A mistaken view

Tim Anderson is mistaken in thinking that there was a “split” in the DSP last year and that the existence of the RSP is the result of “sectarianism”. The RSP was formed at the end of May last year by members of a minority faction expelled from the DSP for allegedly violating DSP “discipline” by supporting a motion at the April 5, 2008 Sydney Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network AGM that it “endorse the building of campus AVSN clubs”, even though building such clubs had been the formal national policy of the DSP since November 2004.

He is correct in noting that the “main difference” between the DSP majority and our minority faction was over the DSP’s “continued support for the Socialist Alliance, which collapsed into mainly a DSP project after the withdrawal of the old ISO”. But this difference is not why we are outside the ranks of the DSP. Having been expelled en bloc from the DSP, we constituted ourselves as a new publicly functioning political organisation (the RSP) and began producing Direct Action. He claims that, “No new exercise in ‘party building’ is going to help the Australian left”, implying that we should not have done this, but instead have … done what? Ignored the fact that we had commonly agreed upon political views and simply have functioned as isolated individuals?

While noting that the “the RSP attempts to recruit new people through a greater emphasis on solidarity with the processes in Venezuela and Cuba”, he complains about the “current competition over Latin American ‘solidarity’ events” and ask: “What is wrong with doing joint events?” We see nothing “wrong” with “doing joint events” to promote solidarity with the socialist revolutions in Cuba and Venezuela. Thus our members worked last year with the sole DSP member enrolled on Sydney University (SU) to build joint events to establish the SU Cuba-Venezuela Solidarity Club (and supported his election as the club’s treasurer). However, at the end of March he resigned from the DSP and joined the RSP — in large part because the DSP regards any such joint work as detracting from its efforts to recruit people to its SU Resistance club.

Chris Atkinson,
RSP Sydney branch secretary