John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

IS Network steering committee teleconference minutes (07-ix-2014)

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IS Network steering committee teleconference minutes (07-ix-2014)

Attending: James N, Gareth H, Javaad A, Kat B-M
Apologies: Kris S, Simon H, Luke S, Jenny R

Agenda

NHS Demo Report Back
Anti-NATO Protests Report
Bulletin II
National Members' Meeting - Aggregates, Ringrounds, Emails
Transphobia Meeting

NHS Demo Report Back

Report back from the NHS demo in London, 1000 people on the demo. 20,000 at the rally. Unions supported the rally. Big speakers including Owen Jones and Jeremy Corbyn. Union people were present but a small minority of the overall people. Local campaign groups were involved trying to save their local hospitals.

Several IS Network members on the demo. 500 copies of the new IS Network pamphlet by Mark B have been printed. 50 or so pamphlets given out or sold during demo. 35 sent to Bristol IS Network. Remaining split between Gareth H and Mark B. Looking to take pamphlets up to the NMM in Birmingham to give out, if members can't print them out before then. We have also sent out a PDF version to the FB group.

There is a campaign called Docs not Cops, in response to the Immigration Act, comrades are involved in this campaign. Mark B and Gareth H to get in touch about where next for our action to defend the NHS.

Anti-NATO Protests

Report Kat B-M present at these in Cardiff. We will report this back to the IS Network Facebook page (technical issues prevented us discussing this during the teleconference).

Bulletin II

Bulletin 2 currently only has two pieces (update: there have been additional contributions since). We should send out guidelines about how to to contribute to the bulletin and how it all works. We may have overestimated in requesting for three bulletins and we shouldn't necessarily let this be demoralising due to the very short window each bulletin has been produced within. Should bulletin 2 merge with 3 as not enough pieces have come in? We should speak to Hazel C, because she is currently coordinating it, so we should ask her what the plan is.

Structures/Membership

We are trying to work out what our structures are and the form of the organisation will take after the next NMM. We are struggling with what the relationship is with the SC and the rest of the group, but that is something we are working out. There should be a contact point for people joining the organisation, i.e. a membership secretary. We should consider putting together a members pack, so members know what the structures are. If we're going to put in an SC contribution to the bulletin, we should suggest putting together a membership pack post-NMM and/or having a full membership secretary.

NMM - Aggregates, Ringrounds, Emails

Aggregates are being organised in London and Sheffield (who have invited Leeds/Bradford). We should report back from our aggregates via email/Facebook. These are great because people who are unable to make NMM's can still contribute and those going to the aggregates are perhaps more likely to attend the NMM.

Action: Gareth and James are coordinating ringrounds in London. Will find out the status of ringrounds for non-London members. There are concerns from some that the IS Network's conferences are too concerned with structures and not political priorities, so this is the reason for the policy-focused NMM. It was suggested that those members involved in the national members' meeting organising groups should make sure we focus on this and that we all try to write pieces on political priorities that we want to see adopted.

Transphobia Meeting

The meeting is going to be on the 20th September in Goldsmiths and is aimed mainly at IS Network members but we're aiming to bring others to it also. There are concerns about the lack of publicity of the meeting so we will talk to the coordinators and get their thoughts.

Action: Gareth to check in with Emma R re:when publicity/the fb page etc will go out.