WFDY projects 2013 anti-imperialist world youth festival in Ecuador
BY ALEX XEZONAKIS
AND JACOB PERASSO
QUITO, Ecuador—At a Nov. 8-10 meeting here, the General Council of the World Federation of Democratic Youth decided to recommend the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students be held in this city at the close of 2013.
The World Festival of Youth and Students, generally held every four years, is an international gathering that brings together thousands of youth from around the world under the banner of the fight against imperialism. It provides an opportunity to discuss, share experiences and learn about social struggles around the world.
In endorsing a proposal from youth organizations in Ecuador to host the festival, a number of WFDY delegates pointed to the impact of the world crisis of capitalism and the opening it creates to attract broad participation of youth worldwide.
The last World Festival of Youth and Students, held in South Africa in 2010, drew 15,000 people and featured workshops, rallies, panels, film showings, as well as music, dance and sports.
Other festivals have been held in Venezuela (2005), Algeria (2001), and Cuba (1997). Between 1947 and 1989, the festivals were generally held in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. After an eight-year gap following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the festivals were revived by those responding to initiatives from the revolutionary government in Cuba. At recent festivals, many organizations have sought to involve a wider spectrum of anti-imperialist organizations from across the globe.
Of the 38 WFDY member organizations who met to debate and decide on the proposal to host the next festival here, most came from Central and South America. Others came from the three countries of North America; throughout Europe, from Portugal to Greece; nations spanning the Asian continent from India to Vietnam; and across the Middle East and Africa, including oppressed nations from Palestine to Western Sahara. Representatives of the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students (OCLAE) also participated.
An International Preparatory Meeting, projected for the beginning of 2013, will draw together all interested organizations to issue a call for the festival and open discussion on its slogan and themes.