The Socialist Action League: introduction to an autopsy

Redline

Anti-Vietnam War protest at parliament; the SAL came out of the youth radicalisation around the war and played a leading role in the anti-war movement Anti-Vietnam War protest at parliament; the SAL came out of the youth radicalisation around the war and played a leading role in the anti-war movement

by Philip Ferguson

In the 1970s and into the 1980s the three main political groups on the revolutionary left in New Zealand were the (pro-Peking and then pro-Tirana) Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ), the pro-Peking (and then more independent) Workers Communist League (WCL) and the (Trotskyist) Socialist Action League (SAL), which was the New Zealand section of the Fourth International, the ‘world party’ of socialist revolution’ established by Trotsky and his supporters on the eve of World War 2.

The WCL dissolved in the late 1980s.  The CPNZ embraced the politics of the British Socialist Workers Party Trotskyists in the mid-1990s, reinventing itself to eventually settle on the name Socialist Worker; it dissolved several years ago.  The SAL lost most of its members in…

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