Etikettarkiv: Fjärde Internationalen

Fjärde internationalen om Boilvia

Uttalande från Fjärde Internationalen om statskuppen i Bolivia:

This is no time for misrepresentation. Bolivia is suffering a brutal and violent coup d’état organized by a racist extreme right, which has begun to recover a political space and social backing in recent months in the Andean country. We denounce this coup and express our full solidarity with the Bolivian people!

In the early 2000s, Bolivian social movements in the countryside and cities, led by indigenous peasants, built a long and arduous process of struggle against neoliberal measures, which accentuated the country’s extreme poverty by privatizing everything, including water. Little by little, an anti-neo-liberal consensus was formed in the Andean country, and the right lost ground. Then Evo Morales, at the head of the MAS emerged as an electoral alternative to the regime. There was a pulsating, lively and intense process of mobilization and debate that brought Morales and García Linera to power in 2006. Bolivia’s history was changing, and a constituent Assembly with indigenous present and activity was formed, which shaped the Constitution that would transform Bolivia into a Plurinational State. In 2008, the extreme right, formed mainly by oligarchies of white landowners, attempted a coup d’état by blocking the approval of the new constitution. Pressure and popular mobilisation were immense, and the Constitution was promulgated in 2009. A moment of intense dispute over hegemony thus closed and a period of greater stability began under the leadership of the MAS.

With the favourable international economic and political context, Bolivia laid the foundations for economic stability with growth, income distribution and poverty reduction. These were little affected by the international crisis of 2008, which brought so many negative consequences for the world and for Latin America. During the years of Evo’s government, Bolivia transformed its state structure to broaden the forms of participation of indigenous peoples, quadrupled its GDP, reduced extreme poverty from 35.2% to 15.2%, and was the fastest growing country in the region. However, little by little, both because of the country’s structural limits and because of management errors, the so-called process of change began to show its limits. The tension between rhetorical well-being and a developmental and extractivist project led to serious crises in the government and the loss of support from its bases, as early as 2012. In addition to that, the difficulty of leadership renewal also reinforced the difficulty of sustainability of that process over time.

In Bolivia, the new constitution (promulgated in 2009 during Evo’s first term) allows only one re-election. However, it was understood that Evo’s first term, initiated under the previous constitution, did not count. He was therefore “elected for the first time under the new constitution” in 2009. He was then re-elected in 2014. Theoretically, he could no longer be a candidate. With the difficulty of renewing the leadership, the MAS proposed a referendum to decide if he could try again, and in 2016 Evo was defeated in the vote, his candidacy was prevented. He appealed to the Supreme Court and had his application approved. Under these conditions of attrition, in 2019, he was a candidate against Carlos Mesa, one of the bastions of neoliberalism that had been defeated in 2005 by social mobilizations. Evo won the first round of the elections in a poorly conducted and confusing process, and the opposition accused him of fraud. The OAS, with a political position to the right, has suggested new elections. Under pressure, Evo Morales accepted. But the extreme right has dealt a sinister blow.

The Bolivian extreme right, which had been defeated in 2008, returned with all its strength in an international context favourable to it, with Trump as president of the United States and Bolsonaro governing Brazil. Led by Fernando Camacho, a Christian fundamentalist, she gradually managed to convince the military to join the coup, and that decided the process.

There is no doubt that the equivocations of Evo Morales, García Linera and the MAS in leading the Bolivian change process contributed to the creation of conditions of social dissatisfaction and the construction of “democratic” arguments for the coup right. However, the coup did not take place because of the errors of Evo’s government, but to counteract its achievements and its symbolic weight: social inclusion, autonomy and the emancipation of so many native peoples, the reduction of inequalities and poverty.

The method used to force the resignation of the president was violence, with the burning of houses of relatives and sympathizers, rape and public humiliation. Shortly after the resignation, the violence is continuing and all supporters of Evo Morales are under threaten. There are reports of forced “disappearances” and arbitrary detentions. It is a classic coup d’etat, with a coalition of police, military and civic committees.

Evo Morales and his co-religionists do not deserve to be arrested or persecuted. The Bolivian population has suffered too much historically. We want and will contribute to them gaining the strength to recover their country. All solidarity with the Bolivian people, all solidarity with Evo Morales and his comrades, all solidarity with Bolivia. May the wind that brought the coup not last for long and may the Bolivian people recover the country. The struggle never ends!

They shall not pass!

14 November 2019

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Uttalande från Fjärde Internationalens ledning om Grekland

Statement by the Bureau 12 August 2015

With the diktat accepted by the Greek government, all workers in Europe have just suffered a defeat. In Greece and throughout Europe we have to build the fightback.


The signature by the Tsipras government of the agreement demanded by the Troika and the installation of a third memorandum in Greece represents an undeniable victory for the capitalist forces in Europe.
This signature is a rejection of the mandate given by the Greek people through the massive OXI! in the referendum of 5 July. In that referendum, a class vote unambiguously rejected the project agreement demanded by the Troika. This vote was a strong expression of the rejection of the policies of austerity and poverty that had been implemented by the two first memoranda by conservative and social democratic parties, a rejection which had already led to the victory of Syriza in January.

This about-face was apparent immediately after the referendum. Tsipras, to comply with the demands of the Eurogroup negotiators drafted a declaration of national unity with the parties subservient to the Troika (New Democracy, PASOK and To Potami) who had just been repudiated at the ballot box.

The agreement accepted a few days later was even more devastating for the Greek population than the one rejected on 5 July. The European Union, the ECB and the conservative and social democrat European governments imposed an agreement dismantling what is left of social rights and establishing a real colonial tutelage by removing any sovereign decision-making from Greek national institutions. The creation of a privatization agency of Greek public goods under direct control of creditors is stepping up the selling off piece by piece of the national heritage.

Resistance to such surrender was expressed after the announcement of the draft agreement by the Left platform of Syriza, a majority of members of the CC, other left forces engaged in the battle of the NO – including Antarsya activists, and many trade union reactions. The protest also involved street demonstrations, which were violently suppressed by the government and several activists were beaten, attacked by the anti-riot police, prosecuted and convicted in court simply for having demanding respect of popular decisions. These police exactions, worthy of the time of Samaras, have been supported by Tsipras and his new government.

The violence of the offensive launched by the leaders of the European Union is proportionate to what is at stake: to prove, despite the democratic choice of the Greek people, that no alternative to austerity plans laid down by the European ruling class exists within Europe. One thing (above all) is clear now if it was not clear before. That is that it is impossible for a radical left government to oppose austerity inside the Eurozone today unless it is prepared to exit the Euro or be expelled from it.

By linking Greece’s membership of the European Union to the respect of these dictates the true nature of this Union is illuminated: an anti-democratic construction, outside popular control and not at all aiming for upward harmonization of the economic and social situation of European populations. Its sole purpose, confirmed by the evolution of economies since 2002, is the establishment of market and monetary support for the exporting economies of the Northern countries, concretized by the deconstruction of the social rights won in every national space and endless austerity. Monetary stability has been accompanied by wage devaluation. The construction of Europe, constrained by the treaties of Maastricht and Lisbon, ”written in stone”, appears as a framework that cannot be challenged by any popular choice.

The perspective opened in January 2015 was not that the Greek people would decide to cut themselves off from the other peoples of Europe, but did call into question and break with the rules of the Union. This could be a powerful hammer blows to a structure that cannot be brought down other than by the mobilization of the whole of European populations.

Capitalist Europeans leaders, both conservatives and Social Democrats, have never accepted the establishment of a government whose programme is and end to austerity policies and memoranda. Syriza was a clear alternative to the policies pursued by the ND of Samaras and previously by PASOK. Its election programme clearly expressed the will to challenge the dictates of the Troika. In that respect, this political experience represented a chance for the workers, in Greece and throughout Europe, to demonstrate the possibility that a political party based on an anti-austerity programme assert itself strongly, impose itself against the reactionary parties and follow a path breaking with the demands of the European capitalists.

But the months which have just passed showed that to meet such a challenge, they had to be ready for a class against class clash within Greece and also with the European ruling class, its proto-State and its banks, by challenging the illegitimate debt, the institutions and the treaties of the European Union.

The Tsipras team wanted to succeed in an impossible bet: put an end to austerity in Greece while complying with the rules of the European Union and the schedule of debt repayment.

By taking responsibility for the debts incurred by previous Governments and continuing in the past six months to pay more than EUR 7 billion to the ECB and the IMF, by accepting the injection of funds from emergency assistance (ELA), the Greek Government has not loosened the noose tied around the neck of the Greek people by the Troika. Yet the audit requested by the Vouli (parliament) has demonstrated that odious and illegitimate debt and had elicited the demand by many Greek MPs for immediate cessation of payment. But Tsipras refused to stop the payment of the debt, refused to block the flight of capital and refused to nationalize banks and the Greek Central Bank, the only ways to really take control of the banking system.

The argument for this policy and ultimately accepting such a surrender is that this path was the only one possible to avoid suffocation of the Greek banks and bankruptcy of the country, to avoid the Grexit. Tsipras said that there was no alternative to such a choice. In recent weeks against opponents from left, he constantly put forward the argument of the currency: reject the dictates and the capitulation would, according to him, have pushed the Greece out of the Euro zone, or even of the European Union. During the legislative campaign, Syriza had as a slogan “no sacrifice for the euro”.

The Euro and the ECB rules of the Maastricht Treaty, with the debt, were used as a second noose to strangle the Greek people.

Avoid the Grexit, used as a threat against Greece by all European Governments, became the Tsipras government’s absolute priority, forcing it to put aside any aggressive policy on the issue of debt and the implementation of Syriza’s anti-austerity programme. The refusal to leave the euro zone has become a categorical imperative.

Yet, for several months, and particularly during the campaign for the NO in the referendum, the Greek left and including the Syriza Left Platform, advanced clear proposals for another policy, a line of confrontation and breaking with the leadership and the rules of the European Union.

These alternative choices emphasize social control through the nationalization of the banking system, unilateral suspension of debt repayments, blocking the flight of capital, an end to privatization, the immediate application of the social measures provided for by the declaration of Thessaloniki. Within the framework carrying out these measures which requires a battle against the Greek oligarchy and its privileges, a process of rupture with the European institutions should and must be prepared, and, given the dictates of the Troika, the preparation of leaving the Eurozone.

Such a policy followed consciously could rely on mobilization and massive support in the country, made possible by the immediate implementation of social measures for the working classes. Making staying in the Eurozone an impassable frontier serves mainly as a pretext for the lack of implementation of urgent economic and social measures. In conclusion, Tsipras choices lead to continuing subjection of the Greek people to a much more dramatic social situation than the one they would face on leaving the Eurozone.

The page of confrontations has not been turned in Greece.

The Syriza Left Platform will fight in the coming weeks to prevent Troika winning another victory by shattering this party and its accumulated experience. And all of the anti-capitalist Greeks, in and outside of Syriza will have to find the paths of the counter-offensive, based on the experience of the united-front committees for the OXI. This concerns first of all the forces of Syriza who oppose the path taken by Tsipras, and those of Antarsya. This concerns also all the forces of the trade-union movement and the whole of the social movement which has acted on this line. The KKE, from the establishment of the Government in January, frontally sabotaged any joint action of anti-austerity forces. The other forces of the Greek left do not accept this situation which, today as yesterday, represents an obstacle to creating a single front fighting austerity.

The development of the Greek situation issues a challenge to all those who want to oppose the capitalist forces in Europe. The signal is clear: there can be no challenge to the austerity policies suffered by workers without confrontation, without a process of rupture with the institutions of the European Union, and without the prospect of a Europe at the service of workers and peoples.

Agreeing to the framework laid down by the treaties, hoping to be able to negotiate a reasonable agreement with the institutions is synonymous with submission to the demands of the ECB and the Commission. There cannot be any illusion on margins of manoeuvre at this level, based on possible support from the social democratic parties, or at least the hope they will take their distance from the most reactionary policies. The last few weeks have shown that Social Democrats leaders ignored the choice of the Greek people as much as their conservative colleagues. All these political forces have chimed in. Worse, the official leadership of the European Trade Union Confederation had also lined up alongside Greece’s ”creditors”, without any alternative voice within it.

The Greek experience is a challenge in the first place to the left in the Spanish State, where the rise of Podemos was parallel to and stimulated by that of Syriza. But it also appeals to the whole of the European labour movement.

Everyone understands that the capitalists’ agenda in Europe is more austerity, fewer jobs, less pay, fewer social rights. It is vital that failure of the phase which has just ended in Greece does not lead to abandoning any political perspective of radical challenge to austerity policies, or a refusal to advocate the cancellation of the illegitimate debt, a ”realpolitik” avoiding the obstacle. This would leave as alternative to the conservative and social democratic policies only nationalist, chauvinist, far-right solutions that are just as devastating for social rights.

To flout the democratic choice of the Greek people, the ECB and the Eurogroup set themselves up as a European Government purporting to act on behalf of peoples. This simply showed up the total absence of legitimacy and democracy of the European institutions. Noting this obvious [weakness] forced takeover, some like Jacques Delors or François Hollande, propose the creation of a Government or Parliament of the euro zone, tinkering with the existing institutions of the Union that is only more derisory because these same institutions are, by treaties, already those related to this currency. Recent weeks have confirmed that this undemocratic and dedicated edifice in the interests of the ruling classes European should be pulled down in order to impose popular sovereignty.

There will be no anti-austerity programme without an orientation of popular mobilization, confrontation and break with these institutions and the rules of the European Union.

The balance of power imposed by peoples will allow the implement of such a policy by completely changing the rules of the euro, or we must prepare to leave the Eurozone. The past few weeks show that an essential part of such a policy in the European Union countries is the establishment of a coordinated, international action, setting common targets. The Greek people have remained tragically alone in recent months.

It is up to European anti-capitalists to rise to meet the challenges so that the next social confrontations build a balance of power making it possible to overcome the obstacles and that the European workers’ movement, in its political, trade unionist and social forms, makes the links necessary for a Europe-wide offensive against austerity.

Fjärde Internationalen: Nej till trojkans diktat, solidaritet med det grekiska folket.

Uttalande av Fjärde Internationalens sekretariats byrå den 29 juni 2015

Alexis Tsipras utlysning av folkomröstningen den 5 juli, där väljarna uppmanas att avvisa trojkans förslag till överenskommelse, är goda nyheter för det grekiska folket och för alla de i Europa som kämpar mot åtstramningspolitiken. Vi hoppas att det kommer ett kraftfullt ”nej” från vallokalerna till det europeiska diktatet.

Ledarna inom den europeiska unionen har alltså än en gång visat sin önskan att trampa på det grekiska folkets grundläggande rättigheter genom att försöka driva igenom en skamlig överenskommelse. Och dessutom har de mage att påstå att den grekiska regeringen har överskridit en gräns genom att vilja genomföra en demokratisk process genom en folkomröstning. Utmaningen de kommande dagarna i Grekland och i hela Europa är av avgörande betydelse. Alla krafter inom arbetarrörelsen måste solidariskt stå upp mot den samlade attacken mot det grekiska folket. För att rädda sina reaktionära institutioner och banker kommer de europeiska ledarna, höger såväl som socialdemokrater, att vidta varje åtgärd för att bekämpa ett nej från de grekiska väljarna och försöka tvinga regeringen Tsipras att kapitulera eller avgå.

Under sex månader har EUs och IMFs mål varit givna: de kunde inte acceptera att den grekiska regeringen inte gav efter för deras krav, att den inte kapitulerade genom att utsätta det grekiska folket för nya sociala nedskärningar, genomdriva en pensionsreform och höjd moms på dagligvaror och energi. Det är helt uteslutet för de europeiska ledarna att ett land skulle kunna undkomma den politik som eftersträvas av kapitalisterna, bankerna och regeringarna och som innebär obegränsade nedskärningar. Därför var det viktigt för Merkel, Holland, Lagarde och Junker att visa för folken i övriga Europa att det inte fanns någon alternativ politik, och samtidigt demonstrera att, oavsett valutgången i de olika länderna, demokratiska rättigheter upphör där det allsmäktiga kapitalistiska systemet börjar.

Därför var det viktigt att också visa det grekiska folket att valet av en regering som avvisade åtstramningar bara kunde sluta i nederlag eller kapitulation och att Tsipras regering antingen borde avgå eller acceptera en skamlig överenskommelse, splittra sitt parti och alliera sig med socialdemokratin och högern.

Genom att rösta för Syriza den 25 januari uttryckte de grekiska väljarna sin önskan att sätta stopp för den ökade fattigdom och arbetslöshet som drabbat dem sedan 2010.

En tredjedel av befolkningen och två tredjedelar av pensionärerna lever under fattigdomsgränsen, 28 procent av arbetarna och 60 procent av ungdomarna är arbetslösa. Detta är resultatet av den politik som påtvingats dem genom trojkans olika memorandum. Det är dessa oacceptabla levnadsförhållanden som det grekiska folket ville sätta stopp för genom rösta bort de partier som hade lett dem till denna katastrof.

I sex månader har Tsipras försökt genomföra ett omöjligt mål : att uppnå en överenskommelse med EU, Europeiska centralbanken och IMF som inte ledde til nya uppoffringar för det grekiska folket; att fullfölja alla lånebetalningar i tid utan att öka åtstramningarna; att hålla de löften Syriza givit till sina väljare och de löften tidigare grekiska regeringar givit till Trojkan. Den 20 februari trodde Europagruppens ledare att segern var vunnen, när Tsipras accepterade nya åtstramningar och efter att han sagt att han skulle respektera alla tidsgränser för skuldbetalningar till ECB och IMF.

Sedan dess har den grekiska regeringen manövrerat mellan sinsemellan oförenliga beslut: löftena att återgå till minimilöner på 750 Euro och återinföra överenskommelserna om kollektivavtalsförhandlingar har skjutit på framtiden och privatiseringen av hamnen i Pireus fortsätter, samtidigt som regeringen på nytt har öppnat ERT, den grekiska statliga TVn, vars stängning under regeringen Samaras blev symbolen förödmjukelserna från de europeiska bankerna och EU. Och i mars antog parlamentet en lag riktad mot den humanitära krisen och en annan om indrivning av skatteskulder. Men inför de europeiska ledarnas tilltagande arrogans och det ökade motståndet från Syrizas parlamentsledamöter och medlemmar, har Tsipris vägrat accepteraTrojkans krav, i synnerhet nedskärningar av pensioner och momsökningar.

Slutligen, ingen överenskommelse har undertecknats mellan den grekiska regeringen och dess ”långivare”. Efter flera avbrutna förhandlingar vägrade regeringen för första gången den 5 juni att fullgöra betalningen på 300 miljoner Euro till IMF och hotade också att inte betala in hela skulden i juni (1,6 miljarder Euro). Sista juni hade fastställts som slutdatum för både inbetalningen till IMF och för den sista utbetalningen på ”räddnings”planen, 7,2 miljarder Euro som under nio månader blockerats av ECB.

Till sist vägrade Tsipras att gå med på den totala kapitulation som Lagarde, Holland, Merkel och Junker ville påtvinga honom.

Utlysningen av folkomröstningen är en örfil avsedd för EU:s regeringar och institutioner. I november 2011 lade Sarkozy, Merkel och Barroso in sitt veto mot ett försök av George Papandreou, då grekisk premiärminister, att genomför en folkomröstning för att kunna få politiskt stöd för sin kapitulation inför EUs krav. Idag har de europeiska ledarna inga medel att stoppa en demokratisk rådplägning, som måste utmynna i ett tillbakavisande av Trojkans nya diktat.


Nu börjar andra akten

I Grekland, såväl som i Europa, kommer den nyliberala vänstern och högern att förena sina politiska styrkor för att försäkra sig om att denna folkomröstning inte leder till en ny politisk väg för Grekland. Den grekiska regeringen var beredd till nya kompromisser för att undvika förseningar av låneinbetalningar och ett sammanbrott i förhandlingarna. Men framför allt ville Trojkan att överenskommelserna skulle ge en politisk signal om Greklands kapitulation inför sina långivare. Dynamiken under de kommande dagarna kan öppna för en annan väg: en brytning med Trojkans krav, ett stopp för avbetalningar på lånen, en radikal uppslutning bakom en annan politik, ett genomförande av det program på vilket Syriza vunnit sin majoritet. Men detta förutsätter en bred och enad mobilisering av den grekiska arbetarklassen för att snabbt blockera de försök till sabotage som redan inletts. Trycket mot regeringen och det grekiska banksystemet kommer att tillta inför folkomröstningen. Redan för några dagar sedan släppte chefen för Greklands centralbank, en tidigare minister under Samaras högerregering, en kraftigt varnande rapport vars enda syfte är att öka kapitalflykten från grekiska banker, trots att mer än 30 miljarder Euro redan har flyttats och att summan av grekiska förmögenheter som använts för investeringar utomlands idag uppskattas till mer än 400 miljarder. Även om regeringen ännu inte talar om nationaliseringar av banksystemet, har den just infört kapitalkontroller.

Den sanningskommission om den offentliga skuldsättningen som tillsats av parlamentet, avgav sin rapport den 18 juni. Den slog fast den olagliga och tvivelaktiga karaktären på denna orimliga skuld, visade att mindre än 10 procent av ”nöd”lånen gick till löpande utgifter och att större delen av dem användes för att lösa tyska och franska banker från de lån de tecknat under tidigare år.

Som en följd av rapporten röstade 49 av Syrizas ledamöter för en debatt i parlamentet med syfte att driva igenom ett tillbakavisande av större delen av denna tvivelaktiga och illegitima skuld.

De kommande dagarnas utmaning är avgörande för det grekiska folket, och för alla de i Europa som lider under åtstramningspolitiken.

Vi måste bygga en europeisk solidaritetsfront med det grekiska folket. Den måste riktas mot EU:s ledare och unionens regeringar som, med extrem känslighet för kapitalismens intressen, fruktar att det grekiska folket den 5 juli avvisar deras politik av förakt och åtstramningar på ett sätt som kan fungera som inspiration för arbetarklassen över hela Europa. De fruktar också att detta kan leda till en ny folklig mobilisering i Grekland, som ytterligare kan försvåra deras manövrerande för att strypa eller störta regeringen Tsipras. På samma sätt som Podemos framgångar nyligen i Spanien – där man valde borgmästare som motsatte sig åtstramningspolitiken i ett antal av de större städerna i landet – visar situationen i Grekland att den sociala frustrationen i Europa kan leda till andra svar än extremhögerns ömkliga utlänningsfientliga och fascistiska lösningar.

En ny revolutionär generation och ekosocialism för 2000-talet

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