Festival of KNE: A huge demonstration for hope and struggle


September 19, 2011

The three days’ of political and cultural activities of the 37th Festival of the Communist Youth of Greece, which was carried out in a park in the working class neighbourhoods of West Athens, was successfully completed on the 17th of September. Tens of thousands of working people, in the main youth, young workers, students, unemployed, and people from older age groups participated in KNE’s festival, which hosted concerts with well-known artists, as well amateur bands, theatrical performances, and political discussions concerning the capitalist crisis and the way out which the KKE proposes, the Paris Commune and its lessons etc. At the festival there was a large bookshop with progressive political books and works of fiction, an exhibition on the history of the KKE, an exhibition on the 140 year anniversary of the Paris Commune, film screenings on various current subjects, while the children could visit the kid’s playground where there was a specific programme for them. In addition there was also an international section again this year at the festival, where representatives from 24 communist youth organizations and anti-imperialist organizations from all over the world participated.

On Saturday 17/9 a large political rally took place at the Festival, which was addressed by the GS of CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga.

The GS of the CC of the KKE noted that a generation of young communists even if it was born and brought up in a period of anti-communist hysteria, with tonnes of mud hurled at the socialism we knew in the 20th century, despite all this it consciously struggles, it fights for a present and a future which will not be capitalist but for the new socialist world. She underlined the special contribution of the Decision of the 18th Congress of the KKE which gave basic and essential answers to the question “What happened? Why did the counterrevolution prevail in the socialist countries” and armed the communists in Greece with a new power in the struggle against capitalism, the system which is rotting daily, is becoming ever more barbaric, and cannot be reformed in favour of the people.

Aleka Papariga noted that in the next period “ The Treatise on the History of the party will be widely circulated which will provide insights, information and importantly answers concerning the crucial historical period 1949-1968 and will constitute a valuable weapon of knowledge and reflection, not only for the communist men and women but for all those who want to learn about the modern period of Greek capitalism, the international developments, the international developments and more specifically about the determining field which is that of the economy.”

The GS of the CC of the KKE noted that “The struggle which is developing in the ranks of the labour and people’s movement today is at a much higher level than in the 1970s and 1980s.

It is urgent that the balance of forces in the labour movement be improved if possible, in the movement of the self-employed, of the poor farmers, in the universities and technical institutes. We must all be focussed with the greatest attention on this issue, it is the key to the developments.

All the parties in our country, with the various differences and competition they have amongst themselves refer to the crisis of the credibility and reliability of the system. That is to say that in reality they recognise that the bourgeois political system does not convince the people as it did in the past concerning the necessity due to the Memorandum for sacrifices concerning the debt and the bankruptcy. They know very well that the KKE has made a big contribution to the credibility crisis of the system.

They feel panicked in the face of the imminent social explosion which will call into question bourgeois legality and parliamentary illusions.

We have the obligation to fight our known weaknesses and deficiencies, so that the discontent of a large section of the working class, of the hard-hit working people is transformed into the desire for organized and planned struggle, rupture with and overthrow of bourgeois power in favour of the power of the working class and its allies.

For the people’s economy which will transform the wealth which the country possesses into social ownership, will utilise the existing developmental capabilities for the prosperity of society and the people without commitments to and dependencies on the EU and NATO.”

Aleka Papariga mentioned the political proposal of the KKE, presenting the capabilities of the country and posed the question “When Greece possesses important development resources, when it is still today ranked 25th on the scale of wealthy countries, is it possible today for us to tolerate the fact that they cut our wages and pensions, that the state will carry out a cessation of payments, that they will cut our medicines and medical examinations?”

The GS of the CC of the KKE referred to the dead-end proposals tabled by the opportunist forces in Greece, which talk of “progressive and left governments”, and imagine that they will negotiate the reduction of the debt and will abolish the Memorandum without affecting monopoly ownership and the capitalist system. And she asked “Let the paramours of such a government tell us in which country has such a political alternative occurred and whether it finally managed to survive and that the situation did not regress.”

Aleka Papariga mentioned the historical examples of the governments of “the Carnations’ revolution in Portugal”, of the heroic idealist Allende in Chile, the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, noting that these governments emerged “in a period when the international correlation of forces was much better compared to today’s situation, and the internal balance of forces also contained a dynamism which remained undeveloped as the working class was not able to or not called upon to play its part.”

The GS of the CC of the KKE referred to the more recent so-called centre-left governments in Europe, with the participation of communist parties in certain instances, which nevertheless as she stressed “ did not differ in any way from the liberal and centre-right governments, even concerning imperialist war and occupation.”, while she mentioned the contradictions which are predominant in the Bolivarian process in Venezuela and added: “ Look at the political situation in Cyprus, with a communist president, a country bound to the EU, the government and the parliament pass austerity measures, while the plan to overthrow the president is still in motion.”

But look at the other side, socialist Cuba has managed up to today to stand on its feet, alone and amid the barbaric imperialist blockade and intervention. The endurance is not a moral question, it is possible when the people have the ownership and the power.

It is one thing to lose power or not to acquire it due to the correlation of forces and quite another for the working class and its allies to surrender it from its possession.

The fact that today we bring to the forefront the problem of power does not in any way distract us from the suffocating problems of the people, from the daily situation of the unemployed, the pensioner, and the self-employed. On the contrary, it supplies the people with possibility to launch a counter-offensive, to wage a more effective struggle.”

The GS referred to the developments in the EU i.e. to the possibility of “centrifugal tendencies out of the EU” but also to the scenarios for political realignments in Greece and stressed that the emancipation of the people is linked with the struggle for the blocking of the anti-people measures. She called on the working people to “turn the life of the government and the troika into a hell”. “We pose to the people the following question: how long will you tolerate this blackmail – either you pay or you die slowly in poverty?”

Furthermore she added: “ we support, encourage and of course we participate in an all-people’s movement, organized by the unions, the mass organizations of the women and the youth, by people’s committees and other forms of organization, a movement that refuses to pay these heavy taxes and demands that capital and the monopolies pay.”

As regards the situation in the region Aleka Papariga noted: ”the inter-imperialist rivalries are intensifying, the people will be involved in a new round of wars at the expense of the peoples but also at the expense of our country and no possibility can be ruled out in the immediate future. Once again, we declare that the peoples should not shed their blood for the interests of the imperialist competitors. The war for the defense of our borders is closely related to the struggle for workers’ and people’s power and it should develop in this way.

At the present, both within and outside the EU it is obvious that the competition with the USA, China, Russia etc is increasing. At this moment the competition focuses on Middle East and North Africa. Unfortunately this famous Arab spring did not come about due to people’s uprising while the intervention of the workers’ movement, where it emerged, e.g. Egypt, was substituted by vague formations under the leadership of sectors of the bourgeois class and the imperialists.

The extraction of oil from Cyprus in cooperation with Israel and the US companies requires vigilance in this period. In this framework there is an effort to reduce the penetration of Russia and China in the region while Turkey promotes its ambitions concerning the Aegean since the Greek government has agreed to a new concession of sovereign rights.

We support the rights of the Cypriot people, of the Cypriot Republic to carry out the extraction and have its own Exclusive Economic Zone. It goes without saying.

Sooner or later the classic problem comes to the surface: how is the struggle for sovereignty combined with the struggle against imperialism, for people’s power.

The dangers are growing when the people are being led to side with one imperialist axis against another. We must say no in a mass and categorical manner to the joint exploitation of the Aegean, in relation to the real danger of a new Annan plan being sold to Cyprus. We struggle for the immediate recognition of the independent Palestinian state. The sharpening problems of our region do not lead us into forgetting the American and European plans against Cuba, the pressure which is being applied, the blackmails against this heroic people to accept capitalist reforms. We do not forget the 5 Cuban heroes who are imprisoned in the USA because they exposed the plans against their country.

Not on the side of the USA, nor of Germany, nor of China, nor of Russia, we will not become the allies of any imperialist. Patriotic internationalism against the cosmopolitanism of capital.”

Finally, the GS of the CC called the people to ally with the KKE, stressing that “the strengthening of the KKE and KNE is condition today for scales to begin to tilt in favour of the people.”

–More Photos of KNE Festival–



About B.J. Murphy

I'm a young socialist and Transhumanist activist within the East Coast region, who writes for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), India Future Society, and Serious Wonder. I'm also the Social Media Manager for Serious Wonder, an Advisory Board Member for the Lifeboat Foundation, and a Co-Editor for Fight Back! News.

3 responses »

  1. “Not on the side of the USA, nor of Germany, nor of China, nor of Russia, we will not become the allies of any imperialist. Patriotic internationalism against the cosmopolitanism of capital.”

    What’s noticeable in this article is the KKE’s refusal to declare open opposition to Greek imperialism. Indeed, the KKE in general has a hard time admitting that Greece itself an imperialist nation.

    This is despite the fact that Greece is part of the Western aggression against Libya, has its colonial occupation troops in Afghanistan in another criminal war, and has been a member of the NATO imperialist axis for *decades.*

    Greece also is allied with Israel and Greek-controlled Cyprus against Turkey in the increasing conflict between these two sides over Cypriot offshore gas exploitation in this area.

    On this critical dispute, the KKE claims they “support the rights of the Cypriot people, of the Cypriot Republic to carry out the extraction and have its own Exclusive Economic Zone. It goes without saying.”

    But in practice, the KKE’s political stance tacitly lines up with the Greek regime’s geopolitical support of the offshore gas drilling recently begun by the “Cypriot Republic” (i.e. Greek-controlled Cyprus) that has caused conflict with Turkey and the Turks of Northern Cyprus.

    The Israeli intelligence website Debka openly boasts that Greece is allied with Israel in supporting Cypriot offshore hydrocarbon extraction against Turkey.

    Israeli-Greek defense pact invoked versus Turkish naval and air movements

    Israeli-Greek-Turkish air sea forces on guard for first Cypriot gas drilling

    Ultimately, the role of European left is to provide leftwing political cover for European, and in this case Greek, imperial nationalism. “Patriotic internationalism” in practice is eyewash for the Greek left to disguise their nationalist politics and implicit support of Greece’s own imperialist ambitions.

      • You should read your link more carefully. The KKE does not condemn *Greek* imperialism. In fact, they avoid even using the term “Greek imperialism” altogether, just like the first article here.

        The KKE condemns the Bilderburg Club, a favored political bete noire of Western nationalists everywhere. For these groups, the Bilderburgs largely represent the imperialism of international (read: foreign) elites.

        But focusing on the Bilderburgs is self-serving political tactic to avoid admitting the imperialist nature of one’s own nation. For these Greek Leftists, imperialism is something that is foreign, imposed from without by “international elites”–as opposed to imperialism being an organic basis of Greece itself.

        Thus, the KKE’s supposed criticism of Greek ruling elites like the ND and PASOK is that they are embracing the “jackals of imperialism of the Bilderberg club”–while ignoring the reality that Greece and its political establishment are imperialists in their own right.

        As mentioned above, the KKE’s support of the Greek-ruled Cypriot Republic to engage in offshore gas exploitation in its Exclusive Economic Zone is directly in line with the stance taken by Greece (and Israel) against Turkey in this geopolitical conflict.

        That sounds more like a Greek nationalist perspective than a “patriotic internationalism.”

        The KKE are critics of imperialism everywhere, except for the one closest to home: Greek imperialism.

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