Europe

Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International en Europe

A European Conference and an Internationalist Evening in Paris

This past weekend the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International (FT-QI) held its second European conference with the members of the Revolutionary Communist Current (CCR) of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) from France, Class Against Class from the Spanish State, and the Revolutionary Internationalist Organization (RIO) from Germany. Saturday evening, more than 350 people attended the internationalist evening organized by the left-wing daily news site, Révolution Permanente, and the CCR.

December 07, 2015

More than 150 militants and sympathizers participated in the FT-QI’s European Conference in Paris in a the context of the state of emergency imposed on the country by the Hollande administration and its militaristic offensive behind which several leaders of the Europe of Capital have put themselves.

Other traditions of the European far left were equally present as observers, like the Workers’ Communist Party of Italy (PCL), and two currents within the NPA, Anticapitalism and Revolution, and the Spark Fraction. A special salutation was also sent to the conference by the comrades from Greece’s OKDE-Spartakos.

On the first day of the conference, the debate was based on a document that painted a picture of the world’s economic situation after eight years of crisis. A second document nourished a reflection upon the political situation after Greece’s humiliation by the Troika, and especially, after the reactionary attacks that took place in Paris and Saint-Denis on November 13. The discussion focused on new reformist phenomena and the perspectives for internationalist revolutionaries in Europe.

Dozens and dozens of militants from the three groups present, and especially the young comrades, took the floor and spoke on a number of complex subjects like European and international politics, the capitalist crisis, current geopolitical contradictions, and the debates that span the far left.

At the end of this first day of debate, all the participants made the trip to a working-class neighborhood – Saint-Ouen – just north of Paris, where an internationalist evening with a concert, was organized in order to make another voice heard in these complicated times, a voice against the imperialist wars and the attacks on democratic freedoms that the government is trying to impose with the state of emergency.

The internationalist evening was an all-out success, despite the difficult conditions in which it was organized, only a few days after the arrestation of more than 300 left-wing and far-left militants and activists by the police at the Place de la République in Paris after having participated in a demonstration against the COP21. Over 300 people came to the evening, listened to the enthusiastic speeches made by the guest speakers, discussed politics at the bar over a drink, and chanted slogans against imperialist wars, the state of emergency, and for the construction of an anti-imperialist movement in France, in Germany, in the Spanish State and other European countries.

Joe Molina, a laid-off worker from Panrico and a member of Clase contra Clase; a worker and union representative at Amazon in Berlin; and a Parisian comrade of the CCR, arrested last Sunday by the French police with hundreds of others at the Place de la République, all spoke and shared their experiences and their battles.

Salutations were sent from abroad by Nicolas Del Cano, a National Deputy for the Socialist Workers’ Party (PTS) in the Workers’ Left Front (FIT) in Argentina, and by Andrea D’Atri, also from Argentina and a main leader of the feminist group Bread & Roses (Pan y Rosas). Marco Ferrando, a comrade from the Italian PCL, and Gaël Quirante from NPA’s Anticapitalism and Revolution also took the floor.

After an opening act by the band Les Zapatriotes, Santiago Lupe from Clase contra Clase, Stefan Schneider from the RIO, and Daniela Cobet from the CCR spoke and invited the audience to continue the struggle against the current militaristic offensive led by the imperialists and the state of emergency, and called on them to offensively build an anti-war campaign among the youth, women and workers in the workplaces and universities. Daniela Cobet also called upon the far left organizations that attended the evening, as well as others like the Greek far left, to collectively put in place an Internationalist Plan against Capitalist Europe and war. After her speech, the International, sang in several languages, echoed in the halls of the cultural space Mains d’oeuvres where the evening took place. Under thunderous applause, political agitation and speeches gave way to a party, with the second part of the Zapatriotes’ concert in an enthusiastic and internationalist atmosphere.

The conference continued the next day. This time, the debates focused on the tasks of European revolutionaries in the new political situation, characterized by a right-wing swing of political regimes as well as the bankruptcy of new reformist projects like Syriza and Podemos.

During the discussion, we realized that in despite of the current reactionary offensive, the authoritarian transformation in Europe is far from being consolidated and if we act coherently, it is possible to discuss with thousands of young people, workers and students who are unhappy with the situation that the capitalist governments of Europe have created. In this sense, the conference reaffirmed the necessity to build a large movement against war and attacks against democratic freedoms, especially among the youth.

The debate on the questions of gender and sexuality from a Marxist point of view also held an important place in the discussion with the idea of deepening the reflection in the near future and of developing the advances that the different European groups have already made within the feminist movement. In the main, this question is strategic from the development of revolutionary groups.

In conclusion, we discussed the necessity to reinforce the international and internationalist collaboration between the groups’ different news sites – Revolution Permanente, Klasse gegen Klasse, and Izquierda Diario, and the international network of daily news sites animated by the FT-QI – which allow us to talk with hundreds of thousands of young people, workers and women of our revolutionary and internationalist ideas throughout the world.

Translated by Ivan Matewan