WW archiveIssue 567
10 March 2005
The 6th Congress of Rifondazione Comunista, held in Venice from March 3-6, was a strange affair, report Tina Becker and Mark Fischer. The appalling decision to join with Romano Prodi's Olive Tree coalition and (assuming victory in the 2006 general election) follow him into government had already been made at branch and regional level. Still, there were some very heated debates at congress, with a sizeable minority of comrades strongly critical of this turn, which has gone hand in hand with an attempt to squeeze the democratic space open to the party opposition. Clearly, this centrist organisation is moving to the right. This is not just bad news for the Italian working class - the European left will suffer too
Some of the positions described below are expressions of firmly organised factions within Rifondazione. In particular the supporters of motion 2 operate as a 'party within a party', with their separate meetings, publications etc - a practice bitterly denounced by Bertinotti at one point. In order to put forward a motion, 500 signatures from party members are needed. There were a few smaller trends who could not get enough supporters together. According to Socialist Worker, the SWP's small sister organisation, Comunismo dal Basso, supported motion 4 of the Erre faction, but none of their comrades seem to have been able to get elected as delegates (or manage to put up a stall).
Left buys into charity-mongering
Tony Cliff once referred scathingly to socialists who prefer to chat about the weather rather than tackle ruling class ideas head on. With this in mind, David Isaacson notes the SWP's silence over George Galloway's recent article on 'controlled immigration'
We need a new socialist alliance, argues Dave Craig of the Revolutionary Democratic Group - but one based on the fight for a democratic republic and a new workers' party