The four years period since the XXIV IWA Congress in Porto Alegre in December 2009 has shown that the need for coordinated international working class action against capitalism has never been greater. Capitalism as a global system remains in the grip of crisis that it is seeking to overcome by attacking the working class.
In country after country governments have been, and are driving down wages, working and social conditions and throws people into unemployment in an attempt to boost the ailing capitalist system. The capitalist rule is “expand or die”, and the crisis is also used as a pretext for slashing public services. In fact this is an expansion for opening of markets and capital for private corporations. The rich shall be richer, and the poor shall be poorer.
Against this, the International Workers Association (IWA) has in the period since the Porto Alegre Congress in 2009 organized International Days of Action and countless Urgent Actions of Solidarity. The websites of the Sections, the IWA website and IWA`s External Bulletin show that the IWA and its Sections and Friends day by day are increasing their mobilizations, presence, activities and direct actions.
These Actions are part of a proud tradition of working internationalism. The IWA was (re)-founded at a Congress that took place in Berlin between December 25- 1922 and January 2- 1923, as such 2013 has marked the 90 Anniversary of this Congress. The IWA was born at a time when capitalism had gone through a period of globalization, and then, as now, capitalism used the forces of globalization against workers.
It was in this situation of today`s capitalism delegates attended the Congress from all IWA Sections, and they came from Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Spain. Of the applications which were treated early in the proceedings of the Congress, the ASF (Australia) who was a Friend became an IWA- Section and the Autonomous Workers' Union of Bulgaria and the FAS from Austria became IWA -Friends.
Many of the issues treated were organizational ones. A number of new procedures were adopted to help the IWA function better both internally and externally for improving the coordination. One project approved will encourage the creation of branch networks in the IWA and a resolution was adopted concerning the IWA and the landproblem in the 21 Century. It was also discussed issues of different countries where we should be seeking more contacts and promoting our ideas and it was decided the establishing and development of IWA contacts in Eastern Asia.
There were many points with sub-points on the agenda. Issues were left outstanding and an Extraordinary Congress will be held in 2014. The IWA also decided to hold its Congresses more frequently ,once every three years, and the next regular Congress will be held in 2016 in Poland. The ZSP from Poland was elected to assume the IWA Secretariat for the next three years.
The Congress was excellently organized by the Local Federation of CNT-AIT in Valencia, and it was organized a series of talks before and during the Congress for the public to attend. It was also an exhibition of posters. Inside the Congress, one could buy, trade or receive a wide variety of publications made by the Sections. All of the Sections also received books from the Anselmo Lorenzo Foundation, including a great encyclopedia!
Long live the IWA and Anarchosyndicalism!
Oslo, December 15 - 2013