NEW YORK – Over 150 communist club leaders gathered here June 28-30 for the Communist Party USA’s (CPUSA) National Committee meeting and conference on building clubs and grassroots organizing. The CPUSA is setting a priority on building its clubs in cities and towns around the country.

National Chairman Sam Webb keynoted the conference, outlining the major political and ideological challenges facing the U.S. working class.

“This is a moment of great political and economic instability. Sudden turns, unforeseen events, and raw provocations could easily occur and profoundly impact on domestic and world politics,” said Webb.

He continued, “The immediate cause of this instability lies with the policies of the Bush administration, but it is also bound up with the underlying trends, contradictions and crisis tendencies of world capitalism at its present stage of development.”

Webb’s report, a wide-ranging analysis of the present political and economic situation, delved into the Bush administration’s policies, the war on terrorism, policies of racism and their relationship to the present stage of the crisis of capitalism.

The 2002 elections were a central theme to all reports and the discussion from the floor, led mainly by club leaders. Joelle Fishman, chair of the political action commission of the CPUSA, delivered a report on the challenges of the elections and what Communist Party clubs can do, in coalition with the many other movements and organizations gearing up for the fight.

Elena Mora, national organization secretary, gave the political-organization report on the status of the clubs and the shift towards building at the grassroots. “Our vision is of Party clubs deeply involved in building the movement that is challenging the policies of the Bush administration and the ultra right. This conference will be a success if we leave thinking about how each and every one of us will contribute to this process.”

Other key points discussed were the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo and its relation to building the movements at the grassroots and building Party clubs. The policy of industrial concentration and building workplace clubs and the party among mass production workers was also discussed.

Young Communist League (YCL) National Coordinator Libero Della Piana reported on the YCL in struggle, including its role in organizing the “April 20 No war at home and abroad march.” A vocal and inspiring part of the weekend’s meeting, YCLers read their poetry, organized two workshops and promoted their upcoming convention.

Club chairs from around the country spoke about their club’s activites, successes and failures in a special plenary. Marxist education, working for the Party and YCL, current labor solidarity actions and the fight for health care were topics of reports and plenary discussion.

“Back in February, when we decided to hold this conference, I don’t think we appreciated the importance.” Mora said. “But coming out of the weekend’s discussion we have the possibility to open a whole new chapter of communist history, to really grow, to become part and parcel of the political battles ahead. Grassroots mobilization of the multi-racial working class and American people, to this end, is key to social progress.”

Reports will be published and available through or by calling the CPUSA’s national office (212) 989-4994.

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