Trotskyist movement (Australia)
Barry Sheppard (right, holding banner pole with Sylvia Weinstein) at an anti-war march in New York in 1966.
The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume I: The Sixties, a Political Memoir by Barry Sheppard, Resistance Books (Sydney), 2005, 354 pages.
The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume II: Interregnum, Decline and Collapse, 1973-1988, a Political Memoir by Barry Sheppard, Resistance Books (London), 2012, 345 pages.
Review by Peter Boyle
'Primal Socialist Innocence and the Fall'?: the ALP Left in Leichhardt Municipality in the 1980s
By Tony Harris*
[These articles were first published in Green Left Weekly in 1995 to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Australia.]
By John Percy
September 27, 1995 -- Seventy-five years ago, under the impact and inspiration of the October 1917 Russian Revolution, the Communist Party of Australia was founded. It was a modest beginning, but an historic event. The CPA formed in 1920 finally dissolved in 1991, but for most of its life it was the dominant party on the left in Australia and an important force in the workers movement.
There are many
proud chapters in its history -- the numerous trade union struggles
led; organising the unemployed, women, Aborigines, young people;
important civil liberties fights; and solidarity with international
struggles, in Spain, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and East Timor,
to name a few.
The CPA's founders had a vision of socialist revolution in Australia, and this was the goal of most of its rank-and-file members over the years. The party inspired dedication and commitment from thousands of men and women, and organised the most militant, idealistic, self-sacrificing section of the Australian working class.
But it was also a history of mistakes, of betrayals, of lost opportunities.
To mark this important anniversary, Green Left Weekly will be carrying a series of articles on the history of the CPA.
On August 17, 1985 the National Committee of the Democratic Socialist Perpective (then named the Socialist Workers Party) voted to end the party’s affiliation to the Fourth International, the international organisation founded in 1938 by the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his supporters around the world.
This decision, which was subsequently endorsed by the DSP’s 11th Congress, held in Canberra in January 1986, was the result of a process of rethinking within the DSP about many of the ideas it had shared in common with other parties adhering to the Trotskyist movement.