Austria: Controversial Debate on the Liberation Struggle in Palestine at the annual CP Fête

Report from the RKO BEFREIUNG (RCIT’s Austrian Section) and the Youth Organization RED*REVOLUTION, 13.9.2014, www.rkob.net und www.redrevolution.at

 

The Revolutionary Communist Organization LIBERATION (RKO BEFREIUNG, RCIT’s Austrian Section) and the Youth Organization RED*REVOLUTION had a well-organized intervention at the annual political and cultural event of the Communist Party (similar to the L’Humanité fete of the French CP) which took place on 30/31 August. We have booked space for a stall twice as big as in the past years because – as a result of our growth – we have much more publications and other things to present. Amongst our latest publications were the September issues both of the Austrian section’s as well as of the youth organizations monthly paper. In addition we presented three new issues of the German-language theoretical journal REVOLUTIONÄRER KOMMUNISMUS as well as two new issue of our English-language theoretical journal REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNISM.

One of German-language journals consists of a booklet about Alcoholism and the workers movement written by Nina Gunić. In this study comrade Gunić analysis the world-wide consumption of alcohol and the differences which exist between the classes, the imperialist and the semi-colonial world as well as between the genders. She shows, using the latest data of the UN’s World Health Organization as well as many other studies of health scientists, that contrary to the widespread believe amongst many Western leftists (who usually like to take a bottle) nearly two third of the world population is abstinent (particularly in the semi-colonial countries). Comrade Gunić also elaborates in separate chapters the attitude to alcohol amongst the German social democracy before 1914 as well as of the Russian Bolsheviks. She shows that while the German socialists had an ambiguous attitude, the Bolsheviks had a clear anti-alcohol policy which they put into practice after the victorious October revolution in 1917. She also demonstrates how the Stalinist bureaucracy reversed these gains step by step which helped the return of widespread drunkenness. In her final chapter comrade Gunić explains why a revolutionary communist organization should combine the struggle against repression by the bourgeois state (like criminalization of cannabis) with a campaign inside the working class and the poor against alcoholism and drug consumption.

Despite heavy rain on both days our militants were very active in discussing with people about our ideas and selling our publications. While a public meeting on the crisis and class struggle in Greece planned for Saturday fell prey to the heavy rain, we had more luck with our second meeting on Sunday (albeit then it was raining too).

In this second meeting we had a public debate with the Austrian CWI section on Israel and the liberation struggle in Palestine. Comrade Franz Neuhold spoke for the CWI while comrade Johannes Wiener presented the views of the RCIT. Comrade Rebecca Stauder, a young spokesperson of the RKO BEFREIUNG, was the moderator. There was a lot of interest in this public debate which was reflected in the fact that 80 people came to the meeting despite rain. Some Zionist provocateurs from the so-called “Anti-German left” tried to disrupt our meeting but they were quickly thrown out by the women and men of our security service.

The CWI representative defended his organization’s support for s “socialist” two-state solution as well as why their Austrian section has abstained from pro-Palestinian demonstrations since years. (We will publish an extensive document in the next days in which we will deal in detail with the CWI position on Israel and the Palestinian liberation struggle.)

Comrade Wiener explained why a two-state solution (“socialist” or not socialist) is undemocratic because it denies the Palestinian people the return to their homeland. He also elaborated why it is indispensable for socialists to support the Palestinian liberation struggle in words and deeds without giving political support to the petty-bourgeois and bourgeois leaderships of this struggle. He emphasized that socialists must fight for a “Free, Red Palestine”.

All in all it was a highly successful intervention of the RCIT’s Austrian Section and the Youth Organization RED*REVOLUTION and a good beginning for our work in autumn.

 

Pictures from the stall of the RCIT’s Austrian Section and the Youth Organization RED*REVOLUTION as well as from the public debate with the CWI can be viewed here:

http://www.rkob.net/wer-wir-sind-1/rkob-aktiv-bei/bericht-volksstimmefest-2014/