Cop26 banner

Explainer: What is the SSY?

What is the SSY? Get a quick rundown on Scotland's independent socialist youth network.

1. What does SSY mean?

SSY is an abbreviation for Scottish Socialist Youth.


2. What is the SSY?

The SSY is a socialist youth network.  

We are a political organisation made up of groups that are created and led by young people between the ages of 14 and 30. 

We are not affiliated to any other organisation.

What separates us from other youth organisations is our focus on the creation of an independent socialist Scotland that places social and environmental justice at its core.


3. What is the socialist movement? What do we mean when we say “socialism”?

In simple terms, the socialist movement calls for the total liberation of working-class people across the world from the economic, social and political systems of global capitalism.

For the SSY, socialism is the system that should replace capitalism. The primary purpose of a socialist system is to re-distribute wealth and power to working-class people.

The socialist system we want to create does this by:

(1) Abolishing the capitalist model of democracy, instead choosing a system where ordinary working-class people, in their communities, in their workplaces and in their parliament, make decisions about how the country should be run;

(2) Abolishing the capitalist model of production, taking manufacturing, construction and other primary industries into social ownership;

(3) Building powerful publicly-owned organisations to provide essential services (like the NHS) so that all people, no matter which group in society they belong to, can access what they need to pursue their aspirations in life;

(4) Abolishing the capitalist state and its institutions, replacing them with a socialist state which is dedicated to defending the rights of working-class people to live in a real democratic country free from discrimination, poverty, exploitation and oppression.

Many socialists have more specific ideas about which kind of socialist system they would like to create and how they would like to achieve this. To try to bring together as many socialist young people as possible, the SSY tries to adopt a general vision of the socialist future that we want to create.

Alongside this general vision, we assert six key principles which underpin all of our work.


4. What are the six principles of the SSY?

In order to achieve a socialist system, members of the SSY agree that the following principles must be used as the building blocks for our political action:

(1) Socialism

(2) Scottish independence

(3) Social liberation of all disadvantaged groups

(4) Democracy for the people

(5) International solidarity

(6) Environmental justice

You can read more about these principles here.


5. What are the tactics of the SSY?

The SSY is a project aimed at developing a platform for young people to build their skills and become political community activists. 

We believe that the socialist future we want to create cannot be built without a powerful and independent youth organisation capable of changing our communities for the better.

Groups coordinate campaigns and action in their communities, host peer-to-peer educational activities and publicise their work for all to see. Each group under the banner of the SSY is self-organised and run exclusively by its members. 

The SSY also runs national campaigns, aimed at changing government policy to reflect the principles which we believe will create a better society for everyone.

Our aim is to grow the SSY until every community in Scotland has their own socialist youth group campaigning for a better world.


6. What do SSY members do?

All kinds of people are involved in the SSY.

Some members organise protest actions, some lead campaign groups, each aiming to tackle an issue facing working-class communities. 

Some members organise socialist education workshops and others focus on building the publicity of the SSY.

Some members are elected to help coordinate the activities listed above, but many more discuss, deliberate and vote on the strategies and tactics which lead the SSY.

Some members organise at their schools, some at their universities, and some in their local communities.

Some members attend SSY activities but do not organise them.

Some members contribute to the SSY by providing financial support and some by sharing our ideas with other people in their communities.

The SSY is a diverse organisation and we promote the idea that diversity of tactics within the socialist movement should be welcomed by all socialists.

What all SSY members do is advocate for a socialist future, participating in trade unions and other important community organisations that will help to realise this vision.


Contact us

Send us a message and we’ll get in touch shortly!

Follow our socials!