Revolutionary Communist Youth League (Bolshevik)
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|Revolutionary Communist Youth League (Bolsheviks)
Революцио́нный Коммунисти́ческий Сою́з Молодё́жи (большевики́)
|Mother party||Russian Communist Workers' Party|
It was founded in 1997 after the split of RYCL and after the separation of the left part of it. Thus RCYL(b) considers itself the heir of the most progressive and communist part of AULYCL (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League).
The First Congress of RCYL(b) as an independent organization which ideologically took its bearings to RCWP (Russian Communist Workers Party; since 2001 RCWP-RPC, Russian Communist Worker's Party - Revolutionary Party of Communists - the oldest communist party in Russia of today which is engaged mostly with the labor movement) took place in 1997.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union the communist movement in Russia has been in a deep crisis for about 15 years already. Ideological disorder, organizational weakness, separateness from the working mass have become usual things among the left forces. The Revolutionary Komsomol also exposed to uneasy trials. Firstly uniting in its lines activists of different ideologies (communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, anarchists, ultra-lefts, etc.). RCYL(b) in 1997–1998 began to feel great ultra-left influence. "Ultra revolutionary" rhetoric and the actions in that years and in the following ones finished into the arrest and imprisonment of some activists. In the RCYL(b)'s view, ultra-left mistakes were used by the bourgeois authorities to set up reprisals against RCYL(b). The ultra-left period made the Revolutionary Komsomol weaker to a marked degree.
The history of RYCL(b) before 2003 is characterized by the ideological fight among the supporters of the RCWP-line and the supporters of other trends. If in 1998 the main "alternative" trend was ultra-left then afterwards (until 2002) rather strong positions in RCYL(b) were taken by so-called "Maoism". Poly-ideological line officially declared by the Maoists and organizational anarchy finished into actual decentralization of the Revolutionary Komsomol, into its degeneration into a net of weakly connected regional groups. The existence of RCYL(b) itself made a problem. In 2002 the RCWP-supporters managed to finish into minimum the influence of this trend. However in 2001–2003 there were some attempts to resuscitate the ultra-left trend in the Revolutionary Komsomol.
The final point in the problem of ideology was put up at the Fifth Congress of RCYL(b) held in May 2003. The RCYL(b) firmly took the line of RCWP-RPC. The following development of the organization was together with the hard work with its restoration, centralizations, strengthening discipline and quantitative and qualitative growing. Inside the organization there were being got over the resistance of the backward elements who wanted to save the division into local groups and organizational anarchy. In 2004 the RCYL(b) rejected the effort to be subjugated to the mainstream liberal influence, which had become rather strong in the young left movement by that time.
Nowadays the RCYL(b) describes itself as going through the period of growing, uniting its lines, enforcing the connections with the labor and studying youth. Since the first days of the foundation of the organization the RCYL(b) activists have been taking part in organizing and providing "class fights against bourgeoisie". In 1998 during so-called "rail war" the RCYL(b) activists took active part in the struggle of the working class against "Yeltsin's regime". The next years the Komsomol took part in the protests against the new Labor Codex and the Housing Codex, against privatization of the land, against the strengthening reform of housing and communal service (HCS); and in the last years also against the reform of education which is due to liquidate the last social conquests of socialism in this field. The RCYL(b) activists provided the explanatory work among the youth and made efforts to organize the fight of the students for their rights. In 2003 there a campaign was conducted against the enforcing religious obscurantism in the educational institutions. During the last year the organization has campaigned against the ongoing reform of education; efforts are made to found the independent trade unions. RCYL(b) actively supports the work of RCWP with organizing the struggle against growing communal tariffs, against the reform of HCS.
The Sixth Congress of RCYL(b) held in December 2004 particularly decreed to place emphasis on the work with propaganda in the self labor collectives, organizing the struggle of the working people in these collectives for their rights.
An important milestone on the way to strengthening the organization was the union of the Leningrad RCYL(B) cell with the Lenin Komsomol of Leningrad (LYCLL) in November 2005. Now the RCYL(b) cells are formed in many regions of the country and also in several foreign countries. The active work with youth, organizing protest actions, forming a wide number of the sympathizing, enforcing the role in the left movement make RCYL(b) one of the leading forces of the young communist movement in Russia.
The activities of RCYL(b) today
The officially proclaimed activities of the RCYL(b) are:
- uniting working-class youth and progressive students throughout the former USSR
- fighting for the release of political prisoners including RCYL(B) members
- helping the Russian Communist Workers' Party - the Revolutionary Party of Communists to set up trade unions independent from the state
- fighting for the youth's right to education
- supporting the general struggle for social rights
- taking part in direct action against the bourgeois regime
- training the membership base in ideology and publishes the Revolyutsiya theoretical journal
- taking part in the annual National Russian Anticapitalism youth march
- running youth camps to strengthen discipline and to train members in guerrilla warfare
- publishing a bi-monthly newspaper, the Bumbarash
- demonstrating solidarity with the working class and anti-imperialist struggles throughout the world
The RCYL(b) trains members for the Russian Communist Workers' Party - the Revolutionary Party of Communists and aims to bring up youth capable of living in a new kind of society.
The RCYL(b) sees itself as a member of the world-wide communist movement and its activities as a contribution to the socialist revolution.
The RCYL(b) aims to construct communism, eliminating private property, commodity-money relations and exploitation, presupposing free labour.
The struggle for the right to education
The RCYL(b) differentiates between the rich students, who are happy with capitalism and the poor students, whose interests are often similar to those of the working class.
The RCYL(b) runs the campaign to stop religious propaganda in schools and State-owned establishments.
In the city of Gorkii (a.k.a. Nizhnii Novgorod) the RCYL(b) has successfully set up a student union.
In the city of Orel, the RCYL(b) has held a manifestation called "Education for the rich" in the Autumn of 2005, in protest against the moves by Russia's government to put an end to free education.
An annual two-day-long National Russian youth march held every September since 2001.
RCYL(b) is one of the co-organizers and affiliated participants.
The march concentrates on questions deemed important for youth: education, social rights, employment, while linking them to political demands: against the cuts in the public sector, against neo-liberal legislative reforms and against racism and ethnocentrism.
The march is a protest against the socio-economic policies of the Russian government, a part of the global struggle against capitalism and an expression of anti-imperialist solidarity.
During the Anti-capitalism march in 2002 in central Moscow, the participants of the march were attacked by the police with over 140 people arrested in the clash.
On the initiative of RCYL(b), Anti-capitalism 2005 was held in and around the city of Gorky (a.k.a. Nizhny Novgorod) on September 24-25th. RCYL(b) was left on its own as other organizations retreated under the pressure of the law-enforcement authorities. The police arrested over sixty activists in central Gorky on the 25th of September. On the same day there were several attacks on the activists by right-wing groups around Gorky.
In 1997 one of the leading RCYL(b) activists Andrey Sokolov, accused of attacking a newly erected monument to tsar Nicholas II, was sentenced to two years in jail.
In April 1999, an explosion took place outside the Federal Security Service (FSB) reception in Moscow. An anonymous organization called the New Revolutionary Alternative claimed responsibility.
In July 1999 the FSB arrested Aleksandr Biriukov. The arrest has opened up the so-called "NRA case" as he was charged with organizing the April 1999 explosion. He was initially put in jail where he spent 2 1⁄2 years and was eventually forcibly transferred to a psychiatric clinic on a FSB directive, although the doctors had admitted he had political views not mental illness. He was released in May 2005.
In February–March 2000 two RCYL(b) activists, Nadezhda Raks and Larisa Romanova, and an RCYL(b) supporter, Olga Nevskaya, were arrested by the FSB, the Federal Security Service and accused of organising the explosion in April 1999.
Although all of the three activists were consistently denying the accusation, they were held in jail throughout the investigation, which lasted for over three years. The court decision was not announced until May 2003, when despite the fact that no direct proof has ever been presented, they received 9 years (Nadezhda), 6 1⁄2 years (Larisa) and 6 years (Olga).
In the summer of 2000, Andrey Sokolov was arrested again on the charge of allegedly possessing weapons. He was then imprisoned until February 2004. For his communist convictions and political activity, he spent six years in jail out of the 26 years of his life.
Today, the following activists remain prisoners: Olga Nevskaja (RCYL(B) supporter), Viacheslav Luniov and Igor Fedorovich (members of a radical left-wing organization, the AKM). In the Ukraine, young communists Anrei Jakovenko, Igor Danilov, Aleksandr Smirnov, Ilya Romanov and Bogdan Zinchenko are also in prison.
The Revolutionary Communist Youth League (Bolsheviks), the Russian Communist Workers' Party - the Revolutionary Party of Communists and the Committee to Defend Political Prisoners Fighting for Socialism are spearheading the struggle to release them and to put an end to what they view as repressions for communist convictions.
In October 2005, RCYL(b)) member Larisa Romanova was released from jail following a long campaign in her support. She is now back in action in the vanguard of the movement.
- Official website (in Russian) (in English)