I was a member of Philly Socialists for about a year, and a fellow traveler for a few years before that. In April 2016 I was expelled after running for chair in February 2016 against their founder and around the same time becoming influential in the West Philly branch.
I have been working on what has become a 100-page document about the story of my expulsion and the problems of the organization. It is still in the works but this is an initial treatment, linked to in sections below. I may expand this initial response to be more comprehensive as well, as a halfway stop-gap for more context which people deserve.
As their cover story the Philly Socialists core is accusing me of being some kind of “danger to women,” intimidating them, or things like that. Honestly at this point their specific accusations are so numerous, extreme, random, often vague, exaggerated, rapidly-evolving, and disconnected from the reality of anything I actually do that I can’t keep up and don’t expend the effort.
I deny all the accusations completely. It’s very telling that Philly Socialists brings forth zero evidence for their increasingly vague and exaggerated accusation, claiming to protect privacy and anonymity. In the case of the British SWP’s “Comrade Delta” incident, they were able to show wrongdoing while still protecting identities.
There are plenty of women with whom I’ve worked with during and after my time in Philly Socialists who certainly don’t think I’m a “danger,” who certainly will have witnessed my personality which gets playful and dramatic, but who also have seen my substantial contributions to the movement, depth of character, and genuinely appreciate those. These accusations are extreme though. I guess it’s a really effective way to bury the only opposition candidate for chair they’ve ever had, leading member of the only opposition caucus they’ve ever had, and coincidentally only person ever expelled.
The Philly Socialists leadership are saying ugly things like I need to be kicked out of everything, disassociated from, etc. Instead I have to turn it around on them and say I can’t in honesty recommend people work with Philly Socialists, either as members or as coalition partners. Now I have a lot of friends and well-meaning comrades who have been in or around it, and I’m not necessarily condemning them. But I think like many organizations, it is sort of a trap that pulls in well-meaning people and uses them for purposes not honestly indicated. Furthermore in the past I made gender oppression organizational charges on behalf of a member within Philly Socialists that in my opinion were poorly handled, and which I faced retaliation for making, ultimately including expulsion.
If people are looking for a socialist multi-tendency, broad left alternative to work with instead in Philadelphia, I strongly recommend Philly Democratic Socialists of America, who are increasingly multi-tendency, possessing a Left Caucus containing more radical people who are more skeptical of the Democratic Party, none of which I am a formal member of, but all of which I find myself increasingly politically aligned with. It’s worth noting here that Philly Socialists was founded out of an extremely opportunistic split out of Temple University DSA which left the DSA branch nearly destroyed at the time (splitting a tactic they repeated in the repression of their own West Philly branch), geared toward the sole purpose of stealing members in order to found a different organization, which is typical of the manipulative, dishonest, and exploitive methods of the Philly Socialists founder core.
The people predisposed to believe I am a monster on the mere Facebook posting by Philly Socialists leaders are whomever of their followers or righteous identitarian periphery would be predisposed to believe it anyway; it’s good when unreliable people perform the free labor of identifying and removing themselves from your life, so you don’t have to identify and remove them yourself. A good amount of people outside Philly Socialists simply don’t trust the Philly Socialists core because of the leadership’s double-dealing maneuvers and sectarian standoffishness as coalition partners.