Red Youth (Netherlands)

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Red Youth (Dutch: Rode Jeugd) was a communist organization in the Netherlands. It originated in the group around the periodical Rode Jeugd, which had been started by the pro-China Rode Vlag-grouping in 1966. In October 1967 the group around Rode Jeugd broke away, and formed their own organisation, Red Youth.

Lucien van Hoesel (born 1950) became the national secretary of Red Youth. Inside Red Youth two wings emerged. On one side stood the 'terrorists', who were inspired by the Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion) and who saw the strategy of urban guerrilla warfare as a path to follow to overthrow capitalism, and on the other the 'economists', who wanted to focus on socioeconomic struggles.

After the Red Youth congress in July 1971 the 'economists', based in the Red Youth branches in Amsterdam and Kampen, broke away and formed the Red Youth (marxist-leninist). At the same time two other Red Youth branches broke away, Rotterdam and Nijmegen.

After the splits the Red Youth was in the hands of those who wanted to develop urban guerrilla. Red Youth members received military training in South Yemen from RAF instructors. They carried out a number of actions, including bomb attacks. Most of their bomb attacks were in Eindhoven. However, no-one was ever killed in any of their actions.

In 1972 they blew up the car of the Eindhoven police commissioner and the residence of the mayor. Nobody was injured in these attacks. After these attacks Van Hoesel was arrested and sentenced to two years in jail for possession of weapons and illegal explosives.

Red Youth set up front organizations such as Rode Hulp (Red Aid), giving assistance to prisoners, and Rood Verzetsfront (Red Resistance Front). Through the latter Red Youth conducted protest actions in support of RAF prisoners.

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