Attending the meeting were representatives of member and Permanent Observer organisations of the International from Austria, Basque Country, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Quebec/Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, the Spanish state, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA. Comrades from Algeria, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Senegal and Uruguay sent apologies.
Also present as guests were representatives of the DSP (Australia), PSol (Brazil), Vpered (Russia), Solidarity (USA) and ISO (USA). The PRD from Indonesia, the Scottish Socialist Party and Venezuelan organisations which had been invited were unable to be present for practical reasons.
The meeting adopted a resolution on the situation in the Middle East and our tasks. It also heard reports on Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela to open up a more general discussion on the situation in Latin America.
The discussion on Europe focused on experiences of building broad anti-capitalist parties. It also heard reports on the situation in France and the presidential election campaign of LCR candidate Oliver Besancenot.
A direct video link with Italy enabled the meeting to hear at first hand from the Italian comrades, unable to be at the meeting because of the governmental crisis situation in Italy. The meeting adopted a statement of solidarity with Franco Turigliatto, the Sinistra Critica senator who provoked this crisis by refusing to vote for the military budget.
The discussion on Asia focused on the resistances and the threat of war, notably in relation to the undeclared civil war in Sri Lanka with the Tamil population, the resistance in Mindanao Philippines to governmental and US militarisation and the tense situation in Pakistan.
The educational Institute of the International will be moving into new premises and launching a new programme of activities from summer 2007. This will strengthen the International’s presence as a political current in the social movements and is intellectual circles. This important new project was presented by the team responsible for discussion at the IC, complete with slideshow showing the new building under construction.
Statement in solidarity with Franco Turigliatto.
This International Committee of the Fourth International stands in solidarity with the thousands of militants across Italy and internationally who have welcomed the stand of Senator Franco Turigliatto in standing firm against the imperialist war in Afghanistan and against the expansion of a US base at Vicenza.
When 120,000 people marched against the base on February 17, a figure which is more than the population of the city, the Italian anti-war movement once again made its voice heard loud and clear. These are the forces, at home and abroad to whom Turigliatto bore witness in his vote in the senate against the war on February 22.
His stance was also in line with the historical position of the Party of Communist Refoundation, a party which stood with the social movements on the streets of Genoa and afterwards, and with the expectations of millions of voters who have supported this party over the last 15 years.
We note that the response of the leadership of the PRC to this principled stand has been to propose his expulsion from the party. This unacceptable and bureaucratic response is in line with the evolution of the leadership of Rifondazione, away from its relationship with the social movements, which through the pressures to support this current government has broken with its historical legacy. For the radical left, participation in the running of institutions of the bourgeois state always exerts a pressure to compromise our political ideas which can only be countered by an ongoing relationship with the mass movements.
We call on all our militants, on the antiwar and global justice movements internationally to join with us in supporting Franco and signing the petition at www.sinistracritica.org.
28th February 2007