Thanks for your leaflet. I have heard of you being banned from ICC meetings. Originally I wrote to them agreeing with them, but that was before I came across the IFICC for myself, and when I accepted their claims as true without questioning.
I am sorry to hear about their attempts to stop you from distributing your leaflets near the meeting rooms. Did they succeed? Or did you manage to get past them? It seems as though the ICC is setting itself up as some kind of "proletarian police force". What do you think the IFICC and others can do to combat this nonsense? If the ICC wanted to be a proletarian police force, it would be better off going to the Parisian suburbs than fighting the IFICC. This just shows the priorities of the ICC.
We want to salute the political meaning of the questions the comrade raises. Firstly, it matters to notice that he doesn't suggest us to give up the struggle against the ICC opportunism, and in particular against one of its concrete expressions : the use of physical agression, of force and repression against the other communist groups. Whether we want it or not, whether we ignore it or not, whether we want to close your eyes or not, the today ICC's sectarian politics made of provocations, of accusations of all kinds and of physical violence aiming at destroying the proletarian camp, is a concret fact. It imposes itself. It will carry on imposing itself to everyone through one form or another. The fact it's today mainly, but not only, directed against our fraction is because we are at the forefront of the fight against the opportunist liquidation of this organisation.
Then the comrade raises an important political question : what to do against violent physical repression and intimidation exerted by the "police" of political groups - or by unions - against the presence and the intervention of communists ? What has been our attitude this Saturday 12th of November 2005 in front the militia of the ICC ? And what political and militant lessons can we draw ?
We didn't attempt to get over the "service of order" which had been sent at the subway station exit. For two political reasons.
The first one, the least important from the political point of view, is that the immediate physical relation of forces - which is full part of a political estimation of a situation for revolutionary marxists - wasn't, very from it, in our favour and that so it didn't enable us to fulfil our intervention in the following conditions : beyond 5 "bodyguards" that our two comrades had in front of them, more twenty or so were waiting for them further (1).
The second reason which is much more important and in the long term, is eminently political. Through the increase of insults, of provocations and now of physical agressions, the present ICC obviously attempts to bring us on its own ground - which is the rotten one of the "liquidation" - and to make us using the same corrupted means as it uses. But above all, through this manner, it would derail us from the class terrain which is the one of open political confrontation, of public and honest debate of positions, aiming at delimiting and regrouping the communist forces. The almost certain result to which a violent physical fight would have ended up if we had responded at that level, would have been to provoke within the proletarian camp a feeling of disgust("they all became mad" and "it's their internal affair, their own dirty fiddles") or, worst, of indifference in relation to the political struggle. Even more since of course the ICC would have taken advantage of this situation to provide an image of that proletarian camp as being always at each other's throats with the relaunching of an international campaign against the "cops and cut-throat" we are supposed to be while trying to present itself as the victim (2).
Thus, we don't think we would have got any positive political result at the level of our immediate intervention as well as at the level of the clarification of the indispensable political struggle against the liquidation of the ICC. On the contrary, we think that our present denunciation is much more effective and "clarifying".
Nevertheless, we share the comrade's concern according to which it was no question to accept this police behaviour and that we must absolutely defend the communist principles on this matter what ever are the circumstances. That day, we tried to discuss with the... comrades of the ICC and to convince them of their "mistake". Thus, we didn't accept the situation and, despite their permanent will to make us shut up, we've developed the fight on the political ground to impose the true behaviour of the communists. Obviously, our political arguments were making them even more nervous and agressive since certainly they were uneasy, even... politically closed. Facing this political "closure" and this increasing aggressiveness (the one explaining the other) - jostling us more and more strongly with increasing insults -, we rightly took the decision to leave the place.
But, the importance and the effectiveness of this kind of intervention for the militants and, more generally, for the whole proletarian camp, can't be reduced to their immediate result. It's also a long term struggle.
Actually, the ICC, our ICC, has developed a whole experience on this kind of situation. In particular, when the stalinists pursued us, banned us to get to the factories gates and when they exerted an aggressive physical repression against us when we were intervening, as militants of the ICC, towards the workers, in the strikes or in the workers assemblies, in the meetings and street demonstrations.
The tactic of the communists in this kind of situation is at the same time to defend the proletarian principles, thus to refuse this behaviour, even more when it's exerted by militants who claim themselves of communism ; and for this to consider the concrete possibities to impose their respect. For instance, in the years 1970-1980, when it was really difficult - and dangerous - to intervene at the gates of certain factories, like the Renault one of Billancourt in Paris (today closed and destroyed) or at the Marseille harbour, in front of the stalinist thugs of the French stalinist union CGT, we had understood that we had to present ourselves with the "mass" of the workers for not being turned back. In particular, this enabled us also to call for the workers to defend us against the stalinist repression. And, generally, it worked. Up to the point that the stalinists understood that they couldn't beat us in front of the workers without risking political disappointments and that they waited the workers had get into the factory to hunt us. For our part – of course in relation to our political understanding of the immediate situation - we anticipated this workers' entrance and left the place before.
And we could notice that when we were really physically smashed by the stalinists, it was due to a wrong political estimation of the moment and of the place, whether we got physically isolated or politically isolated because the relation of forces and the dynamic of such or such assembly or demonstration had changed since their beginning. Let's precise, this didn't prevent us to try to defend ourselves physically.
Here are some political elements of reflection in order to be able to develop an attitude and a "tactic" to reaffirm the principle while considering the concrete possibilities to defend it, if not to impose it, in every moment.
A last word on this subject and ont the situation to which we're confronted with the ICC. It isn't the first time we suffer a relation of physical violence. The miserable and ridiculous aggression of the militant Peter against our comrade Jonas in 2002 (see. bulletin 9, April 2002) had required from our part a reaction of physical defence which had saw Peter and his "delegation of militants" leaving the place pathetically. The aggression against one militant of the ICP-Le Prolétaire (see. bulletin 13, October 2002) was certainly mainly related to a "personal drift" even though this drift was the result of the effects of the "liquidationist" and destroying policy which was being set up within the ICC. Since then, whether in Mexico or in Paris, we suffered various physical provocations during our interventions at the so-called "public" meetings that we've regularly mentioned in our bulletin. How far can they go today ? Didn't they already snatch our leaflets from our militants' hands in Mexico ? Thus, it represents for our fraction, and we think for the whole proletarian camp, a concrete question that we must take seriously, even more since this kind of practices and of behaviours can drive the more "fragile" parts of the ICC to "feel assigned" of a mission and of the right of physical aggression against other militants. The incredible violence of the writings of the ICC against all those who oppose its politics, against the Argentinian comrades of the NCI for instance, against the IBRP at a lesser degree, are full part of a conscious and destroying willingness of the liquidators clique of the ICC for establishing an unbreathable atmosphere and unadmissible practices within the proletarian camp. Inescapably, the logic and the dynamic of the ICC bring in themselves serious physical aggressions by the ICC against our militants or against other communist militants. We've already warned against this in our bulletins (3).
Because, there is no doubt, the exacerbation of the classes struggle which is inevitable, carries within itself too this kind of situation of repression and of violence, whether directly from the State or by militia of all kinds, included by forces which falsely claim to be communist. The communists of today must also prepare themselves for this. This particular aspect of the political struggle, confrontation with physical violence of repression, is full part of the experience and the process of setting up the communist party.
The internal fraction of the ICC, November 2005.
1. Obviously, this kind of police action, without any political reasons from the proletarian point of view and thus without deep political conviction amongst the militants, inescapably brings those who participate to behave as "rude guys" and "tough louts" at the level of their own political fear and cowardice. To make participate the members of the ICC to this kind of action in the name of "the defence of the organisation" is a mean, a moment, of their process of own destruction as communist militants.
2. By the way, let's precise we're convinced that the small family faction who seized power within the ICC, the ones we call the liquidators, seeks to violent physical fight and wishes that we give in to the physical provocations. Obviously, it has consequently "conditionned" the members of the militia who were particularly nervous and tense, to say the least. This faction has a personal, sectarian, indeed sordid and shameful, interest that the physical confrontation degenerates even more between the ICC militants and ourselves. It isn't the first time we suffer such provocations which, we don't hesitate to say so, are similar to police manipulation.
3. See, for example, in our bulletins 26 et 30
Communist Bulletin Nš 33 - Internal Fraction of ICC