The LYCUSA – One Year in Review
By Comrade Chris B.
The year 2015 was a dark time for young Communists in the United States. The Young Communist League (YCL) of the Communist Party USA was liquidated, and ceased functioning after almost 100 years of existence.
But all was not lost. The Party of Communists USA (PCUSA), recently formed from the many dropped CPUSA clubs scattered around the country, created the League of Young Communists USA (LYCUSA). The LYCUSA has grown rapidly over the year of 2016. I have been honored to represent the LYCUSA at two international events over the year of 2016. I also had the privilege to send the LYCUSA application to join the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).
LYCUSA Comrade Chris (3rd from left) at the KKE Headquarter in Athens, Greece 2016
LYCUSA Comrades Chris and Jacob (center) with cadre from the FJC in Mexico City, Mexico 2016
My name is Chris Bovet. I was a member of the CPUSA for many years until I found out about the PCUSA. My tenure in the CPUSA was limited; nothing was happening and I might as well say that I was nothing more than a person who signed up to CPUSA over the internet, except for the fact that I did participate in events for the Los Angeles CPUSA club. The moment I saw the PCUSA, I knew it was the real thing.
My time in the PCUSA and the LYCUSA has been brief but it has been very powerful. Since becoming involved, the tumultuous periods of the late 2015 and early 2016 LYCUSA gave way to a very hardworking, united, and successful Communist Youth Organization. I was elected to General Secretary of the LYCUSA during the middle of 2016. I am also the General Secretary of the Korean Friendship Association USA (KFAUSA – www.kfausa.org). During this same time, many new faces came to the LYCUSA. I am now only one of eight leaders in the LYCUSA, and there are cadre many times over for each individual leader. Needless to say, the LYCUSA has experienced a rapid growth during the year of 2016. The LYCUSA has sent its application to the WFDY, and we plan to send comrades to the 2017 WFDY Festival in Sochi, Russia, later this year. I am very proud of our organization and I am very proud of the members themselves.
I have now established who I am and what the LYCUSA is. The rest of my article will be broken into two parts: first, a report of the KNE 42nd Odigitis Festival and second, a report of the FJC II Congress.
KNE 42nd Odigitis Festival
The International Seminar of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE)
LYCUSA Comrade Chris with Comrade Marinos, Member of the of the Central Committee of the KKE, and comrades from Greece, Venezuela and Brazil
Comrade Omar of the FJC (PCM – Mexico); to the right, Comrade Javier the CJC (PCPE – Spain)
It was a great honor to be invited to the KNE 42nd Odigitis Festival, and it was equally a great honor to represent the LYCUSA. The KNE is the Communist Youth of Greece, the equivalent of the LYCUSA in their country. This was my first international event and it was a lot of fun!
The Odigitis Festival is a culmination of celebrations of the KNE held every year. The times of the Festival coincide with Greek revolutionary struggles, such as the student uprisings against the military dictatorships of the 20th century. Additionally, the 2016 year was the 70th anniversary of the Greek Democratic Army, and there was a museum area set up in one area of the Odigitis Festival, which was very interesting and a blast to visit.
The event lasted three days. Our schedule was as following: during the day, I met with comrades from other Communist Youths, then we would all get together for an event, and later we attended the Odigitis Festival at night. One day we went and saw the Acropolis, which was very cool! I never thought I would see the Acropolis. Another event was the International Seminar of the Communist Youth of Greece. Later, at night, we would all go to the Odigitis Festival.
The Odigitis Festival is a sight to behold. There were easily over 100,000 people in attendance every night. There were three main stages, where typically there was live music. The music genres ranged: traditional, but also rock, rap, and anything in between. However, the majority of music was Revolutionary music, songs about the Greek Democratic Army and other famous Communist songs. I have to say, I really enjoy the Greek traditional music, especially because the lyrics were about the struggle for socialism! One night also featured a speech by the General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, along with other speakers, like a comrade from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and every speech was very informative and powerful.
There was an International City at the Odigitis Festival, where 32 Communist Youth Organizations from around the world had booths. The LYCUSA shared a booth with the Munkaspart of Hungary, who are great comrades! I brought with me many books published by Red Star Publishers: The History of the CPUSA by William Z. Foster, Trotskyism: Counter Revolution in Disguise by J. Olgin, books from Grover Furr, and many other books, which I sold to the many passer bys, most of whom were grateful to be able to obtain such works, which are hard to find in Greece. I also brought with me many brochures, pamphlets, and information about the LYCUSA, the PCUSA, and US Friends, which I distributed very quickly. Next year we will bring more! The US Friends of the Soviet People was very popular, especially with the comrades from Russia. US Friends also works with Jeff Monson, an American and a famous fighter who now has gyms in the Donetsk and Lugansk region, who is a very vocal supporter of the Soviet Union and of Communism.
The highlights for me of my participation in Athens were meeting with the PCUSA’s fraternal Parties (PCM, PCPE, KKE, RWCP (B), KPRF, Munkaspart, CP of Italy, etc), and also the people of Athens itself. I really enjoyed travelling around the city – but the best part was the KKE. Everyone, from the hotel staff to bus drivers, curators to secretaries, was a member of the KKE. For example, I would meet people working during the day in Athens, only to see them later at the Odigitis Festival. Everyone in Athens is a member of the KKE! It was very inspiring! Additionally, I also met with many Communist Greeks who used to live in the US, and we talked about the situation here.
My time in Athens was great fun, if it was not a huge rush all at once! I am very thankful for being able to participate, and the entire trip was very inspiring. I know that I personally learned very much and I also made many great contacts.
FJC II Congress
Comrade Enrique Lopez Guitierrez, desparecido (disappeared)
LYCUSA Comrades Chris and Jacob
Comrade Jacob participating in the FJC II Congress, spending most of his time translating Spanish!
A picture of only about half of the comrades in attendance. ¡Viva la FJC!
The LYCUSA was invited to attend in the Federacion de Jovenes Comunistas (FJC) de Mexico’s II Congress. The FJC and the LYCUSA have very strong ties; some comrades live right across the border.
Two comrades from the LYCUSA attended the Congress: Comrade Jacob and me. Again, this was a great honor for us, for the LYCUSA, and for myself personally. Previously, I had only been to one YCL event in the United States. I will not go into details, but the YCL event was a joke. I was eager to see how the FJC II Congress would be. The FJC II Congress was awesome!
Comrades from all over Mexico and also from Spain, Greece, United States and France participated in the FJC II Congress. It was great to see old friends and it was even better making new ones. I met many outstanding comrades, whose dedication was very inspiring.
The Congress was very interesting. A great amount of work was done over the course of two days. Greetings were read from all over the world, from the Communist Youth Organizations in countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Greece, Cuba, France, and I even read a Greetings message from the LYCUSA, stressing the importance of our unity, our work together, our strong ties, and our commitment to strengthening our ties even further the future.
There were many guest speakers, such as an older comrade who was the original leader of the FJC during the 1950s. I was very impressed by the comrade’s history. Another speaker was a family member of one of the Ayotzinapa victims. Over 40 students were murdered in cold blood by the Mexican police in the state of Guerrero, a horrible tragedy that unfortunately is only one of many such events over the years in Mexico.
Comrades from around Mexico also gave local reports.
A large portion of the Congress was focused on setting the FJC’s policy for the next few years until the next Congress will be held. For me, this was the second most impressive part of my participation in the Congress. I watched the FJC’s democracy in action. The democracy within the FJC reminded me of the democracy within the LYCUSA. There is no such democracy or political participation in any other group in the United States that I am aware of, from the Democrat Party to the CPUSA, nothing can compare.
We also broke into groups to set even more policies of the FJC. Again, I was very impressed by the democracy and participation.
On the final night of the Congress, the FJC elected its Central Committee, which then elected its Central Council. I enjoyed seeing how the Communist Youth of Mexico operated. However, the best part of the entire Congress was afterwards, when comrades gave speeches and we sang songs and rallying cries. My friend, Comrade Omar, leader of the FJC, gave a speech, as did Comrade Pavel, First Secretary of the PCM. Comrade Pavel’s speech was very powerful to me. He spoke of many things, but above all the resolve of the PCM and the FJC for Marxism-Leninism and for Socialism-Communism. After his speech, we all carried flags and sang songs. One of the FJC comrades is also a very skilled musician, and the first night I was able to hear one of my favorite songs, “En las filas del Partido Comunista,” which was truly awesome! The songs and rallying cries we were singing the last night was truly the most inspiring time of the entire trip.
Comrade Jacob of the LYCUSA also had a great time. This was his first time ever participating in any Communist Party event, and it was international to boot!
I am very grateful to the PCM, to the FJC, to the PCUSA and to the LYCUSA for being able to participate in the FJC II Congress. It was very inspiring and an awesome time. Jacob and I learned very much from this event and our experience was brought home with us.
Thank you everyone for reading my report. Long live Marxism-Leninism! Long live Socialism-Communism! Long live Juche! Long live the PCUSA!
Until next time, friends!
GS of the CC of the LYCUSA