Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Louis Dolinar

Labor Committee Disbanded By SDS General Assembly

First Published: Columbia Daily Spectator, Volume CXIII, Number 29, 31 October 1968.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The General Assembly of Students for a Democratic Society last night voted to “dissociate” itself from the Labor Committee of SDS in a dispute concerning the current teachers’ strike in New York city.

In a resolution passed by a vote of 64 to 12, the General Assembly disbanded the current Labor Committee as a part of the Columbia chapter and called for the creation of a new Labor Committee that would “implement rather than obstruct” the decisions of the majority vote of the SDS General Assembly.

The assembly also suggested that the regional headquarters of SDS dissociate its name from the Labor Committee. The Labor Committee, led by Tony Papert, a student in Teachers College, was a small faction within SDS which believes that SDS should be a Leninist vanguard movement working to bring “revolutionary consciousness” to the working class.

The split began several months ago and surfaced in the past two weeks, when the General Assembly adopted a resolution opposing the teachers’ strike and accusing the leadership of the United Federation of Teachers of “racist” policies. The body supported community control of the city’s schools.

At the next general assembly meeting, the Labor Committee released a pamphlet signed by the “SDS Labor Committee (NY Students for Democratic Society)” opposing community control and supporting the striking teachers.

The General Assembly then passed a motion saying that the Labor Committee could consider itself “dissociated” from SDS if the group released their position paper to the public with the SDS name affixed to it.

The Labor Committee subsequently circulated the pamphlet, and the SDS Steering Committee then drafted the resolution passed last night.

At last night’s meeting the Labor Committee circulated a five-page position paper which called the resolution “an effort by one group (within the Columbia Chapter) to censor the activities of another, independent SDS organization.” Several members of SDS burned copies of the Labor Committee paper during the meeting. The General Assembly also discussed plans to protest the national elections. According to Roth, the radical organization will hold a “pig march” around the campus this evening followed by a rally. at the Barnard courtyard to discuss the weekend’s protest activities.