Young Communists eye national convention

At their April national council meeting, leaders of the Young Communist League USA planned for the organization’s 8th National Convention to be held in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 27-29.

YCL National Coordinator Jessica Marshall is “excited to see all the different people coming together” and is especially looking forward to the “cultural stuff, the walking tours of the city during the weekend and meeting new members.” Marshall said this convention will be “much more interactive, passing an action plan” that gives clubs the opportunity to “go back and do something, sort of like a jump-off.”

The proposed action plan contains three points of struggle — jobs, education and peace — that the YCL leadership says lay a basis for moving forward the entire youth struggle for equality, democracy and socialism.

The young activists commented that while the Bush administration has been unprecedented in its assault on youth and students, the YCL has grown in recent years.

Recruiters flee student protests

Four military recruiters beat a quick retreat from an April 11 University of California-Santa Cruz job fair after student protesters blocked the entrance to the building where Army and National Guard representatives had set up tables.

The students’ latest victory followed their success at last year’s job fair protest, when demonstrators routed recruiters and took over their tabling spots.

Meanwhile, on April 14, 10 student protesters were forcibly removed from the gym at San Francisco State University and cited by university police for disrupting campus activities after they distributed anti-recruitment leaflets, talked with recruiters and potential recruits, and chanted phrases like “Killing Iraqis is no career; recruiters are not welcome here!”

Students sit in for sweatshop-free clothing

Students held sit-ins at the University of California Berkeley and UC Riverside to demand a ban on sweatshop-made university clothing.

On April 13, police arrested 18 students from several schools after they occupied the foyer of Berkeley’s California Hall. Another 10 students occupied the chancellor’s office at Riverside for 12 hours before campus police cited and removed them.

The students, affiliated with the UC Sweat-Free Campaign and United Students against Sweatshops, are demanding that the university agree to a “Designated Suppliers Program” under which workers in approved factories can organize and receive a living wage.

Under the DSP, the university would deal only with clothing factories whose labor policies have been evaluated and approved by an independent board.

Dan Margolis (dmargolis@pww.org). Pepe Lozano and Marilyn Bechtel contributed.