First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 33, December 22, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Chapters of the Communist Youth Organization (CYO) are studying hard in preparation for their upcoming Second National Convention, to be held in Chicago Dec. 31-Jan. 1.
The CYO, which was founded in November 1975 as a mass organization of communist youth, is also consolidating its work in the mass struggles of the people to bring many of the leading fighters from these struggles to the convention.
This past year, the CYO has participated in nationwide campaigns to free Gary Tyler and its own “Jobs for Youth” campaign. The CYO has also been active in struggles against school segregation, police repression, and cutbacks which result from the economic crisis. It is also taking up the fight against the growing danger of a new imperialist war.
While the CYO is a relatively new organization, it has been built in the heat of the mass struggle, taking a serious and scientific approach to its work. Combining mass action with study of the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung, the CYO has developed a core of strong leadership and has raised the theoretical level of its membership.
The CYO has also been firm in its criticism of revisionism, and in particular of the revisionists’ youth program and youth organizations.
The upcoming convention of the CYO is focusing on the adoption of a fighting program of its own. The draft program is currently being studied, criticized and debated by the membership. It is divided into nine sections dealing with the CYO’s principles.
The program defines the CYO as “a mass organization of advanced youth” and states as its aim the complete overthrow of imperialism and the establishment of socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The program also describes the CYO as a “school of communism” and as a reserve of the new Marxist-Leninist party among the youth. The relationship between the CYO and the new party which is presently being formed will be a central focus for discussion at the convention.
The draft program also clearly demarcates the CYO as part of the international trend of Marxist-Leninists who are opposed to the revisionists, social-imperialists and their various youth fronts, such as the Young Workers Liberation League (YWLL) here in the U.S.
The proposed program puts forward militant opposition to both superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and characterizes Soviet social-imperialism as the “main source of a new world war” because it is “a newcomer to the imperialist feast.” It gives full support to the revolutionary struggles of the third world countries and to workers and oppressed people everywhere.
The CYO draft program upholds the right of self-determination for all oppressed nations and full democratic rights for all oppressed nationalities, and specifically supports self-determination for the Afro-American nation in the Black Belt South and regional autonomy for the Chicano people in the Southwest.
In the section on women, the program puts forth the demand for an end to “every instance of oppression of women” and views this oppression as “a product of class society which can only be eliminated with the abolition of classes.” It states that the struggle for women’s equality is a “component part of the struggle for socialism.”
The program also has sections on education, jobs and culture for young people as part of its overall struggle against capitalism.
While the program is only in draft form, the hundreds of CYO members and supporters around the country are working to sharpen it, adding their own amendments and criticisms. The various proposals will be discussed fully during the convention workshops. These will focus on such topics as the International Situation, Party Building and the CYO, Gary Tyler and Culture. Other workshops will be held on the CYO Newsletter, Building a Local CYO Chapter and the Struggles of Young Workers.
Speakers at the convention will include representatives of several international parties and organizations, including a representative of Azania’s Pan African Congress, which is leading the struggle against white minority rule in South Africa.
The CYO’s second convention is shaping up as the most important meeting in its history and one of great significance for the whole communist movement.
Messages of greetings can be sent to: Communist Youth Organization, P.O. Box 5698, Chicago Ill. 60680.