Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Richard Embry

Factions Split SDS Meeting In Vicious Shouting Match

Published: The Stanford Daily, Volume 156, Issue 68, 29 January 1970. 
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Last night’s SDS meeting erupted into a vicious, ninety-minute-long shouting match between eight members of the Worker-Student Alliance Caucus (WSA) and about 25 members of the “old” Stanford SDS, who were allied with eight Revolutionary Union (RU) members.

The meeting opened with a proposal from H. Bruce Franklin that all WSA members be forced to leave, since the WSA had been voted out of the Stanford SDS during a summer meeting of the chapter. The WSA faction held its ground.

SDS members heatedly charged the WSA caucus with trying to “wreck” the radical movement, specifically citing WSA’s criticisms of the NLF, Black Panther Party, labor unions, and Ho Chi Minh.

While insisting the issue at hand was their right to remain at the meeting, WSA members responded by saying that they supported the same anti-imperialist groups as the SDS, but felt that their criticisms had been valid and justified.

Despite threats of violence, which almost materialized, WSA members were undaunted by the attacks leveled at them, and they remained until tempers cooled and people broke into smaller groups. Two hours after the meeting had begun, they walked out, and the remaining SDSers started the meeting up again.

The Worker-Student Alliance was a caucus within the SDS until the SDS National Convention this summer, where the National SDS split into two groups, the Weatherman and the Progressive Labor Party (PLP).

The Stanford chapter, although formally aligning itself with neither Weatherman nor PLP, voted to exclude any WSA members from its ranks this summer. The Weatherman, on walking out of the National Convention, had denounced the WSA caucus. Another faction, calling itself the Boston SDS, is currently allied with WSA.

The basic ideology of WSA and SDS are the same, with both groups striving to destroy what they term all racist, imperialist, internationalist, and anti-communist elements.

Basic strategies of the two groups are to build a worker-student alliance and a pro-working class student movement.