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Remembering Alain Krivine

Alain Krivine was an authentic internationalist revolutionary

Monday 21 March 2022, by Éric Toussaint

Alain Krivine was an exceptional militant, totally committed to the revolutionary struggle in his country and on the international level. He had many qualities, including an unshakeable will to fight against injustice, for social emancipation and for the end of all forms of oppression.

I met Alain Krivine in person 52 years ago in October 1970 at the conference for a Red Europe organised in Brussels by the Fourth International. More than 3000 activists from all over Europe took part. I was 16 years old and had just joined the Fourth International a few months before. Since then, I have stayed in contact with Alain and have been active in the same international organisation as him.

Alain Krivine actively supported the process of merging the various organisations that formed the Ligue révolutionnaire des travailleurs, the Belgian section of the Fourth International, in 1971. He was present at its congress in May 1971 in Liège and came to Belgium on numerous occasions to support the organisation’s development efforts. He was a very good speaker and his contribution to the May 1968 movement was widely recognised outside France.

Alain Krivine made a major contribution to the work of the IVth International. He never spared any effort to ensure that in France and elsewhere the internationalism of the peoples and the oppressed was expressed in practice. Always ready to participate in a solidarity demonstration, to contribute to the launching of a unitary appeal, to bring his help to the realisation of a convergence between movements and individuals. Always ready to support a workers’ struggle, to promote coordination between workers from different headquarters of a multinational company.

It should be added that among his many actions, Alain Krivine played a very active role in organising the mobilisation against the initiative taken by François Mitterrand to commemorate the bicentenary of the French revolution, who in 1989 convened a meeting of the imperialist powers in Paris, the infamous G7. Alain’s desire for collective action led to the enormous success of the campaign "Debt, colonies, apartheid; enough is enough" on 14 July 1989, with a unitary march and a big concert at the Bastille with Renaud, Johnny Clegg and the Green Negresses. Alain Krivine and the LCR acted in concert with Cedetim, Gilles Perrault, Jacques Gaillot, Renaud Séchan.

This initiative, based on the Bastille Appeal for the cancellation of Third World debt, contributed to the creation in Belgium in 1990 of the Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt. Since then, this committee, which became the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debts, has become an international network present in over 30 countries, including 16 African countries.

As one of the founders of this network, I can testify to the permanent support given to it by Alain Krivine.

Alain was also very motivated by solidarity with the Cuban revolution and people. It was not blind solidarity. The solidarity was critical, but it did not hesitate to support material efforts in the face of the blockade imposed by Washington imperialism.

Alain Krivine, until a few years ago, actively participated in the meetings of the bureau of the Fourth International. He never withdrew from activity in his own country. He was always convinced that the struggle for revolution was taking place on a global scale and that the Fourth International should be strengthened as much as possible. He never considered the Fourth International to be the only international revolutionary organisation. He knew perfectly well that it had to be strengthened, opened up and regrouped. This is why he put a lot of energy into the efforts to create a common framework between anti-capitalist organisations on a European scale in all their diversity. This work must undoubtedly be taken up again at a time when a new war is underway on European soil. Alain Krivine has devoted a lot of energy to supporting the comrades who formed the section of the Fourth International in Russia several years ago and who are now fighting against Putin’s imperialism.

On a personal level, I always appreciated Alain’s great human qualities in the small details as well as in the big ones, in the good moments as well as in the difficult situations. He was also always ready to try to answer a request for information on the struggles going on in France, on the action of the NPA, available to communicate an address useful for the action, ready to give a hand to facilitate a contact, to try to raise morale when in doubt.

Alain was a great friend, a great revolutionary, a great comrade.

20 March 2020

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