ROBERT GRIFFITHS reviews the recent international meeting of communist and workers’ parties in Russia.
Since 1999, communist and workers’ parties from across the world have met every year to exchange news and views, hold bilateral discussions with one another and endorse statements setting out common positions on particular issues.
A working group meets in between meetings to prepare the agenda and issue the appeals and declarations agreed by all present at the event. It also recommends acceptance or rejection of applications by more parties every year to join the proceedings.
The host party is responsible for providing all necessary facilities for the hundreds of representatives who arrive from all corners of the world — some of them in defiance of their illegal status at home, where communist parties are persecuted and banned.
Past venues for the annual gathering have included Athens, New Delhi, Lisbon, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Minsk and Beirut.
On November 2-3 this year, fittingly enough, representatives from 103 parties in 78 countries converged on Leningrad (now known by its pre-1914 name of St Petersburg), which as the Russian capital Petrograd was the epicentre of the 1917 Socialist Revolution.