In the first week of January 2007, the foundational Congress of Partito di Alternativa Comunista (PdAC) of Italy was held as a new stage of the organisation PC-ROL (Progretto Comunista - Rifondare l'Opposizione del Lavoratori). Some of the mayor leaders of the IWL, of its European sections and of PSTU - as comrade Ze Maria, attended the event. At its foundational congress, the new party resolved to request admission as a section of the IWL-FI in Italy. From the International Secretariat of the IWL-FI we send them the warmest revolutionary greetings because of the foundation of a new party and the decision made by the comrades of the PdAC to join the IWL-FI.
Numerous local and regional periodicals as well as National newspapers Messangero, Mattino, Stampa and Corriere de la Sera informed about the congress. The PdAC will continue publishing its periodical Progretto Comunista and will soon activate its site with the new name where the summary of reports, resolutions, theses and statutes passed will be available together with photos of the sessions.
What follows is an article by Fabiana Stefanoni with the summary of the Congress.
This is just the beginning!
Summary of the foundational Congress of the Partito di Alternativa Comunista, section of the Workers' International League-Fourth International
About eight month have elapsed since that day in April when, after the electoral victory of Unione, several hundred militants and leaders of Rifondazione Comunista split from it (as this organisation was about to join the Prodi administration) and gave life to a new communist party. These month cannot be regarded as peaceful: right from the first moment, many activists stemming out of Rifondazione Comunista as well as from the grassroots of the trade unions with experience in struggles and movements embraced our project, but only the passing of time and a generous use of energy by our militants gave significant fruit.
Immediately, in almost all the cities in Italy we tried to voice - in spite of absolute silence in national press - a demand we regarded as indeclinable: the construction of a political subject capable of representing, after the passage of Rifondazione Comunista on to the other side of the barricade, the interests of the workers, of the unemployed, of the young people on flexitime, of the immigrants; the construction of a class opposition to a government that was getting ready to represent the interests of the Confindustria and to deliver a hard blow to the popular classes.
We foresaw that, as far as the workers are concerned, the Prodi administration would be even more fatal that its precedent: state budgets (with cuts in social expenditure and retirement funds) have drastically confirmed our forecast. We said that, attempts would be made with the aid of Rifondazione Comunista and of the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labour), to gag the struggles and the demonstrations. We were right in both cases just as we were right when we saw, at that same time and in the midst of this drama for the Italian working class, that space was being cleared to build a communist party worthy of its name, capable of turning its opposition to all the employers' government into a distinct feature of its action. The demonstrations of 4 November against precariousness, the 17 November strike, the protests of the workers of Mirafiori (Fiat), teachers' demonstrations, and demonstrations of immigrants and students: there is no end to the struggles. The Partito di Alternativa Comunista has fixed its mind on an ambitious goal: to voice all the demands in order to build - as the name itself announces - a real alternative.
After so much hard work.
After the split with Rifundazione Comunista, Progretto Comunista succeeded at conciliating two demands: on the one hand, to carry out public rallies with our call to build a new party (public presentation in all the cities, assemblies, press conferences, etc) and, on the other hand and parallel to that, the construction of class opposition to the Prodi administration, with the active participation in all the demonstrations and struggles that, accrued in these months as the illusions that "this administration is better than the previous one" faded away. That is why the most significant adhesion to our project came from workers engaged in the battle against the employers and trade union bureaucracy, from union activists, from the representatives of those movements made for struggle representing the most exploited sectors of the working class, and in the first place the immigrants.
By means of collective work and with broad discussions, the provisional leading organism we had created in April produced a manifesto in the shape of theses and a statute that we submitted to discussion as from the early October in practically all the cities, and significant contributions were received. This permitted us to draw new comrades nearer to our project; new affiliates (militants and sympathisers) joined the process of constitution the new party.
The generous effort made by our cadres (who have proved through deeds that it is not participating in TV debates and media bluffs that a party is built but essentially with blood and flesh militants) has made it possible for us to hold local congresses in many Italian cities. The result was stimulating for us in spite of numerous difficulties, on the 5th, 6th and 7th January, in Rimini, the Partito di Alternativa Comunista (PdAC) was born. The hall was full of representatives and many invited guests. The discussion ("the real one" as comrade Bachos, leader of the Immigrants Committee in Italy, who attended the congress, defined it accurately) was relentless: practically all the representatives, many of them very young, contributed to the three sessions of the Congress (political, international, statutes), contributing significantly to the discussion of the documents and the elaboration of the intervention of the Party in the forthcoming phase. Unlike many congresses or pseudo-congresses, there was nothing artificial and/or manipulating and it was essentially the invited guests who were surprised at seeing that there was no "leader" preaching the guideline down, but collective work of a political project.
Harvest time has come
Work began with a political report by Antonio Marceca, who analysed the present phase, with special emphasis on the attack delivered against the workers through the budgets of the State (Finanziaria). The report asserted the fundamental guidelines of our political intervention and the aim of the construction of the class opposition to the Prodi administration stood out very clearly: intervention in the union struggles parallel to the construction; struggle against the pension reform, against the robbery of the TFR, against precarious labour (with the creation of committees in the work places and in the neighbourhoods) and the battle in defence of the immigrants.
Apart from the comrades already affiliated to the PC-Rol, representatives from different organisations contributed with greeting from their organisations, such as comrade Bachcu, chairman of Dhuumcatu, representing immigrants from Bangladesh and forming part of the Committee of Immigrants in Italy; comrade Rizzo del Slai-Cobas and many international representatives. We listened to the contribution by Bernard Filippi, leader of the public fraction of Lutte Ouvriere, and - on behalf of the International Workers' League-Fourth International - organisation which the Congress decided to join, comrade Ze Maria, president of the Brazilian PSTU- Ze Maria is one of the main leaders of the trade Union organisation, Conlutas, and was presidential candidate in the elections in 2002, and alternative to the right and to Lula. In the latest presidential election (2pp6) the PSTU took part in the presentation of the Left Front, a third alternative to the right wing and to the Popular Front, through the candidature of Heloisa Helena. Also from IWL-FI there were comrade Angel Luis Parras (who spoke on behalf of the International Executive Committee of the IWL-FI) and comrade Jose Moreno Pau, both members of the leadership of the Spanish PRT-IR, comrade Gil Garcia from Portugal, leader of Ruptura-FER and comrades Jan Talpe and Gary Rulbin of the LCT from Belgium. There were also written greetings from other sections of the IWL-FI.
Parallel to the political debate, a discussion on the Statutes was held and the report on that was delivered by comrade Francesco Ricci, confirming the principles that inspired us: the need for the construction of a party of militants; the definition of the criteria to be considered militant (agreement of the programme, active militancy, economic support for the party); rejection o a "light" party that favours the weight of just a few leaders. It was precisely during the discussion on the Statutes that the name of the party was voted by a majority over other proposals presented.
The following session was dedicated to the analysis of the international political situation and the definition of our position in relation to the main international trends that claim to be Trotskyists. A detailed report by comrade Valerio Torre stemmed out of the historic situation, especially the scenarios of the war in the Middle East and the explosive situation in Latin America, and led to the definition of our strategic horizon as from the need for the construction of an international party for the revolution, the Fourth International.
Through a balance sheet of the experiences and errors of the past, comrade Torre's report was summed up in a concrete proposal, already unanimously supported by the outgoing leadership: the request of admission to the IWL-FI (International Workers' League - Fourth International). Thanks to the material distributed by the international work group of the party that was being built and several meetings with leaders and militants of the IWL-FI in Italy, in Madrid and Brussels, the international discussion was rich and ended in enthusiastic approval of the proposal by the Congress.
The following moment - may we be allowed to use the expression - moving: Comrade Caps spoke in the name of the Executive Committee and defined this moment as "historic", stressing the extraordinary synchrony - in spite of the different backgrounds - between the political proposal and the programme of our party and that of the IWL-FI and its sections. Today, IWL-FI has a new section in Italy, a small step towards the re-foundation of the Trotskyist International.
And now, back to work!
The birth of Partito di Alternativa Comunista is just the beginning of a political project: now it is all about reinforcing the party so that it can be a credible reference for the movements in struggle that will be waged in the months to come. The intention of the Prodi administration as far as the workers are concerned are very clear: the more vicious the attack against the workers the more necessary it will be to build a class opposition to this government, that receives the faithful support from Rifondazione Comunista that may gamble the card of accord. We are not going to stand there staring: we shall build the party in the struggles so as to build the struggles themselves together with the party. The task ahead is arduous and ambitious but we have the power of a conviction that sustains us: only the world socialist revolution can free mankind from exploitation and other forms of oppression and from the environmental destruction.