Anarchists attack Czech left

Issue 

Socialists in Prague have appealed for international solidarity against political violence directed against them by several anarchist groups.

An appeal issued by the League for a Revolutionary Communist International (LRCI) has called for the recent incidents of political violence levelled against Trotskyists in the Czech republic by various anarchist groups, especially the Federation of Social Anarchists (FSA) and the Czecho-Slovak Anarchist Federation (CSAF), to be condemned.

The chief victim of this violence has been the Socialisticka Organizace Pracujicich (SOP), founded in mid-1998, with which the LRCI has been in fraternal discussions for nearly a year. FSA and CSAF members have repeatedly slandered the SOP as "red fascists". The local International Socialists and socialists affiliated to the Committee for a Workers' International have also been slandered.

At the June 5 Global Street Party in Prague, the SOP was told by one of the organisers not to raise its banners or placards on the march at the conclusion of the festival. The SOP refused.

Later, another organiser (a leading supporter of the anarchist bimonthly Konfrontace) demanded that the SOP dismantle its literature stall. Again, the request was refused since the socialists were in no way disrupting the event.

At about 5pm, a frenzied group of a dozen anarchists destroyed the SOP stall, attacked the stall of the KSM (the Czech Communist Party) and harassed and intimidated the IS group's stall. FSA members formed the core of the anarchist mob.

Later, the SOP and KSM stalls were again kicked over by anarchists determined to "sort out the authoritarian Trotskyists" (which has become the anarchists' battle cry). The socialists were threatened with further violence if the SOP did not leave the event.

The LRCI and the SOP fear that more such confrontations will occur. The FSA and other anarchist groups substantially outnumber the SOP and the rest of the Trotskyist left, and they commonly carry weapons.

The decade-long use of anti-communist propaganda by the bourgeoisie has proved a highly effective tactic in retarding the political development of anti-capitalist youth. This is reflected in the attitudes and tactics of the anarchist groups.

According to the SOP, it has proved impossible to explain to the FSA and CSAF, and other anarchist organisations, that it is a principle of the workers' movement that members of organisations basing themselves on the working class do not use physical violence against each other, especially to settle clashes of ideas.

The LRCI is urging supporters of democracy in the international workers' movement to write to the SOP to express solidarity and to condemn the anarchists' behaviour and demand that the violence cease. Such messages can be e-mailed to the LRCI c/ <kj.harvey@btinternet.com>.

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