World condemns Czech Republic’s ban on Communist Youth Union
By David Hoskins
Published Oct 28, 2006 12:14 AM
The Czech Republic outlawed the Communist Youth Union (KSM) earlier this month after an announcement by the Ministry of Interior ordered the group to disband. The KSM has close ties to the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia which controls 13 percent of the seats in parliament.
The official reason given for KSM’s ban was its program for the replacement of the private ownership of the means of production with collective ownership. The government was also unhappy with KSM’s advocacy of socialist revolution and used this as a pretext to attack its status as a civic organization.
The Interior Ministry’s decision to ban the KSM came a month after the far-right Civic Democrats (ODS) took power after winning a slim plurality of seats in June’s parliamentary elections. The ODS is led by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who has been implicated by the Czech media in several business scandals. The ODS failed to win a vote of confidence taken in the lower house of parliament at the beginning of October.
An international campaign brought together hundreds of youth and student organizations, trade unions and political parties to defend the KSM and protest the Ministry of Interior move at Czech embassies around the world.
A defiant KSM has vowed to carry forward the struggle “for the rights of the majority of young people—students, young workers and unemployed—and for socialism” despite the government ban. The KSM has grown in popularity in recent months by leading a major campaign against a U.S. proposal to build a strategic missile base in their country. The ruling ODS supports this proposal.
The KSM can trace its roots to the former Communist Party in Czechoslovakia, which held power before the bourgeois counterrevolution of 1989 dismantled the country’s socialist system. The subsequent introduction of a market economy has brought on a constant attack against workers, young and old, who have seen their standard of living threatened as homelessness and poverty—societal ills eliminated under the socialist system—have re-emerged.
Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) stands in solidarity with the KSM and its struggle to liberate young workers and students and to defend itself against the attacks of the Czech government. FIST denounces the actions of the Interior Ministry as an attack on workers, young people, and students.