Resistance is permitted. In fact, it is desired.
The Left Youth of Finland is a political youth organization and a civic organization. Its core values are socialism, democracy, feminism, red-green environmentalism and internationalism. These goals are not considered to be separate, but rather form a comprehensive view of a freer, more humane and more equal world.
The roots of the organization are in the democratic socialist workers’ movement and other popular movements, and its mission is to support the development of young people to become active political operators. The Left Youth of Finland believes that politics take place everywhere, not merely within the official structures of representation. Thus, the organization supports labour struggles, civil disobedience and other direct action as a part of the process of making the world a better place.
The Left Youth of Finland continues the work of the socialist movement. We believe that the whole society is defined by the contradiction between the labour and the capital. Within a capitalist society, the people form classes. Most have to sell their labour to make a living, while a small minority are able to live on the profits they receive from their ownership and investments.
The contradiction between the labour and the capital also defines the lives of the people that do not clearly belong to either one of these categories. Our political project is creating a society where the capital is no longer in the ruling position and the most important services and infrastructure are in the hands of the public.
The Left Youth of Finland believes in democracy and operates democratically. Democracy, as a social reform, has been an achievement of the left-wing movement. Lack of democracy was also been one of the most important reasons for the failure of the authoritarian states implementing the policy of the so-called actually existing socialism. For us, democracy is not only about voting every four years, but requires the construction of structures that are able to support the people’s ability to affect their surroundings in the society, as well as maintaining and improving those structures.
Democracy is under threat from the all-encompassing rule of capitalism. Decision-making, which earlier belonged to the sphere of politics and representative democracy, is increasingly moved outside of the political sphere. The Left Youth of Finland supports increasing the amount of democracy in the society. We want direct democracy for national and regional decision-making and other social institutions, so the citizens can participate in making the decisions that concern themselves.
The Left Youth of Finland is a feminist organization. Currently, our society is defined by a heteronormative, patriarchal gender system. This means a view of two natural genders that are juxtaposed to each other and connected by heterosexual desire. In this view, anatomy-based gender and the social meanings of gender are understood to be one and the same, which sets constricting norms on peoples’ self-definition, self-expression and activities. The gender system affects both women and men, particularly those who do not fit in either of these categories. The effects of the gender system are reflected in matters like the social distribution of work, wages and gendered violence.
The Left Youth of Finland is a part of the red-green environmental movement. The world is facing an environmental catastrophe, its effects becoming increasingly harsher year by year. The most dire forms of the environmental catastrophe are climate change and the destruction of the diversity of nature, but it also includes matters like our natural resources running out, seas being polluted and overfished, the ongoing desertification, particle emissions and the more local environmental problems.
The most essential problem is the capitalist economic system, which subjects the environment to profiteering. Building a more ecological world requires commonly agreed, binding goals, governmental energy efficiency and mass transit programs, and subsidies for renewable sources of energy and carbon taxes and duties.
The Left Youth of Finland is a part of international Left. One of the most central features of capitalism has been its tendency to set states and groups of people against each other. National welfare state projects and operations aiming to fight against the environmental crisis have been struck down due to the pressures of international competitiveness. Borders have been created between the people through national, ethnic, racist and religious bigotry.
We are building a world that is not defined according to nationalities, cultures, religions and other similar differences between groups of humans, but according to the equality of whole humankind. We oppose war, though we recognize that there have been periods in history where oppressed people have had to take up weapons to fight for their freedom.
Anyone between 13 and 30 years of age is eligible for full membership of The Left Youth. People who are under 15 years need a permission from their parent. People over 30 years of age are eligible for supportive membership.
Chair of The Left Youth of Finland from May 2017 is Hanna-Marilla Zidan. The two vice-chairs of the organisation are Henrik Jaakkola and Sini Al-Musawi.
The central governing body of The Left Youth consists of 15 members, and is elected every two years by The Left Youth’s general assembly. The current board has founded 5 political or organisational divisions to carry out our various activities and to discuss political issues. The division of international affairs handles all international affairs and relations.
The Left Youth of Finland is defined as the youth organisation of the Left Alliance party (Vasemmistoliitto). At the moment Left Alliance is the 6th biggest political party in Finland. The party currently has 12 MPs in the Finnish Parliament. Two representatives of Left Youth were elected to the Finnish Parliament in 2015, Li Andersson and Hanna Sarkkinen. Young members form a considerable part of the active members of Left Alliance: currently in municipal or city councils throughout Finland there are 55 elected representatives of Left Alliance who are under 30 years of age.
Vasemmistonuoret / The Left Youth of Finland
Hämeentie 29, 6th floor
FIN-00500 Helsinki, Finland
Tel +358 45 348 5499