A landmark in our struggle for the building of a political and social front, for the strengthening of the communist left
Communiqué of the Presidium of the 2nd Congress
After a 2,5 months-long preparation that took place amidst important struggles against the neoliberal and imperialist policies, our 2nd Congress started its works on Friday 22 June with a big public meeting in the Sporting Hall of Athens, and concluded on Sunday 24 June with the adoption of resolutions and the election of the new Leading Committee and of the new Central Control Commission.
The preparation involved three rounds of internal debate on the Theses submitted by the outgoing Leading Committee within the base groups of KOE all over Greece. 94% of the membership participated in a direct way in the internal collective discussion, while more 4% participated in an indirect way. Moreover, there were 48 public meetings in neighbourhoods and cities all over Greece, as well as 48 discussion groups with non-members of KOE. Hundreds of sympathizers and militants participated in these "external" pre-Congress activities. 5.150 copies of the Theses have been sold to and discussed with non-members of KOE. More than 45.000 posters announcing the holding of the 2nd Congress were put up all over Greece, in 43 cities of the mainland and of the islands.
The central inauguration meeting took place in a fully-packed Sporting Hall in Athens on Friday 22 June. The Presidium of the meeting was composed by the Comrades:
- Roza Ikonomou (member of the Communist Party in the 40s and 50s, fighter of the Resistance, one of the first militants who formed the Marxist-Leninist Movement of Greece in the 60s, Chair of the outgoing Central Control Commission)
- Yiorgos Papaioannou (member of KOE who during his military service refused to obey the NATO orders in the war against Yugoslavia and organized the collective resistance in the warship "Themistocles" in the Adriatic Sea)
- Vassilis Hatzilabrou (Leading Committee member, Chairman of the Union of the Working People, prefectural councilor)
- Nikos Galanis (Political Secretariat of KOE)
- Rudi Rinaldi (Political Secretariat of KOE)
- Christos Katsoulas (Secretary, Youth of KOE)
- Vassiliki Akrivou (responsible for the work with the Secondary Education pupils).
The Presidium was welcomed by the participants with long applauds and the slogan "Onwards with the people, for a Left that will never surrender!".
Because of the limited time available, only nine of the dozens of messages received by Parties and Movements from all over the world have been displayed, while all the other messages have been briefly mentioned. The messages were from:
- Comrade Prachanda, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
- Delfino Guillermo Bustamante, Teachers’ Union, member of the APPO, Oaxaca, Mexico
- Ali Fayad, member of the Politburo of Hezbollah, Lebanon
- Comrade Otto Vargas, Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Argentina
- Comrade Ahmad Saadat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, abducted and imprisoned by the Israelis
- Comrade Arnaldo Otegi, leader of the Patriotic Left, Basque Country
- Comrade Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairman of the Communist Parties of the Philippines
- Comrade Sergio Cararo, representative of the Network of Communists, Italy
- Comrade Rodrigo Chavez Samudio, member of the leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The messages were welcome with storms of applause and slogans that resounded repeatedly in the Sporting Hall:
"Victory to the Intifada! Freedom for Palestine! Long live the Resistance!"
"From Argentina to Nepal, History is written by the masses!"
"The new century will belong to the peoples, peoples' war against the imperialist war!"
"Peoples don't surrender, it is right to rebel!"
"Our future is not capitalism - Communism is the youth of the world!"
After the messages followed a short speech by Comrade Manolis Glezos, a legendary figure of the Antifascist Resistance: He is the man who took down the Hitlerite flag from the Acropole of Athens on the night of 30 May 1941, just a few days after the Nazis occupied Greece. He has been sentenced 28 times by the reactionary "justice" (3 times with death sentence) and passed 16 years in the jails because of his patriotic and progressive activity. He started his speech by greeting "the sons and grandsons of Comrade Yannis Hotzeas" (the most outstanding Greek Marxist-Leninist theoretician and organizer, leader of the Political Organization A/synechia, the predecessor of KOE, who passed away in 1994). This reference caused a storm of applause and repetitive slogans by the people, who interrupted his speech several times in an atmosphere full of enthusiasm and emotion.
There were also speakers from other Greek Left Parties and Organizations: The Coalition of the Left (represented by its Chairman and MP Alekos Alavanos), the New Left Current, etc. Their greetings were applauded and hailed with slogans calling for unity in action and steady struggle against both the right wing and the "centre-left".
The main speeches on behalf of KOE were delivered by Comrades Nikos Galanis and Christos Katsoulas, who outlined the history of KOE and analyzed its political line. They were repeatedly interrupted by slogans against the two main bourgeois parties (the right wing "Nea Dimokratia" and the social-democratic "Pasok") and in favour of KOE and of the unity in action of all the Left forces. Comrade Rudi Rinaldi announced the conclusion of the central meeting in a storm of applause and the slogan "Our future is not capitalism - Communism is the youth of the world!".
The 2nd Congress of KOE continued in Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June without public attendance. There were present 100% of the elected delegates, as well as 98% of the approved observers, among them some non-members of KOE (Many sympathizers requested to participate to the works of the Congress as observers. The Leading Committee and the Central Control Commission examined these requests on a person to person basis, and approved a certain number of them. The approved non-members observers participated in the works of the Congress with the exception of the last half day).
The 2nd Congress was characterized by a rich and democratic debate about the national and international developments, as well as the duties of KOE in the contemporary context. There was a specific debate about the future of the Communist Left and the adoptions of orientations that will further increase KOE's influence. The 2nd Congress approved the basic documents of the Theses, including certain modifications, and adopted resolutions for KOE's work in the working class, the urban movements, the youth, as well as the organizational and ideological sectors. The 2nd Congress concluded its works with the election, through secret vote, of the new Leading Committee and Central Control Commission. The International Relations Department will translate into English and disseminate the basic resolutions of the 2nd Congress.
Reinforced by the renewed and stronger unity from the base to the top, KOE will intensify the fight, together with the peoples in struggle and the International Community of the Peoples, against imperialism. KOE will fight even more resolutely and daringly for the building of a social and political front against neoliberalism in Greece. We will accelerate the development of KOE and the strengthening of the Communist Left in our country!
Extraordinary Resolution of the 2nd Congress of KOE
Greetings to the International Communist Movement!
Solidarity with the Anti-imperialist and Revolutionary Forces and Militants!
The 2nd Congress of KOE sends sincere and comradely greetings to all the fraternal and friendly Parties, Organizations and Movements, and especially those that honored us with their messages of solidarity. We extend our solidarity to all the peoples in struggle, the progressive and revolutionary movements, the forces of the resistance, the left and communist Parties and Organizations. Let's all raise higher the flag of the struggle against neoliberalism and imperialism: the enemies of the working masses, the youth, and the mankind as a whole. Let's all unify our efforts in a broad front and in an effective unity in action against our common enemies!
The 2nd Congress of KOE strongly condemns all the policies of the world bourgeoisie and of imperialism aiming at disorienting, repressing and silencing the revolutionaries through abduction, torture, imprisonment, assassination, psy-war, bribe, low intensity warfare, "terror" lists, etc. Our Organization has challenged in the past and will continue to challenge all these anti-democratic, anti-people tactics of the enemy, and will never accept the illegal "terror" lists of the USA, EU and individual imperialist states, continuing its solidarity with the forces of the Resistance and of the Revolution who are accused as "terrorists" by the real terrorists of this world, headed by the Nr 1 terrorist: the US imperialism.
In this sense, we underline and support once more the demands of the world progressive peoples for the immediate liberation of all the progressive and revolutionary fighters, the cease of all persecutions against the left and liberation forces and their leaders, and the respect of the elementary political and social rights all over the world. More concretely, in the actual conjuncture, we demand the suppression of the "terror" lists throughout Europe, the end of the repression against the Basque Patriotic Left and its leader, Arnaldo Otegi, as well as all Basque militants, the cease of persecutions against Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairman of the CPP, the halt of the barbaric aggressions of the Turkish state against the revolutionaries and the peoples of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan, as well as all the attacks against progressive people and organizations, especially in the former Eastern Bloc and the Baltics.
We extend our support to the symbols of the struggle for national and social liberation worldwide, imprisoned in the dungeons of the world reaction, as Brother Mumia Abu Jamal and all the progressive political prisoners in the USA, Comrade Ahmad Saadat and the thousands of Palestinian people tortured in the Zionist jails, the leaders and cadres of the national democratic and revolutionary movement imprisoned and assassinated in the Philippines by the US-Arroyo regime, the young communist fighters who rot in the prisons of Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former USSR.
The 2nd Congress of KOE is confident that no matter how barbaric our common enemies are, they will fail once more to silence and exterminate the voices and the consciousness of the peoples, and they will prove unable to suppress the new round of struggles that rise all over the world. The most advanced detachments of the peoples' resistance and of the communist movement, from the lap of Himalaya through the Iraqi graveyard of US imperialism to the boiling Latin American subcontinent, together with the new mass movements against the imperialist globalization that oblige the world criminals to hide from the popular outcry, are tearing apart the reactionary propaganda about the "invincibility" of our enemies.
Let's strengthen our unity in action, let's coordinate our blows against the enemies of the mankind, let's reinforce our comradeship and our work for another world which is possible and necessary: Socialism!
Unity! Resistance! Victory!
Imperialism shall be defeated!