22-24 June 2001, Athens
Representatives from 54 Parties from 41 countries from all continents attended the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties that was held in Athens on 22-24 June on the topic “Communists and the labour and trade union movement”. Many other, not in position to be present for various reasons, expressed their support to the initiative.
During the three-day meeting there was a rich debate and exchange of views among the Communist and Workers' parties. It was generally acknowledged that such meetings of Communist and Workers' parties are both useful and necessary.
Quite a few speakers mentioned the need for such meetings to continue to be convened and with greater frequency, as they show that despite the difficult conditions prevailing both internationally and locally, Communist and Workers' parties continue to act, meet and exchange their experience, constituting a force with significant action on all continents.
Many of the speakers stressed that the factor that has been developing in the recent period internationally is the mass popular opposition to and mobilization against the policy of Organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the IMF and the World Bank as well as the EU summit meetings, that constitute the instruments and keys for the implementation of the policy of imperialist governments and monopoly capital. These gatherings have been faced with anti-summits where many movements expressed their opposition to the policy applied by the mentioned international organizations and proposed various measures to deal with it (Seattle, Washington, Prague, Nice, Quebec etc., but also May Day 2001).
There were also many speakers who stressed the importance and referred to the preparations for the demonstrations that will be taking place during the G 8 meeting in Genoa, on July, in Italy. Some of the participants also noted the importance of the co-ordination of the Communist and Workers' actions at the demonstrations against the summit meeting in Brussels on December of 2001. The Parties support the international meeting in Salvador against the �Plan Colombia�, as well as the international meeting �for Peace in Colombia�. In the meanwhile there was stressed the need to develop locally, as well, the protests on the occasion of the gatherings of the imperialistic organizations all over the world.
As noted by a number of speakers, these developments objectively create a basis which brings many of these movements very close to those countries which demand a radical change in the distribution of the world's wealth, which is concentrated in ever fewer countries and hands.
Many speakers have underlined the necessity to strength the fight and the co-ordination against the privatization and the selling out of the public sector to the multinationals. The participants noted the need to co-operate and develop the solidarity to the peoples and the countries that are in the main target of the policy of the imperialistic �globalization� As has been stressed, these processes show that there is considerable opposition against the actions of imperialist organizations as well as a demystification of the doctrine of �globalization�. At the same time the events prove the timeliness and necessity of socialism.
It was noted in general that an upsurge in resistance and struggle has been observed, both against imperialist warfare, and against the global offensive eroding peoples' rights, against the spread of deadly diseases that decimate entire populations, the increase in unemployment and the so-called flexible forms of employment, and against class and national repression. The operation, presence and action of police forces and military along with unpreceded policing measures, was likewise noted.
There were also quite a few speakers who referred to the new opportunities opened up by these demonstrations for the class forces in the labour and the trade union movement and underscored the need for the yet more active and co-ordinated participation of Communists in these.
One of the most important events, as was stressed, was the appearance in 1999 of strong popular protests and mobilizations set off by the war, enforced by the imperialistic forces, against Yugoslavia. A wave of opposition to NATO and its new doctrine appeared even more openly and militantly, where it embraced a broad public. Participants agreed that there is a need to develop even further the co-ordination and action of Communists in the labour and trade union movement in order to face imperialist interventions and to fight against changes in the borders of the states in any way whatsoever.
A good number of speakers, moreover, noted the need to further reinforce the struggle against the "National Missile Defense Shield" being promoted by the USA, which will cause a fresh round of confrontations and a new arms race.
Likewise the speakers stressed the particular importance of coordinating the struggle of the trade union movements and to focus on capitalist restructuring and the offensive against labour rights and gains, the fight against the international monopolies and the onslaught against working people, as well as the need to co-ordinate this struggle in all the subsidiaries and branches of these companies situated in various countries Quite a few participants spoke of the need to co-ordinate such a struggle internationally and of the special contribution of the Communists to it.
Many also spoke of the particularly difficult conditions prevailing in a number of countries with a ban on political activity in public enterprises and organizations as well as other limitations, persecution and discrimination against Communist parties, Communists and generally all who resist capitalist barbarity and imperialist intervention. There was stressed the need to develop the struggle in order to stop the assassinations and the prosecution of trade unionists and Communists as well as for the release of the political prisoners.
Special mention was made of the just struggle of the Palestinian people in the face of the aggressiveness and barbarity of the Israeli government and the American imperialism in its fight to acquire its own independent state with East Jerusalem its capital, for the withdrawal of the Israelis from all the Arab territory occupied since 1967 and for the return of all refugees. The need to strengthen solidarity with and support for the Palestinian and Cypriot people was underscored.
During the meeting a moment of silence was observed in memory of the heroic resistance of the Soviet Union to Nazi invaders during the Great Patriotic War, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the aggression of fascist Germany against the Soviet Union.
A large number of thoughts and proposals were put forward by many speakers on issues related to the exchange of experience and the development of coordination of action of the parties. There were a good number of suggestions regarding the celebration on May Day in 2002 by the working class worldwide, with particular emphasis placed on issues of world peace under the general slogan that a stop must be put to any thought of implementation of the US National Missile Defence (NMD).