On 18 October 2017, YCL General Secretary Owain Holland addressed a meeting of International Communist Youth Organisations at the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students celebrating the achievements of the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917.

Comrades, so much has already been said tonight about the achievements of the Great October Socialist Revolution with which we already agree, so I will remain brief.

The Young Communist League brings revolutionary greetings from Britain on this, the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution.

We in Britain look back to a time when British soldiers mutinied and refused to board ships to Russia when the British government attempted to, in the words of Winston Churchill, strangle the bolshevik baby in its cradle. The Revolution was a process that opened the road to so many achievements for the Soviet peoples which resulted from the overthrow of the bourgeoisie in Russia. Internationally the Revolution lead to the defeat of Nazi Germany, gave crucial support to the fledgling socialist Cuba, countless liberation struggles and the war against apartheid.

Here at the World Festival of Youth and Students we see just how far the nations of the former Soviet Union have fallen from their great past. In Ukraine we see the rise and prominence of fascist organisations and anti communism, here in the Russian Federation the organising authorities have attempted to include some of the most unsavoury elements in the Festival. From this it is evident just how much work the Communist Youth of the World Federation have to do to maintain the character of the Festival and to create the kind of society we want to see.

There is a long way to go but we have the lessons and inspirations of the Revolution to draw on. Here’s to the future revolutions and to movement that we will grow and take on the road to socialism.

Sochi, Russian Federation

18 October 2017

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