Special to PV
This summer, youth organizations from across the European and North American region of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) gathered in Berlin to assess the struggles of the youth and prepare for the upcoming WFDY general assembly in Portugal.
Sixteen youth organizations, including the YCL‑LJC Canada, discussed current events and struggles in their respective countries and how they see the international situation developing.
The meeting condemned the NATO attacks on Libya, as well as the imperialist manoeuvres against the government of Syria. It also paid close attention to the mass resistance of the progressive forces against the economic crisis.
"The current aggression forced upon the working class by transnational capitalism, under the pretext of liquidity attacks on the European public sector, was one of the main matters of discussion," Carlos Bracons told People's Voice. Bracons attended the meeting as a representative from the YCL‑LJC Canada.
"The delegates from Greece, Portugal and Spain enumerated in detail the widespread theft of public assets by capitalism and imperialism, and the associated social spending cuts aimed to push workers out of the public health and education system in order to privatize health care, pensions, and post‑secondary education," he said.
Most of the measures described by the youth organizations did not aim to reduce the public deficit but "to please big capital and the forces behind the speculative attacks on debt titles," Bracons said, adding that "the governments sided with big capital, over-indebting themselves for years by recklessly wasting money on weaponry, the Olympic Games, and various other non‑profitable infrastructures. This is now giving grounds to the current attack on democracy and the welfare state."
A final statement by the WFDY following the meeting said "In the context of the crisis of the capitalist system, in practically all countries the situation is similar: under the excuse of the `lack of money' or `deficit reduction', workers and young people are having their rights destroyed, facing the privatization of education, the increase of unemployment and the generalization of precarious, temporary and flexible forms of work."
The YCL‑LJC described the dangerous outcome of the last Canadian federal election and the struggles of the YCL in response. Delegates were interested in learning about the fight‑back in Canada, especially NAFTA, the privatization of education and the recent lockout of Canada Post workers.
The group decided to support several days of action in favour of Free Public Education, against the imperialist war in Libya, and against the liquidity blackmail that big business is carrying out in Europe and, in a different fashion, the USA. It also admitted a Russian left youth group and COMAC, the youth of the Workers Party of Belgium.
The meeting was hosted by the SDAJ (Socialist German Worker's Youth) of Germany, who toured the delegates around important places of resistance against fascism in Berlin. "Many of the delegates were astonished to learn about the attacks today by anti‑communist groups against left‑wing organizations in Berlin. The windows of many groups' buildings are repeatedly smashed and spray‑painted with fascist graffiti," Bracons said.
An Asian Pacific regional meeting of WFDY was held in Vietnam in June, focusing on the problem of the environment and sustainable development. A regional meeting of North Africa and Middle East affiliates took place in April in Egypt, and focused on the developments in that region.
The 18th General Assembly of the World Federation of Democratic Youth will take place this November. Hosted by the Portuguese Communist Youth under the slogan "Fortify WFDY, strengthen the anti‑imperialist struggle, for a world of peace solidarity and revolutionary social transformation!", the meeting will review the past four years' work and elect a new leadership. The YCL‑LJC encourages all Canadian youth to bring proposals to take with us to the General Assembly.