Report from the Delegates Conference held in Wolsfield and Trier, from 17 to 19 January 1970
JV Martin, Claudio Pavan, René Riesel & Tony Verlaan
Trier, 19 January 1970
Translated by Reuben Keehan
1. The delegates began by clarifying comrade Verlaan's recent activities in England; the discussion established that Tony had not compromised the SI, and that his actions were not in contradiction to our fundamental positions.
In his capacity as the delegated mandated to investigate this issue, Comrade Pavan read a communiqué from Comrade Horelick raising specific questions a) concerning Tony's activities in England, and b) stating Jon's point of view on the necessity of maintaining the American section. Tony made it clear that he had only ratified the effective but unexpected dissolution of the American section on 6 December following the logic of Jon's letter of 17 November. The delegates therefore agreed that on account of the invalidation of the points developed in Jon's letter, it was possible for Tony to be designated as the American delegate.
2. Tony confirmed that in the months leading up to his return to the United States, he would participate in the French section.
3. The delegates formally noted the proposals for the exclusion of Chasse and Elwell, and formulated these exclusions accordingly.
4. The delegates composed a letter rejecting the application for membership in the Scandinavian section of a social-democratic cretin called Anderson.
5. Comrade Martin presented the report on the Scandinavian section. With regard to the Bengt Erickson question, the delegates decided that the Scandinavian section must make clear to him the nature of the unequivocal and equal relations that we hope to entertain with him and Comrades Johanson and Swedberg.
Martin protested against the complete and scandalous lack of interest that the entire International has exhibited toward the Scandinavian zone. As a consequence, the delegates of the other sections committed themselves to seriously bringing the attention of their respective sections to this question.
In the course of the Scandinavian report, it was unanimously decided that a declaration of support would be sent to the strikers in Kiruna. The decision was executed with much pleasure the next day in Trier.
6. Comrade Riesel presented the report on the French section. Martin asked if the French section was making use of our best weapon, namely the construction of situations. In the course of the discussion that followed, Tony and Martin raised a number of questions concerning the admission to the SI of individuals and groups alike (these queations were not addressed to the French section in particular, but to the International in general). Martin, notably, criticized the fragmentary and incomplete aspect of communications made by French section about the above points over the past few years.
7. Comrade Pavan presented the report on the Italian section. Evoking interpersonal organization difficulties and the real problems of the section, he mentioned the practical decisions taken to prevent such problems from manifesting themselves and from reappearing in future. He emphasized, in passing, the necessity of elaborating an organic theoretical and practical critique of the Italian section's past activities.
Claudio also informed the conference that his section was going to modify its working program, and he announced that at a later date he would provide further information concerning not only the section in particular, but also the movement in general.
With reference to the internal problems of the Italian section, the French delegate declared that his section was more than happy with the decisions that had been made and was in complete accord with Pavan's analysis.
8. Claudio and René explained the state of our historical and theoretical work on workers councils. They agreed with Tony to begin an exchange of texts and information.
9. Within the context of the conference, the British Committee decided to start an exchange of information and to prepare for the co-ordination of any necessary and possible action within the United Kingdom, but to postpone its execution.
10. Concerning the future of situationist activity in the North American region, the following points were raised: a) the temporary participation of members from other sections within the American section; b) the financial problems linked to the relative newness of the terrain; and c) the necessity of publishing texts explaining the SI's positions, as well as existing difficulties and possibilities, in a clear and complete manner.
The delegates acknowledged that a letter sent from Jon to Tony care of René was posted to Amsterdam, and that we therefore have no knowledge of its content and how it could have assisted in our treatment of the American section.
11. Having become aware of the difficulty of total mutual understanding due of linguistic barrires, the delegates earnestly request that each member of the International make every possible effort to eliminate those barriers.
For the American section: Verlaan
For the Italian section: Pavan
For the French section: Riesel
For the Scandinavian section: Martin