Statement of Leftist Island Festival
Between 2nd and 4th September 2016 a Leftist Festival was organised by the Organisers for the Left (SZAB) at Horány/Hungary in the Regatta Leisure Centre, where more than 800 people from the Civil Society Organisations as well as Hungarian left parties (e.g. European Left-Workers Party2006- ELWP2006, Hungarian Socialist Party- MSZP, Dialogue for Hungary-PM, The Left -A BAL), and about a dozen CEE parties of the European Left and also trade union confederations (National Confederation of Hungarian Trade Unions-MASZSZ, Forum for the Co-operation of Trade Unions- SZEF) and the Miners Trade Union participated. It was an outstanding event, because the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Resistence Fighters (FIR) – Association of Antifascists hold its meeting as well. Parallelly with the Leftist Island Festival on 2nd September a Conference of the Central and Eastern European Working Group of the European Left Party (ELP) was organised by ELWP2006 in order to prepare for its Congress of the ELP in December 2016.
During the three-day extremely rich political, cultural and sports programs the main emphasis was put on the following issues:
- the advance of the far right, rising racism and neo-fascism
- the reasons for the weakness of the trade unions in the CEE countries
- historical experiences of the system change in the region
- the responsibilities of the Left in handling refugee crisis
- the future of Europe in the global arena, EU, Brexit, TTIP
- crisis zones, the effects and consequences of wars and terrorism (e.g. Middle East, Islamic State, Syria, Ukraine, etc.) for the EU and the CEE. The role of UN, NATO, the US, EU, Russia and China in an eventual settlement
- alternatives of self-defence, Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) and reduced working time, good examples of backwarded subregions in Hungary
- economic violance as the root cause in feminist perspective
- alliance building of the Hungarian Left to defeat the ruling right-wing Fidesz and to restore democracy
In frame of a central Forum on 3rd September Maite Mola, Vice President of the European Left Party (ELP) and Attila Vajnai, President of the ELWP2006 was talking about the situation in Europe and the challenges the whole continent are facing. Mola was giving an account about the legal proceedings launched against her under Turkey's Anti-Terror Law, her percepcion of political experiences of the CEE countries, and on the main tasks of the ELP Congress to be held in December 2016.
The Cuban Ambassador and the Chargé d`Affaires of Venezuela in Budapest were participating in the debates entitled: the fight against the Centre: Latin-American responses.
Participants of the Leftist Island Festival agreed to continue helping to join the Hungarian progressive forces in order to defeat right-wing Fidesz in 2018 and to restore democracy and the rule of law.
Let us go to Horány! Lead the anti-capitalist struggle! We demand shelter, bread and work!
Budapest, 8th September 2016.
Organisers for the Left (SZAB)