DIP summer camp, a “festival of proletarian internationalism”
After the summer camp of 2011 devoted to a study and discussion of V.I.Lenin, the Leon Trotsky Summer Camp of 2012 was held for five days between 29 August-2 September on the Aegean coast of Turkey, at a site aptly facing the Greek island of Lesvos. True to the internationalist heritage of Trotsky, the camp hosted a series of comrades from Italy, Greece, Russia, Scandinavia and Cyprus. Close to 100 participants shared long hours of theoretical and political discussion as well as cultural and sports activities.
Present at the camp were Comrades Savas and Katerina Matsas, as well as Christos B., from the EEK of Greece, Franco Grisolia from the PCL of Italy, Iosif Abramson from the RPK of Russia, Aziz Şah from the Neos Anthropos-Yeni Insan of Cyprus and a comrade from Scandinavia. Three seminars each day took up overall four different themes. First and foremost a study of the thought and practice of Leon Trotsky, which was a continuation of the educational work the party had undertaken during the summer, when each regional organisation collectively studied the great revolutionary leader’s works ranging from Permanent Revolution through Revolution Betrayed to The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany. The discussion at the camp itself gave a finishing touch to this educational work, focusing on In Defence of Marxism. A second theme followed on from the first: A personal history of Stalinism in the Soviet Union, as narrated by a first-hand witness, Comrade Abramson, and the political history of the only alternative to Stalinism, the Fourth International, from 1945 to the CRFI, as analysed ably by Comrades Savas and Franco. Another theme was the current political situation in the world and Europe, around the Mediterranean and in the Arab world and in Turkey and Kurdistan. This was taken up most excitingly at a panel discussion that brought together representatives of four revolutionary Marxist organisations from four Mediterranean countries, i.e. Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. One last theme was experiences of workers’ struggles in Turkey and more specifically in the history of DIP itself, presented directly by the worker comrades themselves. A category onto its own was the fascinating discussion by Comrade Katerina Matsas on the question of drug users and how to approach them from a revolutionary perspective.
The camp also offered a variety of recreational and sports activities, from morning volleyball and afternoon swimming to the tavla, a game of Indian-Persian origin that extends throughout the whole Near East. A theatre act, a wonderful adaptation of a Dario Fo play, dwelled on the question of the right to free and sanitary abortion, a very topical matter for women, especially working class women in Turkey. Musicians from both sides of the Aegean playing different instruments ranging from the traditional Turkish/Kurdish saz through the guitar to the accordion and percussions performed songs from all around the Mediterranean from “Bella Ciao” to Kurdish songs. A permanent painting workshop gave all willing the opportunity to try their hand at painting pictures of revolutionary leaders. These pictures were given out at the end to all participants as a souvenir from this wonderful experience.
The PO of Argentina was present at the camp as well through its martyr, Mariano Ferreyra, the cherished symbol of revolutionary working class youth for the rank and file of DIP. His pictures were painted alongside those of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg and Che. The last group photo saw many young hold the picture of Mariano in their hands.
The Leon Trotsky Summer Camp of DIP was widely characterised among comrades as a “festival of proletarian internationalism”. The presence of the international comrades, sharing not only their ideas but generously every moment of their time, was of immense importance for the rank and file of DIP. The party clearly came out strengthened from this camp. And so did the Coordination Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI). The message given was the following: despite its modest size, the CRFI is present in the two countries of Europe that will be decisive for the coming battles on the continent, Greece and Italy, and a country of the Middle East, Turkey, bordering Europe, attracting great interest in the Arab world and home to the greatest component of the Kurdish people struggling for its emancipation. The CRFI will use these strategic advantages in order to move forward in rebuilding the socialist party of world revolution.
It is in this atmosphere of high morale created by the camp that the three Mediterranean organisations affiliated to the CRFI, i.e. the PCL, the EEK and the DIP, met after the camp in Istanbul, using the occasion to develop joint work and look for solutions to our difficulties. The meeting discussed the possibilities of the objective situation around the Mediterranean, in Europe and the Arab world, the tasks posed to revolutionary Marxists by this objective situation, ways and methods the three organisations could adopt in order to further the development of the CRFI in the region and rebuilding the Fourth International.
Long live the Fourth International!
Long live the socialist world revolution!