[Marxism] Christian Castillo’s internationalist tour through Europe / Workers’ and Left Front (FIT)

Juan Andres Gallardo juanagallardo at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 09:36:13 MST 2014


*Christian Castillo is a Workers’ and Left Front (FIT) provincial deputy
for Buenos Aires province, and national leader for the PTS*

Christian Castillo’s internationalist tour through Europe23/01/2014

   - FOTOS *(4)*


*During the month of January, Christian Castillo will be visiting several
countries of Europe to get to know at first-hand the situation of the
workers’ movement and of the Left in one of the epicenters of the
capitalist crisis. In addition, this political tour has as an aim
disseminating the experience of the revolutionary Left in Argentina, both
the political work of the PTS in the working class and among the youth, and
the intervention in the FIT, particularly the revolutionary use of
parliamentary positions to develop the struggle of the exploited, a task
that is closely linked to the fight to build a combat party based on the
class struggle. The example of the FIT as a front of class independence,
with an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and socialist program, is very
important in Europe, in the face of the crisis of the projects of broad
parties, without a strategic delimitation between reformists and
revolutionaries, adopted by the main tendencies of European Left. In this
interview, that La Verdad Obrera carried out, we give an account of the
first activities that took place in Barcelona and London.*

*What activities did you carry out in London?*

After being in Barcelona with our comrades from Clase contra Clase and the
workers of the historic PANRICO strike, I came to London, invited by
comrades from the British Left, that asked me to give two talks on the
situation in Argentina, the election of the FIT and the politics of the PTS
and the FT, one talk in Lambeth, in the south of London, and the other in
the city center. There was a lot of interest from the participants in
finding out what our explanation for the results obtained by the FIT was,
what role we were deciding to play in Parliament as revolutionary Deputies,
and what we were suggesting now, from the PTS, as new challenges.

We explained that the election result was a combination of objective
processes like, in the context of the end of the Kirchners’ cycle, the
beginning of the breaking away from the government, of groups of the
working class, that had already been expressed in the general strike of
November 20, 2012, and a politicization towards the left among groups of
young people, with the existence of a Left that kept itself independent of
the government and all the employers’ variants, and that had won important
positions in the movement of the masses. We indicated that, for us, the
results obtained by the FIT pose the task, for us, of going for the
conquest of the unions, to put them at the service of the class struggle,
and to move forward in building a big revolutionary party of the working
class. Also, together with Claudia Cinatti, we had meetings for exchanges
with leaders of the parties of the local Left, like Peter Taaffe of the
Socialist Party and its international organization, the CWI, Alex
Callinicos of the SWP and Dave Stockton of Workers Power, all very
interested in the Argentinian situation and the FIT, as well as discussions
starting from what we set out in the Manifesto for an International of the
Socialist Revolution, which we are promoting from the FT.

*How did you view the situation of the Left in England?*

The workers’ movement has been suffering big blows, just like in the whole
of Europe. The union bureaucracy has played a big role in allowing the
government’s attacks to proceed and preventing the resistance that took
place in 2010 and 2011, mainly in the public sector, among government
workers and students, from going to a higher level. The local Left,
frequently adapted to the groups "of the Left" from the union bureaucracy,
was not an alternative in these processes. The biggest crisis is that which
the Socialist Workers Party, that has suffered a very big loss of its
members, is going through. Up to now, what has predominated among those who
have moved away from the SWP, are positions criticizing "Leninism," which
they erroneously identify with the bureaucratic internal regime of their
organization. In reality, the SWP is paying the price for the combination
of a policy of adaptation to different political phenomena, like their
election alliance based on a reformist program, without setting out class
independence, with George Galloway and non-leftist groups of the Muslim
community in the RESPECT coalition, with a hyper-centralist internal
regime, a Molotov cocktail that, as I understand it, explains the crisis
beyond its specific trigger, a complaint of abuse by one member of their
leadership that turned into a public fact and was used by the press to
discredit the Left in its entirety. Hence the experience that we are having
in Argentina will be a model for those who are attempting to make a
revolutionary response to this crisis, by confronting different reformist
projects, like the one being promoted by the majority leadership of Left
Unity, the new coalition that, outside of the Labour Party – which is a
party that has become completely bourgeois, but that continues to be
supported financially and politically by the unions – the film-maker Ken
Loach is promoting, and where various groups of the local Left are
participating. While the most reformist groups are presenting Syriza as the
model to imitate, the experience of the FIT and our advances in the
workers’ movement show that the Left does not have to water down its
program, to advance in its influence on politics and the unions, among the
workers and young people, quite the contrary.

*How will the trip continue?*

Now I am headed for Berlin, where I will be in a chat that our comrades in
RIO are organizing together with other organizations of the local Left, and
to participate in the mobilization that takes place every year, in homage
to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Then I continue with talks scheduled
in Toulouse, Barcelona, Madrid, Athens, and Paris, as well as with meetings
with leaders and militants of the Left of each country.

Christian Castillo in Spain
*Beside the working women and men in struggle at Panrico*

The comrades of Clase contra Clase [CcC], a fraternal party of the PTS,
together with the working women and men in struggle at Panrico, organized
an end of the year meal, to which Christian Castillo was invited, and he
brought his support from Argentina. There the comrades told how they have
now spent almost 100 days in struggle, the longest strike under democracy
in Catalonia, and that it is a big school in which they are learning how
powerful they can be, by confronting the maneuvers of the union and seeking
solidarity. They expressed gratitude for the support that has been given
them from CcC, because, from the first moment, they were on the picket
lines and in every action.

Christian Castillo gave them his support, by setting out that: "… We who
follow the struggle of the workers throughout the world, have portrayed the
conflict at Panrico in our paper, La Verdad Obrera. As in every conflict of
the working class, we know that the possibility of recomposition, not only
of the comrades that are struggling, but of serving as an example, is at
risk…. In our country, we participate actively in the union struggle and,
together with this, we are trying to build a political alternative of the
working class…. We got 1,200,000 votes, 3 national Deputies and several
provincial Deputies…. I was invited by the comrades of various countries of
Europe to talk with workers and organizations of the Left, to set out the
need for the rebuilding of the working class and of international political
action, to be able to bury this capitalist system. For that, a big greeting
for you, and long live the international struggle of the working class!"

Then, the Deputy for the Province of Buenos Aires participated in the
picketing of the Panrico factory on December 31, showing solidarity with
the workers and contributing to the resistance box (strike fund) for this
great historic strike

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