January 2, 2013

Call-out to the second-annual YCL-LJC student conference

Saturday, January 12, 2013
Open only to members of the YCL-LJC or by invitation

1. We believe in the principle that the student movement is one of the most radical, dynamic and progressive forces for change in society and the future.

2. The uprisings of students in the Middle East and North Africa, the brave united battles of the Chilean students, and the massive struggle in Quebec last winter and spring have shown the validity of the optimistic claim that the young people, united with the working class, are continuously an important catalytic force for social transformation, overthrow and revolution.

3. At the same time, new, contradictory and even confusing developments are taking place internationally and locally. We believe that the student movements in Quebec and English-speaking Canada are at a difficult but significant and even historic juncture.  At stake is our basic access to education.

4. A real struggle of ideas is sharpening on our campuses and in the student movement. As the Young Communist League said in the last issue of Rebel Youth:

We are living in a time when a sea-change is beginning in people’s way of thinking, not necessarily towards revolution or even progressive politics, but searching for new alternatives to cut-backs, privatization and austerity. Nowhere is this clearer than among youth and students, and who is surprised?

...What is holding back the student movement today? To be sure, there are organizational weaknesses, and too often a lack of political will to act. And the success of the student’s response is often determined in many respects by our ability to set aside our differences and act together.

Beyond the debate about strategy and tactics we think there is an ideological battle. On the one side are the advocates and apologists for the neo-liberals, for the Harper Tories and their lot – who see education as a privilege.  On the other side are the left and progressive forces, who demand access to education is a right. The progressive camp also has debates.  Some student activists tend towards strategies of ‘lobby and wait until the next election and vote NDP’ ... But many other students tepidly support the NDP, if at all. They instead recognize that the best way to move social reality... is through mass struggle and mobilization. The situation has polarized. Within the student movement, which side will win?

5. We believe there is great potential to build a united student fightback against the Harper Conservatives, reactionary governments and the corporate austerity agenda and even push, with labour and people’s movements, towards a real counter-offensive. 

6. The key question is how? How do we go from here, where we are now, to lower tuition and even free education?

7. Learning from international struggles

8. What should the student movement learn from the general attack on students around the world today – like the Bologna process, and the latest new developments with the capitalist economic crisis and so-called ‘recovery’?

9. How is internationalism playing-out in the student movement today, such as the recent debate about an international conference of students by the CFS and the recent ASSÉ international strike week? How does this connect with the work of the YCL with our fraternal comrades in the WFDY, ICAP, OCLAE and organizing for the 18th WFYS in Ecuador?

10. The Quebec student uprising

11. How should the student movement understand the success of the Quebec student strike, and the claim that its victory can be accounted for primarily because of its confrontational tactics or direct democratic structure?

12. Why was there a significant and rapid out-pouring of interest in and solidarity with Quebec last summer, and how come this spirit was not translated into escalating action in English-speaking Canada?

13. The role and work of the YCL

14. What is the contribution of individual YCL members in the student movement, and what is the difference between YCLers working the student movement and YCLers doing YCL work in the student movement

15. What is the role of a YCL club on campus?

16. How do we tackle YCL campaigns within the student movement, especially the Charter of Youth Rights as a YCL campaign for unity?

17. Current movement debates

18. How should the student movement best address issues of racism, sexism and homophobia in the movement?

19. How should the student movement approach environmental issues?

20. What is the debate about transparency in the student movement? How is this issue manipulated by reactionary forces? What should students understand and demand in the current struggle for democracy within the student movement?

21. The struggle of ideas, class struggle, movements and political parties

22. What does the class nature of the student movement mean?  What does the question of organization and mobilization mean today in Quebec and English-speaking Canada? What is the question of “bottom line unity”, or the proposal to bring the “class war” into the student movement? How does the YCL understand unity?

23. How are reactionary, Quebec narrow-nationalist, and progressive political parties contributing to the struggle of students today, and how do young communists respond? How should the student movement approach political struggle?

24. What is the current contribution of right and left NDPers in the student movement in English-speaking Canada? How do young communists understand the revolutionary process and reform struggle in the student movement at this juncture?

25. How is our immediate strategy related to our long-term goal of socialism?

26. We believe the YCL-LJC must tackle these questions with a cogent and grounded strategy – and audacity.

27. In this spirit we are calling all members of the YCL-LJC who are active in the student movement or student politics to come to the 2nd YCL-LJC Student Conference at McMaster University in Hamilton on Saturday, January 12th. Participation by Skype is being arranged.

28. The youth are the future, the future is socialism!

More information:
Drew Garvie - drew.garvie1@gmail.com

2nd Annual YCL-LJC Central Student Conference
January 2013, Hamilton

8h30 :       Registration opens
  Coffee and donuts
9h30 :       Welcome to Hamilton from local YCL club
9h35 :       Opening remarks from the YCL CEC by Drew Garvie

9h45 :       Learning from international struggles
10h30 :       Plenary session
11h15 :       15 min break
11h30 :     The Quebec student uprising
12h15 :       Plenary session
13h00 :       Lunch
14h00 :     Greetings from the Communist Party of Canada
14h15 :     Building campaigns in the student movement 
15h00 :       Plenary session
15h45 :       15 min break
16h00 :     The struggle of ideas, class struggle, movements and political parties
16h45 :       Plenary session
17h30 :       Dinner
19h00 :     Closing plenary
19h30 :       End of meeting, sing the Interntionale!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular stories