Peter Camejo was in the US Socialist Workers Party, from about 1955 to his expulsion in 1980. During most of that time the SWP was aligned to the United Secretariat of the Forth International, or USec, a worldwide network of Trotskyist parties.
The US SWP split from USec, but Camejo maintains a pattern of collaborating with groups with USec ties.
In the early ’90s Camejo was on the national executive the Committees of Correspondence, a group formed from a split in the Communist Party USA plus several Maoist and Trotskyist groups, some of which also had affiliations to the USec.
In participating in the first World Social Forum in 2001, the ISO came in contact with the International Workers’ League; the two groups collaborated on events in the 2002 World Social Forum and exchanged articles in their respective publications. Subsequently the ISO has developed an ongoing collaboration with the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, the Socialism and Freedom Party of Brazil, the Party of Socialist Revolution of Venezuela, and the Movement for Socialism of Switzerland. These groups have sent speakers to each others’ events, published each others’ materials, and collaborated on more specific efforts.
Peter Camejo has maintained close ties to both groups and both organisations have played a big role in supporting Camejo’s progamme inside the US Green Party.
As Camejo wrote on the US leftist website Counterpunch in April 2005
Instead of seeing the danger of co-option by Democrats John Rensenbrink recently warned of the danger of the infiltration of socialists into the Green Party. This red baiting approach is another way to say the left in the Green Party is the problem and we need to get them out. To Rensenbrink, calling for a vote for Kerry is not the problem, the problem is those “socialists” that won’t vote Kerry. Of course he never mentions that both the Communist Party and many of the Democratic Socialist of America members were solid backers of Kerry. For those socialists to be in the Green Party, I guess, might be okay with Rensenbrink. His problems are with other “socialists” like the ISO that refuse to vote pro-war, and are helping to build the Green Party.
Since the Nader/LaDuke campaign of 2000, the ISO has worked alongside the Green Party in electoral campaigns (endorsing our candidates, walking precincts, organizing campaign meetings, etc.) and many members of the ISO are registered Greens. The ISO also works in various places with Green Party members in non-electoral coalitions against the war, for immigrant rights, against the death penalty, etc. Other socialist groups, like Solidarity, have had members helping to build the Green Party since its founding. In New York we ran a leader of the Socialist Party for Senate.
The facts are exactly the opposite of what Rensenbrink states. It is a hopeful sign for the Green Party that many of the ISO members and Solidarity are helping the Green Party. The ISO has developed a large following, especially among young people. The Green Party is not socialist or capitalist, it welcomes all who are willing to stand by the ten key values and respect internal democracy. The danger to the Green Party is from the Democratic Party, from pro corporate forces, not from people supportive of our party.
In an interview on , Ernest Tate, a Canadian Trotskyist who has known Camejo since the late ’50s asked….
What is the attitude of the various left groups to the Nader-Camejo campaign?
Camejo: The small groups that call themselves leftists or socialists are still much divided. The International Socialist Organization now is the strongest in America, has the most young people in it and is the most active. They’re working very hard to support the Nader-Camejo campaign and are very effective in their support. They have a lot of influence on the campuses and they’re been very helpful. They also have people in the labour movement.
There’s another group, Solidarity, which is doing a lot of work in the labour movement. They are very supportive and have been in the Green Party for a long time, and have been very helpful. Regarding the remnants of the Stalinist currents, the Communist Party and Maoist group, they’re all pro-Democratic Party. They’ve always been for the pro-corporate party
Camejo is a regular guest speaker at ISO events where he shares views that are not for the mainstream
This report Camejo’s old comrade Louis Proyect commenting on an ISO meeting in New York October 23rd, 2004, makes that plain.
Last night I attended the 8pm plenary of a northeast regional conference organized by the International Socialist Conference up at CCNY. Ralph Nader’s running mate Peter Camejo spoke first, followed by ISO leader Ahmed Shawki.
For those who think that the Green Party will be the vehicle for the ultimate social and economic emancipation of the USA, Camejo made it clear that it will be another party more deeply rooted in the working class. However, it would be a big mistake not to get involved with the Greens today, despite its conflicting tendencies
Camejo was also a keynote speaker at the ISO’s conference held at Columbia University, New York last June.
Red, Black, Blue Green: Electoral Challenges to the Democrats —
with Green Party leaders Peter Camejo, Todd Chretien, Aaron Dixon, and Howie Hawkins, currently running against Arnold Schwartzenegger, Dianne Feinstein, Maria Cantwell, and Hillary Clinton respectively
Could Peter Camejo and his Marxist allies be using the US Greens to further their own socialist agenda?
Perish the thought.