Belgium: United left election lists launched successfully

International left speakers address public launch rally

This autumn, the most important crisis since the Great Depression will be in its fourth year. Capitalism, its institutions and political representatives are subject to a profound crisis of legitimacy. This necessitates an alternative which comes from the only force in this society capabale of bringing about real change: the working class, supported by all oppressed layers of society.

The activity of working class militants has been constant, as shown by numerous mass mobilisations and strikes which have taken place. But they have not had a political expression yet. We are now seeing the beginnings of the development of political representation of the struggles, with the Front de gauche in France and Syriza in Greece. In Belgium also, we need a left formation based on cooperation, openness and mutual respect. This is why members of PSL/LSP (CWI in Belgium) will participate in various united initiatives in the coming local elections in October. In June, these campaigns have been launched in international meetings in Antwerp, Gent and Brussels.

“Gauche comunes”, is a collection of left wing groups, trade unionists and activists which will stand in Brussels. Over 150 people attended its launch in the centre of Brussels. As you can see from the photos below, it was not only the meeting hall which was full, but also the neighbouring corridors!

Paul Murphy, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) MEP

José Menendez, coordinator of Izquierda Unida (United Left, Spain) in Brussels, first addressed the meeting. Every week, the IU along with different international left political formations, like Die Linke from Germany, the USP from Morocco etc, organise debates in Brussels to promote collaboration and openness among the left. This is exactly the objective of the ‘‘Gauches Communes’’ initiative, which in Belgium is supported by the Humanist Party, the CAP (Committee for Alternative Politics) and the PSL (CWI).

Many residents of the Sain-Gilles area attended the launch because of the involvement of Anja Deschoemacker (head of the list in this area). The organisations participating in the initiative also did a good job in mobilising their supporters. The meeting also featured Charlotte Balavoine, candidate of the Front de Gauche in the recent French elections, and Panayota Maniou, from Syriza.

Tony Mulhearn

Paul Murphy, the only Irish MEP to have voted against the austerity treaty referendum explained the blow that this treaty represented for the Irish people. He rubbished the idea that this treaty had the objective of rescuing Ireland, saying that it would only lead to more unemployment and emigration. Paul came to the meeting having just returned from Greece and the “front line of the class struggle”.

Tony Mulhearn from the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) addressed the meeting, reminding us of when in Liverpool in the 1980s a programme was fought for which demanded that politicians fight as hard for working people as they currently fight for the bankers and speculators. Tony was a candidate for the mayor of Liverpool as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) this year. He stressed that the next period will be one in which a mass party of the working class and the oppressed, resolutely opposed to austerity, will emerge, bringing the era of the ‘monolithic parties’ to an end.