Britain: RCP founding congress – 10,000 communists wanted!

Last weekend, from 3-6 May, saw 600 workers and youth gathering in London for the launch of the Revolutionary Communist Party in Britain. This landmark congress represents a historic milestone. Join us today, get organised, and help build the RCP.

[Originally published at]

While Netanyahu was making his final preparations to invade Rafah, and as student protestors were setting up their tents on campuses across the country, a momentous event in the history of the British communist movement was taking place in London: the launch of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

This landmark gathering saw around 600 communists in attendance from all across Britain, along with international visitors from Canada, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and more.

While the rest of the so-called ‘left’ wallows in pessimism and despair, the RCP founding congress was an island of revolutionary optimism.

In the words of one attendee, a communist who joined the party only two months ago: “This congress has completely inspired me. I’ve never been so convinced of anything.”

The Marxists have every reason to be optimistic. This congress, vividly reflecting the explosive growth of our organisation over the past year, was a declaration that a powerful revolutionary force is being forged in Britain.

Already, over 1,150 communists are organised under our banner. But this is only the beginning.

The message coming out of this congress was clear. We are recruiting for revolution; on the hunt for every genuine class fighter on these isles, to help us reach our next milestone: the 10,000 membership mark.

So if you want to overthrow this entire wretched system, we say: join the communists and get organised!

World revolution

“This is a historic congress, taking place amidst a turning point.” So stated Alan Woods, a leading theoretician of the soon-to-be Revolutionary Communist International (RCI), in his opening words to the assembled audience on Friday night.

“We have entered into a new period, which will be the most turbulent, violent, and disturbed in the whole of human history.”

As Alan explained, the profound instability in the world today is rooted in the deep, organic crisis of capitalism. Totally unable to take society forwards, this decrepit system is bursting with contradictions.

One clear manifestation of this crisis are the widening fissures in world relations. As Jorge Martin, another leading member of the RCI, put it, discussing the growing tensions between the major imperialist powers: a gang of pirates and thieves find it easier to share when their pile of loot is growing; but when it begins to shrink, they enter into a fierce struggle between themselves.

In Ukraine, NATO is on the verge of a humiliating defeat. In Israel, Netanyahu’s reckless regime is threatening to spark a wider conflagration across the entire Middle East.

These conflicts, combined with all manner of other economic and political factors, are pouring petrol on the fire of capitalist crisis, dragging the whole planet deeper into chaos and catastrophe.

Turmoil and struggle

In Britain, the fabric of society is being torn asunder, as a century of decline takes its toll. In turn, political turmoil is heightening across the UK, and the class struggle is intensifying.

From its former dominant position as the wave-ruling ‘workshop of the world’, British capitalism today is a pathetic sight, presided over by a circus of clowns.

The Tories are living off borrowed time, as their humiliating drubbing in the recent local elections attests. But a number of delegates emphasised how Starmer’s Labour won’t fix anything.

Scotland has not been spared from the tumult. The SNP used to boast about the relative political stability seen north of the border. But now Holyrood has been plunged into crisis also, with another new First Minister – John Swinney – residing in Bute House.

As leading Scottish RCP member Shaun Morris put it, discussing workers’ sentiments towards the SNP leaders: “What is the point of you, if all you do is get careers and carry out Tory policies?”

Crisis of leadership

Rob Sewell – political editor of The Communist – introduced this discussion on the perspectives for the coming British revolution, highlighting the bitterness, discontent, and misery amongst the working class, which is rapidly crystallising into an enraged anti-establishment mood.

As Alan Woods later summarised: “This isn’t apathy; it’s a total collapse of confidence with the system.”

Such anger is a harbinger of future revolutionary events. The whole situation is like a powder keg. As Alan put it: “This is a living recipe for an explosion of the class struggle, unlike anything seen since WW2.”

Unfortunately, there is a complete lack of leadership to channel this anger into action.

“There is an absolute chasm,” explained Adam Booth, editor of, “between what is demanded by the situation and what is on offer from the ‘lefts’.”

At every step, the left reformists have sought the path of class compromise, appealing to the capitalists and their agents to make their exploitative profit system ‘nicer’ and ‘kinder’. But as Rob warned: “You can peel an onion layer by layer, but you can’t skin a tiger claw by claw. And capitalism isn’t a bloody onion!”

Millions of ordinary people are yearning for answers. But they find no solutions from these supposed ‘lefts’.

The result is a complete political vacuum, with the accumulated indignation in society instead finding an expression through all sorts of explosive movements and other avenues.

This presents enormous opportunities for the communists to grow, in order to play a decisive role in the titanic events that impend. And that is where we come in.

Blast off

The RCP is being founded to resolve this crisis of leadership. As Rob asserted: “There has never been a more opportune time to launch a Revolutionary Communist Party.”

Under these heated conditions, our party aims to be a bright red magnet for revolutionary workers and youth.

As was reported at congress, the communists in Britain are already making great strides in this direction.

Since the last national congress, thanks to our bold ‘are you a communist?’ campaign, the membership of our organisation has grown by 41 percent. We now have around 1,150 members, organised in 120 branches and cells across the country. And we have a presence on 55 campuses, and in 17 schools.

This pattern of success is being replicated across the planet, as Hamid Alizadeh, another leading RCI member, reported to congress on Sunday evening.

Our international has grown by 46 percent in the past twelve months. In North America we are blasting off. The newly-launched Revolutionary Communists of America have grown by 118 percent in the last year. Our comrades in Canada have recruited 100 new members in the last month alone.

As Hamid summarised, we are starting to become a focal point for communism on a world scale. “As the crisis of capitalism deepens, we are taking off. We must learn to think big.”

This process will be crowned at our world school of communism in June, where the Revolutionary Communist International will be officially inaugurated.

Revolutionary road

“We are on the right road,” stated Ben Gliniecki, national organiser of the RCP, “but we are only at the beginning.”

As Ben continued, introducing Sunday’s organisational discussions: “Think about what is coming in Britain, and what role our party could play. That party will not just fall from the sky. It has to be built. And this congress is to announce that we are doing that.”

Above all, our task is to grow. We are striving to make ourselves as visible as possible to a new generation of communists, with the aim of turning every school, campus, and workplace into a fortress of communism.

The goal is wide open. As Alan said: “These young layers are looking for an organisation. They are looking for us! Why should we hide?”

New recruits do not join us to be mollycoddled, but to fight. We are aiming to train Marxist cadres who can build for themselves, and spread clear revolutionary ideas. As one delegate put it: “We are giving new comrades the opportunity to change the world.”

At the same time, huge opportunities for connecting communist ideas with real, living struggles are opening up every day.

In particular, the discussions at congress focused on arming the comrades for the wave of university encampments that is now sweeping across Britain, modelled on the protests taking place in the USA.

As RCP campaigns organiser Fiona Lali explained, our role in these movements is to patiently explain. The task of the communists is to “work out who we are talking to; work out where they are at; and build a bridge from their ideas to ours”.

Towards a weekly paper

In all our activity, our main weapon is our paper: The Communist.

As Adam Booth from the editorial board explained, in a discussion on the revolutionary press, our paper is our uniform, transforming us into “walking, talking recruitment posters for communism”.

In this session, on the final day of congress, Adam reported on the immense success of The Communist, including a 40 percent increase in sales compared to the same period last year.

We now have our sights set on a weekly paper by next year’s congress – an essential step for keeping up with the frenetic pace of events, and a powerful lever for the further growth of the forces of communism in Britain.

Contributions in this discussion emphasised the leap from being a paper for workers to becoming a workers’ paper.

Instead of commenting from the sidelines, we are increasingly participating in struggles, amplifying the voices of militant workers, and drawing out the necessary political conclusions for the movement.

Training communist cadres

The bedrock of our organisation, and of all our work, are the granite foundations of Marxist theory.

As Fred Weston, a leading comrade of the RCI, pointed out in the session on ‘Learning from Lenin’: “An organisation is first of all ideas, traditions and methods; and only after this, an apparatus to carry these out.”

With the growth of our organisation, our ideas are starting to take on flesh. With hundreds of new, young communists joining our ranks, Marxist education has become even more important.

We pride ourselves as a party on our efforts to transform each raw recruit – through a diligent study of Marxist theory – into a revolutionary cadre: someone who can size up the battlefield; work out the appropriate slogans and tactics for the given moment; and act, as a communist, to build up a solid group around them.

“Every comrade in this room,” Fred emphasised, “has a responsibility to raise their political level to match the tasks posed by history.”

This was clearly taken on board by those in the audience, as reflected in the over £6,500 raised through sales of Marxist theory – a 150 percent increase compared to last year’s congress.

This included a large number of purchases of Wellred Books’ new edition of ‘Left-Wing’ Communism: An Infantile Disorder, a vital read for any new recruit, which Lenin wrote to train a new generation of revolutionaries in communist strategy and tactics.

Planting the red flag

The founding congress of the Revolutionary Communist Party was no talking shop. RCP members – inspired by the weekend’s discussions, and confident in the ideas – were more than willing to put their money where their money is.

“We’re aiming to overthrow the capitalist order,” stated Niklas Albin Svensson, a leading RCI member. “This isn’t something you do in your spare time, or with spare change. It requires serious sacrifice.”

Funnelling this enthusiasm, dedication, and fighting spirit into the financial collection, comrades pulled together to raise a groundbreaking £160,000 – smashing our pre-congress target.

Attendees heard about the incredible sacrifices and fundraising efforts that RCP members have made. One veteran comrade donated £6000 from their retirement fund. A recently-married couple asked their wedding guests to donate to the founding of the party. £1000 was donated on behalf of lifelong revolutionary Steve Jones, who sadly passed away two years ago.

These tremendous sacrifices put us in good stead for the next stage in our development: to plant the red flag, and put ourselves on the map as the genuine party of communism in Britain.

Huge events lie on the horizon, which will shake society from top to bottom. And we are preparing ourselves for these storms and struggles – getting straight to work in building the revolutionary leadership required.

As Rob Sewell concluded, to rapturous applause: “Let our enemies scoff. We understand that a small organisation – armed with the right ideas and the right apparatus – can connect with the working class and grow very rapidly. That is the perspective of the RCP.”

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