6th IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party of Canada

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • Canada, Communist Party of Canada 6th IMCWP En North America Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October 2004, Contribution of CP of
Canada
-------------------------------------------------
From: SolidNet, Monday, October 11, 2004
http://www.communist-party.ca , mailto:inter@cpc-pcc.ca
==================================================

Intervention of George Gidora, Central Executive Committee
Member, Communist Party of Canada at the International
Meeting of Communist & Workers' Parties held in Athens,
October 8, 9 & 10, 2004 - "Resistance to Imperialist
Aggressiveness. Fronts of Struggle and Alternatives"

Dear comrades,

Permit me to express our gratitude once again to the
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) hosting this annual
conference of Communist and Workers' parties. This
undertaking is one of many concrete expressions of our host
party's commitment to working class internationalism, a
commitment which informs all of its policies and actions.

Comrades,

There is, without question, a marked growth in
anti-imperialist resistance around the world today. It
could not be otherwise, given the increasing aggressiveness
of imperialism, spearheaded by US imperialism, and the
intensity of its attack on international law and the
sovereignty of states, and on the economic, socio-cultural
and political rights of the peoples. The phony "war on
terrorism" launched by the USA has led to the loss of tens
of thousands of innocent lives, the destruction of entire
communities, the ravaging of entire countries. But the U.S.
and other imperialist powers are paying a heavy price for
their wars of aggression and subsequent occupations of
Afghanistan and Iraq.

Global resistance to imperialist war reached massive
proportions prior to the U.S.-led war on Iraq. Around the
globe, tens of millions hit the streets to protest the
impending U.S. aggression. The huge anti-war mobilizations
in Canada the largest in our history played a significant
role in pressuring the government to formally abstain from
direct military involvement (although it did assist U.S.
aggression indirectly, primarily through increasing
Canadian ground troops in occupied Afghanistan, thus
freeing up more U.S. forces for the Iraq invasion).

In fact, popular mobilizations succeeded in forcing a large
number of capitalist governments to distance themselves
politically from the U.S.-led war on Iraq. And while the
broad anti-war movements were not strong enough to restrain
the U.S., they focused and unleashed the people's growing
anger against imperialist aggression and war. This has led
some to speak of the anti-war (and anti-globalization)
movements as the new "second superpower" in an otherwise
unipolar world. While this is no doubt a rhetorical
flourish, it points to the growing impact that the people's
forces can exert on the course of world events, when fully
conscious, aroused and mobilized into action.

Opposition to the Iraq war, and the subsequent resistance
to the occupation of that country, is but one of many
manifestations of an ever-widening anti-imperialist tide
among the peoples. Others include:
the four year-long Intifada of the Palestinian people
against the brutal Israeli occupation of their lands;

the heroic defiance of socialist Cuba and the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea in the face of increasing
pressures and hostilities from the Bush Administration;

the determination of the Venezuelan people to frustrate
counter-revolutionary plots to destroy their Bolivarian
Revolution;

the continuing struggle of the insurgent forces of Colombia
against the fascist, US-backed Uribe government;

the struggles of the people, and several of the
governments, of Latin America to defeat US imperialism's
drive to impose the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
trade and investment pact, and to wrest back control over
their energy, water and other resources from the grip of US
monopolies

These are but the most prominent of many anti-imperialist
struggles being waged around the world today.

Growing anti-war and anti-imperialist sentiment is having
an important sometimes decisive impact on elections in a
number of countries, most recently in Spain and India. And
stridently pro-imperialist governments such as the Blair
government in Britain and the Howard government in
Australia face looming political crises.

In the June 2004 elections in Canada, the people handed a
stinging rebuke to both leading bourgeois parties,
rejecting the opening pro-imperialist Conservatives, and
reducing the Liberal Party to a minority government status.
Only those parties which openly opposed the U.S. war on
Iraq, and oppose greater economic and political integration
within the U.S. empire, gained in popular vote. The new
situation in Parliament creates better political terrain to
fight against Canadian participation in the U.S. Ballistic
Missile Defence (BMD) program, and reverse Canadian
government support for the FTAA, among other critical
issues.

In less than a month one of the most crucial elections will
be held in the USA itself. While the outcome remains in
doubt, the defeat the Bush administration is a very real
possibility. Such a result would be highly significant, not
only for the working class in the U.S., but for the rest of
the world's peoples as well. A Kerry Administration would
not fundamentally change the overall orientation of U.S.
imperialism; John Kerry has made it clear that he fully
intends to continue with the "war on terrorism" and he also
certainly represents a large section of US corporate
interests and will continue the corporate global offensive.
However a Democratic victory would constitute a powerful
defeat for the most reactionary, anti-democratic and
proto-fascist Administration in US history, and open up
more political space for labour and popular advance.

Meanwhile, the main imperialist powers are continuing their
economic, political and military onslaught around the
world, under the twin banners of the "war on terror" and
"defense of human rights and democracy". The latest target
for "humanitarian intervention" is Sudan. Our Party is
gravely concerned about the scale of human suffering in
that troubled country, and especially in the Darfur region;
however, imperialist military intervention, under cover of
"humanitarian relief", would only compound the tragedy, and
must be strenuously opposed. We condemn the blatant
hypocrisy of the imperialist powers including Canada who
cry crocodile tears over the loss of innocent life in Sudan
when in fact these same powers have been largely
responsible for exacerbating the civil conflict in that
country, and who now want to use the humanitarian crisis as
an excuse to strengthen their domination of yet another
oil-rich territory.

Many of our friends and allies place great stock in the
World Social Forum (WSF) as a vehicle to help build the
anti-war and anti-capitalist globalization movements. Our
Party supports the WSF process insofar as it brings
together the widest social forces around the world,
including local community-organizing groups, national trade
unions and political parties, and regional and
international NGOs, and provides a `political space' to
exchange views and discuss alternatives to prevailing
neoliberal ideology. Wherever possible, Communists are
striving to infuse these discussions with anti-imperialist
content, and to advocate for socialism as the fundamental
alternative to imperialism and its `globalization' agenda.
At the same time, we cannot agree with certain disturbing
trends emerging within the WSF which are striving to
"de-politicize" the movement and to isolate political
organizations especially the Communist parties and
revolutionary movements from full participation. These
approaches and actions taken by reformist and social
democratic elements, often (although not exclusively)
associated with the large, international-based NGOs, would
steer this movement away from mass action and towards
passive, non-struggle forms of opposition.

Our Party advocates the building of an international
democratic and anti-imperialist front, bringing together
the democratic, working class and progressive forces around
the world to confront the unfettered power of international
finance capital. Such a front or alliance can be forged
around a program for genuine internationalization, based on
the principles of peace, non-aggression, and global
disarmament; respect for the sovereignty of all states, for
the equality and rights of all nations, large and small,
the peaceful coexistence of different social systems, and
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; fair and
balanced trade and economic cooperation; respect and
promotion of cultural diversity; and protection of the
global environment.

* * * * * * * *

The dangerously deteriorating international situation
places a serious challenge before the Communist movement.
Our respective parties have a shared responsibility to help
build and strengthen, on a worldwide basis, a powerful
anti-imperialist response aimed at containing aggression,
and ultimately advancing the struggle to rid the world of
imperialist domination and war.

This in turn raises more sharply than ever the central task
of uniting and strengthening the Communist forces in each
country, and of building stronger forms of cooperation
among the parties at the international level.

With respect to international cooperation among the
Communists, this is hardly a new question; it has come up
for discussion at previous conferences here in Athens, and
at several other international meetings over the last dozen
years or so. These discussions have resulted in some useful
joint initiatives among the parties, especially at the
regional level. However, it must be conceded that, overall,
tangible progress has been limited to date far less than
what is objectively possible. Far less than what is
urgently required.

We remain convinced that the obstacles which currently
stand in the way of greater cooperation can be overcome,
provided that the parties adopt a flexible, mature approach
based on agreed-upon principles: namely, 1) the complete
equality of all parties; 2) strict non-interference in the
internal affairs of parties; (3) mutual respect and
tolerance of differing views; 4) and voluntary
participation.

We would like to say a few additional words about the last
of these principles voluntary participation. There is a
fairly widely held view that we must achieve unanimous (or
near-unanimous) agreement among all parties before
proceeding with specific initiatives. This of course would
be the most desired circumstance for moving forward;
however we do not feel that complete unanimity should be
considered an absolute precondition for advance. We fully
respect the concerns and hesitations expressed by some of
the parties; however this should not act as a `brake' on
developing greater cooperation and `unity in action' within
our movement as a whole.

Comrades,
It is an inescapable fact that the vast majority of
Communists worldwide and the vast majority of the
rank-and-file membership within each of our respective
parties are strongly in favour of greater Communist
cooperation and `unity in action' internationally.

Are all these Communists the vast majority of our members
somehow mistaken on this point, comrades? No they are
absolutely correct. Motivated by internationalist
convictions, and based on practical experience in the
struggle against imperialism, Communists have come to
understand that there is no other way forward. It is our
revolutionary duty to accelerate our efforts to realize
this lofty objective through practical deeds.

In terms of specific initiatives, perhaps we could consider
establishing an International Institute of Studies on
Imperialism and War, one that would bring together
Communist scholars from various parties to analyze the new
features of imperialism (eg., the impact of neoliberalism,
capitalist globalization, the U.S. drive for global
hegemony, corporate degradation of the environment,
militarization of the economy, the role of international
law and institutions, etc.). Such an Institute would draw
on the important research and analysis already conducted
and underway in our individual parties, promote greater
exchange of Marxist political research and theoretical
work, and coordinate new research initiatives which would
mutually benefit all parties.

This launching of such a project could begin fairly
quickly, and could be undertaken with the minimal
allocation of resources. It would be a significant help to
our parties especially the smaller parties that have
extremely limited research capacities and would move us
one step closer to our goal of building stronger
cooperation, a goal which we have been talking about for
some time.

On behalf of the Central Committee of our Party, I wish to
express our warmest greetings to all of you, and thank you
for your attention.

Let us work closely together to strengthen our ties and
build an even stronger International Communist Movement!


****************

Communist Party of Canada
290A Danforth Ave.,
Toronto, Ont. CANADA M4K 1N6
Tel: 416-469-2446
Fax: 416-469-4063
www.communist-party.ca
info@cpc-pcc.ca