In the framework of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students, 36 communist youth organizations from all across the world gathered in Sochi’s “Lenin Conference Hall” to honour the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. They celebrated its achievements in favour of the working class, youth and popular masses everywhere, in socialist countries and also in capitalist countries.
From India to Guatemala, from Colombia to Austria, the room was heavy packed by hundreds of young people who committed to following the path opened up by the October Revolution a century ago.
In a common resolution, the organizations present recalled that the October Revolution “proved the peoples, through their struggle, can overthrow capitalism and construct a superior society, socialism.” The resolution further states that all the problems youth are facing in capitalist countries “can be resolved through the seizure of power by the working class, with the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. In the countries where socialism was built, the youth had important achievements that even today seem a distant dream for the youth of our countries. These include the access to all levels of education, guaranteed and stable work, sports and culture.”
Taking part to this event, the YCL-LJC Canada made an intervention outlining the influence of the October Revolution on the working class, the youth and progressive movements in Canada, either through their domestic struggles, like the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, or through their massive support for revolution abroad. All of this occurred in a context in which Canada, along with 18 other countries, had invaded the newly created Soviet Republic in order to overthrow socialism.
The YCL-LJC Canada also stressed that the October Revolution inspired the formation of the Communist Party of Canada in 1921 and, two years later, the creation of what would become the Young Communist League. Both of these organizations have been part of the key struggles that contributed to increased quality of life for the working class and the youth in this country. These include the ‘On to Ottawa Trek’ that led to the first system of employment insurance, and Norman Bethune’s call for socialized medicine that paved the way for public healthcare, decades before Tommy Douglas and the CCF.
The youth organizations who participated in the conference noted that the October Revolution still has an impact throughout the world. Their common conclusion, despite different conditions in their different countries, was that Great October is not an event of the past, but rather an event of the future. They understand that today, new socialist revolutions are not only possible, but necessary. The aggressiveness of capitalism and imperialism, and the rise of the ultra-right in many countries show to the youth of the world that the need to build socialism is more urgent than ever. Capitalism cannot have a human face – whatever its form, it is a system aimed to suit the interests of minority over those of the toiling majority. The youth know that as long as capitalism exists, the dangers of war, environmental destruction and fascism will always be on the horizon.
But they also know, thanks to Great October, that capitalism is not undefeatable. The youth of the world see the way of the future, and are inspired to take up the challenge of their generation, their class, and all of humanity – to strengthen our common struggle for the victory of socialism.