Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

500 People Attend Trotskyist Summer Camp in France

Révolution Permanente, the sister site of Left Voice in France, held its first Summer University. Participants discussed building a new revolutionary organization in France.

Nathaniel Flakin

September 3, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Photo courtesy of Révolution Permanent, 2022

With Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe, towering in the background, almost 500 people gathered in the foothills of the French Alps for the Summer University of Révolution Permanente. The sister site of Left Voice in France is in the process of building a new revolutionary organization in France. This event was an opportunity to discuss the tasks of revolutionaries in a new period of crises, wars, and revolutions.

From August 24-29, discussions and debates took place from morning until night under a big circus tent. Workers from some of the most important struggles of recent years in France — including from the aerospace industry, public transport, hospitals, cleaning services, and oil refineries — were at the camp to discuss their experiences. The Summer University opened with a panel discussion on the new generation of workers confronting the neoliberal attacks of French president Emmanuel Macron. Workshops served to connect these struggles with the anti-racist or LGTQI+ movements.

Delegations from Germany, Italy, the Spanish State, Switzerland, Argentina, and Korea joined the event. There were even more people on a waiting list, but with an ongoing drought in France, the small mountain town could not accommodate all those who wished to take part.

Just over a year ago, supporters of Révolution Permanente were excluded from the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA), where they had been members for more than a decade. But far from being demoralized, they declared their intention to found a new revolutionary organization. As part of this process, they ran the Trotskyist railway worker Anasse Kazib for president. While Kazib was ultimately kept off the ballot via undemocratic rules, the campaign helped give a voice to new generations of workers and activists, and thus laid the groundwork for a revival of the far Left. As Kazib said at the camp: “It is about hope. With the presidential campaign, we showed that it is possible to organize collectively and to achieve a world free of exploitation and oppression — a world that is worth fighting for.”

Much of France’s once powerful far Left has aligned itself with the social chauvinist politician Jean-Luc Melénchon, whose aim is to reform the French imperialist state. But the Révolution Permanente summer camp showed that there is an alternative to reformism: millions of workers and young people in France are looking for an alternative to the rotten Fifth Republic. This event was a small step in the process of gathering forces for a new revolutionary organization, one that can combine the energies of new generations of workers with those of immigrants and queer people fighting against oppression. 

This was not the only summer camp organized by the European groups that make up the Trotskyist Fraction this summer. In early August, 120 people attended the summer camp of Klasse Gegen Klasse, our sister site in Germany (see this report in German). In July, IzquierdaDiario.es in the Spanish State held two summer schools: one in Madrid with 80 people (report in Spanish) and another in Barcelona with 60 people (report in Catalán).

Facebook Twitter Share

Nathaniel Flakin

Nathaniel is a freelance journalist and historian from Berlin. He is on the editorial board of Left Voice and our German sister site Klasse Gegen Klasse. Nathaniel, also known by the nickname Wladek, has written a biography of Martin Monath, a Trotskyist resistance fighter in France during World War II, which has appeared in German, in English, and in French, and in Spanish. He has also written an anticapitalist guide book called Revolutionary Berlin. He is on the autism spectrum.



Robert Habeck Wrote a Play Praising a Right-Wing Mass Murderer

Germany's Green vice chancellor strikes many as an idealist who has been struggling with the tough realities of government. Yet before he was a national politician, he wrote a play that opens a window into a dark soul.

Nathaniel Flakin

December 1, 2023

Fact Check: Did German Leftists Try to Bomb West Berlin’s Jewish Community Center in 1969?

Answer: No. The bombing was undertaken by West Germany’s domestic secret service, originally founded by Nazis.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 29, 2023
Tombstones in Germany defaced with Swasticas.

“Stop Thief!” The German State Attacks Migrants to Distract from Its Own Antisemitism

German politicians claim that antisemitism is an “imported problem.” Even a cursory look at the facts, however, shows that anti-Jewish hatred is not caused by pro-Palestinian protests. No, the source is German capitalism.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 21, 2023

Competing Rallies at Berlin’s Free University

On successive Fridays, there was a pro-Palestinian and a pro-Israeli rally at the Free University. One was dominated by international students, including many Jews and Palestinians, calling for solidarity — the other was dominated by German politicians spewing racism. Guess which was which.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 13, 2023


The World Kissinger Built Must Die Too

Henry Kissinger died at 100 years old. But his legacy remains in the brutal world system he built and the future generations of imperialist ghouls he inspired. They all must go.

Samuel Karlin

November 30, 2023
Protesters in NYC for Palestinian liberation.

Uniting Workers for Palestine Is a Fight for the Future of Labor

The struggle for Palestine shows the potential for the rank and file to push unions to break with imperialism and to build a new, combative, and internationalist unionism.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

November 27, 2023
Haverford College student Kinnan Abdalhamid and Brown University students Tahseen Ahmed and Hisham Awartani, Palestinian college students who were shot in Burlington, Vermont.

Haverford Faculty for Justice in Palestine Releases Statement Supporting Pro-Palestinian Students

Haverford College Faculty for Justice in Palestine have published a statement following the shooting of three Palestinian students in Burlington, Vermont.

A Pause in Genocide Is Not Enough: Jewish Voice for Peace Shuts Down the Manhattan Bridge

Amid a pause in Israel’s offensive on Gaza, Jewish Voice for Peace is showing that the movement for Palestine will continue. Civil disobedience must lead to broad protests which bring all sectors of the movement together.

Samuel Karlin

November 26, 2023