PYO 65th Anniversary
6 2017, marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Progressive Youth Organisation, arm of the People’s Progressive Party.
Being o n e of the most established youth organization, it was able over the years to organize tens of thousands of young Guyanese into active social and political life especially during the years of struggles against british colonialism and the trampling of rights, freedoms and living conditions under the PNC dictatorship.
The name of the organisation at the time of its founding was the Pioneer Youth League of British Guiana, with Brindley Benn as the secretary. In February 1953, the Pioneer Youth League became an affiliate of the World Federation of Democratic Youth then later changed its name to the Progressive Youth Organisation.
The organisation was banned along with several others, but it still sprang up from time to time under names such as the Demerara Youth League and all other different types of names to try and carry out its activities. This was a time, the president said, that members of the party were unable t o move about freely, hence the youth arm had a vital role to play in spreading its messages to supporters.
The period of the late 1960s and early 1970s saw the rigging of elections by the PNC and because of their militancy many PYO along with PPP members were jailed, their families subjected to illegal home searches but protests were still organized.
The PYO made sterling contributions in the fight against colonialism and for democracy in Guyana.