Spain: Izquierda Revolucionaria holds successful conference

Steps forward in building the forces of Marxism


The political conference of Izquierda Revolucionaria (CWI in the Spanish state) on 5 & 6 May took place 200 years after the birth of Karl Marx and 50 years after May 68, in the midst of a great social rebellion against the sentence given to the “wolfpack” rapists. More than 120 delegates and visitors from many areas, young people and workers, activists from the student movement, workers movement and feminist movement, took part in intense discussion aimed at developing a political strategy for the class struggle in the Spanish state and internationally. Two comrades from the CWI’s International Secretariat also attended.   

The discussion, in which more than 30 comrades intervened, was divided into 3 blocks: political perspectives for the Spanish state and internationally, reports from the work of Izquierda Revolucionaria in different áreas, and a great discussion about the revolutionary events of 1968. 

An era of instability, political polarisation and the rise of mass struggle

At the beginning of the conference, Juan Ignacio Ramos, IR general secretary, spoke about the national and international political situation. Both in the introduction and during the course of the discussion, the world economy. as well as the crisis in the capitalist political system, were analysed. The hardening of inter-imperialist tensions and the struggle between the US and China, economic nationalism and trade wars, the class struggle in France, Brazil, USA, Russia, Argentina, Venezuela, Italy, Germany and the Middle East, the rebellion of women throughout the world against sexist capitalism, and the revolutionary crisis in Catalonia which sets the tone for the class struggle throughout the state were discussed on both days.  

One conclusion can be drawn from all speakers in the discussion: political and social polarisation, the crisis of capitalist “democracy” which affects both the social democracy and traditional right wing, and the rise in mass struggle and its impact on the consciousness of millions, are defining this historical period in which instability and sharp and sudden changes dominate. This has opened a new era for the ideas of Marxism and the building of a revolutionary organisation with a programme of struggle and socialism.  

1968, year of revolution

Clare Doyle, one of the founding members of Militant and the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) gave a terrific introduction about the revolutionary events of May 1968 in France which shook the world. She explained how the lack of a genuinely revolutionary leadership prevented the working class from taking power – something which we seek to avoid today. 

Other comrades intervened in this discussion: Barbara Areal analysed the role of the French Communist Party in 1968 whose Stalinist policy was key to maintaining De Gaulle in power. Juana Cobo analysed the so-called “Prague Spring” when the working class of Czechoslovakia rose up against Stalinism. Marina Mata spoke about the student struggles in Mexico and Victor Taibo about the Vietnam war and the moveeht against imperialism in the USA.  

Building Izquierda Revolucionaria 

The reports about our intervention into the revolutionary crisis in Catalonia were especially impactful. We defend a Socialist Republic of Catalonia and an internationalist, class position, supporting the many student general strikes called by the Sindicat d’Estudiants (Students Union in Catalonia) and selling many copies of our Catalan paper, Militant.  The interventions by our comrades who are building the feminist platform, Libres y Combativas, participating and strengthening the historic feminist strike on 8 March and organising, together with the Sindicato de Estudiantes, a general student strike against the shameful sentencing of the “wolfpack” gang rapists on 10 May, were greeted with great enthusiasm. 

Other comrades spoke about the intervention into many strikes and workplace conflicts, about the impressive sales of our revolutionary papers (El Militante, Militant (Catalan), Euskal Herria Sozialista (Basque) and Libres y Combativas), our efforts in building solid, independent revolutionary finances and our advances in the field of theory thanks to the Frederich Engels Foundation which has become the most important Spanish language Marxist publishing house in the world. 

The report of the work of the CWI given by Danny Byrne from the CWI International Secretariat had a great impact. He explained the steps forward taken by our organisation in over 40 countries where we intervene, with special emphasis on our work in the USA and Ireland, where we fight tirelessly against capitalism, sexism and all oppression. Greetings to our congress were read out from CWI sections in USA, India, China & Hong Kong, England & Wales, Ireland, Sweden, Greece, Brazil, Venezuela, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Mexico and Chile. 
Finally, we also held a very successful financial collection before finishing by singing the Internationale with our fists raised, filled with enthusiasm to keep building IR and the CWI.

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May 2018