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SWP: How many dimensions to petty political sectarianism?

category dublin | miscellaneous | press release author Monday April 02, 2012 20:18author by SD Report this post to the editors

At the household charges meeting on the 24th March Socialist Democracy distributed leaflets advertising a meeting on the Greek crisis in Dublin at 7-00 on Thursday 5th. We distributed further leaflets at the household charges march on the 31st, only to find that the assembly area was festooned with hurriedly photocopied SWP posters advertising a largely identical meeting at the same time, taking place 100 metres from our venue.

There is only one explanation – an unbelievable level of petty sectarianism on the part of the SWP.

This is wrong on a whole series of dimensions. Both the SWP and Socialist Democracy are active in the Household charge campaign. Both organisations are members of the ULA. We both support the resistance of the Greek workers, both oppose the coup staged by European capital that installed a puppet government and the consequent Financial Stability Pact that threatens democracy across Europe. Even more to the point our speaker, Vangelis Koutalis, is a member of our sister organisation OKDE which is a component of the united left group Antarsya. We understand that comrades of the SWP in Greece are also members of this united body.

Why would the SWP attempt to sabotage a meeting addressed by a speaker who is a member of a united left organisation of which they are part?

We refuse to speculate. We do know there are situations in which political sectarianism becomes so grotesque as to become a parody. We call on the SWP to cancel their meeting and join with us in expressing solidarity with the Greek struggle. We will gladly offer them speaking rights.


John McAnulty,


Socialist Democracy

author by dame street residentpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2012 14:40Report this post to the editors

The SWP have a nasty habit of holding meetings at the same time as another group has previously picked. They organised a march an hour earlier than Occupy were having theirs before christmas! It is petty but it leads to people being confused and not turning up to either event. It is a kind of 'spoiling' tactic.

author by pat cpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2012 19:45Report this post to the editors

This sort of thing has happened far too often for it to be a coincidence. I will advertise the SD meeting as widely as possible.

author by swp memberpublication date Wed Apr 04, 2012 14:58Report this post to the editors

Pat it is easy to cast mud against any group even against a respected group such as Irelands leadingTrotskyist party. Can you give any examples of these so called coincidences? Or is it just your opinion?

author by Joe Mcpublication date Wed Apr 04, 2012 16:07Report this post to the editors

I don't agree with the last poster's assessment of the SWP being the most respected and leading Trotskyist group in the country . Even if that was the case though, it wouldn't give his party any right to deliberately undermine another left-wing group’s meeting .

If John McNaulty’s assertion that the SWP’s meeting is a hastly-convened spoiler for the Socialist Democracy event is correct , and if PatC is right in saying that there has been a lot of this sort of stuff recently from the SWP , it would seem that there is more than petty sectarianism involved.

The SWP poster was certainly right to ask for proof that these were deliberate “coincidences” . If the charge can’t be substantiated , it’s a pretty rotten thing to be saying about the SWP or any other organization of the left . As I said above, if John and Pat C are right , then what the SWP is doing is something more than left pettiness – the leadership of the SWP would surely have to approve of any spoiler meeting of this sort .

I'm not defending the SWP here . Perhaps the woman from the Socialist Party was right who told me of an incident two weeks ago in north Dublin where PB4P/ SWP supporters tore down posters and cancelled a meeting because some of the posters had Joe Higgins billed as a speaker for the meeting that the posters were advertising – which was to have been held in an area that the SWP/PB4P regard being part of their “patch”.

Would John Mc please clear up something from the original statement , which is a bit ambiguous for me.

“ We distributed further leaflets at the household charges march on the 31st, only to find that the assembly area was festooned with hurriedly photocopied SWP posters advertising a largely identical meeting at the same time, taking place 100 metres from our venue.”

Does this mean that the SWP meeting is to be held on the same night as the SD meeting , or does it mean that the SWP meeting was held on the same day as the rally when the hurriedly photocopied SWP posters appeared ? The SWP do sometimes hurriedly convene meetings close by to rallies - I wouldn’t necessarily say there was anything untoward in that - the Greek debt crisis after all was a huge issue at the time .

author by Micknedpublication date Wed Apr 04, 2012 17:06Report this post to the editors

This is all an attack on the socialists
Its just negativity.
Its an incarnation of the right.
They are divisive.
Its SWP bashing
People have a chip on their shoulder.
The SWP are not ashamed to be socialists.
Its because Indymedia is controlled by Anarchists.

Ra Ra Ra

Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.[1] The subject may use:

simple denial: deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
minimisation: admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization)
projection: admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility.

For more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial

The allegations of this type of corruption and malevelence are too numerous to mention.
Dogs bark Cats Meoow and the SWP pack lie manipulate and control and wreck and divide what they cannot control.

They are a liability to our cause and a menace to Irish society, always have been and always will be. Boycott them!

author by pat cpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2012 00:00Report this post to the editors

SWP member

I have often defended the SWP here, not least when their position on Libya was being misrepresented.

But just to give one example there is the demo designed to clash with the Occupy one.

There is the way the SWP split the Budget night demos in 2010 by organising their own front demo.

Too many people have long experience of the SWP, they're not going to be fooled by yiu coming on as an innocent.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2012 00:05Report this post to the editors

Perhaps the woman from the Socialist Party was right who told me of an incident two weeks ago in north Dublin where PB4P/ SWP supporters tore down posters and cancelled a meeting because some of the posters had Joe Higgins billed as a speaker for the meeting that the posters were advertising – which was to have been held in an area that the SWP/PB4P regard being part of their “patch”.

There have been some problems with people regarding areas as being theirs. But I don;t believe the above. I'm not saying you weren;t told this but I would have to know who the sP member was.

I realise you may not be in a position to give this info.

author by An Draighneán Donnpublication date Wed Apr 11, 2012 02:47Report this post to the editors

The SWP are not a Trotskyist group. The supported the imperialist backed bourgeois counter-revolution in Libya.

Unlike many of his latterday followers - or pretend followers - Leon Trotsky was no fool. The man who turned near defeat into total victory for the Red Army knew how to see through an imperialist plot and subterfuge. Below are some vital quotations from Trotsky, that should have prevented the Irish Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Party from becoming Nato dupes. Sadly, they don't seem to read Trotsky.

I'll make the simplest and most striking example. Brazil is dominated by a semi-fascist regime to which every revolutionary can not treat differently, than with hatred.

Assume, however, that tomorrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil.

I ask you, whose side will be in this conflict the world working class? Answer for myself: I will in this case be on the side of "Fascist" Brazil against "democratic" Great Britain.

Why? Because the conflict between them will not be about democracy and fascism. If England wins, she will plant in Rio de Janeiro some other fascist to impose a double chain on Brazil. Conversely, if Brazil wins, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will cause at the same time a blow to British imperialism and will give an impetus to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat.

You need to have a truly empty head, to reduce global antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must be able to distinguish between the exploiters, slaveholders and predators!

Interview with Mateo Fossa 26 sept. 1938

Imperialism can exist only because there are backward nations on our planet, colonial and semi-colonial countries. The struggle of these oppressed peoples for national unity and independence has a twofold progressive character, since, on the one hand, it prepares favorable conditions of development for their own use, and on the other, it strikes blows at imperialism. Hence, in part, the conclusion that in a war between a civilized imperialist democratic republic and the backward barbarian monarchy of a colonial country, the socialists will be entirely on the side of the oppressed country, notwithstanding its monarchy, and against the oppressor country, notwithstanding its “democracy”.

1940 "Stalin – An Appraisal of the Man and his Influence"

The struggle against war and its social source, capitalism, presupposes direct, active, unequivocal support to the oppressed colonial peoples in their struggles and wars against imperialism. A 'neutral' position is tantamount to support of imperialism.

Resolution on the Antiwar Congress of the London Bureau (July 1936)

author by An Draighneán Donnpublication date Wed Apr 11, 2012 02:55Report this post to the editors

A chara, the SWP position on Libya was not misrepresented. They openly supported racist lynch mobs, who were hanging hundreds of Black people, and ethnically cleansing tens of thousands of Black people. They openly supported the destruction of a Socialist state, and its replacement with a sectarian Islamist petty-bourgeois state, where the means of production are privatized. They called for the US puttet "NTC" to be recognised as a legitimate government - even though it was just a private group of men with no mandate at all. Even now, the rat militias pay no attention to the NTC. The SWP called for the arming and funding of this private group of emigres - some of whom had been CIA assets for decades. Mind you, given that the SWP were such friends with CIA agent Madhi al-Harati, that should be no surprise. The SWP lost all credibility when they supported the Nato rats. they should just disband now. They are a disgrace - a shame to all decent people.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Apr 11, 2012 13:59Report this post to the editors

I think the SWP made some errors in their analysis of what was happening in Libya. But so did a lot of people at the start.

But it is incorrect to suggest that the SWP supported racist lynch mobs. They clearly condemned it from the start. Their support for the transitional council was incorrect, but they moved on from that. The problem is that the SWP are incapable of admitting they were ever wrong so they flit from one posiotion to another as if the previous position never existed.

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Wed Apr 11, 2012 17:26Report this post to the editors

This is sort of funny by the way who are Socialist Democracy????

I know of course who PBP/SWP etc etc are - they are the Party whom Pat Kenny has on at least every week as independent objective observers -.

author by An Draighneán Donnpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2012 03:06Report this post to the editors

A chara, I think you are being too kind to the Cliffites. You say they did not support the racist lynch mobs, but supported the NTC. That is to assume that there is a separation between the NTC and the lynch mobs. But, this is not the case. The NTC never condemned the lynchings, never tried to stop them, and certainly never tried to bring the criminals to justice. Why? Because the lynch mobs were the only army they had. The NTC certainly come from a different class to the lynch mobs. But this is the case in all Fascist uprisings. The petty bourgeoisie supply the leadership, and the lumpenproletariat supply the violent gangs. They operate as a single force. When the SWP supported the NTC, they automatically supported the material force of the NTC, which was the racist gangs - along with NATO and the dictators of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

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