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Anti-imperialist forces consolidate network during meeting in Greece

19. May 2006

A first balance sheet of the International Anti-imperialist Anti-capitalist Meeting

From 4-7 May, 2006 the “International Anti-imperialist Anti-capitalist Meeting” (IAAM) took place in Athens, Greece. It was organised in parallel to the European Social Forum (ESF) intending to propose alternatives to latter’s neo-reformism and civilism.

From the very beginning of the anti-globalisation movement the Anti-imperialist Camp together with various other fraternal forces have been contesting the movement’s paradigm embodied by its former icon Toni Negri: “Globalisation does away with the nation state and also with imperialism. Thus another world is possible within or beyond (which is synonymous) this capitalist world.”

The American imperial war drive has falsified all these assumptions and Negri is at best a relict but actually he has become an open apologist of liberalism for example defending the European Union’s ultra-reactionary constitution.

From the onset of the movement the anti-imperialists argued that the popular struggles for national liberation and against imperialism, the concrete resistance movements in Yugoslavia, Palestine, Iraq, Colombia, Venezuela etc. are the only force which can stop globalisation and war. Therefore the anti-globalisation movement must take side with the anti-imperialist resistance.

Greece an advanced outpost

It is the first time in Europe that the major part of the radical left with its different currents have been supporting an independent anti-imperialist gathering. This shows that an operative network or alliance of the anti-imperialist forces co-operating with the left wing of the anti-globalisation anti-war movement is about to take shape. Beside the KKE-ml, which had already organised such an event on a smaller scale in Thessalonica on the occasion of an EU summit, there have been the “New Left Current” (NAR), the “Revolutionary Workers’ Party” (EEK) and the “Revolutionary Communist Movement” (EKKE).

For example on the question of the centrality of the support to the Iraqi resistance there has been complete consensus. Given the isolation and conflicts we have experienced in the last years on this battle field this is indeed a significant achievement.

Meanwhile the KKE, the mainstream Communist Party which is still the strongest force of the Greek left and in difference to all the other European CP did not transform into open social-democrats, kept passive and absent. They correctly refuse to participate at the ESF from a left posture. At the same time, however, in their hubris to be the one and only party, refuse in the same way to back and join the anti-imperialists. This not only shows their incapacity to understand the relevance of the anti-globalisation movement for this period after the collapse of the historic left and the ensuing need to propose to its left wing a concrete anti-imperialist alternative. It indicates as well that their anti-imperialism is often only rhetorical. In their Breshnewist attitude on the long run they risk to implode like their mentors.

A second part of the Greek radical left led by the “Communist organisation of Greece” (KOE) chose to organise an Anti-imperialist Space within the ESF with the argument that only from within the crisis of the ESF could led to a strengthening of anti-imperialism. Despite their honest attempt best expressed in their open support for the Iraqi resistance this “entrist” line was revealed to be strategically flawed. To have an impact on the anti-globalisation movement we have to stand upon our own feet, take independent action, have our own voice. This does in no way impede dialogue nor co-operation. Actually independence is its precondition. Without it you disappear in the folklore of civil society. From their stems the utmost importance of the independent anti-imperialist gatherings which must be judged according to their ability to take concrete political positions and schedule activities and the fronts against imperialism.

Concrete campaigns

The Anti-imperialist Camp participated in the IAAM with a proposal for the next immediate tasks of the anti-imperialists:

a) Continue the campaign in support of the Iraqi resistance by organising an international conference in Europe.
b) Struggle against the starvation campaign imposed on the Palestinian people and recognise its legitimately elected government.
c) Build a campaign against the impending aggression on Iran
d) Support the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela led by president Hugo Chavez by materialising his proposal for an anti-imperialist front.

The fact that the continuation of the support campaign to the Iraqi resistance was enthusiastically welcomed serves as evidence for the success of our common efforts in the last period. Nevertheless under the surface among some forces remains the “politically correct” prejudice against Political Islam in general without looking on the concrete role a specific movements is playing which. This prevents them to take fully side with those being aggressed. This can be traced back to abstract principles which are imposed on a changed reality. One can observe it also in relation with the scepticism towards Chavez. Another obstacle which is still to be torn down is an organisational patriotism which does not respect the fact that the anti-imperialist movement is fragmented. We need unity in action on the main questions of the conflict with the empire while accepting the political diversity on further issues at least for the next period.

Concluding we can say that the IAAM that an important step forwards for an viable anti-imperialist coalition thanks mainly to the great work of our Greek friends and comrades.

Forward to an Anti-imperialist Front!

Anti-imperialist Camp