Report from NEDA’s Internationalist Camp in Cyprus

Report from the internationalist camp organised by New Internationalist Left (NEDA), the ISp affiliate, in Cyprus

NEDA’s successful internationalist camp took place from the 6th to the 8th of October. The camp was held for the second consecutive year at Karpaz Wooden Houses, where we were surrounded by stunning natural beauty and a lovely beach nearby. This setting facilitated a harmonious blend of meaningful political discussions and relaxation.

A total of 29 people participated in the camp, some being non-aligned activists while others representing various organizations, not only from NEDA and Internationalist Standpoint but also from TİP (Workers Party of Turkey), Xekinima – Internationalist Socialist Organization (Greece), Diem25 – Cyprus, YKP – New Cyprus Party, Network for Housing and the City, Kazma Birak – Μας Σκάβουν τον Λάκκο – Don’t Dig, and others.

Participation in these discussions was spirited, with vibrant debates, numerous questions, and insightful comments from the participants.

The first discussion, titled “Climate Catastrophe: Our Lives Are Expendable,” was introduced by Ecehan Balta, a member of the Kazma Birak campaign and the Climate Justice Coalition in Turkey. Ruyam O. from NEDA in Northern Cyprus vividly presented the case of the campaign against the hotel where 35 Cypriot children tragically lost their lives during the recent earthquake in Turkey. She described the campaign’s findings regarding the materials used in constructing these buildings and the corruption involved in obtaining construction licenses. The discussion spanned from recent environmental disasters to the system’s inability to protect people from such calamities, as well as the impact of fossil fuels on our lives on the island.

On Saturday evening, we discussed the state of U.S.-China relations and where their antagonism is leading. Comrade Andros Payiatsos, representing Xekinima and Internationalist Standpoint, initiated the discussion. The conflict, which impacts everything from the war in Ukraine to microchips, technology, and energy sources, does not serve the interests of the people. Irem Aydemir, a member of the United Auto Workers Union in the U.S., elaborated on the remarkable strikes in recent years and the evolution of the workers’ movement.

Lastly, we engaged in a discussion about the necessity for a new anti-capitalist Left. Athina Kariati from NEDA in southern Cyprus provided a historical overview of the international Left from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the present day and how this process has influenced Cyprus. Nihat Boyraz, from the Workers’ Party of Turkey – TIP, discussed the formation and development of TIP, particularly leading up to the elections last May. The discussion also highlighted examples of Left alliances, such as FIT -U in Argentina and the new left coalitions formed in Greece for the recent local elections on October 8th, all offering valuable insights into the prospects of success of a new anti-capitalist left formation. Of course, the discussion also touched upon the situation of the traditional left in Cyprus, on both sides of the divide, and their role hindering the progress of an anti-capitalist Left force.

During breaks and free time, we also discussed the Antifascist Coordination’s campaign in Greece against the pan-European neo-Nazi rally scheduled for November 1st in Athens. All participants expressed their solidarity with the Antifascist Coordination campaign and many posed for pictures with the campaign’s poster.

The weather during the camp was delightful, allowing us to enjoy the beach and explore the village. On the first night, we stargazed, and on the following night, we danced to the tunes of DJ Varol.

We collectively prepared our food, savoring recipes from Nicaragua to Iran.

We would like to extend our gratitude to all the participants, and we look forward to meeting again in future struggles and next years camp.

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