Thursday, February 16, 2017
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST BULLETIN #3
16 February 2017.
ALEKSANDAR BANJANAC (NKPJ): “OUR TRADITION RELIES ON PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM”.
BELGRADE- Special interview with Aleksandar Banjanac, the General Secretary of the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia (NKPJ).
ICP: Recently we are witnessing the reproduced forms of Serbian nationalism. War criminal Vojislav Seselj’s Serbian Radical Party gained 22 seats in the latest parliamentary elections. On the other hand, government of Serbia attempted to restore the honour of Nazi collaborators such as Milan Nedic. NKPJ had a series of protests withstanding these attempts and against the existence of fascist organisations in the universities. How does your party aim to continue by its stance against nationalism?
Aleksandar Banjanac: From the establishment of our party onwards, we have always opposed all forms of chauvinism, fascism and discrimination.
As in Serbia, as well as in post-Yugoslavian republics, nationalism has been the legitimating ideology of ruling classes and of imperialist aims. This idea has separated the working class ethnically, led them to a social, material and class collapse. Moreover, it paved the way for restoring the honour of Nazi servants and revisionism.
We always try to reveal and show the background of nationalism. We sustained our position in our protests against restoring the honour of public enemies who existed during the World War II. We are also presenting this stance in our party program, announcements, in discussions and while calling to party alignments. Presidential and probably another parliamentary elections will be held in Serbia within this year. What will be NKPJ’s position?
New Communist Party of Yugoslavia will show an organised stance by presenting the president of the trade union of “Sloga” comrade Željka Veselinović as candidate. Sloga is the only World Federation of Trade Unions-WFTU member in Serbia. Before the elections a ten-article election program has been already prepared. These articles highlight collaborations with IMF, the World Bank, EU and NATO, as well as privatisations and nationalist policies as a target. It is still early for speaking about parliamentary elections.
Serbia’s electoral system doesn’t consist equal conditions for the participants. If you are not financially capable enough before and while attending the elections, you inevitably facing with difficulties. In the upcoming elections, by collaborating with Sloga we are going to come over this obstacle.
We are expecting a new vault on behalf of the working class in the elections and also creating a stronger organisational form among our members and allies.
ICP: A few days ago, that a train heading on the recently re-established railway route between Belgrade and Kosovo’s Mitrovica was stopped by Kosovar officials due to the cover of the train with the slogan of “Kosovo is Serbia” written in 21 languages, caused a new political crisis. What are your predictions on further political atmosphere concerning Kosovo?
AB: “Republic of Kosovo” is a NATO base right in the centre of Balkans. “Independent Kosovo” discourses are the result of the expansionist-occupant war and intervention to SR of Yugoslavia by NATO forces in 1999.
At the same time, this intervention means the occupation of Kosovo and Metohija, which is a strategically significant region. On the other hand, Balkans are under the control of US forces for so long. One of the largest US bases in this region is “Bondstil”, situated in Uroševca, Kosovo. Recently, proofs on the existence of a war prison inside the base were published in the press. In other words, we can call it as European Guantanamo. Moreover, a new military aid by the government of Trump to Kosovo is being expected.
Both governments in Kosovo and Belgrade are NATO servants of the same degree. The intervention to the train by Serbian government was pre-election propaganda. At the same time, this has a meaning of gradual recognition of Kosovo by the government, which is directed by the western imperialism. Current situation can only warm up the Serbian and Albanian nationalisms. Eventually, this endangers Serbians in Kosovo. These steps are not needed by anyone except of them. What they are capable to show is only their inabilities.
This agenda is going to keep its fragility until the imperialist occupation and aims at coming to an end. Sustaining peace and realising solidarity among Albanian and Serbian peoples is not at loose hands of NATO. Both sides are victims of NATO. The peoples of Balkans will be able to determine their own future only if Balkans belong to them.
ICP:The stance of Russia in Ukraine led EU impose an embargo on Russia. Concurrently Russia announced the Turkish stream, a pipeline project, which included Serbia within its route. Shortly after, Russian president Vladimir Putin visited Belgrade, where his visit included also a joint military parade of Russian and Serbian armies. Government of Serbia was criticized of showing pragmatism due to ongoing negotiation process with EU on the other side. What is your comment on the position of Serbian government concerning these relations?
AB: Yes, the government of Serbia showed a pragmatist stance by supporting fascist bands and illegitimate President Poroshenko while negotiating with Russia. Even the EU was criticized for not pressurising Serbia enough. This is clearly a proof of the dominance of EU over the government.
Just after Putin’s visit to Belgrade and military parade, the government was obliged to give a statement to NATO, which at the time beclouded the agreements. These agreements give several priorities to NATO in both military and civil fields. In a state of war, we will have to give the control of our bases, hospitals and airports to NATO.
We don’t need such a pragmatism. One of our idioms say “if you don’t feed your own army, you feed else’s”.
ICP: A while ago NKPJ held its congress. One of the most outstanding decisions taken in the congress was rejuvenation objective, which leant upon the trust over your youth organisation SKOJ. What is the expected yield of this transition in NKPJ?
AB: Rejuvenation objective was a draft planned for many years. It was concretised in our Fifth Extraordinary Congress. I was elected to be the new general secretary of our party in the same Congress and my age is not even 34. We have even younger comrades in the secretariat, politburo and central committee. We are one of the rare communist parties in the region having such young administration.
Despite all the difficulties and restrictions, we target to realise a powerful worker’s party. We need a NKPJ, which will be able to respond to the needs of workers. We need to organise the youth who will break away from the system of exploitation, who will not consider socialism as a nostalgic era and will take it as an only alternative against capitalism. As long as NKPJ relies upon youth, youth will rely upon us too.
ICP: Why are you taking Yugoslavia -which is today divided into many different states- as your scale of politics instead of Serbia?
AB: First of all, even that Yugoslavia is separated into several parts, manipulated and its resources are wiped off, we don’t think it has lost its historical significance.
We are the only party approaching to the national question with Yugoslavian identity. Even though the national question was not solved as desired, we have the will to solve this issue by redefining all of the peoples of this region as a whole. Another past issue was the existence of interior borders within Yugoslavia. It was one of the main reasons of the war that occurred just after the dissolution.
Moreover, it is obvious that peace has not been established in the region since 90’s. Frictions among peoples and governments of ex-Yugoslavian countries often warm up.
Intervention of western imperialism divided our country in economical, martial, national, social and educational terms. After the dissolution, they even exported their policies to the new governments.
By using the term of Yugoslavia, we present its actual legitimacy. While we use this term, we also remark the NATO occupation. We insist that all progressive forces must show joint stance against this occupation.
People defining themselves with Yugoslavian identity still exist nowadays. They condemn actual political atmosphere and give their support to our party.
ICP: Your Party has a position different from the League of Communists of Yugoslavia concerning the USSR and the ideal of socialism. What are the sources of the legacy of the NKPJ?
AB: Right, we have a quite different stance from League of Communists of Yugoslavia. This stance mainly consists of principles regarding the construction of socialism.
As we own the position of Communist Party of Yugoslavia, we also say that the communist league which was established after 1948 by changing the party’s name is an opportunist and revisionist change and led them turn their back to the international communist movement.
After the twentieth congress, a revisionist period began in USSR, too. However, at the same time they showed a realistic opposition against imperialism during the Cold War. Yugoslavia chose to stand neutral in this class-based war. As Lenin says, every third way rejects the second one. Yugoslavian third way rejected the main dominant opposition. Thus, Tito’s Yugoslavia headed up the Non-Aligned Movement. By this stance, Yugoslavia has been aligned to imperialism and established the “little NATO” by collaborating with Turkey and Greece in the 50’s.
Tito and party cadres had organized the national sovereignty war heroically and triumphed with a revolution. The role of Tito in this historical period cannot be rejected. But unfortunately, they could not sustain the revolution that they established. In contrast, they played the “Trojan horse” role within the international communist movement and headed towards the restoration of capitalism.
Our tradition relies on social democrat party and their successors -the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, which sustained the claims on proletarian internationalism, III. International, Cominform and scientific socialism until 1948.
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THE WFTU IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JAILED TRADE UNION LEADERS IN KENYA.
NAIROBI- The World Federation of Trade Unions expresses its deep proletarian solidarity to the medics in Kenya and their union who are in strike for the last two months demanding better working conditions and wage increase.
On February 13th seven trade union Officials were jailed due to their trade-union activity, because they didn’t call off the strike by doctors in public hospitals. This action proves once more the limits of the capitalists’ democracy. The judge, forgot how many people are dying in Kenya and in Africa, due to the lack of medical treatment and the starvation caused by the privatizations in Public Sector and the cutoffs in the workers wage.
The WFTU representing 92 million workers around the world calls the government of Kenya to respect the trade-union freedoms and fully adopts the just demands of the workers and doctors in public health sector.
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TURKEY: PROTESTS AGAINST PURGE OF ACADEMICS #donottouchmyprofessor.
ANKARA (14.2.2017)- The recent Statutory Decree by AKP (Justice and Development Party) government in Turkey led to dismissal of hundreds of academics from their positions in universities. Some faculties of Ankara University lost an important portion of their academic staff. The dismissed academicians are known for their left-wing and opponent political stances.
This week started with protests in several universities. In Ankara University, faculty of political sciences and faculty of communication were the main targets of the attack by the government. On Monday, lectures in Ankara University were boycotted. Students and academics protested the statutory decree with the slogan “down with tyranny, long live freedom!”
In the Faculty of Communication, students occupied the dean’s office and demanded the resignation of the dean.
In the Faculty of Medicine of Ankara University, academics and students protested the statutory decree, with a banner that reads “don’t touch my professor”. Academics demanded the return of dismissed staff to the university.
With the latest statutory decree, only 4 academics are left in the department of theatre in Ankara University; which means that this department will practically be inactivated. This situation is protested on Monday by concurrent protests by theatre departments of different universities. In the common statement of press by students of departments of theatre of different universities, it is underlined that dismissal of academicians from universities is a strike against science and arts.
Protests in Kocaeli University were attacked by police forces. Protestors could not start their demonstration; 9 students and 3 academics are taken under custody by the police forces.
In Istanbul, the dismissals from university were protested in Marmara University, by academicians and students. The protestors were attacked by a group of fascist students with bottles of soda. No serious injury was reported.
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THE KKE DELEGATION AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VOTED AGAINST CETA.
BRUSSELS (15.2.2017)- Kostas Papadakis, MEP of the KKE, intervened today in the discussion on the “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” between the EU and Canada (CETA) in the full session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg and stressed the following:
«The “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” between the EU and Canada serves the interests of the monopolies and constitutes a plan for a single market to further increase capitalist profits, with significant geopolitical implications.
The major business groups of the EU and Canada seek to acquire an advantage at the expense of their competitors in terms of their profitability.US business groups in particular are playing an important role in this competition, as they have strong positions in Canada. CETA paves the way for the calling into question of and abolition of any workers’ rights that have been left standing, with mass dismissals on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the name of protecting investors and entrepreneurship, the greatest possible freedom of movement for capital, commodities and services is established. Abolishing basic environmental regulations and even the minimum safety levels for food, environmental protection etc. that are provided for today. The final obstacles are removed for the monopolies in order to liberalize state and other services, signaling their unhindered delivery to capital. The setting up of made-to-order investment tribunals aims to safeguard guaranteed profits for the monopolies besides investments and through compensation.
The SYRIZA government in Greece is playing games and bears serious responsibilities, because while it has co-signed CETA in the European Council, some of its officials are pretending to protest.
The KKE votes against this anti-people agreement, which cannot be improved by recommendations and cannot be corrected.The struggle against the agreements and interests of capital is a part of the struggle to eradicate the causes of capitalist exploitation, to satisfy the people’s needs.”
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ZAPATISTAS DEMAND “GRASSROOTS RESISTANCE” AGAINST TRUMP’S WALLS.
CHIAPAS- “We call for grassroots movements to resist, resist and rebel against the persecution, the arrests and deportations.” The Zapatista Army of National Liberation, EZLN, called on all of its members and supporters to rally behind the immigrants currently facing arrest, deportation and human rights abuses at the hands of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. “We call for grassroots movements to resist, resist and rebel against the persecution, the arrests and deportations… Because every human being has the right to live in freedom and dignity in the place he finds the best for himself, and has the right to fight to stay there,” said the communique, calling resistance an act of “duty.”
Signed by Subcomandante Moises and Subcomandante Galeano, the document reinforced the idea that migrants and refugees are “not alone” and that the Zapatistas, “even with our limited possibilities,” fully support their struggle.
It also includes a series of suggested actions, including the provision of free legal advice and support for immigrants as well as commercial and media boycotts.
“From up there,” states the document, referring to governments, “solutions won’t come… because from there came the problems.”
Over the past few weeks, the Zapatistas’ Sixth Commission has been reaching out to activists, collectives and organizations in a drive to develop closer cooperation on various solidarity actions in support of the “persecuted.”