Workers, join the movements!
Petra Packalén, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Finland
Speech at the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties
Tauride Palace, St. Petersburg 3.11.2017
The Great October Revolution 100 years ago opened the way to independence for Finnish people. Lenin supported the peoples sovereignty and without that Finland would not have gotten its independence in 1917. By that time we had been controlled by either Sweden or Russia for hundreds of years. As in Russia, we had the war between whites and reds. In Finland, which was at that point a vassal state of Germany, the whites won the war and after that carried out a bloody political genocide. The collapse of Germany in the First World War was fortunate to save our independence, but the events soon afterwards had a severe impact on relations between Finland and the Soviet Union.
The Communist Party of Finland was founded in 1918 as the conclusion of the Finnish Revolutionary war and the writings of Lenin. Unfortunately, next year when we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we do it in a situation where communist parties in Finland are small and in lack of young and new members.
It is of great importance for us to be here at the International Communist and Workers' Parties meeting in St. Petersburg. We want to tell you a few examples on how the so-called welfare state of Finland is undergoing de-democratization and demolition of basic security. Imperialistic forces, such as Nato, are currently using Finland and other arctic areas as a playground for military exercises. During the year, Finnish army has participated in numerous exercises, both on our own soil and abroad. The host country agreement with Nato and Finland participating in the Nordic co-operation organization, Nordefco, has already made us part of military unions. Finland can no longer say it's a neutral country.
All these actions make unnecessary confrontation with our closest neighbors such as the Russian Federation. Our right-wing government is pushing more militarization and intends to use billions on weapons and other new military equipment. At the same time, they cut our social security and weaken our working conditions. Finnish government is also pushing the biggest social and health services reform in decades, which is going to weaken democracy and privatize our services even more.
The struggle of the workers movement is international, and we as communists are a part of it. We have many tasks in the world where inequalities are constantly growing between the periphery and the central areas. We struggle for better working conditions and social security, against war and militarization. It is important to give support to all kind of peoples movements, even if the original initiative didn't come from communist groups. Whenever the movement promotes human rights, saving the environment or any other political issues close to our goals, even the short term ones, we must participate.
It's our job to provide the working class people information about current political situations. Therefore, we must take on more new tools of media to support our traditional papers. Marxist studies must always be organized for new party members so that our knowledge of the neoliberal politics and oppression by the ruling class remains up to date. Even there where we are small, together we are strong.
Long live the International Meeting of the Communist and Workers' Parties!
Long live the struggle against imperialistic wars and capitalism!
Long live the struggle for peace, socialism and communism!