Young Communists labor to begin own UA chapter

By Jacqueline Kuder
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Anticapitalist students work to cure society's ills

The Young Communist League tried to "rally their troops" yesterday on the UA Mall in an attempt to organize a chapter at the UA, members said.

The YCL teamed up with the Communist Party USA at the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Progressive Fair on the Mall to talk to students and faculty about communism and trying to "make a better future," said Joe Bernick, organizational secretary of the Communist Party USA for Arizona.

There are no young communist organizations currently in Arizona, and biology freshman Luis Holguin-Delacruz, who is a member of the YCL, hopes to collect a group of like-minded people and gain sponsorship on campus.

"This is step one," Holguin-Delacruz said. "We're letting everyone know we're rallying our troops."

The group's objective is to abolish capitalism, move to socialism and be involved in all the current struggles of society, including women's rights, minimum wage and ending the war in Iraq, Bernick said.

On a smaller scale, members are also hoping to create an environment of tolerance for their beliefs on the UA campus, Holguin-Delacruz said.

"The UA is a very conservative area," Holguin-Delacruz said. "Tucson itself is very progressive; it's surprising. I hope to establish an area that is friendly to people like myself."

The Communist Party has been in existence in the U.S. for about 85 years, Bernick said. It represents the rights of individuals and sharing as opposed to capitalism, which is based on raising profits, he said.

In the past, communism has not been a favored political platform in the U.S., but Holguin-Delacruz says it was just a "vilified stereotype of the American 1950s."

"In the 1950s, communism was what the black man was during the Civil War, or what the Arab terrorist is now," he said.

Other political platforms, like the UA Young Democrats, say they may not agree with the views of the YCL, but the group has a constitutional right to express them.

"I think not allowing them to state their views would be wrong of the university," said David Martinez III, a secondary education junior and the president of the Young Democrats. "At a time when students are debating or exploring what political philosophy they align with, it's great to have a vast variety of options on campus."

Nicole Meade, a Near Eastern studies senior, said communism wouldn't work in the U.S.

"Communism is a great ideal where everyone gets taken care of, but what country has it worked for? It didn't work for Russia or Cuba, why would it work for us? " Meade said. "Communism only works on paper. It's a free country; they can form a group if they wanted. But if America was a communist country and not a democracy, they wouldn't even be out there."