From December 28-30, 2019, the XXVII IWA Congress took place in Melbourne, Australia. This was the first time an IWA Congress took place in this region and we felt that it was significant as sought to reaffirm of committment to international struggle. This Congress we marked our expansion into the Asia-Pacific region with new Sections admitted from Indonesia (PPAS), Bangladesh (BASF) and a new Friend organization, the Libertarian Solidarity Front from India. A third new Section was the OLS from Sweden who changed their status from Friends. Likewise, ULET from Colombia wants to do so but unfortunately their application was too late but this will be treated at the earliest opportunity. We welcome all the new comrades to the IWA and hope that we will continue to branch out in the coming years.
The Congress worked 3 full days but did not manage to get to some important discussions. These fill have to be continued at the next Plenary session, which will take place in Slovakia in June 2021. The Sections discussed a number of important issues, including coordinated international actions against unpaid salaries and labor exploitation and how to improve the discussion and process between Sections. A decision was made to increase our publishing work and plans are being made for the IWA Centenary, which will take place in 2022. In that year, the Centenary Congress will take place in Spain.
Many Sections also distribued activity reports prior to and during the Congress, pointing out various workplace struggles and other activities. We had planned to speak more about these at the Congress but time did not permit us but we all received copies of the Sections' reports. Almost all the Sections and Friends took part in this important Congress, anarchosyndicalists from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Columbia, France, India, Indonesia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK, with observers from Australia and Aotearoa present as well. We received formal greetings from Friends, anarchosyndicalist and anarchist organizations from Australia, Chile, USA, Iraq, Kurdistan and Turkey with more greetings rolling in during the Congress.
Despite the many matters to deal with, some which proved to be complicated, the Congress ran smoothly and was very comradely. The participants consider it a big success that our International is taking real steps to shift its base and to go into areas where it never had a presence. We look forward to a long a fruitful relationship with new comrades and the development of anarchosyndicalist in more and more countries around the world!
Long live anarchosyndicalism!