Final political statement approved by large majority at 1st Nationl Conference of Sinistra Anticapitalista (Italy)
January 31, 2016
The first national conference of Sinistra Anticapitalista records with satisfaction the development of the organization, albeit still insufficient, in its first three years of existence and confirms the eco-socialist, feminist and revolutionary project, adopted in September 2013 by the founding assembly.
The conference passes the introductory report and the final statement.
We strongly condemn the brutal rollback of rights and social gains that Renzi government has perpetrated, deepening and exacerbating the neoliberal policy that had characterized all the Italian governments (center-right, center-left or so called ‘technocratic’) over the last 25 years. Particularly, southern areas of the country suffered more violently from the effects of austerity policies as it is argued in the contribution of southern comrades which the Conference also includes as its reference materials.
Specifically, we condemn the curtailing of Workers’ Rights Act, the counter-reform of secondary education, the spending cuts to local authorities, substantially resulting in the crushing of municipality-provided services, the hollowing out of public retirement pensions and of social security’s solidarity-based system; we speak out against the policies of wage reduction, current attacks on public health system, on the right to strike, collective bargaining, public workers.
A very serious responsibility lies on the shoulder of the main trade unions’ leaders as they did not oppose, or even substantially agreed to, the various counter-reforms of recent years. Today the leaders of these unions, following up class collaboration agreement of January 10, 2014, bear the burden of a new round of talks with the bosses that are putting in danger National Collective Agreements and the right to strike. Surely, we are well aware of the difficulties of these times. Our discussion in the conference was primarily focused on the singling out of all the setbacks in recent years. However, we strongly reject any false claim for the passive attitude and lack of opposition of union leadership which has been based on an alleged unwillingness to fight, a substantial submissiveness of workers, which has proven untrue. The ones who do not want to strike are indeed the union bureaucracy, which is quite keen to defend their class collaboration stance, taken in the name of responsibility and adaptation. All this is exemplified by the important mobilizations in autumn 2014, the “teacher’s spring” and their biggest strike of May 5, 2015, and the workers’ struggles occurred in the past few months, at Same in Treviglio, FCA factories in Termoli and Melfi or at Pontedera Piaggio, and the number of conflicts that broke out in the logistics sector.
We remain committed to fostering as much as common action is possible among class-struggle trade union sections in the building of struggles and conflicts for the protection of living and working conditions, collective agreements worthy of the name, and all other essential objectives at this time, starting with the demand of workday reduction without wage loss.
Because of the Catholic Church interference, but also owing to the flaws of liberal forces themselves, Italy ranks among the most backward countries in terms of acknowledgement of freedom of choice and individual rights. The Conference fully integrate the independent contribution of female comrades on feminism, self-determination, fight against patriarchy and violence against women into this political resolution. We take part in every action for civil rights, against obscurantism and interference of any church in private lives, and we support as ours the freedom-of-choice and democratic demands of the LGBT movement.
We point out to the gravity of the counter-reform of Italian Constitution, which aims at making the National Assembly no longer representative and permanently unresponsive to working class needs and interests. The Conference takes up the fight against this and resolves to join the NO Committee for the Constitutional Referendum, for which Sinistra Anticapitalista will autonomously develop a campaign that will strive to emphasize the connection between democratic and social conditions. For this purpose Sinistra Anticapitalista will try to build a united movement from below.
Likewise, we denounce the authoritarian twist pursued by different governments under the pretext of the fight against terrorism: French plan to constitutionalize the state of emergency, the transfer of migrants in Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, the militarization of Italian cities by the Renzi government.
We denounce the perpetuation of big public works policy, the stubborn construction of the TAV (High Speed Railway) resulting in the militarization and destruction of Val di Susa; concessions for drilling of large parts of marine waters, resulting in the disruption of the coasts; the starting up of MUOS in Sicily, a source of additional electromagnetic pollution, and the surrender of large swaths of territory to military facilities; the delivery of whole strips of land to private financial and real estate speculation, as it is happening in Bagnoli (Naples). All this comes in the wake of the grotesque EXPO thing in Milan, which has seen hugest squandering of public resources only to building a temple of extreme job insecurity, land devastation and corruption, as we prepare for further squandering in the unfortunate event that in eight years the Olympics be organized in Rome.
The anti-popular stance of the European Union is relentless, even though neoliberal policy consensus is rapidly waning. Unfortunately, the discomfort does not express itself through class outlets, except in very limited cases, and tends to feed the disturbing growth of the populist, reactionary, chauvinist, racist or explicitly neo-fascist right-wing forces.
Unfortunately, the distrust to the Left in large sectors of the working classes is not wearing off. Indeed, the events in Greece where Tsipras government accepted to implement the third Memorandum have deepened the gap between the policies of the reformist left and the needs of the lower classes. The Greek events have also proved that dramatically confronting the bosses without necessary radicalism and without a certain willingness to call the debt trap into question and break with the workings of capitalism, is a prelude to bitter defeats. The Greek issue has revealed the subservience of much of the radical left, in Italy and in Europe, to the illusion of a possible compromise between neoliberal policies and social needs but it has also provided evidence of the relevance of anti-capitalism. In this spirit we will support the international conference convened in Madrid against austerity policies in the coming weeks.
Drawing lessons from the Greek predicament, Sinistra Anticapitalista, along with other political and social tendencies, has given birth to an anti-neoliberal and anti-capitalist network to put together those who do not wish to belong in moderate political options and support any geopolitical camp-oriented tendency.
On the international level, war policy of the United States and other imperialist powers carries on (including the EU and its members, independently or within NATO), particularly in the Arab world, while producing an upsurge of terror in the form of criminal deeds of reactionary fundamentalism and the equally criminal imperialist and neo-imperial bombings. We reiterate our commitment to building an anti-war movement, starting from solidarity with the oppressed peoples. We propose that especially this year the celebration of 25th April feature a strong united action against the war.
We stand in solidarity with the Syrian people, whose democratic ambitions are being crushed by the brutal repression of the Baathist regime and suffocated by the bloody actions of Daesh thugs, in addition to more recent Russians and French bombings.
We stand in solidarity with the Kurdish people, whose national self-determination continues to be hampered by the four states in which, owing to the colonial policies, its territory is divided. They keep being subjected to the inhuman genocidal policy of the Turkish army and secret services, in addition to the vicious attacks of fundamentalist cutthroats. We support political and military actions of YPG, JPG, and the PKK, which are fighting against the reactionary governments that oppress Kurdistan and against the militias of Caliphate.
We stand with the Palestinian people in its decades-long struggle against the occupation and Israeli colonialism, for the right to return of refugees in their millions, for the acknowledgement of a Palestinian democratic and sovereign state.
We also support the legitimate aspiration to self-determination of the Sahrawi people against the Moroccan colonialism.
We greet with joy the recovery of popular and trade union movements in Egypt against the authoritarian and anti-popular Al Sisi government, and in Tunisia against poverty. The Arab revolutions, temporarily defeated by fundamentalist or pro-Western military reaction, are the only real antidote to the spread of backwards fundamentalism.
Sinistra Anticapitalista will keep on fighting for the immediate opening of humanitarian passageways and for full freedom of movement of women and men, regardless of whether they escape from war, colonial oppression, poverty, or environmental disasters. We fight against racism and every religious preconception, and we are with anyone who struggles for equal rights for all workers, natives and migrants. We demand immediate withdrawal of illegal immigration act, extension of citizenship and voting rights for all.
The first Conference of Sinistra Anticapitalista has started a discussion for the drawing up of a new programme, which takes up current challenges and defines the identity and the strategic aims of the organization starting from a full integration of eco-socialism, its theoretical perspective and value.
On the organizational level, the Conference, in the wake of the debate concerning organizational document, also resolved to take some measures to strengthen the tools of national leadership which will be better detailed in a separate resolution.