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176 years of the Communist Manifesto: Socialists celebrate ‘Red Books Day’

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Picture: via Peoples Dispatch – Red Books Day celebrations under way, organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Chennai. Socialists across the globe in countries such as India, Brazil, and the United States celebrate the Manifesto and all ‘Red Books’ that have shaped the world.

By Peoples Dispatch

February 21 marked 176 years since the publication of the Communist Manifesto, and socialists around the world marked the date by celebrating the Manifesto and all “Red Books” that shaped the world.

Picture: via Peoples Dispatch – Red Books Day celebrations in Trivandrum, Kerala.

Throughout India, socialists celebrated the 176th anniversary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto. In Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kerala State Secretary MV Govindan gave an opening speech and read from the book Leninism and the Approach to Indian Revolution by EMS Namboodiripad, the first Chief Minister of Kerala and former General Secretary of the CPI(M). The event was organised by Chintha Publishers and the Purogamana Kalaa Saahitya Sangham (Progressive Association of Arts and Letters).

The Student Federation of India (SFI) at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad celebrated Red Books Day by reading out the Communist Manifesto in multiple languages. SFI EFLU also collaborated with Nava Telengana Publishers and the Young Socialist Artists to set up a literature and art stall for students.

Dozens of additional events were organised throughout India by youth, students, and members of communist parties. Mayday bookstore in New Delhi, which is run by left publisher LeftWord Books, also held a Red Books Day celebration with a reading of the Manifesto in seven different languages, a poetry reading in solidarity with Palestine, and musical and dance performances.

Picture: via Peoples Dispatch – Red Books Day is celebrated in Mayday bookstore, New Delhi.

João Pedro Stedile of the National Board of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement of Brazil (MST) wrote on X in celebration of Red Books Day as a day “when fighters from all over the world celebrate the works that help us think and transform the world”. Stedile was attending a meeting with the Popular Committees of Struggle and the MST, in partnership with the publisher Editora Expressão Popular, editions of the Communist Manifesto and “What is Revolution” by Marxist sociologist Florestan Fernandes were distributed.

In Casa de las Americas, in Havana, Cuba, the International Union of Left Publishers held a panel presentation on the book Allende: The Popular Government, which compiles the programme of Allende’s Popular Unity coalition, speeches by Allende, and a letter that Chilean revolutionary Gladys Marín wrote in exile. Representatives from other left publishers participated in the panel, such as Carlos Bellé of Expressão Popular in Brazil, Ana Maldonado of Editorial Estrella Roja in Venezuela, and Francisco Farina of Editorial El Colectivo in Argentina.

Picture: Casa de las Americas – Red Books Day panel in Casa de las Americas, in Havana, Cuba.

During the panel, Maldonado commented that “the co-ordination of publishing networks is an expression that offers alternatives in the face of the dilemmas of humanity”. “It is, also, a proposal to build continental strategies for unity, with core values around banners of struggle such as anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, anti-fascism, anti-racism, among others.”

In the United States, the People’s Forum in New York City organised a celebration of the life and legacy of Claudia Jones, a Trinidadian-born communist leader in both the United States and United Kingdom. In anticipation of the day, 1804 Books, the socialist publishing house affiliated with the People’s Forum, released a new book on Jones entitled A Fighting Dream: The Political Writings of Claudia Jones.

Picture: The People’s Forum via Peoples Dispatch – The People’s Forum in New York City held a celebration for Red Books Day.

Luis Albán, ex-guerilla fighter of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army), and now a representative in the Colombian Congress as part of the Commons Party (Comunes), said of the Communist Manifesto’s publication: “For the whole world, it was a big contribution about how it’s necessary to advance in the study of society to transform it.”

This article was first published on Peoples Dispatch