DSP leadership purges minority faction

On May 10, 2008, the national leadership of the Democratic Socialist Perspective (formerly the Democratic Socialist Party) decided to purge all of the members of a minority faction – the Leninist Party Faction – from the DSP.

The LPF was formed at the end of the DSP’s 22nd congress in January 2006. Its platform was supported by a bit less than one-fifth of the DSP membership in the election of delegates to the 23rd DSP congress (held in January 2008).

The purge of the LPF “as a whole” from the DSP follows a pattern of increasing exclusion of LPF members from DSP leadership bodies and political work. As early as May 2006, the DSP national committee adopted a report, presented to it by DSP national secretary Peter Boyle, that denounced the LPF as a ‘hostile’ grouping within the DSP. At the DSP’s 23rd congress, despite the LPF having almost one-fifth of the delegates, the DSP majority leaders argued against the election of any more than three LPF leaders to the DSP’s 52-member national committee.

A month after the congress, the majority leadership began to “de-assign” (de facto ban) LPF members from engaging in public political activity, such as carrying out Palestine and Venezuela solidarity activity (including attending meetings of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network). After circulating a list of frame-up allegations against members of the LPF, the DSP national executive set up a subcommittee "to investigate whether or not the Leninist Party Faction (LPF) is operating within the democratic and constitutional framework of the Democratic Socialist Perspective” and to make “recommendations for appropriate action”. The subcommittee consisted of members who had earlier indicated they had decided that the LPF was violating the “constitutional framework” of the DSP.

On April 7, this same subcommittee was converted into an "investigation commission" into formal disciplinary charges brought against the LPF “as a whole” because four of its members had voted at the April 5 Sydney AVSN annual general meeting for a motion that the meeting endorse the building of campus AVSN clubs.

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