BY JACK WILLEY
This column is written and edited by the Young Socialists, an international organization of young workers, students, and other youth fighting for socialism. For more information about the YS, write P.O. Box 14392, St. Paul, MN 55114. Tel: (612) 644-0051, Fax: (612) 645-1674. BY JACK WILLEY
OBERLIN, Ohio - More than 75 Young Socialists and other youth met here July 8 during the Active Workers and International Socialist Conference to discuss the next steps in building our organization. The meeting was kicked off by Verónica Poses, from the YS National Steering Committee. Poses recently toured with Socialist Workers vice presidential candidate Laura Garza.
Poses reviewed the two major campaigns launched at the YS convention: working with others to build the U.S.-Cuba Youth Exchange and joining in the Socialist Workers election campaign.
"One of the best tools we have in the next four months to recruit young fighters to the YS is the SWP election campaign. Everywhere James Harris and Laura Garza go, we find people who like what we say and want to get active," stated Poses.
Several people spoke about the opportunities to use the tours of the SWP presidential and vice-presidential candidates, local and state campaigns, and petitioning to get on the ballot to reach out and draw young fighters into the communist movement.
"We are facing a big test now," said Tom Alter from Chicago. "In the next four months we need to build chapters where we already have YS members."
YS leaders have been traveling with Harris and Garza as they tour throughout the U.S. and internationally. At every stop, they meet with local YS members to discuss out how to take the campaign to protest actions and how to increase the striking power of the YS by building local chapters that meet to plan out what to do every week.
Vanessa Knapton explained that the Los Angeles chapter drove to Fresno to participate in a demonstration organized by La Marcha in defense of affirmative action and for immigrant rights. Through this experience, the chapter decided to hold classes based on The Politics of Chicano Liberation because they wanted to get a better understanding of the fight against national oppression and its importance in politics today.
Defending the Cuban revolution
Another main focus of the discussion was the upcoming U.S.- Cuba Youth Exchange. Many YS members reviewed how they worked with other Cuba solidarity activists to build the broadest delegation of young people going to Cuba.
"Many of those on the exchange will want to do ongoing work in defense of the Cuban revolution when they return," stated Brock Satter of New York. Not only will this give a boost to existing Cuba coalitions, but will also make it possible to build coalitions in new places, he continued.
Others cited opportunities the YS has, working with others who are going to Cuba, to set up report-back meetings at high schools, campuses, and work-places. These report-backs will be the first step in building the 1997 World Festival of Students and Youth in Havana next summer.
The YS reaffirmed the goal set at our convention in April of doubling the size of our membership by the end of the election campaign in November. Through going to protest actions, like those leading up to the Democratic and Republican conventions and the immigrant rights demonstration taking place in Washington D.C. October 12, several YSers noted the opportunities to win other youth to communism.
Some of the activists also spoke about the opportunities we
have to get the recently published YS pamphlet into the hands of
every young person interested in socialism. The new pamphlet
contains the political principles, campaigns, and rules of
organization of the YS adopted at our National Convention and
Organizing Conference in April. A YS member from Reykjavík,
Iceland, reported that the group there has translated the
political principles and campaigns into Icelandic and are now
working with a group of people in a northern city who are
interested in the YS.
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