COMMUNIST PARTY of NORWAY, report at the scientific conference in Leningrad, August 11-13 2017
The Communist Party of Norway (NKP) would like to express our gratitude for this meeting in the Initiative in Leningrad. It is a great honour to be present in the year of the 100th anniversary of the great Russian revolution, which has been of great significance and has given fundamental knowledge for our analyses.
As we are gathered here today, all Marxist-Leninist parties of Europe, it is on the background of our common ideology. Still, the historical background of our parties and the development in our different countries varies. But the side we choose is clear, we all side with the working class. We are communists with a will to fight and sacrifice, with a steady course for political analysis, tactics and strategy. We have the methods, and move based on how reality looks – for enlightenment, analysis and knowledge.
Norway today is a highly developed country, and in the consensus of the bourgeoisie there are high ratings of satisfaction, despite increasing differences. The thing is that everyone would be so much better off in an expanded democracy. Norway needs a change in system.
I am a fourth generation communist, and the worldview of family and relatives has also become a lifestyle. First some history, describing what NKP has been through the last 100 years, and showing some of the significance of the Russian revolution in Norway.
Alexandra Kollontai lived in Oslo, and conveyed the contact between Leinin in Switzerland and the Bolsheviks in Petrograd until Lenin traveled in a closed carriage througn Germany to Petrograd.
At the extraordinary congress of the Labour party, November 2nd – 5th 1923, there was a final historical definition of the relationship between the Communist International (Comintern) and the Norwegian section, the Labour Party of Norway.
The meeting led to a split, and the minority branched out to create the Communist Party of Norway, because they saw the necessity of a Communist vanguard party, and they understood the strength in acting together internationally. The struggle for improving their conditions is based on each country’s national conditions. My great-grandmother was, as one of three women, present at the founding meeting of NKP. She had been a member of the Labour party, but of course she followd NKP after the split. This part of my story is not ment to highligth one communist family in Norway, but is ment to describe how every communist thinks, acts and works.
As early as 1910, my great-grandmother participated in founding Odda Labour Party women’s union, and encouraged women to discuss matters as they were, and discuss whether antything had to be corrected. Her sense of class struggle had been incited when she worked at a spinning mill; her hate against injustice and abuse of power. In 1924 she participated in the first women’s conference arranged by NKP, in Kristiania (today Oslo), and she was active in the first worker housewife leagues, founded the same year.
The party was founded in the middle of a period of crisis, which affected working families severely. Therefore, and because the party had a significant influence on the labour movement and particular regions, the party received plenty of support.
The high spending of WW1 was succeeded by a merciless transition to deflation. The ransition started in the late 1920’s, and led to forced auctions bankrupcies and stock market crashes.
Strikes and lockouts came in succession. Political control was taken, and the value of the currency stabilised, but this was not important to the living budget of worker families. Industrial leaders managed to increase production using fewer employees. The result of the deflation policy was high unemployment. My great-grandfather, was active in the trade unions, where he led strikes and demonstrations. He was chairman of the district council and school council, and participated in building the People’s House in Odda.
My grandparents, and to more comrades, studied at the Lenin-university in the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1931, also called the party school, only 9 years after the revolution. They were taught in political economy, history and philosophy (including Marxism-Leninism), Russian, Norwegian, maths and gymnastics. Their apprenticeship was a at a collective farm in Rostov, Caucasus and in the sailing clubs of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. During their stay, the crosses on my grandmother’s national costume were torn off by a real Russian Communist, so she returned to Norway with four empty hooks on the silver brooch.
Contrary to in other countries, NKP lost support in Norwegian politics in the 1930’s, because our country’s social democracy was of a different character, where NKP as an opposition party did not have the same opportunities as Communists in other countries.
By March 28th 1933, the swatstika was raised over the German consulate in Oslo. Memorial day of WW1, was dedicated to demonstrations against war and armament. My grandmother was a main speaker in Bergen 1935 and warned against a new war, and said in her speech that “Norway will, based on it’s position, become an excellent point of entry for an attack against the Soviet Union”. And she was right. She predicted Nazi-Germany’s occupation of Norway, because of her Communist ideological education and political practice. This was not only attained at home, but also in children’s and youth unions, as editor and accountant for NKP’s national press, as later a member of CC and city council representative.
The support for the Spanish republic was a central part of Communist effort before 1940. They gained experience in working clandestine, but also developed unity with the Labour party’s youth league (AUF), among other youth leagues.
The communsit party was the first political party that was banned during the occupation. My grandfather, who was a Young Pioneer, and who led the Communist youth movement in Bergen from 1930 – 1933, entered illegal resistance activity for peace and liberty. He was a member of CC in NKP when he escaped to his death (drowning) while escaping Gestapo in 1944, in order not to expose the location of comrades and hidden arms depots along the Norwegian coast. My great grandmother lost him, a son and a grandchild in the war against the nazis.
NKP was the Norwegian organisation that lost the most members during WW2. 13 700 Soviet prisoners of war also died on Norwegian soil or along the Norwegian coast. It is a disgrace that their placques and monuments are now in deterioration, while “Russian birds” (Ptitsa Stsjastja), which were given in exchange for food, are still decorating some Norwegian homes, in memory.
NKP honors the fallen Russian soldiers and Norwegian comrades every May 1st on cemeteries all around the country. We will never forget. The meaning of the liberation strugel of more than 100 000 russian soilders on Norwegian soil in 1945 is of indescridible meaning.
One week ago, Nazis demonstrated again in Norwegian streets. The police couldn’t tell the difference between freedom of speech and hateful antagonism, and gave them police escort. Spontaneous counter demonstrators were turned away and put in handcuffs. NKP and the Young Communsts were also well represented in the planned counter demonstrations. Striking harbour workers were fined when they demonstrated their contempt. NKP does not accept class discrimination in law.
The effort during WW2 created the foundation of renewed trust and increased support, which was meaningful and influential, and in the parliamentary elections in 1945 NKP received almost 12% of the votes, which resulted in 11 members of parliament, including two minister posts, and the first Norwegian minister Kirsten Hansteen.
The cold war era was defined by anticommunism, the rewriting of history and illegal surveillance, initiated by the police security service and the Norwegian Labour party. After the wall fell, this fear of communists is still present among the Norwegian population. This frightens people from participating in our common international struggle against imperialism.
Party comrades have participated in party delegations and meetings all over the world. My grandmother returned to Russia on a delegation to Tadjikistan, among other places, as the only female member of the delegation. My mother went to Czechoslovakia and my sister to a camp near the black sea. I was in the Wilhelm Peak camp in DDR, as a youth participating in a pioneer camp in 1987.
After the referendum against EU membership in 1972 and the following period, the party again gained support. Since then NKP has hadd influence and significance within several organizations, unions, in local districts and cross-political organizations.
The revolution has also had great significance for worker’s culture and sports. The Norwegian Communists Nordahl Grieg (shot down over Berlin in 1943), Johanna Bugge Olsen (unjustly sentenced for publications in the traison trials in 1949) and Rudolf Nilsen are among the noteworthy.
In Norway today NKP is the real alternative against capitalism and imperialism. However, our party still has strong forces against us – all means used to trhrow us away from the scene. Therefore we have strengthened our party as the only revolutionary party in Norway, and important themes are taken care of.
Today, the non-parliamentary work is the most important for us, but we still run for election. There is a parliamentary election in Norway on September 11 this year, and the electoral law stops NKP from having candidature in every region. NKP needs 500 votes in one region, and more than 5000 votes nationally in order to run for election on equal grounds as other parties. Therfore, NKP encourages all European Communist parties present here today with sympatisers with a right to vote in Norway, to vote NKP. Thanks in advance, comrades.
NKP want a change in systems, where the country is owned and run by the people, not a minority. NKP wants to revolutionize workers for the struggle against the capitalist system. In today’s capitalist Norway there is an inequality gap, and class differences. We want a society where the people are in charge of the economy, and not like today, where the economy is in charge of the people.
Norway is not a member of the EU, but nearly it seems, through the EEA-agreement. NKP is working to get a new mutal trade agreement. No EEA-agrement. No membership in the EU. No to EUs millitary army.
For the first time since the 2nd World War Norway has foreign force on Norwegian soil. These are american soldiers. This is against the base policy of our contry. Norwegian governments has for many years reduced the Norwegian National Defence in favour of NATO. Some fight against this initiative has been seen, but sad enough, too little. NKPs goal is no membership in NATO. More than before the people needs disarmament, solidarity and peace beyond the borders. NKP will be pressant in the demonstration against the aggressive NATO exercise «Aurora 17» in Sweden this year.
We know that socialism/communism is necessary for the “green revolution”. We know that peace is a condition for socialism/communism. Our ideology is based on humanism, and wants education for peace into the school system. We demand no unemployment, where workers can be placed and pushed our of the workforce based on the needs of the owners. Capitalism must be defeated before we can have full equal rights. Movement within the party and in the communist movement is essential. NKP works with others ad hoc. NKP answers globalization with internationalism. The differences are increasing in capitalist Norway, opression is present and no problems are solved, and therefore, our theory and ideology is as important now as it was 100 years ago!