Fwd (GLW): Essential for struggle: a global network of left parties

Alan Bradley alanb at SPAMelf.brisnet.org.au
Mon Jan 22 04:38:30 MST 2001

The following articles appear in the current issue of Green Left Weekly

Essential for struggle: a global network of left parties

Capital isn't the only thing globalising. The revolutionary left is also,
on the basic premise that if capitalist ruling classes play off working
people in one country against working people in another, then the solution
is international collaboration and solidarity between working-class
movements and revolutionary parties.

For more than a decade, the Democratic Socialist Party has been part of a
growing international network of socialist and left parties, particularly
in the Asian region, which has sought to share experiences with, learn from
and work with each other in the struggle against global capitalism.

Many of these parties came together for the first time at the Asia Pacific
Solidarity Conference organised by the DSP in Sydney in April 1998, and
then again at the Marxism 2000 conference in January 2000, also organised
by the DSP.

The next Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference is being organised by the
People's Democratic Party in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June. The January 3-7
congress of the DSP resolved to host the following international solidarity
conference, in Sydney at Easter 2002.

The impact of the growing collaboration within this network of left parties
has been immediate, the party's national secretary, John Percy, pointed out
in a report to the congress on the DSP's international relations.

For example, increased left collaboration helped internationalise
solidarity with the East Timorese people in 1999 when Indonesian-backed
militia began its genocidal massacres in a vain attempt to end hopes of
Timorese independence.

The collaboration between revolutionary parties has also helped form a
counterweight to efforts by reformist and pro-capitalist forces, like the
Australian Labor Party, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the US
trade union federation the AFL-CIO, to isolate the militant wing of the
trade union movements of Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines by
backing and funding union conservatives in those countries.

Increasing collaboration between revolutionaries, Percy pointed out, will
also strengthen the radical current within the global movement against
neo-liberal globalisation. Successive waves of demonstrations, from Seattle
to Melbourne to Prague, have shown an increasingly clear division between
the reformists, particularly the big non-government organisations and trade
unions which seek little more than a “seat at the table”, and the radicals,
who favour the abolition of the institutions of globalisation and have
adopted militant, mass mobilisation tactics.

The participation of different revolutionary parties from around the world
in the January DSP congress helped take the process of international
collaboration another step forward.

For the first time, a representative of the Communist Party of Cuba came
from Havana to participate in the congress. Abelardo Cueto Sosa, the head
of the Asia-Oceania bureau of the international department of the central
committee, was present throughout the congress and participated directly in
several sessions.

Cueto's presence was significant for many reasons. The congress was
dominated by discussion about the new movement against neo-liberal
globalisation. As Cueto pointed out, Cuba has played a significant role in
this movement already by seeking to build an alliance of underdeveloped
countries which refuse to abide by the unjust rules of imperialist
financial institutions and Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been one of the
most trenchant opponents of global capitalism.

Cueto's participation also proved invaluable to the congress's discussion
on a new party resolution on Cuba, which both underlines the DSP's backing
of the revolution but also attempts to come to grips with the many
challenges now facing it.

His presence also underlined the possibility of a humane, democratic and
socialist alternative to capitalism, the idea which motivates the DSP's
members. The survival and success of the Cuban Revolution is an antidote to
claims that there is no alternative to neo-liberalism. If Cuba can strike
out on a different path, why can't others?

Also present at the congress were representatives from South Korea's Power
of the Working Class, the Worker Communist Party of Iraq, the Worker
Communist Party of Iran, the US socialist group Solidarity, the People's
Democratic Party of Indonesia, the Acehnese radical group Student
Solidarity for the People, the Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labourers'
Federation, the Dutch Indonesia and East Timor solidarity group SOLITIN,
the Socialist Youth League of Norway and the Chilean Popular and Indigenous

There were also dozens of messages of solidarity and greetings sent by
parties, organisations and individuals who were unable to attend: Communist
Party of India Marxist-Leninist (Liberation), Labour Party Pakistan,
Socialist Party of Labour (Philippines), Socialist Party of Timor, Scottish
Socialist Party, Lalit (Mauritius), Revolutionary Communist Group
(Britain), Resource Centre for People's Development (Philippines), South
African Municipal Workers Union, Afghanistan Labour Revolutionary
Organisation, OSPAAAL (Cuba), Alternative Information and Development
Centre (South Africa), Communist Workers Party (Finland), Communist Party
of Bangladesh, Left Alternative (Hungary), James Petras (US), Dale McKinley
(South Africa), Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR - Chile) and the
Irish Republican Socialist Party

Interviews with some of the international guests will be featured in future
issues of Green Left Weekly.

International guests denied visas

It is getting harder and harder to organise international conferences of
the left these days. Rich imperialist governments have taken to routinely
denying visas to delegates from Third World countries, even when those
delegates have official invitations from conference organisers.

It happened again to the Democratic Socialist Party's January 3-7 congress:
government visa decisions denied delegates the chance to hear from several
representatives of Asian left parties.

It's not the first time: the April 1998 Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference
and Marxism 2000 were both marred by visa rejections and invited guests for
the last three conferences of Resistance have also been knocked back.

Usually, the visa denials are not based on the person's involvement in left
politics in their country but are simply a result of the Australian
government's racist policy of only granting visa applications to people
from certain Third World countries if they are rich.

Visas to attend the DSP congress were denied to Antonio Lopez, the deputy
secretary of the Socialist Party of Timor, Antonio Raymundo from the
Resource Centre for People's Development in the Philippines and
representatives of the Saraiki National Party from Pakistan and the
Afghanistan Labour Revolutionary Organisation.

The Afghan representative, who fled his home country for Pakistan fearing
death at the hands of the funamentalist Taliban, was even told that he
should have applied for a visa in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Funnily enough, international gatherings of capitalists never experience
these difficulties — there wasn't a single visa refused to any of the
corporate chieftains who attended the September summit of the World
Economic Forum in Melbourne, for instance.

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