WSA Caucus Considers Vote to Disband After Splits Between Old SDS Factions
Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

WSA Caucus Considers Vote to Disband After Splits Between Old SDS Factions

First Published: Harvard Crimson, March 16, 1970.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Worker-Student Alliance (WSA)–one of two major caucuses around which SDS was polarized last year–may soon vote to dissolve itself.

Members of the present WSA, a caucus which has until recently been active in Harvard-Radcliffe SDS, have reported that a move to dissolve was informally approved almost unanimously at the last meeting of the caucus three weeks ago.

But no final decision has yet been made concerning the dissolution of the caucus because several of its members were not present and did not have an opportunity to discuss the proposal.


WSA members are reported to feel that the disappearance of an opposition caucus within SDS makes their own caucus “superfluous” and “detrimental” to SDS.

WSA is the only caucus now functioning in SDS. The New Left caucus has not met since the student strike last April, and, after the breakup of national SDS in Chicago last June, many of its members joined Weatherman and the November Action Coalition (NAC), two groups which have grown out of the old SDS.

WSA was founded by members of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) in the fall of 1968 after an abortive move at the previous SDS national convention to expel PLP members from SDS.

At the same time, the New Left was founded on political positions which were opposed to those of PLP.

Opposition between WSA and the New Left grew bitter as the student strike progressed last year. WSA. which maintained a majority position in SDS before and during the strike, accused SDS co-chairman Michael Kazin ’70, a New Left spokesman, of “distorting” the SDS position. The New Left responded with charges of “factionalism.”

At the June convention, a large minority of SDS members(??)led by two of the three SDS national officers, walked out of the convention. Returning the following day, they expelled members of PLP and WSA from the organization.

Subsequent to the convention, those who had walked out, members of the Revolutionary Youth Movement, spilt among themselves, forming two groups: Weatherman (RYM-I) and RYM-II. In the Boston area, members of RYM-II founded NAC.

WSA and others who did not walk out of the June convention have since organized themselves as the “legitimate” SDS. No other radical groups presently challenge this claim.