HURST, Texas - Young people from all over the Lone Star State converged in the city of Hurst in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to attend the last stop this summer of the Red School Bus Tour. The tour is a joint venture of the Young Communist League USA, the Communist Party USA and the People Before Profits Education Fund to spread the understanding of Marxism to youth in all corners of the nation.
The Red School Bus Tour began in the spring and has spanned Los Angeles, Calif., New Haven, Conn., Chicago Ill., Orlando, Fla., and wrapped up in Texas. Over 100 young students and workers have attended the schools and another hundred have participated in the classes online, showing that young people of America are becoming more and more interested in learning about Marxism and the communist movement both in the U.S. and internationally.
The Texas stop included classes on the political moment, capitalism and the importance of the labor movement in American working-class history. The students were also treated to a class on the little known and often covered up history of progressive and communist movements in Texas history. They learned about great leaders in Texas such as Emma Tenayuca of San Antonio, a member of the Communist Party USA and the most prominent public leader of the pecan shellers strike, which was called the most important labor action in the Southwest up to that time.
Students learned that many other Marxists, communists, radical labor activists and political activists were proud to call the great state of Texas their home. Jim Lane, a local Communist Party leader who taught the class, warned the students, "This is our history as Texans, and every day it's being forgotten and covered up by conservatives with a right-wing agenda."
The students also participated in a "Texas Style BBQ" with burgers, sausages and a special presentation by a local troop of fire dancers who wowed the assembled mix of young communists and locals who were at the park, with a show of fire dancing and breathing set to 1980s progressive (pun intended) rock.
In another positive sign, almost half of the students in attendance were not members of the Communist Party or the Young Communist League and were interested in getting more involved. "I'm not a member of any party, I'm just really interested in how I can get involved and more active," said Leslie, a young worker from Ft. Hood who attended with his wife.
The Red School Bus Tour has been a rousing success and has caught both national and international attention, with Canada's Young Communist League beginning a similar tour and news outlets in Germany and Brazil writing about the new spirit in the movement in America and its growing popularity amongst young people.
These schools, organizers say, will undoubtedly open the doors to future schools in more places around the country and to a larger base of youth who are interested in socialism, communism and the movement. Young people are realizing that there is another path that we can and must inevitably take, the path of a socialist America and a brighter future than that which capitalism offers the young people of the United States.