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The experience accumulated from the 19th WFYS shall become a springboard for the strengthening of the anti-imperialist struggle against the system that generates poverty, misery, unemployment and imperialist wars
Conclusions drawn by KNE from the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students
KNE salutes the thousands of young people from more than 100 countries of the world for their participation in the 19th WFYS at Sochi Russia, under the slogan "For Peace, Solidarity and Social Justice, we struggle against imperialism - Honouring our past, we build the future." The festival this year honoured the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the 70 years of the existence of the Festival. From 1947 until today, it is a tribune of condemnation of imperialist crimes, wars and interventions, of exchange of experiences for the young people of the world about the struggle they are waging in their countries against anti-popular policy, a tribune of international solidarity.
Since the very beginning of the festival's preparation, KNE has struggled with principles, with combativeness and persistence, in order for the right criteria to ensure the success of the festival to be set, has come into conflict with the Russian state's attempt to get involved in the Festival in order to alter its anti-imperialist content. At the same time, KNE, wages an ideological and political conflict with problematic positions developed in the WFDY by organizations that do not understand imperialism as monopoly capitalism, as the era of passage from capitalism to socialism, thus they do not wage a coherent anti-imperialist struggle, a struggle against the whole bourgeoisie, the diverse parts thereof but also all its unions, being tolerant or even supporting bourgeois governments practicing anti-popular policy; The attempt of such forces, restricting imperialism in the US or up to the borders of the EU, characterizing even intra-bourgeois conflicts within the imperialist system as a supposedly "anti-imperialist struggle", the most vulgar example of which being Erdogan’s Turkey, is particularly problematic.
The anti-imperialist character of the festival managed to stay alive, to be visible thanks to the persistent effort of several WFDY-member organizations to highlight the real message of anti-imperialist struggle through the seminars and events. In this effort, KNE has given its best, has made the main speech in 3 seminars for the October Revolution, another three about the fight against anti-communism, in seminars on the imperialist war and the capitalist crisis, but also intervening in dozens more. Also, organizations of the class-oriented popular movement in Greece, have made the main speech or participated in seminars against imperialist interventions, about internationalist solidarity, the student movement, the women’ inequality.
Today, it is even more evident that the pressure exerted by the counter-revolutionary overthrows of 1989-1991 in the USSR and the other socialist countries has resulted either in the dissolution, or the mutation and assimilation of several Communist Youth Organizations. From the very first moment, KNE, together with Communist Youth Organizations from other countries of the world, fights steadily for the preservation of the anti-imperialist character and the historical course of the WFYS. A struggle against the forces who want WFDY with a supposedly more 'broad' line (i.e. under the domination of the opportunist and social-democratic line) dispersed in other formations, international NGOs and Social Forums, to be aligned behind the aspirations of bourgeois states and classes.
36 Communist and revolutionary youth organizations from all over the world cried out: the message of October remains actual and hopeful!
A particularly important event and one of the top moments for the communists who were in Sochi was the joint event of 36 Communist Youth Organizations from around the world to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. That event, which was one of the most massive events in the Festival, was the culmination of the political intervention of the Communists in those days. For many hours, the Lenin Hall was filled with hundreds of young Communists who honoured the momentous event of the 20th century with their speeches and internationalist slogans that they exchanged with combativeness and revolutionary optimism. Even though there are significant differences between the organizations that participated, such event highlighted the need to strengthen the discussion and joint action at an international level between the Communist Youth Organizations.
On the contrary, some forces refuted this need, expressing the view that such an event should not be held under the claim that it is sectarian, since it would involve only CYOs and no other forces, that it undermines WFDY. Such a view is not correct. Discussion, healthy reflection, co-ordination and joint action of the CYOs not only does not prevent the strengthening of the WFDY, but is a necessary condition for safeguarding its anti-imperialist character. The argument about sectarianism, is unfounded and damaging, puts obstacles in the international joint action of communists and contrasts with the experience of the international communist movement, as provided by regional and international meetings. It is positive that the press release of the joint event was signed by all the organizations that participated, but also by others who could not attend.
It remains actual the resolution of the 11th Congress of KNE, which emphasizes that: “The reinforcement of the common action of the Communist Youth Organizations is the solid ground for the orientation and the reinforcement of action of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), so as to contribute to the mobilization of forces, organizations, youth organizations against the policies of the capital, of its governments and unions, the imperialist plans and wars”.
The attempt of mutation of the anti-imperialist character of the WFYS shall be defeated
In all festivals that have been held in capitalist countries, the pursuit of bourgeois regimes, in one way or another, to make use of this event for their benefit in the service of their ideological and general aims, was present. However, in the 19th WFYS, our movement confronted the gross attempt by the Russian government to intervene in a coarse manner and fully control the program, content and processes of the Festival; In order to turn the WFYS into a "large Russian festival" with bourgeois content, fully integrated into the effort of upgrade of the position of the Russian bourgeoisie, within the context of international competition. For this reason it did everything possible in order to push aside the WFDY itself.
Already at the meetings of the International Organizing Committee it was obvious that the government intended to have control over the organization and the program through various committees, by limiting the members of the WFDY members of the International Organizing Committee to a role of ratification of what was already decided in advance by the Russian authorities. The comrades' reactions to this situation were imperative and, in some cases, led to more substantial political debate within the IOC.
The Russian Government bears the sole responsibility for not complying with the agreed terms, for not fulfilling the practical conditions for the participation of the delegates in many cases. The cancellation ofcharter flights, as well as the Moscow-Sochi flights, the significant delays in VISA issuing in some countries, resulting in the cancellation of the participation of dozens of delegates from countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, were characteristic. In the case of the Western Sahara delegation, the authorities have forbidden entry to Russia and they were sent back. It is also characteristic the exclusion of hundreds of delegates (mainly from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) from the early days of the WFYS, since they were not even accredited to enter the festival.
However there have been exclusions also on the basis of political criteria. We particularly condemn the exclusion of the majority of the delegation of RKSMb (member of the WFDY and the Russian National Preparatory Committee), the exclusion of its secretary, Michael Belyaev, who was not accredited, while comrade Batov, Second Secretary of the CC of the RCWP, was allowed to access the festival only for one day. A cadre of SKOJ, without any justification, was deported back to Serbia at the arrival of the delegation at the airport. Cadres of the Leninist Komsomol of Ukraine were arrested at the border by the Ukrainian authorities that confiscated a large part of their material.
Dozens were the cases where security forces prevented CYO members from joining the Festival on the occasion of possession of materials with political content, mainly targeting the symbols of communism, the hammer and sickle, Lenin, or generally references to socialism - communism in their materials. Most of the time, the result was either keeping the delegates at the control room for a long time, or confiscating their materials, in order to allow them to enter.
KNE did not tolerate this unacceptable situation and, together with other CYOs, informed broadly and denounced these phenomena, thus putting pressure to the Russian authorities. This resulted in the de facto presence of all the WFDY organizations in the festival area, and the criminalization of communist symbols did not pass. The intervention of the KKE in the Russian embassy in Greece was also important, denouncing that the Russian police prevented members of the delegation of KNE when entering the festival, because they had with them KKE declarations for the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, Party editions and red flags with the hammer and sickle, under the allegation that "the hammer and sickle is illegal".
The Russian government did not even respect the slogan choice that WFDY made for the festival, "For Peace, Solidarity and Social Justice, we struggle against imperialism - Honouring our past, we build the future". Across the town, in the media and in the festival site, the slogan "Russia 2017- Together with the whole planet" prevailed. But since it was not possible to completely hide the October Revolution as the historic event to which was dedicated the 19th WFYS, it made a serious attempt to alter its content. That means that the Russian authorities involved the October Revolution in a discussion about the allegedly common patriotic aim (of the workers’ class and the bourgeoisie) for a great and strong capitalist Russia.
On this basis, the participation of the guests of the Russian government, monopoly groups, mainly Russian but also international, and the "positive role played by the Russian state in an international level" dominated at the Festival site. The above guests were given the vast majority of the halls that were used for the needs of the Festival, in order to organize seminars such as "Young Entrepreneurship and Innovation", "Sustainable Development" etc., with companies’ executives, ministers and government officials as speakers. Various bourgeois forces, even nationalist forces from Russia, Austria, Italy and Serbia, opportunist forces, such as the so-called “eurosceptical” and "pro-Russian" forces, but also bourgeois governments, such the governments of Israel and Turkey were guests of the Russian government at the Festival (in the sense that they had nothing to do with the WFDY and were accredited by the Russian authorities).
The resolution of the International Organizing Committee of the Festival not to give a tribune to participants outside the National Preparatory Committees is particularly important; As well as the fact that the majority of the member organizations of WFDY, with the decisive intervention of the Communist Youth Organizations did not participate in the events of the Russian government.
The implementation of thelargest part of the political program, which was decided within the framework of the WFDY procedures finally, was not something granted, as it was proved from the first moment. However, despite the efforts of "de-politicization" of the WFYS through the restriction of the program of WFDY in minimum and small rooms, the exclusion of communist symbols, the continuous controls, and the distinct presence of the WFDY was made possible, with decisive action of the CYOs at the front line.
We keep on strengthening the anti-imperialist struggle in our country and internationally
The experience from the participation in the 19th WFYS, positive and negative, needs to be used by the WFDY member organizations, to become a springboard for strengthening of the anti-imperialist struggle, against the system that generates poverty, misery, unemployment and imperialist wars for the peoples. In this direction, the struggle in each country can be effectively strengthened, as well as the joint action of our organizations in the WFDY.
International Relations' Committee of the CC of KNE