First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 22, June 5, 1978. [newspaper of the CPML, U.S.A.]
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Pal Steigan, Chairman of the Norwegian Workers’ Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) [WCPML], will address the June 11 anniversary celebration of the CPML in Chicago. Steigan’s U.S. visit will mark a new step in the history of proletarian friendship and internationalist solidarity between the young revolutionary parties of Norway and the U.S.
Despite the differences in the conditions and history between the two countries, this visit will provide an opportunity for our movement to learn and benefit from the rich experiences the WCP(M-L) has gained in its five-year history.
The WCP(M-L) and the October League (M-L) established their fraternal relations in 1976. The fraternal ties were established anew after the founding of the CPML in 1977.
The WCP(M-L) was founded on February 18, 1973. Because of its important location and history, the WCP(M-L) has not only been a consistent fighter against U.S. imperialism, but stands on the front lines against Soviet social-imperialism as well. A report summing up the Party’s first five years of activity recently stated: “Just as the Party... participated actively... in the struggle against U.S. imperialism in Indochina, the Party is now the only one in Norway who fights actively against the Soviet superpower’s imperialistic acts of aggression in the African Horn and elsewhere.”
“In contrast to the Labor party leaders and the revisionist leaders,” the report continues, “the WCP(M-L) has raised the banner for the defense of Norwegian sovereignty in Spitsbergen (Svalbard) and the Barents Sea—against Soviet pressure .. .Today the WCP(M-L) has taken the lead in preparing the people of Norway to fight back against a new imperialist occupation of the country.”
Though the WCP(M-L) is five years old, the anti-revisionist movement in Norway dates back to the early 1960s when young militants organized within the revisionist party’s youth organization and in the Socialist Youth Federation led by the reformist social-democratic party. They began to organize the study of Marxist-Leninist theory and to oppose the revisionist, bourgeois programs of their parties.
Later, the Marxist-Leninists split off from the social democratic youth organization. They formed the Marxist-Leninist Groups of Norway in 1968, using a monthly newsletter to link together their study groups.
In 1970, the groups began actively reaching out to the proletariat and going to work in industry.
The Sauda Manufacturing Company workers’ strike in 1970 was the first one in which the communists were able to take the lead. Although the strike was brutally repressed by the police, some of its demands were won and workers began to rally around the communist forces. Then the groups began publishing Klassekampen (Class Struggle) as a monthly newspaper for the workers. Throughout the whole period, intense ideological struggle was waged against right opportunism.
Finally, the Party was founded in February 1973 against a backdrop of surging mass protests about the U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Many of the present-day activists of the WCP(M-L) were leaders in that movement. Today the WCP(M-L) has surpassed the Norwegian revisionists in size and influence among the masses.
In 1974, the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in the Nordic countries, including those in Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Faeroe Islands, held a conference under the theme of strengthening the common struggle of the people of the Nordic countries against the two superpowers.
In 1975, Klassekampen began weekly publication and, in April 1977, became Norway’s only daily communist newspaper.
The WCP(M-L) carries on work to build material and political support for various third world people’s struggles among the Norwegian masses. The Palestine Support Committee in which the Party participates has recently sent its third medical team to work with a PLO clinic in southern Lebanon, equipped and financed through a nationwide fundraising campaign for Palestine.
Another important feature of the WCP(M-L)’s work is the building of the anti-fascist movement. Several Party members have recently been framed on phony charges of “libel” after they exposed a former Nazi collaborator in a high government position. In several cities, the WCP(M-L) has mobilized the workers to break up and disperse meetings of the neo-Nazi party, and has heightened the alertness and unity of the people against both fascism and Soviet social-fascism.
These are but a few aspects of the work of our fraternal comrades in the WCP(M-L) of Norway. At the June 11th meeting, our Party and our movement will have the opportunity to deepen our understanding of the struggles of the Norwegian workers and people when Comrade Steigan speaks.