We condemn the handling of two allegations recently made by female comrades regarding sexual harassment and rape. We believe that the way this case was handled by the Disputes Committee and the Central Committee constitutes an unacceptable betrayal of our politics on women’s liberation. We also condemn the suppression of the formation of a legitimate faction created for the distribution of an important statement relating to the case by a number of comrades, during the pre-Conference period. The CC should be aware that these failures are impacting on the ability of SWSS members to work effectively with others
We call on the CC to acknowledge the gravity of these failures of principle and strategy and to issue an immediate apology to the women involved. An immediate recognition that mistakes have been made needs to be issued. In order to move forward from our current impasse a special conference must be called and a rank-and-file investigate commission in to the Disputes Committee procedures must be formed. Further, we believe that Comrade Delta can no longer be involved in the party’s united front work. It is untenable for him to represent the party in any way at this time.
We need to acknowledge there has been a lack of leadership, particularly as the crisis has unfolded. There has been a lack of accountability with regard to a truthful communication of the issues at stake, first of all at the 2011 Party Conference – at which delegates were not told the true nature of the allegations against Comrade Delta. Subsequently there has been lack of honesty from the CC to party members with regards to matters such as the aforementioned suppression of the faction before Conference and the blocking of their statement.
We urge all members of the SWP to take up this matter in their local branches as a matter of urgency and to push for a special conference through the democratic mechanisms of the party.
The SWP has a long and proud tradition of fighting for the emancipation of women, as well as workers in general, and we do not take departure from this rich legacy lightly. The current situation is unacceptable and will do irreparable damage to the confidence of both current and potential comrades alike, and to the party’s ability to represent and fight for workers everywhere, if these issues are not addressed in the correct way immediately. In making this statement and calling for this action, we reaffirm our commitment to the SWP and would like to call on all members to stay in the organisation and fight for our tradition.