The 16th WFSY - An Historic Event in the Making

This August, Caracas, Venezuela will be home to the 16th World Festival of Youth and Students, a festival of politics, art, and culture. The meeting will be held from the 7th to the 15th and will be a convergence of young students and workers from across the globe, united behind the slogan "For peace and solidarity, we struggle against war and imperialism!" This is a chance for people to see the revolutionary process first hand, on the grass-roots levels with the revolutionaries of the Venezuelan Bolivarian Republic.

It is a great event to look forward to, but the work towards building the festival begins here at home. It is the job of progressive youth in America to take the initiative into their own hands and form their delegation. We have already elected a national steering committee and formed a nation-wide network of Local Organizing Committees (LOCs). We must now expand this network and make it a broad basis on which to form our national delegation.

There are steps that we must take to ensure a successful festival and a successful alliance with young workers and students around the world. We must continue to build broad and democratic LOCs, keep up public promotion of the WFYS, and look at the festival itself not as the final event, but as the spring board to the promotion of revolution across Latin America and the world.

The process of creating a broad, democratic LOC is easy. In many cases, it is the job with the most instant gratification. For example, the LOC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began with four people. They quickly began promoting the festival among friends and their own political circles and the LOC began to expand. As the committee began to amass more and more individuals, the membership chose to take the route of getting support from groups on the local campuses. They began making regular appearances at the many political events taking place in the city sponsored by these groups, and flyering among the rank and file. They also got involved with helping others build delegation committees, by making road trips to various campuses around the state and working with students there directly to help build an LOC. Now, there are two consolidated committees in Western and Central Pennsylvania because of this work, and many more fledgling delegations in the making. This is a prime example of how to build an LOC and to promote the festival.

Local organizing committees and promotion of the festival are great things to get involved with, yes, but what happens after the festival in September? What about a year from now? What will we do with the bonds we forge at the WFYS, what will we do to really fight against war and imperialism when we get back home? We must actively get involved with defending the revolution in Venezuela, Latin America, and the world! The Hands Off Venezuela campaign has been analyzing the revolution for years now and is working on the ground with the participants.

This festival is only the beginning. It is an opportunity to open the door to a broader democratic forum for the revolutionary youth and workers of the world. Let's take the slogan of the WFYS one step further. Let our rallying cry be "In solidarity with the Venezuelan and world revolutions, we struggle against war and imperialism!"

This is the time for building. This is the time of constructing the basis for our World Revolution, building our forces, and opening channels of communications. This August, the first brick is laid. It will take active participation and careful attention to detail to build for the festival and beyond. See you all in Caracas!

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