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32280The American International Socialist Organization (ISO): Facing its own SWP Crisis?

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  • Cort Greene
    Feb 9, 2014

      The American International Socialist Organization (ISO): Facing its own SWP Crisis?

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      Is the American International Socialist Organization (which was closely linked to the SWP) about to face its Comrade Delta moment?

      Speculation is growing this morning.

      Setting the cat amongst the pigeons the Charnel House  yesterday revealed this:

      “Posted on social media by a member obviously embittered by the proceedings thus far, and by the ISO Steering Committee more generally.”

      So this is how the ISO steering committee works, I guess:

      If someone sends angry e-mails to an important Lenin scholar — start getting involved later that day.
      If someone’s critical of the leadership and is late paying dues (or hasn’t paid “enough”) — send an e-mail saying he or she isn’t a member anymore.
      If a member rapes someone — don’t do anything for over a year, hide this from most members of the branch in question, and take it to the disciplinary committee only after the rest of the branch finds out accidentally.
      If someone leaks documents showing that the steering committee covered up the above-mentioned rape to “bad” socialists like Ross Wolfe — make snarky Facebook comments attacking the offending member for being disloyal.

      Maybe they were just having another 3 margarita meeting!

      The said Wolfie adds,

       Should be interesting seeing how they handled the SWP rape allegations coverup, also, especially in light of the way the ISO’s handled the reported rape offense within its own ranks as revealed by the 2014 documents.

      You can download them below (NOTE: For members only)

      Howie’s Corner helpfully posted,

      Sexual conduct allegations emerge in International Socialist Organisation (USA)

      The “Comrade Daniel” affair

      It is in Pre-convention bulletin no 19 that we find the latest far-left scandal. This revolves around a certain “comrade daniel”.

      Full story – as it stands at present -  here.

      An allegation of violation was dealt with by the scandalous approach the SWP took in a similar case,

      During the investigation, it was revealed that two members of the current (2013) SDBC had known a year 
      prior that an accusation had been made, one of whom was also on the SDBC with “Daniel” at the time of
      the incident (July 2012). As of July 2013, no one had spoken to the victim, no disciplinary action had been
      taken against “Daniel,” no fewer than five San Diego comrades knew that there was an accusation,
      including two members of the (2012) SDBC, and the ISOSC was also aware.* The accusation was not
      investigated further in 2012, in part due to the way it was brought (also on Facebook), and the person
      bringing it (also hostile to the ISO). People didn’t want to bother the alleged victim about it.

      The document concludes that:

      The primary failure in this situation was that no ISO member suggested or took the initiative to contact the victim directly to get her account of what had happened. This mistake was made by every member who was in some way aware that an accusation had been made, regardless of their position in leadership or their dedication to fighting sexism. We are not claiming that any ISO members acted in bad faith, but that is precisely the point: Even with the best of intentions, our established procedure produces huge failures.

      As Howie comments: it is wrong that these groups still try to judge on these serious issues through internal investigations.

      Shiraz Socialist comments, “Anyone with a lot of spare time there are tons of bulletins from the last four conferences of the American ISO (former comrades of the SWP)”.

      For those who wish to further explore the ISO this gives an outline the spat that led to the British SWP “expelling” them from the International Socialist Tendency.

      Written by Andrew Coates

      February 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm