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Connolly Youth Movement
Ógra Uí Chonghaile
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The Connolly Youth Movement, often abbreviated as CYM ) is an all-Ireland Marxist–Leninist youth organisation. It is a member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. It takes its name from the revolutionary socialist James Connolly.
History and current status
The CYM was founded in 1963 by young republicans who were influenced by the Communist Party during the Dublin Housing Action struggle. In 1970 with the merger of the Irish Workers' Party and Communist Party of Northern Ireland, to form the Communist Party of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Young Communist League joined the CYM, with Madge Davison as its general secretary. The CYM disbanded in 1991 due to a reduction in membership following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and eastern and central European bloc and the resulting political crisis in the World Communist Movement. However, following the resurgence of the left and anti-capitalist movement in Ireland, the CYM re-formed in 2002, grouped mainly around young members of the Dublin Branch of the CPI and student activists in NUI (National University of Ireland), Galway. The Connolly Youth Movement has relations with a number of young communist organisations around the world. The Connolly Youth Movement attends the Meeting of European Communist Youth Organizations (MECYO).
The CYM supported the programme of the Communist Party of Ireland until a vote of the membership rescinded it at an Extraordinary Ard Fheis on 9 January 2021. In February 2021, the Communist Party of Ireland issued a statement stating that several dual (CPI-CYM) members had been expelled for alleged breaches of discipline and factional behaviour within the CPI prior to the CYM's decision to drop its support for the programme of the CPI.
In 2017, members of the Cork branch of the Connolly Youth Movement occupied and re-purposed three derelict buildings near UCC as part of an initiative to highlight rising levels of homelessness. In 2018, two of these buildings were repossessed by the Garda Emergency Response Unit acting in conjunction with a contractor for the O'Dwyer Asset Management Company that owned the vacant properties. The first occupation, still ongoing as of 2021, is referred to as Connolly Barracks by the organisation.
The Connolly Youth Movement was involved in highly publicised instances of direct action in 2018 and 2019 when members of the movement disrupted Fine Gael public meetings in Cork in protest of government policy in relation to homelessness and wealth inequality. One such action was criticised by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who stated "I think no matter what political party you come from or what your political views, we should all be committed to democracy and freedom of speech and trying to shout other people down and trying to shut down their meetings is profoundly anti-democratic". The organisation responded that it had a right to challenge and question the government on policy issues. In a March 2020 interview, then CYM General Secretary Alex Homits stated "Socialism will not and cannot be delivered through the ballot box and the CYM and its membership will not lie about this or endorse those who do."
Policies and Ideology
The CYM is constitutionally a socialist-republican and Marxist-Leninist organisation. In July 2022 it published a new programme, Cause of Youth, Cause of Ireland. It also released a ten point programme expressing a commitment to Irish unity, civil rights, the revival of Irish culture, free education, action on climate change, promotion of the Irish language, free healthcare on an all-Ireland basis, a public housing programme, international solidarity, and "a comprehensive system of worker's rights".
In 2020 the CYM's then General Secretary Alex Homits stated that "poverty and trafficking are the leading creators of sex workers." The CYM have offered solidarity to those engaged in sex work, and support for decriminalisation of the purchase of sex.
The CYM irregularly publishes a print magazine titled Forward, with online articles published under the same title.
- World Federation of Democratic Youth, a left-wing anti imperialist youth organization
Prominent past members of CYM
- "Constitution" (28 March 2018). Connolly Youth Movement. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Message of support of the Communist Youth Organizations". Communist Party of Greece. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "CYM Statement on Disaffiliation" (18 January 2021). Connolly Youth Movement. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
-  Statement on CPI-CYM relations, Communist Party of Ireland, www.communistpartyofireland.ie, 9 February 2021.
- "Group squat in Cork house to highlight crisis". Evening Echo. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Students face eviction from liberated building | University Express" (8 November 2017). UCC Express. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Gardaí evict anti-homelessness protestors" (1 August 2018). Evening Echo.
- "Armed Response Unit Break Up Political Protest in Cork, Ireland" (26 July 2018). CYM.
- Una Mullally. "North Frederick Street looks like proof that the system is conspiring against the people" The Irish Times.
- "Cork's Connolly Barracks" (23 January 2020).
- "Connolly Youth Movement Disrupt Simon Coveney Event in UCC | University Express" (10 October 2018). UCC Express. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Rónán Duffy. "'Have you a job? Have you a job?' – Tense exchanges as FG Cork meeting disrupted by protesters" TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Barry Roche. "Varadkar calls protesters who halted Fine Gael meeting 'anti-democratic'" The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Barry Roche (1 May 2019). "Varadkar calls protesters who halted Fine Gael meeting 'anti-democratic'" Irish Times. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- "Taoiseach brands Cork protest 'profoundly undemocratic'" (2 May 2019). Breaking News. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Alexander Norton (4 March 2020). "Red ambition: the Connolly Youth Movement in 2020" Morning Star. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- "Programme | Clár -" (2018-11-07). Retrieved 2022-08-22.
- CYM Editorial Team (4 June 2020). "When Sex Workers Win, All Women Win" Connolly Youth Movement. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020.
- "Forward". CYM.
- "Madge Davison". Communist Party of Ireland. Archived from the original on 2020-08-14. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
- "Home - DeclanBree.com". www.declanbree.com.
- "Irvine Welsh backs bridge for fellow Hibs man Connolly" (17 December 2012). lookleft.