25th youth camp of Fourth International
Wednesday 1 October 2008 by Antoine
An international meeting of militants coming from 20 European countries, more or less, and from even farer, and a self-organized camp in which everybody can equally help and participate, is an experience that nobody can imagine if he/she hasn’t been a part of it. A variety of conversations and exchange of experiences on subjects that deal with revolutionary left nowadays and the recent social movements, as well as theoretical discussions, took place along with other activities that had to do not only with the function and security of the place, but also with the fun and relax of its participants.
600 young men and women, members or sympathizers of the sections of the F.I. were met at Besalu of Catalunia, from the 26th of July until the 1st of August and co-organized a rich and multi-thematic international meeting with more than 90 organized conversations. There have been delegations from Italy, France, the Spanish State, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain, Scotch land, Sweden, Belgium, Switcher land, Mexico, Philippines, Morocco, Argentina, and Venezuela. It was one of the most massive camps of the last years, while the 45% of the comrades who participated came for the first time and the 70% of the comrades were below 25 years old.
The political function of the camp was based on a series of thematical workshops, reunions, permanent workshops, educational seminars, central conversations and delegation meetings. At the same time, the women space in the camp is a form of self-organization of women, which goal is to reject the common and dominant model of “men public space”, as well as the reinforcement of the self-confidence of all female comrades’, so that they take on duties that are usually thought to be for “men” even inside the revolutionary left. Also, the LGBT space, open to everybody, not only offers the opportunity to it’s coordinators to freely express themselves and talk about the special problems they face in every aspect of their lives and about the ways of action, but also encourages everybody to reconsider terms such as “normal” or not, and reject the norms and identities.
The subjects that occupied the conversations were imperialism and ecology, international solidarity, feminism, the movement about the liberation of the LGBT, the struggles of the youth (students and new workers movements), social movements and the issue of strategy of how to change the world. Each theme occupied a whole day full of conversations, experience and opinion exchange, as well as events that gathered all the participants of the camp (morning forums, educational, evening rallys). A few of the most interesting conversations were the discussion about Palestine, the discussion about prostitution, the information about the movement for free abortion in the Spanish state, the movement of residence in France, the coordination of the student movements against Bologna process and the struggle of the Catalonian comrades against precarity. Also, the situation in Philippines, were our comrades are in an every day fight against imperialism and local dictatorship, the situation in Mexico and in Venezuela. Of course, we found special interest in the conversations and the processes that have begun with the meeting of the European anticapitalist left in Paris last May. The experiences from recomposition processes and the conclusions that we extract from them were widely discussed. The comrades from Italy presented the political situation in their country after the integration of Rifondazzione and the creation of Sinistra Critica, while the comrades from Portugal and Denmark described the situation at the recomposition structures in their countries. Meanwhile, we dedicated plenty of time to the initiative of LCR about the New Anticapitalist Party, about the way that it is structured, the people that participate at the local committees, the conversations that take place inside that, about its relationship with the other left organizations and the path until its formal foundation.
We also had the chance to meet – as Greek delegation – almost all foreign delegations that participated in the camp, as this is one of the most important and unique opportunities that this international meeting offers. Through these meetings of direct dialogue and in combination with the issues that occupied the 25th camp, we were informed on the political situation of the left in every country. Some of the most important interdelegation meetings were the ones from the comrades from Venezuela, Mexico, Morocco and Philippines, while through the meetings with the delegations of France, Italy, Denmark, Germany etc we could form a better opinion about the European anticapitalist left and discuss about the strategy of the anticapitalist recomposition and the processes of the New Anticapitalist Party in France. We also met comrades from Portugal, Great Britain and Scotch Land, from all regions of the Spanish State, and separately with the ones from the Basque Country.
Every day during the camp there were permanent workshops that had to do with the student movement against Bologna process, ecology and climate change, the condition in Latin America, the immigration and the antiracist movement, the young workers and their syndicates as well as about precarity. These conversations ended with concrete conclusions and actions either for the constant communication between us and for the coordination of our struggles, or for actions of solidarity, such as in the case of Latin America.
In conclusion, apart from the anniversary of the 25 years of the camp of the 4th International youth, the organizer of this camp – the Fourth International – was honored, as we celebrate the 70 years since its foundation. The workshop about the 70 years of the F.I., about its history and its role in the international revolutionary movements and struggles, as well as about the necessity of the international coordination of resistances, was the one with the biggest participation.
There is no doubt that the International Revolutionary Youth Camp has been a unique chance of becoming a real political school on the base of direct meetings and conversations with militants that are actually in the forefront of the political situation in their countries. The political importance of the French section of the F.I., of LCR, not only in France but also in the European left, the protagonist participation of our forces in successful compositions of the anticapitalist left in Denmark, Portugal, the Spanish State, the significant role of the Italian comrades in social movements and the participation of our forces in the new social movements such as these of ecology in Belgium and G. Britain and these of the women and LGBT liberation in Portugal, Denmark and Italy, prove the importance and the high political influence of the sections of the F.I. on the social movements in Europe. But also outside Europe, in Southeastern Asia, Middle Asia, Africa, Latin America, the sections of the International interfere and get involved in the social progresses and the revolutionary experiences of our times.
Everybody agrees the fact that all comrades of the Fourth International are satisfied by this 25th international meeting and there is a common conclusion. That an anticapitalist left – obviously not only of the F.I. – that in almost all countries builds and takes part in the movements that arise, has the ability to raise its voice and become even more visible and dangerous. So, refreshing the “date” of this camp with the rest of the comrades of the Fourth International we wish and we will try so that the next year’s camp will have even more movements and experiences to exchange, even more lessons to learn and a stronger anticapitalist left that will fight and finally win…