The Right Coast

August 11, 2005
Michigan Civil Rights Initiative 2
By Gail Heriot

An anonymous e-mailer accused me (and by extension the Wall Street Journal) of hyperbole for calling BAMN "Trotskyite." I can understand the e-mailer's skepticism. There aren't many Trotskyite groups out there. But now and then they pop up. And BAMN is one of them.

Here's a copy of a document complaining about BAMN's tactics during the Proposition 209 campaign here in California. And guess whose doing the complaining? Leaders in the Socialist movement. Nobody likes BAMN--except the Michigan Board of Canvassers and the Michigan Democratic Party.

"Socialist organizations condemn attack at UCB by "Coalition to defend affirmative action by any means necessary" and the Revolutionary Workers League/NWROC.

"6 September, 1995

"The following statement has been signed by a range of national socialist leaders and Bay Area socialist activists (see the list at the end of the statement):


"On Wednesday, August 30th at UC-Berkeley, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by Any Means Necessary, which is composed largely of members of the Revolutionary Workers League, assaulted leaders of the broad student Diversity in Action (DIA) coalition and sought to disrupt DIA's pro-affirmative action rally. Members of the Revolutionary Workers League assaulted students and shoved them aside in order to seize DIA's microphone and harangue the crowd gathered at the rally. This followed a pattern of disruption of DIA organizing by the Revolutionary Workers League.

"As socialists, we condemn the actions of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary and the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL). The Revolutionary Workers League's actions in no way reflect socialist values and contribute nothing to social change, "revolutionary" or otherwise. The Revolutionary Workers League, both under that name and its National Women's Rights Organizing Committee (NWROC) name, has a history across the United States of similar disruption and undermining of progressive coalitions.
We call on all socialists and left-minded individuals of principle to reject the tactics of the Revolutionary Workers League and the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by Any Means Necessary.

"Militant socialist values can and must be promoted with respect for the broad progressive movements. There is no room in the left for the sabotague and disruption that has been too common a characteristic of the Revolutionary Workers League.

"As members of the left, we are committed to supporting progressive change and our allies fighting for affirmative action.

"In Solidarity,

National Socialist Leaders

David McReynolds, Socialist Party USA, National Co-chair
Duane Campbell, Democratic Socialists of America, Anti-Racism Commission
Sushawn Robb, Committees of Correspondence, National Co-Chair
Claudette Begin, Solidarity National Political Committee

Bay Area Socialist Organizations/Chapters

Northern California Committees of CorrespondenceFreedom Socialist Party

UC-Berkeley Campus

Nathan Newman, Committees of Correspondence
Tom Boot, AFSCME Local 3211, Diversity Council
Janice Kimball, AFSCME Local 3211, President
Anders Schneiderman, Committees of Correspondence
Jim Cane, AGSE/UAW, History Department Steward
Steve Ongerth, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) member

Other Areas of Country

Robert Naiman, Socialist Forum, Urbana Illinois
Chris Faatz, Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation, Board
Stan Yasaitis, AFSCME Local 82, Pres U-WI-Milwaukee
Paul Burke, Appalachian Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, Vice-Chair
J.J. Plant, Editorial Board Revolutionary History, London
Warren Davis, Solidarity, Philadelphia Branch
Justin Schwartz, Solidarity, Columbus Branch Chair
Pablo Vragus, Solidarity, San Diego Branch"

It's a crazy old world, isn't it?