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IS Network Steering Committee teleconference minutes (06-v-2014)

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ISN Steering Committee teleconference (06-v-2014)

Present: Kris S, Luke S, Jenny R, Javaad A, Alison L, Kat B, Simon H


  1. Proposal for next one-day unity conference
  2. Reports back from departments
  3. Ukraine
  4. Steve Hedley
  5. AOB

1) Proposal for next one-day unity conference

Kris S: put forward a number of suggestions to be proposed to other groups involved in the unity process:

A day on feminism and women's liberation (women's caucuses could form joint working group to plan how the day works.) - Use intersectionality as a prism through which to conduct the day. - Day event on rebuilding trade unions and working class organisation and infrastructure. We discussed having a series of day events.

Luke S pointed out we need more discussion oriented toward wider questions of class composition, social movements, neoliberalism, the kinds of discussions taking place by groups like Plan C et al... 'nature of the period' in rs21 parlance. Issues relating to gender and the trade unions will naturally form part of these discussions.

It was suggested that the topic of ‘housing’ should be considered as a day event.

2) Report backs:

Branch and Membership: Javaad A has taken responsibility for branch and membership and will be working on the membership lists, with a view to contact people on the list and establish whether our contacts are actually members, whether they are paying subs and whether they are in a branch etc.

Treasurer: Jenny updated us about the bank account. Bank account should be put in to the treasurer's name in about a week.

Publications: Luke reported back that he is taking primary responsibility at the moment. There is a need to reconstitute the pubs team and make it more constitutional in terms of gender balance. We discussed the issues that may be involved in commissioning articles at the moment, particularly from our unity partners. We need to be careful about what we publish in relation to topics such as the Ukraine, consulting members as much as possible. We still need a report back from publications, as discussed after the conference. Luke will look to get more members of the publication involved in a publication report and will also look to produce a short blurb outlining pubs group to members, highlighting contact email, the members on the publications group, invites for contributions and reports etc.

Unity talks: International Socialist League members want to join the ISN as individuals. We should publish things on the site that they are involved in like the local anti cuts election campaign (Old Swan Against the Cuts). We considered whether ISL members would get a representative on the SC. Clarified it would be good to have someone on the SC, but there is only a regional position in London for a woman member at this time. ISL members are welcome to stand as regional reps. There is a meeting in London this month where women members are encouraged to stand for the regional rep position.

Action: Luke will write a short blurb inviting contributions for the website.

3) Ukraine:

We held one meeting in London, published a couple of articles on the site. WP sent us their petition asking us to sign it. ISN has not signed it as a group yet, though individuals have signed it.

Simon H: recommended attending upcoming SR meeting on Ukraine. It is hard to know what is happening on the ground in the Ukraine so best thing is to write an article updating Tim's analysis reaffirming certain principles about the situation.

Kat B: Individuals can write articles about it for the site, as long as we make it clear these are individual perspectives and not that of the ISN. Kris: We should ask Tim and Luke S to write a piece for the website with links to different viewpoints and a brief explanation (neutral if possible) encouraging people to read as much as they can around it.

Action: Luke S to approach Tim N to help write a brief explanation encouraging people to read as much as possible about the Ukraine.

4) Steve Hedley We discussed the Evening Standard piece about Hedley being a communist holding a gun and standing next to Bob Crow, big red baiting article. Question is why haven't they mentioned about the allegations of domestic violence? There is no reason we could think of that the national press aren’t running a story about the abuse allegations against Steve Hedley.

The women’s caucus reported back that a targeted letter has been produced to send to people on the left to get them to sign it. It was discussed whether we should approach the RMT’s women’s committee. However, concerns were raised that women in the RMT may be under a lot of pressure about this issue. We will be looking to approach more people in the RMT.

Action: Kat will contact the Women's pubs group and the caucus regarding the petition etc.

Meeting closed