Why did the ISO implode so quickly, especially when the new leadership took many of the right steps to deal with the grenade that was dropped in their laps?
... ISO LeaksI hope this ISO Leaks person is not taking asyslum in some embassy. Lots of stuff coming in from the left with a lot of insight and providing a deeper understanding for insiders like me as to how ISO operated in MORE.
I've heard long-time leftists wonder why some of the smart people they meet from ISO would chose to be in an organization - in some cases for their entire adults lives (many are recruited in college) which has had the same people on steering committee for 35 years. ISO leaks reports:
As far as anyone knows, the ISO’s last competitive SC election was in 1983 when the group’s founding leaders, Cal and Barbara Winslow, were ousted in an effort driven by the British Socialist Workers Party — then the ISO’s “mothership.” Ahmed Shawki and Sharon Smith were installed in the Winslows’ place on the SC where they (and a handful of close allies like Paul D’Amato) would remain for the next 35 years.
it’s the Leninist/Vanguardist thing that’s in their DNA, combined with their bourgeois backgrounds/organizing strategies, which make them incapable/uninterested in actually talking with people who are different from them (as in, working people), the resulting insularity (always an occupational hazard on the Left) and a how-many-revolutionaries-can-
dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin kind of scholasticism...
While many left articles give credit for people inside ISO for pushing for reforms, they went along with a top-down fundamentally undemocratic organization which dictated policy from the top which was carried out by the apparatchiks in ISO in their union work which often engaged in attempts to suppress dissent in their caucus work - just as dissent was suppressed in ISO for 4 decades. The leaf doesn't fall far from the tree.
Why is this stuff important? Because the ISO faction in the UFT which has not always been a constant as new people kept showing up as others left, has played a major role in opposition politics. Thus I will be posting many articles and making the links to UFT politics. The refusal to run with other caucuses is directly related to the ISO decision making policy. I will expand in future articles.
- Joe Richard was promptly removed from the SC.
- Keenga-Yamatta Taylor who was on the 2013 SC resigned on March 13.
- Sharon Smith, Ahmed Shawki, Paul D’Amato, and Lance Selfa who had served on the SC since the 1980s quit the organization.
- Steering Committee member Alan Maass accused fellow SC member Joel Geier of aggressively lobbying for Joe Richard on the 2013 SC which Geier hotly contested before resigning a few days later.
- All 2013 SC members were suspended from leadership positions at various levels of the organization.
- A long-time ISO member filed a 10-page #MeToo complaint on March 17 detailing years of emotional abuse and manipulation by Shawki who was effectively her boss.
- Entire branches began disaffiliating.
- Hundreds of leading and rank-and-file members quit.
- What other rapes or crimes were covered up by the old leadership that no one blew the whistle on?
- Why did Joel Geier lobby so vociferously on Joe Richard’s behalf, particularly when others accused of similar crimes were summarily expelled without any due process?
- Did Joel Geier’s $10,500 donation to the ISO’s nonprofit — the Center for Economic Research and Social Change — in 2013 have anything to do with him successfully swaying the 2013 SC to his point of view on the Joe Richard case?
- Did Joel Geier and Joe Richard know each other prior to the 2013 rape case or after, given their collaboration on a Marxist Internet Archive project that same year?
1. Don’t do cover-ups. Also, don’t rape, sexually assault, or otherwise abuse people.
This should go without saying but it’s worth reiterating anyway given the ubiquity of sexist abuse. No organization can ever be completely be free of criminal or anti-social behavior forever, but once people become aware of such acts, covering it up is exactly the wrong thing to do.
2. Volunteer organizations are not equipped to investigate violent crimes with the aim of finding people guilty or innocent.
Joe Richard is lucky his accuser did not go to the police. The ISO is lucky none of their members (at least according to written documents) told the accuser or witnesses not to talk to the police since such acts could amount to witness tampering or obstruction of justice.