The “new anti-capitalist party” proposed by the LCR in France had its first national meeting on the 28th and 29th June in St Denis near Paris. About 1000 people were present including 800 delegates from local committees.
After a first session of contributions from local committees, the gathering split up into workshops on different themes such as ecology, feminism, internationalism, work in local neighbourhoods, in work places, with the sans papiers...
The meeting ended with the creation of a national coordinating committee to prepare a further national meeting in the autumn and the adoption of a statement.
We will carry further reports on this meeting and the process of creating the new party but we publish here the statement adopted.
Today there are more than 300 committees and the dynamic is getting stronger. This is a result of people becoming conscious: we can no longer put up with a globalized capitalist system which is leading the world to disaster! We now find ourselves in an economic and financial crisis, an energy crisis, a food crisis, whose consequences no one can predict. More than ever, this system is making the search for profit the centre of its decisions, treating the lives of millions of human beings with contempt. Fundamental ecological equilibriums are threatened. Because it is the source of the problem, capitalism, like all productivist systems, is unable to provide a solution to it. In a world of greater and greater inequalities, hunger riots are spreading, as a consequence of the policies of the great imperialist powers, the institutions that serve them (the IMF, the WTO…) and of shameful speculation on essential commodities. The war “without limits” decreed by Bush and his allies, including France, is spreading its horrors throughout the world.
Here in France, Sarkozy and the MEDEF [French employers’ organization] are multiplying attacks which express the arrogance of the powerful. Seldom have right-wing policies been so openly aggressive towards the vast majority of the population. Seldom have the owners of wealth, the shareholders, and the employers shown themselves to be so avid for profits, with contempt for the elementary wellbeing of the people. Yes, everywhere people are exasperated by the attacks on the gains working people have made, on solidarity, on public services, by the difficulty of “making ends meet”, by the worsening of housing and living conditions, by racism and discriminations, by law and order policies… We must not throw away the potential of this exasperation by letting ourselves be taken in by “social dialogue” with the government, by division, by one-day strikes in disorder, one sector after another. Here and now, we can react! Action “all together”, determined and unitary, the generalization of the struggles and the strikes that exist, that is what is needed to defeat the government and its counter-reforms!
To push things in this direction, it is necessary to regroup our forces in a party which does not give up anything, which does not abandon anyone. It is not possible to unite in the same party those who want to finish with capitalism and those who put up with it. It is not possible to have in the same government those who defend the rights of the workers and those who defend the power of shareholders, those who want to break with liberal policies and those who put them into practice, those who want to build a Europe of the workers and the most dedicated artisans of a Europe of free competition and profit. That is why we want a party completely independent of the Socialist Party, a party which defends to the end the interests of all the exploited.
We call on you to build, all together, a Left which does not give up, a fighting, anti-capitalist, internationalist, anti-racist, ecologist, feminist Left, a Left that is revolted by all forms of discrimination. To change the world, we need a party which fights to the end against the system, for the revolutionary transformation of society. The Left that we want must be organized on an international, and in particular European, scale. It must be present in elections, without ever forgetting that it is the social, cultural and ecological mobilizations that will impose change.
Bearing in mind past experiences, we will work out together, by taking the time to discuss, a new democratic socialist perspective for the 21st century. We do not have a model, especially not the regimes of the last century that claimed to be “communist”, but we have objectives. To put an end to the dictatorship that capital imposes on the economy and the entire society, to build the broadest democracy that humanity has ever known, where the “invisible hand of the market” will be replaced by collective decisions. There are more and more of us who want to meet this challenge. Individuals, groups of activists, revolutionary political currents, libertarians, communists, socialists, ecologists, anti-liberals, let us keep on uniting! … In their village, their neighbourhood, their workplace, their place of study, each and every one can and must bring, at their own speed, their contribution to the building of this pluralist and democratic instrument. Success is within our grasp.
Let us go forward!
St Denis, Sunday June 29, 2008.