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Swedish socialist weekly celebrates 40 years

Monday 10 February 2014, by Hakan Blomqvist

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Two thousand issues since the start and 4 million distributed copies! The Swedish weekly Internationalen – the International – published by the Socialist party, Swedish section of the Fourth International, celebrated its 40th anniversary on February 1st with a revolutionary banquet in Stockholm. More than a hundred comrades and friends – including participants of the party’s winter school – gathered to show their commitment to the socialist and internationalist cause of the paper which today has around two thousand weekly subscribers. Among the older and younger activists were former editors, journalists and others who during decades have contributed to the collective effort of publishing news from the global class struggle and socialist analysis week after week.

Russian, Iranian and Syrian comrades greeted the occasion with warm solidarity. Aleksey Sachnin from the Russian Left front thanked for the support of Internationalen and the Swedish section for the imprisoned Bolotnaja-demonstrators. Mehrnosh Safie from the Iranian Shora stressed the need for tightening the bonds with persecuted labour activists in today’s Iran. And the ovations would hardly stop when Nadia Driai from the Syrian Democratic People’s party embraced the Swedish comrades for their solidarity with the Syrian democratic revolution. Directly from the party in Syria came the message:

“Dear Comrades! We appreciate your solidarity with our people during the fight against oppression and in the fight for freedom and dignity. Our people are sacrificing their lives to change Syria from a dictatorship to a democracy. Our people are trying to stop all criminal activities committed by a terrorist regime, and their actions come as a reaction to the regime’s crimes. We hope for more cooperation for the benefit of our parties, our people, and our countries Sweden and Syria. We sincerely thank all your efforts to help Syrian refugees in Sweden. We hope that our collaborative efforts help left wing and democratic movements and ensure the victory of freedom and justice for all. Please accept our warmest regards and respect for your party.”

Greetings to the celebration also came from Alain Krivine from the NPA (France); Jan Malewski for Inprecor and Penelope Duggan for International Viewpoint and the bureau of the Fourth International; and comrades in South Africa engaged in building the new socialist mass movement in the midst of the new miner’s strikes.

There were not only speeches on the program. The result of an impressive cultural project to digitalize the photo archive of the paper was presented, with more than 13 000 photos from the first decades. After the red choir of “Extra Salt” performed Swedish labour hymns together with songs of Brecht and Pete Seeger, the tones of the “International” in Swedish, Russian, Persian and Arabic expressed the deep sentiment that Internationalen and internationalism is alive and struggling for the decades to come.