Alex Callinicos, Pierre Rousset, Rajni Lallah and Neville Alexander will be amongst speakers present in Cape Town over this week-end (2 and 3 November) to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the October revolution. This means that the Radical Left Network in South Africa will thus be bringing together someone from the UK Socialist Workers' Party, Alex Callinicos, from the Fourth International, Pierre Rousset, from Lalit who Rajni is representing, and a number of South African left organizations including Socialist Group, WOSA, Abdusa, New Unity Movement, Comrades for a Workers' Government and Labour Left Collective and the Democratic Socialist Movement. With the triumphalist capitalist calls of "the end of history", and "the end of socialism" ever since the Stalinist bureaucracies imploded 15 to 20 years ago, it is important to put the Russian Revolution back into its true historic perspective, as showing the possibility of workers, as a class, taking power for a few years, after the Commune de Paris 50 years before, when the urban working class took power for a few days only.
At the same time as the Cape Town event, on 2 November during Lalit's Spring University for Young People in Curepipe, there will be a session on the Russian Revolution, and extracts from the landmark film October, directed by Sergei Eisenstein and set to Shostakovich's music. The film is an interesting starting point because nearly a quarter of the original version was cut out because the Stalin Government did not want Stalin's adversaries, in particular Leon Trotsky, to be featured.