Together with the KKE we start the counterattack!

Featured

http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/Together-with-the-KKE-we-start-the-counterattack/

Together with the KKE we start the counterattack

The central political and cultural events of the three-days of the 42nd Festival of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) and its newspaper “Odigitis” were held in Athens with the tremendous participation of young people and working people of all ages.

KNE’s festival, having first “travelled” to dozens of Greek towns with similar mass events, was completed in Athens, where the representatives of 32 youth organizations from different countries all over the world took part.

On Saturday 24/9 the political rally-climax of the festival was held with as uts main speaker Dimitris Koutsoumpas, GS of the CC of the KKE. Sitaram Yechury, GS of the CC of the CP of India (Marxist) and the Secretary of the CC of KNE, Nikos Ambatielos, also addressed the meeting.

D. Koutsoumpas began his speech by referring to the importance of the Festival of KNE-“Odigitis’, as amongst other things it brings thousands of young people into contact with the history of the KKE and labour movement. «They find about the activity of the previous generation of fighters, they are inspired, they make a decision to take their place in the organized struggles, they take up the baton for the great battles that we have in front of us, for the “earthquakes that are to come”.» and he added:

«The history of the KKE, the conclusions that we draw for the strategy of the party are weapons in the complex daily and demanding struggles against the system of exploitation. In the great cause of the fight for socialism- communism. And he added that the study of the history of the KKE that this «has proven that the main problem so far has been the lack of a correct strategy, the lack of readiness of the Communist Parties in terms of program and organization, to lead the people’s revolt in revolutionary conditions to overthrow capitalist power. This study of historical experience has proven that the “reform strategy” took over, the strategy of penetrating the bourgeois capitalist power through the very organs of bourgeois power, in collaboration with parts of the bourgeois class.

 

And while the Communist Parties had socialism – communism as a goal in their program, they actually always put an intermediate stage before it for the maturation of the revolutionary forces.

This strategy resulted in some Communist Parties not meeting their duty, when the conditions of a generalized economic crisis were expressed in their countries that led to a generalized imperialist war and after that a revolutionary situation.

To struggle consistently based on our program, which is the aim of the concentration, maturation and organization of the working class as the leading social force of the revolutionary process, means that this struggle should take place, with this objective, within the working class and the other popular strata even in non- revolutionary circumstances.

The party fights for that objective independently without giving in to the various means of pressure used by opportunist and bourgeois forces, not even to pressure applied by the working and popular masses, asking for immediate solutions within the system, to problems that the system itself creates.

This means that we shouldn’t follow the logic of detaching the everyday political struggle concerning various burning issues – the crisis, the war, a coup, intensification of state’s violence and suppression, Nazism-fascism – from the main revolutionary struggle itself.».

The GS of the CC of the KKE referred to the political developments in Greece and stressed that “SYRIZA was chosen to do the dirty work on behalf of the capital and the EU, because at least in this phase, it is able to deceive and manipulate people easier than the traditional bourgeois political forces.

 

Because, first and foremost it is able to neutralize, to paralyze radicalism, to cultivate fatalism and defeatism amongst people that put their hopes and expectations in SYRIZA, and then were disappointed,  disproved and now are  still in confusion.”

 

He stressed that the argument between SYRIZA and the conservative party of New Democracy “ is about: who is going to lead the implementation of the third memorandum., support the capitalist recovery and manipulate the people at the same time. New Democracy on the other hand is nervous seeing how the Greek and international centers support the government of SYRIZA – ANEL and is trying to propagate its own “willingness”, as the most “genuine child” of capital, to implement the entirety of the restructuring measures that it requests. Because it is clear that the third memorandum, the overthrow of the working people’s rights and the support for the capital’s profitability and recovery, are in both parties’ programs.”

D. Koutsoumpas made reference to the tactics of the conservative party of New Democracy and the old social-democratic party PASOK, which use anti-communism, presenting “ as an almost communist, pro- soviet party, implying that its “communist character” is to blame for anything bad that has emerged from their policies.” And he added that “They are invoking the people’s problems in Venezuela. But, of course, it was not socialism that went bankrupt in Venezuela, but the well-known narrative of opportunists like Tsipras-Lafazanis-Konstantopoulou, that they could allegedly tame the iron laws of the system in the framework of capitalism, that they could prevent capitalist crises, that the profits of the few and the needs of the many could be reconciled.”

D. Koutsoumpas did not forget to criticize the other parliamentary parties. He noted that “PASOK and “The River”(Potami) are trying to reconstruct – without great success so far – the bankrupted centre – left, especially now that they see that SYRIZA has taken the place of the old PASOK and is becoming the favored child of European social – democracy. The Center Union that used to be considered absurd is now playing the role of the outrider that is willing  to support the system and every anti – popular governmental formation it may need. The made -in -Greece nazi-criminals continue to serve as the system’s watchdogs, pouring their racist poison and playing a leading role in vulgar anti-communism. They do whatever they can for their leaders to increase their wealth and of course their various suspicious connections with international centers and services and shadowy networks. In parliament Golden Dawn pretends to be an anti-systemic force, while at the same time it is asking for more privileges and tax exemptions for certain sections of capital, and outside the parliament it continues providing the employers with cheap workers, functioning as slave traders.”

The GS of the CC of the KKE stressed that “The situation cannot change through disillusionment or finding excuses for this government. We should march together, now…

We call on you to meet with us, discuss and at the same time fight within the movement for the KKE’S proposal for the way out.

For the working class and the people to take the keys of the economy, the ownership of the means of production into their own hands. For the country to be disengaged from the imperialist unions, while developing economic relations of equality with other states.

For the people to be able to live according to their contemporary needs, according to the potential provided by science and technology, the productivity of labor, the great natural wealth resources and the potential of our country.”

D. Koutsoumpas underscored amongst other things: “Today we are more capable, armed with our party’s program, the conclusions of the study of our party’s history, the experience drawn from socialist construction, to shed light on the duties our party has in the years to come… Marching towards the 20th Congress, we set a goal for an all-round reinforcement of the KKE, to meet the needs for the immediate regroupment of the labor movement, the development of the social alliance in an anti-capitalist, anti-monopoly direction, for the struggle against the imperialist war, for working class power.”

Click here to read the full speech of D.Koutsoumpas, GS of the CC of the KKE

Click here to read the full speech of S.Yechury, GS of the CC of the CPI(M)

 

omilia_ymnos_diethnous_2omilia_koutsoumpas_7omilia_koutsoumpas_23omilia_36omilia_27_0omilia_ymnos_diethnous_3zaralikos-12onirama-5imam-baildi-6mpofiliou-4_0petroloukas_10margariths-7

Activist in South Korea Dies of Injuries From Police Water Cannon

Activist in South Korea Dies of Injuries From Police Water Cannon

Photo

A South Korean farmer protesting the government’s agricultural policy in Seoul last week. Another activist farmer, Baek Nam-gi, who was struck by a police water cannon at a protest last year, died on Sunday. Credit Jeon Heon-Kyun/European Pressphoto Agency

SEOUL, South Korea — An activist farmer who was expelled from school twice for protesting the rule of the military dictator Park Chung-hee of South Korea died on Sunday as a result of injuries he sustained while opposing Mr. Park’s daughter, President Park Geun-hye.

The farmer, Baek Nam-gi, 68, was struck by a police water cannon last November during the largest antigovernment demonstration under Ms. Park. He had remained in a coma at Seoul National University Hospital since, becoming a symbol of what government critics call rising police brutality and the erosion of freedom of assembly under Ms. Park.

After the hospital announced that Mr. Baek had died of kidney failure on Sunday afternoon, hundreds of students and other supporters gathered there. Thousands of police officers were deployed to the hospital out of fear that his death might lead to antigovernment protests.

In June, Maina Kiai, the special rapporteur at the United Nations on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, cited Mr. Baek’s case in criticizing what he called an excessive use of water cannons by the police and shrinking space for exercising the right to peaceful assembly under Ms. Park.

“In footage made available to the special rapporteur, the water cannon was used against largely peaceful crowds. In certain cases, lone individuals were targeted, a use difficult to justify,” he wrote. “The case of Mr. Baek Nam-gi is a tragic illustration of this.”

Mr. Baek was born in 1947 in Boseong in rural southwestern South Korea. He was expelled from Chung-Ang University in Seoul in 1971 for leading a demonstration against Mr. Park’s deployment of troops on college campuses to intimidate student activists. He was later allowed to re-enroll but was soon on the run from the police for organizing protests against Mr. Park’s constitutional revision aimed at extending his dictatorship. While in hiding in a cathedral in Seoul, he became a Roman Catholic.

He was expelled again from school in 1975 but returned after the assassination of Mr. Park by his intelligence chief in 1979.

Mr. Baek then led students in a march against Chun Doo-hwan, an army major general who seized power in a coup after Mr. Park’s death. Mr. Chun’s martial-law troops arrested Mr. Baek during raids on school dormitories in 1980. He was expelled from school a third time and was later sentenced to two years in prison. He was freed in 1981.

Unlike former student activists who entered politics and became national figures, Mr. Baek devoted himself to fighting for the rights of poor rural farmers.

Few other South Koreans had heard of Mr. Baek again until the news media reported that a farmer had been knocked unconscious by a police water cannon in Seoul in November. The water cannon continued to blast Mr. Baek as he lay on the ground. Doctors later reported that he had a cerebral hemorrhage that they suspected was caused by the water cannon. Prosecutors are still investigating the case.

A version of this article appears in print on September 26, 2016, on page A6 of the New York edition with the headline: Hit by Water Cannon in 2015, a South Korean Activist Dies.

Speech of the GS of the CC of KKE Dimitris Koutsoumpas in the 42nd KNE Odigitis Festival

Speech of the GS of the CC of KKE Dimitris Koutsoumpas in the 42nd KNE- Odigitis Festival

Dear friends,

Dear comrades,

 

The festival of KNE-Odigitis every year leaves its mark. With hundreds of events all around Greece and naturally with the actvities here, in the “Antonis Tritsis” park.

If some people are wondering why the festival of KNE endured when all similar initiatives of other political organizations have unraveled over  time, the answer lies in the content of the festival.

Every year, thousands of young people meet, are entertained and discuss their worries and their dreams.

With the contribution of renowned artists from every field, by  promoting amateur creativity, by getting to know the workers’- people’s culture and the artistic works of great communist and progressive creators that we have the responsibility to disseminate to the younger generations.

 

At the same time, thousands of young men and women, pupils, students, young workers and unemployed youngsters come in contact with the history of KKE and the labour movement.

They find about the activity of the previous generation of fighters, they are inspired, they make a decision to take their place in the organized struggles, they take up the baton for the great battles that we have in front of us, for the “earthquakes that are to come”.

Even more so this year because of the celebrations that we have in front of us for the 100th anniversary of the KKE and the 50th anniversary of KNE, many young people come into contact- some of them for the first time- with the history of the Democratic Army of Greece, which this year celebrates the 70the anniversary of its founding.

This is not some obsession of the KKE

The history of the KKE, the conclusions that we draw for the strategy of the party are weapons in the  complex daily and demanding struggles against the system of exploitation. In the great cause of the fight for socialism- communism.

The history of the struggles of our people is not something for the history museums nor just a general reference to a heroic past.

 

The goal is for the party and KNE through the study of history to become more capable in the struggles, to learn from the important moments of the class struggle, as well as from the mistakes, from the upsurges and also from the difficult moments of the struggle.

 

We must draw on new strength to vindicate and complete this great and militant history.

 

The fact that the KKE studies its history with objective criteria, without prettifications is proof that the KKE is made of “different metal”.

 

This way we confirm that the goal of our struggle goes very far, as do our hopes!

 

The festival every year with its events all around Greece is the meeting of thousands of young people with the KKE and its positions, where they can get to know it  first-hand and not through the words of those who fight against it.

 

Here in the festival and through all the activities of the KKE and KNE, militant values and ideals are formed, in rupture with the values that are cultivated by the exploiters and their rotten system.

 

Solidarity, comradeship, the desire for knowledge, the love and caring for the toiling people, the daring, the endurance in the difficulties, the militancy, the collectivity.

 

These values stand against the notion “your death is my life” that is cultivated in the youth either in the places of education or the work places. And these values, these “virtues” are acquired and formed through the continuous struggle, through the attempt to help the people and the youth to stand up tall.

 

The festival of KNE is enhanced and it embraces even more aspects of the life of the youth, because its oxygen is the political proposition of the  KKE, the positions of KNE.

 

In the KKE and KNE every young man and woman coming from the working class and popular strata is able to find support and also the answers to questions that they have regarding the concerns and worries about their future.

 

Especially in the youth, which they want cornered and disappointed, today we can show with even more arguments and proof that the people, the young men and women have not yet said their last word.

 

They haven’t yet tested their great strength  which lies in  the intensification of the struggles, the strengthening of the people’s alliance against the common opponent, the monopolies and their power, as well as their supporters regardless of the masks that they wear.

 

Now, the youth itself has more, direct experience. All kinds of governments have been tested. In practice, all the “so-called” easy solutions, as SYRIZA described them.

 

This experience can become strength if it meets with the organized struggle, if it meets with the political proposition of the KKE for workers’- people’s power.

 

The bourgeois class, its officials know very well that they have created a generation that lives in worse conditions than the generation of their parents.

 

And this could be the spark that will lead to struggles. That is why they take measures so that it won’t be expressed in the decisive participation of the youth in the struggle, especially  at the side of the KKE and KNE.

 

That is why they cultivate the notion that “nothing changes”, when the truth is that much more is needed today in order to have results.

That is why they cultivate false expectations, like they did before the elections with SYRIZA, which today are once again promoted with a different disguise by various forces that speak in the name of the “left”.

 

At the same time they aim to win the tolerance of the youth towards the anti-people policies. Today’s government tries to do so with the same arguments as the previous governments.

 

That’s why they utilize even the most ridiculous figures and personalities, even fraudsters,  in order to channel the dissatisfaction and anger of the people in this direction.

 

The bourgeois class does not hesitate to use even criminal fascist organizations, like Golden Dawn, cultivating racism and anti-communism, hatred for the victims of war, hatred for the labour movement.

 

Dear friends,

 

With the  KKE we counter-attack!

 

We must build obstacles to all new and old anti-people measures, we must demand the restoration of all losses.

We must fight to satisfy the contemporary needs of the people and the youth.

Because there is a different way, against the flexible life, against wandering from unemployment to miserable underpaid jobs which is the general situation for the youth in particular.

Today, it is possible for the youth and the working people to live the way they deserve to in the 21st century.

The possibilities for that exist. The enormous development of production and science can be used in favour of the people and their children, in order to secure their prosperity.

The requirement for this to happen is for the working class to take into its hands the keys of the economy and power. To finally get rid of the rotten situation we are living in.This way we can ensure the programmed development of all sectors of the economy using as criteria not the profits of the few, like today, but the satisfaction of the social and popular needs.

Here, in the direction of the overthrow of the system, there is an way out for the youth!

 

Dear friends,

Dear comrades,

 

SYRIZA and its government with ANEL, chose- as Mr. Tsipras recently said- to be in the front line. SYRIZA chose and was chosen to be in the front line of the implementation of the commitments of the memorandum, the orders of capital, the directions of the EU, the decisions of NATO.

In a few words,                 SYRIZA was chosen to do the dirty work on behalf of the capital and the EU, because at least in this phase, it is able to deceive and manipulate people easier than the traditional bourgeois political forces.

Because, first and foremost it is able to neutralize, to paralyze radicalism, to cultivate fatalism and defeatism amongst people that put their hopes and expectations in SYRIZA, and then were disappointed,  disproved and now are  still in confusion.

Maybe the management of the capitalist crisis does not allow differentiations of the policies that the various governments implement, it might not allow in the field of the economy deviations from the accurate implementation of the anti-people measures and restructurings by every government, however at the level of slogans, propaganda, the promotion of policies, it has some room to maneuver.

And in at this level, SYRIZA has more flexibility and finesse than the other bourgeois parties by using its opportunist physiognomy and the status of the “former communist” that even today some of its members use.

Who else could have brought the third memorandum?

Who else could have established NATO in the Aegean, using as a pretext the refugee flows, and beg for the founding of a new NATO base in Karpathos?

Who else could advertise better the NATO base in Souda to the Americans as the most appropriate one for the operations in the area?

Who else could have completely buried social security?

Who else would have the nerve to say that thousands of pensioners seem crazy and tell them that they cannot see what goes into their pockets, claiming that as a governing party they did not cut their pensions, they did not cut their benefits into pieces …

Who else could have baptized privatizations as being “utilization for the public interest”?

The political deception continues to be used by the representatives of the capital, the hawks of the quartet, but unfortunately they are  elected by the always well-intentioned people who always end up getting betrayed…

At the same time that SYRIZA denounces the EU for the austerity policies, in order to become popular to a more radical audience that questions this capitalist union, it spreads new illusions that the EU can be corrected if an alliance of the south is formed or if the correlation of forces is in favour of the so-called progressive forces in which they include the anti-people governments of Hollande, Renzi and others.

Of course, when Tsipras and his European friends talk about putting an end to austerity they do not mean the restoration of wages, pensions and other rights, but mostly about state money for the monopolies to invest.

At the same time they denounce the EU for inhumanity against the refugees, they continue to support the agreements between the EU and Turkey which they signed, which are the epitome of inhumanity caging thousands of desperate people in our country.

At the same time that they denounce the oligarchy, the economic and political system that allegedly fights the government, they implement one by one the demands of the capital which they provide with benefits, tax exemptions, hot money for its investments.

 

At the same time that they claim to be “deepening democracy” and plan to stage fiestas for the revision constitution, they plan to restrict trade union activity, the right to strike, even to legalize counter strikes, lockouts- a gift to the employers.

At the same time that they guarantee to the capital for the recovery of its profitability, they sell to the people the fairytale of “just development”, “just distribution of the produced wealth”.

And until then they tell the people to wait in the ranks of the unemployed, the soup kitchens, the lists of those who owe money to the tax office, the percentage of part-time employment, the unpaid jobs in the slavery regime that the prime-minister recently discovered.

They tell the people to wait for crumbs of bread to fall from the table of capitalist profits.

 

Dear friends,

 

This flexibility of SYRIZA that the other bourgeois parties do not have is recognized by the capital as well as the cadres of the EU that congratulate the government on its skills, realism and fast adjustment.

This flexibility however is very dangerous for the people because it cultivates a modern slavery dressed in a left wrapping, it cultivates reduced demands, compromise with crumbs.

The course of SYRIZA, its transformation into a distinct social-democratic party was predestined. This is what happens to every party that accepts the capitalist way and promises that it can humanize it.

Mr. Tsipras continues to give lessons of “leftness” and radicalism, always adapted to each specific audience.

Sometimes he remembers that he chose to be in the front line because he is not simply a commentator on the developments, that he aims to change the social correlation of forces and other times he mocks those who “fantasize  about an ideal society”.

In other words, he says to the people each time the same thing: “Since the correlation of forces does not change easily and since the ideal society that the KKE  envisions is not easily realized, you should adapt to today,  to the system and not ask for much.

This logic of necessary adaptation, as they call it, can immobilize forces that today should act, with a line  of rupture and overthrow, for the correlation of forces to really change. It postpones in this way to the unknown future, any thought of overthrow of the capitalist barbarity.

This is the essence and the historical role of opportunism. It always assisted the capitalist system in difficult moments for capital.

It can also temporarily create confusion, a false image that all the left forces are similar, that supposedly SYRIZA  and the KKE are more or less the same, they both want the overthrow of the  today’s system, only that the KKE wants it right now, which is not possible, while SYRIZA   goes  slowly and steadily etc…

The moment will come when all who were deceived in this way , will turn their backs on them and chase them away.

Because SYRIZA was selected to be in the frontline to crush the workers, to manage the capitalist system.

The KKE is opposed to them. It is in the frontline for the overthrow of the rotten capitalist system, for struggle for the new society, socialism-communism.

The  bourgeois groups that criticize the government  either because of not being decisive enough in the application of the reforms or because they have more confidence in the more traditional parties, like New Democracy and PASOK, know it well.

.

 

Certain media and well known defenders of the system even offer covert support to SYRIZA, supposedly criticizing it but in fact adding its propaganda. They even try to present it as an almost communist, pro- soviet party, implying that its “communist character” is to blame for anything bad that has emerged from their policies.

They think that in this way they can blame socialism for the government’s anti-people policies. They want socialism to be identified in the youth’s consciousness with the property taxes, memorandums, anti-popular measures. They want the KKE to be blamed along with SYRIZA for the government’s deeds.

They are certainly not naive. They know what kind of a party SYRIZA is and whom it serves, they are just being provident, as loyal servants of the capital that know well how to serve it.

They are invoking the people’s problems in Venezuela.

But, of course, it was not socialism that went bankrupt in Venezuela, but the well-known narrative of opportunists like Tsipras-Lafazanis-Konstantopoulou, that they could allegedly tame the iron laws of the system in the framework of capitalism, that they could prevent capitalist crises, that the profits of the few and the needs of the many could be reconciled.

Of course SYRIZA doesn’t mind this criticism, as it presents SYRIZA as something different to what it really is, a bourgeois party that serves capital’s power. And this is exactly what the quarrel with New Democracy is about: who is going to lead the implementation of the third memorandum., support the capitalist recovery and manipulate the people at the same time.

New Democracy on the other hand is nervous seeing how the Greek and international centers support the government of SYRIZA – ANEL and is trying to propagate its own “willingness”, as the most “genuine child” of capital, to implement the entirety of the restructuring measures that it requests. It promotes its own anti-popular plan which includes fewer taxes for the capital and less public spending for the already reduced public services for the people’s needs.

It takes advantage of SYRIZA’s anti- popular policies to declare it innocent of what it had done during its own period of governance. It presents capital’s needs, the cynicism of the anti – popular measures as the “objective truth”.

Hence the true difference between SYRIZA and ND can be depicted in the quote “You can choose which of your pockets we’ll take the money from”!! The left or the right pocket.Because it is clear that the third memorandum, the overthrow of the working people’s rights and the support for the capital’s profitability and recovery, are in both parties’ programs.

Along with these, PASOK and “The River”(Potami) are trying to reconstruct – without great success so far – the bankrupted centre – left, especially now that they see that SYRIZA has taken the place of the old PASOK and is becoming the favored child of European social – democracy.

The Center Union , that used to be  considered absurd, is now playing the role of the outrider that is willing  to support the system and every anti – popular governmental formation it may need.

The made -in -Greece nazi-criminals continue to serve as the system’s watchdogs, pouring their racist poison and playing a leading role in vulgar anti-communism. They do whatever they can for their leaders to increase their wealth and of course their various suspicious connections with international centers and services and shadowy networks. In parliament Golden Dawn also pretends to be an anti-systemic force, while at the same time it is asking for more privileges and tax exemptions for certain sections of capital, and outside the parliament it continues providing the employers with cheap workers, functioning as slave traders.

 

Friends and comrades,

From the podium of the 42ND Festival of KNE – Odigitis we want to address those who see that this situation can’t go on, those that are willing to come into conflict with fatalism and meager demands. We say to them : the only party that can express you is the KKE, even if you have reservations on certain issues with it.

We especially address the people that still feel themselves to be leftwing,  that may have voted for SYRIZA or other leftist forces and now are indignant. We call for them to take the step today, to join forces with KKE.

The situation cannot change through disillusionment or finding excuses for this government. We should march together, now. To revive hope and optimism again in the struggles, in the movement.

We call on you to meet with us, discuss and at the same time fight within the movement for the KKE’S proposal for the way out.

Because this is the only answer to the capitalist barbarity we live in. Because it shows the development that will satisfy the entirety of the people’s needs. This proposal is realistic because there are all the objective preconditions for it. The goal is to change the correlation of forces in favor of the working class and the popular strata, for the power to finally change hands.

For the working class and the people to take the keys of the economy, the ownership of the means of production into their own hands. For the country to be disengaged from the imperialist unions, while developing economic relations of equality with other states.

For the people to be able to live according to their contemporary needs, according to the potential provided by science and technology, the productivity of labor, the great natural wealth resources and the potential of our country.

 

Comrades,

Our 19th Congress provided our party with a new program, an elaborated strategy for socialism. It is a program that actually gives answers and directions for our party’s leading activity as an “all – weather” party, under any circumstances and difficulties.

Today we are more capable, armed with our party’s program, the conclusions of the study of our party’s history, the experience drawn from socialist construction, to shed light on the duties our party has in the years to come.

Staying away from any complacency, self – satisfaction and carelessness, but with the experience we have from the realization of the decisions of the 19th Congress, we can set our next tasks for our party in view of the 20th Congress.

Marching towards the 20th Congress, we set a goal for an all-round reinforcement of the KKE, to meet the needs for the immediate regroupment of the labor movement, the development of the social alliance in an anti-capitalist, anti-monopoly direction, for the struggle against the imperialist war, for working class power.

We want to assess the work we have done for the assimilation of the party’s program, the difficulties we have faced and are still facing.

This assimilation doesn’t only have to do with the agreement on the character of the revolution and the power we aim for, but also with the deep understanding of the economic and political direction, the objective and subjective preconditions on which the escalation of the struggle for worker’s power will depend. It also has to do with the conclusions drawn from the study of the Party’s    history up to now as well as the history of the international communist movement.

This study has proven that the main problem so far has been the lack of a correct strategy, the lack of readiness of the Communist Parties in terms of program and organization, to lead the people’s revolt in revolutionary conditions to overthrow capitalist power.

This study of historical experience has proven that the “reform strategy” took over, the strategy of penetrating the bourgeois capitalist power through the very organs of bourgeois power, in collaboration with parts of the bourgeois class.

And while the Communist Parties had socialism – communism as a goal in their program, they actually always put an intermediate intermediate stage before it for the maturation of the revolutionary forces.

This strategy resulted in some Communist Parties not meeting their duty, when the conditions of a generalized economic crisis were expressed in their countries that led to a generalized imperialist war and after that a revolutionary situation.

To struggle consistently based on our program, which is the aim of the concentration, maturation and organization of the working class as the leading social force of the revolutionary process, means that this struggle should take place, with this objective, within the working class and the other popular strata even in non- revolutionary circumstances.

The party fights for that objective independently and without giving in to the various means of pressure used by opportunist and bourgeois forces, not even to pressure applied by the working and popular masses, asking for immediate solutions within the system, to problems that the system itself creates.

This means that we shouldn’t follow the logic of detaching the everyday political struggle concerning various burning issues – the crisis, the war, a coup, intensification of state’s violence and suppression, Nazism-fascism – from the main revolutionary struggle itself.

 

Comrades,

 

In the years that have passed since the 19th Congress we have set some crucial issues concerning the advancement of our strategy, the preparation of the movement, issues that we have highlighted in everyday struggle within the movement as well as in our political action through the successive election battles we went through these years.

For example we insist on showing that the EU is a union of capitalist states that cannot be improved or humanized, nor can capitalism. The struggle for radical changes at the level of the economy and power that will lead to disengagement from the EU and NATO is to the benefit of the working class, the people and not sections of capital that seek the exit of Greece from the EU and the Eurozone, or even its attachment to other allies like BRICS, for their own interests.

We insist on highlighting the fact that every government that works in the framework of capital’s power will be its organ, no matter what its name. That’s why our Party will be present in the government of the people’s power that will serve the satisfaction of the worker’s and popular needs, and not the profits of the monopolies. We insist on showing that the bourgeois democracy is a democracy for the minority, actually a dictatorship of capital.

We insist on highlighting the fact that fascism – nazism is an integral part of the system and that it is properly confronted through the struggle against the exploitative system.

We insist on pointing to the danger of generalization of an imperialist war in our region, with the participation of Greece, which will actually be the participation of the Greek bourgeois class claiming their share in the division of the wealth that is currently taking place. Today more than ever we see the relevance of the slogan “the people, and especially the youth shouldn’t shed their blood for the interests of capital, the interests of the exploiters”.

 

Friends and comrades,

 

Today, marching towards the 100th anniversary of our honored and heroic Party, we can be more capable in the promotion of our political proposal that corresponds to the potential for the working people to live better, based on their contemporary needs, as long as the productive potential, the wealth resources of our country, the concentrated means of production become  social property, with central planning, active participation of the working people in the organization and management of social production and social services.

This power, based on the people that will be decisive and organized, will be able to exploit the contradictions between the capitalist countries, to come to beneficial agreements. And above all, it will be able to encourage other peoples and movements to follow the same route.

Besides, history has shown that when people march forward and struggles for power, there are certainly going to be other peoples that will not only show their solidarity, but follow the example.

We can be more effective in order to be at the front of the daily struggles of the workers, to contribute to the regroupment of the labour-people’s movement, the promotion of the Peoples’ Alliance.

We can be more effective as a Party in order to respond to the complex and difficult duty to renew and extend our forces, mainly amongst  the productive age groups and above all amongst industrial workers, amongst workers in large workplaces, amongst young workers and the  unemployed,  amongst the children of the popular families.

We can be more effective as a Party to guide KNE into entering a phase of a significant development of its forces, to develop forces amongst the school students from working class and popular strata families, the pupils and students in technical-vocational education, the students from a working class or popular background. For KNE to be able to educate, to form young communists, effective members and cadres of the party, militants of the class struggle in various conditions.

We can be more effective as a Party, so that the self-employed communists can have bonds with the leading, struggling sections of the self-employed in the cities, with the poor farmers in the rural areas

We can be more effective with the strength of the communist ideals and the dynamism of the class struggle for socialism, to inspire young artists and scientists who care about the workers’ and people’s needs, all those who resist individualism and the rottenness of capitalism, who have open minds, thinking and desire for the possibility of a superior type of organization of social production, of all the aspects of society.

We can be more effective as a Party, in order to respond to the duty of regrouping the workers movement and reinforcing the Social Alliance, so that we can undertake the major responsibility  we have towards the working class, the people. To respond also to the duty of the defense, the fight for workers-people’s rights, to the duty of the struggle for the overthrow of the capitalist society, for socialism.

We can be more effective as a Party, to be leaders in the development of struggles for very various demands, without detaching this active from ideological work and  struggle regarding the historic mission of the  working class, the abolition of the exploitative social relations, the construction of socialist-communist relations and the connection of each economic and political struggle under any correlation of forces and phase of the class struggle with the duty of workers’ revolutionary  power.

We can be more effective as a Party in order to prove in a practical why a century of the  KKE’s existence  makes the  KKE the “youngest party”.

The KKE is the youngest party because precisely because of what it represents regarding the property relations, all social relations, the social organization as a whole ,which  is the only progressive future for humanity in its entirety.

 

Strength to all,

We advance forwards with dynamism

 

Remembering a Dutch Communist Partisan: Menger-Oversteegen Dies at 92

On Saturday, July 2, Truus Menger-Oversteegen, sculptress and member of the anti-Nazi Dutch armed resistance, died at the age of ninety-two. Her life reminds us of the crucial role communists and socialists played in the fight against fascism. Further, the fact that the Dutch state did not fully recognize her role in the resistance until 2014 tells us something important about the politics of World War II commemorations.

Truus Menger-Oversteegen was part of a generation that sacrificed everything to fight Nazism and build a better world.

Truus Menger-Oversteegen was part of a generation that sacrificed everything to fight Nazism and build a better world.

I knew Truus through my grandmother, Mirjam Ohringer, who died just three weeks before her at the age of ninety-one. They described themselves — and a third long-time friend and Communist Party member Els Schalker-Kastanje — as the “three musketeers.”

All three were militant left-wing women. Their “red families” instilled radical politics in them well before the outbreak of World War II.

Each suffered great personal losses as a result of Nazi occupation and persecution. In 1941, Mirjam’s first love — a Jewish-German Communist refugee — was swept up in the first wave of anti-Jewish arrests in Amsterdam. Shortly after, he was murdered in the concentration camp Mauthausen.

Almost all of Mirjam’s family in Germany and Eastern Europe were also killed as part of the Nazi persecution of Jews. Els’s father was murdered in Dachau. Truus lost three members of her resistance group, including Hannie Schaft — “the girl with red hair,” who became an icon of the Dutch antifascist resistance.

After World War II ended, they promoted an unapologetically political form of commemoration, under the slogan that became the title of Truus’s memoir — Not Then, Not Now, Never — to highlight the real history of radical Dutch resistance.

The Teenage Militants

Mainstream stories about anti-Nazi activities in occupied Western Europe tend to start with Germany’s 1940 conquest. But Truus emphasized that her antifascist resistance started much earlier.

She grew up in the Zaan’s “red belt,” the industrial zone north of Amsterdam. Like my grandmother’s parents, her family participated in the Communist-led International Red Aid, which helped Jewish and political refugees illegally cross the border between Germany and the Netherlands.

In an eerie foreshadowing of today’s Fortress Europe, the Dutch police routinely handed the refugees they caught directly over to the Gestapo. At an early age, both Truus and Mirjam learned to be silent about the strangers that were hidden in their bedrooms. They proudly recalled that they learned the ropes of illegal action in the 1930s, when the Dutch conservative party held power.

In the first year of the Nazi occupation, these young women from red families — Truus was sixteen in 1940, her sister Freddie fourteen, and Mirjam fifteen — handed out leaflets, distributed illegal newspapers, and helped procure aid for refugees. Their success depended on what they learned working with International Red Aid. Their activities at that point might still have had a hint of frivolity to them.

All this changed in February 1941 when Communists and radical socialists called for a general strike in Amsterdam and the Zaan region. The action quickly transformed into a spontaneous protest against the first deportations of young Jewish men. Mirjam’s father hid one of the printing presses producing the leaflets in his tailor shop, while Truus and her sister Freddie leafletted factories.

The strike was a success, unparalleled in Nazi-occupied Europe. Tens of thousands of workers walked out and demonstrated. But the repression that followed was brutal, fundamentally changing the nature of the movement.

It became much more dangerous for Jews to participate in the organized resistance. Most, like Mirjam, went into hiding. Deportations mounted, supported by the mostly compliant Dutch police and officials, and those who earned generous “head-sums” for reporting Jews.

At the time of this mounting repression, a local militant approached Truus and her sister — both still in their teens — to join the partisans. Their small cell, which grew to eight fighters, was connected to similar groups through their commander Frans van der Wiel and became one of the most famous Dutch resistance groups.

When the student Hannie Schaft joined them in 1943, they considered her the “intellectual” because all the initial members came from working-class backgrounds. Together, the three women and five men sabotaged railway lines, rescued Jewish children, and killed Nazi collaborators who had betrayed Jews.

When I interviewed Truus ten years ago, she described these events with the same directness and aversion to hero-worship that characterizes her memoir: “We were ordinary girls; we did not like aggression.”

But behind her matter-of-fact presentation, there were deep motivations. She grieved over a failed transport of Jewish children: caught in the searchlight in a remote area, all but one of the kids were mowed down by machine-guns. She courageously carried on after her comrades were arrested and shot, a fate that befell Hannie Schaft. And finally, she remembered the rising tensions within the resistance movement itself during the final phases of the war.

When the nationalist forces led by Prince Bernhard — a one-time Nazi sympathizer — finally joined the fight, they rolled back the Community Party’s influence in favor of a conservative-led “national front.”

There are still rumors that members of Truus’s fighting unit were deliberately turned over to the Nazis. Even though definitive proof of this has never been provided, the Menger-Oversteegen sisters experienced firsthand how Bernhard’s men would send Communist operatives on life-threatening missions that were actually smuggling operations that benefited the new resistance’s rich commanders.

These tensions were carefully washed away in the official postwar commemoration culture, which celebrates a unified struggle — led by the monarchy — against “the German invaders.” Communist Party leaders had their own, popular-front reasons to collude with the nationalists and smooth out these contradictions.

But for rank-and-file militants like Truus and her comrades, the struggle extended beyond national liberation. They hoped that the defeat of fascism would usher in a left-wing reconstruction of Europe.

The Cold War quickly dashed their hopes and further ratcheted up the tension between Communists and nationalists. In 1952, when the Communist Party organized the first commemoration for Hannie Schaft, the government banned the demonstration and a police force — backed by tanks — was sent in to disperse the crowd.

For years, the Dutch left organized its own World War II commemorations, separate from the official ones. It is no surprise that it took the Dutch state until 2014 to give Truus and her sister the highest distinction for participating in the resistance.

The Wrong Lessons

Even this long-overdue recognition is not void of irony. Welcoming old Communist fighters back into the nation’s fold is the final stage of a strategy designed to ritualize the European memory of World War II and depoliticize resistance movements.

In this official commemoration culture, the horrors of the Nazi occupation remind us to value completely abstract notions of freedom, justice, and democracy — ostensibly embodied in the holy trinity of liberal capitalism, the rule of law, and the peaceful process of European unification.

For veteran fighters like Truus or my grandmother, commemoration was never so vacuous and conformist: it carried a completely different political message. They insisted that fascism grew up within the folds of liberal capitalism, and warned that it could do so again. And they knew their willingness to go against the forces of law and order and defy the pre-fascist state taught them how to survive the dark years that followed.

As we lose the last of this generation of resistance fighters, we must not let official culture erase their revolutionary politics. In a period of officially sponsored nationalism, persecution of refugees along the borders of the European Union, and the growing threat of fascist movements, we need to fully remember this legacy.

Pepijn Brandon is a Dutch historian who currently works at the University of Pittsburgh.

Young Workers Struggle to Find their Place in Organized Labor

By Jacob Bryant

Jacob Btyant AFSCME Local 209

Jacob Btyant
AFSCME Local 209

Today, USA 2016, 11% of the working population is unionized. A consequence of a stable job, most of these in the public sector, where information on employee right’s is easily made accessible through a particular state’s trade unions at publicly owned workplaces. Public sector jobs are reminiscent though, of the old labor environment of our ancestors; where jobs were roughly dependable and, because of the perceived long duration of employment, had social benefits to boot. Unfortunately, the bosses know this history and have been plotting to roll back the gains made by organized labor in the past and most employers these days even go without review of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), pushed into conception by a popular workers’ movement in the 30’s. Anyone working in a band today, must notice the various forms of stratification within the workplace. The most far-reaching and ancient of these strata is the commonly perceived differences between young workers and their older counterparts. The bosses have worked very hard in continuing to keep young workers running and the old workers, occupied. The bosses have legislated policy and carefully manufactured ideas to keep workers from realizing their maximum power as a solidified class; a closed gate towards consciously accepting personal differences and understanding that every worker is in the same boat and has a right to express a concern about things that directly affect their lives.

Young workers are often employed in industrial sectors that are victims of 21st century employment relations where it is the contingent benefits like “experience” that rule, rather than the previous generations’ fight for real wages and social benefits. This experience requirement can be attained for a price; a price that can only be paid by working individuals, through their employers or already established labor union programs, which require an obvious requisite of a job; hardly helpful for those seeking to use this experience to initially get a job; or training takes the form of higher education paid in part by the State and the rest, supplemented by loans. The valuable experience young workers need to remain competitive in today’s market, firstly, does not satisfy their current potential for mobility and advancement, secondly, does not meet the practical needs of the youth; most of whom are struggling to keep their head above water between rent payments and government subsidies and/or to keep food and medicine in their families’ cabinets. In addition, more desirable jobs require years of being employed in the industry to even be considered, the youth, without training, a product of their cursed birth years, are coerced into taking non-standard wage jobs and minimum wage jobs. We can trace this phenomenon back to the moments after the Vietnam War, where the greatest minds of the business elite organized themselves around the policies of micro-transactions and the expansion of market networks. These policies reduce economics to a calculus, where firms and individuals compete for contracts as opposed to an individual joining a mass-collective production line, where everyone’s salaries and benefits are known, and roughly the same, where the workers are together on the job, side-by-side, transparent, all to one end. Young workers are ordered to complete tasks in their local KFC, for example, rarely in a group context and concerted activity with other workers is usually frowned upon in the modern workplace. Breading chicken, packaging orders for takeout and doing dishes are all important and yes, there is one goal but each task is the responsibility of one crew member and are evaluated as such. The worker is particularly not evaluated on quality anymore, but it is becoming increasingly more frequent to evaluate vulnerable workers on their methods of work (praxis) and attitudes towards management. Most activities, too, do not require any specialization so young workers are bounced from one station to the next, cross-training, to assume a position of maximum value at work. This can make it easier for one worker to do the work of many for the same wage and also makes it incredibly easy to fire a young worker for, as an example, discussing paid sick days with their fellow workers or advocating together, the boss to purchase safer equipment. Young workers, because of these handicaps, are divided in their workplaces, usually in small franchises (remember those businessmen from the 80’s)? Franchises are the product of their theories; everything should be contracted for small periods to ensure there is no “waste” of funds. Franchises are often characterized as being extremely small, localized businesses therefore making it easier for employers to manage and handle restless youth. Young employees in these small scenarios can only expect changes in conditions and schedules at work, when the stars align; only at the employers’ good will and caprice. It is not more promising to hear that within the first five years half of these new small businesses will fail, leaving the owners and workers without income. The new 21st century service economy represses wages to offer more quantity of overall jobs, but has failed to raise the quality of these jobs. More people are working that are over-qualified, the majority of them new graduates, than ever before in history.

The capricious nature of modern employment for youths, take their interests in a different direction than those baby boomer unionists who push for seniority benefits and job security. Young workers still feel regularly alienated from labor unions and their place in modern industries, is ever more fleeting. 35% of the workforce is under the age of 35 and only 7.5% are unionized. The youth have been thrust into a dynamic world, a world very different from that which established America’s AFL-CIO, Change To Win (CTW), and Teamsters. The youth are often employed in the service sector, retail and construction. At these jobs, workers are typically not considered skilled so workers are encouraged to work harder for extra merits. Especially in retail and fast food, workers compete with one another for cash, hours and titles. In this highly competitive environment, the youth are not thinking about joining a union or talking with their fellow workers about banding together; the boss makes a workforce of independent contractors a reality, and independent, they shall all fall under the power of an organized wealthy owner who has the ability to reduce wages to starvation levels. As a consequence of circumstance, older workers in the same jobs, are also seeing the damage of low unionization. Their wages are at the bare minimum with hardly any benefits unlike their contemporaries that are professional or unionized; many are forced to take multiple low-status jobs just like younger workers. The more workers are separated on the job, the more they will also separate habitually in their personal lives, a discussion is not instigated where there is no room for connection and gels to impasse.

The youth are very receptive to the democratic politics of our current labor movement but wish to attach with it, the relevant questions of their generation, centering around feelings of loneliness and acceptance of their bodies into inclusive spaces. Sadly, the pleas of the youth fall not on deaf ears, but on different ones. The wealthy dangle catch words like “innovation”, “self-

employment”, “start-up” to gather the wanting youth looking for something beyond the traditional factory, family and financing paradigm of their parents. Using these ideas, the wealthy successfully have driven an even greater spike between the re-institution of the community and the union, which historically has provided support and security. The youth are told over and over that to escape the hell that the wealthy have created through short-sighted adventures, they must seize for themselves as much as what can be wrested from the hands of old wealth, and hide it under a bushel, save it for themselves and their family and friends to reinvest for a potentially more prosperous future. To dodge the hardship of a life on the run, to really feel economic independence, the youth employ their minds to serve consumer’s demands and to observe humanity from afar, pumping them products with money funnelling up the other way. They work hard to fashion gadgets but not on connecting workers to resources they need. The material wealth of the individual is the concern of those youths harboring entrepreneurial spirit because this material wealth reproduces itself; it can be reinvested and grown without laboring for the net gain. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join em’.”

It will be obvious to most, that the probability of an alternative to wage work as a youth, is low, and that such an entrepreneurial endeavor would require loads of funding, and a cornered market, but most importantly this orientates youth to understand the world in only two ways; to become an owner and win decadence and wealth, or accept being owned and try and live as if that were not the case. Very much has changed since the days before NAFTA; worker’s had a union and their jobs stayed with them in the US for as long as they saw it proper to remain employed. After the free trade agreements, business have consciously begun to provide contract work services, that offer full-time hours without the benefits but offer the “potential” of becoming a full-timer. The ol’ “foot in the door” platitude we have all heard. These agencies are a product of the new form of ways to do business and require little to no experience so these agencies become havens of youths desperate for work. On the opposite hand though, these agencies are used as surplus labor, as scabs in case of a strike. Union members are aware of this, therefore many remain skeptical of the young workers hired through these agencies, which naturally breeds conflict and separation between these groups; all the better for the boss whose devious plots against the worker’s and their union proceed un-rivaled. Furthermore, the old guard in union leadership tend to stereotype young workers as ignorant in life and administration and cannot be given legitimate authority in the union. The young workers hear this and react with their withdrawal and begin to see unions as establishment institutions that are old, and un-receptive to changing times. Youth are largely more radical than their older co-workers, which too, contributes to growing animosity and misunderstanding.

To oppose this nonsensical feud between the generations, the union must change its structures with the ever-changing working class and finally begin to wake up to the reality that labor is under a conscious attack not only by its usual arch-nemesis, the wealthy rulers and their puppet bosses, who have doubled their efforts as of recently, but too, by our establishment international unions in America. Union leaders have to understand that it is the young who are sensitive to cultural trends and the social climate. There is still a place for truths expressed by the labor movement passed but the union must muster up enough fortitude to create an autonomous space for the young worker’s needs, and allow this organ to take part in policy making with guidance

from the experienced unionists, in confidence and equality. We must teach each other and rely on the knowledge of everyone on the job and remember that where there is no union, there is no dignity and no rights. The labor movement of years passed has rightly told the toilers in American factories, schools and restaurants, that every person who works should have a vote and should have a say as to how things should run. This is at our heart as American unionists, whose nation was born out of the Democratic principle and the right of each citizen to the pursuit of happiness. The youth are homeless and need a place to be cherished. Let us not forget that they are toilers themselves and it has been our historic duty to give all workers a voice and a vote regardless of any baggage they carry. This should resonate inside the skull of every person who has used their hands to change material into something refined, or used their voice and brain to lecture. The entire mess has a few amendments but only one solution; to be in absolute unity and solidarity. Revolutionary solidarity that is so powerful that the passion of each is for the other and that “other” seems, slowly and slowly, out of place; taking the form of your union brothers and sisters.

The WFTU in solidarity with the people of Turkey

The members and friends of WFTU in Turkey, all the militant trade unions in the country are struggling under difficult conditions. They have to confront the antipeople’s and antilabour policies of the Government of AKP, they have to confront the reactionary, undemocratic practices of the bourgeoisie.

AP-APTOPIX-Turkey-Military-Coup-590x260

The vast majority of the working class in Turkey lives under conditions of poverty, unemployment, insecurity for their present and future.

This situation becomes worse today after the attempted coup and the beneficial use of it by the Government of Erdogan.

Turkey is a country that actively participates in the imperialist war in Syria. The Turkish Capitalists seek bigger share from the profits in the wide area, the capitalist class of Turkey aims for an enhanced role as a strong regional power.

In the complicated net of inter-imperialist contradictions, the ruling class of Turkey struggles to promote its own interests.

These competitions generate international and internal confrontations. The organized motion of powerful forces of the army, the large number of dead, the thousands of arrests and imprisonments, the battles on the streets and all those that are taking place, underline that the inter-imperialist conflicts are enormous. It is not known yet what is the role of the USA, the NATO in this attempted coup.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is utilizing these developments for arresting, dismissing public employees, imprisoning, organizing generalized persecutions everywhere.

The WFTU appeals to the working people in Turkey and calls them to not be trapped in the strategies and the inter-imperialist contradictions, to empower the class unity, to resist the state and employers violence, to struggle for the satisfaction of their contemporary needs and the improvement of their living and working conditions.

The WFTU demands the full respect of trade union and democratic rights, the end of imperialist wars and conflicts in the region and the dismantling of NATO.

THE SECRETARIAT

NO CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY!

Sign the petition!

Tell Congress to Reject the Ribble Bill That Cuts Social Security Benefits

At a time when growing numbers of Americans are counting on their earned benefits for a secure and dignified retirement, there is a bill in Congress which would force millions of beneficiaries to continue working in their later years and reduce their monthly Social Security benefit check. Perhaps some members of Congress don’t think we’re paying attention and that’s why they’re launching this summer attack against earned benefits. We can’t let them get away with it. Help us put all lawmakers on notice that we reject any effort to cut Social Security benefits!

Take Action Now