In mid-November 2015, the Young Communist League of Britain had the pleasure of attending the General Assembly of WFDY (the World Federation of Democratic Youth), the international federation for progressive, anti-imperialist and democratic youth groups, in Havana, Cuba.
Our General Secretary and our Chair attended WFDY’s General Assembly to meet with 83 different organisations from across the globe; many Communist and socialist youth movements as well as progressive and national liberation movements were represented. Discussion centred on the organisation’s political direction and we had the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings to improve relations and understandings between organisations.
The following is the political report that the YCL gave to the General Assembly of WFDY:
Comrades, brother and sisters, we bring our solidarity and greetings on behalf of the Young Communist League of Britain.
We salute the broad anti-imperialist nature of the federation and its member organisations.
We thank the Cuban people and the UJC [Cuban YCL] for their hospitality on this, the 70th anniversary of the World Federation of Democratic Youth.
We have the following to say about the situation in our own country;
The people of Britain are under the most right-wing government we have seen since the days of Margaret Thatcher.
At the last elections in May the right-wing managed to do what no-one expected and secured a majority in parliament.
Instantly they intensified their onslaught against the working class of Britain, their welfare cuts have seen disabled people die as a direct result of the withdrawal of state support.
Essential public services such as healthcare provision, postal services, highways and other such pieces of vital infrastructure have been sold to private corporations. Local authorities are being forced to enact similar such cuts on local levels. Things that have not yet been privatised are being prepared for selling off such as police and fire and rescue services.
1 million people rely on charity hand-outs for their food, whilst at the same time the government, which says there is no money for public services, is negotiating an expensive deal to renew the country’s nuclear weapons. Weapons which are controlled and provided by the USA.
Our welfare state is being dismantled and it is often women who are left to pick up the pieces as they are often in caring roles for children, the disabled and elderly. Women often have the most precarious employment conditions.
The left has been slow to respond but in recent months the Labour Party has witnessed a mass public movement opposed to the destruction of our society. This movement has strong anti-nuclear and anti-war elements, which gives people hope that one of the centres of global imperialism may be turned around.
Our country has a long legacy of imperialism reaching right up to the present day, but the government’s ability to propagate imperialism shows signs of being on the wane with mass demonstrations against the Iraq war, and more recently, an opposition within parliament that managed to halt the right-wing’s plan to send troops to Syria. This has not stopped the right banging their war drums, however, and work must still be done to resist this issue.
One of the largest problems our organisation has with the new movement surrounding the Labour Party is its ambiguous stance on the European Union, with many pro-EU elements within the party. We are making clear the case that the EU is completely unreformable and that a clear exit can be the only option.
The Young Communist League considers that its immediate task is to engage with the mass movement, that has grown up around the Labour Party, to educate the youth and draw them into the trade union struggle and to highlight the pro-fascist nature of the EU.
We look forward after several years of our lacking presence to continuing to work with WFDY and its member organisations.
Youth Unite! For peace and socialism!