Red School Bus Tour stops in Orlando

BY:Lisa Bergmann| June 29, 2011
Red School Bus Tour stops in Orlando

In the heart of one of the country’s critical swing states, over 25 young activists gathered for the latest Young Communist League weekend school. Orlando, Florida was the host city for this gathering of young people.

The purpose of the school was to provide classes around social justice issues and to build connections between young activists in the region. The framework for doing so was a basic introduction to Marxism.

One of the young activists who attended the school said, “I felt a very real sense of hope for the future, that otherwise felt, well, hopeless. It was my first time acquainting myself with the YCL. While getting to know each member individually I was inspired by each of their histories as activists, and acute sense of class consciousness. Some of them risking arrest to feed the homeless, others fighting for LGBTQ rights and for the migrant farmworkers who have no voice of their own… I’ve found myself a foundation and reference to assist further in the fight against oppression.”

Class subjects included the history of slavery and racism in the United States, LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, farm workers and immigrants’ rights, the working class and the labor movement, dialectical materialism, and more. It was the first YCL school in the south in decades.

The local YCL club in Orlando worked diligently in preparation for the school.

Club members coordinated all the housing accommodations and food arrangements, even while some were working overnight shifts at their jobs.

Each of the club’s members also taught a class session. A visiting activist from a local group working with farmworkers  taught a class regarding the mistreatment of farm workers now and throughout U.S. history.

Invitations to attend the school extended far beyond Orlando. Two YCL members took a 21-hour bus ride from Memphis, TN to take part in the weekend, while another group flew in from Washington, D.C. Also youth from Miami and Tampa were present.

The Orlando YCL club made sure that students had recreational activities. After the full day of Saturday classes, a local yoga instructor led participants through stretching and meditation. Yoga was followed by a Capoeira class. The local YCL organizer opened his home and backyard all weekend for camping, guitar playing, movie watching, and a cookout on Sunday afternoon.

Each region that participated in the Florida event made plans for building the Young Communist League in their area. The Memphis YCL plans to network with other left wing groups in their city and to actively recruit in communities of color.

Orlando intends to hold educational forums every month for new members, in addition to being part of a young workers association that is forming there. D.C. wants to meet monthly and to work with the Communist Party in their area. In Tampa, there are youth who just entered their teens who want to join the YCL, and the comrade from Tampa plans to bring them in.

The success of the YCL in Orlando should be a sign that young people around the country are eager to join the movement for social change. The next stop on the Red School Bus Tour is Dallas Texas on July 29th. For more information on the Texas school write



    Lisa Bergmann works as an organizer for the Young Communist League USA.

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