Over 400 revolutionaries met in Newark, N.J., on Nov. 18-19 for a righteous celebration of 100 years of socialist and global revolution. Over 63,000 viewers watched conference sessions via Facebook livestream.
Under the banner, “Unite to smash white supremacy and capitalism! Fight for socialism!” the speakers infused the Workers World Party annual national conference with the fighting spirit needed to defeat capitalism and imperialism from the belly of the beast.
They came from all across the U.S. A fascinating aspect of the conference was the large number of students and young people expressing a bold commitment to the global working class and proletarian revolution.
As capitalism continues to decay, its media attempt to classify youth as apathetic and individualistic “millennials” — obsessed with technology and “political correctness” while riding on the backs of the hard-working people who came before us.
No corporate media would dare tell the real story of youth who are inheriting a dying economic system, with no choice but to defy the oppressions that keep capitalism in place. The real story of young people — of young workers — is that we are coming together across the lines of race, nationality, gender, abilities, sexual orientation, migration status and more to wage a battle against the ruling class in this country and around the world.
Not only are young people graduating from college with overwhelming student debt and facing a housing market run almost exclusively by financiers, with developers and politicians in their back pockets — young people are also staring down the gun barrels in Palestine, resisting Zionism in the same way militant youth are resisting neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va. Young people are seeing capitalist oppression push our communities toward addiction and death — and to the edges of resistance in places like Standing Rock, where the reality of Indigenous genocide continues with full consent from the state.
Young people’s struggles are the struggles of our entire working class, not just from within the U.S. but around the world. They persist — contrary to the bourgeois campaign to normalize capitalism in decay and alienate youth from other sectors of the working class.
Toward a socialist future
The WWP Conference plenary sessions and workshops captured the revolutionary spirit of this upcoming generation of fighters, whose disillusionment with capitalism is pushing us toward socialist revolution as the only viable solution.
Young people spoke on a wide range of topics: the emerging movement of sex workers demanding fair wages and an end to racism in the workplace; calls for the abolition of police, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Pentagon by youth leaders of color in cities like Philadelphia and Durham, N.C.; the need to support and defend young trans and gender nonconforming youth barred from the workplace because of gender oppression; and, above all, the necessity of Marxist-Leninist struggle and organization, which recognizes that only a revolutionary socialist movement can harness change to transform the world.
We are witnessing a new period of struggle. Youth are beginning to reclaim our class position as workers — whether it be through low-wage jobs, “freelance gigs” or other menial roles that ensure the bosses live comfortably. We are claiming our rightful place in the global class struggle of the oppressed versus the oppressor, and doing so unapologetically. We are introducing new strategies and tactics for organizing, while learning from the great lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution and other revolutions in China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Viet Nam, Cuba, across Latin America, Africa and beyond.
Despite the calculated ruling-class attempt to divert young people away from our duty as working-class revolutionaries, the hundreds who joined together in Newark refuse to idly suffer under capitalism’s chains.
At the close of the momentous weekend, we chanted Assata Shakur’s words: “It is our duty to fight. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
We returned home, armed with Marxist-Leninist theory and revolutionary optimism strong enough to break any chain, to dig any grave for the bosses, to smash white supremacy and capitalism — toward a new socialist future for humanity!
Videos of the conference can be viewed online at tinyurl.com/y7z3n52d/.