Olaf Kemerink, who was recently expelled as an SP member, will become chairman of SP youth branch RED. He received 75 percent of the votes in the board election, Kemerink and now former chairman Arno van der Veen confirm News hour. “Olaf was a serious candidate and we knew there was a lot of support for him,” says Van der Veen.
Kemerink was recently joined with five others kicked out of the mother lot because of membership of other political parties; the Communist Platform and Marxist Forum. The SP says it will not accept double membership.
The party leaders called the six members “radicalized attic communists” who “want to take over the party”. They would argue in favor of “arming the population to engage in civil war”.
The SP members in question spoke of a witch hunt for critical members. Van der Veen: “We were surprised at the allegations. There has never been a proposal that would even come close to a coup or a civil war.”
SP: Non-member cannot be RED member
In a response to the election of Kemerink, a spokesman for the SP writes that “someone who is not a member of the SP cannot be a member of RED”. Choosing a non-member as chairman “has created an undesirable situation”.
“There will soon be contact with the members of the RED board about this. Ultimately it is up to the party board of the SP to decide on this.”
The SP and RED seem to be on a collision course with each other. Van der Veen: “It is very good to start the conversation, but we are clear how we think about cancellations.”
At the ROOD members’ meeting, also with 75 percent, a proposal was accepted to let the youth party speak out against the cancellations.
RED to the left than SP
The conflict over the expelled members reveals major differences between the youth branch and the mother party. The SP is looking for government participation, while the young people are explicitly against this and want a radical approach.
RED is a lot more left-wing and more activist, says Van der Veen. “You see that with more political parties. We are the generation that will have to deal with the future. For example, we no longer want to put profit above climate.”
“We dare to think about what comes after capitalism”, while older SPs “may feel the urgency less”.