First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 40, October 17, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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With discos, football fundraisers, teach-ins and film showings, Communist Youth Organization members are going all-out to bring young people to Youth Conference ’77 coming up at Boston State College Oct. 22-23.
The conference, sponsored by the CYO and several other groups, will be an educational one where young activists will be able to discuss the struggles they are waging in the schools, factories, communities and on the unemployment lines.
The issues of jobs for youth and the fight against discrimination and police repression will be key topics of discussion. In addition, there will also be many good opportunities for conference participants to learn about the revolutionary struggles taking place worldwide.
The conference’s keynote speaker will be Henry Mzoka, a young member of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and a student leader in Soweto, South Africa.
Speeches will also be given by the Ethiopian Students Union of North America and the Iranian Students Association, who are supporting the conference.
Reports from across the country testify to the spirit and hard work of CYO chapters in preparing for the conference.
“The new CYO here at Kent State is buzzing,” reports Roy Smith, national chairman of the CYO. “In addition to the struggle to move the gym from the site where the four Kent students were killed in 1970 protesting the Indochina war.” Smith stated, “the students have uncovered new facts which will broaden the student struggle here.”
“First, we learned that the university has holdings in the racist South African apartheid regime. Also, a huge tuition hike of $125 per quarter just came down which has to be fought against,” he explained.
“A number of people from Kent State will be coming to the youth conference to talk about these struggles,” said Smith. He also told of plans by CYO members at Kent to hold a picket line against the racist Bakke decision and a teach-in on apartheid.
Raising the money necessary to get people to Boston has been hard. But many activities have been successfully held to raise enough funds to charter buses.
Rocky Mountain CYOers in Denver, Colorado, held a football game and a game night to raise money to attend the conference.
“We have made breakthroughs by broadening our organizing methods for the conference,” said a young woman from the CYO. “We are now promoting activities which many youth enjoy, and we’re going out to wherever youth are—from high schools and college campuses to unemployment lines.”
The fight against police brutality is going especially strong in Bridgeport, Conn., home of the Tito Fernandez Fight Back Committee. There, members of the CYO and the Fight Back Committee are mobilizing Puerto Rican youth to come to the conference by showing how the murder of 15-year-old Tito by racist cops is an example of the bleak future youth face under this system.
The CYO is also building unity in Bridgeport with the Black Action Movement, a group of youth from a North-side housing project, which has been demanding jobs for Black youth in the city.
Other chapters are also organizing successfully for the conference. The Indiana CYO chapter has gone out with the Banda del Pueblo to high-schools, mobilizing for the conference with songs, leaflets and The Young Communist. In addition to a people’s auction and dance which raised $200, the Indiana activists had a slide show on China.
At one recent CYO event in Washington, D.C., 27 people signed up to go to the conference. “In a city where unemployment among Black youth was 75% this summer,” declared a CYO member, “youth are eager to come to a conference which takes up the fight of ’Jobs for Youth.’”
Meanwhile in Boston, a CYO work team is canvassing the city in final preparation for Youth Conference ’77.
“We have been going everywhere in Boston to rally youth to the conference,” stated Mar-ja Wessels, vice-chairman of the CYO. “Out of this conference we hope to organize an ongoing movement of multinational youth united to fight imperialism’s attacks—from cutbacks and high unemployment to superpower war preparations and the international struggles like those against apartheid in South Africa.
“Youth are eager for revolutionary leadership,” she added, “and Youth Conference ’77 will be the place to find it.”