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left unity

Links 23: Editor's introduction

Challenges in uniting the left

Previous issues of Links have frequently discussed internationalism and internationals, or the question of how socialists should collaborate on an international scale. This issue is devoted to the closely related matter of left regroupment, or how socialists can collaborate at the national level. It discusses the challenges of left regroupment through concrete experiences in Australia, England, Scotland, France and Brazil.

In Australia in 2002, the Socialist Alliance, grouping nearly all the far-left organisations, was able to overcome difficult electoral registration requirements in several states and attract as new members a significant number of activists who were not members of any of the component groups. In September, the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), the largest member organisation of the Alliance, proposed to spur the process of left regroupment by becoming an internal tendency within the Alliance and carrying out all its public political activity through the Socialist Alliance.

Australian Socialist Alliance takes a new step for left unity

By Peter Boyle and Sue Bolton

Peter Boyle is a member of the incoming Socialist Alliance national executive and a member of the DSP national executive. Sue Bolton is a member of the national trade union committee of the Socialist Alliance and a member of the DSP national executive. Conference documents are available from <http://www.socialist-alliance.org>.

CONTENTS

Reviving militant unionism

Perspectives debate

United front approach to ALP, Greens

Developing socialist policy

Tendency rights protected

Prospects for the Socialist Alliance

PMP-Merger Blazes Trail for Revolutionary Movement in Philippines

by Ramani De Silva

Ramani De Silva is a member of the Central Committee of the Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino.

CONTENTS

In a historic step forward for the Philippine left, more than a hundred delegates from three revolutionary parties held a unity congress in August 2002 and formed a unified party, after more than a week of congress debates and deliberations.

Scottish Politics has changed for ever

By Allan McCombes

Alan McCombes is a member of SSP National Executive and was the coordinator for the party's 2003 election campaign. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Links.

For the complacent ruling establishment, the spectacular rise of a new left opposition in Holyrood came like a snowstorm in the Sahara.

Right up until literally the midnight hour, the SSP, the Greens and the independents had been ignored, or at best patronised, by the mainstream media.

Nothing prepared the political commentators for the shock of witnessing the big four parties lose one and a quarter million votes across the two ballots; or for the lurch to the left across Scotland and the election of seventeen radical anti-establishment MSPs.

The centre right continues to rule Scotland through the Lib-Lab coalition. But the political centre of gravity in Scotland has shifted decisively to the left.

There is now a clear red gulf separating Holyrood from Westminster. Scotland has become the political Achilles heel of the UK capitalist state.

Canada's Socialist Project

At a meeting in Toronto in the fall of 2000, some 750 activists responded to a call to "rebuild the left" by developing a structured movement against capitalism. This call for a new political formation that would be "more than a movement, less than a party" was similar to other initiatives in Canada and around the world that have been undertaken as the traditional organisations of the political left have waned.

The call was based on the understanding that the discovery and creation of a new kind of left politics is not going to be easy. It was in this spirit that, when the first Toronto initiative faltered, a group of independent socialists continued to meet with other activists across Ontario to try to learn from the experience and find a way forward. The group asked hard questions about how radically different from that first initiative a new political formation of the left would need to be. And they exchanged ideas and assessments of the political situation in Canada and the world, both to focus debate and to arrive at areas of political agreement.

Out of this process—a ray of sunshine during the long winter of 2003—this political statement was completed, launching the Socialist Project as a new political formation on the Canadian left.

* * *

Appeal from the LCR congress for the regroupment of the anti-capitalist left

This appeal was adopted by the fifteenth national congress of the LCR, held in Saint-Denis from October 30 to November 2, 2003.

 

Together, we fought intransigently in defence of workers' rights in the spring of 2003. Together, we have fought against unending imperialist war. Together we have fought against capitalist globalisation, against turning the whole world into a commodity and for the new internationalism incarnated by the anti-globalisation movement.

We are faced in France and on an international level with an offensive against the rights of peoples and of workers, with a headlong rush towards the destruction of the resources of the planet, with a state of permanent war aimed at maintaining the hegemony of the US and European great powers.

How are revolutionary parties built?

This document was submitted by the US International Socialist Organization Steering Committee to the organisation's convention in Chicago, February 68, 2004. A report along these lines was presented by International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki, and the perspectives were adopted by the convention.

 

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