The Worker

SHOWING SOLIDARITY: PCUSA & LYC Travel to Western Sahara to Attend the 10th Congress of UJSARIO

Christopher Helali and Joe Morman of the Party of Communists USA and the League of Young Communists USA attended the 10th Congress of the UJSARIO, which took place from May 20 to May 22 in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. The UJSARIO is the youth organization of the Polisario Front, the leading party of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic which has been fighting a struggle of national liberation in Western Sahara against Moroccan colonialism, aided by US-EU-NATO imperialism, for almost 50 years.

On the first morning, they visited several locations to learn about the plight of the Sahrawi people. They saw pictures of the victims of Moroccan aggression, including pictures of those who had been tortured, murdered, or held as political prisoners for decades. They visited the Museo Nacional de la Resistancia, which had an exhibit of the Moroccan wall which now divides Western Sahara. The museum also contained several weapons, vehicles, etc. which had been captured from the Moroccans along with the countries of origin which supplied them. The USA provided more weapons to Morocco than any other country between 1975 and 2016. They were shown several landmines as well, including a Moroccan landmine from 2001 – i.e., during the ceasefire. The armed struggle resumed on November 13, 2020 due to Moroccan aggression.

The Congress itself began later that evening. An introductory ceremony was followed by a speech from Brahim Gahli, the president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Members of foreign parties then gave speeches of solidarity. Dozens of parties were in attendance, and this is where we several contacts were made between foreign parties.

On Saturday, the delegation went to the building of the Sahrawi women’s organization to continue their discussions. Here they focused on bringing forward ideas for how international groups could help support the Sahrawis. Our comrades brought up the idea of holding community events and rallies, as well as open webinars, to raise public awareness about the situation in Western Sahara and the refugee camps. They also discussed putting pressure on local politicians to prevent the United States from giving more military equipment to Morocco, among other ideas like boycott campaigns and providing supplies to the camps.

On Sunday, the international observers met again with President Brahim Gahli, who gave a speech to the youth organizations present for the UJSARIO Congress. The leader of the Polisario Front expressed the view that the Sahrawi people would be willing to accept any relationship with the USA that would lead to peace. Our comrades will not forget the struggle which the Sahrawi people face every day, and we will continue to work with them to achieve their goal of national liberation.

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