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Greetings from South African Comrades to 16th World Congress of the Fourth International

D 19 juillet 2010     H 13:31     A Brian Ashley     C 0 messages

Dear Comrades

Greetings to the Fourth International’s 16th World Congress from your comrades at the southern most tip of Africa. As late as the beginning of this week we were still trying to send a representative to bring solidarity greetings and to participate in-person in the vital discussions of our movement. Unfortunately, due to a combination of political commitments, work and visa difficulties this proved impossible.

You meet at a turning point in our struggle for a world determined by solidarity, sustainability, social justice and the suppression of capital and the overcoming of all forms of oppression – one we know as socialism. The global crisis, a multi-dimensional crisis has had devastating impacts for the working classes around the world and particularly in the South. This World Congress meets when the elites have turned their backs on the threats posed by the ecological crisis to our planet and all its living organisms. The premature celebration of the end of the global recession comes just at a time when the ruling classes undertake a major drive to push the costs of the crisis on to the workers, peasants, women and indigenous peoples of the world. We face a complex dichotomy of embroyonic, uneven and fragmented resistance while social democracy, parts of the Communist movement and former national liberation movements abandon the workers and dispossessed, converted as they are to different forms of social liberalism.

A telling responsibility thus rests on revolutionaries in this period of the crisis of civilisation. New movements have to be built and we need to be in the trenches to build the resistance capacity as well as to build revolutionary parties of the working people to fight for this other world.

Part of the reason for not being with you is because we are at the centre of a complex yet exciting initiative of reconstruction and regroupment of militants in a formation we call the Conference for the Democratic Left. We do not know the outcome of this process and we are conscious it faces many challenges but it represents the most promising possibility of constructing a broad anti-capitalist movement since the end of apartheid. It involves social movement activists, militants from grassroots organisations, various left political currents including dissidents coming from the South African Communist Party. Still in formation with many discussions and debates still to be settled and yet other to be had it has already nailed its colours to the mast of ecosocialism, even as many militants are still discovering the meaning of eco and socialism. We do not want to make great claims and raise unrealistic expectations but we know it is significant enough to demand our immediate attention. Alas, the tasks related to its launch-conferences prevents us from travelling to be with you.

We ask you to bear with us and to know our commitment is to building a powerful international for freedom and socialism with you all. We also ask you, from all the movements and formations gathered in Oostende to recall the struggle against apartheid and understand that struggle is not over. The majority of South Africans live in a post-apartheid hell of mass unemployment, poverty and dispossession of their land and basic services. Neoliberalism intersected with the nightmare legacy of apartheid to make South Africa the most unequal country in the world. The fragmented, uneven even weak struggles of resistance need your support and solidarity. Though still elementary it is inconceivable, for a country with our rich history and traditions of militant struggle and powerful movements not to rebuild our struggle for social justice. Its coming and we want you to be with us as we are with you.

We continue to be inspired by your struggles, guided by your analysis and strengthened by your solidarity.

A luta Continua

24 February 2010

Brian Ashley on behalf of friends of the Fourth International South Africa