Build a campaigning youth movement – the Youth Rights Campaign
Appeal to become active and to give donations
Communique of YRC Symposium held on the 23rd of October
The symposium of the Youth Rights Campaign (YRC), the youth platform of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), started by 11:20 on Friday, 23rd of October with initially 34 participants, which later grew to over 90 at its peak. It lasted for about four hours.
The symposium was moderated by Comrade Francis Nwapa, a member of the YRC and the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), who introduced the participants.
Comrade Michael Lenin, the National Coordinator of the YRC, who opened the discussion. In his speech, he saluted the steadfastness and energy of the young people who rose up to fight against police brutality and bad governance. He noted how the mass movement has exposed the tyranny of the pro-capitalist APC/Buhari Government, which is visible in how the regime has unleashed attacks on the movement. The killing of protesters by men of the Nigerian Army and Police and the various brutal assaults meted on protesters across the nation was condemned. He stressed the need for the YRC to begin a campaign to seek justice for the slain and injured protesters.
He highlighted the treacherous role the bureaucratic labour leadership played in the turns of events. First is the refusal of the labour leadership to provide a lead to the struggle against fuel price increase and electricity tariff hike and later their calling off of the general strike they were compelled to call. Also, their refusal to solidarise with the struggle of the youth and mobilize the support of the working class which would have weakened the Buhari. In advancing the struggle, he stated the need for the #EndSARS to have a democratic leadership arising from the struggle and a need to have clear demands that are capable of uniting every strata of the oppressed.
Other speakers in the symposium were Phillips Awotinwo of the Campaign for a Workers Alternative, Sanyaolu Juwon of the Revolution Now/Take It Back (TIB), Dinma Ibeh of the Youth Rights Campaign and Soweto, spokesperson of the Youth Rights Campaign.
All the speakers commended the effort of the youth for rising against police brutality and bad Governance. Sanyaolu Juwon stated the need for a campaign within the labour movement and student’ movement to ensure that students and workers are mobilized for struggles. Philips raised the need for Left forces to always be on alert and be ready to provide lead to the struggle of the masses. Comrade Dinma noted that the lack of leadership may not be a major limitation of the struggle because the movement had leaders, although they were not an elected leadership from the struggle. She raised the need for consistent struggle against the pro-capitalist regime. Several persons also made contributions including Lanre Arogundade of the DSM, Baba Aye of the CORE, Babatunde Oluajo, TJ Wabbit, Hussain Tali from Gombe State and many other participants.
Soweto summed up the discussion by highlighting some of the important points made by the earlier contributors and the need to expand the struggle to other social and economic issues such as fuel price, electricity tariff and youth unemployment. He also underlined the need to work towards a mass political alternative on a socialist programme as one of important lessons of the #EndSARS Protest.
After deliberations the symposium agreed to:
- A press conference of the Youth Rights Campaign.
- A campaign to the demand justice for all victims of brutality and death in the course of the protest.
- A physical memorial symposium.
- Efforts to ensure we break down our programmes in local languages to ensure that we don’t exclude those who cannot communicate in English from our struggle and activities.
- To write petition to the UN and ICC as part of the activities to demand justice for the victims of state repression during the period of protest.
- The symposium agreed to have a charter of demands for youth. This should be a document that will be used to engage young people in struggle.
- A documentation of cases of assault, harassment and killing of protesters and a call for an independent panel of inquiry.
A N200, 000 fundraising was launched at the meeting to enable the YRC to begin to implement all the above-cited activities. About N25, 000 have been donated so far. This means we still have a long way to go. We therefore urge everyone to help the work of the YRC by making donations. Please call the following numbers if you would like to make a donation: +2347033697259 and +2348134771300. You may also e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow Youth Rights Campaign – YRC on Facebook.
Protem National Coordinator