Year 2000 No. 132, August 11, 2000

London Regional Forum Discusses Relation of Mass Party Press to Consolidating Party on New Historical Basis

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

London Regional Forum Discusses Relation of Mass Party Press to Consolidating Party on New Historical Basis

James Larkin Commemoration

FARC Condemns Clinton Trip

IMF and World Bank Challenged

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London Regional Forum Discusses Relation of Mass Party Press to Consolidating Party on New Historical Basis

Yesterday, August 10, RCPB(ML) in the London Region held the second in a series of fortnightly Forums on the "The Mass Party Press".

The Forum was opened by a presentation from a representative of the Party centre on "The Mass Party Press and the Role of the Modern Communist Party". Amongst other things he spoke of the necessity, in present conditions, for a communist party based on modern definitions. This modern communist party must be built on a new historical basis. It has to be a Party of leaders with all members and activists fully involved in elaborating the Party’s line and implementing it by participating in class struggle ideologically and politically. He pointed out that the Party’s 3rd Congress had not only set the seal on the previous period of the Party’s work but also created the conditions for the consolidation of the Party on this new historical basis.

The representative pointed out that the Party has to be built in the heart of the working class and that the Party’s paper Workers’ Weekly is the scaffolding around which the Party is built. He explained that the significance of the Mass Party Press must be seen in this context, as a means to link the Party with the class, to allow the Party to organise the vanguard of the class and to create the conditions for a Mass Communist Party that can reach out to the masses of the people, break with the passivity and marginalisation and lead the working class and people to set their own agenda and line of march for a new socialist society.

Following the presentation, activists and supporters were able to deepen their understanding of the Party’s tasks, discussing how they could be implemented in the London Region. Amongst other things it was pointed out that one of the most important tasks is strengthening the unity and consciousness amongst all activists and sympathisers of the Party’s role and programme, so as to build and consolidate the force which understands the tasks of the Modern Communist Party and the working class movement and the relationship between these and the Mass Party Press. It was also stressed that one of the key areas of class struggle is the ideological struggle, the need to combat the agenda of the bourgeoisie, particularly the politics of conciliation promoted through the Labour Party’s so-called "Third Way".

Those attending the Forum discussed at length how to step up the Party’s work in the London region, including the raising of finance and the mass dissemination of Workers’ Weekly. It was also decided to initiate a study programme at the Forums centred on the Political Report to the Party’s 3rd Congress, The Line of March to a New Society. The Forum concluded in a militant atmosphere with all those present making a financial contribution to the Party’s work.

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James Larkin Commemoration

WDIE has been informed that the third annual James Larkin Commemoration March and Rally is to take place in Liverpool.

The event will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2000, assembling at 12 noon at Mount Pleasant, and marching through Liverpool City Centre. Bands will be in attendance and the Rally will be addressed by prominent speakers. A social will follow. More information will be available, say the organisers, closer to the event.

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FARC Condemns Clinton Trip

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) has condemned a planned visit by US President Bill Clinton as a violation of Colombian sovereignty.

The brief visit by President Clinton, due to take place at the end of this month, is said by the authorities to show solidarity with the Colombian government over their war on drugs. However, a FARC spokesperson pointed out that the visit would be used as a pretext to interfere in Colombia's internal affairs.

The visit comes after the US Congress approved the sending of another £1.3 billion in military aid to Colombia. This decision had been met with an outcry of protest.

A statement of the Colombia Action Network said: "This money will pay for hi-tech satellite surveillance equipment and brutal attack helicopters. Under the guidance of North American military advisors, this equipment will be used in direct combat with the guerrillas who operate in southern Colombia. Military aid is an attack on Colombia’s fragile peace negotiations, and it won’t stop drug use in the United States."

In protests in the US against the military aid, which the Clinton administration claims is to help equip and train the Colombian security forces in anti-narcotics operations, speakers pointed out that the war on the people of Colombia is not a war on drugs but a racist war on the poor, both in Colombia and the US.

More than 30 human rights groups have written to President Clinton demanding that the money be withheld because of the Colombian government’s record on human rights. This is part of the growing movement to end military aid to the Colombian authorities and an end to all US intervention in Colombia, and in support of the struggle of the Colombian people to exercise their sovereignty.

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IMF and World Bank Challenged

The following is the text of the General Position of the Initiative against Economic Globalisation - Prague 2000 issued on the occasion of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund summit in Prague. It has been released by INPEG (Iniciativa Proti Ekonomické Globalizaci).

About twenty thousand of the world's bankers, economists and investors will arrive in Prague in order to take part in the 55th Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WB) and the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from September 26-28, 2000. This prestigious event of the global economic elite, the first one of its kind in the Central East Europe, is of a special importance. The delegates will gather so as to propose the scheme of the complete liberalisation of the global economy, which they present as a single instrument for the solution of the world's problems.

We do not endorse this opinion. On the contrary, we consider the economic globalisation as well as the policy of WB and IMF as a major cause of the serious problems of today's world and not as a chance for the majority of mankind living in destitution or as an opportunity for the deflection of the global environmental crisis. This summit is a challenge to those who are concerned about the destiny of today's world. The IMF and WB have influenced it negatively for more than 50 years. In this connection we recall that the summit will cost at least 935 million crowns of public money which are desperately needed in the social programmes, healthcare, education, environmental protection, etc.

In the process of economic globalisation which involves progressive curtailment of the state influence upon the circulation of transnational capital both institutions play crucial roles. By means of its economic policy the IMF as well as the World Bank and its groups open developing countries (among which they also count with regard to its GNP the Czech Republic) to foreign investors and their speculative interests. The IMF and WB openly acknowledge that they are led only by economic considerations and thus willingly support various authoritative or dictatorial regimes. No wonder these institutions are not democratic themselves – the decision rights of single members depend upon the amount of invested money according to the principle "more dollars, more votes".

Within the framework of the so called Structural Adjustment Programmes the IMF and the World Bank determine strict conditions for providing loans to the developing countries including deregulation, liberalisation and privatisation. These measures strengthen the position of transnational capital but worsen the situation of the majority of populations in the developing world. The removal of social and environmental regulations (which might "discourage" the investors) and cuts in public spending result in the inaccessibility of health care and education, sharp increases of living costs, job-reductions, unemployment and curtailment of union rights.

The impacts on agriculture are especially devastating as production aimed at local self-sufficiency is suspended and the countries are compelled to raise monocultures for export, which leads to food shortages and in some countries even to famine. The impacts of the IMF and WB activities on the environment are also tragic – the megalomaniac projects of the World Bank result in the destruction of local ecosystems as well as in the enforced relocation of millions of people.

The principal objective of these programmes is to allow for the penetration of foreign speculative capital, which does not contribute to the creation of any value. It only takes advantage of the absence of social and environmental regulations, takes control of the markets and sometimes destroys entire industrial branches. The recommendations of the IMF and WB thus mostly do not lead to the promised economic growth. The only thing left behind is a huge debt and in order to check its further increase, the separate countries have to pay considerable sums at least for amortisation of interest payments. Arguments pointing to the influx of foreign investments sound insincere and unconvincing.

Today roughly 40,000 members of the global financial oligarchy control 80% of the world's trade. The possessions of the 200 richest people are larger than the total income of 41% of the world’s population. More than 250 million children have to work in the most inhuman conditions for bare survival. About 17 million children die every year from easily curable diseases. The desperate condition of today's world is not natural – it is merely a logical consequence of the system in which heightening of the profits of the most rich is the only respected value.

We do not think that we can oppose this development only through lobbying at the institutions like the IMF and the WB. We rely rather upon the movements from below made up from diverse groups like trade unions, unemployed, small or landless peasants, environmental initiatives, radical democratic political organisations, etc. Finding an alternative to the current social model is in our view an urgent necessity. However, we do not think that globalisation can be opposed by the protective policy of the national state which has already shown how willingly it succumbs to transnational corporations. We believe that the alternative is a society which is based not on the profit of a few but on the genuine needs of many, on the principles of solidarity, mutual assistance and sustainable development.

Although our views on the origins of the serious problems of today's world and their solution differ, we regard the September summit of the IMF and WB as such a crucial challenge that we have founded a common platform Initiative Against Economic Globalisation - Prague 2000. It is not a new organisation with an independent programme, but a democratic instrument of mutual communication and co-ordination between diverse groups which plan to react to the IMF and WB summit. It should contribute to the wider publicity of actions organised by these groups. Together we want to organise some protest(s), lectures, and educational and cultural events. The main event should be a counter-summit during which the specific harmful aspects of the economic globalisation as well as the search for alternatives could be discussed.

Initiative Against Economic Globalisation - Prague 2000 is open to all liberal-minded individuals and groups that would like to express their opinions regarding the summit of the IMF and WB. We propose this initiative as a common platform which, while maintaining the programme autonomy of the separate groups, strengthens their voice even more. Similar gatherings of the institutions of economic globalisation are attended by increasing resistance of the general public. Let the voice of protests echo also in Prague. Let us face the globalisation of capital with the globalisation of solidarity.

Support or approval with the General Position of Initiative Against Economic Globalisation - Prague 2000 may be expressed via e-mail address Prague2000_cz@hotmail.com. We will also welcome any information about the form of co-operation and assistance you can offer. This concerns also distribution of this statement. Other information can be found also on the web page http://inpeg.ecn.cz.

Prague, March 1st, 2000

Initiative Against Economic Globalisation - Prague 2000

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