NEW HAVEN - Young people from as far south as Washington D.C. flocked to the New Haven People's Center over the weekend, the latest stop on the Red School Bus tour. Thirty students participated in the event which featured classes on capitalism and socialism, impromptu poetry challenges, Capoeira (a martial art derived from African slaves), a slide show on the 17th World Youth Festival in South Africa last year, and other games and activities.
The diversity in ages and backgrounds was inspiring with the youngest students being from the Hartford YCL club which proudly attended the classes as fourth generation YCLers.
The oldest member of the club in Hartford is 14 and he said in one discussion how exited he was to take the knowledge from the school back to his club.
Local New Haven youth organizations like Youth Revolution, Youth Unleashed and Youth Rights Media participated in the event and in Saturday afternoon workshops each had an opportunity to present their views and program.
A documentary movie starring the members of Youth Rights Media was shown that portrayed the inequality in the education systems of different social classes in New Haven.
Students also took a walking tour of downtown New Haven and Yale's campus and learned about the history of the university and its roots to slavery.
They also learned about the Amistad and the struggle of local activists to erect a monument right in front of city hall to the Amistad revolt.
Some students who have lived in New Haven their whole lives did not know about the darker corners of history that played out right in their own backyards.
The school was a great success with at least eight of the students joining the YCL.
"Despite the anti-youth propaganda that permeates popular media and culture, young people do want a better existence and are willing to go out and fight for it in growing numbers," said Jarvis Tyner, CPUSA executive vice chair who led the class on Bill of Rights socialism. "It was a very inspiring experience," he concluded.
The next stop on the Red School-Bus Tour will be in Chicago Illinois May 21st and 22nd.
Hope to see you there!