Appeal of the national coordination of action committees for a New Anti-capitalist Party
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
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.
are thousands of workers, men and women, from the cities and the
countryside, with or without employment, with or without papers, young
people, pensioners, precarious workers, activists from political
organisations, trade-unions, associations, new and old, who are in the
process of making this project a reality.
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 globalised
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’ organisation] 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 generalisation of the struggles and the
strikes that exist, that is what is needed to defeat the government and
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
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 mobilisations 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
Let us go forward!
St Denis, Sunday June 29, 2008.
[This statement forst appeared in International Viewpoint, at http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article1492 ]
* * *
Building a new anti-capitalist party - A progress report to the LCR's national leadership
By Ingrid Hayes
on the meeting of the National Leadership (DN) of the LCR over the
weekend of May 17-18, some elements on the progress of the process of
building the new anti-capitalist party (NPA)
On what information are these elements based?
information coming directly from towns and departments, synthesized
each week in an inventory of the situation sent out in the national
circular of the LCR;
- on a questionnaire that was filled out by the members of the DN concerning the NPA committees in their department.
1. How many committees are there?
This information is still partial but
gives us a fairly reliable estimate of the number of committees: at the
present time we can calculate that there exist a minimum of 250
committees already established and active, and at least a hundred in
the process of being set up. Moreover, in a series of cities and
departments, activity around the NPA has started but is not yet
sufficiently advanced for us to consider that a committee is being set
up. In all, activity is under way in more than 80 departments [out of
95 in Metropolitan France].
2. What form do they take?
a. In general they are set up on a geographical basis.
The great majority of the committees
already existing or in the process of being set up are established on a
geographical basis. There also exist also several dozen youth
committees, often organised around universities or high schools. On the
other hand, committees based on industries or workplaces are still very
few, which undoubtedly reflects the difficulty of this work. The
majority of the industrial committees are centred on the health sector,
some are organised by rail workers or teachers and one functions in the
Paris region with workers from 12 enterprises of the graphic industries.
b. The size of the committees.
It varies, between committees which
function through well-attended general meetings based on a town or a
department and others which are very small (less than 10 people)
3. Who is involved?
a. On the number of people involved.
It is still difficult to estimate. It
is certain that several thousand people who are not members of the LCR
are involved, and that they are the majority in the process.
Furthermore, in certain cases (more than 15 per cent) there was no
branch of the Ligue before the NPA committee was set up. So although
the existence of a branch of the LCR is an important criterion, it is
not always a necessary precondition.
b. The composition of the membership
At the present stage, it is not yet
possible to give elements of information in terms of social composition
and age. We will have to follow this up.
The new members for the NPA are often
trade unionists, members of local or national associations, former
members of political parties, but for the majority it is their first
experience of being involved in an organized structure. In any case we
can see great political heterogeneity, since the process is brining
together ex-members of various parties of the left and far-left, former
supporters of Jose Bove’s presidential campaign, radical ecologists,
c. The ratio of women to men
According to a calculation carried out
on a sample of approximately 160 committees, the numerical relationship
between women and men is not up to our objective: there are
approximately 35 per cent women.
Having said that, this ratio is
comparable with that which exists within the LCR. It is nevertheless an
important question to work on, because it concerns an essential aspect
of the kind of society that we want to build, it is a condition for
women to be able to play a full part and for the concerns and the
demands of women to be taken up and defended by the future organization.
4. The diversity of rhythms
Seventeen pet cent of the committees
were established before March and more than 70 per cent in March-April,
without taking into account the committees that are in the course of
That confirms the desynchronization
that we have noticed since the beginning of the process, but it is
actually quite limited, since work basically started after the
municipal elections. We should nevertheless note that a series of areas
and departments are very much in advance of the rest: the Haut-Rhin
department around Mulhouse, Aquitaine (in particular Gironde and the
Pyrenees-Atlantiques), Brittany, Franche-Comte, the city of Paris,
Midi-Pyrenees (in particular Tarn and the Toulouse area of Toulouse),
the Nord/Pas-de-Calais region, Upper Normandy (Le Havre and the Rouen
conurbation) and the Bouches-du-Rhone [the area around Marseilles].
Although some towns and departments are
reporting difficulties in launching the process, this only represents a
small minority, to which we have to give help. In the vast majority of
cases, it is enthusiasm which prevails, and even a certain astonishment
on seeing the extent of the interest and dynamics provoked by the
The first phase of the process is an
indisputable success: the interest and the dynamics are there, the
political delimitations defined by the appeal launched at the LCR
congress already seem to be collectively accepted, in particular as
regards independence with respect to the Socialist Party. The
discussions cover every possible subject, on the need to organise as a
party, on democracy and internal functioning, on the link with
mobilizations, on trade-union intervention, on how to address a broad
audience, on strategic and programmatic questions; and the activity of
the committees themselves has really started.
It remains to amplify this phase in
places where things are less advanced, but especially to pass on to the
second phase, of the stabilization of the committees in terms of
participation and commitment. In general there exists a solid core made
up of members of the Ligue and of non-members, the latter taking their
share of responsibilities for the political and organisational aspects
of the process (this is a decisive element, in particular for the
second phase), but we sometimes see, beyond this core, that there is
some turnover. We have to make sure that the party that is being built
becomes a place that everyone feels is theirs, which means that we have
to have more thorough collective discussions on the party, its
functioning, its programme, but also that we have to strengthen its
activity, anchored in local and national mobilisations.
[Ingrid Hayes is a member of the National Leadership of the LCR
(French section of the Fourth International), with particular
responsibility for work
in the global justice movement. This document first appeared in
International Viewpoint, at http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article1490]