Report from International Socialist Summer School — Fighting Capitalism Worldwide

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In early August, the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI, with which Socialist Alternative is in political solidarity) held its annual Summer School in Belgium. Over 300 socialist activists from around the world gathered for political discussion and reports of struggles around the world.

CWI members attended from 20 different countries, including Venezuela, Brazil, Nigeria, Malaysia, Israel, Russia, and from throughout Europe. At the school, there were political discussions on the changing world political and economic situation, including the instability of financial markets, the weakening of U.S. elites’ influence in world politics, the rise of China, the conflicts in the Middle East, and the acceleration of class struggle in Latin America.

All these discussions took place with the goal of increasing participants’ understanding of the current political and economic situation and clarifying perspectives for how the situation will likely develop in the next period. This is vital knowledge for socialists, as we work to build movements against the effects of capitalism, like war, poverty, environmental destruction, sexism, racism, and homophobia.

The CWI, an international organization with sections in over 35 countries on 6 continents, is active in organizing the struggle against attacks on workers and other effects of capitalism, while at the same time raising the idea that to really put a stop to these negative effects we need to get rid of the root cause – the capitalist system itself – and build a movement for socialism worldwide.

Work of the CWI
There was also a session on the work of the different sections of the CWI. The CWI is active in many different countries in many different areas of work. For example, a number of sections are defending immigrant communities. In Cyprus, the CWI led a successful campaign for Kurdish asylum seekers’ rights, which forced concessions from the government. The Swedish CWI section, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna, has helped organize protests amongst Somali immigrants against the U.S.-backed Ethiopian war on Somalia.

The CWI participates in mass workers’ parties and some broad left parties, and works to build such parties where they don’t already exist. For example, the German CWI section, Sozialistische Alternative (SAV), spent the past few years working within the WASG – a broad left party. SAV members ran in elections as WASG candidates while still making clear they were SAV members, and got press coverage in the national media.

Similarly, the CWI in Brazil, Socialismo Revolucionario, works within the broad left P-SOL. Sections in Belgium and England and Wales have, along with other activists, taken initiative to bring activists together to start discussing the formation of a new left party.

Winning young people to the Marxist movement was a key theme of the school, as young people are often at the forefront of struggle. The Greek CWI section took part in student strikes at universities and has started producing a newspaper especially for students. In England and Wales, we have played a key role in the movement against the introduction and increase of fees for college and university students.

As socialists, a central task of the CWI is to build and support struggles of working people. The CWI in Poland works with the miners’ union (August 80) in a number of campaigns, including helping to expose the cause of a mine explosion last year that killed 23 miners. The CWI in Russia has also been involved in a number of strike solidarity campaigns, including amongst auto workers.

The CWI school was an exciting event that provided participants with important political understanding and renewed energy to continue the struggle for socialism in their home countries and to build the embryo of what is needed: a mass working-class socialist international.