The Sixth Congress (1971)

At the Palace of Culture of Tirana, the 6th Congress of the Partia e Punës e Shqipërisë, PPSh was held during November 1st-7th,  1971, and coincided with the 30th foundation anniversary of the party. A 90-minute documentary, 30 vjet PPSH, Kongresi VI i PPSh (’30 years of the PPSh, VI Congress of PPSh’), was produced of the party congress.

The 6th party congress adopted directives for the fifth five-year plan. The directives called for the transformation of Albania from an agrarian-industrial to an industrial-agrarian country. In December the National Assembly adopted the fifth five-year plan, based on the directives of the 6th party congress.

The 6th congress adopted a decision to replace the constitution of the People’s Republic of Albania. The subsequent 7th party congress, held in 1976, adopted a new constitution which declared Albania as a socialist state.

Enver Hoxha presented the Report on the Activity of the Central Committee of the Party of  Labor of  Albania subsequently published by the Naim Frasheri Publishing House.[i]

Nesti Nase, Foreign Minister, spoke of the great successes of the foreign policy of Albania, especially in the development of friendship and fraternal cooperation with People’s China. He pointed to the victory for China in the U.N. as another achievement of the continuous efforts made by Albania on the diplomatic front.

Albania’s Deputy Foreign Minister Reis Malile had thanked the delegations of those countries who supported the Albanian Resolution. The General Assembly, he said, has once and for all rejected the U.S. scheme of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”. This decision is also a heavy defeat for the Soviet social-imperialists who have made every effort to isolate China. The restoration of the rights of China is a victory in the struggle of the peace-loving states to free the U.N. from the manipulation of the two big powers, and to revive the U.N.[ii]

Enver Hoxha, Haxhi Lleshi and Mehmet Shehu sent a message of congratulations on 0ctober 27 to Mao Tse-tung, Tung Pi-wu, and Chou En-lai in Peking. The message said among other things that the restoration of the rights of People’s China in the U.N. and the expulsion of the Chiang Kai-shek clique is a result of the victorious march of the Chinese people on the road of revolution and socialism under the leadership of their Communist Party headed by the great Marxist-Leninist Mao Tse-tung. lt is a result of the correct foreign policy of People’s China and its determined struggle in defense of freedom loving and peace loving peoples and states. The General Assembly has recognized that the world cannot manage without People’s China, that without its participation no important problem can be solved.[iii]

Notably there was no representation of the Communist Party of China at the 6th congress. Reportedly the Chinese ambassador to Tirana Liu Jen Hua was occupied touring the country with a Chinese electricity group.

At the 6th Congress Hoxha indirectly criticized recent Chinese foreign policy moves by declaring that, “As long as American imperialism and the Soviet revisionist imperialism are two imperialist superpowers and come out with a common counter-revolutionary strategy, it is impossible for the struggle of the peoples against them not to merge into a single current. You cannot rely on the one imperialism to oppose the other.”[iv]  At the same time Albania had opened trade negotiations with France, Italy, and the recently independent Asian and African states, and in 1971 it normalized relations with much derided neighbours Yugoslavia and the military dictatorship in Greece.

The Congress occurred at a time of victory for the two parties and states: China’s rightful place in the United Nations Organisation had been secured in October by popular vote, in part orchestrated by Albanian sponsorship and lobbying by the Albanian mission in New York.  

Over a period of twelve years, Albania’s political conduct had been based on the view, and advocacy that the day would come when the United Nations Organisation would plead the People’s Republic of China to take its rightful place in this organisation with full rights of membership of the United Nations and the UN Security Council. [v]

 However, the previous summer, before the Congress, Enver Hoxha on behalf of the party, had sent a critical, some would say harsh and rude, letter on August 6, 1971 to the leadership of the Communist Party of China saying “ ..we make known to you that we don’t approve your decision to welcome Nixon in Beijing”. It was given the title, when published for the first time[vi] as IT IS NOT RIGHT TO RECEIVE NIXON IN BEIJING. WE DO NOT SUPPORT IT. It warned such a visit “will bring many negative consequences to the revolutionary movement and our cause“.

The Albanians later said they never received a reply to the letter.

However, in October 1971 Hoxha was informed that the Chinese would not be sending a delegation to the 6th Congress of the Party of Labour and in 1972 the Chinese did send messages notifying the Albanians that they should expect a lower level of economic activity with China in the future.

All this was hidden from the attendees of the 26 foreign delegations attending the 6th Congress of the P.L.A:

  • Vietnamese Workers’ Party (Nguyen Van Tran) and National Liberation Front of South Viet Nam (Prof . Nguyen Van Hieu) 
  • the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) (E. Hill)
  • the Communist Party of New Zealand (Vic Wilcox)
  • the Communist Party of Indonesia (Jusuf Adjitorop)
  • the Communist Party of Poland (Kazimierz Mijal)
  • the Communist Party of Malaya
  • the Communist Party of Brazil
  • the Communist Party of Italy (Marxist-Leninist) (Fosco Dinucci)
  • the Communist Party of Peru (Rafael Kaline)
  • the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of France (Jean Ferre)
  • the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (Reg Birch)
  • the Communist Party of Japan (Left) (Takayuki Anasako)
  • the Revolutionary Communist Party of Chile (Ernesto González)
  • the Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) (Raúl Marco)
  • the Communist Party of Ceylon (M.C.N. Shafi)
  • the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (Alfonso Jaramillo)
  • the Sudanese Communist Party (Revolutionary Leadership) (‘Xhabir’)
  • the Marxist-Leninist Party of Austria (Franz Strobl)
  • the Communist Party of Germany/Marxist-Leninist (Ernst Aust)
  • the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Netherlands (‘Kris Petersen’) [Dutch secret service]
  • the Marxist-Leninist Communist League of Sweden (Kurt Lundgren)
  • Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Belgium (Fernand Lefebvre)
  • the “Vanguardia Comunista” of Argentina
  • the Marxist-Leninist Communist League of Denmark (Benito Scocozza)
  • and the Marxist-Leninist Groups of Norway (Sigurd Allern)

ln addition to the delegations attending the Congress, many messages of greetings were received from those parties and groups that could not send delegations. These included messages from China, Korea, Burma, and Thailand, which were read to the Congress.

The message from the C.C. of the Chinese C.P. was greeted with special enthusiasm. lt praised the P.L.A. for its resolute struggle against imperialism, revisionism, and reaction, for its support of oppressed people and nations and genuine Marxist-Leninist parties. “You have made important contributions t0 the world revolutionary cause and set, a brilliant example of proletarian internationalism for the revolutionary people the world over,” it said. The message also lauded the advances made during the past five years in socialist revolution and construction, in the further revolutionization of Party and State life, in consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat. lt reaffirmed the unbreakable revolutionary friendship between the two people based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, in the common struggle against the common enemy. “We will always stand firmly on your side, fight shoulder to shoulder, unite as one, and advance hand in hand.” [vii]

The judgement of the Swiss based Marxist Leninist Nils Andersson was that

“An important demonstration of the reality of the Marxist-Leninist movement was the celebration of the 5th Congress of the PLA in November 1966, which was attended by the CP of China and 28 Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations from the five continents. There was great enthusiasm, for Albania it was one of the great moments in its history, it had defeated the revisionist and imperialist blockade; for new parties it was the first time they had been able to get together in such great numbers.” [viii]

At the time of the 6th Congress the situation had grown more complicated with political contradictions appearing in the anti-revisionist camp, partly due to China’s policy directions and the immature nature of those new parties whereby the role that tailism and creeping adulation could play in that recognition. The high expectations of a unified international structure emerging, evident at the 5th Congress, were stymied by the positive opposition of the Chinese party to encourage such arrangements. The overtures for party relations with revisionist parties and recalibration of foreign policies were all of concern. For the Albanians, China’s improving relations in the Balkans and overtures to Romania’s Nicolae Ceaușescu raised the hackles. Albanian scholar, Yiber Marku looked extensively at the new parties disquiet behind the scene at the 6th Congress.[ix]

Mijal centre stage with Enver

During the informal meetings with many foreign communist delegations that that occurred China’s absence did not pass without comments, some of which indicated dissatisfaction with China’s acts within the communist camp. The Austrian delegate, Franz Strobel, commenting on Nixon’s visit, wondered rhetorically, ‘when is Nixon coming to Albania?’. He labelled the Chinese decision to not send a delegation to foreign party congresses as ‘extraordinary, as the same internal situation in China… Nixon’s visit to China has caused confusion within communists.’ There is anecdotal evidence that when the Marxist-Leninist Party of Austria approached the PLA with its concerns over Nixon’s visit to China, the advice it received was to continue to support the CPC and discipline those in the organization who were arguing for the Party to publicly condemn what they characterized as the CPC’s capitulation to imperialism.

Some of these delegates met in Tirana with the Chinese ambassador in Albania, Liu Zhenhua. One of them, David Benkis, representing the Communist Party of Chile (m-l), lamented the lack of financial assistance that Geng Biao had promised to give him in Albania during this congress. In another meeting, he complained of the treatment that the CCP had reserved for certain parties, which he alleged was not based on the equality among parties. A meaningful comment came from the Chilean delegate on Chinese policy when he affirmed in an informal meeting that ‘China now prioritizes the interstate relations, rather than inter-party relations. This offered the best explanation of the departure in Chinese foreign policy from its ideological radicalism, to state pragmatism in international relations.

The Belgian delegate, presumably Fernand Lefebvre, after meeting Hoxha, is reported to have said, ‘You are different from China’, without further elaborating.

At the previous 5th Congress Jacques Grippa, the leader of the Communist Party of Belgium (m-l) , and European fixer among the pro-China groups, had expressed to the Albanian party his great dissatisfaction with certain Chinese policies. He had been in China during 1966, and lamented the fact that he been kept completely uninformed about the Cultural Revolution. Grippa was not alone in his frustrations over the lack of information. Kazimierz Mijal told similarly of his meetings with Chinese diplomats in Tirana, that the information provided about the Cultural Revolution was ‘very vague’, or sometimes clearly inaccurate, as it was when he was told the Cultural Revolution would be over within the year (1968).  Grippa eventually sided with Liu Shao-chi and was expelled from the anti-revisionist movement in no small part to Albanian reports, to the Chinese and others, of Grippa’s criticism

Kazimierz Mijal, representing the PCP (m-l), in presence of the Brazilian delegate, affirmed that the ‘Chinese refusal to send a delegation leaves room for speculation by the revisionists that there is no unity between China and Albania’. Mijal reinforced his contrariety to China’s decision to not participate at the congress, when on 5 November he told the Chinese ambassador in Tirana, Liu Zhenhua, ‘I am against Chinese decision to not participate at the congress, which itself has raised debates and speculations of a possible disunity between China and Albania’.

During the informal talks, the small foreign delegations discussed also the events in China. . Some delegations, such as those of Peru, Ecuador and Brazil, asked to meet the Chinese ambassador. The main topic of their discussion in Albania was the extent of the reformation in China. These small parties were concerned about their futures, of the ideological axis upon which they had built their action. Among these groups, British communist Reg Birch is said to have a confidential document for Hoxha regarding a meeting he allegedly had with Chinese comrades, with whom he had discussed the current situation in China. No such document was found in the Albanian party archive, nor is it clear if he relayed it to Hoxha.

Disequilibrium in what were often low level contacts in the first place, saw a disentanglement by some organisations as there was an overshadowing issue that all the Marxist-Leninists had to consider, and that was the change in the relationships that the Chinese party had initiated with revisionist parties. This contrasted with the Albanian refusal to countenance such political relationships. Some of the Marxist-Leninist organisations agreed with the Albanian stance without openly criticising Mao and the Communist Party of China.

 In the informal discussion periods, the Spanish Marxist-Leninist implicit rebuke the Chinese for having re-established relations with “the revisionism of the renegade, anti-patriot and agent of the oligarchy, Santiago Carrillo,” and argued that: “One of the principal tasks of Marxist-Leninists is that of carrying on and intensifying ‘the struggle against every kind of revisionism and opportunism, wherever it may arise, regardless of the mask that it may don…. For this reason it is not possible to support, to deal with or to reach agreements with one type of revisionism in order to combat another kind) since they are all linked by the common denominator of enmity to the revolution·, to Marxism-Leninism, and are all instruments of reaction, imperialism and social-imperialism. The divergences between revisionists are nothing but a matter of struggles between rival cliques and constitute a proof of their bourgeois ideology and degeneration.”

The subsequent ritual reference to “all the Marxist-Leninists of the world, headed by the Albanian Party of Labor and the Chinese Communist Party” — indeed, the order (Albanians first, Chinese second) might be regarded as further evidence of a shifting of loyalties from Peking toward Tirana. Even in their closest period there were visible differences in the emphasis of the PLA and CPC. These political cleavages came to the forefront in 1977-78 but have their seeds in the Sino-American rapprochement at the start of the Seventies. French Marxist Leninist, Patrick Kessel recalls a visit to Tirana in 1972, and the discreet manner of the PLA’s objection to the role of the army in China during the Cultural Revolution and Nixon’s visit . The new element, evident since the 7th Congress, was, for Kessel, “the directly questioning of the part played by Mao Zedong”. [x]

Reflecting on China’s relations with the Party of Labour in  1973, Hoxha imitated in his political diaries (not published until 1979, after the Sino-Albanian break)  that “Chou En-lai, Li Hsien-nien and Mao have cut off their contacts with us, and the contacts which they maintain are merely formal diplomatic ones. Albania is no longer the ‘faithful, special friend’. For them it comes at the end of the line, after Rumania and Yugoslavia in Europe … it is quite obvious that their ‘initial ardour’ has died.”[xi]

 In April the same year Geng Biao, who was in charge of relations with foreign parties, was reported by Enver Hoxha as informing the Albanians that “China does not approve the creation of Marxist-Leninist parties and does not want the representatives of these parties to come to China. Their coming is a nuisance to us but we can do nothing about them, for we cannot send them away. We accept them just as we accept the representatives of bourgeois parties.”[xii] Whatever the truth of the matter, it was believed by many.

The deterioration in the relationship between the two allies simmered for the rest of the decade until the rupture in 1977/78 offered stark ideological alignment that divided the anti-revisionist movement.


[i]  In Enver Hoxha (1982)  Volume IV –  February 1966 – July 1975. The «8 NËNTORI » Publishing House Tirana  p683

[ii] See also

[iii] Quoted in the American publication Albanian Report Vol 2 No.2 October-November 1971

[iv] Hoxha 1982: 698

[v]  Enver Bytyçi (2022) In the Shadows of Albania-China Relations (1960-1978) Cambridge Scholar Publishing, particularly Chapter 3

[vi]  Hoxha 1982 p665


[viii] Nils Andersson The Origins of the Marxist-Leninist Movement in Europe.  Unity & Struggle No. 28, September 2014

[ix] The next paragraphs draw heavily on an extract from Ylber MARKU’s  Sino-Albanian relations during the Cold War, 1949-1978 : an Albanian perspective.

[x] Quoted in Tirana builds an Internationale.

[xi] Hoxha, Enver (1979). Reflections on China . Vol. 2. Tirana: 8 Nëntori Publishing House.

[xii] Hoxha, Enver (1985). Selected Works Vol. 5. Tirana: 8 Nëntori Publishing House.p693

Rioting Students, a note

As part of the mythology of British student radicalism two incidents – at Cambridge and Bangor University – grow in the telling. So what is this, about a riot by Maoists at Bangor University in the early 1970s?

Of the events fifty years ago contemporaries “cannot recall hearing anything about this event.” [David Mayes, studied at University of Wales, Bangor 1971]. Others reactions was along the lines of “Errrr…..don’t remember that one. But there was a lot of it about. “Although Chris Jones , [there in 73] described  Bangor “as the last stronghold of university Maoism in the U.K. I think. There were Maoist books in the Bookburn the 2nd hand bookshop. “Whence the differences?” was the most common book. I didn’t hear of any riots though. But I did hear that in 72 the Maoist students refused to take their final exams on political grounds.”

“Whence the Differences” was a collection of Chinese editorial articles produced as part of the anti-revisionist polemic, and discarded books in a second-hand bookshop would suggest faded glory rather than abandoned in the chaotic passion of youthful rebellion. Former Zoology student Gwydion Madawc Williams [“I was a teenage Maoist, but stopped believing after we learned of the bizarre flight and death of Lin Biao (Lin Piao). “] graduated 1974 recalled some details of the maoist presence:

“I heard about it when I arrived in 1974. There was a split, and some of the student Maoists joined the ICO, later the British and Irish Communist Organisation, and has evolved to be something very different, see Athol Books Home Page and Labour Affairs Magazine. Lindsey Hutchinson went otherwise and I have no idea what happened to him.”

A faction of the movement not known for their riotous behaviour despite plenty of opportunities in the Six counties. So, a riot in Bangor? Unlikely from the maoist-identifying students. Perhaps stories are getting conflated as student protests at University College of North Wales UCNW in the 1970s focused mainly on calls to expand the role of the Welsh language. Radical students would disturb lectures held in English and paint slogans in Welsh on the walls of the Main Building, resulting in a number of suspensions of these activists.

One of the known hotspots of student maoism in the UK as illustrated in London in the late 1960s when the London RSSF prove to be a nucleus for future maoist organisations. [i]   Bangor wasn’t on the radar.

The Garden House riot of February 1970 has been part of Cambridge folklore. As Cambridge Alumni Magazine tells it

“A dinner to promote Greek tourism at the Garden House Hotel was disrupted by a student demonstration against the country’s ruling military junta. The protest turned violent, the hotel was damaged, and both police and students were bloodied. Eight members of the University received short custodial sentences for their part in the disturbance.” [ii]

Cambridge was less activity than other places: students elsewhere – the LSE, Hornsey Art College, various polytechnics – always seemed to be more active and militant. Protest was not a regular aspect of student life.

There were interventions as in November 1968, a large demonstration outside the Cambridge Union against the visiting speaker Enoch Powell, who had been sacked by Edward Heath from his position as shadow defence secretary following his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. Student newspaper Varsity reported: “Enoch Powell’s visit to the Union last Sunday passed off without an incident. The threat of violence was never put to the test, as demonstrators outside the Union waited for hour after hour for a Powell who refused to appear.”

Students marched the town’s streets on the issue of Northern Ireland in the same month.

There was, in a reflection of the times, the development of a militant left including maoist activists [iii], and alternatives like an independent voice in the setting up of the “1/- Paper” [The Shilling Paper] a left-wing, anti-establishment alternative to the student newspaper Varsity. It was international issues that stirred what was a minority of the student body into activism.

Vietnam War was a focus for demonstrators in the late 1960s, as was the apartheid regime in South Africa. In February 1969, 200 campaigners from the Cambridge University South Africa Committee marched on Trinity College in objection to the its’ resident performing arts society The Dryden Society’s planned tour of the country. The crowd was addressed by the expelled Bishop of Johannesburg, Ambrose Reeves, and the South African poet Dennis Brutus. The tour went ahead that summer with the Dryden Society performing to segregated audiences. There were ulterior motives for several members of the touring party, who used the tour as cover to clandestinely film the conditions in which South Africa’s black majority lived on behalf of the Pan-Africanist Congress. It resulted in the critically acclaimed documentary film End of the Dialogue (known in South Africa by its Zulu name of Phela-ndaba) which drew greater international attention to the plight of black South Africans living under apartheid. [iv]

Anger at the military dictatorship in Greece came to a fore during Greek Week in 1970, which was organised by the country’s tourist board and supported by travel agents in Cambridge to promote tourism. [v]

May 10th 1970, students occupied Abbott’s Travel Agency in Sidney Street, and burnt posters on the pavement outside, as was reported in Varsity by a 20-year-old Jeremy Paxman. A series of protests culminated on Friday 13th May at the Garden House Hotel, where a dinner was being held to celebrate the conclusion of Greek Week. Around 400 students picketed the hotel, but the peaceful protest descended into violence as the police attempted to break up the demonstrators.

It was regarded as a blatant provocation: “Greece…was ruled by a military junta with an appalling record on human rights and deserved to be isolated and shunned, rather than visited and supported.” [Caird, 21 at the time]

The Shilling Paper of Friday 13 February was a call to action for the evening’s protest. The front page stated: “Tonight, the lickspittles of Cambridge gather to celebrate the ‘success’ of Greek Week in Cambridge … Whether or not they will succeed in passing their evening pleasantly at the Garden House Hotel is up to us.” The back page was given over to a cut-out poster – a red Z overlaid with “Greek fascists hold propaganda party – all invited!”

The riot was described thus:

“.. tension escalated after demonstrators began hammering on the windows, and a member of hotel staff turned a firehose on them from a first-floor window. The lights in the garden failed, and the police found themselves under a hail of stones. Tempers were frayed, windows broken, and truncheons drawn. Before reinforcements with dogs arrived, several protestors broke through to the dining-room, or were pushed in by the bottleneck of bodies on the thin terrace. Some of them were set upon by guests … whacked about the head with a soup ladle. Tables were upended, and crockery and bottles shattered on the floor. By the time the police managed to clear the demonstrators, more than £2000 of damage had been done. Two policemen had been injured by missiles.” [vi]

Arrests, police raids on student digs and exchanges in the letter columns in local papers followed.

“The demonstration, frankly, did get a bit out of hand and a number of us – including me – were arrested, eventually being charged for a variety of alleged offences including riotous assembly, possession of offensive weapons. To the authorities, this was a heaven-sent opportunity to make an example of long-haired, trouble-making leftie students who should have known better. It was an election year and we were a very convenient target.” In July, six students were jailed, with Caird receiving an 18-month sentence.

There was widespread criticism of Judge Melford Stevenson’s handling of the trial; the leader column in The Times was typical of broadsheet reaction, querying the need for such lengthy gaol terms: “An exemplary sentence should be no more severe than is necessary to set an example … While the judge was right to take a serious view of a deplorable affair, he has been very severe.”

Melford Stevenson in retirement, he told a reporter that the Garden House protest was “undoubtedly a case for deterrent sentences, and that is what I passed. The significant thing is that since then, no major incident of such student violence has happened.”

Asked if he regrets his part in the Garden House Riot, Caird says: “I genuinely don’t think I would have done anything differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and it was stupid to get myself arrested, but I would not hesitate to go to that demonstration again.” Caird expressed similar sentiments in a Varsity interview in November 1971, having spent 12 months at Wormwoods Scrubs and Coldingley Prison: “The only moment that really hurts is the clamping on of the handcuffs”.

The student input into the progressive struggles of the 1960s and 1970s involved a broad spectrum of political sympathies. In a situation more typical of student activism in the Britain of the 1970s, protests after Greek Week, as Emily Chan charts, seemed to be more focused on the immediate concerns of university life. [vii]  Still, in that self-referential manner inculcated at Britain’s oldest universities, Cambridge Alumni Magazine, Cam 61 said of the incident “Perhaps no episode of student protest in post-war Britain attracted so much media attention, or provoked greater public debate.”[viii]

Really? tell that to L.S.E.


[i] See The Student Movement and the Second Wave: Maoists and the RSFF ExperienceThe RSSF/ Revolutionary Socialist Students’ Federation was a radical national student group launched in June 1968 to unite revolutionary-minded students across the UK.

[ii] CAM Issue 61 Michaelmas 2010 p22

[iii] In the early 1970s, the maoist book distributors New Era Books had a contact address in Glisson Road that was looked after by student members at the university. In 1974 the operation moved to a retail site in Finsbury Park, North London.

[iv] See: Daniel J Feather,  Creating a ‘deplorable impression’: the Dryden Society’s 1969 tour of South Africa and the making of End of the Dialogue.

[v] Following description draws heavily draws upon Emily Chan, Dissent: a brief history of student protests and demonstrations.9th November 2012.

[vi]  CAM Issue 61 Michaelmas 2010

[vii] Emily Chan, Dissent: a brief history of student protests and demonstrations. Varsity 9th November 2012. Demands for reforms to the disciplinary system at Cambridge led to a picket of over 800 students outside the Senate House in October 1970, which attracted heavy police presence. There were protests in 1972 against the government’s plans to reform student unions. January saw around 600 took part in a local march, and a Cambridge contingent of 700 joined the NUS rally of 35,000 in London. In February 1972, a student sit-in at the Old Schools house, Cambridge University main administration offices, voiced student anger at the University’s hostile response to proposed examination reforms. This was followed by more sit-ins at Lady Mitchell Hall, a large lecture theatre and at the Faculty of Economics in February 1973, after the rejection of examination reforms to the economics tripos. The 1973 sit-ins ended with a march of 1,500 students to Senate House, where they handed in a petition with more than 3,000 signatures calling for the start of negotiations for reform in all faculties.

[viii] CAM Issue 61 Michaelmas 2010

[viii] CAM Issue 61 Michaelmas 2010

[viii] CAM Issue 61 Michaelmas 2010

[viii] CAM Issue 61 Michaelmas 2010

Post-it note news items

  1. New Australian Communist Blog Founded

May 2022

The appearance of a new Australian Maoist blog, The Waterhole was welcomed by the Swiss publication, The Red Flag:

A new blog, under the title The Waterhole, has been founded by Australian Marxist-Leninist-Maoists. We call the attention of our readers to this new development in the international communist movement. In recent months, new anti-revisionist organisations and websites have been formed in Germany, the USA and Australia, which shows the advances being made in the struggle of the communists of the world against the dogmato-revisionist trend.

On their blog, the Australian colleagues write:

The Waterhole is a Communist blog. Its audience is the Australian revolutionary movement, and it aims to serve the interests of the multinational proletariat and the Aboriginal nations in their struggles against Australian imperialism. It is completely opposed to the revisionist parties that dominate the Australian revolutionary movement. We believe the primary task of the Communists in this country is to establish a Red Faction capable of analysing Australian society and preparing for the refounding of the Communist Party of Australia. We believe that only through a revolutionary war against Australian imperialism will the multinational proletariat, the Aboriginal nations, and all who are oppressed, ever achieve peace and freedom.

We whole-heartedly greet the efforts of the Australian colleagues to struggle for the formation of such a Red Faction and for the refounding of the Communist Party of Australia. We have no doubt that all the pebbles on the path of the Australian revolution shall be crushed and that our colleagues will fulfill their goals.

The blog of the Australian colleagues can be found here:


Switzerland, May 2022

  • Long Live Red May Day

The Waterhole reproduced “Long Live Red May Day “ , the joint international declaration released by many Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties across the world stating ”It represents a positive development towards a new Communist International.” It was originally published by Maoist Road at


Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist

Construction Committee of the Maoist Communist Party of Galicia

Maoist Communist Party – Italy

Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist)

Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan

Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan – Shola Jawid

El Kadehines Party – Tunisia

Maoist Revolutionary League – Sry Lanka

Revolutionary Communists (RK) Norway

Revolutionary Collective Britain (Formerly RVM)

Red Road Maoist Group of Iran

Communist Party of Switzerland (RedFraction)

 Poder Proletario Organización Partidaria MLM Colombia

 Maoist Kommunist Party Turkey/NorthKurdistan

  •  Split on American blog

With nothing posted at  since December 2021, this explanation was provided via the Swiss-based internet site, The Red Flag:

The dogmato-revisionist, White-chauvinist and patriarchal clique in the USA, which stood behind the blog Struggle Sessions and which was exposed time and again by revolutionaries in the USA and abroad, has been expelled from the U.S. Maoist movement. This is according to a document which was sent to us by U.S. supporters of the international communist movement.

In the light of these new developments in the struggle against dogmato-revisionism in the USA, we want to draw the attention of our readers to a new organisation which has emerged in the United States as a result of the struggle against opportunism — the Proletarian Feminist Research Group. In a recent statement, this group declared:

The threat of bourgeois co-optation of the women’s struggle takes two main forms:

1. That of the liberal-reformist response to out-and-out reaction, which has escalated its attacks on the democratic rights of women and transgender people; the liberal-reformist trend sees the solution to the oppression of women and transgender people to be found within the system of bourgeois democracy.

2. That of the revisionism which dominates the International Communist Movement, and whose backwards lines have crept unopposed into the Maoist tendency itself; this trend wears a variety of masks, but always fails to present a dialectical materialist approach to the women’s struggle or provide a proletarian class line capable of leading it, and thereby liquidates the vanguard role of communist politics.

We consequently see the urgent need for a theoretical intervention to disambiguate the correct line for the women’s and transgender struggles […].

We whole-heartedly greet this new and important advance in the struggle for proletarian feminism in the U.S. communist movement, which is necessarily part of the struggle for refounding the Communist Party of the USA on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is an important blow against the patriarchal-chauvinist, dogmato-revisionist line in the USA, which used to be represented by the clique behind Struggle Sessions, and which is a specifically U.S. reflection of the dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level.

The U.S. colleagues further write:

We consequently see the urgent need for a theoretical intervention to disambiguate the correct line for the women’s and transgender struggles, and to oppose the wrong ideas which inform the mechanical-materialist, chauvinistic and petit-bourgeois postmodernist positions which have been taken up by a wide set of so-called Maoist groupments across the ICM (and which are exemplified by the German and Swiss milieus, respectively). We are also aware that variations upon these lines have become commonplace within other sectors of the Maoist tendency here in the so-called United States, especially in those groups concentrated around the Struggle Sessions leadership and the eclectics of the former MCP-OC.

The effort made here to take up the struggle against the German expression of the dogmato-revisionist trend, which was first initiated by the Swiss communists through their expulsion of the «Committee Red Flag» revisionists from Switzerland in 2020, is noteworthy. However, the colleagues make a mistake when they refer to the Swiss communist movement as having «petit-bourgeois postmodernist positions» on the women’s and queer questions. This assertion should be substantiated and developed in the form of a Marxist polemic concerning the position paper of the Swiss communists on the question, «Marxism and Queer Emancipation», and the U.S. colleagues should not refer to an opinion piece written by an individual supporter of the Swiss communist movement, which does not necessarily represent the line in formation of our movement. We hope that the U.S. colleagues will follow these claims up with an actual debate, so that these important questions of the General Political Line of the international communist movement can be resolved through struggle, and not through empty accusations and rumour-mongering.

We would welcome a polemic by the U.S. colleagues. We are not afraid of being proven wrong in a debate over these important questions, which must be solved in a scientific manner if the world revolution is to win victory; neither should the American colleagues be afraid of being proven wrong by us. The only correct policy for achieving the reunification of the international communist movement is to «Let a thousand flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend!». The old revisionist clique which was expelled from the U.S. communist movement always used opportunist tactics, such as empty phrases about «secrecy», spreading rumours behind closed doors, and refusing to establish secure lines of communications with us, in order to avoid engaging with our viewpoints. It is now time for the American colleagues to prove that they have truly broken with dogmato-revisionism by giving up on this sectarian practice and openly engaging in the struggle between the two lines in the international communist movement.

The blog of the American colleagues from the Proletarian Feminist Research Group can be found here:


Switzerland, May 2022

  • Intervention on the question of uniting under maoism

The Red Flag EDITORIAL BOARD has made an intervention, posting in February 2022, “a polemic against the dogmato-revisionist strategy put forward in the document “A Proposal Concerning the Balance and General Line of the International Communist Movement”.

The October Road Is the Only Path of the Socialist Revolution in the Imperialist Countries – The Red Flag (

Another contribution posted online was an article discussing Mao Zedong’s final contribution to marxism — his thesis that “the bourgeoisie is right in the Communist Party” – titled, Once Again, Yanan

  • Status of Red Flag

As a result of the struggle between two lines in our Editorial Board, in January 2022,The Red Flag website was formally adopted as the organ of the Communist Party of Switzerland (Red Faction). It began in March 2021 as a revolutionary online news site, journal and marxist-leninist-maoist archive. It claims to represents the most consistently revolutionary journalism in Switzerland, its name from The Red Flag, the organ of the Communist Party of Switzerland for French-speaking Switzerland. The same name has been used by Communist Parties all over the world — from the Communist Party of Germany through the Communist Party of China to the Communist Party of Peru — and it thus represents an international revolutionary tradition to which we are proud to belong.

  • Name change in Spain

The American Tribune of the People website sough to inform its readers of developments with the Spanish Workers Party (Marxist-Leninist) by summarize and contextualize a statement by the Maoist Communist Party (PCM, Partido Comunista Maoista) of the Spanish State on the Second Congress of the Workers Party (Marxist-Leninist). An unofficial translation of the full document by David Martinez is available on the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist online newspaper, Communist International, here: Spanish State: Chronicle of the II Congress of the Maoist Communist Party

In early December, the Workers’ Party (Marxist-Leninist) [Partido (Marxista-Leninista) de los Trabajadores], a revolutionary organization based in the Spanish State, held their Second Congress. In January, the group released a report of the event which celebrated the important fact that the organization had voted to adopt Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as its guiding ideology and had taken the historic step of changing its name to the Maoist Communist Party (PCM, Partido Comunista Maoista).

The II Congress began by reading greetings from other proletarian organizations who sent their best wishes for a successful gathering, which the PCM appreciated, saying it “demonstrates the important work of international relations that we have been doing.”

The discussion of adopting Maoism, or Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, as the guiding ideology of the organization was the main debate of the Congress. Maoism is the third and higher stage of the proletarian ideology, developed since the time of Karl Marx, who theorized and defined Marxism in the mid 1800s through the rigorous study of philosophy, history, and human society, applying his ideas to the revolutionary movements of his era. Marxism was developed further by Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution and Chairman Mao, the leader of the Chinese Revolution.

PCM say the Congress conducted “important ideological work that would allow the two-line struggle to emerge and the militancy to express itself freely to show its opinions, to evaluate the work of the outgoing Central Committee and to mark the future of the organization.”

As part of this meeting, PCM studied and assessed the International Communist Movement and “the organizations that have claimed to be Maoist. We have been formed by studying the TKP/ML [Turkish Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist -Ed.], the CPI (Maoist) [Communist Party of India (Maoist), -Ed.], the Communist Party of the Philippines… and, especially, the Communist Party of Peru [PCP, Partido Comunista del Perú, -Ed.].”

The PCM highlighted that, “It was the PCP who initiated the first people’s war after the death of Chairman Mao Tse Tung, and it was Chairman Gonzalo who synthesized Maoism as the third, new and higher stage. Our Party, together with Maoism, has assumed the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, considering that they form an indispensable part of the proletarian ideology.”

Chairman Gonzalo is the leader of the PCP who was killed by the Peruvian State under the orders of US imperialism last September, after 29 years of imprisonment and torture. Through his application of Chairman Mao’s lessons to the People’s War in Peru, Gonzalo led the work to define Maoism and fought for it to become the ideology of the International Communist Movement. The PCM’s adoption of Maoism is yet another advance for the ideology and for the World Proletarian Revolution, and a testament to Gonzalo’s immortal leadership.

The PCM focused on studying the question of Protracted People’s War, Mao’s proletarian military strategy developed during the Chinese Revolution. PCM said, “we have decided to assume the Protracted People’s War as the universal method for the seizure of power. We are fully aware that this is only a declaration of intentions, therefore we have to study and learn about its materialization and development in imperialist countries.”

The question of nations is an important one in the Spanish State, where multiple national struggles have been waged against Spanish Imperialism. At the Congress, PCM established in their analysis, “that in the Spanish State there are four nations, the Spanish, the Catalan, the Basque and the Galician. This leads us consistently to defend the right of self-determination of the nations.”

“The mass line has played a particularly relevant role in the Congress,” the PCM said. The mass line is another of Chairman Mao’s immense contributions to revolutionary theory, which establishes that the masses are the makers of history, and revolutionaries must draw their ideas from the masses, evaluate these ideas through their theory, then carry out and test them alongside the masses.

The PCM expressed it would follow the principle of the concentric construction of the three instruments of the revolution: the Party, the Army, and the United Front, which is an alliance of revolutionary and progressive organizations led by the Party. The PCM, taking up the contribution of Chairman Gonzalo, said this will be done with a “militarized Communist Party” at the center.

The PCM says that a key principle of its mass work will be to organize working women “on the oppression suffered by working women under capitalism, giving it a marked class character and a revolutionary commitment.”

While adopting the name of the Communist Party, the organization emphasized it could not really be considered a Communist Party at this stage, stating “we are a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization that is clear that it is not the vanguard Communist Party. Having this question clear, our Party fights for the reconstitution of the Communist Party of the Spanish State.”

To conclude, the PCM expressed their revolutionary optimism and readiness to take on their important tasks, quoting The Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Friedrich Engels, which states:

“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

“Proletarians of all countries, unite!”

  • Canadians sent greetings

Among the greetings to the Spanish congress were a Canadian ‘group’ the COMMUNIST WORKERS FRONT (ORGANIZING COMMITTEE). Born out of a split in the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM), the Red Fraction of the RSM (the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver sections) on the eve of May Day 2021, the Red Fraction announced its dissolution and the formation of the Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee).

“We are an organization of workers from across Canada, uniting in struggle to build a Communist Workers Front that serves the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Canada for People’s War. We envision a mass front that welds the working class into a revolutionary force, mainly at the point of production and secondarily among the unemployed. We will make this a reality through creative application of the ideology of the working class: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism–Gonzalo Thought, principally Gonzalo Thought.”

Greetings to the Founding Congress of the Maoist Communist Party of the Spanish State

Late last year, the Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee) sent a letter of greetings and congratulations to the newly founded Maoist Communist Party (PCM) of the Spanish State. The PCM was born at the 2nd Congress of the Workers’ (Marxist-Leninist) Party, held last December, marking an important advance in the struggle to reconstitute the great Communist Party of Spain. The Congress adopted Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the contributions of Chairman Gonzalo as the ideology of the organization, contributing another victory to the forward march of Maoism around the world. A new name was adopted for the organization, now known as the PCM. Today, in the spirit of internationalism on the eve of another red May Day celebrated by the proletariat of Spain and Canada alike, we are happy to publicize our letter to the Spanish comrades.

On behalf of the Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee) [CWF(OC)], we wish to congratulate you comrades of the Workers’ (Marxist-Leninist) Party of Spain [P(ML)TE] for successfully convening your 2nd Congress. This Congress will undoubtedly mark a major milestone in the two-line struggle within your organization toward the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Spain.

The Unity of the Proletariat of Spain and Canada

We are honoured to have been asked to write a greeting toward this important event. We would like to open by remarking on the historical unity between the proletariat of Canada and Spain. In the 1930s, thousands of Communists, workers, and other progressives from around the world volunteered for the People’s War against fascism and the completion of the democratic revolution being waged by the Spanish proletariat. Among these, as many as two thousand would come from Canada, including Comrade Norman Bethune. The bulk of the volunteers from Canada would be organized into the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion as a part of the XV International Brigade. Of all the volunteers from Canada, at least 721 would be martyred, mingling the blood of the proletariat of Spain and Canada together in the fight against fascism as part of the world proletarian revolution. We greet your congress in the vein of this historical unity and with the hope of sparking two-line struggle between our two organizations as part of the process of reunifying the International Communist Movement and reconstituting the Communist International.

The Similar Development of the CWF(OC) and the P(ML)TE

The CWF(OC) and the P(ML)TE have a similar origin in the rebellion of the youth against revisionism. In Spain, the culmination of the organizational split from the various revisionist organizations was carried out by the Communists-in-formation of Spain in 2018, several years before our own, with the constitution of the Communist Youth and later the P(ML)TE.

On the part of the Communists-in-formation of Canada, this process culminated in mid-2021.1 Our organization has emerged out of the struggle against the former “Revolutionary Communist Party” (RCP) led by the liquidator Joshua Moufawad-Paul who attempted to strangle the revolutionary line in Canada that had been developing for years among rank-and-file members of the “RCP” and the “Revolutionary Student Movement”.2

Having gone through a similar process in our formation as the P(ML)TE, we recognize the immense struggle that has been waged internally to consolidate yourselves ideologically and politically in order to break with revisionism on an organizational level. This process is especially important today as we are faced with the general counter-revolutionary offensive (GCRO) of imperialism, revisionism, and reaction that tries to liquidate Marxism and prevent the outbreak of the new great wave of world revolution. The formation of the P(ML)TE and the convening of its second congress around the question of Maoism has already dealt a major blow to the GCRO.

This congress is especially important as it concerns the adoption of Maoism and the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo by the P(ML)TE. The successful adoption of this ideological line will further consolidate unity within the international communist movement. In 1982, the Communist Party of Peru began the campaign for Maoism. Its purpose was to place Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism as the sole command and guide of the world proletarian revolution (WPR). This campaign has been met across the world and has seen the start of the process of constituting and reconstituting militarized Communist Parties for People’s War and the development of the revolution under this ideological line where it has already been initiated. Internationally, this campaign has seen the deepening of two-line struggle toward the unified Maoist international conference and the reconstitution of a militarized Communist International that will lead the WPR to its final victory. By convening a congress with Maoism as its centre of discussion, the campaign for Maoism has been given new strength in Spain and by extension the campaign is strengthened internationally.

Since 1982, the international proletariat have more and more armed themselves with Maoism and applied it in class struggle and two-line struggle producing new lessons. The most important among these experiences has been the People’s War in Peru. The Communist Party of Peru under the great leadership of Chairman Gonzalo synthesised Maoism as the third, new, and higher stage of Marxism and applied it to the concrete conditions of Peru producing Gonzalo Thought. While Gonzalo Thought was originally synthesised in and for the concrete conditions of Peru, it has been shown to contain many universally valid and indispensable contributions such as the militarization of the Communist Parties, Guiding Thought, Unified People’s War, etc. The importance of these contributions have been seen in the initiation and development of the People’s War in Nepal, up to Prachanda’s liquidation, as well as in the driving role they are playing in the international unity of Maoists and in the constitution and reconstitution of the Communist Parties of the world. This growing importance of Gonzalo Thought has been summarized by the Communist Party of Ecuador – Red Sun (PCE-SR) as follows:

We are principally Maoists because we consider that we are entering a stage of inflection and leap, where in countries, particularly in the third world, where the weight of Gonzalo Thought is ceasing to be incidental and becoming decisive in politics and ideology.3

We agree with this assessment by the PCE-SR completely and hope to wage further two-line struggle with the P(ML)TE around the question of the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, which we hold must be understood today as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism–Gonzalo Thought, principally Gonzalo Thought.

It is important to note that the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo are nothing new to Spain and can be seen as early as 1987. The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) was one of the first Parties in the world to adopt Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism as their ideological basis. The PCE would even sign a joint statement with the Communist Party of Peru upholding key contributions of Chairman Gonzalo such as the militarisation of the Communist Party. We are confident that the proletariat of Spain will seize upon this great legacy and develop it with the reconstitution of a powerful militarised Communist Party guided by MLM-GT, the Guiding Thought of the Spanish Revolution and initiate People’s War in Spain yet again.

  1. Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee). “Destroy the Old and Build the New with Gonzalo Thought as Our Weapon!” 30 April 2021.
  2. Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee). “Documents from the Split in the Revolutionary Student Movement.”
  3. Communist Party of Ecuador – Red Sun. “Some Comments on the Document ‘On Maoism Itself’ of the RCP of Canada.” Unofficial English translation by Struggle Sessions, 5 October 2020. Also available in Spanish.

Published May 11, 2022

  • Demise of Canadian PCR

Without fanfare or much explanation the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada, founded as a party in Quebec in 2006, announced its demise last year. The party, supported by J. Moufawad-Paul, suffered an internal split in 2017, resulting in two competing factions: the PCR-RCP (Central Committee) and the PCR-RCP (Historical Direction). The PCR-RCP (Central Committee) retained control over fronts such as the Revolutionary Student Movement (that also split), as well as the rest of the party membership. It later set up a new website, leading to two competing websites of similar names. The PCR-RCP (Central Committee) announced its dissolution on November 5, 2021.

  • Amongst polemical maoist reflections there has been
  1.  Kenny Lake of the US journal  Kites  surveys and the limitations of a variety of political lines adopted in America by those seeking social change. His observations on Pac-man politics  compliments an earlier polemic on Tin Man Maoism  .
  2. These snappy titles are in vogue – Canadian blog M-L-M Mayhem!  used Straw Personing Maoism. Its true that in the imperialist metropoles Maoism still must prove itself and in Critique of Maoist Reason JMP indicate the heterogeneity within Maoism and issues that indeed needed to be worked out, so he is rightly miffed when supposedly critiqued when “that requires actually reading the source material you are claiming to critique rather than represent them through second and third hand sources, filling in the blanks as you go.” JMP’s text is published by Foreign Language Press, a MLM publishing enterprise
  • Another split, a new Nepalese party formed

In Nepal, the fractious communist movement saw a  New Party Formed From Split In Chand Led CPN .

 Kathmandu, May 9, 2022:The Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) has split formally with a dissident leader of the party, Dharmendra Bastola forming a separate party named the CPN (Majority), accusing that the “Chand-led faction is getting stuck in the quagmire of parliamentary politics.” According to Bastola, the new party was formed after “rejecting the conspiracy of some of the party’s central members” to trap the party in the parliamentary system by contesting the local polls from the UML’s election symbol.

Bastola said that the new strategy of his party was to complete the scientific socialist revolution and by carrying forward the slogan of prosperity and independence of the country.

“After the Biplav [Chand]-led faction was tempted to take some central members to the polls under the UML symbol, we decided to form a new party by continuing the goal of completing the democratic revolution,” Bastola said.

more than an internet thing

Mayday 2022 saw a return to the streets in London, with assembly at Clerkenwell Green for now traditional march and rally in tourist town, Trafalgar Square. The London May Day organising Committee set the slogans




As the Morning Star describes it “the one day of the year that celebrates workers’ achievements and battles.”

Leading up to this Mayday, confined to isolated bed rest by Covid inflection – so much for it being the tailend of the pandemic – thoughts turned to what is needed for the future.

Research note:  More than an Internet thing

Ever since 2008, there has been attempts to stimulate interest in creating an appropriate UK Marxist Leninist Maoist organisation to move forward. This tenacious fifteen years of encouragement and support to re-spark organised Maoism in Britain has involved the same few activists, either veterans of the Maoist movement or new young converts, with the fraternal internationalist aid of likeminded co thinkers.

Back in December 2008, an evening meeting at Conway Hall London was convened to address the question of «The Present International and National situations and the tasks of creating a revolutionary communist party in Britain».


Revolutionary Collective Britain (Formerly RVM) signed May Day Joint Declaration, Long Live Red May Day!