Report: International communist seminar in Brussels

The Workers’ Party of Belgium (WPB, known in Belgium as the PTB, Parti du Travail de Belgique) has been holding an international seminar in Brussels from 2-4 May every year for the last 14 years. This seminar attracts organisations from the anti-revisionist communist movement from around the world, including important parties from the ex Soviet Union and former eastern European people’s democracies, the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Communist Party of Cuba, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), several European parties and a large number of African, Asian and South American parties – whose attendance is frequently prevented by refusal of entry visas to delegates by the Belgian authorities. In consultation with other parties, the WPB sets the theme of the seminar each year, and the various parties in attendance prepare papers on that theme, to which they speak at the seminar.

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) attended this year’s seminar, being the first to be held since our formation in July last year. The theme of the seminar was the Third Communist International, and you are invited to read our party’s contribution, delivered on our behalf by our Chairman, Comrade Harpal Brar, on the WPB’s website (, where you will also find the text of the other seminar papers.

In his contribution, Comrade Brar specially stressed the role of social democracy in Germany in splitting the working-class movement in the fight against fascism, which enabled Hitler to come to power and to launch a horrific predatory war both for the domination of Europe and the world, and also, as from 1941, against the Soviet Union. The latter, which bore the brunt of Hitler’s assault, was able to defeat German fascism, but only after a hard struggle costing no fewer than 27 million Soviet lives. Comrade Brar hailed the heroic victory of the Soviet people on the occasion of its 60th anniversary, and his speech was warmly welcomed by all delegates. In particular we would mention that he was enthusiastically embraced and congratulated by Comrade Nina Andreyeva, the General Secretary of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks.

Various resolutions were passed, including ones against the European Constitution, in support of the Democratic Republic of Korea and its right to have nuclear weapons and in support of the Cuban revolution. Participants at the seminar were all of the view that there is a great deal to be gained from working together on such issues as Iraq, the European Union, the World Social Forum etc, although at times it might be difficult to reach agreement on the form this cooperation should take.

One resolution (which can also be seen on the WPB website) endeavoured to gather together the points of common agreement between participating organisations, and it will be seen that this is a document with which no proletarian revolutionary could possibly disagree. However, the CPGB-ML did propose that we should make it clear in the document that when current inter-imperialist contradictions lead to the outbreak of world war, it would be the duty of all Communist Parties to fight for the overthrow of the ruling class of their respective countries, rather than to side with their ‘own’ imperialism. What we would have thought was an entirely non-controversial proposal for communists was rejected on the basis that we could not in advance characterise a future world war to be an inter-imperialist one! We trust, however, that on reflection, the various parties will not hesitate to correct themselves on this point, as we cannot allow ourselves through vacillation to find ourselves in the pro-imperialist camp in the event of all-out inter-imperialist war – just the time when imperialism is making it most imperative for the exploited and oppressed masses to overthrow it.