Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Statement from the CPUSA/ML on the Organization of the “U.S. Delegation” to the 5th International Youth Camp


First Published: Unite!, Vol. 8, No. 6, July 1982.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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On four previous occasions over the past several years, the International Anti-Fascist, Anti-Imperialist Youth Camps have organized revolutionary and progressive youth from dozens of countries as an integral component of the worldwide struggle against imperialism and reaction. Our Party whole-heartedly supports the International Youth Camps.

In 1979, the CPUSA/ML was invited by the Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) to send a delegation to the 3rd Youth Camp held in Spain. A U.S. delegation participated in that camp, making a contribution to its success and gaining valuable experience. In 1980, we were invited to send a delegation to the 4th Youth Camp by the Communist Party of Germany, but were unfortunately unable to attend.

This July, the 5th International Youth Camp will be convened in Quebec, Canada. Our Party fully supports the 5th Youth Camp which is organized around the slogans: Not a Single Youth for Fascism and Imperialist War!, All for Democracy, Freedom and Progress! However, over the past year conditions have developed in such a way that a genuine delegation will not be built in the U.S. The CPUSA/ML wishes to explain why, after attending the 3rd Camp, being invited to the 4th Camp, and supporting and participating in decisions regarding the 5th Camp, we cannot join the delegation that is currently being assembled. It will not be a genuine delegation of the revolutionary and progressive youth of our country, but a group led by opportunists with a long history of social instability and splitting activity in the mass movement in the U.S.

Based upon our previous participation in the Youth Camps, a representative of the Central Committee participated in the decision to convene the 5th Camp in Canada at a meeting held in Paris in December, 1980. On numerous occasions since that time we have sought to clarify questions regarding the organization of the U.S. delegation. For over one year, no clarification was achieved. Given this, our Party relied upon its previous experience and took steps to begin organizing for the camp with the aim of forming a truly broad nationally representative delegation of anti-fascist, anti-imperialist American youth.

In January of this year, an organizing committee was formed in Chicago comprised of members of our Party and other interested individuals. Given the possibilities for wide attendance presented by the convening of the camp in neighboring Canada, and the objective of broad participation, and in light of the conditions in the U.S., we believed that an organizing committee of individuals was more appropriate than organizing a delegation solely under the auspices of the CPUSA/ML.

The Chicago organizing committee undertook significant efforts to contact large numbers of youth active on many fronts of the class struggle in the anti-war, anti-draft and anti-nuclear movements, and in anti-repression, anti-fascist, national liberation and civil rights organizations. Local and national meetings were organized, propaganda materials were prepared and work was underway for radio programs and articles to the national press.

In April, the CPUSA/ML was informed by a new organization – the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization (MLO) – that another organizing committee for the 5th International Youth Camp had been formed in Boston. But the MLO refused to provide any information about the history of the committee, its leaders or its organizing plans. At that time, our Party stated its views to the MLO that the existence of two organizing centers for the Youth Camp was a hazardous situation for the youth of the U.S. and all countries, and that every effort to unite and form a single organizing committee should be made, especially recognizing the precedent that only a single delegation from each country participates in the Youth Camps. A representative of the MLO stated he would relay these sentiments to the committee in Boston and urge it to immediately contact the Chicago organizing committee. To date, the Boston committee has refused to do this. For one year our Party sought to hold discussions with the individuals who founded the Boston organizing committee about united organizing efforts for the 5th Youth Camp.

Subsequently, the CPUSA/ML received a letter from the Boston organizing committee which stated that it had “been charged with the responsibility of making decisions in regard to the content, publicity, program and organization of the American delegation” to the Youth Camp. The letter from Boston outlined the criteria for participation in the American delegation, which include the following:

This delegation will be made up of the individuals who have worked to support the development of the delegation in coming months – by leafletting, postering, organizing and participating in the U.S. Organizing Committee-sponsored forums on the content of the Call of the International Organizing Committee of the 5th Anti-Fascist and Anti-Imperialist Youth Camp and by other anti-fascist, anti-imperialist activities organized by the U.S. Organizing Committee for the Camp.
Active support for the Call of the Organizing Committee and active participation in the U.S. Organizing Committee-sponsored activities are the main criteria for membership.
No organizational literature may be distributed inside the delegation or the Youth Camp.

These terms for participation are contrary to the interests of the International Youth Camps, the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist youth and to the course of the revolution in the U.S. They are extremely sectarian and mean that broad numbers of revolutionary and progressive youth will not join the U.S. delegation. To insist that youth support a particular organizing committee when its history and leaders are unknown, when it is operating in a clandestine manner, when it does not seek out the experience of those who have previously attended Youth Camps, and when it is beginning late, is to limit the “delegation” to a handful of MLO members and supporters.

To insist that “no organizational literature may be distributed inside the delegation or the Youth Camp,” means that no Marxist-Leninist literature will be permitted. This is an exceptionalist policy regarding the U.S. delegation and is contrary to the history and practice of the Youth Camps. This policy represents a liquidationist view that there is no need for Marxist-Leninist leadership of the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist youth of the U.S. and is blatantly anti-communist. It denies that there are Marxist-Leninist forces in the U.S. and is an attempt to prevent our Party from playing an open role within the delegation and the camp.

That the Boston organizing committee undertakes its work in this fashion is not surprising to us, for this committee is the opportunist maneuvering of the MLO. The MLO has no program, no constitution, and no history of revolutionary struggle. It is composed of people well known to our Party as opportunists with a long history of social instability, ultra-leftism, sectarianism, splitting activity, and no connection to the working class movement, who are known enemies of Marxism-Leninism and our Party. Based upon this, it is right for revolutionary-minded people to question the authority and intentions of the MLO.

Our Party is convinced that the MLO’s “organizing efforts” are designed, not to inform the youth of the U.S. about the 5th International Youth Camp and rally large numbers, thereby advancing the struggle against imperialism and reaction, but to utilize the Youth Camp for selfish, opportunist promotion of the MLO. As well, they have sought out members of our Party, in the manner of provocateurs, to split them from the CPUSA/ML through innuendo and slander.

Our Party condemns the activities of the MLO and its formation of the Boston organizing committee which serve only to weaken the struggle of the anti-fascist anti-imperialist youth of the U.S. and undermine the aims and objectives of the International Youth Camps. Therefore, we cannot and will not participate in, or organize the revolutionary and progressive youth of our country to participate in, the Boston organizing committee and its sham delegation.

Our Party fully supports the 5th Youth Camp to be held in Canada, and remains fully in accord with the aims of the International Youth Camps. They are an important means for advancing the struggle of youth against imperialism, reaction, fascism and war. American youth shoulder an historic responsibility to defeat the most enslaving imperialist power of our time, which today directly threatens the freedom, progress and peace of people everywhere. Thus the participation of the genuine anti-fascist, anti-imperialist youth of the U.S. in the Youth Camps takes on a critical importance. At a time when the two superpowers are blackmailing the people with the threat of nuclear war, and when the danger of fascism emerging in the U.S. is escalating, the opportunist and wrecking activity of the MLO is a crime against the youth of all countries who seek unity in their struggle against common enemies. For this, the MLO must, and will, be held responsible.

Although the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist youth of the U.S. will not be represented at the 5th International Youth Camp this year, we are committed to ensuring that they will, once again, in years to come. Our Party extends its best wishes and deep feelings of solidarity with the comrades and youth who will make the 5th Youth Camp a militant expression of their desire for progress, equality, democracy, and peace.

Not A Single Youth for Fascism and Imperialist War!
All For Democracy, Freedom and Progress!