|Participants at the YCL Ontario September school|
Rebel Youth Magazine
Summer and fall have been a busy time for the Young Communist League of Canada, which is working to build the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in cooperation with a growing number of progressive youth and student organizations.
The festival, which will be held in Quito, Ecuador this December is expected to bring together over 15,000 young people under the slogan "Youth unite against imperialism, for a world of peace, solidarity and social transformation!"
Taking place once every three to five years since 1948, the festival is the largest gathering of progressive, anti-imperialist youth in the world. Cost of participation, including air travel, food and accommodation to this year's week-long festival is expected to be just under $1000.
In July and August, two teams of YCLers headed out across Canada, the first traveling through Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to Nova Scotia, and the second outreaching to British Columbia and Alberta.
The promotional tours, as well as other outreach, visited about fifteen cities across Canada from Victoria to Halifax where organizers met with a number of organizations. In total, between ten to twelve city committees have either formed, or are in the process of forming.
Endorsing groups of the festival now include CUPE Toronto District, the Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario, several Quebec student unions, the BC Federation of Labour, the Vancouver District Labour Council, the Kamloops Socialist Club, Occupy Edmonton, and others. Organizers say that the All-Canada delegation could be between 50 and 100 participants. More information can be found at 18wfys.tumblr.com
The YCL has also been busy organizing a series of educationals, schools, and other campaigns.
The organizational tour out West was an occasion to re-start YCL organizing across BC, after a period of inactivity, focusing on Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, and Edmonton. YCLers are beginning to discuss organize a school in winter 2014, potentially in Kelowna.
In June the YCL held a one-day school in Ottawa focusing on campus politics, followed by a weekend educational retreat in July at Camp Naivelt, a left-wing secular Jewish camp in Brampton, focused on the women's movement.
Following the camp, the YCL released a new t-shirt featuring militants like Dolores Ibárruri, Angela Davis and Vilma Espin featuring the slogan "A women's place is in the struggle."
Later in July the YCL helped organize a school in Nova Scotia, featuring discussion about a range of political issues, including the women's movement, as well as local and international politics. And, more recently, the YCL brought together over 30 people from across Ontario for a school in Guelph. The League is also planning a school in Shawinigan, Quebec.
While the summer is always a good time for educational work, fall marks the rush of back to school times and the YCL has been getting active with tables on campuses and club registrations. The League also helped launch a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Hamilton, which actions spreading now to other cities like Guelph.