Young Workers Liberation League

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The Young Workers Liberation League is the former name of the youth arm of the Communist Party USA. It was formed Feb. 7-9, 1970 in Chicago, as the successor to the CPUSA's earlier youth front, the WEB DuBois Clubs of America . Many of the YWLL officials and members were the same as those in the DuBois Clubs. The whole history of these groups can be found in a major House Internal Security Committee report from 1974[1]

The official publication of the YWLL was "Young Worker", published on both a monthly and bi-monthly basis, starting in the mid-1970's.

See: Young Communist League USA

YWLL Third National Convention, Philadelphia, Dec. 13-14, 1974

From the "Daily World" of December 14, 1974, in an article entitled "Many notables greet YWLL convention", the cream of the CPUSA and its supporters were listed as "signers" of a "statement of solidarity" with the CPUSA's youth group.

"Several dozen progressive union, community, religious and political leaders have sent a statement of solidarity to the Third National Convention of the Young Workers Liberation LeagueYWLL which opens here (Philadelphia) tonight."

"The statement expresses good wishes for the success of the convention and supports the League's right to "invite and receive international guests of their choosing without State Department restrictions and to conduct their convention of government harassment and interference (sic)."

""The overwhelming majority of youth seek a path of struggle out of the crisis," the statement says, and expresses confidence that the convention will "help chart new directions which can make the mid-70's a period of new dramatic youth upsurges"."

Among the signers of the statement are:

Identified Members of the YWLL

The names of the members of the YWLL are listed here from many sources, both from the CPUSA newspapers as well as from government hearings/reports/studies, and related print media sources.

Founding Convention YWLL Officials and Members, Feb. 7-9, 1970: The HISC Staff Study, April 1974

  • Mike Zagarell - Executive Staff, YWLL, Youth Secretary of the CPUSA, YWLL Educational Secretary
  • Jarvis Tyner - CPUSA National Committee member, YWLL National Chairman
  • Carolyn Black - CPUSA member, YWLL Black Liberation Secretary
  • Barry Cohen - YWLL Organizational Secretary
  • Daily World, February 8, 1972, P. 4, "U.S. youths will help build school in Cuba" (Havana)

Four American youths, including three members of the Young Workers Liberation League and one member of the Venceremos Brigade, have arrived in Cuba to join an International Youth Brigade in building a model school in Cuba." ...

"The youths from the U.S include

Other Participants:

From: Daily World, May 6, 1976, Page 14, Center for Marxist Education, 156 S. Avenue, Suite 300, NYC, on May 12, 1976, "Culture & Lunch. Topic: "A Program for Youth", presented by Jill Furillo, member, Central Committee, YWLL; Editor, Young Worker

From the same issue, same page of the DW, an announcement for Philadelphia, for May 16, 1976, "WW II Years, Post-War Period - Its Relevance to Youth Today", Daniel Spector, YWLL, Assistant Editor, Jewish Affairs, participant convention of Jewish Students Network. To be held at the YWCA, 2027 Chestnut St. Sponsor: Progressive Cultural Club of Philadelphia - a CPUSA front for their Jewish members, often operating under the generic name of Cultural Club of named city, esp. Miami.

Identified Members of the YWLL, SACB Report/Order Jan. 15, 1973

The Subversive Activities Control Board held hearings into the Communist Party creation and dominance of the YWLL, issuing a published report under the title of "Subversive Activities Board, Docket No. 129-71, Attorney General of the United States, Petitioner v. Young Workers Liberation League, Respondent, Oran H. Waterman and Robert A. Crandall for petitioner. John Abt and Abraham Unger for respondent. Report and Order of the Board, Decided January 15, 1973"

Those named as leaders and/or members of the YWLL during the course of the investigation/hearings (biographical information on each person was also included in this listing (pp. 73-83 of report, pages 281-291 of the HISC hearing reproduction of the SACB Report).

  • Jarvis Tyner - National Chairman since its founding (former leading member of the W.E. B. DuBois Clubs of America) and CPUSA
  • Roque Ristorucci - Co-chairman, YWLL, CPUSA
  • Mike Zagarell - Director of Education, Educational Secretary, Educational Secretary, and National Education Director, and CPUSA; Youth Director, YWLL. 1968 Party candidate for Vice President of the U.S.
  • Carolyn Black - National Black Liberation Secretary, and CPUSA
  • Judy Edelman - Director of Labor, National Labor Secretary and Labor Secretary, and CPUSA
  • Barry Cohen - Organization or Organizational Secretary, and CPUSA
  • Tony Monteiro aka Anthony Monteiro - "leader" and CPUSA (Hanoi visitor)
  • Jay Schaffner - "leader" and CPUSA (Hanoi visitor)
  • Marc Beallor - New York Section, YWLL, Organizational Secretary and CPUSA
  • Donna Ristorucci - State Director of Education and Educational Secretary, New York Section, and CPUSA
  • Julie Bortz - Pittsburgh YWLL, Western District of the CP. YWLL District/Section Chairman, wife of Ed Bortz
  • Ed Bortz - YWLL Educational Director; Western District of the Western Pennsylvania District, CPUSA
  • Jim Ferlo - High School Director, YWLL; Western Pennsylvania District, CPUSA
  • Leo S. Jackson - CPUSA Trade Union Director, Western Pennsylvania District of the CPUSA: Expelled from the Party before the YWLL was formed. Cooperating government witness.

Other individuals identified/mentioned in this report worthy of note:

Government undercover informants, including at least one who was a CPUSA member, were:

YWLL Chapters Across the US

Ohio YWLL Source: Daily World (DW), June 20, 1975, P. 2, "Ohio YWLL makes pledge to double Festival quota", Cincinnati, Ohio unsigned

"The Ohio section of the Young Workers Liberation League decided at its section committee meeting this past Saturday to double its quota of youth to attend the People's Bicentennial Festival in Chicago on June 29." With Jay Schaffner, national educational director of the YWLL in attendance, lively discussion centered on how to build for the Festival." . . .

"The meeting was held at The Greater New Light Baptist Church, where Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth is the pastor. Rev. Shuttlesworth addressed the League members at the beginning and end of the meeting."

New York YWLL Source: Daily World, December 12, 1978, "Dance to follow Robeson Salute"

(Phone NY-YWLL: 924-1972)

New Jersey YWLL

Source: "Daily World", Wed. June 15, 1977, P. 12, "Senatorial candidate hits unfair utility rates", Newark, NJ. Charles Cascone "Cascone is an auto worker, was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements, and is a founding member of the Young Workers Liberation League (YWLL)".

"Charles Cascone, independent candidate for the Senate in the 28th Legislative District blasted the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) at a public hearing May 31 before the Public Utilities Commission for its inequitable rate structure."

References

  1. The Communist Party youth Program: Documents of the Subversive Activities Control Board on Advance and Burning Issues Youth Organizations, Center for Marxist Education, and Young Workers Liberation League, Report, April 1974, House Internal Security Committee, including Index
  2. Congressional Record, March 16, 1970, pp. S3758-S3762, Sen. John Eastland, "The Venceremos Brigade - Agrarians or Anarchists?, esp. P. 8132, the List, as printed in "The Theory and Practice of Communism in 1972 (Venceremos Brigade), Part 2, Hearings, House Internal Security Committee HISC, Oct. 16, 18 & 19, 1972, pp. 8130 to 8134
  3. Subversive Involvement in the Origin, Leadership, and Activities of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and Its Predecessor Organizations, HISC Staff Study, 1970, P. 5 and footnote 109, Subversive Influences in Riots, Looting, and Burning, Part 1, P. 915, 1967