Rules of the Communist Workers Party USA
We, the communist workers in the United States, in order to forever liberate ourselves from exploitation and oppression, declare:
- our right to organize ourselves to struggle and fight for our collective class interests;
- our right to the wealth we create with our collective labor;
- our right to defend ourselves and our class from any and all attacks by those who seek to maintain this system of exploitation and oppression;
- our right to empower our class through all possible avenues of activity; and
- our belief that whenever any system of social relations becomes destructive toward the laboring masses of society, it is the right of those laboring masses to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new social system, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
In order to politically fulfill this declaration, we come together on the basis of our Program.
In uniting as a proletarian communist party based on this program, we not only declare our unbending opposition to the exploiting and oppressing classes, and their agents, but also their ideologies, “official histories,” and phony “truths” used to swindle members of our class into accepting capitalism as “the only viable system.”
Moreover, in uniting as a proletarian communist party, we declare our rejection of the false “partisans” of our class that, while calling themselves revolutionaries, socialists or even communists, serve as one link in a chain that binds our class to the capitalist system of exploitation and oppression, and appeal to our working brothers and sisters inside of these false-flag organizations to join with us in organizing and fighting for the liberation of our class.
To these ends, and with a clear understanding of our work ahead, we formally declare our unity and organize ourselves on the basis of the following Rules.
I: NAME, MOTTO, ROLE AND PURPOSE
1. The name of this organization is the Communist Workers Party in the United States of America, known colloquially as the Communist Workers Party USA, and hereinafter referred to as the CWP, Party or Organization. The official motto of the Party is “Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!”
2. The CWP is the proletarian communist party in the United States. The role of the Party is to provide political leadership and direction to our class by putting our Program into practice on a consistent basis and winning our fellow workers to our political banner, if not to our organization directly. Our purpose is to build a broad proletarian movement based on three central principles: a) the development of the proletariat into a class-for-itself that can rule in its own name, b) the overthrow of the supremacy of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie, and c) the conquest of political (state) power by the proletariat in the form of a workers’ republic (proletarian dictatorship).
1. Membership in the Communist Workers Party is open to any proletarian or member of the proletarian class who accepts the Program and agrees to abide by the Rules of the Party, takes an active role in the Party and its work through participation in and under the direction of a Party organization, fulfills all assignments and tasks assigned by the Party, actively defends and promotes the Party in public, and regularly pays membership dues and assessments.
2. Acceptance of new members is normally effected through the Party Chapter, subject to review by the next higher committee (up to and including the Central Committee). If a higher body does reject a membership application, they must submit in writing their reasons for rejection to the Chapter handling admission.
3. Applicants are admitted to Party membership only individually, except in en bloc mergers with other proletarian communist forces approved by the Party conference or convention. New members are admitted from among the candidate members who have passed through the established probationary period. Persons may join the Party on attaining the age of sixteen. Young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty-six may join the Party only through the Young Communist Union (YCU). Persons younger than fourteen may be admitted by consent of the C.C.
4. The procedure for the admission of candidate members to full Party membership is:
- Applicants for full membership must submit recommendations from two Party members who have been in good standing for at least one year and know the applicant through work or socially. In the case of YCU members applying for membership, the recommendation of a Club may count as one Party member.
- Applications for Party membership are discussed and a decision is taken by the general meeting of the Chapter; the decision of the latter takes effect after review by the next higher body. The presence of those who have recommended an applicant for Party membership at the discussion of the application concerned is optional.
- Those living in the U.S. who formerly belonged to proletarian communist organizations in another country are admitted to membership of the Communist Workers Party in conformity with the rules established by the Party C.C. Former members of other parties are admitted to membership of the CWP in conformity with the regular procedure, except that their admission must be endorsed by the C.C. of the Communist Workers Party.
5. Comrades recommending applicants for Party membership are responsible to the Party for the impartiality of their description of the qualities and qualifications of those they recommend.
6. The standing of those admitted to membership dates from the day when the general meeting of the Chapter decides to accept them as full members.
7. The procedure of registering members and candidate members of the Party, and their transfer from one Party organization to another is determined by the appropriate instructions of the C.C.
8. If a Party member or candidate member fails to pay membership dues for three months in succession without sufficient reason, the matter shall be discussed by the Chapter. If it is revealed as a result that the Party member or candidate member in question has virtually lost contact with the Party organization, s/he shall be regarded as having ceased to be a member of the Party; the Chapter shall pass a decision thereon and submit it to the next higher body of the Party for endorsement.
III: MEMBER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. A Party member has the right:
- to elect and be elected to Party bodies;
- to discuss freely questions of the Party’s policies and practical activities at Party meetings, conferences and conventions, at the meetings of Party organizations and in the Party press; to table motions; to openly express and uphold their opinion as long as long as it does not interfere with the carrying out of a decision made by a Party organization;
- to criticize any member, irrespective of the position s/he holds, at Party meetings, conferences and conventions, and at the plenary meetings of Party organizations. Those who commit the offense of suppressing criticism or victimizing anyone for criticism are responsible to and will be penalized by the Party, to the point of expulsion from the CWP;
- to attend in person all Party meetings and all bureau and committee meetings that discuss their activities or conduct;
- to address any question, statement or proposal to any Party body, up to and including the C.C., and to demand an answer on the substance of their address;
- to organize along with like-minded members to overturn a decision or decisions by the Party or any of its organizations, and change the direction and viewpoint of the Party through the declaration of a tendency or faction; all such oppositional bodies must be based on a document outlining the differences and the body’s course of action for redress;
- to organize along with like-minded members to promote awareness of elements of doctrine or ideology they hold in common through the formation of a caucus; organizations that join en bloc may establish a caucus for the purposes of easing the process of integrating into the Party;
- to establish a newsletter, newspaper, magazine or journal to promote their views, including as those of a caucus, tendency or faction; Party Chapters and other higher organizations may establish a publication based on the instructions of the C.C.; the first issue of a caucus, tendency or faction publication must include their statement of principles or the document described in subsection (f) above; if any of the above publications should become a de facto alternative Central Organ, it will be closed down by the C.C.
2. It is the responsibility of a Party member:
- to serve as an example of proletarian communism in action; to develop creativity and initiative in carrying out Party activity;
- to put Party decisions into effect as much as possible; to explain the Party’s position to all, even if one disagrees with it; to help strengthen the bonds between the Party and our class; to be considerate and attentive to the needs and requirements of the proletariat;
to take an active part in the political life of the Party and proletariat; to set an example through the fulfillment of their tasks;
- to learn and master communist theory, to improve their political knowledge; to combat vigorously all manifestations of bourgeois ideology, religious prejudices and other forms of social backwardness; to observe the principles of communist morality, and place the interests of the class above their own;
- to be an active proponent of proletarian internationalism within our class; to combat nationalism, chauvinism and racism; to contribute by word and deed to the building of a greater international unity among proletarian communists, as well as among the workers of all countries;
- to strengthen to the utmost the political and organizational integrity of the Party; to safeguard the Party against the infiltration of people unworthy of the title of proletarian communist; to be truthful and honest with the Party and the class; to display vigilance, to guard Party secrets;
- to learn to levy criticism, to accept criticism without taking it personally, to learn to observe and express self-criticism where needed; to lay bare shortcomings, in one’s self and in others, and strive for their removal; to combat ostentation, conceit, complacency and parochial tendencies; to rebuff firmly all attempts at suppressing criticism; to resist all actions injurious to the Party, and to inform the Party of such actions, up to and including the C.C.;
- to implement undeviatingly the Party’s policy with regard to the proper selection of personnel according to their political qualifications and personal qualities; to be uncompromising whenever the principles of the selection and education of personnel are infringed;
- to observe Party discipline, which is equally binding on all Party members — the Party has one discipline, one law, for all members, irrespective of their past services or the positions they occupy.
3. All members shall abide by the following code of conduct while fulfilling assignments for the Party:
A member will not:…
- Be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, or otherwise be so impaired, at Party functions or prior to attending any function as a Party member.
- Steal anything from fellow workers; everything borrowed shall be returned promptly.
- Raise money for him or herself in the name of the Party; all funds collected in the name of the Party shall be turned into the Treasury immediately.
- Use his or her position in the Party for personal gain, including but not limited to gaining financial or sexual advantage over another person, regardless of Party membership.
- Attempt to coerce people to support or join the Party through threats of, or actual use of, violence; education and leadership by example are the preferred methods.
- Attempt to settle arguments or disagreements of any kind — especially not those of a political nature — through abusive or violent means.
- Engage in ad hominem attacks against any other Party member or honest worker, or seek revenge as a result of a disagreement.
- Discuss internal affairs that are designated as members-only by the Party with non-members.
A member will abide by all resolutions, formal requests and decisions published by the Party, though they are not required to participate in any related actions and are not required to refrain from stating their personal views (though they are expected to make clear that they are presenting their personal views, and will also explain the Party’s position), and will at all times present a professional, knowledgeable and disciplined image of the Party to the public.
IV: CANDIDATE MEMBERS
1. All persons joining the Party must pass through a probationary period as candidate members in order to more thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Program and the Rules of the Communist Workers Party and prepare for admission to full membership of the Party. Party organizations must assist candidates to prepare for admission to full membership of the Party, and test their personal qualities. The period of probationary membership shall be 90 days.
2. The procedure for the admission of candidate members (individual admission, submission of recommendations, decision of the Chapter as to admission, and its endorsement) is identical with the procedure for the admission of Party members.
3. On the expiration of a candidate member’s probationary period, the Chapter discusses and passes a decision on their admission to full membership. Should a candidate member fail, in the course of the probationary period, to prove their worthiness, and should their personal traits make it evident that s/he cannot be admitted to membership of the Party, the Chapter shall pass a decision rejecting their admission to membership of the Party; after endorsement of that decision by the next higher body, s/he shall cease to be considered a candidate member.
4. Candidate members of the Party participate in all the activities of their Party organizations; they shall have a voice and consultative vote at Party meetings. They may not be elected to any leading Party body, nor may they be elected delegates to a Party conference or convention.
5. Candidate members pay membership dues at the same rate as full members.
V: PARTY DISCIPLINE
1. A Party member or candidate member who consciously refuses or fails (to the detriment of the Party) to fulfill their responsibilities as laid down in the Rules, or commits other offenses against the Party, shall be called to account, and may be subjected to the penalty of censure (verbal), censure (written), suspension and removal. The highest penalty is expulsion from the Party. Should the necessity arise, a Party organization may, as a penalty, reduce a member to the status of candidate member for a period of up to one year. The decision of the Chapter reducing a Party member to candidate membership is subject to endorsement by the next higher body. On the expiration of their period of reduction to candidate membership, their readmission to full membership of the Party will follow regular procedure with retention of their former Party standing. In the case of insignificant offenses, measures of Party education and influence should be applied in the form of comradely criticism, warning or reproof. When the question of expelling a member from the Party is discussed, maximum attention must be shown and the grounds for the charges preferred against the accused must be thoroughly investigated.
2. Suspension removes a member from Party life, but maintains their responsibilities of membership in place; suspension may or may not be for a definite period of time. Removal removes a member from all aspects of Party life, but allows for re-admission in the future. Expulsions, reserved for only the most heinous of offenses, remove a member from all aspects of Party life and preclude re-admission.
3. Any suspended or removed member who continues to consciously and/or willfully violate the Program and/or Constitution of the Party, publicly divulges the circumstances of their suspension or removal, or engages in any kind of attack on the Party, openly or privately, shall be considered automatically expelled. Any member or organization found to be collaborating with agents of the capitalist state (including its military-officer corps) shall be subject to immediate expulsion. The C.C. shall effect and enforce these expulsions.
4. The decision to expel a member from the Party is made by the general meeting of a Chapter. The decision of the Chapter expelling a member is regarded as adopted if not less than two-thirds of the Party members attending the meeting have voted for it, and is subject to review by the next higher body. Until such time as the decision to expel them is endorsed by the next higher body or the C.C., the Party member or candidate member retains their membership card and is entitled to attend closed Party meetings. An expelled Party member retains the right to submit an appeal, within a period of two months, to the higher Party bodies, up to and including the convention.
5. The question of calling a member or alternate member of the C.C. to account before the Party is discussed by Chapters. They pass decisions recommending penalties on members or alternate members of the C.C., in conformity with the regular procedure. A member that proposes expelling another member from the Party communicates their proposal to the Chapter of which s/he is a member. The decision to expel from the Party a member or alternate member of the Central Committee or any other national body, is made by the Party convention, and in the interval between two conventions, by a plenary meeting of the C.C., by a majority of two-thirds of its members.
6. Any suspended, removed or expelled member shall have the right to appeal in writing or in person to the next higher body, up to and including the convention. Appeals against expulsion from the Party or against the imposition of a penalty, as well as the decisions of Party organizations on expulsion from the Party, shall be examined by next higher body within not more than one month from the date of their receipt, except in the case of the convention, which shall examine the appeal during a special session.
VI: PARTY ORGANIZATION
1. The Communist Workers Party, as a voluntary union of proletarian communists, is based on two central principles: organized professionalism and collective self-discipline. This means:
- the direct election of all executive bodies, from the Chapter to the Central Committee;
- regular reports by these executive bodies to the appropriate membership body, up to and including Party conferences and conventions;
- absolute accountability for all members of executive bodies and their ability to be recalled at any time;
- recognition that the decisions of higher bodies are binding on lower bodies (e.g., Central Committee decisions are binding on Chapters), and that all members are expected to take part in the carrying out of these decisions, even if they disagree with them;
- understanding that full freedom of criticism of any Party decision related to tactics, methodology and even strategy, whether adopted or not, is welcome within our ranks;
- that members are free to express their differences any time before or after a decision has been implemented, but not during its execution or implementation, and that members may not at any time attempt to fundamentally modify, change the timetable, curtail or otherwise sabotage the implementation or execution of Party decisions.
2. The Party is built on organizations of a territorial, production or task-oriented basis. These primary Party organizations are the foundation of the Communist Workers Party, and the Party cannot survive without them. An organization serving a whole area is higher than any Party organization serving part of that area.
3. All primary Party organizations are autonomous in their decision making and implementation of policy, except when it conflicts with Party policy or the decision of the appropriate higher bodies.
4. The highest leading body of any Party organization is the Aggregate Membership Meeting (in the case of primary Party organizations), plenum (in the case of the Central Committee), conference (in the case of higher Party organizations established above the primary organization and below the C.C.), or convention (in the case of the entire Party).
5. A leading body elects an executive body to handle day-to-day affairs and direct the Party’s work.
6. The outline structure of the Party is as follows:
- For the entire Party: Convention — Central Committee;
- For the territory of a Region: Regional Conference — Regional Executive Committee;
- For the territory of a District: District Conference — District Committee;
- For the territory of a large city or metropolitan area: City Conference — City Committee;
- For a small town, village, township, etc.: Territorial Conference — Territorial Committee;
- For individual workplaces, neighborhoods, standing tasks, etc.: Chapter Aggregate — Chapter Executive Committee.
7. In the case of Territories, Cities and Districts, they may only be formed when two or more of the next lower bodies exist within its jurisdiction. In the case of Regions, they may be formed when two of more of any lower bodies exist within its jurisdiction.
8. In a situation where the composition of a Territory, City, District or region is small, they may choose to forego the election of a full executive body and instead elect an Organizer to conduct Party activity and handle daily affairs.
9. Territories, Cities, Districts and Regions are established by conferences composed of delegates from the lower Party bodies. These conferences meet at least once every six months, and their respective committees meet at least once a month. Fraction work in a given area is directed by the respective executive body.
10. In times of external political or economic crisis, delegates from Chapters, Territories, Cities, Districts and Regions may be called to a special Council to discuss the Party’s course of action, including whether to call a special Party conference or convention to settle the matter.
VII: THE CHAPTER
1. The primary Party organization is the Chapter, which is organized on the basis of production (workplace), territory (neighborhood, town, city, etc.) or standing task (membership advancement, media work, etc.), and to which all members involved in Party work belong. As a rule, the introduction of at-large members is to be avoided.
2. Chapters must have at least two, and at most 50 full members. Members enrolled in production or territory Chapters may also be involved in a task-oriented Chapter, but only with voice and consultative vote. Chapters with over 50 members shall be divided according to territory or workplace unit, with a Territory or City Committee established to coordinate activity.
3. In instances where there is a workplace Chapter, but there exists a member or members who do not work in that place, or vice versa, they shall either be attached to the existing Chapter or shall be encouraged to form their own Chapter.
4. In its activities, the Chapter takes guidance from the Program and Rules of the Communist Workers Party. It conducts its work directly among the working class, rallies them around the Party, organizes to carry out Party policy and to work for the workers’ communist revolution. The Chapter:
- admits new members to the Party;
- educates members in a spirit of loyalty to the Party cause, political staunchness and communist ethics;
- organizes the study of communist theory in close connection with the practice of construction of a mass proletarian communist party, and opposes all attempts at revisionist and dogmatic interpretation of communism;
- ensures the leading role of proletarian communists in the sphere of labor and in the socio-political and economic activities of society;
- acts as the direct, on-the-ground organizer of the proletariat for the purpose of constructing a mass proletarian communist party, of systematic communist agitation and propaganda, to distribute Party literature, issue a Chapter newsletter, conduct cultural and educational work among Party members and workers generally, to work persistently and uninterruptedly to win workers to the communist program, to intervene in all industrial conflicts and demands by the employees, to explain them from the standpoint of the revolutionary class struggle, to win the leadership in all struggles of the working class by persistent and unflagging work;
- conducts agitational and educational work within the proletariat, educates them in the communist spirit, helps them to acquire proficiency in administering state, economic and social affairs;
- on the basis of extensive discussion and criticism, combats cases of bureaucracy, parochialism, racism, sexism, heterosexism/homophobia, gender normalism, ageism and ableism, violations of Party discipline, thwarts attempts to deceive the Party, and acts against the expression of these anti-communist views, as well as negligence and waste;
- assists the territorial, city, district and regional committees in their activities, where they exist, and is accountable to them for its work.
5. The Chapter must see to it that every member should observe in their own life and cultivate among workers the communist ethics set forth in the Party Program and Rules.
VIII: PARTY CONFERENCE
1. The Party conference meets as a rule once every two years on odd-numbered years (e.g., 2017, 2019). The basis of representation and the composition of the conference are decided by the Party Center. Delegates for the conference are chosen at the Chapter level. The Party Center may call in individual members to the conference meetings, with voice and consultative vote.
2. The party conference cannot change the Program or Rules of the CWP, nor can it either override or change the composition of the Central Committee. Decisions of the party conferences enter into force after ratification by the C.C.
IX: PARTY CONVENTION
1. The Party convention is the highest party body and is as a rule convened once every two years on even-numbered years (e.g., 2018, 2020) by the Central Committee. Emergency conventions may be convened by the C.C. either on its own initiative or at the request of at least one-half of the total membership represented at the previous convention. The convening of the convention, as well as its agenda, must be notified to the members at least six months in advance. Convention quorum may begin as long as one-third of the total membership is represented; convention voting may begin if at least one-half of the total membership is represented. The basis of representation at the convention is decided either by the C.C. or by a Party conference held before the convention.
2. The party convention:
- receives the report of the C.C. and other elected commissions;
- decides questions of Party program;
- takes decisions on all political, tactical, and organizational questions, including the Party Rules;
- elects the C.C. and other elected commissions.
3. The Party congress is composed of delegates who must be elected as outlined by the Central Committee. In conditions of illegality, the election of delegates may as an emergency measure be replaced by the appointment of delegates by the Central Committee.
X: CENTRAL COMMITTEE
1. The Central Committee is the highest Party body between party conventions. It represents the CWP vis-à-vis other Party institutions, sets up various Party organs, guides the entire political and organizational work, appoints the editorial board of the Central Organ, which works under its guidance and control, organizes and directs those undertakings which are of importance to the Party as a whole, distributes the forces of the Party, and manages the Party’s finances. The C.C. is in charge of the work of fractions within those organizations which have a national character.
2. The number of members in the Central Committee is determined by the Party convention.
3. The C.C. may elect from among its members a Political Bureau to take charge of political work, an Organization Bureau to conduct the organizational work, and a Secretariat (or single secretary-treasurer) for current work. The C.C. further appoints the heads of the different departments; these should, if possible, be members of the C.C. When the Party is small, it is enough for the C.C. to choose a presidium or single bureau to take charge of Party work.
1. In all non-Party organizations of workers, in which there are at least two Party members, a proletarian communist fraction must be organized to increase the influence of the Party, and to put communist policy into effect in the non-Party environment.
2. Fractions are the organs of the Party in non-party organizations. They are not independent bodies, but are subordinate to the appropriate Party organization. In regard to its internal affairs and to its current work, the fraction is autonomous. Should differences arise between the fraction and the Party organization, the organization is obliged to discuss the question afresh with representatives of the fraction, and to reach a conclusion which must be unconditionally obeyed by the fraction. On appeal by the fraction, the question is finally decided by the next higher body. Pending the appeal, the fraction must carry out the decision of the organization.
3. When discussing questions referring to the work of a fraction, the committee must invite a representative of the fraction to take part, with voice and consultative vote.
4. Communist fractions elect their leadership; the choice must be ratified by the relevant party organization. Fraction leaders are responsible to the organization for the work of the fraction. The organization is entitled to attach members to the fraction leadership.
5. For all important posts in the organizations in which fractions are active, candidates will be put forward by the fraction in agreement with the appropriate party organization, subject to review and approval by the Central Committee. The transfer of individual comrades from one fraction to another is effected in the same way.
6. Every question to be decided by the body in which the fraction is working must be discussed in advance by the fraction as a whole or by its leadership. On every question about which the fraction has taken a decision, the members of the fraction must, in the meeting of the organization concerned, speak and vote as one. Disciplinary measures will be taken against any fraction member who infringes this rule.
XII: THE YOUNG COMMUNIST UNION
1. The Young Communist Union in the United States of America is an independently acting organization of young people and students, an active helper and reserve of the Party. The YCU helps the Party educate youth in the communist spirit, draw it into the work of building a new world, train a rising generation of politically developed young workers who will live and work and administer public affairs under communism.
2. Primary YCU organizations, known as Clubs, enjoy the right of broad initiative in discussing and submitting to the appropriate Party organizations questions related to it work. They must be active levers in the implementation of Party decisions in all spheres of society, especially where there are no primary Party organizations.
3. The YCU conducts its activities under the guidance of the Communist Workers Party, specifically under the direction of the Party Program and Rules. The work of primary YCU organizations is directed and controlled by the appropriate Party organizations. In their communist educational work among the youth, primary Party organizations rely on the support of the YCU organizations, and uphold and promote their useful undertakings.
4. Members of the YCU who have been admitted into the Communist Workers Party cease to belong to the YCU the moment they join the Party, provided they do not hold leading posts in YCU organizations.
1. The funds of the Party and its organizations are derived from membership dues, assessments, donations by members and non-members, returns on party enterprises, special collections, contributions from higher party bodies, etc.
2. The minimum membership dues shall be $5 a month. All members are required to pay this amount to remain in good standing. For members making above $1,500 a month, an additional amount of at least 1 and at most 5 percent of earnings may be levied. The Central Committee shall establish an elaborated dues structure for members, as well as setting the fractional amount of dues remitted to Party organizations.
3. Dues are normally paid on an individual basis. Married or otherwise united couples, individuals caring for children or other dependents, and individuals living in areas with exceptionally high costs of living can negotiate their dues with the appropriate Party body. Negotiated dues rates require approval of the appropriate Party organization. Members who are unemployed, on strike, permanently disabled or otherwise unable to pay dues for similar or other legitimate reasons shall upon application to the Party body be furnished with an exemption.
4. An initiation fee of $10 is to be paid on admission as a candidate member of the Party.
5. Members who are six months in arrears in payment of their dues shall cease to be members of the Party in good standing. Members who are one year in arrears shall be stricken from the rolls. No member shall pay dues in advance for a period of more than one year.
1. The National Office and Center of the Party shall be located in the city designated by the Party convention. The Center and National Office may be located in different cities.
2. Substantive amendment of these Rules shall require a two-thirds vote of a Party convention. Minor amendment, for purposes of clarification or correction, shall require only a majority vote of a Party convention. The same applies to the Program of the Communist Workers Party.
3. In a situation where the forces of the capitalist state have directly targeted the Party for destruction, or when the capitalist state has declared or otherwise established a state of martial law, the C.C. has the authority to suspend all or part of these Rules as a measure to protect the organization as a whole, but must put their reasons for doing so in writing and circulate it among the membership. Full suspension requires a two-thirds vote of the C.C. and must be ratified by two-thirds of Party organizations. If members of the C.C. and/or other local Party leaders have been arrested, the remaining members and elected leaders who are free shall be empowered to make these decisions, even if they constitute a minority of the pre-emergency number.
4. If a majority of charter organizations, organizations that directly contributed to the formation of the Communist Workers Party, withdraw their support from the Party, the C.C. has the authority to suspend the Rules by two-thirds vote pending an emergency convention to decide the fate of the organization. Charter organizations, or their continuations, reserve the right to veto decisions of the Party based on a written statement submitted to the appropriate Party body.
5. If greater than two-thirds of Party organizations withdraw their support from the organization, or greater than two-thirds of the membership shall have withdrawn their support or have fallen out of good standing, within a six-month period, the Party shall be considered dissolved, with the disposition of its assets and legacy to be decided by the outgoing C.C. A unanimous veto by all remaining Charter Organizations may block this provision.
6. Affiliation or disaffiliation of the Party to any organization, national or international, must be ratified by majority vote of a conference or convention. Provisional affiliation can be approved by a two-thirds vote of the C.C.
7. Affiliation to the Party of any organization must be ratified by majority vote of a conference or convention. Provisional affiliation can be approved by a two-thirds vote of the C.C.
8. Prospective members of the C.C. and national officers must have been: a) members of the Party for two years at the time of their nomination, or b) members of a charter organization, or members of an organization affiliating as a body within 60 days after the first convention. The C.C., conference or convention may waive this requirement for exceptional members, but must provide its reasons in writing.
9. Six month’s membership in the Party or a charter organization shall be necessary to qualify for Territorial, City, District or Regional delegates and officers, three months (in the Chapter) for Chapter officers. This section shall not apply to the officers or delegates of new Chapters. The C.C., conference or convention may waive this requirement for exceptional members, but must provide its reasons in writing.
CODICIL A: EMBLEMS AND FLAGS
1. The emblem of the Party shall be a hammer and sickle, crossed at the handles, within a gear that bears, in the upper half, the name of the Party and, in the lower half, the motto of the Party; the name and motto are separated on each side by a single star equidistant from the respective ends of the two phrases. (See Table 1.)
2. The garrison (office) standard of the Party shall be a crimson red flag, the length of the flag being twice the height, with the emblem of the Party in the center colored black, gold/goldenrod or white. Scarlet or “fire engine red” may be used in place of crimson. Party offices may display a standard with a full-color emblem, the color scheme of which has received prior approval. (See Table 2.)
3. The marching (fighting) standard of the Party shall be a crimson red flag, the height of the flag being six feet and length being six feet and six inches, with the emblem of the Party in the center, and below it the name of the Party organization, colored black, gold/goldenrod or white. Scarlet or “fire engine red” may be used in place of crimson, but all flags used at a particular event by Party organizations or contingents must be of the same color. (See Table 2.)
CODICIL B: POLITICAL TENDENCIES AND FACTIONS
1. The Communist Workers Party recognizes four general types of organized internal political oppositions and minorities, for the purposes of inner-Party discussion and debate:
A Caucus is an organization of members that represents a specific viewpoint, seeks to educate the Party on specific issues, or is the continuation of the existence of a charter organization within the Party. Caucuses derived from former charter organizations may ask for a continuation of their rights as such a body from the Party.
An Ideological Tendency is an organization of members that represents a particular doctrine or subgroup of communist politics. As a rule, ideological tendencies are discouraged, but not forbidden, from organizing for the purposes of taking leadership of the Party as a whole.
A Platform Tendency is an organization of members that is organized to amend or replace all or part of the Party’s basic documents, or oppose decisions of the convention, C.C. or other Party organizations. It is expected that platform tendencies will organize to take a political leadership role in the Party.
A Faction is an organization of members that organizes to enact a fundamental change in the political and organizational character of the Party. It is expected that factions will organize to take political and organizational leadership of the Party in its own name.
2. Any member of the Party has the right to organize any of the above bodies as they see fit and at any time.
3. Organized political oppositions and minorities, whether structured as platform tendencies or factions, have the right to become the political and organizational leadership, and the majority, of the Party.
4. All of the aforementioned bodies have the right to present their views to the Party as a whole through membership meetings, through open sessions of the Central Committee, through membership Aggregates, Conferences and Conventions, through the membership’s electronic discussion group, through the organization of its own meetings and events, through the circulation of documents and materials, and through the establishment of their own newsletter or journal.
5. No embargo may be placed on the right of these bodies or the members thereof to communicate with other members of the Party or other Party organizations.
6. In the case of platform tendencies and factions, the C.C. is required to open space in the Party’s political/theoretical journal for the purposes of exchanges and open polemic.
7. In the case of ideological tendencies and caucuses, the C.C. is encouraged to maintain open space in the Party’s political/theoretical journal for the purposes of exchange and open polemic.
8. The Party may not close down a political discussion or debate except by consensus at a convention.
9. In the case of organized opposition to Party decisions, members retain the right to continue or renew discussion and debate on the decision after it is made, although it is expected that all members will act in such a way that the implementation of the decision itself is not sabotaged.
10. In the case of organized opposition to the Party’s political or programmatic documents, members retain the right to continue or renew discussion and debate on the decision after it is made, although it is expected that all members will, at a minimum, present the Party’s majority viewpoint if they decide to present their own.
11. National Office staff members are expected to render technical assistance to organized oppositions and minorities seeking to communicate with other Party members or distribute their materials internally. The National Office is not expected to aid in the publication of the public newsletters, journals or literature of a caucus, tendency or faction.
12. The pages of the Party’s Central Organ are open to submissions from members of organized oppositions or minorities, as long as they conform to the technical style and reportage that is normally carried in it.
13. No journal created by a caucus, tendency or faction shall attempt to replace the Party’s Central Organ. They are, however, encouraged to supplement or complement the Central Organ.
14. Any organized opposition or minority found to be consciously working as agents of another political organization without the approval of the convention or C.C. will be considered in violation of the Rules and subject to administrative action.
CODICIL C: PARTY SECURITY
1. Each Party organization large enough may select a Security Chief and security team from among their membership for the purposes of maintaining peace and order at public Party events. Individual security teams may not exceed more than four Party members.
2. At events where more than one security team is present, the Chiefs of each team, along with the member designated as chief organizer, shall constitute a Security Council for decision-making purposes.
3. The C.C. is authorized to establish an all-Party Security Department, consisting of the general security teams from Party organizations, as well as specialized investigative and interdiction teams established by the C.C. The Security Department answers to the C.C. on a daily basis, but is wholly responsible to the Convention or Assembly of the Whole.
4. The mission of the Security Department shall be the defense of the Party, its members and organizations, and those of its allies in the class struggle, against provocation, infiltration, disruption or physical assault. No Party member shall be under investigation by the Security Department unless there is documented evidence that warrants it.
5. Regulation of the Security Department shall be effected by the C.C. with the ultimate approval of the convention. Specialized regulations may also be developed for armed teams of the Security Department.
6. Party organizations with security teams may develop additional regulations, as long as they do not contradict the regulations for the Security Department as a whole.
7. For the purposes of facilitating Party security and defense, it is expected that all members have a working knowledge of the care, maintenance and use of at least one kind firearm: revolver, semi-auto/auto pistol, bolt action rifle, semi-auto/auto rifle, assault rifle, sub-machine gun or machine gun.
CODICIL D: PARTY BY-LAWS
1. The Standard Order of Business for all Party organizations below the C.C. shall be based on the following:
- Call to Order
- Roll Call
- Applications for Membership
- Admission and Obligation of Members
- Payment of Outstanding Dues
- Political Discussion
- Reading and Adoption of Minutes
- Reading of Receipts and Expenses since Last Meeting
- Correspondence and Bills
- Report of Officers
- Report of Commissions (if necessary)
- Report of Delegates (for Locals only)
- Election of Officers and Commissions (if necessary)
- Press and Literature
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
- Good and Welfare
2. Party organizations shall be composed according to the appropriate sections of the Rules of the Party. Party organizations receive their charters from the C.C. or convention, and can only surrender their charters to those bodies at their written request.
3. Party organizations shall meet at least once a month and as often as necessary or possible according to members’ schedules. Under normal circumstances, one-third of the organization’s membership shall constitute a quorum for discussion.
4. No member shall be excluded from any position in the Party on the basis of race or nationality, gender or gender identity, sex, sexuality or sexual identity, age, ability or citizenship status. No worker shall be excluded from membership in the Party on the basis of their personal religious belief.
5. Probationary and initiated members who do not attend meetings for more than three months after initiation forfeit their initiation fee.
6. When a question arises as to eligibility of an applicant or member, the C.C. shall decide.
7. Officers designated by the Constitution or otherwise deemed necessary by Party organizations shall be elected at least every year. Nominations will be made in the month of May, with elections held in June. Officers shall start their terms upon election. All officers are subject to immediate recall by members, with interim officers chosen at the same meeting where the recall was approved to serve until the next regular election.
8. Any officer absent from meetings for more than three months without valid excuse shall be removed and their office deemed vacant. The election to fill the vacancy will be held at the next regular meeting.
9. The Organizing Secretary shall supervise recruitment and educational activities, oversee the conduct and activity of the lower Party organizations, and maintain regular contact with the membership and Party organizations. The Organizing Secretaries of lower Party organizations shall provide a list of officers to the Organizing Secretary of the C.C., for the purposes of compiling the Party’s internal Official Directory.
10. The Corresponding Secretary shall keep minutes of the proceedings of each meeting, maintain the organization treasury and finances, prepare and keep financial records and statements for the Party, including apportionment of dues and assessments, receive and attend to all correspondence, dues and assessment payments, handle applications for membership, keep a complete and updated list of members for their organization, pay all bills and debts incurred by the Party organization, and be responsible, along with the Chairperson, for depositing funds in and withdrawing funds from a designated Party bank account.
11. The Chairperson shall be the spokesperson for the Party, convene meetings, and be responsible, along with the Corresponding Secretary, for depositing funds in and withdrawing funds from a designated Party bank account. The Chairperson may take responsibility, or suggest its proper delegation, for receiving and attending to all correspondence to and from the Party organization, with the consent of the Corresponding Secretary. The Chairperson may also take responsibility, or suggest its proper delegation, for maintaining regular contact with the membership and Party organizations, with the consent of the Organizing Secretary.
12. Party organizations may also elect a Security Chief to have charge of the door and see that none but members enter, unless decided otherwise by the organization. The Security Chief will check all membership books to see they are genuine, accurate and the member is in good standing, with all discrepancies reported to the Chairperson.
13. All officers will maintain a portfolio in which they will keep all records and items of their term. The portfolio will be considered property of the Party, and outgoing officers are expected to turn their portfolios over to their successors or the Party organization upon removal or resignation from office.
14. Any officer who has stopped performing their duties for more than thirty days is required within the following thirty days to submit a statement to the appropriate Party body explaining why they have stopped their work. If the appropriate Party body does not accept as legitimate the reasons for the stoppage, the member is required to either return to work or submit their resignation from that office immediately.
15. In small Party organizations, a single Organizer may be elected, and assume the responsibilities of the Organizing and Corresponding Secretaries. An elected Chairperson is still required.
16. Members transferring from one Chapter to another must be paid up in dues and assessments before receiving a transfer card. If a member falls into arrears after receiving a transfer card, they must pay up to the Chapter they are seeking to join before the Organizing Secretary of that Chapter accepts the transfer and enters their name in the rolls.
17. Members voluntarily resigning from the Party who are paid up in dues and assessments may receive a withdrawal card from the Organizing Secretary of their Chapter. Withdrawal cards may not be used in place of transfer cards, and do not confer any rights or privileges. Withdrawal cards are only a statement that its holder left the Party honorably and in good standing. A withdrawal card exempts its holder from having to pay an initiation fee if they choose to re-apply for membership in the future. Withdrawal cards submitted by a member while they are on strike may be judged on a case-by-case basis. Withdrawal cards will not be issued to members under suspension, or to those facing suspension, removal or expulsion.
18. Members and supporters from sister organizations of the Communist Workers Party residing within the United States are entitled to equivalent membership status in the Party upon notification of the C.C. of their residence.
19. All resignations must be put into writing, with reasons stated. No member may be forced to involuntarily resign from the Party. No action shall be taken on a resignation until the resigning member has settled accounts with the Party organization, and their dues and assessment payments are up to date.
20. Chapters may levy additional dues and assessments on members to cover the costs of their own work, but these levies may not exceed 50 percent of the dues or assessments owed to the Party as a whole.
21. Only members in good standing shall be allowed a substantive vote in meetings.
22. Party organizations changing location for public meetings and events must notify the next higher body and the C.C. so that the Public Directory may be updated and the move can be noted in the Party’s Central Organ.
23. Party organizations can adopt their own sets of by-laws to cover questions not addressed in this document or the Rules, subject to the approval of the next higher body.
24. Any Party organization surrendering its charter, voluntarily or by request of the C.C. or convention, will have a Receiver appointed by the C.C. or convention to take inventory of all Party property, including their treasury, officer portfolios, supplies, office space, literature, and the charter itself. Any member or officer refusing to deliver these items to the Receiver shall be expelled from the Party and may face legal action if such is warranted.
25. Party organizations are encouraged to organize, assist in organizing, or participate in annual public events and celebrations around International Workers’ Day (May 1), International Working Women’s Day (March 8) and other politically-relevant holidays, such as Emancipation Day “Juneteenth” (June 19) and Labor Day (the first Monday in September). Party organizations are also encouraged to organize regular public events and social gatherings for the purpose of allowing members and friends of the Party to meet each other.