Our conference

Submitted by AWL on 5 December, 2018 - 1:45 Author: Arthur Bunting

Workers’ Liberty opened our annual conference on 24-25 November with a session on the case for building a revolutionary organisation on the lines developed by the Bolsheviks in the period up to and during the revolution they led in 1917.

There is no short-cut to mass support. We have to build up, as the Bolsheviks did, from the basic tasks of developing our press, recruiting people one by one, doing “singlejack” agitation, striving to make our activities more accessible and outwardfacing.

We adopted a long document on Brexit. An amendment about using the policy adopted by Labour conference in September to drive in political wedges against the leadership’s current pro¬Brexit line. An emergency amendment about efforts to pull together a Labour voice against Brexit was remitted for further discussion (which it has had).

A motion opposing last year’s decision to approve the large sections of the French left who used a Macron vote to fend off Le Pen in the second round of the presidential elections fell, with slightly fewer than 40% of conference voting in favour.

We adopted newly comprehensive code of conduct, complaint procedure, and safeguarding policies, which will be further developed.

The debate on student work focused on re-evaluating our intervention into the National Union of Students. Two amendments, about the balance of that intervention and about activity at Further Education colleges, fell.

A motion summarised the support for trans rights we spelled out in Workers’ Liberty 3/61: most of the debate there focused on whether the terms “terf” (“Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist”) and “cis” (meaning “non¬trans”) can be used at all, or are comprehensively disqualified by ways they have been used.

The discussion on trade union and workplace activity highlighted the UCU dispute, our work around the anti-union laws, and the need to develop strategies around precarious work, and was followed by the election of an industrial committee supplementary to the general committee elected from conference.

In the final discussion, on the Corbyn surge, an amendment saying that the main document was too unrelievedly negative about the Labour leadership’s record on antisemitism fell, and an amendment on fighting cuts-making Labour councils passed.

The conference heard greetings in person from the Worker¬Communist Party of Iraqi Kurdistan, and messages of solidarity from several other groups across the world.

Documents adopted by the conference can be found here.
Policies on code of conduct, grievance procedures and safeguarding can be found here.

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