BY JACOB PERASSO
CHICAGO — Young Socialists around the country organized successful fund drive events over the October 9–10 weekend, moving the YS closer to making its national goal of raising $8,000 by November 14. Responding to a national appeal to raise money at a more sustained pace, several chapters have organized fund-raising activities, from raffles to the preparation of dinners before Militant Labor Forum events, over the past two weekends to mark the "halfway point" in the Fund Drive, and to successfully reach half of their local goals.
The YS chapter in New York held a party that raised $130 towards their $700 goal. Doug Nelson, the chapter organizer, explained that such events provide an opportunity for chapter members to discuss politics informally with youth interested in the YS, have fun, and raise a little money at the same time.
In San Francisco, YS members from Santa Cruz and San Francisco took advantage of the Red Weekend, where participants were busy professionalizing the YS National Office, to work towards reaching half of their goals.
YS members and supporters organized meals for the Red Weekend, which the participants ap-pre--ciated. They also kicked off a joint raffle, which will be held the last day of the fund drive, and organ-ized a Saturday night party. Santa Cruz and San Francisco raised $335 towards their goals.
At the Philadelphia regional educational conference October 2–3, a fund pitch was given by J.P. Crysdale and $454 dollars was raised. "The conference was successful, and we raised money in the process. YS members here are considering raising our goal," said Crysdale (see report below).
Several hundred dollars have now been collected from pledges made at the September 4 educational conference held in Chicago. The Chicago YS also sold $50 in raffle tickets at a Pathfinder Fund event held here.
YS strengthened from East Coast regional socialist conference
BY ELENA TATE
PHILADELPHIA — The Young Socialists and the Socialist Workers Party cosponsored a weekend of classes and discussion here October 2–3. Nine YS members from Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, and Chicago were among the 40 participants, and one young person asked to join following the conference.
Saturday night there was a forum on why the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoners is a victory for all working people and on the fight to get the U.S. Navy out of Vieques. Migdalia Jiménez of the Chicago Young Socialists spoke about a recent trip to Puerto Rico she participated in as a reporter for the Militant newspaper. Jiménez reported on the August 29 rally in San Juan for the unconditional release of the Puerto Rican political prisoners and about her trip to Vieques, where youth and workers are protesting the U.S. naval base that occupies much of the island.
She also spoke about the rally she attended in Chicago to welcome the release of 11 of the prisoners. Jiménez described the event by saying, "Because of the conditions of Clinton's 'clemency,' the prisoners we were welcoming home had to come one at a time, in separate cars. But this just showed how glad people in the Puerto Rican community were to have them home. We waited five hours, until every one of them had been received!"
Martín Koppel, editor of Perspectiva Mundial, and Fermin Morales, a unionist and electrical worker and an activist with the local chapter of the National Committee to Free the Puerto Rican Prisoners of War and Political Prisoners, also spoke at the forum. The program described how the fight for Puerto Rican independence strengthens the working class in the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico.
On Sunday there were three classes and a meeting on the fall perspectives of the Young Socialists for young people attending the conference. The classes were based on readings, including To the Rural Poor, by V.I. Lenin, and Teamster Rebellion, by Farrell Dobbs. The third class was called "How Bonapartism Greases the Skids for Fascism," and was based on readings from Capitalism's World Disorder. Discussion was lively in each of the classes.
A YS member presented a report on behalf of the YS National Committee on the YS fall perspectives. There was an hour-long discussion on how chapters have been successful at carrying out the YS campaigns and on plans for the coming months. At the center of the work of the YS is the fall fund drive, both because money is needed to fund the national office and to respond to politics, but also because organizing weekly fund drive events gives YS members an opportunity to build stronger chapters.
Another focus of the fall will be getting out to regions of the country where proletarian struggles are taking place but where no chapter of the YS, or branch of the SWP, currently exists, especially in small mining towns. A major activity YS members will be taking part in wherever we are is getting Pathfinder books, especially Capitalism's World Disorder, placed in commercial bookstores, big and small, where workers, farmers, and youth buy books.
The discussion at the YS meeting centered on what chapters have been doing to build the fund drive, including raffles in Chicago and Philadelphia, speaking engagements on campuses, and plans for a used book sale in Newark, New Jersey.
The Newark and New York chapters reported that they recently collaborated on organizing a class on the Cuban revolution, which drew three contacts of the YS. Also at the meeting, and during the larger conference, plans were discussed to bring as many contacts of the Young Socialists as possible to the memorial celebration of the life of Ethel Lobman (see article on pages 8–9).
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home