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And so it begins…

The SWP-dissident blog International Socialism reports:

In the face of the unprecedented opposition within our party to the Central Committee, its shocking handling of the rape allegation against a leading member, its attempts to force through a post-conference pretence that all is settled, and its continuing bullish defence of undemocratic methods and ongoing attempts to silence dissent, the Central Committee and its full-time organisers have started to move against those of us demanding an accounting in the party.

Comrades around the country have been summoned to meetings on their own, or at best with one fellow member to accompany them. In these meetings they have been accused of all manner of attacks on “forty years of British Leninism”, and recantations, confessions and apologies have been demanded, along with suggestions that they leave if they cannot toe ‘the line’.

Don’t be intimidated. It’s our party. You are not alone, much as the CC may wish to make you feel isolated.

Here are some suggestions for comrades in these situations:

DON’T go alone to one of these meetings. If “invited”, accept, and tell the CC member or organiser the names of three other comrades who will be coming with you. Stick to your guns on this.

DO take notes during the meeting and reject any demand that you should not.

DON’T agree to anything – tell whoever is disciplining you that you will go away, discuss their points with other comrades, and respond later.

DO tell other comrades before and after the meeting that it will be happening. We have NOTHING to hide from other members and from the class.

DON’T apologise for standing up to them and for fighting for our party.

DO tell us, here at the IS blog of any incidents of bullying and / or intimidation. Any threats, any suggestion of disciplinary sanctions – tell the party, the party needs to know what is going on.

Kris Stewart
Gareth Dale
China Mieville
Richard Seymour
Alex Anievas
Adam Marks
Jamie Pitman

From Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler:

“Your faction, Citizen Rubashov, is beaten and destroyed. You wanted to split the Party, although you must have known that a split in the Party meant civil war… Hence the imperious necessity for the Party to be united. It must be as if cast from one mould——filled with blind discipline and absolute trust. You and your friends, Citizen Rubashov, have made a rent in the Party. If your repentance is real, then you must help us to heal this rent. I have told you, it is the last service the Party will ask of you.

“Your task is simple. You have set it yourself: to gild the Right, to blacken the Wrong. The policy of the opposition is wrong. Your task is therefore to make the opposition contemptible; to make the masses understand that opposition is a crime and that the leaders of the opposition are criminals. That is the simple language which the masses understand. If you begin to talk of your complicated motives, you will only create confusion amongst them. Your task, Citizen Rubashov, is to avoid awakening sympathy and pity. Sympathy and pity for the opposition are a danger to the country.

“Comrade Rubashov, I hope that you have understood the task which the Party has set you.”