After months of harrewar, the suspended board of the SP in Rotterdam and the two incumbent SP councillors set up a new local party. The party, Socialists 010, wants to participate in the municipal elections in March with a program that is roughly the same as that of the SP.
The national SP suspended the Rotterdam board in November, because the department board had put disloyal SP ‘ers on the candidate list for the upcoming elections. This was about members who were kicked out of the party because they were also members of the former youth branch Red and/or the Marxist Forum.
The party summit spoke of “radicalized communists who want to take over the party”. According to the SP, membership in Rood or the Marxist Forum is contrary to the statutes, because SP members of only one political party are allowed to be members.
‘Here and there a little sharper‘
“It is made impossible for us to shape the fight for a more social Rotterdam within the SP,” says founder Tijs Hardam, who previously served as department chairman in Rotterdam. “The national party has decided to disrupt the local SP department in such a way that we are forced to join forces through other avenues.”
Hardam says they don’t have to start over, because the plans he had already made for the SP campaign can largely be used for the new party. “In the coming period, we will come up with a draft election program and a candidate list at the end of January.” He goes on to say that the program will be very similar to that of the SP, but “here and there will be a bit sharper”.
Whether the new Rotterdam party will compete with the SP in March is still unknown. It is still uncertain whether the SP will come with its own candidate list in the Maasstad. The recently re-elected party chairman Jannie Visscher said in a comment that she thinks it is of great importance to participate in Rotterdam and that a committee has been set up to make that possible. “We assume this will work out”.
Utrecht and Gouda
Incidentally, Rotterdam is not the only place where the conflict continues, active members have also been expelled in Utrecht and Gouda. As a result, the SP Gouda has decided not to participate in the elections.
In Utrecht, there is another committee at work to organize participation in the council elections. “The positive atmosphere is back there,” says Visscher. “And I expect that we will also participate in the elections there as a SP.” At the same time, disloyal SP men in Utrecht are considering participating under the name ‘Socialists Utrecht’. “A final decision on this is on 8 January,” says Member of the Member of the State Michel Eggermont.