Solidarity conference report
Solidarity members from across Scotland came together today for the first in a series of national all-members conferences. Our party, launched in early September met to discuss a proposed constitution, a name for the party and to appoint office bearers.
More importantly, it was a chance for members to come together for the first time since the launch rally to debate what Solidarity means to them and how we should move forward in the future. The interim steering group, appointed by regions and political platforms, had drawn up a draft constitution which was discussed in a very spirited political debate.
Several members expressed their belief that Solidarity could be more than just a socialist party and could develop into a natural home for all anti-establishment protest movements. The importance of linking up with growing movements against Islamophobia and reaching out to our Muslim communities was highlighted, as was the need for socialism to be at the forefront of our campaigns.
Eventually, after an excellent exchange of views the party's draft constitution was adopted by a unanimous vote. The nature of the debate highlighted that Solidarity will grow from the members and that the party is packed with comrades with a huge contribution to make to that development.
In a close vote, the interim title of "Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement" was adopted as the name of the party. Rosemary Byrne and Tommy Sheridan, the party's two MSPs, were unanimously endorsed as Co-Convenors. Rosemary said:
"This party will be a party of members, branches and regions and Tommy and I are delighted to be asked to lead Solidarity into next years Scottish elections. I fully endorse the constitution as a document that allows the grass roots of the party to decide on how we build and organise in the future. I would hope that members will play a full and active part in what will be a genuine, bottom up movement."
The conference also appointed Graeme McIver as National Secretary, Gordon Morgan as National Treasurer and Jim Monaghan as National Press and Media coordinator. Another all-members party conference will take place in February.
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