A History of the CWI/CIO
Date:1998 c.
Organisation: Socialist Party [England & Wales]
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Committee For A Workers' International

Please note:  The Irish Left Archive is provided as a non-commercial historical resource, open to all, and has reproduced this document as an accessible digital reference. Copyright remains with its original authors. If used on other sites, we would appreciate a link back and reference to The Irish Left Archive, in addition to the original creators. For re-publication, commercial, or other uses, please contact the original owners. If documents provided to The Irish Left Archive have been created for or added to other online archives, please inform us so sources can be credited.

Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

25th March 2024

Many thanks to Orla Drohan for donating this to the Archive. It is one of a number of documents donated by her, which will be appearing in future months.

This is not a document that touches upon the Socialist Party in Ireland, or the CWI/CIO in relation to Ireland, directly, though the Socialist Party is mentioned, but it does give a very useful overview of the Committee for a Workers International to which the Socialist Party was affiliated

It starts with an outline of the CWI/CIO.

The Socialist Party is the British section of a Workers International. The CWI founded in 1974, defends the tradition of Trotsky’s struggle against Stalinism and to create a “World Party of Socialist Revolution”, a Fourth International.

Today the CWI has members and supporters working in over 35 countries on every continent.

The CWI’s programme and policies are democratically decided at a World Congress, made up of delegates from its national sections. This Congress elects an International Executive Committee (IEC) which decides policies in between the Congresses. The day-to-day work of the CWI is run by the International Secretariat (IS), is elected by the IECE and based at the CWI’s Centre, which currently is in London.

There are a range of sections – including an overview of Trotskyism, the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, the orientation of Militant (UK) towards the British Labour Party, the International Union of Socialist Youth (the social democratic youth organisation) activism of the CWI – once founded, and Greece in the mid-1970s, the expulsion from social democratic parties, and further work and connections established in a range of states – including Nigeria and South Africa. The issue of Ireland is addressed – the document notes:

A dramatic growth in our international contacts was itself related, in the early part of the 1970s, to the big changes that were underway in the mass, traditional organisations of the working class. Bu the first extensions of our influence came in Ireland. We recruited a young student in Britain who then went back to Northern Ireland on the eve of the explosive Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s. He, in turn, made contact with a new generation of youth, both Catholic and Protestant, around the Northern Ireland Labour Party in the city of Derry.

And it notes contacts with ‘John Throne, Bernadette Devlin (now McAlliskey), Cathy Harkin, Gerry Lync and many others’. It also notes later the ‘establishment of an important presence in the South’ and continues ‘this in turn led to the recruitment of what is now the leadership of the Irish section, comrades such as Dermot Connolly and Joe Higgins who is now a Socialist Party TD.’

It concludes:

We must learn the lessons of the past. There have been enough defeats of the proletariat. Because we have not yet attained mass influence, there are bound to be setbacks and defeats. But there are going to be victories as well. And in defeats and in victories, this new generation will learn the lessons of the past and build an organisation which, this time, will carry the working class to victory.

All told a real insight into the history of the CWI/CIO and the connections to Ireland.

More from Socialist Party [England & Wales]

Socialist Party [England & Wales] in the archive


You can also join the discussion on The Cedar Lounge Revolution

No Comments yet.

Add a Comment

Formatting Help

Comments can be formatted in Markdown format . Use the toolbar to apply the correct syntax to your comment. The basic formats are:

**Bold text**
Bold text

_Italic text_
Italic text

[A link](http://www.example.com)
A link