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Newsletter (in English)


An international summer camp near Prague

The beginning of the Summer Academy of RIO from August 9-11 was affected by the extreme weather of this summer: Because of flooding in Zittau, the participants from Northern Germany had to take a long detour, and the water level of the reservoir next to the campground was higher than at any time in decades. Nevertheless, the camp with participants from Prague, Brno, Liberec, Jablonce, Jihlava, Berlin, Kiel, Munich, Rostock, Augsburg and Zittau a great success.

The first two days were taken up by an international seminar for RIO members and sympathizers. With a series of lectures we were able to deepen our analysis of the world today and Marxist theory. There were extensive discussions about the communist position towards anti-imperialist movements, the perspectives for Cuba, the history of Trotskyism, the development of revolutionary consciousness in the working class, historical materialism and various “broad anti-capitalist projects” such as the NPA in France. In next days in the German program there were also discussions about the class struggle situation in Germany and Turkey. We will publish the results of these discussions in the coming weeks and months in the form of articles on our international website.

After the seminar, the summer camp of the New Anti-Capitalist Left (NAL) began and the program was divided into a German and a Czech part. But people often visited foreign meetings that we translated to each other into English. The NAL is a radical left unity project in the Czech Republic with a goal to build a strong anticapitalist political movement in which RIO is participating. Here there were also a number of international discussions about education on protests in Europe (the new Czech government also plans to introduce tuition fees), the history of Trotskyism in the Czech Republic and the theories of Slavoj Žižek. In this context there was a debate about the important question of how communists should respond to Hugo Chávez’s call for a “Fifth International” (see our position).

But after the discussions, there was also plenty of time fun. In addition to afternoons at the lake, in the evenings there was a Marxist quiz (“What was the symbol of Soviet Russia before the hammer and sickle?” The correct answer was “hammer and plow.”) and several rounds of singing. We sang revolutionary songs, both old workers’ songs as newer ska songs. Especially the “Lenin Singers” from Rostock with “Lenin” (Ernst Busch) and Lea-Won from Munich with a German translation of “Hip Hop” (Dead Prez) excelled.

The comparison with the earlier “Revocamps”, organized for years by the predecessor organization of RIO, was significant. There were both continuities – it was another week of political debate in the Czech Republic with participants from different countries – as well as changes. This time, there were no talks about an introduction to Marxist theory. Instead, there were very serious discussions about selected topics in order to develop the positions of the RIO. A comrade of the Left Block Rostock, who participated in the Revocamps of previous years, praised the high political level this year.

With the summer academy, we were able to lay some foundations for our future work, which will consist of programmatic development and of interventions in the workers’ movement. If this sounds interesting to you, you may like to contact RIO!

Pictures from the Summer Academy are available here.

Wladek Flakin, RIO, Berlin, August 15, 2010

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