6th IMCWP, Contribution of New Communist Party of the Netherlands

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • Netherlands, New Communist Party of the Netherlands 6th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October 2004, Contribution of New CP of
the Netherlands
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From: SolidNet, Tuesday, October 19, 2004
http://www.ncpn.nl , mailto:manifest@wanadoo.nl
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International Meeting Communist and Workers' Parties

"Resistance to Imperialist Aggressiveness. Fronts of
Struggle and Alternatives"
8 10 October 2004, Athens
Contribution of New CP of the Netherlands

Comrades, thanks to the Greek Communist Party that once
again gave us the possibility to join in Athens we have the
opportunity to discuss some urgent problems facing the
workers movement. Thanks for the hospitality and
international solidarity. I wish to thank the KKE in the
name of our central committee for their work in organizing
this conference.

Comrades, we are facing the elections in the United States.
May it be Bush or Kerry the differences, however important
inside the USA, for the world will be very small. The
US-imperialism is creating a very dangerous world today and
will continue if not the masses all over the world will
stop their brutality and oppression.

Although imperialist and neo-liberal forces are strong at
the moment it's of great importance that the resistance
against their power is growing. So it also is a time of
hope, and most of all a time it's necessary to organize and
strengthen class struggle in our countries and strengthen
international solidarity in a concrete way. In spite of
their material power Imperialism is not capable of
resolving the crisis it is responsible for. We see in many
countries increased resistance. So let's discuss our
experiences in organizing and deepening the many forms of
resistance.

The imperialist powers in the European Union like to be
stronger than their counterparts in the USA. The European
Union presents itself as a union of reasonable peace loving
nations. History shows this is nonsense: European
imperialism, be it as a whole or national, is as dangerous
as in the USA. Building a European army, parallel on being
a reliable NATO-partner, is a dangerous development. A new
world war could be the result. Besides it will be a new
reason to force the working class in Europe to accept
further demolition of rights, loans, social security and
employment.

The main goal for European capitalism was recently
formulated in Lissabon in the year 2000: to be competitive
with the USA in ten years. The working class people in all
European countries nowadays are victims of this politics.
The proposed European constitution backs these
Lissabon-ideas. Communist in Europe should find ways to
coordinate activities to stop the Lissabon-agenda. We have
to inspire the anti-imperialist forces in Europe to fight
against this Lissabon-agenda, against the NATO and the
military plans of the EU and against the proposed European
Constitution. The best way to do this is to concentrate on
trade union work and to link this goals with the daily
struggle for the defence of the social rights. A very
important part of this struggle has to be the ideological
one. Apart from this we have to pay attention to tactics
and strategy.

Comrades, At October 2 some 300.000 demonstrators, mainly
trade unionists, marched in Amsterdam to protest cuts in
social programs, including pensions, and an increase in the
retirement age. Although the trade union leadership did not
do so, many people were shouting for political goals and
mentioned the relation of the cuts and the imperialist
wars. But there is still a very big gap between the reasons
why people came to Amsterdam and anti-imperialist political
goals. However the fact that so many people came to
demonstrate shows the increasing political consciousness of
the masses in the Netherlands. Social programs in our
country, until these latest cuts, have been among the best
in Western Europe. But as in the rest of West Europe the
ruling class finally openly attacks all the social gains of
the workers. Their goal is to reduce wages and social
benefits to improve the profits for big capital to compete
with the US and the upcoming Asian rivals.

It was the largest trade union demonstration in Dutch
history, and the largest demonstration of any kind in
Amsterdam since the anti-nuclear missiles demonstration
twenty years ago. It also was the first time the three
major union confederations in the Netherlands were
demonstrating together.

The unions have been holding a series of demonstrations
building up to this high point in Amsterdam. Before October
2, the largest protest was in the port city of Rotterdam,
when 60,000 workers demonstrated on September 20. Public
traffic in The Hague, Rotterdam and Rotterdam had 24-hours
strikes and many people stopped working for some time. The
Rotterdam dockers were striking also for 24 hours. In many
others cities people came together, held demonstrations and
were striking.

This historic demonstrations showed first of all that trade
unionism is still alive and that Trade Unions are an
integral part of our capitalist society. The ruling class
till now is not shocked by this mass-demonstration. What
the ruling class really is afraid of is the continuation of
strikes and other job actions by the 1.75 million organized
workers. The question is if the trade union members are
able to force the leadership to continue this type of
action.

Besides the union confederations FNV (social-democratic
tendency - 1.25 million members), CNV (christian -
350.000), and MHP (higher and middle level employees -
170.000), a coalition called Keer het Tij (Turn the Tide)
of about 500 NGO's including all left parties participated.
The Dutch trade unions are organizing about 27 percent of
the working people. The trade union movement is the largest
organisation of the working class in the Netherlands. The
trade unions have about 1.75 million members. Recently,
because of the actions of the unions, many thousands of new
people became member. The Netherlands population is 16
million in all.

Comrades, the Netherlands has a government led by the
right-wing Prime Minister, Balkenende (Christian Democrat
Party). His neo-liberal government has introduced a series
of cuts amounting to 19 miljard euros since 2003, the
biggest in Dutch history. The Dutch neo-liberal government
has also lined up with U.S. President Bush by participating
in the occupation of Iraq. Some placards condemned
Balkenende for being a tool of Bush. But although,
according to public opinion polls, there would be no
majority for the government of three coalition parties if
there would be new elections now, the government stands
strong. They have a large majority in Parliament and
elections are far away. The Christian Democratic Party of
Prime Minister Balkenende, for now, however has lost many
traditional voters and even many members. So the political
situation is becoming more tense.

Comrades, the same day at October 2 a national protest in
Berlin drew 70,000 people from trade unions, community
organizations and NGO's to protest the social service cuts,
known as Hartz IV, part of the so called Agenda-2010. In
Germany it is not a rightist government that is imposing
the cuts, but the social-democratic/Green government under
Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder. The hope of many workers in
the Netherlands that social-democracy in the polls they
are growing - will bring them better conditions is an
illusion.

In both countries and throughout Western Europe it is
expected that the bosses and the big corporations and their
governments will refuse to give up their program of cuts
even when faced with massive demonstrations. That's why
unions will have to mobilize successful and continued
strike actions to stop them.

But, although the union confederations called for
continuation of actions it is clear they don't have a
common agenda and no clear goals.

Comrades, the NCPN gives full priority to trade union work
of the party. We thereby have to overcome many
difficulties. Many years the trade unions were sleeping and
the leadership was negotiating, not struggling. Now the
situation has been changed, we have to give full support on
the trade union work. We think the anti-globalisation
movement mainly finds her base in the intellectual middle
class. What we see now is that the working class is
becoming aware of the necessity of resistance. We have to
play a role in uniting this movements, but also in showing
the anti-globalists that only a struggle in the factories,
schools, hospitals, that only strikes by the working class
will make the bosses and their puppets in governments
nervous.

In this common struggle communist can make many friends and
allies if we are open for the ideas of our allies, if we
are open for their knowledge, if our work is based on
concrete facts. We have to discuss this tactical and
practical questions very careful because otherwise our
analyses, although may be the best, will not be accepted by
the people that are looking for new 'friends', for new
partners in the upcoming class struggle in many West
European countries.

At the same time we have to be very fear in fighting the
new neo-liberal ideology that right wing media, governments
and bosses are trying to get the people to believe in.
Especially at this moment the neo-liberal ideas are used to
brake the growing spirit of the masses. But reality of
daily life and the fairy tales of the bosses are becoming
more and more antagonistic. People are becoming more open
for communist analyses, if such analyses are written in an
open way and based on facts, related to the experiences of
the broad masses. The best analyses will be the ones that
are produced together with other progressive peaceloving
people. Our marxist-leninist instruments to analyze reality
are very strong and effective. Our methods of analyzing are
very attractive and useful for other progressive forces. We
have to find ways to overcome the isolation of communists
in many West European countries, also by acting careful and
with patience. Producing useful analyses and taking part,
as organizers, in the most important progressive movements
is giving us more prestige than we had in many years.

We need this prestige to get the possibility of discussion
with other progressive and active people. After telling the
world that (socialist) ideology was past the world now has
to deal with a massive right wing neo-liberal ideological
attack. Their message is that the welfare state has to
become a participation state, individualism is better than
collectivism, solidarity is for the stupid's. They suggest
that people are not equal, so differences are more
important and strong and clever people have more and better
rights. They try to tell us that only strong
entrepreneurship can give a modern state the possibility to
keep a certain social safety net.

Comrades, I only expressed a few of the many right wing one
liners to confuse the minds of the working class people. We
have to organize a socialist ideological counter attack to
show the people the absolute necessity to restore
solidarity and the knowledge that only a united front will
help them to overcome the dangerous capitalist attacks on
peace, humanity, justice and social security.

We fully support the proposals of the KKE for regional and
specific meetings. The NCPN took the initiative to start a
project, together with the the parties from Luxemburg,
Belgium and Germany that are attending this meeting to
coordinate actions and do research to tackle the
imperialist Lissabon-project that started in 2000.

Long live marxism-leninism, long live our socialist ideas.
Proletarians of all countries unite, now more then ever.