17 October 2023
The First World Congress of the United Front was held in Truckenthal, Germany, on 4-6 September 2023, deciding on an official statute, a name, and electing a consultative committee of nine persons. The United Front strengthened its position as an international umbrella organization against fascism, imperialism, and environmental destruction.
The congress counted in total 650 participants from 47 countries, among them around 150 volunteer helpers. Apart from Germans, there were 142 international guests. While another 36 participants from 18 countries could not participate due to visa restrictions.
The congress decided on the official name of “International Anti-Imperialist United Front Against Fascism, War, and Environmental Destruction,” or “United Front” for short. The newly adopted official logo is shown above.
Although the LLCO was disappointed about the dominance of First Worldist narratives at the congress, we congratulate the initiators on successfully holding a large progressive international event.
Procedure of the first congress of the United Front
The event started on the evening of September 4 with an opening ceremony and a cultural program. There were participants from various parts of the world, representing people and organizations in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The LLCO had been invited to attend, as well, so we sent our own representative to participate in the event.
The second day started with a general discussion on the state of imperialism and fascism in the world. In the afternoon, participants could participate and discuss in multiple workshops dedicated to different topics, ranging from imperialism and fascism over youth activism to arts and culture.
The reports from the workshops were presented on Wednesday morning. They were the basis for the delegates of the United Front’s member organizations to decide on changes to the statute, as well as the official logo and name. The delegates also elected the new consultative committee.
The United Front emerged stronger and more democratic from the congress. Representatives of the member organizations now elect the committee at the top. It is now obliged to report on its activity to the members. The United Front has grown over the course of the congress to now include 120 organizations and 27 individuals from four continents.
The United Front was originally initiated by the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). The late José María Sison, among others, coordinated the talks between the two organizations.
However, the ILPS terminated its cooperation with ICOR at some point before the start of the congress for unknown reasons while still keeping open the possibility of future cooperation with ICOR. One reason for the split seems to have been the question of whether the international working class should be considered the main progressive force in the world, which is the position held by ICOR. By the time the congress took place, some organizations from the orbit of ILPS had already joined the United Front.
While the organizers of the congress deserve praise for putting up such a large event successfully, the LLCO was disappointed to see First-Worldist narratives dominating the discussions. Especially participants from the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany, key organizers, tried to equate the oppression that “First” and “Third” World people suffer under imperialism.
The LLCO agrees that capitalism and imperialism do threaten the lives of all people on earth in the long run, and that its impact can already be felt to some degree by everyone. However, it is mainly the people in the “Third” World who lose their homes and their lives to imperialist bombs. It is mainly “Third” World people that need to flee from poverty, war, and the results of climate change. It is “Third” World people that produce most of the consumer goods enjoyed in the “First” World. To equate their experiences and to ignore that “First” World people do have a stake in the current system, albeit a decreasing one, is a grave mistake.
The LLCO does welcome and support all progressive initiatives for international cooperation directed against capitalism, imperialism, and all other kinds of exploitation. We want to thank the organizers of the congress for inviting us to the event. We wish them good luck in further organizing an international resistance against imperialism, fascism, and environmental destruction.