#LeninLives: IMT celebrates Lenin 100 years after his death

On 21 January, 150 people gathered in central London to commemorate the centenary of Lenin’s death and to launch In Defence of Lenin, an extensive political biography and defence of the life and work of Lenin, which is available now from Wellred Books. More than this, the event represented the international launch of a year-long #LeninLives campaign to uncover and bring to light the real Lenin, and real Leninism.

As well as those attending in-person, the event was streamed online in the spirit of internationalism.

Within 24 hours, the live stream of the event has been viewed more than 3,000 times, with over 500 live connections at any one time on Sunday. Many more were watching, however, on the live stream via watch parties in community halls and living rooms around the world.

On the live stream, greetings were sent in from the United States, Portugal, Germany, Pakistan, France and Sweden.

In Bologna, Italy, a region-wide meeting of nearly 100 comrades was held in honour of Lenin’s memory, after which comrades followed the live streamed event in London.

Over Dublin, meanwhile, comrades crowded around a laptop to watch along.

RS Image Socialist AppealThe event began with a speech by Rob Sewell, co-author of In Defence of Lenin / Image: Socialist Appeal

The event began with a speech by Rob Sewell, co-author of In Defence of Lenin. Rob explained the colossal importance of studying Lenin’s ideas, noting that “Lenin is more relevant to the world today than ever before”. 

“Lenin”, Rob explained, “didn’t see Marxism as a dogma, he saw it as a guide to action.” This is a fundamental point that communists today must understand and learn from. Ultimately, Rob explained that the study of Lenin’s life and ideas is not an academic pursuit, the task facing us it clear:

“We must build a party, as Lenin did, a Bolshevik Party, on the principles of theory and understanding. We have to have determination. We have to have courage.”

Next to speak was In Defence of Lenin co-author Alan Woods, who spoke on the significance of Lenin today. Alan explained that “the bourgeoisie is anxious to bury Lenin and they have been trying to for a long time, but they have failed.” Despite all the lies and slander spread by the ruling class, Lenin’s revolutionary legacy continues to inspire new generations of communists.

AW Image Socialist AppealAlan discussed the immense theoretical contributions that Lenin made to Marxist theory / Image: Socialist Appeal

Alan discussed the immense theoretical contributions that Lenin made to Marxist theory, which still endure today, stating:

“In the sum total of Marxism, which is a colossal treasure house of ideas, a prominent place is occupied precisely by the enormous contribution made by Lenin.”

In Lenin’s Collected Works, Alan emphasised, are ideas that have stood the test of time and are just as necessary to change the world today as they were in October 1917.

Finally, Ben Gliniecki – national organiser of the British section of the IMT – described the political and economic situation facing young people in Britain today, who are increasingly viewing communism as the only solution. In a world of war, poverty and oppression, Ben explained, “for young people, there is no reference point anywhere of anybody standing up against the atrocities that have been committed throughout their life.”

In such a situation, it is imperative to organise this growing layer of communists. Ben made clear that this is the task that the British section of the IMT has set itself with the coming launch of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Explaining that the RCP will be nothing like any party currently existing in Britain, Ben stated:

BG Image Socialist AppealBen Gliniecki described the political and economic situation facing young people in Britain / Image: Socialist Appeal

“Our party’s aim is the complete liberation of anyone who slaves away to make money for their bosses, at the cost of their health, at the cost of their happiness, at the cost of their being able to live a full life… Our aim is not half measures, it is socialist revolution.”

The event ended with stormy applause and a bold rendition of “The Internationale”. Comrades left with renewed spirit in their hearts and a profound dedication to building the IMT and fighting for a successful revolution within our lifetimes.

4,000 copies have been dispatched all over the world, and Alan and Rob were forced to stay back late signing dozens of copies to enthusiastic comrades who had picked up their copies at the event.

Visit our new campaign website

Lenin red Image own work

Our homage to Lenin and his work doesn’t end here. The whole of 2024 will be, for us in the IMT, the Year of Lenin. The event on 21 January marks merely our opening shot in a 12-month campaign striving to bring the real Lenin and genuine Leninism to light for the new generation.

Here at marxist.com, we will be placing a special focus on Lenin’s theoretical contributions – explaining his many writings ranging from questions of war, imperialism, the women’s question, the state, philosophy and much else.

And we will go on the offensive, not only against the mountain of lies that the bosses’ hack writers have poured onto his legacy, but against those who falsely and misleadingly lay claim to Lenin, above all of the different Stalinist, so-called ‘Communist’ parties.

To bring all of this material together, as a focal point for the campaign and for any worker or young person seeking out the real Lenin, we are proud to launch a new website, lenin.red. Constantly updated throughout the year, here you will find study aids like reading guides; podcasts; introductions to Lenin’s ideas; and answers to all the big myths about Lenin. You can even submit your own queries. Check it out!

This is just the beginning

Across IMT sections and branches, plans are already in place for the campaign. Hundreds of reading circles on the writings of Lenin, as well as Rob Sewell and Alan Woods’ latest biography, are being planned. More ambitious local, regional, national and international schools are also in the pipeline.

Already, comrades in Pakistan have a ‘Lenin Festival’ planned for 3 February, whilst our Canadian comrades will hold this year’s Montreal Winter School on 17-18 February under the theme, ‘In Defence of Lenin’.

As the campaign kicks into gear, we appeal to all members and supporters of the IMT to use the hashtag, #LeninLives to get this campaign out there, to promote our collective activities, however big or small, in order to reach and draw in the widest possible layer of communist youth. The young generation is seeking real Leninism – let us step up and help them to find it!

As of the weekend just gone, we’ve already seen great initiatives. Whilst comrades were meeting for the book and campaign launch in London, the IMT were conducting dozens of other #LeninLives commemorative events around the world.

Here’s a flavour of what comrades have been up to.

Building the RKP in Sweden

Varmland2On Saturday, the Swedish section of the IMT held its first ever communist school in Värmland / Image RKP

On Saturday, the Swedish section of the IMT held its first ever communist school in Värmland province, with 29 comrades participating, including many high school students and young workers.

Comrades from Karlstad, Kristinehamn, Örebro, Stockholm and Gothenburg participated in a lively day of discussion on the ideas of Lenin and Bolshevism. The event on this significant date served as the launch meeting for the newly founded Revolutionary Communist Party (RKP) in Värmland, as the Swedish section of the IMT works towards the founding congress of this new party in April this year. By means of this new party, a young generation of revolutionaries will retie the knot of history, reviving the party of Lenin at a time when his ideas enjoy a relevance without precedent.

Meanwhile in the capital Stockholm, comrades ran a walking tour through the city, inspired by Lenin’s time there.

Mexican Marxists rededicate to Lenin

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, comrades in Mexico used this solemn anniversary to refound the organisation. At a meeting titled, “100 years after his death: we return to Lenin!”, the comrades of the IMT redounded as the Revolutionary Communist Organisation (RCO), renaming their paper, Revolución Comunista.


In Pakistan, a two-hour special podcast episode was released, the first of The Communist Podcast, featuring Adam Pal and Paras Jan discussing Lenin’s youth, life and ideas. (You can watch that episode here.)

Over the weekend, all over Pakistan, comrades of the IMT threw themselves into a programme of educational events and celebrations. 

In Balochistan, comrades organised a study circle on the work of the great architect and leader of the Bolshevik party, discussing not only his mighty impact on world history, but also his great theoretical contributions at the regional headquarters of the IMT, in Dalbandin City and in Gwadar. A successful meeting was also held in Buner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

In Punjab, there were successful events in Gujranwala, and in Lahore, where comrades organised an open mic event titled, “Who was Lenin and why is he relevant today?” along with a ‘Communist Bookstall’, with students, workers and activists attending. The success of the event will be a launchpad to a ‘Lenin Festival’ that the IMT will host as part of the Lenin Year in Lahore this coming weekend on 3 February.

Meanwhile, in Karachi, over a hundred comrades turned out to a book launch of Alan Woods’ handbook for building a party on the model of that of Lenin: “Bolshevism, the Road to Revolution”. The keynote speaker at the event was Yasir Irshad, a leading activist of Lal Salaam (IMT Pakistan) and translator of this important book.

At Hyderabad Press Club, another excellent event with dozens of comrades present was hosted to celebrate this new translation.

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