A number of petty bourgeois socialist and traditional "left" groups held a demonstration of 1,000 people March 24 during a European Union (EU) summit here. The action protested Sweden's participation in the EU as well as the Shengen agreement, an anti-immigrant policing measure aimed at making it harder for people from non-European states to enter the EU zone.
Even though we did not support the action, we decided to set up literature tables in order to talk to workers and youth who might be interested in revolutionary politics. Our table drew a lot of interest and we sold 10 Militants and one Perspectiva Mundial along with more than 2,000 kronor (US$200) in Pathfinder books that day. The most popular titles were the Swedish edition of Socialism and Man in Cuba by Ernesto Che Guevara and Is Biology Woman's Destiny? by Evelyn Reed. The interest in feminist literature was high: we sold four titles on the struggle for women's liberation, including Woman's Evolution by Evelyn Reed.
During the summit the government had the police cut off many parts of Stockholm so the top politicians could travel from their hotel to the meeting and to dinner. The blockades angered many working people. Those that live in the area where the meeting was taking place had to get clearance from the cops when going to the local store to shop.
A week later we had a Militant Labor Forum called, "Socialism: A Viable Option," where we discussed the growing crisis of world capitalism and why now is a good time to present to workers, farmers, and youth the alternative of making a socialist revolution. Participants in the meeting pointed out why the anti-European Union protests did not advance the struggles of working people. The mobilizations were in a nationalistic framework rather than starting with the common interests of working people around the world. Signs of "Sweden out of the EU" were common as well as banners that pictured the Swedish flag.
The protest posed the EU as a threat to Sweden, rather than capitalism as the threat to all working people. For example, the newly founded reformist group, Attac Sweden, wants to tax international capital flow and says in its program, "We want to create a democratic sphere on a global level." These kinds of foggy theories abstract today's conflicts and crises from the class struggle and only serve to distract youth from the real problems in society. Such groups seek to lure youth into believing that capitalism can be reformed into a less evil system.
At the forum we discussed why capitalism cannot be transformed into a just and equal system worthy of man because it is built on a small number of superwealthy ruling families exploiting the vast majority of humanity. Discrimination and racism are built so deeply into the core of the system precisely because they increase profits and keep working people divided.
International Women's Day
Some 1,000 people marched through the streets of Stockholm March 8, to celebrate International Women's Day. We protested discrimination against women and demanded equal rights in all aspects of life. "Full pay and half of the power," was a popular slogan along with signs that read, "Learn to fight" and "Crush Sexism."
YS and Communist League members joined this action and set up a book table. Many young women stopped to discuss feminism and socialism. We sold some pamphlets and Militants to participants in the march.
On January 28 we organized a "Meet the Young Socialists" event that included a presentation about the YS and what our activities are. Many stayed after dinner for further discussions. One person decided to join the YS.
The new book Fertile Ground: Che Guevara and Bolivia by Rodolfo Saldaña was launched in Sweden February 8 at a meeting at the Pathfinder bookstore. Alain Gonzales, third secretary at the Cuban Embassy in Stockholm, spoke along with a new member of the Young Socialists who is originally from Brazil. The book is a firsthand account from Saldaña, who joined ranks in 1966–67 with Guevara to forge a revolutionary movement of workers, peasants, and young people to overturn the military dictatorship in Bolivia and open the road to socialist revolution in South America.
Right now the YS chapter and Communist League in Stockholm are preparing for an upcoming speaking tour of a youth leader from Cuba by having a series of classes called, "Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution's Place in World Politics." The studies are based on the Pathfinder titles The Bolivian Diary of Ernesto Che Guevara, Pombo: a Man of Che's Guerrilla by Harry Villegas, Dynamics of the Cuban Revolution by Joseph Hansen, and others.
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