LALIT's two-day Congress on The Global Crisis and Internationalism held on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July was a huge success.The Congress was particularly well-attended by LALIT members, supporters and guests despite the challenging theme. There was lively debate on both days which went well-over the time-limit of the programme given the interest all participants had: no-one wanted to leave. The presentations and debate were interlaced with messages from organisations on the Left that have links with LALIT.
The Saturday session, chaired by Cindy Clélie, was opened with the reading of two poems "Ledikasyon enn Gran Zafer" and "Travayer get Listwar" read by Yannick and Jean-Yves that set the tone. There were two members of the Nouveau Parti Anti-Capitaliste (NPA) who had come specially for our Open Congress from France: Léon Crémieux and Sylvianne Charles. On Saturday, Léon Crémieux, the official delegate of the Fourth International and NPA, spoke on the root causes of the global crisis, and the different phases of capitalist crisis over different periods in the last fifty years. He also spoke about the NPA and the Fourth International's views on building internationalism. His presentation was preceded with a paper presented by Rajni Lallah on "The History of Internationalism" (First, Second, Third, Fourth Internationals in their contexts and internationalism until today, including also the various kinds of "alter-globalization" movements) which highlighted the different experiences and lessons we can learn on today in our quest for Internationalism.
On Sunday, there was a whole day session chaired by Rada Kistnasamy. After a boucy bit of "original blues music" on digital piano by Rajni Lallah, Ram Seegobin spoke on the "Effects of the global crisis on Mauritius, compared with other countries" which analyzed the way the media presented the Global Crisis, the response of US and European States to this Crisis, and that of the Mauritian Government to carry out a "bail out" operation. He talked about how the "financial crisis" was preceded by structural crisis triggered by changes in the key economic sectors in Mauritius. He also analysed the effect of the Crisis on the trade-union movement and on the Opposition parties in Parliament. He concluded on the necessity for us to continue our work towards an Alternative Political Economy, and especially to integrate an international/internationalist perspective in our thinking and actions. The second speaker, Jean-Claude Bibi, who was specially invited to speak in the LALIT Open-Congress, spoke on the changes in the nature of the working class during these times when whole work sectors are disappearing, or transforming and when new work sectors are emerging. He also spoke of the difficulties of the Left to address the question of "nationalism" which was a problem in the past, and remains a problem today.
Alain Ah-Vee highlighted some of the key points in the paper "LALIT's international links and internationalist strategies 1976 to today, and our ideas up till now on internationalism" which he and Ally Hosenbokus had prepared for the Open Congress. Alain Ah-Vee's presentation demonstrated how these ideas, campaigns and actions, from 1976 till today, are still very useful to us in developing an Internationalist Programme for today.
There were two members of the Nouveau Parti Anti-Capitaliste Réunion (NPAR), Yoga Thirapathi and Phillipe Azema who participated in our Open Congress. Comrade Yoga spoke on NPAR is developing a strategy which was initiated by LALIT for more linkages between political organisations on the Left in the Indian Ocean region.
The Open Congress ended on a high note with Lindsey Collen's paper on "LALIT's present-and-future strategies for internationalism and our international links". She analyzed how the great classics of Marx, Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg have renewed significance today in the context of the global crisis which is exposing the nature of present-day imperialism. She also analyzed key features of international capitalism as it evolves today. She also analyzed the state of the working class on a world-scale, and the changes that have been unfolding in the last years. She also put key questions on the agenda: where will the new working class vanguard come from? What kind of political party will emerge in this period on the Left? She also started outlining some of the key elements in our work towards an Internationalist Programme.
The Open Congress ended with everyone heartily singing "Lenternasyonal".