On the weekend of 4-5 December, the national meeting of the comrades of the Fifth Document took place. The meeting was held in the premises of the PRC branch of via Confalonieri, Milan, with 140 comrades present from all over the country.

Tomorrow the 6th national congress of Rifondazione Comunista opens in Venice. The party is being called on to join a future Centre-Left governmenet headed by Prodi, as it looks very likely that Berlusconi will lose the next general election. The Marxists of FalceMartello have intervened up and down the country in over 1000 local party congresses warning the ranks of the party that to go down this road would be a disastrous policy. We provide here a brief introduction by Fernando D'Alessandro and Part One of the document the Marxists are defending in the congress.

In Part Two of the document of the Italian Marxists, presented at the national congress of the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (PRC) which opens today in Venice, the comrades draw a balance sheet of the previous congress and deal with the questions of the war in Iraq, the crisis of capitalism in Italy and Europe and draw up a programme of transitional demands that the party should adopt.

In the final part of their document the Marxists in Rifondazone Comunista (FalceMartello) outline the crisis of Social Democracy and the Trade Unions. In answer to both the leadership who are preparing to join forces even with bourgeois parties and also the sectarian fringe who believe these mass organisations can simply be wished away, the comrades develop a strategy based on the best traditions of the Communist International in the days when Lenin's ideas dominated.

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