hopes and limits

Author

Simon Nelson

The DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) – a group founded in 1973 as a left social-democratic splinter from the then-decaying “Shachtmanite” Heterodox Trotskyist tradition, and long with little profile - has recently grown to over 50,000 members.

The DSA convention this year (2-4 August) had over 1,000 delegates, an increase from 700 in 2017. Admirably, the conference was livestreamed. It may have seemed overly procedural at points, but it reflects well on the DSA that their conference is accessible to the membership and a wider audience.

Trump's miniature Gulag-on-the-border

Author

Martin Thomas

This is Trump's USA, Trump's border. On 1 July Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the US Congress got to visit the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention centre in Clint, Texas.

CBP did some "cleaning up" before the members of Congress arrived. A group of women, pictured above, told Ocasio-Cortez that they were moved into the crowded room from outside tents before our arrival. "They said they’d gone 15 days without a shower, and were allowed to start bathing four days ago (when the visit was announced)".

New setback in USA

Author

Rhodri Evans

We reliably hear that the conference of the US revolutionary socialist group Solidarity on the weekend 29-30 June voted to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre. [Update, see statement from Solidarity below, received 27.8.19].

This follows the decision by the larger International Socialist Organization (ISO) in March- April to dissolve itself.

Corbyn: oppose Brexit!

Author

Editorial

Boris Johnson and most other candidates want to have Britain out by 31 October, even if that means a no-deal Brexit and a new hard border in Ireland. Dominic Raab says he might “prorogue” Parliament — send the MPs home — to prevent MPs stopping no-deal. Michael Gove says he might consider a “short” delay, but that would be to finalise a supposed “alternative to the Irish backstop” which May’s efforts over many months have shown to be illusory.

Ban is antisemitic

Author

Chris Reynolds

On 7 June, a lesbian pride march in Washington DC, the “DC Dyke March” banned marchers who had Stars of David on their rainbow flags. The organisers said that anti-Zionist Jews were welcome, and that they banned flags with Stars of David because they wanted to exclude all “nationalist” symbols.

Lots of people are nationalists of different shades. Why should they be banned from lesbian pride marches? And Palestinian flags weren’t banned. A similar ban was imposed at a pride march in Chicago in 2017. Root-and-branch anti-Israel politics inevitably spills over into antisemitism.

Why we marched against Trump

On 3 and 4 June, Workers’ Liberty and Solidarity people joined thousands in London protesting against Donald Trump’s state visit. On 4 June we were part of an “against Trump, against Brexit” contingent, with Labour for a Socialist Europe and Another Europe is Possible.

Losing the thread: ISO’s collapse

Author

Martin Thomas

The veteran Marxist writer Paul Le Blanc has written the most substantial and critical account yet of the collapse of the USA’s International Socialist Organization, of which Le Blanc was himself a member, though not a central one.

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