Party Building & Left Unity

Pacific Edge – October 15, 2015
By Russ Grayson

A fine, mild Saturday afternoon in October 2015 was a suitable day to remember the late John Percy. As 4pm approached, the building at Addison Road Community Centre was almost full and would soon be standing room only.

The John Percy memorial event marked the conclusion of John’s posted collection exhibition that graphically documented the history of the movement.

Sydney Morning Herald – September 18, 2015
By Max Lane

Many people visiting Glebe any time during the last 25 years would have seen a man standing on Glebe Point Rd selling a socialist newspaper. In fact, he had been selling socialist newspapers since the 1960s, every week and at all major demonstrations in whatever city he was living in.

Green Left #1067 – August 28, 2015
By Jim McIlroy & Dave Holmes

John Percy, veteran socialist, died on August 19 in Sydney, aged 69. He was a co-founder of the revolutionary youth organisation Resistance and the Socialist Workers Party, later the Democratic Socialist Party.

John, together with his brother Jim, began his political career as a student activist at Sydney University in the mid-1960s in the growing movement against the Vietnam War.

Pacific Edge – August 26, 2015
By Russ Grayson

We said goodbye to John yesterday afternoon. Around 100 gathered in the restored Art Deco ambience of a room in Erskineville Town Hall to hear reflections on John Percy’s life from his family and from those who had worked with him over his 50 years of activism.

Red Flag – March 27, 2014
By John Percy

“We have our party back!” That expresses exactly the feelings of all former Revolutionary Socialist Party comrades after a year of unity with Socialist Alternative.

Jon Lamb, a former RSP comrade from Brisbane, made this point at the December 2013 Socialist Alternative conference, referring to one of the themes we were fighting for in the factional struggle in the old Democratic Socialist Party, from which we were expelled in 2008. We wanted our revolutionary Marxist party back, but the Socialist Alliance/DSP leaders dissolved the DSP in 2010. (And now they have also dissolved their youth organisation Resistance!)

Red Flag – June 12, 2013
By John Percy

Red Flag builds on a long tradition of socialist publications. Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin drummed into his supporters in “Where to Begin?”, written in 1901, the role of the newspaper as “scaffolding” in building an organisation:

“The role of a newspaper … is not limited solely to the dissemination of ideas, to political education, and to the enlistment of political allies. A newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator; it is also a collective organiser. In this last respect it may be likened to the scaffolding round a building under construction, which marks the contours of the structure and facilitates communication between the builders, enabling them to distribute the work and to view the common results achieved by their organised labour…

Marxist Left Review Number 5 – Summer 2013
By John Percy

There have been “broad parties” aplenty in the past claiming to represent workers, or broader classes, or “progress” in general – parties that are sometimes mass, mostly with electoral ambitions, but with programs that are social democratic, or left liberal, sometimes “all-inclusive”, but non-Leninist and non-Marxist. Such parties are not able to bring about fundamental social change; they cannot break the state power of the capitalist class. For that we need a revolution. We know a revolutionary party is necessary to carry that out, a Leninist party.

Compiled in 2010
By Doug Lorimer

The chapters of this pamphlet first appeared as individual articles in the newspaper Direct Action over a period of two and a half years, beginning with the paper’s first issue, in June 2008.

The aim of each article was to present an introductory explanation of some aspect of Marxism. In nearly every case, the space available was limited to 700 words, so there was no opportunity to go into great detail. Paradoxically, perhaps, this limitation had its advantages, limiting digressions and forcing a focus on the topic at hand.

October 3-4, 2009
By Doug Lorimer

Comrades, on June 7 this year the DSP National Committee unanimously adopted a report given by Peter Boyle which proposed that it was “time for the DSP to make a decisive turn towards building the Socialist Alliance as our new party”. Right from this first sentence of his report, Boyle began his usual obfuscation. The DSP made the decision to build the SA as its “new party” in December 2003, ceasing to function as a public party and becoming the Democratic Socialist Perspective, defined as a “Marxist tendency in the Socialist Alliance”. What Boyle’s report really proposed is that the DSP dissolve into the SA., or as he preferred to describe it, “merge” with or “integrate” into the SA.

The Activist – Volume 17, Number 14, November 2007
By John Percy (Sydney Central branch)

Building a revolutionary Marxist party based on the working class is central to the political outlook of the Democratic Socialist Perspective, and it’s at the core of the DSP’s program: