- The Connolly Youth Movement is a national all-Ireland Marxist-Leninist youth movement which exists as a vehicle for the elevation of consciousness among the youth.
- The philosophical outlook the Connolly Youth Movement applies is Dialectical Materialism. Materialist in that it views social change as indistinct from economic change. Dialectical in that it views social change as a highly connected process that requires a collective transformation to unify local or single-issue struggles into a single historic force.
- The Connolly Youth Movement strives to stand in the tradition of Socialist Republican values as put forward by the likes of James Connolly, James Larkin, Liam Mellows, Seamus Costello and Michael O’Riordain. Socialism Republicanism is the expression of Marxism Leninism in Ireland.
- The Connolly Youth Movement is an internationalist and therefore anti-imperialist organisation standing in solidarity with the oppressed working people all over the world.
Aims and objectives
- The Connolly Youth Movement aims at mobilizing, educating and organizing a critical amount of young people in the overthrow of the capitalist system and the construction of Socialism i.e a social, economic and cultural system wherein the means of production, distribution and exchange are publicly owned and utilised for the benefit of the people.
- The Connolly Youth Movement will seek to mobilize young people against capitalism across a wide plethora of issues such as housing, equality for women and the LGBTQ+ community, imperialism, trade unions and the working class movement as a whole.
- The Connolly Youth Movement will practise the Socialism we seek to construct i.e democratic centralism, freedom of criticism but diversity of thought and unity of action.
- The Connolly Youth Movement will strive to inject Marxist analysis in all fields it struggles in with the singular purpose of raising the consciousness of other activists and developing a strong mass anti-capitalist movement among young people.
- The Connolly Youth Movement will align itself to progressive struggles abroad with organizations committed to objectives and analysis akin to ours.
- The Connolly Youth Movement does not endorse any social democratic parties in Ireland and does not advocate a strategy supporting their formation. The only way to constructively influence the progressive elements of the parliamentary and union movement is through our activities and actions.
- The Connolly Youth Movement is a voluntary organisation of activists and politically conscious young people dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of a Socialist, independent and united Ireland.
- The Connolly Youth Movement’s political mission is class-based. It advocates young workers and students as being the principle architects of their future. The Connolly Youth Movement will be embedded in this class, and will make decisions based on consultations with it.
- The Connolly Youth Movement is based on the concrete organisational method of the Bolshevik Party, otherwise known as democratic centralism which entails:
- Maximum participation, input and involvement of the membership
- Freedom of criticism of the movement without fear of reprisal
- Unity of thought wherein comrades must come to definitive concrete solutions
- Unity of action wherein comrades must carry out majority decisions agreed upon by the relative elected body are followed up by all CYM members, irrespective of personal disagreements with said decision.
- Through standing behind a programme and uniting together through the principles of democratic centralism we will show maximum efficiency and discipline in the development of a legitimate vehicle committed to the overthrow of capitalism.
- The Connolly Youth Movement comprises three different structures:
- The National Congress which is the highest decision making body of the Connolly Youth Movement. It is to be convened annually except in exceptional circumstances.
- The National Executive Committee which is elected at National Congress and at this point in time comprises a General Secretary, National Chairperson, National Treasurer, National Education Officer, International Officer and deputies which officers may choose to appoint.
- Localized branch structures which oversee the day to day work and activity of local areas. Local branches are to mirror the over-all national structure where necessary.
- The National Congress endorses amends or drafts the Connolly Youth Movement programme and constitution, determines key political questions and elects the National Executive Committee by majority vote. All decisions taken by the Congress are binding on the Connolly Youth Movement. An extraordinary National Congress may be convened by the National Executive Committee or a majority decision of branches. An extraordinary national congress may be called in either of the following circumstances: Majority vote of the NEC and/or Internal motion carried by majority of branches.
- The National Congress will be composed of all members who have filled in an application and have had it accepted by their branch secretary and filed accordingly.
- Draft amendments, materials and other materials shall be supplied within a reasonable period before the Connolly Youth Movement assembles so the maximum amount of input is available.
- Congresses require an attendance of 50% of the on-file membership to be considered legitimate.
- Branches form the basis of the Connolly Youth Movement and are the most important organ on a day to day basis. Members shall be organised in branches around the country which meet the requisites.
- When you become a member of the CYM, you are a member of the geographically closest branch, or a provisional branch if there is no branch in your vicinity. If you decide to leave, you must terminate your membership formally via letter or email to the NEC or branch secretary.
- In cases where there are multiple applicants in a geographically isolated region but insufficient members for a full branch, a provisional branch under supervision of the NEC may exist until the membership requirement has been reached.
- Under exceptional or necessary circumstances, members may operate without a branch structure with agreement of the National Executive Committee.
- A minimum of three members is needed to form a branch. A chairperson and a secretary shall be elected to direct the work of the branch.
- A branch shall hold an annual general meeting, at which the work of the branch shall be reviewed and a programme of activities for the year ahead decided upon. The annual general meeting shall elect the branch officers by majority vote.
- The branch officers are tasked with the regular convening of meetings of members, for the political and organisational direction of the branch, for the initiation of internal and public activities of the branch, for the collection of members subscriptions and other fund-raising activities, and for making reports on branch work and problems to the National Executive Committee when called on to do so.
- The Chairperson of the branch is tasked with: Organisation of branch and committee meetings, set the agenda in liaison with the branch secretary and committee, direct and encourage the branch to work towards the fulfillment of the Programme.
- The Secretary of the branch is tasked with: Accurately minuting branch and committee meetings, assisting the Chairperson in the creation of an agenda for branch and committee meetings. Assisting the Chairperson in the organisation and direction of the branch for the fulfillment of the Programme. It is the role of the Secretary to be in regular liaison with all branch members.
- Outgoing branch offices are to provide an introduction, explanation and full hand over of their office to the newly elected branch officer across a period of two weeks.
National Executive Committee
- In addition to the officerships of the NEC elected at congress, there will be a representative of each non-provisional branch represented on the NEC. These representatives will be renewed at each congress, and must be democratically chosen by their branch from the membership of that branch.
- NEC Officers may be recalled by majority vote of a national congress.
- A branch representative may be recalled by a majority vote of their branch.
- While sitting on the NEC, officers and representatives may be assigned specialised roles in addition to their existing duties.
- The NEC must be transparent about the frequency of its sessions. If the NEC fails to meet monthly, any branch may direct the NEC to initiate an extra-ordinary congress to address a vote of recall. This extra-ordinary congress must occur within 40 days.
- The NEC will have a working quorum of 2/3rds of the membership of the NEC.
- In the event of personal issues such as illness, an NEC member may deputise a member to represent them during their absence, or may be represented by a pre-assigned deputy.
- The outgoing NEC is obligated to pass on all documentation, including minutes and email records, to the incoming NEC on their departure.
- NEC officers and their deputies are both considered elements of the same office, and so collectively carry one vote.
- The outgoing NEC is obligated to hand over full control of all accounts and websites, including social media, to the incoming NEC.
- On the remit of different NEC positions:
- The General Secretary will carry out internal organisation, co-ordination between branches for the implementation of the national programme and maintain an active roster of members and mobilisation capability through conferral with branch committees. They will minute the meetings of the NEC and see that plans are enacted.
- The Chairperson will chair meetings of the NEC, setting the agenda and co-ordinating its internal organisation. The Chairperson will publicly represent the CYM when needed nationally, for example in the writing and delivery of press statements.
- The National Treasurer will handle the finance of the organisation, deliver reports to the NEC and examine revenue sources.
- The National Education Officer will work with the NEC to promote distribution of information and the formation of coherent policy through research.
- The International Officer will distribute public statements internationally, maintain links with fraternal bodies and attempt to attend global gatherings where possible.
- The Editor of Forward will be appointed by the NEC as a non-voting position to manage, run and direct the affairs of Forward. A screening process appropriate to the position will be established by the NEC.
- The System Administrator will be appointed by the NEC as a non-voting position to manage, run and direct the website and all other technical online requirements of the Connolly Youth Movement. The System Administrator will also fulfil the role of Data Protection Officer where required. A screening process appropriate to the position will be established by the NEC.
- The introduction of the position of Youth Protection Officer to the National Executive Committee. This role will develop a program to ensure the wellbeing of our members and act as a mediator in any personal disputes. This role will also co-ordinate Youth Protection Officers in each respective branch. Duties to include: liaising with branch officers, drafting of a child protection policy, port of call for all members with guidance, point of contact for parents and guardians for underage members and the officer must be over 18.
- Membership of the Connolly Youth Movement is open to all people aged 16 – 30 who accept the Connolly Youth Movement constitution and programme and commit to working towards the programme. Members are asked to re-register annually to ensure membership is kept to up to date.
- Every member will have the right to membership of the trade union of their choice.
- The duties of membership shall include:
- Playing an active part in the development of the Connolly Youth Movement programme and organisation.
- Reading, contributing and assisting in the distribution of the Connolly Youth Movements publications, statements etc.
- Playing an active part in the working class movement is it through a trade union, self-organised community group, tenants and residents associations, civil rights organs and other mass organisations of the working class.
- Proactively struggle against male chauvinism, racism, fascism, misogyny, national chauvinism and religious extremism.
- Successful passing of a probation period, determined either by the local branch structure or the National Executive Committee.
- No member of the Connolly Youth Movement may hold membership of another political party except the Communist Party of Ireland.
- If a member of the CYM leaves Ireland or is not based in Ireland their membership will be considered “frozen” and available upon return – but they are not to be inside any internal communication channels and will be notified of this before being removed. Exceptions determined either by a Branch or the NEC can be arranged for example if a member knows they will be back or is fulfilling a job for the CYM while abroad.
- Probation for all new members is set at three months and to be reviewed in an accept, extend or decline format by relevant branch and/or national officers.
- The precarious nature of work and standard of living for young people means that we cannot in good faith base memberships on ability to contribute financially.
- The treasury of the movement shall be managed and articulated by the National Treasurer in coordination with local treasurers.
- Local branches will organise the accumulation of funds as they see fit, including the collection of membership dues where appropriate.
- The branch is the main court of arbitration for all disputes in a local area.
- A branch reserves the right to suspend and/or expel members by majority decision for infractions against the constitution, guidelines or programme of the Connolly Youth Movement.
- If a member is not satisfied with the disciplinary procedure of the branch they are entitled to appeal both to the National Executive Committee and the National Congress within 21 days of their suspension and/or expulsion.
- The NEC can if needed establish an ad-hoc disciplinary committee comprised of one non-voting NEC member and four non-NEC members to examine, interview and make a recommendation on the decision made by the a) branch or b) NEC on disciplinary matters.
- The Connolly Youth Movement maintains a fraternal relationship with the Communist Party of Ireland and supports the programme of the Communist Party of Ireland.
- The Connolly Youth Movement maintains a fraternal relationship with Connolly Youth societies present in universities.
- The National Executive Committee is empowered to interpret these rules and subsequently lay down procedures as seen fit and necessary.