Response from New York branch leadership. Jan 26,2021

 Comrade Shuvu: 

This is to inform you that the New York Branch Committee is formally charging you with  violations of party discipline, disloyalty and actions aimed at disrupting the work of the party in  the working class. These actions are grounds for disciplinary action, including expulsion.  

On January 18, in the course of an exchange of texts arranging for our intervention in the Hunts  Point strike, you advocated that the branch be “tactful” in its intervention, and then suddenly  announced that you had fundamental differences with the party’s line on the trade unions. This  was the very first time you had raised any questions or doubts on the party’s position, which is  spelled out in the SEP “Statement of Principles” that is the basis of membership and has been the topic of frequent internal and public discussions ever since you joined the SEP.  

You have since demonstrated your own “tact” toward the Teamsters bureaucracy by abstaining  entirely from the party’s intervention among the strikers. 

On January 19, the branch committee met and decided that a discussion of your differences  would be organized within the branch, which is the basic unit of the revolutionary party. 

In the course of the discussion, asked about a document written by Carlos B, a former  provisional member, opposing the SEP’s position on the unions. Carlos B. came from, a Stalinist background, and – upon realizing that he had fundamental differences – withdrew his application for party membership.  

You demanded immediate access to Carlos B’s document. It was explained to you that this  document would be circulated, along with other materials, for the discussion within the branch. 

You decided that you would not wait for the branch discussion. Instead, you privately contacted  Carlos B and obtained from him his document. Within hours of receiving this document, you  declared your complete agreement with it. You haven not offered any explanation of what it was  you agreed with. 

While you have yet to say a word about the contents of this document or articulate in any  coherent form your own perspective, you have acted outside of the organizational structure of the party and in clear violation of its political discipline. Making unprincipled use of contact  information to which you have had access, you have circulated the document throughout the US  SEP and other sections. You are acting, in effect, as the agent and spokesman of an individual  who is politically opposed to the party’s perspective and program.  

In your email to the branch committee titled “Fundamental disagreements on the Trade Union  Principle,” you repeatedly invoke “revolutionary centralism,” but your own method has all the  hallmarks of petty-bourgeois anarchism. 

You refer to the branch committee, in which you yourself are a member, as the “so-called  leadership of the branch” and declare that any attempt to call you to order would be equivalent to “a method utilized by Stalinism” to repress the Trotskyist movement. You further assert that you 

refuse to be “frightened or “intimated” (sic) by the “entire party apparatus”. This kind of rhetoric has a long and discredited history, closely associated with anti-communism. 

Every member has the right to raise differences and to fight to win support for their views within  the party. The leadership has the right and the responsibility to organize discussion within the  branch, the basic unit of the party, so that a comrade can present their positions and consider the  response of other branch members. You clearly find such genuine forms of democratic  centralism intolerable. 

You write that while your intention is not to “sow chaos” within the ICFI, if that is the result of  your behavior, “so be it.” This is the language not of a loyal party member, but rather of an  enemy. You go on to accuse the party of opportunism as well as “sectarianism and dogmatism,”  using the words “disgusting betrayal.” 

Everything you say recalls the characterization made by Trotsky in 1939 of the petty-bourgeois  opposition within the Socialist Workers Party: “a disdainful attitude toward theory and an  inclination toward eclecticism; disrespect for the tradition of their own organization; anxiety for  personal ‘independence’ at the expense of anxiety for objective truth; nervousness instead of  consistency; readiness to jump from one position to another; lack of understanding of  revolutionary centralism and hostility towards it; and, finally, inclination to substitute clique ties  and personal relationships for party discipline.” 

The Constitution of the Socialist Equality Party states in Section XI. Discipline: 

a. All decisions of the governing bodies of the party are binding upon the members and  subordinate bodies of the party. 

b. Any member who violates the decisions of the body of which he/she is a member or of a  higher body, or who acts in a manner deemed detrimental to the interests of the SEP and  the working class, shall be subject to disciplinary action by the body exercising  jurisdiction. Disciplinary action may include censure, suspension of membership for a  period not exceeding three months, or expulsion.” 

Your violation of the branch committee’s decisions and subsequent undisciplined and disruptive  actions make you subject to such discipline. You will have the right to present and defend  yourself against these charges before disciplinary action is taken. 

Yours sincerely, 

Daniel de Vries 


New York Branch

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