General Motion Approved by the XXII Congress of the PR


General Motion Approved by the XXII Congress of the PR
Genoa, October 31 and November 1,2,3 and 4, 1979

ABSTRACT: The Genoa Congress opens just a few weeks after the arrest in France of Radical Party President Jean Fabre for "insoumission". In the aftermath of this event, the Congress reactivates its task of anti-militarist mobilisation. The mobilisation will reach its climax at Fabre's trial in Paris on November 27, a trial that ends with a sentence so light that it is tantamount to an acquittal, to a recognition of the value of Jean Fabre's moral and political positions.
From another side, the motion of the Congress confirms the validity and the necessity of a new referendum project whose issues must be worked out. Besides this objective, the motion makes reference for the first time to the fight against death by starvation and under-development in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Congress elects Giuseppe Ripa as Secretary and Paolo Vigevano
as Treasurer.
("The Battles, the Victories and the Proposals of the Radicals as Seen in their Congressional Documents and Statute" - November 1985 - edited by Maurizio Griffo - Pamphlet published by the the Radical Party Treasury)
GENERAL MOTION

ABSTRACT: The XXIInd Congress of the Radical Party extends its greetings to comrade Jean Fabre, detained in France for asserting the rights and the freedom of pacifists, conscientious objectors and all those who fight to liberate Europe and its peoples from militarism, violence and repression.

Thanks to Jean Fabre, civil disobedience, non-violent dissent, and "insoumission" can today cross all national boundaries and become a unifying model and instrument for all those in Europe who defend the rights of liberty and conscience. Without this formidable method there is the risk that the efforts of Radical deputies will be frustrated in the European Parliament where they are fighting against the coalition of conservative and reactionary forces that is conditioning not only the Parliament's work and political choices, but its very norms and regulations. There is a risk, the seriousness of which has been made evident by the extradition of Piperno, of creating a "judicial area" in Europe where ancient and inalienable freedoms may be nullified. This danger must be counterbalanced by hard liberal and Socialist fights for liberty, capable of arousing and unifying the hopes of the opposition of the oppressed and of the minorities in all of Europe.
The Congress confirms its firm unity with Jean Fabre's struggle, its motivations and its development. And although we must admit that we did not have the strength to accept, with the necessary urgency, the appeal for a big international action in favour of Jean Fabre, the Congress confirms the necessity of promoting a month of anti-militarist, Radical mobilisation throughout Europe, in light of the trial of Jean Fabre which will take place November 27.

The Congress indicates the preparation and realisation of a European political-juridical conference on military courts to be held in Paris on November 23,24 and 25 as the main objective of this month of mobilisation as well as an appeal for the abolishment of military courts. At the same time the Congress sets November 27 as the date for an extraordinary anti-militarist day with attention centred, in France, on the trial of Jean Fabre, and in Italy on the rejection of the installation of new nuclear missiles and the organising of a popular protest march at the NATO sites where they are to be placed.

The Congress gives a mandate to the statutory organs to explore immediately the possibility of radio broadcasts on French territory and in particular in the city of Paris - not only to provide adequate news to citizens about the Jean Fabre trial and the anti-militarist initiatives, but also to help break the anachronistic and illiberal monopoly of the mass media in that country; in conclusion, it gives a mandate to the statutory organs to decide on all the other actions to be held in the coming days - in particular, the form of our presence in France and other European countries in collaboration with other political and anti-militarist groups - and requests Radical Party members and associations to organise parallel actions in Italy.

Anti-authoritarian fights for civil rights in Italy will once again find in the referendum their necessary, urgent and only possible form. The battles and victories of recent years, as well as the very presence of the Radical Party in Parliament, otherwise already risk being dispersed and defeated. The regime has put into action extraordinary measures for this purpose, beginning with the arrogant and violent way of employing its mass media. The kind of thing that took place when Jean Fabre was imprisoned - the omission and falsification of information along with the rejection of the Radical parliamentarians protests and demands - is the manifestation of a clear and declared intention to enclose, suffocate and liquidate the areas for information so far won through the alternative battles of the Radical Party. Only with the immediate mobilisation of the party around an exceptionally vigorous referendum action can it be hoped to disarm this danger. New strength must be given to the expressive capacity, the room
for action and the presence of the pro-divorce majority in the streets and squares, and to the "yes" expressed in the 1978 referendum against the public financing of parties, to the alternative groups, to the independence of citizens and localities and to all those fighting for a different quality of life.

The Congress, with an invitation to all associations and regional parties to open and develop a debate on the contents of the referendum, decides to convene a national assembly on the political and organisational aspects of this project. While entrusting the final details of this packet to the Federative Council, it indicates - beginning with the eight referendums of 1979 - the following issues as possibilities for the collection of signatures next Spring:

- Concordat, crimes of opinion of the Rocco Code, the penal procedures code, imprisonment for life, the anti-terrorist decree and special laws, military courts and codes, demilitarisation of the Public Security and Financial Police;

- the union of journalists and press legislation;

- military expenditures, nuclear plants, hunting;

- abortion, liberalising the use of hemp and its derivatives.

The Congress is obliged to note that, as 1979 draws to an end, nothing has been done to save the 50 million human beings, who are condemned this year as well, from the agonies of starving to death. Therefore the Congress gives a mandate to the statutory organs to request an immediate meeting with the President of the Republic for the purpose of calling a week of national mourning from December 1 - 8, during which all true Communists, Socialists and Christians will be mobilised and all the Italian information media will dedicate ample space to the discussion of the proposals of emergency government aid to save those who can still be saved. To this end all space given to reporting political news should be reduced to a minimum, such news appearing to be of the lowest importance compared to the monstrous tragedy of the deaths of millions of people.

For such a difficult referendum project to be successful, a strong, new Radical Party is needed. It is necessary to bridge the gap between the image of the party of the June 3 victory and the reality of its present weak and inadequate structures. The commitment to strengthen the regional parties, develop their independence and capacity for self expression, must, first of all, be concretely realised in the organisation of the collection of signatures. The federal and regional parties must grasp the referendum as an occasion for opening up and growing that will allow them to reach the objective of 10,000 registered members who are not formally and bureaucratically solicited, but in the living battle and the active commitment. The party cannot repeat past experiences when the aim of building up its structures was neglected and omitted. The regional parties on this occasion must multiply the number of new Radical associations. Alongside the Radical associations we must encourage the birth and growth of new organ
ised and autonomous movements to enrich the panorama of alternatives in Italian society.

A party that is renewed by the momentum of the referendum may finally be able to acquire the federative structure foreseen in the statute and reach the minimum size necessary to guarantee its ability to finance itself. Self-financing is the basis of the Radical Party's survival as a libertarian party. By means of self-financing, it is necessary for the party to acquire the possibility for strong, independent initiatives, above all on a federative level. Only by an adequate degree of self-financing in relation to its current responsibilities will it be possible for to avoid problems and conflictual positions within the party - sometimes justified, sometimes fictitious - over the use of public financing. For this reason the Congress fully confirms its statutory definition as self-financing in its struggles and its structures; the Congress thus gives the treasurer a mandate to expel from the Radical Party all funds deriving from public financing of political parties and to use such funds in the general way ind
icated in the motion of the Bari Congress. In this connection it reiterates the priority of the information problem.

The Congress has demonstrated that there are no divisions and conflicts among Radicals on the important battles and the Radical strategy that has proven itself during these years in relation to the fight against the nullification of the institutions which today finds its protagonists always more among the secretaries of the parties of the so-called constitutional range, who compose a real and true association working substantially for the subversion of Italy's constitutional institutions.
By April next the Radical Party shall have begun the referendum action as a terrain for the comparison and the conflict on several qualifying issues (nuclear energy, environment, public order, crimes of opinion) that constitute the concrete platform for the fight - on national and local levels - for an "administrative" line that is an innovation and alternative even in respect to the model of good, ordinary administration, the myth of the "red" councils, especially in Emilia Romagna, and which knows how to latch itself up to a general design for a change in the quality of life. The Congress invites the associations and the regional parties to open a debate for the coming regional elections and gives the party Secretary a mandate to convene an extraordinary Congress to take final decisions in this question.

The Radical Party statute - we confirm with pride and decision - is the statute of the party of alternatives. Its confirmation and activation will demonstrate its strength and capacity - which in any case already today should be firmly defended - to promote an authentically libertarian organisation. It is however necessary, aside from statutory formulations, to arose and deepen, renew and consolidate, that deep sentiment of human and civic soli- darity, both civil and political, that should tie the Radicals to a project of associated existence in which communal values are already, in and by themselves, a potent deterrent to consumerism, to the alienation created by an industrial society, to the degeneration of the traditional political life. The party and the elected representatives are the "subjects" of the Radical Party. Theirs is the enormous responsibility to realise the libertarian hopes in the country. Thanks to the Radical group in the European Parliament, the field of battle has widened to include Eu
rope. At this moment all Europe and Italy is being exposed to and menaced by an idea of military reinforcement beginning with the installation of "Pershing" and "Cruise" missiles. The militarisation of Europe and its single countries is thus daily assuming more terrifying forms. In giving its elected organs a mandate to begin immediately an action against the installation of these missiles, the Congress thus reiterates that the anti-militarist fight must become necessarily the heart of Radical action.