Francia: NPA Révolutionnaires ! held their first political school

From the 26th to the 30th of August, at a nice venue in the district of Barbaste, in the south of France, the revolutionary wing of our New Anti-capitalist Party, which our comrades in France are militants of, held its first political school. From the ISL and the Argentine MST we took part in this successful event as guests.

By Pablo Vasco

This summer university – as party political schools are called in Europe – was quite a challenge after the split caused by the Mandelist sector last December, since it was the first one organized entirely by this new NPA. More than 500 militants and sympathizers came from Paris and all France, from the student movement as well as from the trade union and other sectors.

Militants from various invited organizations were also present, such as the French GMI, and especially delegations from other countries: the United States (Speak Out Now), Germany (RSO), Algeria, Spain (IZAR), Greece (Spartakos and OKDE), Italy (PCL), the League for the Fifth International, and Argentina (MST) and the International Socialist League through me.

A packed agenda

On the evening of the 26th, arrival day, a plenary session was held on the French social and political situation: the echoes of the anti-retirement reform struggle, police violence, wage strikes, the burnout of the government. The interventions reflected the active participation of the militancy in the main cities of the country and also the approach of new militants.

During the following days there were dozens of thematic workshops. For example on current events, the war in Ukraine, the new imperialisms, the far right. On countries such as Russia, Turkey, Palestine, Chile, Northern Africa. Others of trade union interest, on wages, inflation, working hours, job precariousness, self-organization and youth employment. Also on theory: social classes, working class, party, program, Trotskyism and Marxism, class independence, strategy. And there were also workshops on gender, ecology, society and even technical courses.

The most attended were the political events: debates with leaders of Lutte Ouvrière (LO) and Révolution Permanente (RP), a youth assembly, a party event closed by railway worker Damien Scali and another panel on the last day with some international speakers. In other words, an intense and varied agenda that still left room for informal talks, a film and a Greek music group.

The event was self-financed and all the tasks of organization, bookstore, kitchen, security and cleaning during the school were in charge of rotating militant teams.

Political debates

On the Russia-Ukraine war, the panel included representatives of the three main tendencies that make up this NPA, beginning with L’étincelle, AyR (Anticapitalism and Revolution) and DR (Revolutionary Democracy), a minor group that poses a mistaken bilateral defeatism. To the debate we bring our position, similar to those of L’étincelle, the Fifth International, SON (USA), RSO (Germany) and the PCL (Italy), with the added value that the ISL has its own section there: the Ukrainian Socialist League.

On the rise of the far right, the panel covered views from several countries, although unfortunately there was no time for interventions from the audience.

The panels with LO and RP, not without some tension, showed before many NPA militants the errors and serious sectarian limitations of both parties. RP not only falsely accused the host party of not breaking with the followership of the NPA of Poutou-Besancenot to the center-left Mélenchon but also of believing themselves to be the only ones with “revolutionary strategic clarity”. In the debate we questioned their very erroneous conceptions, analogous to the Argentine PTS and its entire international Trotskyist Fraction.

As for LO, apart from its mistaken campism in favor of Russia, which it considers a non-capitalist country, it is catastrophist about the immediacy of a third world war between the US and China, which in turn it does not consider an imperialist power. On the basis of such differences, moreover, LO rejected the proposal of this NPA to jointly make a national campaign for wages.

This summer university, which for the NPA Révolutionnaires! was a clear step forward in terms of its party consolidation, has meant for us a rich political exchange with the French comrades and those of other countries, always in our perspective of regroupment of the revolutionaries.