General Motion Approved by the XXIIIrd Congress (Extraordinary) of the PR (Rome, March 7,8 and 9, 1980)

General Motion Approved by the XXIIIrd Congress (Extraordinary) of the PR (Rome, March 7,8 and 9, 1980)

ABSTRACT: The XXIIIrd Congress (Extraordinary) is distinguished not so much by the way in which it is held as by the motion which it approved. The motions of the Radical congresses, besides a more or less ample political analysis, indicate the objectives on which to concentrate in the coming year. These characteristics are undoubtedly also present in the motion of the XXIIIrd Congress, but they are inserted into a wider context. It is as if at the beginning of a new decade, there were the desire to formulate a programmatic manifesto for the coming years. Among other things, the motion proposes a preamble to the Statute which affirms the absolute validity of non-violence and civil disobe- dience. The motion then defines the objectives of a great campaign against death from starvation to which the party will be committed for the next five years. With such a courageous and long range program in prospect, it is decided not to enter the lists of the coming regional elections.

("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)


Faced with the choice of the world's - and Italy's - warlords and power wielders to exterminate this year more than twenty million children and tens of millions of men and women, the better to pursue their policies of armaments and war, of exploitation and violence, that will allow them in 1980 to spend six hundred fifty thousand billion lire in defence of their power system and interests;

in view of the consensus of forecasts made by the Carter Commission, the Brandt Commission, the World Food Conference and the FAO that the death rate from undernourishment will rise again, and the certainty that the all possibilities for development, or even for maintaining the status quo in the Third World will be overturned because of the energy policies of the OPEC countries no less than those of the northern countries, of the ruble zone and the dollar zone, of the yen zone and the European zone, all of which in agreement among themselves, are betting on nuclear plutonium technology;

in view of the foreign policies of Italy and Europe, Christian Democratic, Liberal, Communist and Social Democratic, that are returning in substantial agreement among themselves to the criminal and suicidal road that the world experienced in the 30's with the Munich Pact - that is the attempt at compromise and complicity with the politics of extermination camps and colonial exploitation, of gulags and special laws, of aggression and annexation, to facilitate dividing up the world and reaching power balances;

in view of a domestic national policy that indicates the solidarity of the top-levels of the government with the private and public class in choices criminally subversive of the Constitution and the penal laws for the same reasons that they are united on a foreign policy founded on extermination and armaments - which is to say on criminally insane policies with regard to human rights and peoples;

in view of the perennial and always more perfect attempts to control the citizenry and the country, denying them the right to information, which is even a juridical presupposition of the democratic and representative system, falsifying the rules of the game and subjecting the government to the by now tremendous pressures of survival and the personal defence of those responsible for the perverse use of power;

in view of daily events that, on the front pages of the world's newspapers, even of the Italian ones, make clear to everyone the corrupting nature of a regime founded on peculation (as Ernesto Rossi already called it), on an imperfect one-party system, on the daily offence given to the State in every sector of Constitutional life;
in view of the fact that the President of the United States in his State-of-the-Union address, denounces the revolutions in Italy against democracy and law in convergence with those that are the objectives of terrorists of every persuasion;

in view of the moral, cultural, political, social, economic and juridical disintegration of the State; of the painful and arrogant destruction of the institutions by the administrators and wielders of power, whether they be those of the presumed "government" or of the presumed "opposition"; of the spreading of scandals and the politics of Mafia-style blackmail based on them;

in view of a choice of authoritarian juridical incivility, violent, old-fashioned, arrogantly self-deluding and classist, as opposed to liberal juridical civility, humanistic and republican, against the daily attacks and attempts to dismantle the basic Charter of the State;

in view of a regime founded on the unanimity of a pseudo-pluralistic Craxi-style national unity (PSI leader Bettino Craxi, ed.), or Berlinguer-style historic compromise (PCI leader Enrico Berlinguer and the PCI's external support of the government, ed.) or the corporatist solidarity of the Christian Democrats;

in view of the homogeneous choice of violence and murder, of infamy and the human and civil degradation of the "terrorists", who are even given the infamous recognition of being actors in a war between the Republic and their organisations and have the role of being the only real antagonists, the only real choice as an alternative to the present regime lavished on them;

in view of the coming referendums and elections which the present XXIIIrd Congress was convened to consider,

it proclaims justice and law

political justice and law for the Radical Party as well,

proclaims, in their regard, the institutions as the unsurpassable source of legitimacy,

proclaims the duty of disobedience, of non-collaboration, of conscientious objection, of the supreme forms of non-violent struggle with one's life on behalf of life, of justice, of law.

It recalls itself, and all those who would put hope in life and peace, in justice and liberty, to rigidly respect and actively defend the two fundamental laws which are: The Declaration of Human Rights (hoping that its name will be changed to "the Rights of Persons") and the European Convention of Human Rights as well as in the Constitutions of the States that respect the principles contained in these two charters; to reject obedience and deny acknowledgement of the legitimacy of all those, instead, who violate them, all those who do not apply them, all those who reduce them to mere verbose and not-binding declarations, in short to non-laws.

It confers on the Christian and humanistic imperative of "thou shalt not kill" a historically absolute value, without exception, not even that of self-defence.

Establishes that henceforth, until the defeat of the policy of extermination by hunger and by war, as a sign of mercy, of human awareness and civil dignity , the party emblem shall be changed so as to bear a mark of "mourning" in opposition to the declared refusal of the parties and the Republic to at least honor with any official token, the immense part of humanity that has in recent months and years been exterminated .

Hopes that by the time of the next Congress, everything written in the present document beginning with the words "Proclaims law and justice..." up to "...exterminated" will be placed as a preamble to the Statue of the Radical Party.

Given these premises

the XXIIIrd Congress of the Radical Party decides:
1) to propose a great national and international campaign to request and obtain the incrimination for crimes against humanity of those responsible - chiefs of state and executives - for the politics of armaments and extermination, beginning with those of the major powers, by means of the procedure illustrated at the Club of Rome by the scientist Roberto Vacca, with an action presented to the Constitutional Court of the Hague according to the legitimate and legal principles that can be deduced from the Nuremberg Trials.

2) to bring about, in all institutional and non-institutional seats, actions aimed at getting the UN Security Council to finally use its powers and obligations to avert the continuation of death by starvation in the world;

3) to commit every party militant and every militant for peace and order in sustaining the great non-violent "satyagraha" action which will begin with the events of next Easter week, so that along with other millions of lives saved will be those of the European Radicals men and women who participate in it; let everyone understand that he can and must, by means of simple daily gestures, personal and political, "create" in this way "life" and "peace" or else contribute to provoking death and war;

4) to confirm with the collection of at least seven million authenticated signatures for the defence of life, of peace, of constitutional law and justice, the other absolute priority of the Radical Party, of every activist, of everyone who wants to hope in rather than despair of politics and democracy, of the Constitution and the Republic;

5) to make the aims of the preamble to the Statute and of those implicit in the issues of the ten referendums the object of a first Radical project of a united action and an alternative legislative program of the Italian left and propose it immediately and formally to the PCI, the PSI, to every radically lay group, Christian and Socialist, liberal, democratic and class group in our country and in Europe; to offer democracy and peace an up-to-date and concrete political alternative in place of the ruined and deserted ideals and hopes of the anti-fascist European resistance, anti-nazi and anti-Stalinist, anti-militarist and anti-imperialist; to offer an alternative to anti-democracy, to extermination, to war and death;

6) to propose formally to the groups and the individuals of all political extractions and ideals, not necessarily only to Italians ones, the urgent methods and objectives of basing the formation and the work of a shadow cabinet, for the first time in Italy, on a common legislative project of the left;

7) to apply with ever-greater force, rigor and frequency the non-violent methods affirmed in the preamble as a political duty of Radicals in regard to the country's political and institutional affairs when these constitute continually growing attacks on the laws, on Constitutional justice, real and unique acts of victorious subversion for the last thirty years, marginally yet structurally supported by the squalid, atrocious, infamous tactics of the terrorists; and to apply them, in particular, when the democratic process turns out to be fixed and falsified, even directly, when the elections come up, as the Radical Party did during the 1972 elections;

8) to contribute to organising the juridical accusations for "criminal complicity" against those principally responsible - and only those principally responsible - for the principal specific crimes which can be imputed to them in order to arrive in the next few years at those legal proceedings against the "Palazzo" (the political power-wielders in a negative sense, ed.) which was first requested by the Radical Party and then by Pier Paolo Pasolini (the Italian poet and film maker, ed.) and which is always more evidently the only sensible, prudent, precise and practical way to seek truth and justice, the only way to break the ever tighter chain of blackmail and vendetta that is by now the usual procedure in the regime's various mafia-style clans, in the DC, but not only the DC. This trial must take place, but it will also have to guarantee the accused the full democratic rights of defence and base itself on codes of indisputably democratic articles and legal procedures; only then can there be a power of
justice in opposition to the violence of corruption, of massacres which, as Leonardo Sciascia (prominent Italian writer, ed.) warns, finds its expression not in the power "vacuum", but in the "fullness" of power in this State and its constitutional life;

9) with regard to the coming regional, provincial and community elections, the Congress gives the party organs (the secretary, treasurer, Federative Council) a mandate to make decisions on what is opportune, within the ambit of their respective responsibilities, only when the facts necessary to evaluate and take such serious decisions are clearly known; the Congress establishes that at least the following conditions must be fully guaranteed to pertain on this occasion:

a) the institutional organisation of the electoral campaign must allow for more information than in preceding elections and show more respect for the rules of the game, for the rights of the citizens to know in order to deliberate and choose;

b) the emblem and the responsibility of the Radical Party must not be employed without the certainty that this is necessary for the success of the non-violent campaign against the extermination of millions of people in the coming weeks and tens of millions in the coming months; for the success of the referendum campaign; for the intransigent defence of the democratic system and processes against the claim to impose conditions and thus false results of the institutional fight;

c) that registered Radical Party comrades are not directly involved in the institutions of the regions, communities and provinces except in absolutely exceptional hypothetical situations;

d) the Radical Party will in no case be involved in the responsibility of making up lists that are not the official lists of the party itself.

In any case, and in addition to the preceding conditions, the Radical Party must not be exposed to presences that do not give a guarantee of clear, adequate and no longer marginal victories against the politics of the regime, and must explicitly reiterate its absolute lack of responsibility as a party for the actions of any one who may be elected on any of its possible lists.

The XXIIIrd Congress of the Radical Party

requests its political secretary, its regional parties, its associations and federated movements, to provide for the most widespread distribution of this document in the coming weeks and months: In particular, it establishes its publication in abstract or in its entirety, even in the principle European and international information organs. Establishes also that the first three copies of the party's mourning emblem be given in homage to the President of the Republic, Pope John Paul II and to the President of the European Parliament.