…The youth wing of the Communist Party
The YCL aims to build support among young people for the Communist Party’s programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism and to increase young people’s involvement in politics. The YCL is autonomous and decides its own activities and priorities.
Policies are formulated by a Congress which must be held at least once every two years, and are carried out by an elected Executive Committee. The YCL also fights to defend and strengthen democratic rights. It rejects unfair discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, sexuality or religious or other belief. It calls for the abolition of the monarchy and the House of Lords and regards the European Union as an undemocratic and reactionary institution which serves the interests of big business rather than those of Europe’s working people.
Democratically taken decisions are carried out across the organisation, although local YCL groups decide how best to implement them in their own areas.
…Part of a mass movement
We never put the interests of the YCL above those of the movement as a whole & we always strive to build the widest possible coalition behind progressive policies. The Morning Star, Britain’s only socialist daily newspaper, plays a vital role in strengthening the left and the YCL actively works to; support the paper; provide a daily voice for Britain’s youth; raise its circulation. We recognise the importance of trade unions as the broadest mass organisations of the working class and we fight against all anti- union laws.
We work to abolish capitalism and establish a socialist society based on common ownership and democratic control, drawing on the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and others, as well as on the experience of socialist countries since 1917. In the context of this struggle we seek to defend and strengthen public services, the welfare state and the NHS. We believe that everyone has the right to free and inclusive secular education including access to nursery care, schools, universities, community colleges and adult education centres. The struggle for socialism must go hand in hand with the struggle to protect the environment, which is wilfully damaged by trans-national corporations and capitalist governments in the drive for short-term profits.
…Part of an international movement
The YCL has been a member organisation of the World Federation of Democratic Youth since its foundation in 1945. WFDY represents millions of progressive anti-imperialist youth in more than 100 countries. We campaign in solidarity with sister Communist Youth organisations around the World and defend existing socialist countries. We fully support the right to self determination and oppose any attempt by imperialist countries & forces such as Britain, the USA and the EU to impose their will on the peoples of the world or to exploit and control the world’s resources and markets for capitalist profit. We call for unilateral, immediate and unconditional nuclear disarmament.
We aim not to mend capitalism, but to end it. This does not mean that the YCL calls for an armed uprising in modern Britain, although we defend the right of the oppressed to take up arms for their liberation. It means realising that only a fundamental shift in power from the capitalists to working people can guarantee democratic rights and social progress. Socialist revolution in Britain can and should be achieved through a combination of mass popular struggle in the labour movement & society as a whole as well as struggle in the electoral field. We publicise our activities, theory & revolutionary perspective on the day to day struggle through our magazine Challenge, which also provides a channel for debate within the YCL and the wider movement as a whole.