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About recent developments

Interview with Radim Gonda, vice-chairman of the Communist Youth Union (KSM) of the Czech Republic about recent developments in the struggle of the KSM for legal existence.

Question: In December last year the ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic sent a warning letter to the Communist Youth Union (KSM) threatening the KSM with banning this youth civic organization. On March 4, 2006 the ultimatum demanding you to leave your political behaviour and communist program ran out. How has the Ministry behaved since that date?

Answer: The representatives of the KSM had a meeting with vice-minister of Interior on March 1, 2006 where we repeated our position and gave him our response to the ultimatum. He said that the Ministry of Interior would respond in 2 - 3 weeks. But until today we have not so far received any reply from the Ministry of Interior although the time of response announced by the Ministry has passed. They take their time and we use it in our favour for the development of our counter-campaign. The Ministry of Interior may do anything they decide at any time they decide in connection with the illegalization of the KSM. The journalists have already several times asked the spokes-woman of the Ministry of Interior about the decision of the Ministry. She always replied that the Ministry still holds the case and has not accepted a final decision.

Question: What is the KSM doing against the attack of the Ministry of Interior and which solidarity activities and events have happened recently?

Answer: We continue our very successful and wide campaign and we want to make the Ministry announce its position. In fact the ministry does not have to announce its statement but on the other hand they may announce it at any time. We communicate with our comrades and friends abroad who support our struggle to coordinate the activities. The most important is: The struggle continues!

The campaign of solidarity with the struggle of the KSM was incredibly strong and wide. An enormous wave of international solidarity, protests and demonstrations of political parties, youth and student organizations, civic associations, trade unions, significant personalities of political, social, scientific and artistic life including for example a Nobel prize laureate Dario Fo or singer Bono from U2 as well as a large number of individuals was a determined response to the anticommunist and antidemocratic attack of the state. A World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) organized an international day of action in solidarity with the KSM on February 27, 2006. Protests were organized in many countries that day, for example in Germany, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Turkey, Austria. In Mexico for example Communist Youth Union of Mexico held a protest and Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos also supported the struggle of the KSM. A number of important petitions were organized internationally, for example http://4ksm.kke.gr (initiated by the Communist Party of Greece), http://wfdy-ksm.kne.gr (initiated by the World Federation of Democratic Youth), Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript. (initiated by the Italian Committee in Solidarity with KSM) and others like in France etc.
We were also informed that there was a demonstration in favour of the KSM in Trento in Italy during a visit of the Czech president Vaclav Klaus. He made also an interview for La Repubblica newspaper. Klaus tried to put the KSM question in doubt claiming for example that the KSM is like some group with 5 or 10 or 30 people and that it has few friends abroad. If we consider just Italy it is really funny to hear from the president of the Czech Republic about only few friends abroad. The amount of the signatures under the Italian petition shows something absolutely different. The Italian petition was signed by all the most important personalities of Italian political left.
The KSM was in Italy supported for example by the whole leadership of the Communist Refoundation Party, by all its members of national parliament, senators, members of European parliament. I may mention e.g. also a representative of Young Communists Francesco Maringio, the I. Secretary of Party of Italian Communists Oliviero Diliberto and its members of parliament, founders of a daily newspaper Il Manifesto like Rossana Rossanda, representatives of Rete dei Communisti, trade unionist leaders, journalists including those from RAI-TV, members of parliament representing the Greens Mauro Bulgarelli and Paolo Cento, a number of university teachers, representatives of sciences and culture, of anti-war and anti-globalization movement but also catholic priests and theologists. The Italian petition was also signed by Pietro Ingrao, former president of the Italian parliament, Giuliana Sgrena, famous journalist of Il Manifesto taken hostage in Baghdad not long time ago, Giovanni Pesce, famous guerrilla commander and hero of anti-fascist resistance struggle and the mentioned Nobel prize laureate Dario Fo.

And I am mentioning only Italy where Klaus made these untrue claims. The intention of Klaus obviously was to pretend that the cause of the KSM is irrelevant. Together with chairman of the KSM Milan Krajca I wrote an open letter to Vaclav Klaus in which we pointed out at his untrue and purpose-built claims. We confronted him with facts. Our open letter has been published in the media. The attack against the KSM has been discussed in the Parliament of the Czech Republic, on the ground of the European parliament, it became a matter of debate with the president of the Czech Republic; it has been discussed on international level.

There has been also a number of other very important activities in favour of the KSM. The member of European parliament from KKE comrade Manolakou raised the question of the KSM on the ground of the European parliament and collected signatures of 26 European parliament members. The petition organized by the KSM in the Czech Republic has been signed by several thousands of people.

And the activities of the KSM continue. On March 19, we co-organized a demonstration against the war in Prague. Our part of the demonstration was the core of the demonstration, we were the most important, most visible, the strongest part of the anti-war demonstration. It was obviously also a demonstration of the presence of the KSM, of our determination to be here and to struggle.



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