On May 16-17 was held, in Rimini, the Fourth Congress of the Party of Communist Alternative. It was a very important moment in our Party’s life; the Congress being the highest decision-making body for any party that seeks to be revolutionary.
It was also an opportunity to outline a balance sheet of our intervention and our building in recent years and to redefine our structure and our program for the next period. A moment of synthesis and therefore recovery of our action and the presence of many young people who have made a fundamental contribution to the success of the congress itself, participating in the development and discussion of the congress’ thesis.
The Congress also had the participation of an important delegation of comrades from other sections of the International League of Workers-Fourth International, the world organization of which the PDAC is the Italian section. In particular, comrades Ricardo Ayala, from the coordination body of the IWL European Secretariat, Conceição Martinez, from Corriente Roja (Spanish section of IWL) and Manuel Afonso, from the MAS (IWL’s Portuguese section).
The political discussions: the problems of class struggle in Italy
Comrade Patrizia Cammarata opened the congress by explaining its functioning and greeting the audience. Then, comrade Valerio Torre reported on the Italian political situation.
The level of discussion on the characterization of the political juncture was very high, with the participation of many comrades. It was stressed that the situation we are experiencing in our country is clearly no-revolutionary and marked by a period of calm in the class struggle within the framework of a social war that Renzi’s government, together with the institutions of the European Union, has unleashed against the working class and the Youth (the Jobs Act and “Good School” reform). In response to these plans for restructuring the power of the ruling class, some sectors of the reformist left have expressed their willingness to construct artificially an Italian Syriza, rejoining the pieces of the Communist Refoundation, SEL, some who left the Democratic Party and the sector around Landini. Actually, this project seems hard to succeed due to the absence of a mass mobilization on which it could be based, combined with the inability to adopt an anti-austerity policy while not willing to break with the structures of the capitalist system. This absence of a possible reformist solution to the current crisis is evidenced by the capitulation of Tsipras’ government to the Troika’s demands for structural adjustment and debt payment.
Then, comrade Fabiana Stefanoni gave a report on the state of trade unions and our intervention. The current hegemony of the bureaucratic leadership of CGIL and the situation of local unions are the main factors that cushion the social conflict in our country. On the one hand the CGIL still exerts a strong influence on the working class and its leadership aims at preserving their caste privileges instead of encouraging a mass mobilization against the government. On the other hand the local unions are crossed by a series of paroxysmal micro-bureaucratic divisions that prevent the organization of any initiative of unified opposition, preferring to retreat into self-proclamation solutions without any perspective.
The following debate was focused on the need to continue our militant work in the Coordination of Struggles No Austerity, seen as a chance to overcome the current divisions, unifying the different realities of the struggle through the working class solidarity and democracy.
The struggle of women
Saturday evening was dedicated to discuss the struggle of women against male chauvinism. The report by comrade Laura Sguazzabia, head of the Committee for construction work among women, and the debate that followed have stated the condition of dual oppression, class and gender, that female workers suffer within capitalism. It was reiterated that the fight against sexism is inseparable from a broader struggle against capitalism and it is essential for the construction of a revolutionary party which aims at leading the working class, half of which are women. That is why the question should not only involve female workers and militants but also men, since it is not a battle between different genders, but a problem that involves the whole working class in struggle.
The level of debate and the report itself, as well as the presence of a specific document on the issue highlight the great strides made by the party in this direction. We believe that the PdAC is currently the only left party that organizes systematic work in this field from a class perspective and moves away from the parlor feminism which the social democracy is used to. Not surprisingly, the struggle of women, together with the construction of the Young Communist revolutionaries, is one of the fundamental pillars for the construction of our party as the congress itself showed.
Saturday evening ended with the discussion and the vote of the Statute and the meeting of the election commission that drafted the proposed composition of the new Central Committee.
The construction of the Party and the Young Communist revolutionaries
On Sunday, Mateo Bavassano presented the report on party building and Adriano Lotito on the construction of the Young Communist revolutionaries.
Bavassano highlighted an important point. While the rest of the reformist and centrist Left is in disarray and undergoing a clear breakdown, Alternative Communist manages to “keep” and to grow, albeit slowly and against the tide. In a context in which the entire left is shattered, and the struggles have not yet arrived, we are able to consolidate our position. A true development of the party, of course, can only take place in a different situation, with that ascent of the struggles that probably is not far even for Italy, while the world situation is defined exactly as revolutionary. In this context, where the problems are varied, our party has on his side a program that no other political party can claim: a revolutionary program, the product of 160 years of development by the communist and workers’ movement and expressed in an international organization active in dozens of countries around the world.
Afterwards, Lotito reported on the Young Communist revolutionaries, the other important new element for the PdAC construction, together with the work on the oppression of women. The report has focused particularly on the need to build a specific area of militancy among the younger generation, taking advantage of the total crisis of the reformist left in this sector and the availability to fight showed by the student movement in recent years and that resurfaced during the mobilizations against Renzi’s education reform (called Buona scuola – Good school) that took place on May 5. The debate that followed was attended by several young comrades who reported their experience of struggle within the student organizations reaffirming the potential of development of the Young Communist revolutionaries.
An lively internationalist party present in the struggles
After the reports on Sunday were made, it was time for the discussion and voting for the amendments to the congressional documents and for the new Central Committee that will lead the party until the next Congress. Some motions of solidarity were also passed. The first, in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Zionist state; the second, supporting the struggle of the dockers at SDA in Bologna against a plan of layoffs and corporate restructuring; the third statement expressed solidarity with Brazilian workers in struggle for the next important day of national mobilization set for May 29.
The conclusion of this important event was entrusted to comrade Francesco Ricci, who summarized the important steps forward made by the Party, outlining a positive balance sheet, thanking the congressional audience and the international guests and reaffirming the centrality of being part of a large global project such as that of the International Workers League – Fourth International.
The congress was then finished by singing the notes of the Internationale, the anthem of the workers movement history for nearly 150 years, with an obvious enthusiasm mixed with emotion in all the comrades, who are prepared to return to fight in the streets, in schools and in the factories and workplaces in the country.