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An inspiring international meeting
THE COMMITTEE for a Workers' International (CWI) "Rally to unite the globe" on 27 January was an inspiration. Leading Marxists from around the world reported to a packed meeting of 200 socialists in London's Conway Hall about the magnificent struggles against the capitalist onslaught.
A socialist from Latin America, ANDRE FERRARI (Socialismo Revolucionario, CWI Brazil) showed how that continent has been at the "forefront of the struggle of the international working class" since the 21st century started.
He spoke of the movements in all Latin American countries, including against privatisation in Bolivia, against electoral fraud in Mexico and the formation of P-SoL in Brazil providing a fighting organisation for working-class people.
While Brazil's President Lula, ex-trade union leader and leader of the formerly 'left' PT sat with Tony Blair, rescue teams were searching for bodies in a Sao Paulo rail accident caused by cutting corners under privatisation. Andre said the key task was to build mass forces of the working class and the CWI's ranks. What's happening in Latin America is an anticipation of similar processes worldwide.
JOHAN RIVAS (Socialismo Revolucionario, Venezuela) told of the fast pace of developments there.
He welcomed the Chavez government's reforms but warned that they are dependent on oil revenue, half of which comes from sales to the USA.
Chavez's opponents were re-building their base in society. Now what is required is a mass workers' party in Venezuela and a genuine revolutionary leadership to carry through the revolution.
RUKHSANA MANZOOR (Socialist Movement, Pakistan) quoted Trotsky who said a society can be judged on how it treats women and children.
She spoke of domestic violence against women, still legal in Pakistan, ten million children forced into work and some of the most downtrodden forced to sell their kidneys to afford basic living costs. Rukhsana mentioned the growing gap between rich and poor, something happening globally.
NIMILA SHETTY (New Socialist Alternative, India) pointed out the capitalists' propaganda which claims that outsourcing benefits India's poor, providing jobs. In reality economic growth is only benefiting 3% of the population while the capitalists make huge profits. Communalism and regionalism are used to divide the working class.
SEGUN SANGO from the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) in Nigeria spoke of the DSM's work in supporting working people facing the neoliberal onslaught. (See pages 6-7).
SIRITUNGA JAYASURIYA 'Siri' (USP, Sri Lanka) spoke of the vicious role of Sri Lanka's government, who are attacking the Tamil minority and those who defend its rights including CWI members.
Armed thugs had attacked an anti-war demo in Colombo and Siri narrowly escaped an assassination attempt (see below). This stems from the CWI's opposition to the government's communalist policies and the fact that Siri came third in the presidential election. He now has a price on his head.
Siri said that the solidarity shown after the tsunami by workers in Sri Lanka and worldwide is proof of a growing internationalism.
HANNAH SELL (Socialist Party, England and Wales) summed up this developing internationalism, saying workers have more in common with members of their class worldwide than with capitalists in their own country.
Solidarity is needed, e.g. to defend CWI members in Sri Lanka. However it is also necessary to build the struggle here in Britain. The NHS campaigns, low pay campaigns and the 96% vote for strike action in BA are examples of how workers are willing to fight.
The inspiration of this event was reflected in over £2,000 donated to the CWI. The struggle for a socialist world is not just a slogan but a reality for workers across the world.
In The Socialist 1 February 2007:
Socialist Party news and analysis
War and terrorism
International socialist news and analysis