Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/625/9542
Italy: ControCorrente socialists support CWI
AT ITS conference last Saturday (15 May) the ControCorrente Association (Italy) decided unanimously to express political solidarity with the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI). (The CWI is the socialist international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated).
The comrades of ControCorrente have been active inside the Prc (Party of Communist Refoundation) and Cgil (a major trade union federation), and have been discussing many issues with the CWI for some time. They have written the following:
THE VISIT to Liguria in Italy of Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party, and Clare Doyle, from the international secretariat of the CWI, was divided into different events. On Friday 14 May and Sunday 16th there were two public meetings.
Amongst those attending were workers and shop stewards from factories, shipyard and other workplaces, trade union leaders and some representatives of other organisations of the left.
"In Italy," said Marco Veruggio, national spokesperson for ControCorrente, "There is a massive vacuum in working class political representation and it is into this that the Northern League and also the far right are pushing themselves. But this is not only an Italian problem."
"At the recent congress of the Cgil, in fact, anyone who supported the alternative document (to that of the leadership) found themselves without any political backing," added Antongiulio Mannoni, Genoa Cgil secretary and spokesperson for the (opposition) Moccia-Rinaldini motion.
New workers' parties
Peter Taaffe explained how in Britain, the Socialist Party sought to fill this vacuum by collaborating with the RMT union, the POA and other trade unionists in the civil service, local government, fire service and political organisations like the Communist Party (at first) and other socialists, to launch first the 'No2EU' list and then 'TUSC' (the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition). These two alliances, to the left of the Labour Party, stood in the 2009 European election and the recent general election respectively.
"Many workers in England feel that New Labour's defeat will push it to the left," explained Peter. "But this will not happen. It is not an accident that the main candidate to succeed Gordon Brown is David Miliband, one of Tony Blair's closest collaborators. Therefore it is necessary to continue to work for a new mass party which represents for workers an alternative to the Labour Party".
"The question of an alternative to the parties of the 'centre left'", said Clare Doyle, "also exists in other countries. There are formations in which the CWI intervenes - like the New Anti-capitalist Party in France, Die Linke in Germany and Syriza, the left federation in Greece, to which Xekinima, the Greek section of the CWI, belongs.
"At this time of big class battles," she said, "if Syriza adopted a socialist programme to fight the effects of the crisis and the austerity measures of Papandreou, it could grow rapidly and have a big effect in the battle to transform society in Greece."
Another issue raised was that of coordinating the struggles of workers in Europe (see article left).
In Spain, the leader of the UGT, the trade union federation traditionally allied with governing party, PSOE, is talking of breaking away after PM Zapatero announced a reduction of 5% in public sector wages. On 2 June, together with the Workers' Commissions (close to the 'Communists'), a public sector general strike has been called.
The CWI is working to try and get the same day also to be declared for a big mobilisation of strike action in Greece and in Portugal.
In The Socialist 19 May 2010:
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party election analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party workplace news