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*YOUNG COMMUNIST LEAUGE - LIGUE DE LA JEUNESSE COMMUNISTE DU CANADA*
*25TH CENTRAL CONVENTION -- MAY 21-23 -- TORONTO*
*DISCUSSION BULLETIN #4*
The following submissions make up Discussion Bulletin #4 for our upcoming 25th Central Convention. We welcome your submissions either individually, or from your Club, for Bulletin #5. Please send your submission to
by September 9th.
*Expansion on the Topic of YCL-LJC Social Life, Taylor Rothbell, Toronto. *
As there is only a small section in Discussion Bulletin #1 on the topic of YCL-LJC social activities, it is of great benefit to our organization to expand upon this subject. Socialization not only within the YCL-LJC, but especially with ally- or potential ally-groups is and has always been an important aspect of our League.
The social component to YCL-LJC clubs is an integral one and if it is removed, the effects become very noticeable. As is stated in Discussion Document #1, paragraph 271, when the social dimension of the League is not present, club meetings tend to take this task on instead. This phenomenon results in great inefficiency as meetings that are intended to promote ideological development and generate concrete action-plans become watered-down with side conversations. In order to compensate for this, clubs may impose more rigid outlines for meetings which can cause members to associate the YCL-LJC only with work, eventually leading comrades to leave the organization entirely.
The second reason that socialization is so important to the League is that it is an excellent way of becoming involved in communities. This is an important goal of the YCL-LJC. Because of decades of Capitalist propaganda, the word 'Communist' still holds negative connotations for many people, causing some potential allies and potential members to steer clear of our organization. A very good way to combat this problem is to initiate relationships with other left-wing organizations and individuals not politically, but rather socially. This has been done in the past with excellent results and continues to be a very effective tactic.
When YCL-LJC members form personal relationships with individuals, it is much easier for these individuals to see that we are good people, in turn making them much more receptive to our ideas. In the past the YCL-LJC has organized nature outings, dance parties, and sports teams and invited members of other left-wing organizations to participate. These types of activities can help catalyse the kinds of personal relationships that result in life-long members as well as strong alliances. Therefore, this is a proposal for increased focus on YCL-LJC sponsored social activities.
To host one social event each month per club is not a difficult task and if that event is the same type of activity each time it becomes even easier. As each YCL-LJC club develops a noticeable presence within its respective community, it will attract more and more members and at the same time strengthen the bonds between existing ones.
*YCL-LJC pins, Taylor Rothbell, Toronto.***
In Article 3 of the Constitution of the Young Communist League – Ligue de la Jeunesse Communiste, the emblem of the League is described as 'a red flag being held by a fist. Surrounded by a white circle.' Although this statement is not orthographically correct [using proper spelling, capitalization and grammar - eds], the information contained within it is true. This causes a conflict with the YCL-LJC pin.
Our pin is an accurate representation of our emblem but for two discrepancies. The first is that on the pin the title of our organization is written on the white circle, and the second is that a maple leaf is present in the upper left-hand corner of the red flag. The first discrepancy is inconsequential, but the latter is quite significant. The reason for this is that the presence of a maple leaf on YCL-LJC pins could very well lead others to view the League at the very least as uninterested in the struggles of oppressed nations within Canada and in a worst case scenario as Anglo-chauvinists. The maple leaf is a long-standing symbol of Anglo imperialism and the national oppression of Quebecois and First Nations peoples. Therefore, the YCL-LJC should make it a priority to cover the maple leaf on each pin with touch-up paint before distributing it and once sufficient funding is available produce new pins that represent our emblem (and through it our organization) accurately.
*Amendments to the Main Political Resolution*
*Proposed Amendments to the Discussion Documents, Montreal Club, LJC-Quebec **
*Submitted by Marianne Breton Fontaine, LJC-Q organizer**
* *Part 1.
44 & 45. We agree with this section, for example in Quebec the Charest Liberal budget has provoked tremendous resistance. We think we should add health care to the list of demands. Again, in our situation the Charest Liberal’s budget completely subverts the principles of the Canada Health Act imposing fees for Medicare and promoting privatization. Likewise, the main issue in Greece centers around their budget. In Europe, from what we see, the bourgeoisie press is presenting that the main opponent to workers rights as the German working class.
48. We strongly support this section on the divide between the young and the old and the attempted separation of the youth movement from labour and peoples movements. We would like to present some points of elaboration from our experience. We see this separation as a dynamic process, that it is also internalized by the young, as a system using divisions like sexism and racism. For example, the poverty wages of young people are promoted as normal, with the idea that you will, through hard work, become the boss. In reality if you are in the working class you will never become the boss.
The separation between the young and the old is reflected in recent protests we have participated in. In mid-March we participated in a demo of about 1,000 against police brutality. It was mainly organized by anarchists who presented themselves as ‘bohemian’ or anti-materialistic people, some who covered their faces. We recognized a number of youth activists. There was a very strong police presence of helicopters, horses, para-military riot police, and vehicles. After a long march there were street battles with the police and about 60 arrests.
The next weekend was the mobilization of the Common Front - all public sector trade unions negotiating together. This demo was characterized by everyone carrying the same green colour banner. There was a very short march. The police presence was much more gentile. 75,000 people participated, an historic size. Very few youth other than the children of the workers and some young workers were present however. Although it was a huge demo, it was noticeable that we recognize very few allies or youth activists in general. (By the way, the workers were very interested in our message and, together with the Communist Party of Quebec we sold over $250 of the Party’s newspaper, Clarte.)
The next week was a mobilization of the students and university worker’s unions during the work-day. 14,000 people participated, again mainly students. We met with many of our allies at the rally and sold about $40 of Juenesse Militante. The police presence was a little stronger, but except for the end (when there was a short occupation of the stock exchange that we joined in) there were no riot police.
We note also that the influence of decisions in France that are anti-Muslim have had a marked impact on racism in Quebec. For example the banning of the ‘nikab’ in France has been met with similar efforts here. There are also examples of the victories of right-wing populism across Canada - for example, CFS campaigns but also the tea-party campaigns in the USA, and the continued anti-communism in Europe.
52. We think that there has been more experience of the working class internationally since the documents were written, and we can develop our thinking more here. For example : in Greece, the PAME have lead a massive protest effort; there was a major historic May 1 demo in Turkey; and at home in Quebec, there has been the mobilization of 75,000 workers, 14,000 students, and now 25,000 people for the 1er mai. We think it is unrealistic to expect even-development of fight-back, as uneven development is a feature of capitalism. For example, there are historic differences in terms of development of labour movement, communist and revolutionary forces. We think this underscores importance of the World Youth Festival.
56. We feel that there needs to be more development of the action items by the convention or the new YCL-LJC Central Committee. We propose that the YCL-LJC work closely with the Communist Party of Canada on its economic crisis campaign.
A. Add something about the Common Front and fight-back;
B. Line 66, elaborate policy
C. Line 68, mention victory in Quebec
D. Line 70, mention CSN youth
E. Communists in labour movement, collective strategy.
F. We think there should be more about de-industrialization and the change in the economy. Super-exploitation of young workers and de-industrialization, growth of Wal Mart jobs. Many towns outside of Montreal, ‘company towns,’ are shutting down entirely. Examples of economic sectors in Quebec include: forestry, paper products, automobile plants, and mining. The scientific and technological revolution has produced many broad new changes to the nature of work so that young workers are finding jobs in a new economy with lower union density.
G. Section 70. Again about splitting between the young and the old and the labour movement. There is a lack of interest to participate in unions because young workers do not think their job is long-term. For example, high school students career classes are told - directly from the ministry in curriculum - it is a dog-eat-dog, post-union, post-industrial world and you can not depend on the same career. Young workers in unions do not automatically stand with the trade union movement’s demands. The YCL rejects the idea that there are ‘real jobs’ and ‘youth jobs’ that are acceptable to be ‘bad.’ All jobs should be living jobs. We demands all jobs have:
- Pensions; - Higher wage; - Etc.
H. Line 71. Toronto and York Region District Labour Council integrates CFS student union representatives in their meetings.
*Proposed Addition to Paragraph 269 of Discussion Bulletin #1, Taylor Rothbell, Toronto.***
It is very important for club members to branch out socially, rather than only associating with other YCL-LJC comrades. When comrades have no organic relationships with other community members, it causes our organization to appear sectarian and is anti-conducive to alliance-building and recruitment.
*Guelph Young Communist League Club Discussion Document Amendments*
Submitted by Drew Garvie, Guelph club organizer
-Remove the term refracted for clarity. Last sentence would read "Rather, there are specific challenges to the generation that will inherit the future.
-Change title to "Imperialism's current tactics:" and move "-wars and occupation" to the first bullet of the following list.
-expand "funding 'colour' revolutions' in Eastern Europe" -how are these being funded by whom?
-Did Ireland also vote no to the EU constitution?
-add point "-the recent election of a right wing government in Chile with ties to the Pinochet fascist dictatorship"
-this paragraph should be deleted in the final document. The second part of it is too vague.
-second sentence should read, "It has come about at the same time as environmental and food supply crises that have related but distinct origins".
-add "anti-unionism" after "anti-communism" and before "etc." -this is important and prevalent enough to say explicitly
-change first point to "the ultra-accessibility of credit to youth, fosters a "false consciousness" of economic security, which is unsustainable"
-contrary to Toronto's amendment from Discussion #3, we wish that "(im)migrant" be left alone to recognize the different circumstances of immigrants with permanent residency and the especially precarious position of temporary foreign workers who are commonly referred to as "migrant workers".
-in the first sentence remove "in response to".
-change last sentence to "and the betrayal BY opportunist leaders" for clarity
-in the last sentence remove "our country" and replace with "Canada" to tone down the nationalistic zeal of the sentence
-add a last sentence which would state "The recent motions in the Ontario, Manitoba and Federal legislatures condemning Israeli Apartheid Week as "anti-semetic" are unprecedented attacks on campus based lecture series to promote Palestinian human rights. Though only the Ontario motion passed, they are particularly disturbing examples of pro-Zionist officials trying to silence young, anti-imperialist forces."
-add point "equality rights organizations such as LGBT-QI and Women's groups"
-add point "blocking student protestors at last fall's Drop Fees demonstrations at the Manitoba legislature"
-add action item "1. d) YCL collective participation in coalition work on progressive campaigns such as campaigns to reduce tuition fees and fight corporatization of campuses"
-contrary to Vancouver's proposal to remove this section we propose a rewrite. It is important to address the social nature of a YCL club and not discussing it won't make problems go away.
-we propose the following re-write:
-Strike the last sentence and replace with "Therefore the social dimension is always there and social events help to consolidate clubs".
Replace with the following to make the paragraph more positive and get rid of the "nerd communism" dilemma
-"Studying Communist and labour history, reading the classics and ideological work is very important. But YCL clubs are not venues to discuss obscure communist trivia. The YCL realizes that sectarian debates are not a substitute for revolutionary, humanist and internationalist solidarity with the real struggles of youth today"
We have received notice that the BC YCL Convention passed a resolution on the YCL logo, proposing that the logo add a star where the Maple-leaf was and place the worlds “YCL-LJC” under the start.
Although the Discussion bulletin editor had not received the exact wording by press time, and therefore these proposals will be made in the next discussion bulletin, we are alerting membership of this idea because we believe it is a significant proposal.
*Survey on Club work*
Please complete and return to the Central Executive c/o General Secretary Johan Boyden (jo...@ycl-ljc.ca)
Survey completed by:
*1. Alliances *
a) Describe your club’s involvement in local politics in the following areas of struggle. Please comment if members of the club are working with local activist groups or elected to committees.
Democracy, civil rights, equity
Cuba and/or international solidarity
Electoral work and other joint work with the Communist Party of Canada
b) Describe in more detail your main areas of struggle and how the club is involve in it.
Describe your club’s contribution and work on building Rebel Youth or Jeunesse Militante. If members have suggestions about improving RY/JM, please add them.
- How many subscriptions does your club handle?
- How many writers or other contributors come from your club?
- Does your club promote the RY blog?
*3. Membership *
a) Please indicate the *names* *and emails* of all your members, what is their age, if they have paid dues to date, if they hold a position (office) within the YCL, they are member since when, if they regularly come to meetings, and what areas of political work - if any - they are engaged in or assigned to.
b) Describe the diversity of your club: Diversity in term of sex orientation, gender, origin, spoken language etc.
c) Do you find that members in your club take initiative for the YCL?
*4. Work inside the YCL*
Describe the connection of your club with other clubs and the central in the YCL. For example, do you have actions planned with other clubs? Or does your club meet people from the center?
*5. Criticism, self-criticism, future plans * Please indicate what problems or difficulties you have encountered in doing club work, collective short comings of the club, and if you have developed a plan of work for 2009.
*6. PLEASE LIST YOUR CLUB DELEGATES TO THE CENTRAL CONVENTION AND CONFIRM IF THEY HAVE REGISTERED ONLINE.*