November 26, 2012
World Federation of Democratic Youth meets in Ecuador and announces 18th World Festival of Youth and Students
From November 8th-12th, representatives from more than 40 different youth and student organizations descended on Quito, Ecuador for a General Council meeting of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). The main task of the meeting was to examine a proposal that made Ecuador the host of the next World Festival of Youth and Students.
Progressive and Communist organizations were represented from a geographically diverse range of countries such as Greece, Portugal, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, Western Sahara, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Vietnam, India, Angola and Eritrea.
The meeting coincided with the sixty-fifth anniversary of the youth organization. WFDY was founded in 1947 as a product of the anti-fascist struggles of the period, with its mandate being to unite youth for peace and against imperialism.
Sixty-five years later WFDY reiterated its anti-imperialist stance in the political resolution amended and adopted unanimously on November 10th; “Our choice, to stand for the needs and interests of the youth, derives from our founding principle: to struggle against imperialism”.
WFDY and its members dedicated themselves to fighting against imperialism’s increased aggressiveness, such as the creation of a bloody proxy-wars in Syria and Libya, the danger of intervention in Iran, the US backed campaign against the DPR Korea, continued occupations of Afghanistan, Western Sahara, Palestine and Iraq.
The Young Communist League of Canada’s representative to the General Council was Drew Garvie. “The political choice to have the meeting in Latin America was a powerful one. While capitalist governments are bringing in austerity policies to make the people pay for capitalist crisis around the world, the struggle in Latin America is giving rise to progressive policies and a process that is uniting the continent against imperialism”, Garvie said.
Ecuador is starting to become a leading protagonist in this transition away from over a century of domination by United States monopoly capitalism. President Rafael Correa and his “PAIS” coalition were elected in 2006 after several years of mobilization by indigenous and anti-neoliberal forces. Since then, Ecuador has kicked out a US military base from its territory, written a constitution that includes the right to the regeneration of the environment, eliminated tuition fees in public universities, joined regional progressive trading partnerships, refused to participate in any international meeting that Cuba is not invited to, and is currently shielding Wikileaks’ Julian Assange from extradition to the United States.
The Young Communists of Ecuador proposed the hosting of the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in Ecuador in order to help “strengthen and radicalize the national democratic revolution”. Several government officials, including the Governor of Imbabura province, a cabinet Minister of the PAIS coalition, and representatives from the Secretariat of the People, Social Movements and Citizens Participation, greeted the WFDY meetings.
The Ecuadorian delegation has proposed to mobilize ten thousand youth from Ecuador and invite ten thousand international delegates to participate in the 18th WFYS. After hearing a comprehensive presentation, which included a political report and logistical details the international delegates adopted the proposal unanimously.
Drew Garvie was optimistic about the potential of organizing for the upcoming festival: “The overwhelming feeling of the delegates leaving the meeting was one of enthusiasm start mobilizing to build the Festival movement back home. We know that the 18th WFYS comes at an important political time, when more and more youth are taking to the streets and starting to look for an alternative to the war, crisis and environmental destruction inherent in capitalism.”
“Several delegates were very interested in the recent student strikes in Québec,” said Garvie. In the Young Communist League of Canada’s intervention to the meeting, it was noted that sharing struggles like the victory of the Québec students is important at this time. “Of course, we see the World Festival of Youth and Students as an excellent venue to come together and share our struggles, and build the necessary unity for the struggles ahead.”
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