[fse-esf] correction to report
luke at worldrevolution.org.uk
Mon Nov 6 17:11:32 CET 2006
And your German comrades?
On 6/11/06 16:03, "Globalise Resistance" <office at resist.org.uk> wrote:
> Given that on 2 November, myself and Jonathan Neale sent apologies to this
> list for missing the Frankfurt meeting because we were centrally involved in
> organising the Campaign against Climate Change protest in London, I think it
> is unfair to interpret our absence as a "boycott".
> many thanks
> Guy Taylor
> On 6 Nov 2006, at 15:24, League for the 5th International wrote:
>> European Social Forum Preparatory Assembly- the Left Organises
>> 6 November 2006
>> On November 3 -5 150 delegates from all over Europe met in Frankfurt for the
>> first meeting of the ³Preparatory Assembly² of the European Social Forum.
>> Martin Suchanek of Arbeitermacht, German section of the League for the Fifth
>> International, was there. The EPA was assembled to discuss the results of the
>> fourth European Social Forum held in Athens in June this year and the way
>> forward for the anti capitalist movement. Though as usual the main
>> organisations from France, Italy and Germany talked-out any serious proposals
>> for change in its structure, its capacity to take concerted action against
>> neoliberalism and war, the growth of forces calling for change and willing to
>> fight for it was a real step forward.
>> The largest delegations in Frankfurt came from Greece, France, Germany, Italy
>> and Turkey. The attendance from Eastern Europe including Russia has also
>> markedly increased. There were smaller, but active delegations from Austria,
>> the Basque Country, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Sweden, plus a
>> representative from Palestine. The biggest ³absence² was the British,
>> including a complete ³no show² from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
>> All the major forces in the ESF were present. On the right wing, the
>> European Left Party, the trade union bureaucrats, the NGOs and Attac, There
>> were also the more unions like COBAS from Italy.
>> However, the role of the ³centre², traditionally played by the centrist
>> forces of the Fourth International (USFI) and the IST-SWP was this time only
>> filled by the FI alone. All the SWP s sister organisations even Linksruck
>> from Germany boycotted the meeting.
>> The EPA started on Saturday morning, with a report and balance sheet of the
>> Athens ESF and a discussion on the ³future for the movement².
>> There was a general agreement, that Athens was a very vibrant, lively event
>> and had a very large participation from youth and radical working class
>> activists. Also the number of trade unions sending delegations had increased.
>> It had drawn in large numbers from Turkey and increased the participation
>> from Eastern Europe
>> That Athens was much more radical, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist did
>> not please everyone. Also the lifting of the ban on political parties was
>> contested. Athens also saw the emergence of an organised opposition to the
>> dominance of reformists and their hangers-on - an Anti-imperialist Space.
>> Many organisations including the Creek Social Forum itself, the Turkish
>> organisations, immigrant organisations, some of the delegates from Italy, the
>> organisations from the Anti-imperialist Space saw all this as a real
>> Others were far from pleased. Judith Dellheim from the German PDS urged the
>> need to go back to the ban on parties, supposedly in order allow their
>> members and leaders to ³speak freely as individuals.² In reality this means
>> freedom from being held responsible for the deeds of their parties such as
>> Rifondazione¹s participation in a neoliberal and imperialist government.
>> Likewise representatives from Attac and ARCI (Italy) expressed their
>> concern, that the ESF would ³narrow² its basis and become dominated by
>> anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist forces and communists of all sorts.
>> Most of the organisations at the ESF saw the main problems of the ESF as
>> ³lack of efficiency and transparency². Of course, we are far from denying
>> this. But behind these criticisms lies a political struggle, as a speaker of
>> the L5I pointed out.
>> Whilst there has been a real increase in struggles over the past year or so,
>> the ESF and the EPA have failed to either fully reflect this or have an
>> impact back upon these struggles. It is not a question whether or not
>> political parties are welcome as such, but what they stand for for
>> resistance to the attacks on workers and the oppressed or for carrying out
>> neoliberal austerity measures and imperialist interventions. How can we
>> ignore the fact that parties like RC in Italy are now actively pursuing the
>> latter course? Nor can we ignore the fact that parties like PCF in France or
>> the PDS Left Party in Germany are heading in this direction. To be silent on
>> these issues is the biggest ³lack of transparency imaginable. The problem of
>> the ESF therefore is not that it is ³too radical² as Attac had claimed, but
>> because it was and is not ³radical, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist²
>> Speakers from the ³European Confederation of Oppressed Immigrants² or the
>> Turkish newspaper ³Revolutionary Proletariat² also argued that the ESF (and
>> the EPA) had to become organs to co-ordinate struggles and take them forward
>> rather than remain just talking shops.
>> An Anti-imperialist Network
>> Up to now, the more radical forces have worked in isolation from each other.
>> On the Friday before the ESF there was, as usual, a day for network meetings.
>> This time one of them was the Anti-imperialist Network formed out of the
>> anti-imperialist space in Athens. It gathered organisations like the
>> Organisation of Greece Communists, Turkish organisations of Stalinist origin,
>> the PFLP, the Basque nationalist Left and youth, and the League for the Fifth
>> International and the youth organisation Revolution.
>> Its aim is better to co-ordinate those who want to turn the ESF into a body
>> to mobilise for the struggles of workers, the immigrants, the youth, the
>> nationally and racially oppressed and fight the reformist parties and NGOs
>> who are blocking of these steps.
>> It agreed to call for maximum support for the Beirut International
>> Solidarity Conference (16-19 November) to mobilise together against the G 8
>> in Heiligendamm (2-8 June 2007), building a mass demonstration and an
>> anti-imperialist/anti-capitalist block on it, to organise its own seminars
>> and workshops within the counter summit.
>> Also it was agreed to cooperate closely with the anti-repression-network and
>> the anti-war network, which itself agreed on an international day of action
>> in support of Palestine on 17-18. April 2007.
>> Where is the ESF going?
>> In the plenary meetings of the EPA, once again as so often before, the
>> lightly disguised reformists and the supposed- Trotskyists of the Fourth
>> International and Attac dodged all the burning questions beyond the old calls
>> for more ³efficiency² and ³transparency². They avoided any discussion about
>> the Italian situation and Bertinotti and the RC leaderships¹ fight against
>> our movement.
>> Here one could see, the real existing balance of forces in the EPAs and ESFs
>> on show. The whole question of transparency is used to avoid political
>> conflict and bore people to death with vacuous debates on ³method². So an
>> open ³preparatory meeting² for the next Preparatory Assembly will take place
>> in January. It will decide the exact date and venue of the EPA. This will
>> meet again at the end of March 2007 to decide on the location of the next
>> European Social Forum. The three candidates for holding its are Austria,
>> Denmark-Sweden and Portugal.
>> The meeting showed that fears (or hopes in some cases) that ESF/EPS process
>> is dead are still premature. But it does remain in a comatose state a
>> condition deliberately fostered by its undeclared and informal inner
>> leadership. This is not altogether surprising surprise.
>> The ESF (and the World Social Forum -WSF) too came into being as a result of
>> capitalist globalisation and as a result of the emergence of a movement
>> fighting against it. But this movement not only combined resistance from
>> different classes and strata workers, peasants, youth, petit bourgeois and
>> middle classes.
>> It also included different political trajectories a large part
>> representing petit-bourgeois forces (the NGOs, populists and libertarians) or
>> reformist forces, i.e. bourgeois politics, but from organisations socially
>> rooted in the working class (like trade unions and reformist parties. The
>> latter were impelled towards the anti-capitalist youth after Seattle in 1999
>> by the resolute march rightwards to full-blown neoliberalism by the big
>> reformist parties the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party, the
>> German Special Democrats.
>> On the other had there were more radical organisations, including various
>> more militant unions, worker activists, youth organisation, migrant
>> organisation, national liberation struggles, left wing organisations from a
>> Trotskyist, Maoist or Stalinist origin.
>> Obviously, a unity between reformism and forces wanting to fight imperialism
>> and capitalism can only be temporary and only on the basis of agreements to
>> undertake serious joint action.
>> This is particularly so in period of intensifying class struggle.
>> The problem is that as the crisis for European imperialist project, in part
>> caused by the anti-globalist and anticapitalist movement, deepens the call
>> has gone out from sections of the European ruling class to co-opt some of the
>> ³left² reformist parties that have played a big role in the ESF. The
>> capitalists support new versions of the popular front like L¹Unione in
>> Italy - and use them to derail, contain or split the resistance and
>> radicalisation of the masses. Obviously, one cannot have a ³united² movement,
>> with one part in government attacking the other part on the street resisting.
>> That is what we see in the ESF today. Unity in the ESF is only meaningful as
>> unity of struggle against the capitalists and imperialists¹ attacks. If the
>> ESF is to become a body forging this unity, drawing in real struggles - like
>> the one in the banlieus in France or the fighters against imperialist
>> occupation in the Middle East - all those seeking this have to unite. That is
>> why the League for the Fifth International has joined the Anti-imperialist
>> Network and strongly advises left forces across Europe to do likewise.
>> FSE-ESF mailing list
>> FSE-ESF at lists.fse-esf.org
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