by New Worker correspondent
THE POLE de Renaissance Communiste en France (PRCF) held a highly successful conference in Paris last weekend with delegates from across France gathering in a spirit of militancy and optimism. The New Communist Party of Britain was represented by Theo Russell from the Central Committee, who joined other fraternal guests from Cuba, Greece, Algeria, Spain, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Belgium and Pakistan for the second national conference of the French anti-revisionist communist movement.
The PRCF is still a party in process of formation with many potential members still inside the revisionist and openly right-wing Communist Party of France (PCF), and growing left-wing opposition within the PCF by factions demanding a return to class struggle.
Plans to drop the word “communist” at the PCF’s congress next month are expected to lead many more members leaving the party in the New Year, but its draft resolution has dropped its open attacks on the Soviet Union and former socialist states for the first time in decades, in an attempt to retain the waverers.
The PCF’s official membership has slumped from 800,000 to under 100,000, with most of those leaving “scattering” into isolation or non-communist activity.
The Communist Renaissance leadership declared the organisation of factory cells as the PRCF’s most urgent priority, noting that the PCF’s decision to close down its factory branches in the late 1980s created a space that was filled by Trotskyist unions.
Several delegates stressed that the PRCF alone cannot bring about revolution, and that change was only possible through mobilising the working class.
Delegates also condemned the reactionary role of the CGT union confederation – previously linked with the PCF – giving examples of manipulation, vote-rigging and even using lawyers to prevent strikes and telling workers “you have ignored our instructions and must pay the cost”.
Veteran anti-Nazi resistance leader Leon L’Andini told delegates that almost 20 years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall capitalism was in severe crisis, with the new situation presenting new dangers, such as attempts in Europe to criminalise communists and militants by re-writing history.
Georges Gasteau of PRCF’s national committee described the threat now posed by capitalism to all humanity as “capitalist exterminism”.
The PRCF opposes the EU in its entirety, including the Treaty of Rome itself, demands the return of troops from Afghanistan (a demand supported by the 70 per cent of French people), and France’s departure from Nato.
The conference adopted a position supportive of the People’s Republic of China and opposing counter-revolutionary interference, but also supporting workers and communists defending socialism and resisting corruption and the negative effects of capitalist production.
The conference was addressed by a representative of the NMPP workforce, a national newspaper distribution cooperative set up in 1947, which is under attack by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in an effort to break a symbol of past working class gains.
for a year
The workforce has fought for a year with the PRCF, the only political party in France to give its support. Sarkozy was accused of acting for allies in the media with close ties to the arms industry, and foreign interests such as the German Axel Springer group, hoping to move into the French market.
The PRCF’s second conference was a highly successful, militant and inspiring event and an opportunity for the PRCF and NCP to establish close ties which will undoubtedly grow stronger in the future.
photo:Theo Russell with a French comrade