This translation was created for the purposes of archiving and does not originate from the original creators of the text.
The End of ERAS as a Potentiality
A brief assessment and a clear declaration of departure
ERAS had evolved into a remarkable and important project in 2012, as it then attracted several mostly independent activists of the radical left. It set up preliminary positions, held interventions and began a painstaking process of forming a new autonomous left-wing group, both organizationally and politically. Despite the various difficulties that arose towards the end of the year and especially in relation to the presidential election, where there was disagreement over whether or not to support the candidate chosen by AKEL, the prospect of forming a radical left group was not lost.
This was lost sometime in early 2013, when a section of comrades (essentially the members of Leftist Faction, Workers’ Democracy and their periphery) showed that it had neither the willingness to discuss on an equal level, nor the intention to co- formulate a framework and produce collectively a politics, within the new conjuncture. It was further made apparent that in the end, it did not have the readiness and willingness to change mentalities and habits and to make those steps needed for the common goal of building a serious and reliable autonomous leftist movement. The intensity and form through which this tendency supported the austerity candidate of AKEL in the presidential election and not that support itself, was an omen of what was to follow. While political disagreements and differences are welcome, the indifference towards procedures, their bypassing or their selective invocation for the sole purpose of imposition, rather than for the collective and equal co-formation of positions, has disappointed us. The friction, confusion and centrifugal tendencies that existed within ERAS intensified further when this section of comrades collaged even further on AKEL, which, now in opposition, had rhetorically and hypocritically moved on to supposedly oppose the alleged troika and the memorandum. The cohesion of the EPAS was dissolved and many members were permanently led to inactivation or even resignation.
ERAS, as a collective, has been virtually inactive since the spring of 2013. The working groups, the press office, the coordination office, have successively been paralyzed, while all efforts to hold a pan-Cypriot assembly have been met with denial by this portion of members. After the departure and distancing of several members from the provincial Nicosia group and almost the whole of the provincial Limassol group, this group essentially acts as “the ERAS of Nicosia”.
Realizing that there was not much room in this suffocating climate, a group of ERAS members launched an initiative aimed at preserving the basic principles on the basis of which ERAS was set up.. That is, the joint and respectful co-formation of a program, the clarification of the political discourse of an independent-from-AKEL left and the search for the conditions of formation of a radical political body. We have chosen to maintain the status of ERAS members, hoping that potentially, through a new consultation, some kind of evolution of the group could be achieved in order to maintain some kind of cooperation where possible.
Today we comprehend that this is not possible. With the comrades of the Leftist Faction, Workers’ Democracy and friends, as well as other comrades in, around and outside of AKEL, we will be together in the mobilizations on the street, in mono-thematic initiatives and struggles, perhaps in large assemblies. For these reasons we prefer a calm, rather than a conflicting departure.
There is no reason to pretend that together we can form an organizational group, let alone the new political group of the Radical Left that will not carry the pathogenesis that has historically characterized the beyond-AKEL groups. We all do our reviewing and take our choices. The “majority of ERAS Nicosia” can keep the name and role of a Coalition around the existing left pole. We have chosen a new, autonomous left intervention.