Report from a meeting of the International Executive Committee of the RCIT, 15 March 2023, www.thecommunists.net
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency held a meeting of its International Executive Committee (IEC) on Saturday 11 March. The IEC is the highest leadership body of the RCIT in-between the congresses and meets 3-4 times a year. The meeting, chaired by comrade Medina Avdagić from the RCIT’s International Bureau, was attended by 13 comrades from Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Occupied Palestine, Nigeria, Britain, and Austria. It was held in English, Spanish and Russian language with translations provided by the comrades Nao Hong and Lia Tinch.
Two issues were at the focus of the meeting:
1) a report about the women’s work in Argentina;
2) the latest developments of the world situation.
Women’s’ work in Argentina
Comrade Gabriela Capurro from Convergencia Socialista (RCIT Section in Argentina) reported about the development of their women’s work. The comrades started to build a broader women’s structure already several years ago. After making some experience, an organisation called Defensorías de Géneros (Gender Defenders) was set up. A key task of DdG is the promotion of self-defence actions against sexist violence. As part of these activities, our comrades help to solve many cases related to sexist violence every day.
The comrades have combined these women’s activities with their long-standing mass work in Lomas de Zamora (a working-class district in the Province of Buenos Aires), centred around the Instituto 103 del Profesorado (an Institute of Higher Education). Here the comrades of Convergencia Socialista have successfully built the Lista Roja (Red List) which received nearly half of the votes at the last trade union elections. (For reports with pictures and videos about some important mass mobilisations organised by the comrades last year see e.g. https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/argentina-revolutionaries-at-center-of-mass-struggle-in-education/)
The comrades have helped to organise important street mobilizations and other actions, directed against abusers and femicides. For example, they pushed back the activities of a network of prostitution, which had tried to kidnap some students from the Instituto 103 and managed to put them in jail – with an exemplary sentence.
Gabriela reported that this case, which has become emblematic, is one of several victories obtained by our organization. A few days ago, a campaign of the comrades resulted in a harsh sentence against a paedophile, who abused the sisters of a student from the Instituto 103. If this sentence is carried out – which everything indicates – it will be a harsh sentence of 20 years in prison. It would set a historical precedent, since in Argentina such a punishment has never been imposed on a child molester. (For some reports with pictures and videos see e.g. https://www.thecommunists.net/oppressed/women-s-liberation/#anker_14)
Another significant campaign was, and continues to be, the demand for the freedom and acquittal of our comrade, Karen Marín. She was imprisoned for almost three years for defending herself against a group of men who tried to rob and abuse her. The comrades managed to get her released until the oral and public trial is held, which will take place in August of this year. (For some reports with pictures and videos see e.g. https://www.thecommunists.net/oppressed/women-s-liberation/#anker_13)
The Ukraine War and the situation in Russia
Comrade Denis Sokolov from Socialist Tendency (RCIT Section in Russia) made an introduction about the latest developments in Russia. He reported about the growing dissatisfaction of soldiers as they suffer from lack of material support. He also pointed to some interesting developments which reflect growing divisions within the ruling elite of the Putin regime. While the official line is to continue the war “as long as it takes”, some sectors are promoting the idea to start peace negotiations rather sooner than later. (See on this e.g. https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/mutiny-of-national-minority-battalions-in-the-russian-army/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/report-on-political-situation-in-russia-for-february-2023/)
Comrade Michael Pröbsting from the International Bureau introduced a comprehensive document titled “Towards a Turning Point in the Ukraine War?”. A draft of this document had already circulated among comrades for some time and the document was discussed and unanimously adopted by the IEC. (see https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/towards-a-turning-point-in-the-ukraine-war/)
Reports on Occupied Palestine, Nigeria, Britain, Argentina and Brazil
In addition, the meeting received a report from comrade Yossi Schwartz from the Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine). He spoke about the reactionary regime of President Said in Tunisia which – after coming to power via a constitutional coup in July 2021 – is increasing its repression of the opposition. In addition, the regime has started a racist campaign of hatred against Black migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa. (see on this e.g. https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/tunisia-down-with-dictator-kais-saied/)
Furthermore, the comrade reported about the accelerating domestic crisis of the Israeli Apartheid State. He emphasized that this is a conflict between two reactionary camps struggling for domination but sharing the desire to draconically oppress the Palestinian people. The comrade concluded: “There is no side to take because all sides are fighting for the existence of the Apartheid state.” (see on this e.g. https://the-isleague.com/the-pogrom-and-its-supporters/)
Comrade Raimi Akegbejo from the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (RCIT Section in Nigeria) made an introduction about the situation in Nigeria after the Presidential elections. The official result of the elections, which was riddled with massive fraud, was a victory of a candidate favored by the ruling elite. (see on this https://communism4africa.wordpress.com/2023/03/05/on-the-recently-concluded-presidential-elections/ and https://communism4africa.wordpress.com/2023/02/17/perspectives-on-the-general-elections-in-nigeria/)
The comrade also emphasized that the political situation in Nigeria is characterized by the hegemony of a Northern power block (led by Fulani forces) which is dominating – in collaboration with imperialist powers – various ethnicities of the South.
Comrade Laurence Humphries from the RCIT Britain gave a report about important class struggles in Europe. There were already several days of actions in France against Macron’s pension reform. These mobilisations experienced a record participation – among the highest in the past 50 years! According to the trade union, more than 3 million people demonstrated at the last day of action on 7 March. In Britain, healthcare workers have been at the center of protests. The conservative Sunak government tries to ride out the strikes. Unfortunately, the problem in Britain is that the strikes are separated from each other, and the idea of a general strike is not advocated by trade union leaders. (see e.g. https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/activities-on-the-ground-1/)
Comrade Damián Quevedo from Convergencia Socialista reported about recent political developments in Argentina. He said that the situation has been characterized by the combination of an economic crisis, resulting among others in an escalating inflation, and an almost permanent political crisis, which is basically a crisis of the regime. This situation is aggravated by the beginning of the electoral campaign, since in autumn this year there are Presidential elections in Argentina. In this context, the Argentinean left is facing a historic opportunity, not only to get many votes (which is very likely) but to lead the rebellions to come. For this, it must break with the tendencies that bring it closer to progressivism, i.e. the tendency to capitulate to populist forces of the bourgeoisie. (see on this e.g. https://convergenciadecombate.blogspot.com/2023/02/la-crisis-y-division-de-los-partidos.html)
The chronic political crisis is revealed, among others, in frequent local protests over the social situation, power outages or crime, in which the population responds via direct actions. For example, a local rebellion happened recently in the city of Rosario as a result of the increasing violence of drug gangs which led to the murder of an 11-year-old boy. (see on this e.g. https://convergenciadecombate.blogspot.com/2023/03/el-avance-de-los-narcos-en-rosario-y.html)
Comrade Joao Evangelista from Corriente Comunista Revolucionaria (RCIT Section in Brazil) gave a report about the political situation in Brazil since the electoral victory of Lula at the Presidential elections. He drew attention to revelations about the horrible persecution of the Yanomami – a small indigenous people in the Amazon region – by the previous Bolsonaro government. In this period, deaths of the Yanomami due to malnutrition did increase by 331%! This tragic development, considered by many to be a genocide, is related not only to the deforestation in the Amazon region but also to increasing gold mining in the Yanomami region, which has poisoned the rivers with mercury, thus making the indigenous people's food source unviable.
Furthermore, the Lula Administration – a popular front government – shows no desire to remove several crucial attacks which did take place in the past years. Among these are the pension reform (which raised the minimum age from 60 to 65 years for men and 62 for women), a reactionary educational reform and the Labor Reform, which has made relations between labor and capital even more precarious. (https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/brazil-how-should-revolutionaries-act-against-the-bolsonarista-mobilization/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/brazil-neither-lula-nor-bolsonaro-in-2nd-round-of-presidential-elections/)
The latest meeting of our IEC was highly fruitful. Despite our small size, we make important experiences in interventions in the class struggle. The women’s work of our Argentinean section is only one example of this. At the same time, we are capable of analysing important developments in the world situation and adapt the revolutionary program to such changes. All this reflects that the RCIT is a growing international organization – combining theory and practice – with sections in a number of important countries on five continents.