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Interview with the CNT's International Relations Secretary during the recent I07

category international | workplace struggles | interview author Thursday May 10, 2007 18:25author by Diario Rojo y Negro - CGT Report this post to the editors

An interview with Jérémie, International Relations Secretary of the French CNT, during the recent I07 in Paris. This interview was made by CGT comrade Ronny Stansert for the Swedish SAC's magazine, Arbetaren.


Interview with Jérémie, International Relations Secretary of the French CNT during the recent I07


Did the I07 turn out as well as you had expected? Are you happy with the results?

The CNT's International Relations Bureau and the Commission established to organize the I07 are delighted with the way the meetings went. The 250 - more or less - comrades from abroad seemed happy, the debates were of a high quality (though there were differences of opinion), the May Day demonstration was fantastic, with a dynamic and loud CNT sector of around 6,000 people. The international meeting on the 30th also provided some touching moments, such as the speech given by comrade Marta from Atenco with her machete in her hand, or that of the comrade from the CNTG union in Guinea who spoke to us about the victory of the workers in his country after a month-long general strike which was marked by over 100 deaths.

Before I07 we knew that this encounter would be an important landmark for internationalism. Now that it is over, we are satisfied with what we have achieved. As organizers we were naturally a little worried during the event as we didn't want to disappoint anyone and we were trying to give the international delegates a good impression of the CNT.

One bad point was that in the days leading up to the event we found out that some invitees could not make it due to visa problems. Another negative point, leading to some frustration during the debates, was having to translate each speaker into French, Castillian and English, something which sapped the exchanges of their vitality to a certain point.

What will I07 mean for the future of anarcho-syndicalism in general?

From our point of view, I07 is part of an important stage in expanding our internationalism. At the confederal meeting, the international relations secretaries of the French CNT and the Italian USI proposed to the other organizations that we set up an International Anti-Capitalist Co-ordination with a jopintly-run web page and a forum for debate. It was also agreed to engage in several joint campaigns such as a campaign against temporary job agencies and another on the question of workers' freedom of movement.

I07 was also important for the reason that, for the first time, anarcho-syndicalist internationalism was not restricted to a purely Western ambient. For the first time there were comrades from Africa, Oceania and Latin America in Paris. And for that reason alone we would be content with the outcome of I07. The best example of what our internationalism must mean came during the international meeting, when the comrade from the Siberian SKT was being translated into French by a comrade from Mali who spoke Russian!!

What did I07 mean to the French CNT, for your future, for your relations with Alternative Libertaire, the Fédération Anarchiste, SUD and other "alternative" unions?

The CNT follows its own path, without worrying about other organizations, but without being sectarian in its relations. The CNT may cooperate at times with the Fédération Anarchiste, thoug the FA is not very active in the social movement. The same happens with Alternative Libertaire - we regularly cooperate, without any sectarianism. As for the SUD ["Solidaire, unitaire et démocratique"], we cooperate with the grassroots in particular struggles, such as recently during the Citröen strike or in the education sector. We don't have any relations with the management of the SUD's unions. We cannot forget that the CNT has been declared illegal for postal workers, with the repression of our comrades, and that this is partly due to complicity from the SUD's postal union. The CNT favours unity of action by the grassroots, but we are aware that in France only the CNT defends the ideas of anarcho-syndicalism, of anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-sexist and anti-fascist syndicalism. SUD unions are perhaps somewhat more radical than the French CGT or CFDT, but they continue to be reformist, corporativist and bureaucratized unions. There is one exception within the SUD and that is the transport sector, which rightly criticizes the reformism of the other SUD unions. Even so, there are still contradictions and tension with the SUD Rail.

The important thing for the CNT will be to see if it can present a sufficiently credible strategy that can be seen as an alternative for the French labour and social movement. The revolutionary labour alternative that the workers need. And it will depend on our own ability to construct something.

Any last words?

Greetings to all our comrades in the CGT. Long live internationalism! Long live anarcho-syndicalism! Our day will come! Social revolution!


This interview was made by CGT comrade Ronny Stansert for the Swedish SAC's magazine, Arbetaren. Translation from Spanish by FdCA International Relations.

Related Link: http://www.rojoynegro.info
author by gyhellepublication date Thu May 10, 2007 19:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>having to translate each speaker into French, Castillian and
>English, something which sapped the exchanges of their
>vitality to a certain point.

Esperanto is the way :-)

author by Red and Black Action - ZACFpublication date Fri Jun 08, 2007 21:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Quote: "For the first time there were comrades from Africa, Oceania and Latin America in Paris. And for that reason alone we would be content with the outcome of I07."

Not sure how to take this ... the WSF of South Africa had official delegates in 2000 at "Autre Future" encounter at Paris, one in this sequence of meetings!

author by CNT AITpublication date Fri Aug 10, 2007 23:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

> in France only the CNT defends the ideas of anarcho-syndicalism,

Not only ... There is also the french CNT-AIT ...

They also have links with "non western" groups as you may find translation of IWA statutes in languages as farsi, arabic, and other chinese texts on their website (http://cnt-ait.info)


And further more, CNT-Vignoles are not "anarchosyndicalist" but merely "revolutionnary unionist". Just take a look at their website to verify by your self

http://www.cnt-f.org/article.php3?id_article=12

Références historiques
Historical referecnes

Historiquement, la CNT a deux références, le syndicalisme révolutionnaire et l’anarchosyndicalisme.

Historically, CNT [vignoles] has 2 references : revolutionnary unionism and anarcosyndicalism

1) Le syndicalisme révolutionnaire
First, revolutionnary unionism

[...]

2) L’anarchosyndicalisme
La seconde référence de la CNT, c’est l’anarchosyndicalisme

The second CNT reference is anarcosyndicalism ///

The "second reference" : if you follow the Vingoles story since some years, i think you can aprpeciate the subtile evolution in languages : at the beginning (1993) they were only anarcosyndicalist, around 2000 they were "both anarchosyndicalist and revolutionnary unionist" (with AS infirst place), today they are first revolutionnary unionist and AS is only in second place ...

As they say after "

II- Références idéologiques
Ideological references

" Les anarchistes de la CNT ", étaient jusqu’à la fin des années 90 la dénomination la plus courante qui servait aux médias pour nous désigner.
"The anarchists of CNT" was until the late 90 the most common denomination used by the medias [and not the militants ...] to talk about us.

On est passé ensuite à " Le syndicat anarchiste CNT ".
Theyn they talk about "the anarchist union CNT"

C’est bien, ça progresse, mais c’est pas encore ça !
It 's good, it is on progress, but it is not yet the right way.

Certains commencent à nous appeler " anarchosyndicaliste ". On se rapproche...
Some [medias] begin to call us "anarchosyndiclists". We get closer.



Closer to chat ? Simple : the disparition of the word "anarchist" and it replacing by the only word "syndicalist" ...

The CNT AIT on his way is proud to be anarchist and to defend anarchist point of view and practice amongst workers.

http://cnt-ait.info
contact@cnt-ait.info

author by CNTpublication date Fri Aug 31, 2007 09:28author address Vignolesauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Heres is a photo of the April 30 international meeting, the event we organized and that has been attended by all our militants and sympathetizor (while the 1st of May demo was all the anarchists from Paris)

30 avril 2007 place des fetes paris
30 avril 2007 place des fetes paris

 
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