Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mayday 06! One Class! One Fight! Occupy, it’s our right! Global Solidarity with the US Migrant workers Strike!

by Communist Workers Group

On this day ever since the hanging of four workers in Chicago in 1886, arising out of a strike for the 8 hour day, workers around the world have come together in marches, rallies and strikes, to celebrate their common membership of an international working class that continues to struggle against all its class enemies for its emancipation from the chains of capitalism.
The US Migrant workers strike today keeps this tradition alive!

One Class! One Fight!

The struggle continues because international capitalism cannot survive without a constant increase in the exploitation and oppression of every worker who produces its profits. In the process it destroys resources, steals land, closes factories and expels workers from production. Most destructive of all, it recruits jobless workers to go to war and invade countries like Afghanistan and Iraq to seize their scarce resources.

When workers resist and try to reclaim their countries, their resources, schools and factories, they are asserting their right to own and control the means of production necessary for life. Here we can see the common factor behind all of these struggles; it is the spontaneous fight of all those excluded from production or trapped in wage slavery, to assert their class independence and take control of the means of production to meet their basic survival needs.

Mayday 2006! Unite all the struggles around the world

Today, many such struggles are taking place around the world. Peasants are fighting to retain or get land; factory workers are fighting to survive closures; women workers are fighting to keep their families together and against violence; young workers are fighting for an education, and decent jobs, a living wage and social rights. Unemployed recruited into imperialist armies or warlords militias are refusing to follow orders. Iraqis, Afghans, Africans, Melanesians, Colombians etc., are resisting imperialist occupations and fighting for their national independence.

Peasants and agricultural workers in the Solomons and West Papua, in Bolivia and Brazil, India and China, Nigeria and South Africa, resist the removal of their land for capitalist agriculture, or extraction of oil, gas, timber or minerals etc. by the giant multinationals based in the imperialists countries. Many of these peasants are indigenous peoples who defend their own social relations and cultures. Their universal response to these attacks is to occupy the land! Take the land, and join forces with all workers to take the trucks, the ports and the banks!

Industrial workers, whose wages and conditions deteriorate under the increasing exploitation forced on them by the IMF, World Bank and WTO, resist in many countries. In Latin America, around a third of the work-age population is without work, and another third lives in the ‘black’ economy of undocumented, super exploited, virtual slave labor. Where workers are cast out of production, their instinct is to occupy. Turn all the occupations into expropriations!

Long live the strike of the 12 million US 'illegals'!

In the United States the 12 million undocumented ‘illegals’ have poured into the country from the South, West and East, and perform the most menial, dangerous and servile work. They are under immediate threat of being criminalised, arrested, deported, or turned into ‘guest’ workers regulated and repressed by Bush’s Department of Homeland Security. Wherever ‘illegals’ stand up and fight back they are criminalised and forced to occupy the Guantanamos of this world.

Long live the May 1st strike of ‘illegal’ workers!
We are all ‘illegals’!
Close down the Guantanamos!

Women workers continue to bear the brunt of the worst exploitation and oppression. On top of the burden of child care and support, women still do the low-paid, menial, insecure work. As the capitalist crisis of the 80s and 90s has shifted much industry from core capitalist states to the ‘third’ world, women have filled many such jobs in the maquiladores of Latin America, the shantytowns of Africa, and factory dormitories of China and India, and borne the brunt of family breakdown, rape and murder. Because of this women take the lead in struggles for land rights, indigenous rights, factory occupations, and human rights. They are asserting their right to break out of domestic slavery and to take ownership and control of the means of production.

Liberate the woman worker!
Abolish domestic slavery!

Young workers are also among the most vulnerable, facing, unemployment, discrimination and ‘precarity’ - lack of job security. In December of last year the unemployed youth of the migrant communities in France rebelled against the police as the agents of imperialist repression. In March of this year university students, high school students and workers in auto, rail, and the state sector took to the streets to stop the latest reactionary labor law giving bosses’ freedom to hire and fire young workers. They occupied universities, schools, and blocked railways and roads to prove that they too can take over and control, if only symbolically for now, the means of production, distribution and exchange.

Occupy the schools and universities under student/worker control!
For free education to all! Jobs for all!

Soldiers are workers or peasants in uniform, drafted to fight the wars of their bosses by killing and looting the peoples of the colonies and semi-colonies. They are mainly poor, unemployed youth drawn from peasant, migrant, or stateless families. Where these troops refuse to obey orders the capitalist military machine collapses. In recent years, in Bolivia, Venezuela and Iraq, some conscripts have mutinied against their officers and sided with the masses.

For rank-and-file control of the military!
For the formation of rank and file councils!

For workers' and peasants' militias!

Socialism is the only way out!

Global capitalism in the 21st century is in a crisis in which the forces of production are being destroyed so that capitalists can continue to profit. Marx long ago predicted that capitalism would ultimately dig its own grave by creating a working class that would overthrow the private owners to claim social ownership of the forces of production.

This is where we are today. Peasants, factory workers, women workers, youth, conscripts; the vast majority are being cast out of production. This is what Marx and Engels meant in the Communist Manifesto when they raised the slogan: “Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains”! Despite all those doomsayers who claim that socialism is dead, or those wheeler-dealers who claim that capitalism can be reformed by ‘democratic’ , ‘humane’ politicians, the system has them all in its grip. The producing classes cannot survive by placing any hopes in reforming the system. This can only lead to further social destruction, climactic disaster and fascist barbarism.

The only solution for the worlds’ workers is to expropriate the means of production from the private owners for our own use. When we are excluded from production, or forced into slave labor, we must occupy and put the means of production under our own control. Where workers have done this as in Argentina and Venezuela, they have proved that bosses are superfluous. The struggle for workers control is also the struggle for workers power.

We are one class; the working class! one fight; the fight for socialism!

Standing between workers and socialism are all the enemies of their class. They are those who seek to contain and divert the workers struggle to expropriate the capitalists into compromises, deals, and sell-outs to save the bosses skins. These are the false friends of workers – the union officials who are paid by the bosses state to prevent workers from running unions democratically; the political parties funded by the bosses state with false names like ‘labor’, ‘socialist’, ‘worker’ or 'communist', that promise workers, land, jobs, health and education, but instead cut jobs, wages, health, education and social benefits, to guarantee bosses good profits.

Today the most dangerous class enemies of all the peasants, wage slaves, women, youths, and conscripts, who are struggling to take control of the means of production, distribution and exchange, are those false ‘socialists’ who tell the workers to put their faith in strong leaders who can bring about socialism from ‘above’; in particular, those in the World Social Forum who look to Castro, Chavez and even Lula, to solve their problems for them.

No! To defeat the class collaborationist World Social Forum we must build a new Leninist-Trotskyist communist international. The only guarantee of socialism is the independent, armed organisation of our One Class! –peasant, factory, woman, and youth workers united in workers councils everywhere to fight for workers power; our One Fight! –turn all occupations into expropriations as the basis of a socialist planned world economy!

Communist Workers Group (NZ)
Member of the Fraction Leninist-Trotskyist

027 280 0080

Monday, April 24, 2006

Australian Green Left roots *

In Class Struggle # 60 we criticised the Australian Democratic Socialist Perspectives’ cheerleading for Chavez. As we point out the DSP is aligned to the Castroites who are influential in the World Social Forum and play a treacherous role in the mass struggles in Latin America. It also has some influence on some reformist currents in Aotearoa/NZ, and may be the model for a future ‘socialist alliance’ between between the SWO and Matt McCarten. To expose the treacherous role of this organisation today we print here a short history of the DSP by the Communist Left of Australia which traces its degeneration from a self-declared Trotskyist group in the 1960s to its present pro-Stalinist, pro-Castroist position as the ‘Democratic Socialist Perspectives’ inside the Australian Socialist Alliance. It is a sorry tale.

Origins in the ‘Fourth International’

The origins of the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia go right back to a split in the post-war self-claimed ‘Fourth International’ between the majority United Secretariat, and those who supported Michel Pablo known as the International Marxist Tendency. In Australia the majority led by Nick Origlass, supported the IMT. The Australian United Secretariat supporters led by Bob Gould and Ian MacDougall split in 1965 and put out the magazine called Socialist Perspectives.

Whilst there was an organisational break with Pablo over political questions, both groupings had the same fundamental methodology. In Pablo's ‘new world reality’ history was seen as an inevitible process that would revolutionise reformist, stalinist and even bourgeois nationalist parties. Therefore both sides of this split no longer saw the need to build independent Trotskyist parties.

Both groupings were thoroughly loyal to the Australian Labor Party (ALP) practicing long term entry work (deep entrism). John and Jim Percy, foundation leaders of the Democratic Socialist Party, were then Sydney University campus radicals in the Labor Club. They were recruited by those who produced Socialist Perspectives. Eventually they were to win ideological hegemony over the Sydney University Labor club.

The grouping around Socialist Perspectives, founded the Campaign for Nuclear disarmament which became the Vietnam Action Committee when Australia entered the Vietnam War. Its leader was Bob Gould. For the next few years a number of youth and student fronts were formed centred around their bookshop, the ‘Third World Bookshop’, which became an activist centre.

Inside this group there were differences over organisation. The Percy brothers were known for their belief in strong centralised organisation. On the other hand, the ‘New Leftists’ very influential at the time, opposed organisation, equating it with bureaucracy. New left meetings were often chaotic and bureaucratic (lacking structure certain stronger members tended to dominate). The older Trotskyists (MacDougall and Gould) were fearful that a more defined organisation would threaten their long-term entryism in the ALP.

Their youth group Resistance became very successful, organising high school students against the war and the Student Underground. During 1968 there was a significant growth in activity and membership. They also received a degree of notoriety because of their support for the NLF in Vietnam and with their booklet How Not to Join the Army. The ‘Third World Bookshop’ was raided by the police.

A number of splits occurred over organisational issues. The most significant of these being in 1970 was with Bob Gould who opposed Resistance being defined by political demands. Gould split away taking with him about one third of the membership. Both supported protest movements and an orientation to the Labor Party. The real difference was priority. This is shown by their support for Bob Gould as Socialist Left delegate to the 1971 Federal ALP Conference. In NSW the Percy group won hegemonic control over the Socialist Left within the Labor Party which never grew (in NSW) significantly beyond the radical left.

Bob Gould claimed the Third World Bookshop as his property because he was the legal owner and put in more money than others. The Percy majority pointed out that the Third World Bookshop was established as a bookshop for Resistance and Bob was in the minority. Within six months, Gould had lost most of his supporters to the variant of the so-called "Fourth International" called the International Committee led internationally by Gerry Healy.

Out of all this the Percy grouping renamed itself as the Socialist Youth Alliance and emerged as politically coherent with a strong organisational framework. They then formed the Socialist Workers League. They published a colourful and strident newspaper called Direct Action. Each issue came out in a different colour. They had the full support of the Socialist Workers Party of the US (SWP-US). John Percy had been to the USA. Barry Shepherd SWP-US leader had visited Australia. Allen Myers, an antiwar GI, migrated to Australia and joined their ranks.

Vietnam War

Now being fully aligned with the SWP-US, they took on its theoretical heritage, such as Cuba being considered a healthy workers state. The SWP-US was an ex-Trotskyist party in total degeneration. It adapted to bourgeois liberalism in the anti-war movement and Castroism in Cuba. Castro, they argued was an ‘unconscious Trotskyist’.

The priority of SYA became the Moratorium against the Vietnam War. They fought for a coherent single-issue one-point programme: ‘Out Now!’ They opposed calls for ‘peace’ or ‘negotiations’. They opposed the Moratorium being based around support for the National Liberation Front.

They opposed any orientation to draft resistance or against conscription. They opposed the slogan "stop work to stop the war" arguing that this underestimated the strength of the protest movement. They supported strong centralised and regular marches and opposed decentralised ones. They opposed the Vietnam Moratorium becoming multi-issue.

Their opposition to the ‘solidarity with the NLF’ slogan came from both the right and left. For revolutionaries, the point of internationalist solidarity is to sharpen the struggle against ‘ones own’ country by calling for its military defeat. This the SYA didn't do. They deliberately avoided taking a military stand in what was an imperialist war with the conscious purpose of mobilising as broadly as possible. According to SYA ‘theory’, which they still agree with today, the might of numbers i.e. public opinion, forces governments to act. This they counter-posed to direct action by the working class. Their strategy amounted to populism and public opinion. Bourgeois forces were welcomed as part of the mass movement. This apparently was "their contradiction and not ours".

They sounded left when they opposed the strategy of the Vietcong, correctly identifying this strategy as stalinist. They made the link between Stalin's theory of socialism in one country and the NLF call for peace talks. Of course class struggle anti-imperialist solidarity must mean a break from Stalinism. But the SYA opposed identification with Stalinism as it might scare off bourgeois liberal antiwar opponents and narrow the movement. This is a right wing opposition to the ‘solidarity with the NLF’ demand. They have since changed their analysis and now consider the NLF to be Leninists who pursued a revolutionary strategy.

From class struggle to protest politics

SYA adhered to the theory of neo-capitalism. According to this theory capitalist crises are over, and issues such as alienation were now more relevant in creating a revolutionary dynamic. In the late ‘sixties and early ‘seventies in prosperous Australia, radical middle class people were concerned about many ‘quality of life’ issues. SYA were active around issues such as high school students’ rights, the environment, women’s liberation, gay liberation, anti-racism, anti-censorship etc.

In all these issues they pursued the same method — mass action around single-issue demands. They were, seen as conservatives, especially during the mass movement against the South African racist Springbok rugby tour. Virtually everyone else involved supported physical disruption of that tour.

In short, SYA were a Labor Party loyal league with a minimalist programme oriented to radical middle class protest politics.

In 1972, the economic crisis hit. Class issues came to the forefront. The Liberals moved some reactionary anti-working class legislation known as the ‘Lynch Laws’ bringing about an upsurge of militancy in the metal industry, the ‘movement for workers control’. This resistance continued after the Whitlam-led ALP was elected in November '72. During this upsurge of working class struggle the SWL were basically irrelevant. A group of Ernest Mandel supporters left its ranks no doubt itching to get involved in class struggle as opposed to student protests. They constituted themselves as the Communist League.

A key issue in the split was what attitude to take to the ALP. In his recently published book John Percy has suggested that the difference was merely a tactical one of formulating their critical support. However if one reads SWL leader Jim McIlroy in his commentary on the 1974 Federal election, it is very clear that the SWL considered voting Labor to be a matter of principle, as opposed to tactics, since Labor was the working class party to be supported despite its leadership.

During the Whitlam years the SWL may have abstained from the militant working class struggle, but there was plenty of student and mass movement activism for them to build their league. They formed the Women's Abortion Action Campaign, a single issue campaign. They were prominent in defending the Palestinians in resolutions debated within the Australian Union of Students. They recruited some from the Communist Party of Australia – Dr Gordon Adler being the most prominent. But basically, they consolidated their organisation. In the climate of militancy during that period they were considered conservatives within the left. The Communist League described their paper as ‘The Women’s Weekly of the Australian revolutionary left’.

They entered into many significant debates with the CPA Stalinists on international issues such as Chile, Portugal and Vietnam.

The 1975 Federal Election saw them stand candidates for the first time. They have stood in almost every election since. Previously they were known to have opposed standing for parliament on principle, arguing that it was a barrier to their fight against the Labor leadership. The '75 election occurred after the sacking of Whitlam by governor General Sir John Kerr and his replacement with an interim Fraser government. Working class militancy and anger was immense. The left were extremely active. Of all the left groups the SWL was the least involved with the justifiable anger felt within the working class. They made a splash with prominent and colourful posters around protest issues (Women’s, gay and black rights) calling for a Labor government pledged to socialist policies. This, in a situation were a revolutionary general strike was being seriously and widely demanded.

In February '76 they renamed themselves the Socialist Workers Party. Of course this spelt out that they were to have a prominent presence outside the ALP. But they were still liquidationist. A few years later Bob Gould was to point out that ‘supporters of Direct Action were virtually indistinguishable from the official Left in NSW Young Labor, the Radical Leadership Group’. Gould at least had a faction which demanded ‘socialist policies’ (of the reformist variety). The RLG and therefore ‘supporters of Direct Action’ did not!

‘Turn to the workers’

As with their US comrades, the 1976 conference announced a ‘turn to the working class’ They argued that this is necessary due to intensified class struggle. There was no objective reason the turn to the working class was any more warranted in ‘76 as it was in ‘73 or ‘74. In fact the working class of ‘76 was more on the defensive. But the Australians turned basically out of loyalty to the US SWP.

By renaming themselves as a party and their turn to the working class, the SWP did form a sort of pole of attraction among sections of the far left. They won over some former members of the syndicalist Melbourne Revolutionary Marxists and some former CPA members. They were on the road to winning back those who split to form the Communist League which was seen to be failing in its efforts to build an organisation,

They were still strongly involved in protest politics. In the Timor Moratorium movement and the anti-uranium movement they intervened as they did against the Vietnam War. They had a single-issue broad populist approach. From these movements they recruited. But they didn't recruit from the movement for civil liberties in Queensland. They opposed marching for the ‘right to march’ because it was against the law even when large sections of the labor bureaucracy were marching. Once again they were considered conservatives on the left.

The turn to the working class was unsuccessful in terms of results for effort. The ex-student radicals joined the unions to form rank-and-file oppositions. While a few militants were won the class composition did not significantly change. And in no union were they a serious left pole of attraction. On the whole they opposed economic protectionism but sometimes made opportunist adaptations to link up with militants who were protectionist (Victorian Builders’ Union for example). In Wollongong they were controversial for standing against the official rank and file dominated by the CPA. For this they got a hostile reception and were disowned by almost the whole of the Wollongong left.

But they did have some ideological influence on the left. This resulted from the CPA Stalinists rabid turn to the right. In the major unions where the CPA had significant influence, the perspective of workers control of the early ‘seventies was replaced by overt class collaborationist protectionism. The CPA promoted all sorts of ‘Peoples’ Economic Programmes’ (PEP) basically to get the government to ‘save manufacturing’. The logic of this was the selling-out of class struggle, as the bureaucrats did with the Prices and Incomes Accord which they negotiated before Bob Hawke came to power.

The SWP was a pole of attraction because they were the most prominent opponents of the stalinist social patriotic schemas promoted by the "left" union bureaucrats, supported by large sections of the rank and file and sections of the academic left. However the SWP had an analysis which did not correspond to the reality of Australian capitalism. For the SWP, there was no fundamental restructuring away from manufacturing to mining nor any significant intervention by foreign capital. The reality was that during the ‘seventies, ‘eighties and ‘nineties whole sections of manufacturing collapsed, including shipbuilding, the car industry, white goods and the BHP steelworks in Newcastle. In short, because of their failure to understand the dynamics of Australian capitalism, their heartfelt desire to oppose both protectionism and class collaboration lacked credibility, especially in the eyes of trade union militants.

The Communist League shared a roughly similar analysis and there was joint work in opposition to the PEP. This facilitated their reunification. The Communist League were instructed to rejoin by leaders of the United Secretariat such as Ernest Mandel.

The formal break with Trotskyism

Subjective revolutionaries joined the SWP because they perceived the need for a numerically strong party which identified with Trotskyism (irrespective of its flaws). Many were purged by the Percy leadership whose lesson from their previous CL experience was to deal with potential troublemakers. But some remained as members. But what these leftists were joining was a party collapsing into Stalinism at a rapid rate of knots. With every crisis of Stalinism that occurred during the next twenty years, the SWP took one step further in a Stalinist direction.

In 1979 there was a third Indochina war when Vietnam invaded Pol Pot's Kampuchea and China invaded Vietnam. The SWP justified their pro-Vietnamese line by suddenly discovering that Kampuchea under the Khmer Rouge was ‘state capitalist’. This convenient analysis meant they were not seen as endorsing an invasion of one post-capitalist state by another. But in no way did it square with reality. The ‘capitalist’ Khmer Rouge had even abolished money!

When the Soviet Union sent troops to Afghanistan, they endorsed the invasion more enthusiastically than their US comrades.

SWP Australia was formed in solidarity with SWP-US and therefore considered Cuba a healthy workers state. But on the whole Cuba had been a low priority for the Australian comrades. With the victory of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, this was to change. The SWP Australia became their uncritical cheerleaders. The popular governments in Nicaragua and Grenada were hailed for ‘following the Cuban road’. They defended the Sandinistas maintenance of capitalism and their repression of the revisionist Trotskyist Simon Bolivar Brigade.

The SWP-US was also enthusiastic, uncritically hailing these revolutions and their leaderships. They also made a reassessment of Trotskyism, consciously breaking from it. But the Australian SWP went even further along the Stalinist road than the North Americans did.

For the Australian SWP, Castro was not an ‘unconsciousness Trotskyist’ but a ‘conscious Leninist’. Trotskyism, they now argued, was a sectarian deviation from Leninism. They repeated the Stalinist slander that Trotsky ‘underestimated the peasantry’. Basically they were arguing for a Stalinist strategy for the third world. One leading SWP member at their Social Rights Conference argued that if Trotsky's line had been pursued, the Chinese revolution would never have been won!

The Australian SWP then reassessed their analysis of the Vietnamese revolution. The Vietnamese Stalinists too became ‘conscious Leninists’. In doing this they stabbed in the back the very significant Trotskyist movement that had a strong base amongst the Vietnamese proletariat. They rehashed the same Stalinist slanders which they had refuted when argued by Denis Freney, the notorious Pabloite who became a Stalinist. They have since established friendly relations with the Vietnamese Workers’ Party and invite speakers from the Vietnamese Embassy to their conferences.

Of course this blatant turn to Stalinism led to a break not only from the SWP-US, but from the United Secretariat which they considered a roadblock to their efforts to regroup third world Stalinists. Here there is a clear logic. If the Sandinistas, Castroites etc. are revolutionary, then why have a Fourth International? Mandel and Co could not junk the old Trotskyism, or rather identification with Trotsky, so easily. So the SWP liquidated the fundamental class line between Trotskyism and Stalinism. As a result of this international break, Australian supporters of the United Secretariat and of Sean Matgamna (now called Workers Liberty) left the SWP.

Bloc with Stalinist Socialist Party of Australia

Internationally the SWP was pursuing alliances with left Stalinists. In Australia, they looked for an alliance with the pro-Moscow Socialist Party of Australia (now called Communist Party of Australia). There was no way that the SPA would abandon support for Stalin, nor the ruling bureaucracy in the Soviet Union or Poland (the SWP supported Solidarnosc), but there was some basis for unity.

The organisation called CPA at the time was heading to the right rapidly. And many SPA trade union officials were joining in. The logic of CPA strategy was to make an alliance with the Hawke government called the Prices and Incomes Accord. Under the Accord workers sacrificed wages and conditions in exchange for minor reforms which workers would normally expect from a Labor government anyway. The Accord divided the Australian left but the only official to have opposed it openly was Jenny Haines, a supporter of Bob Gould. But it was SPA policy to oppose the Accord.

The SPA stood by its principles and expelled the overwhelming majority of its trade union base, including prominent party leaders. They lost not only one third of their membership, but the significant membership in terms of trade union influence. Making an alliance with the SWP gave them a bit more clout and assisted their influence amongst young people. The SWP gained some contact with unionists. Their joint efforts meant more effective election campaigns.

Their main campaign was the Social Rights Manifesto. The title speaks for itself. Rights is a bourgeois concept and their Manifesto was for rights under capitalism. What this showed was that in terms of the Australian situation, the SWP and SPA had approximately the same minimum programme. The SWP called their demands ‘transitional’ and argued that the process was continuing. SPA called the Manifesto the first stage of their two stage revolution.

The SWP and SPA were also allies in the peace movement. Both opposed the right stalinist and liberal bourgeois view that ‘both superpowers’ were responsible for the arms race. SWP and SPA put the blame on imperialism and were clearly better in their variant of the popular front. Eventually there was a division of labour with the right Stalinists organising Palm Sunday, and SWP/SPA running the Hiroshima Day protests. Of these two the right popular front was the more popular.

All this stalinist maneuvering was too much for the SWP-US who formed a faction in Australia which were then expelled (forming another Communist League). This faction included former leaders Nita Keig, Deb Schnookal and Dave Deutschmann. In the US the Australian SWP had the support of former SWP-US presidential candidate Pedro Camejo. In the USA, John Percy and Pedro Camejo supported the presidential campaign of US Democrat Jesse Jackson and the protest campaign to freeze nuclear weapons.

The SWP-US and its supporters also objected to the Australian SWP's support for cold war right wingers at Polish solidarity rallies and its support for a Croatian nationalist organisation known as the Croatian Movement for Statehood (HDP).

Was HDP a former fascist Croatian organisation moving to the left or an adaptation by the fascists to co-opt the left? Either way it was unsupportable. The HDP, even with its left face, recognised the fascist government of Pavlevic whose dictatorship was backed by Mussolini during the Second World War. This fact alone made it thoroughly unprincipled, in fact treacherous, for revolutionaries to give it any positive recognition irrespective of its left rhetoric, genuine or otherwise.

The Hawke Government went to the right and started attacking unions. In response there was a national rank and file movement called Fightback which the SWP was active in. Fightback split into two wings. Some known as Canberra fightback, wanted it to remain a rank-and-file caucus. The SWP and SPA alliance, joined by the Maoist CPA(ML) wanted to turn it into a new communist party.

The Maoist-led Builders Labourers Federation was under attack by the Hawke Government at the Federal level, and by the Cain Labor government in Victoria which authorised an armed police raid on its offices. Legislation aimed at the BLF was a serious threat to organised militant unionism in Victoria. So the Maoists were now hard left when it came to opposing Labor. The pro-Accord Stalinists stabbed the BLF in the back, refusing to defend it from a capitalist state attack, in fact often endorsing the attack!

Understandably there was strong hostility amongst militants towards Labor. The SWP opposition to Labor also intensified. In 1987 they even endorsed the bourgeois Australian Democrats. They argued that whilst the Democrats were a bourgeois party, they supported progressive movements and were to the left of Labor on social services and welfare issues, and could be given critical support. At the same time the Greens were growing rapidly. So the name of the SWP paper Direct Action was changed to Green Left Weekly.

The Gorbachev liberal bureaucratic leadership of the Soviet Union led to another turn by the SWP — towards the Gorbachev leadership. As the Soviet Union degenerated rapidly, the SWP made all sorts of alliances with liberalised Stalinists. Devoid of any Marxist analysis they took their democratic credentials at face value oblivious at any threat of counter-revolution. They have close ties with East Germany's former ruling party, the PDS. In the spirit of democratic socialism, they changed their name to Democratic Socialist Party.

Meanwhile the SPA was going in the opposite direction. They wanted to hang onto as much of the Breshnevite past as possible. So there was a strain on the alliance. The SPA was then oriented to the Chinese leadership. The bloodshed of Tienamin Square, supported by SPA but opposed by DSP, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The alliance was over.

The DSP then oriented to the fast degenerating Communist Party of Australia who were aiming to develop a new party in what was called the ‘New Left Party Process’. The CPA were reassessing the Accord but hadn't broken from it. But the CPA did not reciprocate the DSP’s advances, and chose to degenerate in alliance with old pro-Accord ex-SPA bureaucrats. The DSP has tried to fill the vacuum left by the CPA degeneration.

Socialist Alliance

The most recent party building maneuver has been the Socialist Alliance formed similar to the one in Britain. The Socialist Workers Party (‘state capitalist’ and unrelated to the SWP-US and DSP traditions) was a key initiating force in Britain. Their Australian supporters, the International Socialist Organisation were joint founders of the Australian version along with the DSP.

What started off as a joint electoral bloc around minimal demands with equal participation by the various groupings has become virtually a DSP front. The DSP has now become renamed as Democratic Socialist Perspectives and has no public presence apart from the Socialist Alliance, though its youth group Resistance still has an open presence. The Alliance is now virtually a non-revolutionary party dominated by the DSP. Alliance candidates effectively stand on the DSP programme.

During the eighties, the pin-up boys for the DSP were the Sandinistas. They ‘reassessed’ Trotskyism and abandoned it on the basis of the Sandinistas' ‘success’. Had they any integrity they would have re-assessed their position in the light of the Sandinista’s failure. This they haven't done. Today they have replaced cheerleading the Sandinistas with cheerleading Chavez in Venezuela. They hail him virtually uncritically.

Another piece of DSP treachery has been its support for Australian troops in East Timor, sent there ostensibly for defending Timorese independence. It may be understandable that some bourgeois nationalists may take imperialist rhetoric at face value. Those who have some understanding of Lenin should know better. Australia has now imposed a deal which steals oil that belongs to the Timorese.


This is only an overview of the whole SWP/DSP history of liquidation and treachery. Essentially what started off as an attempt to establish Trotskyism on the basis of student radicalism against the Vietnam War, degenerated into a pro-Stalinist grouping, organisationally opportunist, and whose only principle appears to be cheerleading Stalinists and building a party distinct from Labor (but not reformism). They are good at tapping into youth and student radicalism.

Whilst on some issues, they find Trotsky's analysis appropriate, when it comes to drawing fundamental class lines they clearly stand with Stalin, especially in imperialist dominated countries euphemistically called the ‘third world’.

Many DSP members are good activists in their unions. The DSP presents itself as a strong and confident organisation. But it is the Stalinist principles which are decisive. For the sake of the revolution, these must be thoroughly broken from. The only revolutionary banner is the red banner of proletarian internationalism. The revolutionary tradition is that of Leon Trotsky and the Fourth International. On the basis of this tradition a new revolutionary international must be built.

* This is a repost to redrave as the original posted in August 2005 was unfortunately deleted.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Long Live the Paris Commune!

France, 4 April, 2006: Long live the struggle of the students, young people and the workers against the vicious attack of the government and the bosses!

In order to defeat the CPE and labor flexibilisation and end the slavery of the working class and its youth we must impose the demands of the workers and the exploited people to send to the rubbish bin of history the imperialist Fifth Republic of Chirac-Villepin-Sarkozy, the social-imperialist parties, and the union bureaucracy!

Is necessary to make France a Baghdad every night and day, and Paris into a Commune!

with pickets, mobilizations and self-defence committees!

An enormous struggle of the masses shakes imperialist France. On the days of the 7, 16, 18 and 28 of March, university and secondary school students, young workers of the "Cités" - the workers neighborhoods – amd the education and public sector workers, and to a lesser extent of the private sector, took to the streets in their millions in all the cities of France, confronting the government of President Chirac and Prime Minister Villepin responsible for the vicious attack on young workers with the "First Job Contract" (CPE) and other measures combined in the cynically named "equal opportunity law".

This law, passed by parliament and promulgated by Chirac [though suspended until a new law is passed], allows the bosses to make young workers under 26 years of age work without rights and protection from dismissal; to make 14 year-olds into apprentices, and 15 year olds work at night, among other measures. It is the imposition of a true slavery onto the whole generation of young workers. This ruthless attack is an example of what the French imperialist bourgeoisie has to do to defeat to its own working class and enable it to embark on new adventures and wars to win new markets, zones of influence, oil fields and other resources from the ex-workers states like China and Russia, in competition with US imperialism.

It is not accidental that French imperialism is going on the offensive against its own working class. It must defeat it not only to extract more profits at home, but also in its intense rivalry with US imperialism. French imperialism is now embarked on a bitter competition with US imperialism for the repartition of the global economy. The US has stolen a march in Iraq and subordinated Britain, Italy and Spain. The French imperialists have responded by taking the initiative to bully Iran over nuclear weapons in the hope of winning a share of the spoils of any war against that country. It has stopped US corporates from privatising French state assets such as Gas France. Chirac recently threatened to use France’s nuclear arsenal against any threat to “the integrity of the territory, the protection of the population and the free exercise of the sovereignty” of France, its strategic supply lines and its “allied countries”. (Clarin, March 2006).

This attack on youth jobs at home is clearly linked to the policies of French imperialism abroad. But it has met a strong response from the students, workers and the exploited young people in the migrant communities. The university students were first into the trenches to lead the counter-attack, occupying or blockading 60 out of the 80 universities in France, confronting the riot police who forced the evacuation of he Sorbonne – the symbol of May 1968.

But the movement took a leap forward on March 16 when the mobilization of the students was joined by the young workers of the suburbs, the new generation of the French proletariat whose heroic rebellion of October-November of 2005 was a ‘curtain-raiser’ for the current struggle of the masses. Those that came to the aid of the students were those young workers who had risen to the shout of "Every night we make Paris a Bagdad". Fighting for work, decent wages and freedom, but abandoned and isolated by the privileged workers and the labor bureaucracy of the unions and their parties, they were ruthlessly repressed with almost 800 imprisoned many deported and more than 4000 put under police supervision.

With the powerful energy of young workers - one of the most oppressed sectors of the French proletariat - the struggle took a big step forward. Then the secondary students began to join in large numbers, mainly from the "Cités". The massive mobilization of Saturday 18 of March, saw more than a million students, workers and youth unite across the country, proving that the fight against the CPE was becoming a struggle of the whole French working class, indeed a political fight of the masses.

The shout of "Drop the CPE now or indefinite general strike” raised by hundreds of thousands of workers and students in the streets of Paris showed clearly that the masses understood perfectly that they could not stop the CPE and the “equal opportunity law” and their other demands, without the credible threat of a general strike. Thus, the enormous mass struggle has put on the order of the day the indefinite general strike to defeat the government of Chirac-Villepin-Sarkozy, along with the imperialistic regime of the Fifth Republic, ending the CPE and all the anti-worker laws, releasing the prisoners from the October-November youth rebellion as well as those arrested in the present struggle, and imposing the demands of the students, young workers and all workers and exploited people.

But between the masses and the general strike there is a large barrier: the union bureaucracy of the CGT, CFDT, FO and of the student union UNEF, along with the social-imperialist parties – the Socialist Party (PS), the Communist Party (PCF) and the pseudo-Trotskyists – all, as we shall prove, the faithful subjects of the imperialist Fifth Republic.

But in spite of all its efforts, the bureaucracy could not prevent the development of the struggle and the convergence on the streets of the students, the young workers of the Cités and other workers. This has forced it to try to take over the leadership of the struggle including the demand for a general strike. But it refuses to make the call for an indefinte general strike.

Thus, the enormous mobilisation opf the masses on the 28 of March was not a general strike: it was a day of partial strikes and marches uniting 3 million workers and students all over the country. It was a ‘day of action’ called by the union bureaucracy, the PS and the PCF to prevent a general strike and to put pressure on the government to force them to negotiate. By this means the bureaucracy was responsible for rescuing the government and keeping in power the repressive, anti-worker and imperialist killer of colonial peoples – the Fifth Republic regime!

But this is not the last word on this enormous class struggle that has been unleashed. The bourgeoisie strikes back: it needs to defeat the working class. On the 30 of March, the Constitutional Council ratified the CPE and the "law of equal opportunity". On 31 of March, Chirac announced that he would pass the law with two cosmetic changes - the probationary period would be reduced to one yea, and the employer would have to give a ‘reason’ for dismissing a young worker. But of course the worker cannot use this ‘reason’ to contest the employers right to sack him or her. The amended CPE passed by Chirac is ‘suspended’ while a new law is drafted with the agreement of the student and trades union leaders and then voted on.

Against this subterfuge the students have renewed their opposition. Secondary students in their thousands walked out of school to block the railways and roads; and the occupations of the universities have been maintained. After the speech of Chirac, thousands of young students and workers spontaneously went into the streets of the cities, in particular Paris: they stayed on the streets all night and at dawn gathered in the historical Montmartre - where the Commune of Paris in 1871 began -, and they painted on the walls "Revenge 1871" and " Long live the Commune ".

The union leaders have been forced by this further spontaneous upsurge to call another “day of action” i.e. partial strikes and marches for the 4 of April. But the unions of Air France have already announced that they will strike for 24 hours on 4 April so that the workers can participate in the marches against the CPE. And in response to the union leaders call for another limited ‘day of action’ to pressure the government, the national Coordination of students has called to transform the 4 of April into the beginning of indefinite general strike! And the General Assembly of university in Paris voted to march on Monday 3 April to the headquarters of the CGT (CP led union federation) to demand indefinite general strike!

In the next days and weeks it will be decided in the streets whether or not the treacherous leaders of the workers preventing the general strike, and save the French bourgeoisie, its government and its regime yet again; or, on the contrary, the spontaneous revolutionary energy of the masses can sweep the away the barriers and begin the general strike, "the great day when the oppressed meet their oppressors” - as Leon Trotsky said - that will revive again for the French working class, after almost 40 years since 1968, and 135 years from the insurrection of March 1871, the ‘revenge’ of the glorious Paris Commune, and open the road to revolution.

The present struggle of the masses in France, foreshadowed by the the revolt of young workers last October-November, along with a general strike in Belgium, the awakening of sections of the US working class against the war of Iraq, and now the huge mobilizations of more than a million Latino workers in the United States against the new immigration law, is evidence that we have entered a time of renewed struggle of the main battalions of the working class: the proletariat in the imperialist countries.

Long live the struggle of the students, workers and youth against the ferocious attack of the government and the bosses! Unite the militant students, young workers and the whole of the proletariat to demand an indefinite general strike until the CPE and the "law of equal opportunity" is defeated, all the workers demands have been won, and no part of the regime of the Fifth Republic of Chirac-Villepin is left standing, including its class collaborators, the social-imperialist parties and the union bureaucracy!

The labor aristocracy and bureaucracy of the Fifth Republic, its unions and parties: A "Holy Alliance” to prevent the general strike

The general strike is the order of the day! The militant masses know that only by defeating the government and the regime will they be able to impose their demands. But the labor bureaucracy and its parties, the loyal subjects and servants of the imperialist Fifth Republic, have formed a "Holy Alliance" to prevent a general strike. Forced to take the lead by the mass pressure of the movement, the "inter-union" formed by the union bureaucracy of the CGT, the CFDT (led by the PS), the FO (Workers’ Force) and other unions, along with the leadership of the National Union of Students of France (UNEF), have been surfing the crest of the wave to try to control it, and to prevent it from overflowing the barriers and becoming an independent uprising of the workers.

For that reason, the ‘inter-union’ has refused to call a general strike, and has instead used a series of 'days of action' to pressure the government to withdraw the CPE and open negotiations. Thus, when the Constitutional Council confirmed the law, they called on Chirac "to use his constitutional prerogatives to withdraw the CPE". Now that Chirac and his ministers have invited the ‘inter-union’ to negotiate a new law, they want to use the April 4 'day of action' as a "show of force" to strengthen their position in the negotiations on the the CPE due to begin on April 5.

In this way the bureaucracy collaborates with the maneuver of Chirac and the employers to introduce the "tsunami" of the CPE knowing that it would meet strong opposition, and then to pretend to "back down" and instead pass a "hurricane" called the "law of equal opportunity". This new law will continue to impose flexibility and casualisation on young workers, but will have some cosmetic changes, will be blessed by "consensus" with the ‘Holy Alliance’ and voted in Parliament not only by the deputies of the UMP, but also by those of the PS. That is the trap that the Chiracs-Villepin-Sarkozy and their servants of the labor bureaucracy and the social-imperialist parties have set for the masses.

This treacherous union bureaucracy is the same one that ordered its stewards to beat-up the young workers of the Cités when they confronted the police with the shout of "national Police, military servants of capitalism"! Many of the hundreds of young people who were arrested in this struggle were handed over to the police by the thugs of the union bureaucracy, proving that they are the internal police of the labor movement in the service of the bosses, its state and its imperialist regime!

Down with the the labor bureaucracy of the CGT, CFDT and other federations and unions, paid agents of Chirac and the Fifth Republic, opponents and jailers of the students in struggle and the heroic young workers of the suburbs!

No less treacherous a role is played by the social-imperialist parties based on the privileged labor aristocracy that lives off imperialist super-profits, such as the PS and Communist Party. But most treacherous of all are the pseudo-Trotskyists like the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR). After the Constitutional Council confirmed the CPE and the "law of equal opportunity”, these parties published a scandalous common declaration stating:
"the organizations and the political parties of the left solemnly require that Jacques Chirac withdraws the CPE and opens negotiations with the unions before taking the law back to the Parliament. Knowing the exceptional conditions of the elections in 2002, there will be serious consequences if the law is passed." ("Declaration of the Left, Le Monde 31/03/06, signed by the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, Greens, the LCR, among others).

This confession is proof of guilt! These parties are the faithful subjects of the French Fifth Republic and its 'monarch' Chirac, advising him that it is in his interests to withdraw the CPE, just as during the rebellion of young workers last year, they appealed to Chirac to end the state of emergency and to "defend democracy and civil peace", even while Chirac’s police militarized the Cités and hunted down the young rebels! The cynicism of these treacherous leaders has no limit! Full of self-importance they remind Chirac that he only won the elections of 2002 thanks to the votes of the masses under their influence. Now they ‘threaten’ with another ‘day of action’ so they can meet him on April 5th to arrive at a ‘consensus’! Here they gamble on being able to use the ‘extreme left’ to control the strikes and marches on April 4th so that this mobilisation can be used to ‘pressure’ Chirac in the negotiations.

The "extreme left" of the Fifth Republic Regime

The imperialist Fifth Republic also has its subjects on the "extreme left", as the fake Trotskyists of the LCR, and the PT are commonly called in France. These currents, that have thousands of militants, and who lead or influence a layer of the workers and students vanguard, are a key element in the support of the regime of the Fifth Republic, and have for decades defended the regime from the masses uprisings in France.

They called for a vote for Chirac against Le Pen in 2002; they called on the masses to vote in the referendum on the European Constitution in 2005; during the youth rebellion of October-November of 2005 they hung upon the apron strings of the ‘Republican left’ defending ‘democracy’, and talking of restoring ‘civil peace’. The LCR, PT, and LO are the ‘left leg’ of the ‘Holy Alliance’ that contained and repressed the rebellion of young workers. Alain Krivine, a leader of the LCR traveled to Palestine to tell the heroic people that they must accept the imperialist plan for ‘two states’. In Brazil, Miguel Rossetto, leader of the LCR’s fraternal party (Socialist Democracy), is the Minister of agrarian reform in the pro-imperialist government of Lula, protecting the property of the landowners who kill the landless peasants.

Now the LCR has signed the official statement of the ‘left’ parties begging Chirac to withdraw the CPE. These true reformists even manage, as they say in their leaflets, to call for a "general strike" to defeat the government - that is to say, Prime Minister Villepin - but they stop short of a general strike to remove the ‘sacred’ Fifth Republic and its 'monarch' Chirac. They even criticise some union leaders, but never do they say it is necessary to defeat the union bureaucracy in order to make a indefinite general strike. For them the ‘general strike’ is merely to win a “better redistribution of wealth".

Lutte Ouvrière, on the other hand, does not even raise the general strike for the purpose of reforms. It only mobilizes for the withdrawal of the hated CPE. The Lambertist Workers Party (PT), faithful to their line of ‘defense of the democracy’ and the ‘French Republic’, demands the withdrawal of the CPE as ‘unconstitutional’. The PT are in the leadership of the CUT union bureaucracy in Brazil, which collaborates with Petrobras (partner of the French Totalfina) to plunder Bolivian gas and strangle the Bolivian revolution.

The betrayers of Trotskyism have moved openly onto the terrain of reform. They are the "extreme left" of the imperialist regime of the Fifth Republic, oppressor and butcher of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples, and exploiter and repressor of its own working class.
The masses have begun an enormous political fight. They have forced the leaders of the unions to form the national “inter-union”. They have begun to build their own organs of political struggle. The university students occupy the faculties with their barricades and make their decisions in daily general assemblies. The same happens in the secondary schools that have joined the struggle. They have created a National Coordination of students, mandated, with rotating chairs, delegates elected by each general assembly and meeting each week, rotating from city to city.

In its last meeting in Lyon on April 1-2, it voted for an indefinite general strike. In the city of Lille, the General Assembly unites students with local and regional unions, associations of unemployed people, immigrant workers ‘without papers’, and has also called for an indefinite general strike from the 4 of April. Coordinations have been formed in four other departments - Girond, Loire Atlantique, Sarthe and Vienne, also calling for an indefinite general strike. For the 4 of April, they announced that all education workers of all levels, postal and communications, mass media, transport, bank, energy, chemical, commerce and construction workers will go on strike.

In order to overcome the counter-revolutionary resistance of the apparatuses of the ‘left’ parties and the unions and their 'united front from above', and to turn April 4 into an indefinite general strike, it is necessary to create a National Coordination of Struggle made up of mandated delegates of all the unions and workers organizations in the national “Inter-union”, of the national Coordination of students, each school and occupied faculty and the workers of each militant factory and workplace, and the delegates of the young people of each Cite and workers district, organized by locality, and region. This national Coordination of workers and student in struggle must become the new leadership of the working class in place of all the treacherous leaders of the ‘left’ parties and union confederations.

A National Coordination of struggle must summon and organize and indefinite general strike until the CPE and the "law of equal opportunity", to the government of Chirac-Villpein-Sarkozy, his economic plan and the imperialist regime of the Fifth Republic, is defeated.
It must raise a program to unite the workers ranks, now divided by the the privileges of the labor aristocracy and bureaucracy:

  • Down with the CPE, and the law of “equal opportunity” that is in reality the law of flexibilisation and casualisation!
  • Down with Chirac-Villpein-Sarkozy, their anti-worker economic plans and Fifth Republic Regime!
  • Useful work and a living wage for all! Redistribute the work hours among those willing to work with a minimum wage at the level of the cost of the family shopping basket, indexed automatically to inflation!
  • Unemployment wage at the level of the minimum wage for all unemployed workers without conditions and time limit!
  • For the younger generation of workers:
  • Four hours work and 4 hours of study paid by the employer's association and their state!
  • Ban night work and unsafe and unhealthy work!
  • Equal work, equal wage and the same conditions for all the young workers from 16 years!
  • Free schools and universities and with unrestricted entry for all the young people who want to study!
  • All political, social, economic and union rights for all youth!
  • Immediate and automatic French citizenship for all the worker immigrants, who comprise of the French working class!
  • Down with all laws that destroy the past gains of the working class, their pensions, their social security, public education and health!
  • Renationalistion without payment and under workers control of Gas France!
  • No to the privatizations of EDF and other public companies! Put these companies under workers control!
  • Down with commercial secrets in the banks, the key industries, transport and in all the branches of production, so that the workers prove that the bourgeoisie waste human labor to make their enormous profits!
  • Workers control of the production in all the factories and companies of the country in the hands of factory committees!
  • Against the police! Against the gangs of thugs of the union bureaucracy!
  • Form committees of self-defense of workers, young workers of the Cités, and of the students
The bourgeoisie has responded to the latest upsurge of struggle with a new outbreak of repression. As it did against the young working people of Cites in November last, the French imperialist state has arrested hundreds of young students and workers at each march or picket. Hundreds have been taken to court, and many condemned to prison by summary judgments. Each march ends with an attack by the police: there are tens of wounded, among them a union activist in a coma and in danger of dying after being brutally beaten by the anti-riot police, the CRS.

  • Immediate freedom for the imprisoned young working people from October-November of 2005!
  • Freedom and withdrawal of charges for all arrested workers and student militants!
  • Stop the repression against the workers and students in struggle!
  • Dissolve the police and the gendarmerie!
In the universities, the rectors organize the bands of "papas boys” to break the occupations and to attack the students. And at the same time the thugs of the union bureaucracy, attack and hand over militants to the police. It is necessary to form pickets and self-defence committees of all the student and workers organizations in struggle, in each district, locality and region, to defend the struggles and the lives of the exploited from the police, to eject the union thugs from the workers’ ranks, and to build the basis of a centralized workers militia accross the whole country.

"A people that oppresses another cannot be free itself"

The workers aristocracy and labor bureaucracy acts to prevent the workers of France, Spain and Germany from breaking with their own imperialistic bourgeoisies. This stopped a workers movement from going to the aid of their class brothers and sisters in Iraq. It allowed French imperialism free hands to occupy the Ivory Coast and use military repression to continue their enslavement in Africa. Then, at the end of the last year, it acted to impose ‘social peace’ on the young migrant workers in the name of the imperialist Fifth Republic. These actions have strengthened the regime of the imperialist French bourgeoisie which now attacks the French proletariat again!

The more it plunders and kills in the colonies and the semicolonies, the more the French bourgeoisie treats its own working class in the same way that it deals with its slaves in Africa and the Pacific. It attacks and destroys the historic gains of wages and conditions. It imposes severe labor flexibilisation and casualisation. And when the exploited rise up it responds, with a state of emergency, and with batons, repression and mass arrests, as it did against the young workers last year, and as it does today against the enormous mass mobilizations.

"A people that oppresses another cannot be free ", Marx and Engels said more than one hundred years ago. That is why the students and workers who are fighting against the ‘precarite’ today must adopt the slogan of the young workers of October and November: "Every night make Paris a Bagdad". That means taking responsbility to defend the oppressed Iranian nation today threatened by the French, English and Yankee imperialists and their “den of thieves” the UN. This also means taking into their own hands the struggle for the military defeat of all the imperialist troops in Iraq, in Afghanistan, the Ivory Coast, and every other oppressed nation. They must also make as their own, the fight for the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat by socialist revolutions in Russia, China and all the former degenerated workers states who have been turned by their ex-stalinist bureaucracies, now national bourgeoisies, into capitalist colonies and semicolonies full of MNC assembly plants employing enslaved manual labor.

The more they adopt the anti-imperialist struggles to the full, the closer will be the workers and students to winning their present struggle, and opening the way to the socialist revolution in France.

  • Down with the Fifth Republic, imperialist exploiter and oppressor of its own working class, and killer of the peoples of Africa, of the Pacific, of Asia!
  • French imperialists hand off Iran and all Middle East!
  • For the military defeat of all the imperialistic troops in Iraq, for the victory of the Iraqi resistance!
  • For the immediate liberation of the Martinique, Guyana, the Kanak islands and other ‘Dominions and transoceanic territories’ under French colonial slavery!
  • Out with the French genocidal troops from the Ivory Coast, Kosovo, etc.!
  • French imperialists hands off the nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America!
  • Equal wages and the conditions of work for all the workers of the colonies of France, and its monopolies, banks and companies in the colonial and semi colonial countries, for the expropriation and nationalization of capitalist property without payment and under workers control in those countries!

So that the working class and the exploited ones live, the Fifth Republic must die.
For the Republic of the Workers Councils in France, for the Socialist United States of Europe!

We wrote this declaration a few hours before the strikes and marches on the 4 of April. The task of the hour is to build a National Coordination of militant worker and student organisations and to make an indefinite general strike with pickets, marches, blockades and committees of self-defense, to open the way to the overthrow, the imperialist regime of the Fifth Republic of Chirac, Le Pen, the union bureaucracy and the social-mperialistas parties. A successful general strike that defeated the government and its attack on young workers jobs, would open a pre-revolutionary sitation, putting onto the agenda the struggle for state power by the working class and its councils and armed militias, capable of giving birth to a Workers Republic on the ruins of the Fifth Republic.

Like the revolt of the young workers last year, today the struggle of the masses in France must become a common struggle of the continental European working class. Only by this means can the offensive of the European imperialist bourgeoisies against the historic living standards of the masses, the attacks on the colonial and semi colonial world, on the heroic Iraqi resistance, on Iran, on the oppressed peoples in Europe - in Ireland, the Basque Country, Kosovo, Chechenia etc,- be defeated. This united continental struggle cannot be won without breaking from the privileged labor aristocracy and the class collaboratist labor bureaucracy.

A strong advance in the revolutionary struggle in France would open the only road to the liberation of the European proletariat: the United Socialist States of Europe, from Portugal to Russia, where workers can overthrow the imperialist bourgeoisies in the West, and at the same time remove the restored capitalist semi-colonies in the East, united with the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the workers and exploited people of the of the semi-colonial and colonial world.

For an International Conference of Principled Trotskyists to create a new world wide party socialist revolution and to refound Trotskyism in France under the program and the legacy of the Fourth International of 1938!

The invasion and occupation of Iraq; the containment of the Bolivian revolution and the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggles of the Latin American masses by the continental politics of the popular front ; the intensified wage slavery of workers by the imperialists MNCs and the new bourgeoisie in China; the recolonization and plundering of the ex-workers states of the old Eastern Europe and USSR, have allowed the European imperialistic bourgeoisies to make a brutal offensive on their working classes.

What motivates this attack is the necessity for the imperialist bourgeoisies to compete for spheres of influence, oil reserves, new sources of raw materials and cheap manual labor in the colonial and semi colonial world, in particular the race for the colonization of China and Russia now restored by the ex-stalinist bureaucracy to the world capitalist economy.

Against this offensive workers are beginning to fight back. Sections of the US working class are starting to oppose the war on Iraq, and the most exploited sectors, sthe Black and Latino migrant workers are mobilising in their hundreds of thousands against the new immigration law for the Great American Strike of May 1, 2006. Today, the workers and students of France have declared that they will not be ‘flesh’ for the bosses, nor ‘cannon fodder’ for the imperialists. And like the US working class, it is the most oppressed sections of the class, the young workers of the Cités, who led this fight at the end of last year.

The oppressed workers of the US and France are throwing all the rotten, fake Trotskyists, who became the voice of the labor aristocracy and complained that the workers in the imperialist countries would have to go through years of economic struggles before being able to fight for socialism in the distant future, into the rubbish bin of history. Because today the most oppressed workers have shown that they are capable of mobilising a political fight in the imperialistic countries which can organise independently of the unions of the labor aristocracy and the bureaucratic leadership.

The fate of the world working class today hinges on the outcome of the present struggle of the French students and workers, and of the working class of the United States and its undisputed vanguard, the millions of Latino workers and immigrants. The main obstacle blocking this proletariat is the counter-revolutionary character of their main political currents, most of them associated with the World Social Forum, including the fake Trotskyists who have gone over openly to the camp of reformism, and the most abject class collaboration.

With the emergence onto the stage of the militant layers of the proletariat of France and the US, it is the urgent task of the healthy forces of Trotskyism to call an International Conference which can regroup these forces around a revolutionary program, and which fights without quarter to defeat the class collaborators of the WSF, in particular the renegades of Trotskyism, and to refound the World Party of Socialist Revolution. In this way, French Trotskyism can be refounded, defeating the fake Trotskyists, and recuperating the forces of the Fourth International of 1938 to provide the heroic and self-sacrificing young workers, women workers, migrant workers and all the most oppressed sectors of the French proleteriat, the revolutionary leadership they justly deserve.

Fraction Leninist/Trotskyist, April 4, 2006 (Trans. from Spanish)