AWL history

AWL archives at LSE library

The archives of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty and our forerunners, deposited at the library of the London School of Economics, are now catalogued and available to researchers. http://archives.lse.ac.uk/TreeBrowse.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&field=Re… The archives include all the documents and publications of the AWL and our forerunners except the most recent stuff, which is on this website or (in the case of more recent minutes of AWL committees) in electronic archives available to AWL members. Contents of "Irish Workers' Group" folder: 1. League for the Workers' Republic and...

Sean Matgamna reflects on 50 years in the socialist movement. Workers' Liberty 3/26

Click here to download pdf. How and why the AWL tendency started in 1966 Finding my way to Trotskyism, part 1: the "manacles" of nation and class Part 2: from "communism" to "orthodox Trotskyism" How the dockers won solidarity, and how they lost it The AWL: from "orthodox Trotskyism" to the "Third Camp" Debating theories of the USSR The dilemmas of "communism" Sean Matgamna: would my 18 year old self say to me now: "you are on ‘the far right of the far left’"? Working Class Life in Ennis in the Mid-Twentieth Century: Sean Matgamna Examines His Own "Roots and Branches" What is to be done?

Bob Sutcliffe 1939-2019

Bob Sutcliffe, a well-known Marxist economist for over fifty years, and at one time a comrade of ours in the Workers’ Socialist League of 1981-84, died on 23 December 2019, aged 80. I last talked with Bob about 10 years ago, when I was seeking interviews and discussions with Marxist economists about the 2007-8 crisis and its aftermath. Bob explained that his health was bad, and he couldn’t contribute, but he was, as ever, friendly, helping me with introductions to other economists. He was then, and had been for some years, working as a university teacher in the Basque country of Spain. When I...

The left and the election

On 29 October Labour for a Socialist Europe is meeting to discuss its plans, including plans to organise an internationalist-left profile within the Labour campaign in the general election likely to come soon. A basic leaflet is being printed, and an L4SE video has been produced. Other materials being discussed include: • short “position papers” or “explainers” on a range of issues, to be available on the website and printable in short runs or from pdfs for street stalls and hand-to-hand use: Green New Deal, public ownership, union rights, etc. • posters • stickers • tote bags Everything is...

Corbyn in the 1980s

The Times of 6 July 2019 ran an article by Dominic Kennedy, "Corbyn's hard-left blueprint revealed", attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his links in the 1980s with Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. Sean Matgamna, editor of Socialist Organiser in the period described, talked to Solidarity. We have serious political differences with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. But Corbyn has the record of an honorable, serious left-winger, who - unlike many others who had some association with Socialist Organiser in the 1980s - did not change his coat in the years of Blair's New Labour...

Documents from inside the WSL, 1981-4

Before the 1981 fusion ICL-WSL-discns-Nov-Dec-80 ICL-WSL-discns-Oct-Nov-80 Joint-NC-discn-Jan-81 June 1981 joint discussion bulletin Previous old-WSL conference bulletin Internal Bulletins 1981 to 1984 Draft constitution Adopted constitution Draft fusion platform Adopted fusion platform Late amendments to fusion platform Organisation document IB000g-final-org-document IB001-Jan82 /IB002-Jan82 IB003-Feb82 IB005-Apr82 IB006-May82-Carolan-Falklands IB007-Jun82-Tendency-on-Falklands IB008-Jul82 IB009-Jul82-Carolan-Falklands IB010-Jul82-Cunliffe-and-PO-Falklands IB011-Jul82-Ellis-Falklands IB012...

Corbyn is reactionary on Europe

Labour’s victory in the Peterborough by-election on 6 June was of course good news. It was also bad news. It seemed to vindicate the Labour leadership’s political cloak-work and shilly-shallying on the EU. In the 2016 referendum Labour fought Brexit. Now, behind the attempt to avoid alienating either the Remainers or the Brexiters, by fudging and mudging, the Labour leadership are committed Brexiters. They want Brexit, a soft Brexit, yes, but Brexit is Labour’s policy, no less than that of the May government — Brexit, and refusal to commit to a “people’s vote” that would include a Remain...

The development of Workers’ Liberty’s ideas on Israel and Palestine

Here I will give a brief account of the evolution of the ideas of what is now AWL on the Israeli-Arab conflict, and of those of us whose ideas these were. Before Stalinism replaced communism, communists rejected the Zionist project on three main grounds. It was a "utopian nationalism". It misdirected Jews away from the class struggle in the countries in which they lived. Its goal could be achieved, if at all, only in collaboration with the British (League of Nations mandate) authorities in Palestine, and by siding with Britain against the Arabs. (Britain occupied the territory, formerly part...

More denunciations of AWL

More debate on the right of return here. The denunciation of Workers’ Liberty by Alan Davies of Socialist Resistance which we printed in Solidarity 499 has been followed by other comments along the same line on the Socialist Resistance website. There was no state of Israel before 1948 and the backing of Western Imperialism and the [fact that the] state that formed expanded through systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and this violent expropriation of Palestinian land is more than enough to describe the Israeli state as illegitimate. Slamming a state is not slamming the vast majority...

Our debate with Jeremy Corbyn on Nicaragua, 1983

Our criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's politics is not of yesterday. From 1978, and through the early 1980s, Jeremy Corbyn wrote frequently for Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. The picture above shows him on the platform (to the right) at a conference organised by Socialist Organiser in September 1983, the same month as the political exchange of opinions reprinted below. The exchange was on Nicaragua, where in 1979 the old US-backed dictatorship had been overthrown by the left-wing, Cuba-oriented Sandinista movement. Many on the left besides Jeremy Corbyn were uncritical enthusiastic...

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