Young Communist League

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The Young Communist League (YCL) was or is the name used for a radical organization of young people of various Communist parties around the world such as the Young Communist League in Britain, the Young Communist League, USA and the Young Communist League in Canada.

In the Soviet Union the youth organization under control of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was known as the Komsomol.

The corresponding youth organization in China is usually translated as Communist Youth League.

United States

On October 17, 1943, a special convention of the Young Communist League was held at Mecca Temple, New York City. The name of the organization was changed to American Youth for Democracy. In the issue of the Communist for September, 1943, the president of the Young Communist League called for a change of the name of the group in order to enable the organization to function more efficiently for the duration of the war.

Claudia Jones was the editor of the official magazine of the American Youth for Democracy, Spotlight. She was formerly an associate editor of the official organ of the Young Communist League, Weekly Review. She was a member of the National Council of the Young Communist League.

The following (Spotlight, April, 1944) were national sponsors of American Youth for Democracy:

Subsidiary Communist fronts created by American Youth for Democracy, include Sweethearts of Service Men, Friends of the Campus, and World Federation of Democratic Youth.

In 1944 the Dies Committee cited the American Youth for Democracy as the new name under which the Young Communist League operated. It was again cited by the Committee in 1947 as a front formed for the purpose of exploiting to the advantage of a foreign power the idealism, inexperience, and craving to join which is characteristic of American college youth. Its "high sounding slogans" cover "a determined effort to disaffect our youth and to turn them against religion, the American home, against the college authorities, and against the American Government itself." Truman Attorney General Tom Clark cited the American Youth for Democracy as subversive and Communist. It was redesignated on April 27, 1953 pursuant to Executive Order No. 10450.[1]

Barack Obama

According to the Report to the National Committee meeting of the Communist Party, November 20, 2004,

In Chicago YCL members were very active in the Youth for Obama efforts and one member worked with the United States Student Association and his student government to register over 1,000 new voters.[2]

See also


  1. Report prepared from the files of the House Committee on Un-American Activities for Senator William E. Jenner, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security, October 20, 1953, reproduced in Who Was Frank Marshall Davis?, Cliff Kincaid and Herbert Romerstein. pp. 12-14.
  2. Youth vote 2004: a whole new level, Jessica Marshall, Report to the National Committee meeting of the Communist Party, November 20, 2004.