On Saturday 22 October in Paris, the Independent and Democratic Workers’ Party organised a large international rally against the war. Its newspaper, La Tribune des Travailleurs, reports.
It was not yet 2.30 pm, at the entrance to the Espace Charenton in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, when hundreds of workers, activists and young people were already hurrying to enter the hall. Many had come in groups, by train and by bus from the provinces or the Paris suburbs.
In all, 1,800 people took their seats in the hall where the international rally against the war, convened a few months ago by the Independent and Democratic Workers’ Party, was taking place. Many of them were young people, some of whom were attending their first such meeting.
A meeting, Daniel Gluckstein recalled in his conclusion, entirely self-financed by the support – euro by euro – that the workers had given it, just like the World Conference against War and Exploitation, for the Workers’ International and the International Conference of Working
Women on 29 and 30 October. A childcare centre had been organised under the responsibility of activists, to allow, as at every POID meeting, mothers and fathers with families to attend this event. Daniel Gluckstein, national secretary of the POID and coordinator of the International Workers’ Committee against War and Exploitation, for the Workers’ International (IWC), opened the rally in a room decked out in red flags.
(Ian Hodson, President of Britain’s Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union)
He gave the floor to Ian Hodson, President of Britain’s Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), the first speaker. A bare few hours after the resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss, he said: « I want to make it clear from this platform that I do not support Biden, Putin or the next Prime Minister to be elected in my country.
There is no doubt that the first task of the Prime Minister who is going to be elected in Britain will be to increase British involvement in the war, to arm Ukraine more and more in order to deflect the movement that is growing in my country for an immediate general election.
Russia must obviously leave Ukraine, but NATO must leave the war front (…). I am given the opportunity today to express the voice of those who are not given a voice and of those who oppose the war and who constitute the majority”.
« The experience of Afghanistan has proved that the people should not rely on the pretty promises of imperialists »
(Freshta Amiri, LRA activist)
He was followed by Freshta Amiri, an activist of the Radical Left of Afghanistan (LRA) who, in Pashtun, reminds us that « The experience of Afghanistan has proved that the people should not rely on the pretty promises of imperialists. In place of democracy and women’s rights, the US and NATO have put the most misogynistic and anti-democratic Islamist group in power, the Taliban. Wherever America and NATO have intervened militarily, they have left behind the blood of millions of women and men, and destruction.
« The heavy price of war everywhere, from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Syria to Yemen, and now in Ukraine, has always been paid by working people. Despite the fact that the Taliban regime has closed the doors of all schools to girls, hinders women’s right to work, suppresses women’s protests, imprisons, tortures and kills women activists, the US government has continued to support the Taliban regime. (…)
« The Radical Left of Afghanistan (LRA) is an active partner in the Afghan Women’s Spontaneous Movement, which is actively organising demonstrations against the Taliban, not only in the streets of Kabul but also in all the major cities of Afghanistan. (…)
« It is the duty of workers, women, youth and all peace-loving people to stand up against the American, European and Russian warmongers and to fight to prevent the implementation of their policy of plunder and destruction. No to war! Long live the solidarity of workers, women and youth of the world for peace and equality!”
« In the great tradition of the US Vietnam anti-war movement: Out now! US troops out now! »
(Alan Benjamin, Socialist Organizer)
The next speaker, Alan Benjamin, head of the US Socialist Organizer, warmly praised « the courageous struggle of our comrades in Afghanistan » recalling that « trade unionists and antiwar activists across the US not only did not support the US war in Afghanistan, but condemned it.”
He added that « a small but growing current in the US labour movement is also beginning to speak out against the war in Ukraine. Anti-war activists took to the streets in September to demand ‘Russian troops out of Ukraine, stop the war in Ukraine instigated by the US and NATO’. And they demanded: ‘Money for jobs, education and health care, not for war!’, thus establishing the link between the war at home and the war abroad. »
This comes at a time when the US is experiencing a wave of strikes and class struggle, the latest to date, Alan Benjamin said, is that « one of the largest railroad unions has rejected the deal negotiated between Joe Biden and union officials a deal designed to avert a strike by 120,000 railroad workers that would have paralysed at least a third of US commerce. The rank and file oppose the deal and are in favour of the strike, holding up signs that read, ‘Stop the war on railroad workers!’ Wall Street financiers are increasingly worried. They have asked Biden to intervene, if necessary, to ban a national strike. (…)
[But all these mobilisations are confronted with] a major obstacle, namely the subordination of the unions to the Democratic Party, the party of war which has seen all its components without exception vote in favour of every increase in funding for the war in Ukraine. When I say ‘all of its components’, that includes the so-called ‘progressive’ wing of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. »
And he concluded by referring to « the great tradition of the US anti-war movement in Vietnam, a tradition maintained by US Labor Against the War with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan, we say: Out now! (US troops Out now!) ».
« Foreign and UN troops out of Africa »
(Adama Coulibaly, Alternative Patriotique Panafricaine-Burkindi)
It was the turn of Adama Coulibaly, head of the Alternative Patriotique Panafricaine Burkindi, from Burkina Faso, to « speak about Africa, this continent full of values of humanity, peace and harmony (…) This Africa, both coveted and martyred, has been attacked for more than 400 years by never-ending wars of occupation with multiple faces, with the aim of exploiting its lifeblood and plundering its resources”.
Adama Coulibaly denounced this process of permanent interference: « The normalisation of military interventions in Africa was first done through the leonine cooperation agreements between France and its former colonies. It then continued through the United Nations military missions led by NATO. Six UN peacekeeping operations are now present on the continent with a deepening crisis of war everywhere. Terrorism, then, has been established to maintain the state of permanent war, amplified following the destruction of Libya by NATO, with France naturally leading the way.
Today, the Sahel is the main testing ground for this asymmetric warfare. France has several military bases in Africa with between 12,000 and 15,000 soldiers. The United States is also present under the command of AFRICOM, China in Djibouti, Russia in the Central African Republic and Mali, two countries where the joint presence of French and UN forces has been a bloody failure (…)
There is a strong demand today in Africa: it is to say ‘Foreign and UN troops, out of Africa! Against war, for peace, the workers and people of Africa and the world will win!’ And, with one voice, the audience took up the cry of struggle launched by the Burkinabé speaker: « Nan lara, ansara! », the meaning of which the speaker explained: « Only struggle liberates, if we lie down, we are dead. »
« The POID fights for a government without Macron or bosses; this is the party we are proposing for you to join »
(Christel Keiser, POID national secretary)
Christel Keiser, national secretary of the POID, responsible for its Working Women’s Commission, began her speech by saluting the struggle of Iranian women « against the regime that maintains and aggravates all forms of oppression, especially patriarchal oppression », reminding the audience of « the International Conference of Working Women, to be held on Saturday 29 October, which will bring women workers and activists from twentyone countries together, on the eve of the World Conference against War and Exploitation. »
« War and exploitation are the focus of the Macron-Borne government’s policy in France. This government passed its budget last Wednesday « , a budget that, she states, is « war abroad, outside the country, and domestic war inside the country, against the workers. To get it passed, the government has produced another weapon of war: Article 49-3 of the Constitution. (…)
« Finally, what is the purpose of the National Assembly in the Fifth Republic? On the one hand, to organise mock debates whose outcome is known in advance and, on the other hand, to validate laws whose purpose is to implement the policy decided by the president. And this, regardless of how the opposition members vote. Because sometimes they vote against – which they probably would have done if they had been given the opportunity to vote on the budget. But sometimes they vote for – sometimes even unanimously!
« We remember the vote of 19 March 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, which granted 343 billion euros to capitalists, including 300 billion in State-guaranteed loans that were used, in particular by the bosses of Renault and Air France, to organise massive redundancy plans. 343 billion voted unanimously in the National Assembly, including by the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and the MPs of La France Insoumise (translation: Unbowed France) »
Christel Keiser continued: « Sometimes we are asked why we are not in LFI (Unbowed France). It is true that if you look at the activists and voters of LFI, we often have the same concerns, the same demands and the same objectives. This is also true sometimes, in part, concerning the general slogans and campaigns of LFI. But we are not in Unbowed France because we consider that we cannot claim to defend the interests of workers and, at the same time, deprive them of these hundreds of billions that are cruelly wanting in hospitals, schools and public services.
“Just as one cannot claim to defend the interests of workers and vote in the European Parliament, on three occasions, for resolutions supporting NATO. (…) The fight for democracy is the fight for a government without Macron or bosses. A government that would confiscate the 629 billion euros, billions offered to the capitalists, to allocate them to the needs of the immense majority. Hiring 200,000 hospital staff and 200,000 teachers would cost 20 billion euros a year, over two and a half years; it would total 50 billion (i.e., much less than a tenth of the 629 billion!). A government that would nationalise Total without compensation or buyout, and confiscate its billions in profits. A government that would allow the fruits of labour to return in full to the workers who produce them. A government that would repeal all the counter-reforms (those of the French baccalauréat degree (i.e., the high school diploma) and high school, unemployment benefits, retirement pensions…). A government at the sole service of workers and their families.
« This is what the POID is fighting for« , and this is why, Christel Keiser concluded: « This is the party that we are proposing for you to join.”
« Only the living can learn the lessons of the war. It is therefore necessary to stop the war now!«
(An activist of the Union of Marxists of Russia)
Then Dominique Ferré introduced Sergueï and Evgueni*, two activists mandated by the Union of Marxists of Russia to intervene in this International rally, and Youri*, a worker activist from Belarus.
Sergei, from the Union of Marxists, pointed out that, « on 21 September, Putin’s government declared the mobilisation of 300,000 reservists. For most citizens, the mobilisation is no longer a subject on television, but a reality, as those who died on the front are beginning to return in coffins. There is a rising of muted discontent in all regions and active resistance in the national republics of the Caucasus.”
He also recalled his organisation’s struggle to « support political prisoners, because we are facing an avalanche of repression that has already hit our trade unionist comrades: Artiom Borodin, Kirill Oukraïntsev, Anton Orlov and many others ».
His comrade Yevgeny concluded: « Comrades and workers of France and the world: we more than ever need your support! Western governments are speeding up the production of arms and their delivery to Ukraine. This gives Zelensky an excuse to continue the war, and play the role of hero at the expense of the lives of ordinary people on both sides of the front. By doing this, Biden and company are only adding fuel to the fire (…)
« Let this conflict serve as a lesson in drawing the right conclusions: it was the exploiters and the politicians who served them who pushed for the war and then brought us back to the harsh reality of social inequality and the destruction of rights. But only the living can learn the lessons of war. It is therefore necessary to force the elites to sit down at the negotiating table, now, to stop the war now!”
* The names have been changed
« The peoples of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia do not want war. They need peace and socialism. »
(An activist from Belarus)
Following on from this speech, Yuri, an activist from Belarus, added: « This is the biggest military conflict in Europe since the end of the Second World War, and it can, unfortunately, turn into a third world war. We all know the origin of this ghastly war: it is capitalism trying to overcome its contradictions through war.
« Ironically, this war is taking place almost a hundred years after the Soviet Union was formed, when the Soviet republics of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Transcaucasia federated freely on the basis of socialism, with equal rights for all the republics. Today, the heirs of the bureaucracy are trying to overcome the contradictions in society that they themselves created through nationalism and war. This is the eighteenth armed conflict in the former USSR since 1991.
Let us not forget that today six former USSR republics are engaged in military conflict: in addition to Russia and Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Every bullet fired in these conflicts is a blow against what remains of the conquests of the October revolution, in particular, the right to self-determination of peoples and their sovereignty. (…) In this hall and on this platform there are comrades from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. On their behalf I want to say here: our peoples do not want war; they need peace and socialism. The workers and peoples of the world want freedom and peace, in Europe, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, throughout the world. Only the struggle of the workers, only international solidarity will make it possible to win peace. Long live the International!”
« The right answer was given by Karl Liebknecht: the main enemy is in our own country »
(Claudius Naumann, German internationalist activist)
Recalling the 1945 oath of the German people: « War must never again spring up from German soil« , Claudius Naumann, internationalist activist and chairman of the council of staff delegates at the Free University of Berlin, condemned the militaristic policy of the social-democratic Chancellor Scholz.
His work colleagues and union comrades, he explains, are among the « thousands of trade unionists and young people who are demonstrating in Germany against the policy of the Scholz government, in defence of their rights and gains. They are not prepared to foot the bill of the capitalist crisis, the war and the 100-billion arms package paid by Scholz to the German army, nor are they prepared to go shivering because of imperialist sanctions, because they won’t be able to pay their heating bills”.
But, he adds, « we have a problem. With our demands, we have the trade union apparatus against us. For the trade union apparatus, as for the SPD and Die Linke parties, ‘solidarity’ means: sacred union with the warmongers of the government and NATO.
Our solidarity is different, it is the solidarity of our class, the working class. To organise it, we need independent trade unions and a party committed to defending the interests of the working class. This is what the Committee for a Workers’ Party in Germany is fighting for. Twice in the 20th century, the imperialist countries pushed the peoples into world wars. They have countless wars and millions of deaths on their consciences, they have had workers shoot at workers. The right answer to this was given by Karl Liebknecht who, faced with the incitement to war in imperialist Germany, observed, ‘The main enemy is in our own country!’ This courageous attitude has since been a model for all those who defend the independence of the workers’ movement. »
« In our revolt, we mobilise and organise »
(Orianne, Federation of Revolutionary Youth)
Addressing in particular the many young people present in the room, Orianne, on behalf of the Federation of Revolutionary Youth (FJR), appealed to the audience: « How is it that, even though we live in the country that is the sixth world power, getting enough to eat is a daily struggle? That we are confronted with increasingly precarious jobs, as is the case with Uber Eats delivery people or underpaid and exploited young people in civic service?
« For students, less and less money is allocated to the CROUS (i.e., university canteens) and universities, while there is more and more money for armaments. University restaurants are closing down, university residences are no longer maintained, and thousands of students find themselves without a college or master’s degree because there are no longer enough places in the universities.
« Degrees and qualifications, which can enable us to get a decent job, are thus losing their value, as is the case with the baccalauréat, which is now based on continuous assessment and no longer on a national and egalitarian test.
« In the lycées (i.e., high schools): no more help with homework, absent teachers who are not replaced – when you have a baccalauréat to obtain! And in the vocational schools, it’s a question of cutting back classroom hours and allowing companies to take part in the school administration. And when students mobilise to demand their right to have all the conditions to obtain a diploma, the government responds by beating them with clubs.
« Referring to the battles in which FJR activists are involved, she concluded: « We are fighting for the collective organisation of young people and against this outdated and barbaric system, as close as possible to the demands. In our revolt, we mobilise and organise ourselves (…) Join the FJR!.”
« Our country is going through a serious crisis, the working and oppressed masses are facing enormous suffering »
(Wasantha Samarasinghe, trade unionist from Sri Lanka)
Olivier Doriane then presented the video message transmitted by worker activists from Sri Lanka, where the masses had ousted the corrupt president on 9 July, who was subordinating himself to the plans of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The audience attentively listened as Wasantha Samarasinghe, on behalf of the Trade Union Coordinating Committee (TUCC), expressed « our revolutionary greetings to all the trade union leaders and progressive movements gathered today against the imperialist war. Your event is taking place at a time when our country is going through a serious crisis, and when the people, the toiling and oppressed masses, are facing enormous suffering. We have no fuel. We are facing shortages of fertilisers and food. Workers are losing their jobs. (…)
« The trade union movement, especially the Trade Union Coordination Centre, is organising a new wave of struggle to get rid of these bourgeois and capitalist parties that plunder the people’s money. On 27 October, the TUCC, together with people’s movements, is organising a massive protest campaign in Colombo against the repression, for the release of the demonstrators and to stop the privatisation of public property.
« We need your support. (…) We all believe in humanity, in internationalism, in the unity and organisation of workers all over the world. We believe that the whole world must unite against this capitalist-imperialist war.”
« Building a single democratic and secular State in Palestine for all its citizens is the key to peace »
(Ola Al-Khuffach, Secular Palestine activist)
Then it was Ola Al-Khuffach, on behalf of the Secular Palestine Association – which fights for a secular and democratic Palestine over the whole historical territory of Palestine – who recalled: « In Palestine, we have known the horrors of colonial warfare for almost a century, we have witnessed the policies of ethnic cleansing and the mass expulsion of the civilian population from their homes, which has turned them into refugees. »
Recalling the difference in treatment between the Russian occupation in Ukraine and the occupation in Palestine, she expressed her « rejection of the double standards applied by EU and US politicians towards people« . She concluded: « Our struggle to support the oppressed peoples and the working classes exploited by capitalist forces is the guarantee for spreading peace and security and for peaceful coexistence.
« Peace in Ukraine and peace in Palestine are inseparable. Building fraternal and supportive relations between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples is the key to peace. It is the return of Palestinian refugees to their country and the building of a single democratic and secular state in Palestine for all its citizens that is the key to peace.”
« It is crucial to express our opposition to any imperialist war » (Chinese activists)
« This message was prepared by meetings of groups of workers and intellectuals, who are addressing you, listen to them« , said comrade Alain Denizo, who invited the audience to pay the greatest attention to the message of activists from China, forced, they say, « to remain anonymous for security reasons » and « grateful to give this opportunity to express our solidarity, and our opposition to the war, along with workers and activists from all over the world« .
In China, the activists explain, « the ruling bloc of the Communist Party, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, is trying to use the ‘Taiwan issue’ as an excuse to stir up parochial nationalist sentiment among the Chinese people, as well as hatred towards the people of Taiwan. At the same time, the ruling classes in the US and other Western countries are also taking advantage of the situation to stir up powerful hostility towards China and to turn ordinary people’s dissatisfaction with the Communist Party leadership into hatred towards the Chinese people.
« Therefore, there is a real risk of a war or proxy war between China and Western countries breaking out over the « Taiwan issue ». That is why, at this time, it is crucial to express our opposition to any imperialist war”. To which these activists oppose another perspective: « Helping the working classes of all countries to unite in solidarity, to fight the ruling classes of all countries, as well as the capitalist and imperialist system that oppresses us all« , taking up the old slogan of the international labour movement: « Workers of all countries, unite! »
« Our ambition is not struggle for the sake of the struggle, but the struggle to win »
Daniel Gluckstein’s conclusion (extracts)
War is not a threat, but a reality. Less than a three-hour flight from Paris, war has already claimed between 100,000 to 150,000 lives and it continues to wreak havoc without anyone being able to say whether it will lead to a third world war or not. France’s engagement is growing every day. This morning, the newspaper L’Express reported that General David Petraeus, former head of the CIA and senior US military official, has said: « A US-led force may intervene directly in Ukraine. » A US-led force would necessarily include the armed forces of its allies, including the French government. There are already nearly 2,000 French troops on the borders of Russia and Ukraine, and more than 100,000 US troops on European soil. So, it is true, everything can change, and very quickly, at any given moment.(…)
Our own duty is to say: « Not in our name!” It is not in our name that French troops, that NATO troops could intervene! A workers’ party has a duty to speak clearly. From the beginning we said: « Neither Putin, nor Macron, nor Biden« ; « Russian troops, out of Ukraine« , but also « NATO troops, out of Eastern Europe« , and we added: « French troops, out of Africa« , because French imperialism plays an essential role in maintaining imperialist and neo-colonial domination in Africa. No one can claim to be an internationalist if they fight for the withdrawal of troops from other countries, but forget the responsibility of their own government in the oppression of people.
Comrades, a workers’ party cannot compromise on all these questions. A comrade recalled this magnificent phrase of the German internationalist workers’ activist Karl Liebnecht: « The enemy is in our own country. » And in our country, the enemy is not called Putin or Zelensky, it is Macron and his government. Before me, a comrade pointed out the pathetic votes of those MEPs who claim to be of the « left » and who, on three occasions in the European Parliament, voted for motions that call for « more money for war, more sanctions against the Russian people, and closer ties between the European Union and NATO. » (…)
This war is not about defending democracy, nor is it about defending the rights of the Ukrainian people, or any people for that matter. On 12 October, Biden himself stated the reason for this war in his « national security strategy document« . This document upholds the need for US leadership, stronger NATO,a NATO more closely united than ever before, and the objective of « constraining Russia and supplanting China » (…). It is clearly not democracy and the rights of the people that are at stake, but the interests of US capitalists.
We, workers of France and of the whole world, reject and condemn with horror the intervention in Ukraine and the crimes of Putin, but that does not mean that the workers of our country will go to war to help Mr. Biden boost the influence of the Wall Street multinationals. Nor that the workers of our country will follow Mr Macron, who himself follows Mr Biden. Nor that we will follow those on the « left » who do not have the courage to say, « No to NATO’s all-out war against the people. »
On a poster preparing this rally, we published what Jean Jaurès said: « Capitalism brings war as a cloud brings the storm”. Is it different today? If we, the POID, have taken the initiative of holding this rally, it is because we believe that our responsibility is to help unite the workers in the same struggle against the warmongering governments, a struggle which is waged on an international scale but also on a national scale. (…)
More than ever, we have a duty to place ourselves under the banner of the Workers’ International. We are not a « French » party, but the French component of a Workers’ International that is being built. That is why next week a world conference against war, against exploitation, for the Workers’ International, will meet, with delegates from thirty-five countries, despite all obstacles. On its agenda will be the need to work to rebuild the workers’ movement on a new axis, that of class independence.
The POID also sets out to help unite the workers in this country. In this country – which is said to be the sixth largest industrial power in the world – hunger is on the increase, misery is spreading, poverty is spreading to new social strata. (…) This country is experiencing and will increasingly experience repeated social explosions in all areas. This government, which dares to denounce the strikers as « privileged », is only concerned with protecting the shameful privileges of the bosses whose yearly income stands at 6 million euros. And they would like to set workers against each other, to divide. (…) As we wrote in La Tribune des Travailleurs: the demands of the oil refinery workers are the demands of all workers, because the question of wages is posed everywhere. And the confiscation of the 170 billion euros of shareholder dividends in 2021 would be enough to meet these demands, everywhere.
Comrades, there are many attempts at division. Again, in the last few days, we have seen the shameful, outrageous, revolting way in which a terrible news item has been used once again to try to pit French workers against immigrant workers, documented against undocumented workers. We repeat our position: whoever is exploited in this country belongs to the working class of this country. Whether French or immigrant, whether documented or undocumented.
A great many strikes are being sparked in this country, with demands defined by the workers themselves. Often about wages, but not only. In these strikes, workers are united, gathering their unions and their delegates together, deciding on the forms of action. At the same time, workers are faced with a chaotic situation, because we have a multitude of characters who all proclaim themselves the « leaders » of the working class. And these “leaders” are here to say what to do. They have a multitude of dates to propose: 27 October, 10 November, 17 November, 19 November, 20 November, and others I cannot remember. (…) As if it were necessary to contain, channel, control the action of the workers, as if that were the most important thing. So, at the POID, at the risk of causing some disappointment, we have no instructions to give, no dates to propose and no leader to impose.
We set out to act for the emancipation of workers by the workers themselves. This is both an objective and a means. The objective, because we want to put an end to this society dominated by a handful of capitalists and exploiters. Workers are capable of deciding for themselves. Unity will not come « from above ». Unity will come from below. Workers are capable of defining demands, holding their general assemblies, convening their unions, appointing their delegates. It is a question of doing this not only at the level of the workplace and of strikes today but, tomorrow, at the local, county, and – why not – at the national level; a national assembly of workers from cities and villages, elected in towns, villages, in neighbourhoods, which will not be kept in line by this or that « prodigious leader », but which will proceed from the very movement of the working class.
As is traditional in this country, there will be a general strike at some point. But will there be a central strike committee representing and reporting to the workers’ delegates? Our ambition, as the Independent and Democratic Workers’ Party, is not to lead this movement, nor to dictate what it should do, but to help it surface, to propose means to achieve it – therefore a political perspective.
Our ambition is not struggle for the sake of struggle, but the struggle to win. Workers are capable of fighting; they have shown it. How many times have we demonstrated with millions of workers in the streets? Sometimes partial setbacks have been imposed. But in the end, the governments and the capitalist class,
aided by a certain number of apparatuses, finally managed to take back control. We want the next movement to lead to a lasting solution. For the POID, the perspective must be clearly established. It is a question of ousting Macron, his government, the Fifth Republic and its Constitution at the service of the capitalists. This will be a first step. We add that the workers have the right to demand a government of their own. They have the right to impose a government of the majority, a government of those millions of workers whose only wealth is their work. Such a government will be able to recover the fruits of the labour of the whole working class for the benefit of the whole of society. What I have just mentioned was once the goal of the entire labour movement. Some have obviously given up on it. But in reality, there is no alternative. To renounce the expropriation of capitalism would be to remain trapped in the chains of exploitation and oppression.
This objective, on the other hand, is shared by all the comrades of the POID, whatever their origins: former members of the Socialist Party, of the Communist Party, comrades from the anarchist tradition, trade union delegates, comrades from the Trotskyist current to which I belong, comrades without any particular label. But we all share the need, the conviction, that the working class must claim power, to control the way in which wealth is produced and distributed, to control the fact that it is put at the service of the majority.
It is up to workers to impose their will on all leaders, on all self-proclaimed leaders. It is up to the working class to put its stamp on society, to take over the running of affairs. If you share this goal, then this is your party.
Do not hesitate to join it.
I would like to add a personal note. As an old Trotskyist militant, I have felt moved by the fact that in this hall, in the Russian language, a call to socialism was made; that despite all the rotten politics of those who sold the USSR out, of those who plundered it, of those who are the cause of the wars today; a call to the fight for socialism resounded in this hall, in the language of Lenin and Trotsky.
As a conclusion, before the singing The International in many languages, Daniel Gluckstein read the message by the national secretaries of the POID, from the podium of the meeting, and it was warmly applauded by the participants:
« Having participated in the meeting against war and exploitation, this 22 October 2022 in Paris, we heard the speeches of comrades from Britain, Afghanistan, the United States, Burkina Faso, France, Russia, Belarus, Germany, Sri Lanka, Palestine, China.
In particular, we heard the comrade from Belarus say: « There are comrades from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia in this hall. I declare on their behalf that our peoples do not want war. Our peoples need peace and socialism.
In France, and throughout the world, the time is also ripe for the fight for peace and socialism. We will be there!”
The full video of the meeting will be published in the coming days on the Workers’ Tribune website: https://latribunedestravailleurs.fr/