Vancouver, British Colombia – After an absence of 12 years, the Young Communist League (YCL) is back on the Canadian political scene. Young members of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) and others have reestablished the YCL across Canada because “the need for a YCL is greater than ever.”

“The YCL’s rebirth began last year,” Aaron Ekman, communications director and member of the YCL’s national preparatory committee, told the World in the organization’s cozy Vancouver office. On nearby walls hung large posters of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong and Che Guevara.

Ekman said that earlier attempts to reconstitute the YCL failed because they were too focused on international events. “We focused our new efforts on building local clubs, rooted in the community, that dealt with local issues.” The YCL now has several hundred members acrossnada and clubs in many urban centers.

“Young people are facing massive unemployment and poor economic conditions on a scale that has not existed since the 1930s,” Ekman said. “The main political organizations in Canada are not addressing these issues,” he continued. Poor economic conditions drew people to the YCL in the past and are drawing young people to the YCL today, he said.

The YCL is now growing on a daily basis. During the May-June elections alone, young people were applying to join through the YCL’s Internet web page. People joining the YCL come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from those who formerly identified with the Christian right to young people of Chinese heritage.

The Canadian YCL is currently immersed in a range of activities, from anti-poverty struggles, to union organizing campaigns and the student movement. The YCL was heavily involved in the most recent Canadian elections where some members ran as CPC candidates for Parliament. The organization also issued a public appeal to youth urging them to vote for CPC and New Democratic Party candidates.

The author can be reached at tpelzer@sprint.ca.

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