The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.61/No.17           April 28, 1997 
Youth In U.S. Prepare For Festival In Cuba  

ST. PAUL, Minnesota - At conferences and protest actions across the country over the last week, dozens of young activists learned about the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students, which will take place in Cuba July 27-August 4.

Participants in the Young Feminist Summit, April 11-13 in Washington D.C., spoke in workshops and classes to publicize the festival. The D.C. Committee for the World Youth Festival had an information table at the summit throughout the conference, and over a dozen people signed up their groups to get more information on the festival. Groups such as Feminist Voice in Durango, Colorado, requested more information so they can help build the festival by running ads in local publications and publicizing the festival in their areas. Representatives from the United Tenants' Party in Blacksburg, Virginia; the Feminist Action League in Ithaca, New York; and others agreed to take this information back to their groups and encourage them to endorse the festival.

At the national conference of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), which took place in East Lansing, Michigan, April 11-13, the Detroit Justice for Cuba Coalition set up an information table about the festival. Over a dozen people from ten MEChA chapters and other groups signed up for more information about participating. Activists are setting up meetings with them to follow up on the discussions at the MEChA conference.

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, efforts are under way to get broad support for an informational meeting taking place April 30 at La Raza Student Cultural Center at the University of Minnesota. Activist Jennifer Molina, a member of the Chicano student group La Raza, is working along with members of the Young Socialists to get endorsement from organizations. Meetings were held with University of Minnesota Africana Student Cultural Center and the University Young Women group. Members of University Young Women first heard about the festival at the Young Feminist Summit.

Roxanne Gould, a Native American activist in Minnesota, is meeting with some American Indian organizations in the area and working with two youth to attend.

The World Festival of Youth and Students will involve several thousand young people from all over the world. Organizing committees are working to build it in more than 50 countries, and participants are expected from almost 100 nations. The event, dedicated to revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara, will include workshops and discussions on a wide range of themes, including: Peace, security, nuclear weapon- free world, and international cooperation and friendship; Anti- imperialist struggle, solidarity, national liberation, sovereignty, and self-determination; Democracy and participation; Environment and sustainable development; Employment; Education, science, and technology; Childhood; Young women; Health; Culture and social communication; Discrimination, racism, and neo-fascism; International youth and student movements; and Human rights and peoples' rights.

The U.S. Organizing Committee for the World Youth Festival has recently sent out a three-page "Festival Organizing Update." This useful piece of literature explains what the festival is and how to join in the U.S. delegation. It also announces the next national meeting of the U.S. Organizing Committee, which will take place in New York City on May 4.

The total cost for the festival is $600 for those who apply by May 15, which covers all expenses for the trip except airfare from the United States to Nassau, Bahamas or Cancún, Mexico, the meeting points for U.S. participants. Applications must be accompanied by a $50 deposit, and full payment is due by June 30. There will be an additional $25 charge for those who apply between May 16 and June 30.

Following the youth festival, the Central Organization of Cuban Workers (CTC) is hosting an International Workers Meeting Confronting Neoliberalism and the Global Economy, August 6-8. Trade unionists and others from around the world will be participating. The U.S.-Cuba Labor Exchange is organizing a delegation from the United States to this meeting. For more information and an application, write to U.S.-Cuba Labor Exchange, P.O. Box 39188, Redford, MI 48239. Phone/Fax (313) 836-3752.  
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