Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the IWL-FI Brings Together 1200 People
Written by Diego Cruz - PSTU*   
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 01:51

A great internationalist meeting during the CSP-Conlutas' congress, which gathers some of the best working class and social movements' activists in Brazil, is held. The event was broadcast live on the IWL-FI website with over 2,000 online netizens.

The ceremony commemorating the 30thanniversary of the International Workers League-Fourth International (IWL-FI) could not be realized at a better moment. Performed on the night of 28th April – the third day of the CSP-Conlutas' Congress – the act fired up the audience of just over 1,200 people who attended for two hours to hear the interventions of older and younger members of the League founded by the Trotskyist leader Nahuel Moreno in 1982 and that is currently present in 23 countries.

The event was opened by the leaders of Brazilian PSTU, Dirceu Travesso, Vanessa Portugal and Ana Luiza, who called to compose the panel representatives from various sections and sympathizing parties of the IWL from Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, US, Britain, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

Didier Dominique, the representative of Batay Ouvriye, a Haitian organization, was also invited to the panel of the act.

Without the IWL, there would be no PSTU

The leader of the Brazilian PSTU Eduardo Almeida put into perspective the challenges and difficulties for the revolutionary positions against Dilma's government. “I see many comrades impressed with the popularity of president Dilma. But, at the time of the Brazilian dictatorship, in 1976, for example, it seemed invincible. Two years ago, the Egyptian people could not imagine that they would overthrow the Mubarak government," he said.

Edu cited the difficulties for the whole left in the 90's, especially the Trotskysts. "At that time, to think about revolution was something very unusual," he said, noting however that "today, the revolutions in North of Africa and the demonstrations in Europe show that the situation is different, all that was solid then, now melts into air." The Brazilian party leader drew applause when he said that "today we are a minority, but the future belongs to us."

Edu also pointed out a fundamental feature that the LIT has nourished in all those years: the proletarian morality, as opposed to the method of “the end justifies the means” thathit almost all the revolutionary organizations. "We have a morality, which is the one based on the brotherhood of fighters." Highlighting the importance of the international organization, Almeida said that the "PSTU would not exist without the IWL-FI."

Oppression and internationalism

The fight against oppression and its place in the struggle for socialism was emphasized by Vera Lúcia in her intervention. She's a black, worker woman and leader of PSTU in Aracaju (SE). "I'm proud of the vanguard role played by the PSTU in the struggle against women, blacks and homosexual oppression," she said.

Vera demystified Dilma's policy on the issue: "Dilma, a woman who was persecuted, imprisoned and tortured, doesn't rule for the working women." Vera criticized governments like Cuba, saying that, far from being socialist, they are dictatorships that oppress sectors such as homosexuals. "In the society we fight for, black and white, men and women, gays and straights will be in igualitarian conditions to live intensely their differences."

Moustapha Wagne, Italian-Senegalese leader of the Party of the Communist Alternative (PdAC), section of the IWL in Italy, made an exciting intervention, professing his faith in the workers struggle and the socialist future of humanity. "It's the struggle that is going to win, the future is going to be ours, not only in Brazil but also in Europe, Africa, Asia, worldwide," he said, making the audience burst into applause.

Meanwhile, Didier Dominique, Batay Ouvriye's leader, stated his impression about the militant internationalism of the IWL-FI. "I can't forget that, when a CSP-Conlutas's delegation was in Haiti for the first time, comrade Toninho said in a meeting that, if it was necessary to burn the Brazilian flag in the struggle against the military occupation, Conlutas would not hesitate in doing that." Didier told that this, in fact, happened in a protest against the military occupation, when flags of the United States and Brazil were burned. "When we did that, I knew that the IWL was with us."


In his intervention, Valério Arcary was capable to turn laughter into tears within minutes. "People always ask me: why are you so optimistic? What do you take for breakfast?", claiming that the whole left has a “sad life and melancholic disposition” today. "That optimism comes from our vision of the world, knowing that the foundations that support capitalism are tiny. Those who raise in the United States the banner of the 99% are right; they are only 1% and can not beat us."

To Arcary, that "critical", as described, and revolutionary optimism, is also of faith in the strength of the working class. "We rely on the working class, even at times when they do not trust themselves," he said. "I can't forget the oil strike of 1995 in Brazil, when in a few weeks of strike, the bourgeoisie was on his knees. And they were only 50,000 workers! When the working class go on strike, nothing functions!"

Against its own imperialism

The audience gave a standing ovation to Blanca's intervention, member of La Voz de los Trabajadores(Workers' Voice), section of the IWL in the US. She said that "to build a revolutionary party in the fortress of imperialism, it must be part of the International and to seek a firm position against its own imperialism, in defense of the exploited and oppressed countries. We, members of the IWL in US, carry this flag," she said.

Created and tested during the fight

Eduardo Barragán, a historic leader of the Morenoist trend and one of the IWL's founders, was invited to close the meeting. He considered the facts of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, three years before the founding of the IWL, to be the fundamental framework for the creation of the organization. Moreno, then leader of the Bolshevik Faction (predecessor of the IWL) in the USec, noted that the working class in Nicaragua supported the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) actions. So, he called for the broadest unity of action against Somoza's dictatorship, organizing the Simon Bolivar International Brigade to fight alongside the Sandinistas.

"In our offices, thousands of volunteers showed up," he recalled. "At that time, all guerrilla organizations, Stalinism, etc., were against the revolution in Nicaragua," he said. The internationalist commitment of the trend that gave birth to the IWL had an acid test: five dead and countless wounded. But Barragán also said that, if IWL's origin was gestated by this policy, so it was by the action of the enemy.

After the fall of Somoza, the policy of the Brigade was to organize the workers in independent trade unions. The Sandinista government reacted by arresting its members, who were also tortured and expelled from Nicaragua. That stablished a new alignment among the Trotskyist currents. Trends that were once anti-revolution, were now unconditionally on the side of the Sandinista government, supporting the prison and expulsion of the Brigade's members. "There was a deep moral problem when some Trotskyist parties placed themselves aside the bourgeois government of FSLN. Moreno, therefore, ended his experience with these currents and two years later founded the IWL-FI."
Four years after its founding, the IWL became a major world Trotskyist current, and his Argentine party, the MAS, the largest Trotskyist organization.

But, Barragán said, the crisis of the Left in the 90's reached even the ranks of the League, which, however, never abandoned the essence of the Trotskyist program to overcome its crisis and to fight for the reconstruction of the Fourth International: the seizure of power by the working class. It meant an astounding difference from the vast majority of the Trotskyist currents, that abandoned any prospect of the struggle for power, often passing bag and baggage to the bourgeois electoral field.

Barragán highlighted, finally, the present of the Trotskyist program and the challenges posed to the IWL-FI, at a time when the world suffers from the greatest crisis of capitalism after 1929, at the same time that the Arab revolutions and the rise in Europe happen. "We have two major challenges: to strengthen our work in Europe and our presence in the Middle East and North of Africa."

* With the aid of the communication team of IWL-FI

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