The Guardian May 2, 2001


Young Communists of Leningrad active again.

by Roman Kononenko*

On April 22 the communists of Russia and the Republics of the former Soviet 
Union celebrated the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the great leader of the 
world working class and the inspirer of the Great October Socialist 
Revolution.

The Leningrad Young Communist League (Komsomol) is not the largest regional 
Komsomol organisation in the country but is certainly the most active and 
one of the strongest organisations in Russia.

It is always trying to show as much creativity as possible when preparing 
Komsomol actions rather than organising simple, and unattractive to youth, 
protest meetings against the current anti-people government.

To commemorate Lenin's birthday, Leningrad's young communists organised a 
socialist subbotnik (in Soviet times, voluntary unpaid work on days off) in 
the city's court-yards. Vladimir Lenin was the first to initiate 
subbotniks, showing his personal example to millions of Russian workers.

Members of the Komsomol decided to show that the great ideas of Lenin have 
not been forgotten under the reign of the present criminal regime.

In the early afternoon stunned passers-by saw trucks moving along the 
streets with young communists standing inside. They were wearing 
revolutionary clothes  young women with red kerchiefs, men waving red 
flags.

The sides of the trucks were decorated with communist banners. Agitators 
with a megaphone were calling on people to take part in the subbotnik while 
congratulating people on Lenin's birthday.

The trucks stopped in the court-yards of apartment blocks and members of 
the Komsomol commenced cleaning up the area. All equipment was available to 
the local people who were happy to participate in the cleaning up. People 
began their work under the Communist and Komsomol songs of the old days.

Especially active were the younger people of the area. One of the locals 
said: "This is the best thing I've done in my life. I'm wondering why this 
is only the first subbotnik I've ever seen.

The subbotnik would not have been possible, had it not been for the 
Communist Party of the Russian Federation that provided transport for the 
young communists. When the yard was cleaned, many locals decided to join 
the young communists and proceeded to other places to continue the 
cleaning.

Quite a big area was cleaned. During the work communists distributed 
Komsomol calendars and leaflets.

A Komsomol leader, Semyon Borzenko said the subbotnik "was highly 
successful mainly because we managed to show our people the benefits that 
the socialist system can give them and what they have lost.

"People realised that their well-being is possible only with their unity of 
action. We showed the younger generation who Vladimir Lenin was. Even those 
who don't like communists were unable to say a word against us."

As the young communists were leaving the area, children ran after the 
trucks shouting: Lenin! Communist Party! Komsomol! Come back to us again!

* * *
*Roman Kononenko is head of the Leningrad Komsomol Agitation and Propaganda Committee.

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