Communist bus tour to culminate in New Haven this weekend

The national youth organization that endorses the ideals of communism will end its countrywide tour in New Haven this weekend.

The Red School-Bus Tour, which began Feb. 18 in Los Angeles, Calif., commemorates the Young Communist League’s 90th Anniversary — a celebration of the league’s involvement and influence in American history. The culmination of the tour will take place at the New Haven Peoples Center from April 1-3, and will include discussion workshops and lectures related to the current state of communism. Selecting New Haven because of its history as a leader in social reform, the Young Communist League intends to commemorate the past and challenge a new generation to action.

“There are a lot of students wondering, ‘What do we want to create for ourselves?’ so we wanted to go give a sense of mobilizing youth to create a new pathway for what’s possible for working people,” said Lisa Bergman, 49, the organizer responsible for bringing the bus tour to the East Coast.

Similar to all the stops on the tour, the New Haven stop at the Peoples Center at 37 Howe St. will feature leaders in labor, faith, civil and immigrant rights, and activists from all over the East Coast in lectures and small-group workshops. The lectures and workshops will be focused on the social and political climate of the day and will address a plethora of issues under four main themes: the current economic state of the U.S., the capitalist system, historical and modern social movements, and misconceptions about the communism. The event will also host student-group sympathizers from various colleges, including Georgetown and Virginia Tech, and from local high schools such as Wilbur Cross High School. In all, over 40 students have registered for the event.

“This is where I live, next year I will be looking for a job and I don’t want to be another statistic out here,” said Jerome Richardson, a senior at Wilbur Cross High School who intends to attend the events this weekend. “People united will never be divided.”

The league’s message is to unify against capitalism and its infrastructure of exploitation and repression in order to create a utopian worker’s democracy, said Joelle Fishman, chairman of the Connecticut chapter of the Communist League and founder to the New Haven Peoples Center.

“We’re combining study and action,” Fishman said. “It’s an exciting moment.”

Cultural events are also docketed among the events this weekend. Saturday afternoon will be dedicated to youth performances by spoken word artists and presentations from local high school groups concerned with social justice such as Youth Rights Media, Youth Unleashed and Youth Revolution.

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