Announcements

The Progressive International announces new council and organisational members

23 global leaders, including Corbyn and Žižek, join the Progressive International’s council, as the organisation marks first anniversary
The Progressive International (PI), the global network that unites, mobilises and organises progressive forces around the world, is marking its one year anniversary with a significant expansion of its council and the addition of eight new organisational members.
The Progressive International (PI), the global network that unites, mobilises and organises progressive forces around the world, is marking its one year anniversary with a significant expansion of its council and the addition of eight new organisational members.

23 political leaders from 18 countries across each of the planet’s six inhabited continents will join the PI’s advisory council at its next virtual meeting on Saturday 23 May 2021, bringing its total number to 80. The full council will meet in person, Covid-19 restrictions permitting, at the PI’s second summit in Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina in December.

The new council members, who include global figures like former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, represent the breadth of the PI’s coalition to include trade union leaders, journalists, activists, politicians, intellectuals, lawyers, environmentalists and artists. The appointments, made by the PI’s cabinet, demonstrates a shift in council membership towards leaders from the member organisations that make up the PI.

The new council members are:

Nazma Akhter - President of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, one of the largest union federations in Bangladesh and active in the Make Amazon Pay campaign

Ammar Ali Jan - Historian and member of Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement, a Pakistani democracy movement and PI member organisation

Lina Attalah - Award winning journalist and Chief Editor of Mada Masr, an independent Egpytian online newspaper and part of the PI’s Wire network of publications

Prashant Bhushan - Lawyer and human rights activist who uses public litigation in India to confront high corruption, human rights abuses and environmental destruction

Leila Chaibi - Member of the European Parliament representing France Insoumise and a prominent campaigner to Make Amazon Pay

Walter Chambati - Executive Director of Zimbabwe’s Sam Moyo African Institute for Agrarian Studies (SMAIAS)

Jeremy Corbyn - Member of the UK Parliament, former leader of the UK Labour Party and founder of the Peace and Justice Project, a PI member organisation

Baltasar Garzón - Former Spanish judge who challenged organised crime as well as instigating a number of international cases, including issuing an arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet

Selay Ghaffar - Activist for political and women’s rights in Afghanistan and spokesperson for the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan, a PI member organisation

Yara Hawari - Academic, activist and Senior Analyst at Al-Shabaka, a Palestinian transnational think tank

Vashna Jagarnath - Academic, Director of Pan Africa Today, Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg and General Secretary of South Africa’s Socialist Revolutionary Workers' Party

Hasina Khan - Social activist and General Secretary of Bebaak Collective (Voices of the Fearless), a feminist, anti-fundamentalist campaign group

Tiny Kox - Senator for the Socialist Party in the Dutch Parliament and President of the Group of the Unified European Left in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a PI member organisation

Sacha Llorenti - Secretary General of ALBA–TCP, an intergovernmental organisation for the integration of countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, former minister in the Bolivian government and Ambassador to the United Nations for the Plurinational State of Bolivia and President of the UN Security Council

Luka Mesec - Member of the Slovenian Parliament and leader of Levica, a democratic, ecosocialist party and a member organisation of PI

Tom Morello - Musician and US American activist activist, member of Rage Against the Machine and co-founder of Axis of Justice

Lidy Nacpil - Filipino activist and coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development

Gerardo Pisarello - Member of the Spanish Congress of Deputies for Barcelona en Comú, a PI member organisation

Tara Raghuveer - US American tenants organiser and Director of KC Tenants, a PI member organisation

Zarah Sultana - Member of the UK Parliament representing the UK Labour Party

Eyal Weizman - Israeli architect and academic and Director of Forensic Architecture, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London

Solomon Yeo - Solomon Islander climate activist and Campaign Director of the Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change

Slavoj Žižek - Slovenian philosopher, academic and theorist

In addition to these new council members, eight new organisations have been approved for membership to the PI.

The new member organisations are:

Indonesia for Global Justice - A trade justice campaigning organisation, whose executive director, Rachmi Hertanti, sits on the PI’s council

Unified European Left Group - A group of MPs from 16 countries that forms the left bloc in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, whose President, Tiny Kox, sits on the PI’s council

National Fishworkers Forum - A trade union representing India’s fishworkers

All India Union of Forest Working People - A union of Adivasi and Dalit communities representing the traditional workforce in India

Wiphalas por el Mundo - An alliance of Bolivian collectives, cultural and social groups

May First Movement Technology - A movement building organisation in the United States that advances the strategic use and collective control of technology

The Peace and Justice Project - A campaigning organisation for peace and justice around the world, founded by Jeremy Corbyn

The Gravel Institute - A progressive US American educational institution

The Progressive International was launched in May 2020 with a mission to unite, organise, and mobilise progressive forces. Since then, movements, parties, publications, and unions representing millions of people across the planet have come together in this common front.

In just one year, the Progressive International has:

  • Brought together parties, unions and movements to share experiences and build campaigns from 50 countries;
  • With key labour movement allies, brought together a planetary coalition of 50 organisations to Make Amazon Pay, launching the campaign with a global day of action with strikes and protests in 15 countries on five continents;
  • Mobilised members to protect democratic institutions in Ecuador from an assault by the Lenin Moreno government, achieving a major victory in reversing the decision to suspend the party of Council member Andrés Arauz in the 2021 presidential elections;
  • Dispatched a delegation of parliamentarians from around the world to observe Bolivia’s first election since the coup of November 2019, overseeing a peaceful and historic restoration of democracy in the hands of the Movement Toward Socialism;
  • Commissioned over 30 essays from sitting presidents, ministers, scholars, and activists on how to reclaim the world after Covid-19 with an ‘International Green New Deal’;
  • Organised a collective on Debt Justice including scholars like Jayati Ghosh, Katharina Pistor, and Osama Diab, mobilizing to challenge the IMF’s austerity agenda in countries like Ecuador;
  • Launched Fight the Debt campaign targeting the IMF and the G20;
  • Convened a Covid-19 Response working group of physicians, scholars, and public health advocates to develop a new vision of a just pharmaceutical system and a People’s Vaccine to respond to the global pandemic;
  • Built a wire service for the world’s progressive forces, publishing grassroots stories and critical perspectives from around the world;
  • Organized a team of 200 translators to ensure rapid translations of announcements, statements, and stories into over ten languages;
  • Created a new coalition of over 40 publications from 30 countries around the world to amplify stories from across borders, including Jacobin, The Nation, Brasil Wire, and Bulatlat;
  • Published 200 articles, in an average of 5 languages each, bringing the stories of progressive struggles from the grassroots to a global audience;
  • Launched a broadcast channel, The Internationalist, airing weekly shows on topics from the Indian farmers' protest to feminist internationalism to the legacy of Thomas Sankara.

Jeremy Corbyn said:

“The challenges we face don’t stop at our borders and neither do the solutions. To build a world for the many and not the few, where we halt climate breakdown, end corporate impunity, and secure peace - requires us to learn from each other and support one another.

“The Progressive International is a vital new organisation that helps us do exactly that, uniting movements in their struggles for a more equal, democratic, and sustainable world.”

Slavoj Žižek said:**
“**We live in a topsy-turvy world in which every progress turns into its opposite, a potential catastrophe. With the catastrophes that are ongoing or on the horizon, this claim is not just a theoretical paradox but an urgent call to action. We cannot trust the spontaneous movement of history - the "train of history" leads to an abyss.

“If we want to save our emancipatory legacy, even more: if we want to have a chance to survive as humanity, we have to act in an unprecedented global and collective way. The only alternative is a new barbarism that will look like a neo-feudal capitalism.”

Ammar Ali Jan said:“The Progressive International, with its ambitious plan to build an internationalist alternative, signifies the new beginning that can challenge the suffocating grip of the status quo. By presenting an alternative to both a bankrupt liberalism and an ascendant right-wing populism, PI invites progressive activists to rethink the material relations in our world that fuel militarism, racism, patriarchy and climate change.

“Only a new internationalism, premised upon concrete struggles in specific regions while upholding universal principles of equality, dignity and freedom, can chart out a path towards economic, political and social justice.”

Selay Ghaffar said:

“For over four decades, the revolutionary forces in Afghanistan have been at the center of the two major imperialist invasions, the Soviet and later the U.S. and NATO, with hardly any support from internationalist organisations. I am of the staunch belief that any theory or action of internationalism bears no meaning for us if it is not supporting the resistance of revolutionaries in countries occupied by the imperialists. Therefore, we hope the Progressive International brings together all the progressive organisations to a united and defiant global front against imperialist hegemony.”

Leila Chaibi said:

“The power of capital has been built by coordinating itself on a transnational scale. Like octopuses spreading their tentacles, Amazon, Uber, McDonald's, have managed to compete with public authorities, to evade taxes, to break social rights and the possibilities of collective organisation of workers, to circumvent laws and to redirect more and more of the wealth generated by workers to stakeholders.

“The power of multinationals has now reached a level that outweighs the power of governments over our lives, even though no citizen has ever put a ballot in the box to elect them. Democracy is now in mortal danger because of their omnipotence.

“Faced with this internationalism of capital, the reversal of the balance of power requires the construction of a 21st century internationalism. This new internationalism will be one of action. It is through concrete campaigns, through transnational coordinations bringing together the many actors and faces of those who suffer the consequences of this impunity, that we will succeed in making these octopuses flinch and imposing our counter-model.

“Our broad, diverse and inclusive coalitions carry within them an alternative, based on democracy, equality, solidarity and social justice, a world away from the project that Bezos, Musk and Bill Gates want to impose on us. And it is to work towards this that I wanted to join the Progressive International.”

Vashna Jagarnath said:

“Our most urgent tasks both locally and internationally is to build the capacity of movements and organisations to convert urgent frontline responses into a coordinated and organised struggle of all members of the working class into a political force for itself. By grounding our work in existing tasks of organisations in our region – and by maintaining that our task is to strengthen and unify anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist forces regardless of organisation type, specific issues or geography – we aim to build the power of the working class.”

Hasina Khan said:

"A commitment to equality, justice and human rights can only be realised through Internationalism. In expressing solidarity with movements of gender and LGBTQI justice across the world, we learn and imbibe the important lessons which help us to organize ourselves better. Across the world we are seeing a resurgence of reactionary forces who are taking over autonomous institutions and hollowing them from within. The struggle for democratic values at this critical juncture involves building broad alliances and solidarity networks."

Prashant Bhushan said:

“Historically, the flow of ideas, ideologies and the human spirit itself, across countries, have helped influence and shape the political economic and social destinies of distant countries and people. This is much more easily possible today with ease of communication and travel. That is why organizations like the Progressive International can play a very vital role in promoting the flow of positive ideas, solidarities and spirit, and help build the world into a better place.”

Tiny Kox said:

"Progressive internationalism is a prerequisite to modern socialism and a progressive alternative to authoritarian nationalism, capitalist imperialism and dictatorship."

Luca Mesec said:

“The Left must learn to act globally.

“In April and May 2021 three multinational corporations decided to move their production out of our country, closing hundreds of workplaces in Slovenian periphery and we could just watch in silence. The state had no power to fight back - the power of globalized capital and finance is ridiculously disproportionate vis-a-vis nation states. The right populism is exploiting that gap, it has been consistently more successful than us, since it is much easier to demonstrate fake security by inducing restrictions of immigration than to tax the capital - or conduct comprehensive climate policy from a national level.

“Therefore, I see internationalism as the only long-term hope for the future of the Left. And it is high time to translate the power of our narratives into global political action. I joined the Progressive International in order to help to pave the way.”

Lidy Nacpil said:

"Our survival and pursuit of a better world can only be secured through collective actions. In my many years of working with leaders, activists, campaigners and movements from different countries, I have been inspired by how easily bonds are forged and strengthened. We may be spread across geographies and speak in different languages, but there is always that unmistakable kinship based on similar experiences, perspectives, hopes and dreams not only for our own peoples and countries but for the whole world.

“Now more than ever - in the face of the multiple crises that require global alternatives and actions -- we are challenged to pick up our pace in advancing a common agenda for system change, building and exercising the power of collective action in different forms in various fronts and arenas. And raise the scale, intensity and boldness of our movements to overcome the challenges and adversaries of social transformation."

Solomon Yeo said:

“Internationalism to me is to understand first that in this interconnected and crisis ridden world, there is no room for selfish nations prioritizing their national interests that will undermine the shared international interests. If the glimmer of hope for the future of humanity rests on the unprecedented international cooperation of states and non-state actors, then the international community must move beyond the biases of the dominant wealthy and military powerful states from shaping the future of internationalism.”

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Date
20.05.2021

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