The ICFI Defends Trotskyism

Letter from the International Committee to the Central Committee of the Workers Internationalist League, Greek Section of the ICFI

Dear Comrades,

We are extremely concerned that unless you change course immediately, you will complete a totally unprincipled split from the International Committee of the Fourth International, following the refusal of your delegates to attend the properly constituted ICFI meeting of October 25, 1985.

Such a split by you would constitute an enormous betrayal of the International and the Greek working class.

The refusal of the WIL delegates to attend the October 25 meeting, and the endorsement of this action by your Central Committee, left the IC with no alternative but to suspend the WIL as its Greek Section.

One thing must be made clear: this action was taken only because of the refusal of the WIL delegates to attend the IC meeting, and for no other reason. Therefore, as soon as the WIL undertakes to resume its proper place in the ranks of our World Party and to uphold the authority of its bodies, the suspension will be lifted. In order to clear away any possible confusion about the validity of the October 25 meeting, it must be understood that it was called by the ICFI Secretary, C. Slaughter, at the request of six IC sections. The position advanced in the WIL-CWL (Spain) joint communique of October 21, that only G. Healy can call a meeting of the IC, and that “We will not recognise any other factional meeting called in the name of the ICFI” is preposterous. Comrade Slaughter was elected IC Secretary at the 10th World Congress of the ICFI in January 1985. G. Healy was not elected to any position in the IC, took part only sporadically in the Congress proceedings, and was expelled by the WRP from its ranks on October 19.

You may, of course disagree with that decision, and with the October 25 decision to expel G. Healy, and fight for your position within the ICFI. We would remind you that the ICFI is the world party of socialist revolution founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938, and not a cult grouped around some individual “historic leader.”

By refusing to attend the October 25 meeting of the highest body of our movement between World Congresses, the IC, the WIL delegates have arbitrarily denied members of the Greek Section their right to be informed of the position of the other IC Sections on the crisis in the WRP. Such a rejection of the internationalist principles on which our movement is based is essentially nationalism, expressing the pressure of the class enemy. At the same time, the action of the WIL delegates has denied the right of the ICFI and its sections to hear and discuss the views of our Greek comrades. If the WIL delegates considered that the other sections were being led into a trap or manoeuvre then their duty was to make these views known.

Refusing to recognize the authority of the ICFI, the WIL delegates engaged in an unprincipled collaboration with the clique which has split from the British section, the WRP. According to this clique’s newspaper, they have “joined forces with the Greek and Spanish sections of the ICFI.”

The fact is that the pro-Healy clique claimed and was given minority rights in the WRP on October 11, 1985. It used these rights, but then refused to attend the Central Committee of October 19, 1985 and the Special Conference of October 26. Since then its leading members have resorted to the capitalist state courts to seize the assets of the WRP.

In the week preceding the October 25 IC meeting, repeated attempts were made to establish contact with the leadership of the Greek Section in order to arrange an IC meeting at a time and place enabling all sections to be represented. We were informed on 18/19 October that Comrade Savas was not available and would not return from work in Northern Greece until late on Monday, 20 October. In fact he was in Barcelona collaborating with leading Spanish comrades, preparing against an IC meeting. While accusing the IC of organising a trap or manoeuvre he himself was leading a secret faction to split the IC. In the following days, between October 19 and the IC meeting of October 25, he was contacted by the Peruvian IC delegate. At that time this comrade had no documents or information on the issues in the WRP, and favoured no particular position. Comrade Savas worked to persuade her not to attend the IC. (This she ignored. She took a principled stand, attended the IC, and has supported the IC resolutions on Healy’s expulsion, and the situation in the WRP, as well as on the sending of this letter.)

On Wednesday, October 23, IC comrades from five sections spoke by telephone to Comrade Savas, urging him to attend the IC, but without success. Instead, Savas attended the meeting of splitters supporting Healy, and issued a joint communique with the Spanish Section leadership, opposing the IC and the WRP and putting forward the proposal that only GH could call any international meeting. The Greek leadership thus provided a bogus international cover and platform for these unprincipled splitters, and must take major responsibility for the subsequent events, including the use of the bourgeois state courts and the media by the expelled minority in their attempts to destroy the WRP and the ICFI.

The IC meeting was not called to change the policies decided at the 10th Congress, nor could it. The policies of the ICFI can be changed only at the International Congress (the 11th in 1986), preparation for which has now begun.

The IC meeting on October 25 did expel Healy from its ranks after hearing a report from the British section. The WIL delegates could have taken what positions they wished on that issue and fought loyally for that position, as had been pointed out to them.

The ICFI also adopted a resolution to regulate the internal discussion in the leadership of the WRP and its ranks, with full rights for the then minority faction in the WRP. A representative of that minority was informed of the existence of these proposals and an attempt was made to arrange a meeting with the ICFI delegates. The WRP minority rejected discussion and openly split from the British section by convening a separate conference on October 26.

The issues are clear. The WIL is on the road to split with the IC on an unprincipled basis. This must be prevented at all costs.

We know there are principled Trotskyists in the leadership who will stand firm, and that the same is true of the ranks of the Greek Section. We call on them to act now to reverse the arbitrary decision of their ICFI delegates and return their section to the World Party.

The anti-internationalism which led to the refusal to attend the October 25 IC meeting must be rejected. If not, the WIL faces destruction as a Trotskyist party. The WIL is on the brink of announcing the “transformation of the League into the revolutionary party.” Comrade Savas and the CC know that there are gigantic destructive dangers in founding a party on the unprincipled foundation of a break with internationalism. The very best interpretation which can be placed on Comrade Savas and the Greek CC’s break from the IC is that they fear disruption of their work for the transformation into a party. Such a position, politically, means that internationalism, the foundation of our movement in every country, is rejected in favour of immediate national concerns as perceived by the WIL leadership.

A party formed on this basis could never be a section of the World Party of Socialist Revolution, the Fourth International. It would attract all those petty bourgeois elements who reject our internationalist foundations. We urge you with all the force at our command to turn back from the path upon which you have embarked, to return immediately to the IC, and to conduct the work of founding the revolutionary party in Greece on this, the only principled basis.


Lucia, Secretary Peruvian Section ICFI

Keerthi Balasuriya, Secretary Sri Lankan Section ICFI

Nick Beams, Secretary Australian Section ICFI

Mike Banda, Secretary British Section ICFI

Ulli Rippert, representing the German Section ICFI

C. Slaughter, Secretary ICFI

D. North, Secretary, Workers League (USA), in political solidarity with ICFI