In response to our faction not being legitimate because it is open to members that have been bureaucratically excluded:
The problem is that not including bureaucratically excluded members would mean accepting the Steering Committee’s (SC) exclusion of Shaun J, which has been little more than them not wanting him to be in the organization but also not expelling him. No satisfactory reasons have been given for this.
Back on October 6, the response of the SC to the appeal for Shaun was that the idea of reinstatement didn’t make sense because Shaun had left out of his own volition, and thus it wasn’t up to them.
Shaun, along with another member that had resigned, were allowed to rejoin the branch in Cambridge. After that it was deemed that Shaun was not a member by Ahmed S, who was acting as a representative of the SC. The SCs letter to Boston after Ahmed’s visit does not explain why Shaun is not a member (except vague references to his having left in a splash and having agreed with external critiques). To see more on the exchange, see here.
If we want to get technical, there are currently no rules on how factions should or shouldn’t be composed (there is only a proposal by the Rules Committee, to be voted by this convention), but on the other hand, the SC has effectively excluded Shaun without going through any of the appealable procedures mentioned in the rules (suspension, censure, expulsion). It seems kind of bizarre to consider those grounds for not including someone that has been crucial for the conversations that created these documents, which are being widely discussed and debated in the organization.
In response to our faction referring to internal discussions and documents:
There is absolutely nothing in the rules that says we cannot make public reference to internal documents; the provision to share only with members appears in our bulletins and, occasionally, in the ISO Notes. Furthermore, the perspectives documents of previous Conventions have guided the public activity of the organization. It is difficult to understand that we consider them internal when it is precisely their content that we relay to people who ask us about the direction and analysis of the organization. These documents are also often transformed into public documents in Socialist Worker or the International Socialist Review.
It is also worth noting that there is absolutely nothing in the rules that says we cannot make public reference to internal meetings. If that was the case, how have I been a part of post-convention assessments that included contacts? In the case of New York, how have we mentioned with contacts present our reassessment of the 2010 document? Besides, there is nothing in what is posted that someone that comes around the ISO and uses the internet wouldn’t be able to learn. Indeed, the 2010 document has been online for years.
Finally, if people believe that internal documents, references to them or factual mistakes appear in any of the blog’s documents in a way different than what is mentioned above, I welcome messages pointing out which document and which part should be removed. We are human and it is certainly possible that we may have missed something when redacting the documents. A different question is equating a disagreement with tactics with a violation of the rules.
Nurit T (New York City)
This is a Discussion article; it does not define faction policy and is not binding on members of the faction.