Between the 24th and the 30th July, over 360 young political activists drawn from over a dozen countries took part in the 33rd revolutionary youth camp of the Fourth International in Catalonia writes Nathan R.
This year’s camp was organised by Anticapitalistas, a revolutionary current inside Podemos and the section of the Fourth International in the Spanish State. The annual camp, held in a different location every year, is an opportunity to meet young socialists from across the world, take part in educational workshops and have plenty of fun. The British delegation, organised by Socialist Resistance, contained members of Momentum, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, the Green Party and the Labour Party.
One of the key activities during the camp was the inter-delegation meetings, where different delegations would sit down for 45 minutes to an hour giving a presentation of the political situation in their own country and asking questions. A meeting with the British delegation was in high demand throughout the camp, with other delegations asking uniformly about Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn. A highlight for many in our delegation was the meeting with the Western Saharan delegation. While serving us glasses of sweet tea, their delegation gave a comprehensive and fascinating presentation about the little known military occupation of their nation by Morocco.
As always, the camp was entirely self-organised. Delegations divided up tasks such as bar work, security and cleaning between themselves to ensure that the camp ran smoothly. Around 30 other volunteers were also present to help with transportation to and from the nearest town amongst other tasks.
Each day of the camp was focused on a certain topic. This year those topics were:
1. The Crisis, the Youth and Class
2. The Refugee Question and Western Imperialism in the Middle East
3. Feminism and the Struggle for Women’s Emancipation
4. The LGBTIQ Fight and the Subjectivities Outside of the Heteropatriarchy
5. The Impossible Green Capitalism and the Need for Ecosocialism
6. Political Organisations and Social Movements
The British delegation organised 3 workshops this year – a discussion on sex work with the Italian delegation, a presentation and Q&A about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party and a debate on the EU referendum with the Danish delegation, many of whom had been advocating a vote to leave. Despite the different positions, the debate was conducted in a comradely way and the level of political discussion was high (I personally thought that the arguments for ‘Lexit’ given by the Danish were more sophisticated than the ones given by some left groups in Britain).
Many of the discussions at the camp served as a stark reminder for the need for internationalism and the necessity of an international organisation. All of the problems the revolutionary left face, including capitalist exploitation, racism, patriarchy, homophobia and, most pressingly, climate change, exist on a global scale, and the struggle against these problems must be a global one. The annual youth camp is a modest, but important contribution to the struggle against these ills, with the Fourth International bringing together young revolutionaries from both inside and outside its ranks to analyse the world and organise to change it.
Finally, Socialist Resistance would like to send sincere thanks to the young comrades in Anticapitalistas, without whom the camp would have been impossible to run.
If you think you would be interested in coming next year get in touch with Socialist Resistance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Statements adopted by the camp on a range of issues can be found at International Viewpoint.