Correction to our report of a SL-IG-IBT bloc against rightist provocation in Boston.

The following statement was posted on the internet on 31 July by Joseph Andrews, on behalf of the League for the Revolutionary Party [LRP]. Andrews indicates that the LRP was not invited to join a defense bloc at the Democratic Party convention on Sunday 25 July as we had been informed by a representative of the Spartacist League [SL]. We were told by an LRP spokesperson that they discussed what to do but by the time they arrived things were all over. We presumed that the LRP had been approached as the SL is, generally, somewhat less antagonistic to them than to either us or the IG, but we did not attempt to verify this with the LRP. We apparently made a mistake, which we regret.

From: Joseph Andrews (
Subject: Re: SL-IG-IBT Bloc Against Rightist Provocation in Boston

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Newsgroups: alt.politics.socialism.trotsky
Date: 2004-07-31 07:00:04 PST

The IBT report on the provocation at the anti-war protest in Boston describes a well-deserved punishment applied to offensive right-wing provocateurs.

But the report is slanderous of the LRP. The IBT reporter says that a Spartacist "told me" that he had already approached the IG and LRP about "clearing them out." No such approach was made to anyone in the LRP, by the SL or anyone else. The IBT of all people should know better than to circulate Spartacist claims without checking them out. The LRP has a long record of joining in united-front struggles against right-wing provocateurs, and would surely have joined had we known of the plan. At no time was the LRP holding back while "trying to decide what to do."

The fact is that our literature table, where most of our supporters were stationed, was near the podium, far from the offensive sign set up by the anti-gay and anti-abortionist character on the outskirts of the rally. One of our sales teams did spot the banner, and approached a nearby gay and lesbian group's table, offering to jointly confront the provocateur. But that group's forces had not yet arrived, so they declined. The sales team then reported to our center, and we sent people over to investigate. By then the right-winger had been greatly outnumbered and beaten, the cops had moved in to rescue him, and the business was over.

If the LRP had been so shamefully hesitant to respond to a request for assistance as the IBT account suggests, why then did we not hear about it from the IBTers present at the time, who maintained a friendly attitude throughout the afternoon, or for that matter from the much more hostile SL? The IBT's way-after-the-fact criticism is off the wall.

The IBT should be ashamed of itself for taking an SL claim about a left opponent at face value. And it should apologize to the LRP for maliciously circulating a false story.

Posted: August 2004