Why did the Workers World Party attend a conference with neo-confederate secessionists?

Why did Marxist-Leninist organisation Workers World Party send delegates to an international conference that included the League of the South and the Texas Nationalist Movement?

Submitted by Mike Harman on July 16, 2018

In 2014, the Workers World Party reported on their website: "Moscow conference stands with Novorossiya, Palestine and Black America", in an article written by Bill Dores. Bill Dores has been a member of the Workers World Party since at least 1992.

The article describes the conference (archived), organized by the Anti-Globalisation Movement of Russia” as such:

A conference on the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Building a Multipolar World was held in Moscow on Dec. 13, hosted by the Anti-Globalization Movement (AGM) of Russia. The conference brought together activists from Novorossiya (Donetsk and Lugansk), TransDniester, Iran, Syria, the Serb Republic, Italy, the United States and several regions of the Russian Federation. The conference was opened by AGM President Alexander Ionov. Other speakers included Oleg Tsarev, the speaker of the Parliament of Novorossia, and Alexander Kofman, the minister of foreign affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Among the U.S. delegates were five representatives of the United National Antiwar Coalition, including Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report, Joe Iosbaker of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, women’s rights activist Maureen Hannah, Bill Dores of the International Action Center and UNAC Co-Coordinator Joe Lombardo, all of whom addressed the conference. Major themes of the discussion were the U.S.-backed war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine; the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet Union and economic war against Russia, Venezuela and Iran; and the ongoing uprising against racism and police brutality in the United States.

Some US delegates to the conference who aren't mentioned on the Workers World Party's report were from the League of the South and the Texas Nationalist Movement.

Here's how the League of the South described their contribution (archived):

Dr. Michael Hill, President of The League of the South, spoke (by Skype) at the Anti-Globalist Movement’s international conference in Moscow (Russian Federation) on Saturday, 13 December. The main theme of the conference was “The Right of People for Self-Determination and Constructing a Multipolar World.”

Hill discussed The League of the South and its goal of the survival, well-being, and independence of the Southern people and how the South’s identity as an historic “blood and soil” nation conflicts with the current globalist agenda of the USA regime. He emphasized the importance of The League’s work not only in preserving a particular people living on a particular land, but also its direct Southern nationalist challenge to the political, economic, and financial engine of globalism—the Washington, DC/European Union alliance.

You might think after this experience a principled communist organisation would disassociate from any such conferences in the future, but in 2015 they sent youth delegates to be hosted by the Anti-Globalisation Movement again.

Our host during our stay in Moscow was Alexander Ionov, president of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia. This is not a homogenous organization representing one ideological current. Some of its members subscribe to Korean socialism and some are “Putinists,” that is, champions of the Russian president, among other tendencies. The underlying current among the membership is staunch opposition to Western imperialism and the belief that all nations have the right to self-determination.

On the wall in the group’s office are framed photographs of Hafez and Bashar Al-Assad of Syria, Kim Il Sung of socialist Korea, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara of Cuba, Moammar Gadhafi of Libya and Omar Torrijos of Panama — all political leaders that U.S. imperialism has demonized.

In 2016, ABC News reported that a representative of the Texas Nationalist Movement had attended the conference again.

The WWP has maintained links with Russian third-positionist groups since the '90s, for example this article from the year 2000 detailing links with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) Russian Communist Workers Party (RKRP), through to carrying an obituary for Victor Anpilov in 2018 and describing National Bolshevik Party co-founder Eduard Limonov as an 'anti-capitalist political prisoner' in 2002.

Most of the information here was culled from An Investigation into Red/Brown Aliances but the reports from the organizations in attendance were re-checked from their own websites and are linked directly or via archive websites here.