New Democratic Movement

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The New Democratic Movement was formed out of the Communist Workers Party in 1985. It published a newsletter called the New Democrat.

Leaders

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In 1986, the three co-chairs of New Democratic Movement, were Phyllis Jones, Dan Siegel, and Jerry Tung.

Proposed officials

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A 1985 New Democratic Movement document listed proposed co-chairs and spokespeople for the organization.

Proposed Co-chairs (official spokespeople)

Proposed executive committee slate and responsibilities (not all will be open)

New York State Bulletin

In 1986 Lucy Lewis and Andrea Bernstein served as editors of the New York New Democratic Movement New York State Bulletin.[1]

"Left of liberal technocrats"

Former member Robin D. G. Kelley his, and his sister Makani Themba-Nixon's involvement with the Communist Workers Party and New Democratic Movement, in "Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader", by Fred Wei-han Ho, foreword, page 2;

Makani and i were especially sensitive to issues of Black-Asian unity, since we were both students at UCLA, where the Third World Coalition built strong ties between African American, Asian, and Latino students. And we were members of the communist Workers party...with strong roots in the Asian American and Black Liberation movements. We were as concerned about the racist murder of Vincent Chin as we were with the murders of Michael Stewart and Eleanor Bumpurs. But by 1986, were feeling thoroughly defeated. The Jesse Jackson campaign was supposed to be the Left's great moment to build a radical grassroots movement...Then the CWP imploded, shedding its Marxist base and re-inventing itself as the New Democratic Movement in 1985. The party adopted adopted the line that "knowledge workers", or left of liberal technocrats were the movement's future. Makani and I didn't stay much longer.

Democratic Party

Louis Proyect first ran into Line of March when he was a member of Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) in the early 80s. They and the Communist Workers Party were the only left groups who worked in CISPES. The CWP, a Maoist sect, was best known for its disastrous confrontation with the KKK in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1979 that left five of their members dead. They had made the mistake of choosing to utilize armed self-defense as a tactic rather than building a mass movement against Klan terror.

In 1984 the CWP, LofM and the CISPES leadership decided to support the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign. For Marxists coming out of the CWP and LofM tradition, voting for Democrats is a tactical question. If there was ever any tactical motivation for voting for a Democrat, Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition might meet all qualifications. Many people, including Proyect, hoped that the Rainbow Coalition could develop into a third party but Jackson was too much of a careerist to make the kinds of tough choices Ralph Nader made. One year after the end of the Jackson campaign, the CWP dissolved itself with a number of its members finding a home in the Democratic Party, including Ron Ashford, a very capable African-American who represented the CWP in CISPES. Today Ashford is a HUD bureaucrat.[2]

References