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Announcing Sunday 3/24 call on current crisis, and the future of the ISO

Sunday, March 24 at 3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, Noon Pacific


Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/[redacted]

One tap info:


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Call-in info:
[redacted]#
[redacted]#

Dear comrades,

Whether you have remained a member of the ISO or have recently chosen to
resign in light of our current existential crisis, we praise and cherish your
continued commitment to the politics of revolutionary socialism, internationalism,
and socialism from below.

We—current and ex-ISO members—are unified in knowing that these politics rise
above any specific organizational affiliations, and that we all have a mighty task
ahead of us: linking with the growing socialist movement, organizing with the
explosions of strikes and struggles against capitalist exploitation and social
oppression, and continuing the project of organizing a revolutionary movement.

We were shaken to the core when it was revealed that members of the 2013
Steering Committee (SC) interfered with and overruled the findings of our own
National Disciplinary Committee (NDC), which had both concluded that a rape
had taken place and unanimously voted to expel the member for violating the
ISO Code of Conduct.

This revelation confirmed our commitment to building organizations that are safe
for survivors and free from the toxic cultures of secrecy and proceduralism that
enable such fundamental injustices.

As we have said previously, we absolutely understand comrades who leave the


ISO for the sake of these basic principles of socialist feminism and gender
justice. And that those who remain in the ISO for now have a million questions,
expressed in many different places, about whether they ought to stay, and what
should happen to the ISO itself as an organization.

MANDATE FOR LEADERSHIP


Some of you have expressed, quite directly, the feeling that the new SC and
National Committee (NC) ought to be taking a lead that is more firm and decisive.
We wish to convey to you that we are reeling ourselves, and that, despite
working around the clock, we are struggling.

So much has happened that it’s hard to remember that the crisis exploded just
one week ago.

In that time, we have tried to create forums that are open and transparent. We
have minimized organizational “silos” and worked together as SC and NC, and
with members of the Survivor Caucus and #MeToo Committee in the decision-
making for this process. We have worked with the National Branch Council
(NBC) in creating a public call that was attended by 260 individual users at its
height, with many calling in together. The POC Caucus – which includes
members of the SC and NC – has been quite active as a space for discussing
the crisis, the future of the ISO, and the issues of toxic culture around race and
identity that were raised at convention. We have started to transform Socialist
Worker, now under Danny K (NYC), into a place for foregrounding the crises so
that the left as a whole can participate in and learn from our discussions.

And yet the amount of work laid at our feet – already immense after our rich and
transformative convention – has become monumental after this crisis. Day after
day something new comes up that has prevented us from doing what we know
how to do: to discuss basic plans, to have a division of labor, to bring them to the
membership, and debate and implement them.

All of the grand plans we made at the Convention must be put on the back-
burner as our priority—rightly so—has been expelling or suspending culpable
members, supporting survivors, creating an investigation committee, and
addressing this crisis in the right way. And the resignation of 6 comrades from
the SC and 7 from the NC since convention (again, we are not blaming them for
their choice) has not only been personally difficult, but has impacted our ability to
lead. (See below for the full list of departures from the SC and NC, including
resignations, suspension from leadership, suspensions from membership, and an
expulsion.)

With all of this, we fear that we have lost the mandate given to us at Convention
when we were elected. Leaning on the membership, we would like comrades to
weigh in on the future of the ISO and the role of these leadership bodies.

SUNDAY CONFERENCE CALL

In order to give ourselves and others time to reflect and create proposals, we are
organizing an all-ISO conference call on Sunday (details at the top of the page)
to which comradeswho have are invited—as you have been invited to all of our
conference calls and caucus meetings.
Our proposed agenda is simple: (1) Updates on the crisis, and (2) Next steps for
the ISO. For agenda item #2 we ask comrades to raise formal proposals—that
we can share by Saturday night—on next steps. These can include, for instance,
dissolving the ISO, refounding the ISO, and/or organizing a new group and
formation.

We will give time for comrades to present their proposals, and invite comments
from all comrades on the call (ISO members or not). Depending on the number
of proposals and the feedback we receive, we will either make a decision on
Sunday itself (with all members of the ISO having voting rights), or organize a
second call to give comrades time to think and debate the proposals.

We are absolutely open to comrades meeting with anyone they like, on any
forum they choose, in order to put together combined proposals and
platforms. We hope comrades will be bold and creative in projecting a vision of
the kind of organization they want to see.

The result of these discussions (whether votes at taken Sunday or later) will re-
empower the current SC and NC, or dissolve them, as the case may be.

Regardless of these decisions, we are committed to completing whatever tasks


are to support survivors, and give a full account of our response to the 2013
crises.

Comrades can send ideas or proposals


to [redacted]

A PLEA

While your choice to remain or not is your own decision, we request current
members of the ISO to consider remaining in the group at least until Sunday, and
allow us to make a decision that represents the will of as many of us as possible.

If a retreat is necessary, let it be orderly, clear, and principled – so we can be


better fit to participate in whatever comes next. Let us, at this moment of crisis,
take clear stock of what the ISO has been all these years, reaffirm and clarify our
principles, and take on the tasks ahead of us.

In solidarity

Pranav J (SC)
Phil G (NC)
Sherry W (NC)
Michelle F (NC)
Mukund R (SC)
Jessie M (NC)
Doug S (NC)
Natalia T (SC)
Julian G (SC)
Todd C (SC)
Nikki W (NC)
Eric K (NC)
Bekah W (NC)
Khury PS (SC)
Haley P (SC)
Sean L (SC)
Ragina J (SC)
Dennis K (NC)
Emma WB (NC)
Brian K (NC)
Jen R (SC)
Héctor A (NC)
Claire D (NC)
Alex S (SC)
brian b (NC)
Eva M (NC)
Ashley S (NC)
Flynn (NC)
Danny K (NC)
Monique D (NC)
Fermin V (SC)
Ragina J (SC)

.................................

2019 ISO SC and NC

Steering Committee
Akua O (resigned)
Alan M (suspended from leadership)
Alex S
Dana B (resigned)
Fermin V
Hadas T (resigned)
Haley P
Jen R
Joe R (expelled)
Joel G (suspended)
Julian G
Keeanga-Yamahtta T (resigned)
Khury PS
Mukund R
Natalia T
Pranav J
Ragina J
Sean L
Sumaya A (resigned)
Todd C
Zach Z (resigned)

National Committee
Aaron A
Ashley S
Bekah W
brian b
Brian K
Charles P (suspended)
Charlotte H (resigned)
Claire D
Danny K
Dennis K
Dorian B (resigned)
Doug S
Emma WB
Eric K
Eva M
Flynn M
Jessie M
Joe E (resigned)
Héctor A
Lillie C (resigned)
Lupita R
Michael E (resigned)
Michelle F
Monique D
Nikki W
Owen H (resigned)
Phil G
Sherry W
Todd S-H (resigned)