Trotskyist Bulletin No. 4

Trotskyism vs. Pabloism

Nicaragua & the Permanent Revoution




Resignation from the TAIC

At the 1987 conference of the TAIC on November 7 the Bolshevik Tendency put forward the following motion:

"Proposal to reconstitute the TAIC as a united-front committee on the following basis:

"A) i) Opposition to U.S. intervention in Central America/Caribbean.
ii) Opposition to Canadian intervention and/or support for U.S. intervention in the region.
"B) i) Each sponsoring group has the opportunity to speak and otherwise present its views at each event.
ii) Every participating organization has the right to approve all material produced in the name of the united front committee—and nothing will be published that is not agreed to by all.
"C) That this motion supercedes the entirety of the current ‘Basis of Unity of the TAIC.’"

This motion was divided—parts A and C were passed, with the addition of a third point to part A which supported the right to self-determination for the peoples of Central America and the Caribbean. Part B was tabled to the November membership meeting of the TAIC where it was further tabled to the 9 December membership meeting. The Bolshevik Tendency stated at both these meetings that our participation in the TAIC was dependent on its commitment to guarantee the right of each participating organization to present its own independent view at coalition events.

The 9 December TAIC meeting passed the following motions:

"All published materials must be approved by all participating organizations and individuals represented on the steering committee."

"All organizations which actively build a TAIC event be offered the opportunity to speak for equal time, other speakers to be invited by the coalition."

On this basis the BT agreed to join the TAIC and to take a place on the steering committee. On this basis the TAIC organized what proved to be a successful demonstration of some three hundred people against U.S. contra funding on 2 February. The comrades of the BT did half the work for this demonstration—comrades of the ASA did the other half. At the demonstration both organizations, as well as the Jenny Green Brigade and Canadian Action for Nicaragua, spoke and put forward their own distinctive positions within the framework of their common opposition to Reagan’s contra terrorists.

At the 10 February meeting of the TAIC, under an agenda point where the 2 February demonstration was to be discussed, comrade Barry W. of the ASA abruptly proposed to scrap the united-front organizational framework of the coalition which had been agreed to on 9 December. The comrades of the BT protested this undemocratic procedure and proposed that consideration of such a sweeping change should be postponed to a future meeting of the coalition to permit time for discussion and consideration. This proposal was voted down and a round of discussion ensued.

In the discussion a number of vulgar anti-communist sentiments were expressed by Noni and David, two ASA allies (now TAIC steering committee members). ASA spokesperson Barry W. argued in essence that permitting Marxist groups to speak from the platform at TAIC events would be a mistake as it would alienate liberals—thereby narrowing the appeal of an anti-intervention movement. If the TAIC survives, we expect that various honored guests will be invited who will use it as a platform to promote things like the "Arias Plan"—a measure by which the Democratic Party and the Central American bourgeoisies plan to strangle the Nicaraguan revolution and stabilize capitalist rule in the region.

The reversal of the guarantees of the right to independent expression of Marxist politics within the TAIC represents its reversion into a reformist propaganda bloc which will doubtless once again seek to "pressure the Canadian government" and argue that "social justice, not communism is the issue" in Central America. It is therefore impossible for the Bolshevik Tendency to continue to participate in the TAIC.

Bolshevik Tendency
15 February 1988




Posted: October 2003