Settler-Colonialism, Red Power, and Revolutionary Politics–An Evening with Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz

Settler-Colonialism, Red Power, and Revolutionary Politics–An Evening with Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz

Audio recording of this event is now available. To listen, click the appropriate section below:

Introduction by PRAC/RSM and Revolutionary greetings from the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada (RCP-Canada): http://www.mediafire.com/?22xmjm3c5mkooe9
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s talk: http://www.mediafire.com/?495rt4k9ucdfjty
Question and Answer period: http://www.mediafire.com/?nzvk46ov8wdzpiw

In the imperialist countries of the United States of America and Canada, the Native peoples’ struggle for self-determination and liberation is essential to any revolutionary strategy against capitalism. Built on the plunder and theft of aboriginal land, and the brutal oppression of the First Nations peoples, settler-colonial governments today continue their long tradition of genocidal policies for the benefit of parasitical national and multinational corporations. Native reservations are the colonies of these states, where indigenous people are forced to live in intolerable conditions under heavy state repression while their land and resources are violently appropriated for imperialist profits.

Yet 500 years of colonization also produced 500 years of indigenous resistance to colonial oppression and genocide. Spectacular and inspiring examples of indigenous armed resistance and militancy in the contemporary era include the 1973 re-seizure of land in the town of Wounded Knee, by the Oglala Lakota, as well as in the town of Oka in 1990, where the Mohawk people in Kahnesetake valiantly confronted the violence of the Canadian state in defending the integrity of their territories, to mention only a couple. Land tenure is at the heart of Native resistance and sovereignty.

Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee, and its student division, Revolutionary Students Movement, is very honoured to present revolutionary militant and comrade, Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. A longtime activist in the American Indian Movement and the International Indigenous Movement, Dunbar-Ortiz will speak on the rise of the Red Power Movement, which rapidly developed in the wake of Third World national liberation struggles after World War II, and the significant influence of Marxism-Leninism, as well as Maoism, on the national question. From her theoretical and political work, we hope to glean important lessons from Dunbar-Ortiz’ personal experiences of revolutionary struggles while discussing the strategic importance of building a united front in advancing the proletarian class-struggle, for overthrowing the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and for the abolition of capitalism.

Suggested Donation: Pay What You Can

Organized by: Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee (Toronto), Revolutionary Students Movement (Toronto)

Endorsed by: International League of People’s Struggle (Canada)BASICS

Report-Back from the Anti-Corporatization, Anti-Imperialism Rally

Report-Back from the Anti-Corporatization, Anti-Imperialism Rally

Recently, PRAC/RSM participated in an anti-corporatization, anti-imperialism rally organized by a coalition, headed by a student organization at UofT. The rally was by-and-large successful, despite the fact that one of the coalition groups threatened to back out after seeing the previous post.

This experience led RSM to make a post about right-wing sectarianism and opportunism.

Background info:

The deal-breaker, as it came to light, was the fact that PRAC/RSM supported the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan–the C(M)PA . Confusion and abdication of responsibility momentarily took hold of the coalition, as the coalition organizers tried to decide whether to capitulate to the withdraw-ees by changing the overall tone of the event, or moving forward without the withdraw-ees.

This turn of events makes a good teaching moment about one of the dominant tendencies within the mainstream Left: sectarianism.

Sectarianism

Sectarianism is sometimes disguised behind anti-sectarian appearances, as MLM Mayhem recently writes. For instance, the broad “‘anything goes’ ideology” that infects the Left fosters the exclusion of groups and ideas that are deemed too radical.

Moreover, sectarianism is complicated by its indulgence in right-wing opportunism, which is the:

“Adaptation of the policy and ideology of the working-class movement to the interests and needs of nonproletarian (bourgeois and petty– bourgeois) strata”. Opportunism is usually associated with revisionism (q.v.) or dogmatism (q.v.). It can be right-wing or ‘left’-wing.”

“Right-wing opportunism comes into being together with the organised working-class movement (trade-unionism, Lassalleanism, “Economism”, [and in this case petty-bourgeois student activism–ed.] etc. ). It manifests itself in the rejection of revolutionary methods of struggle, conciliation with the bourgeoisie and, in the final analysis, abandonment of the struggle for socialism.”

From our recent experience, for instance, we were able to cooperate with the various coalition groups with whom we attended the rally, but only through reaching a disunited kind of unity, and a lowest-common-denominator kind of cooperation, where the coalition prematurely degenerated into a group of ad hoc parties.

Of course, there are time restraints, as the coalition organizers were all working to put together an action at the top possible speed. However, this does not detract from the fact that we all need to be better organized, and rely less on the spontaneity of the moment to stage a successful rally.

RSM learned from this experience that sectarianism is the opposite of unity.

For coalition-building, MLM-Mayhem suggests a number of principles that provide guidelines for maintaining unity. RSM thought it worthwhile to reiterate these principles.

The coalition organization/organizer:

“a) will work in coalitions without trying to force the entire coalition to liquidate itself into its ranks; b) will maintain its parallel principles in this organization without apology, but with humility; c) will not intentionally engage in asinine and internecine left-wing turf wars and member poaching; d) will maintain that their principles will be proved in the class struggle rather than in name-calling.”

Unity is of vital importance, especially in the face of the enemy. Without criticism and self-criticism, there can be no unity. To quote Mao, “that means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle, and arriving at a new unity on a new basis.”In the case discussed in this article, the rally could have been better had there been more unity to start with, and better criticism and self-criticism along the way.

Click  here to read the RSM speech from the rally.

Support the Revolutionary Party in Afghanistan! Fight the Occupation and Comprador/Reactionary Forces!

Support the Revolutionary Party in Afghanistan! Fight the Occupation and Comprador/Reactionary Forces!

Military Conference to be hosted at University of Toronto

Members of the Revolutionary Student Movement recently became aware of a military conference happening next week, on April 10th and 11th. The event is called “Afghanistan: The Australian and the Canadian Experience Compared“, and is stacked with a “star”-studded cast, including Major-General Jonathan Vance, Director of Staff, Strategic Joint Staff, Canadian Forces, and one of the architects of the occupation of Afghanistan; Munk School of Global Affairs director Janice Stein, and Michael Ignatieff, famous for his endorsement of the war on Iraq.

The event is jointly put on by UofT’s Trinity-Munk Centre for the Study of Contemporary International History, Canadian Forces College, and Australia’s Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy. Day one of the conference will take place at Hart House, UofT’s supposed “living laboratory of arts, culture, and recreation” (and now apparently also of imperialist war), while day two will take place within George Ignatieff Theatre within Trinity College.

Although the Centre for the Study of Contemporary International History, co-funded by Munk School and Trinity College, proclaims it will “contribute to both teaching and research at the University of Toronto and will involve undergraduates in the International Relations program through special lectures, visiting professors, workshops and conferences”, it is obvious that the military conference is only the latest in a series of UofT-endorsed international plundering schemes.

According to a writer from militaryfreecampus.wordpress.com:

“The Munk School is becoming a testing ground for the militarization of Canadian campuses, reflecting the shifting priorities of UofT’s increasingly corporate-controlled academic planning. As University administrators consent to the withdrawal of public funding, academic decision-making authority is being ceded to the corporate sector. Career prospects in “pure” research are gradually being squeezed to the unfunded margins, and the global security-industrial complex is positioning itself to recruit newly precarious young scholars.”
 

Take anti-imperialist action!

In response to the Munk School and its catering of imperialist war and occupation, a number of allied groups, including PRAC/RSM and UofT General Assembly’s Anti-Corporatization Working Group, have come together to plan an action to:

  • oppose the corporatization and militarization of university space, curriculum, and the recruitment of precarious young scholars, and to
  • oppose the Canadian imperialism, which now no longer takes the form of outright occupation of Afghanistan, but, instead, manifests itself in indirect occupation through new Afghan puppet regimes.

Please check back for more details about the upcoming action.

Support the people’s right to wage revolutionary war!

As an Marxist-Leninist-Maoist student group, RSM denounces Canadian imperialism and its offspring, the occupation of Afghanistan. On the other hand, we support revolutionary wars waged by oppressed peoples against their oppressors, whether these oppressors take the shape of the old, colonial type, direct-intervention type, or the neo-colonial non-direct-intervention, that prefer to dictate international affairs through puppet regimes. As the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan points out:

“Hamid Karzai, the head of the puppet regime, while he is constantly telling the participants and supporters of this regime that soon a “long-term strategic agreement” would be signed with America (an agreement that actually has no other meaning other than prolonging the condition of occupation), has declared the crimes of the occupiers in Panjawai to be a deliberate and obvious act of terrorism and has demanded the trial of the perpetrators. However, it is clear that, according to the previous agreements between the American occupation and its puppet regime, and specifically between George W. Bush and Hamid Karzai, that every American soldier and officer in Afghanistan has legal sanctity; they only can be put on trial in the US, according to the constitution of that country. Hamid Karzai…is showing his servitude in empty and meaningless “nationalistic” gestures towards his imperialist masters in order to “prove” his political competency in their court.”
 

For these reasons, C(M)PA believes that:

“[A] just response to the war crimes of the imperialist occupiers and their satraps, is not to legally prosecute the officers and soldiers responsible for these crimes, to take personal revenge against them as individuals, or the unjust efforts of freeing some prisoners, but the further intensification and expansion of resistance, until the total expulsion of the occupiers from the country and the destruction of their puppet regime.”
 

Our task is to support the work of C(M)PA!

We, as opponents of imperialism at the one of the centres of imperialism, and as university students from relatively privileged backgrounds, must not only insist on getting Stein, Ignatieff, and Vance et al out of UofT. We must support the work currently done by already existing groups resisting and mobilizing against the occupation.

We must support the Afghan revolutionary forces in its struggle to topple the puppet regime the US and its imperialist cronies helped set up!

M1M–May 1st Movement

For May 1st, in recognition of International Worker’s Day, PRAC/RSM Toronto is working with a number of other anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist organizations to put together a unified march from Nathan Philips Square to Alexandra Park. Unlike the previous year, which saw the march divide into two parts, this year’s march there will only be one march.

We hope you join us. You can contact us at revolutionarystudentsto[at]gmail[dot]com to march with us.

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Unite the struggles of the people on International Workers’ Day!
For an anti-capitalist May Day!

* The richest 10 people in Toronto earn almost 3.5 times the annual income of all people earning minimum wage in Canada *

All over the world on May 1, MAY DAY, millions of people fill the streets to advance the struggles and issues of the working class.

On May 1, 2012 in Toronto, we need to also be out in the streets – not as a parade, but as a call to people across the city and across the country.

A call to action against the governments of the bankers and the rich who are imposing “austerity” on the people.  After decades of spending billions on wars, prisons, police, tax cuts and tax breaks for the rich, subsidies, oil and mining companies and other corporations, they tell us there is an ‘economic crisis’ that justifies their layoffs, wage freezes and reductions, cuts to social programs and higher and more fees for what we need.

This is capitalism: their system is the crisis!

This is a call to unity against the nationalism, racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, sexism, homophobia, and any other hatred their media creates to keep us divided while the rich continue to line their pockets.

Since its founding, Canada has been stealing and plundering First Nations lands, minerals and resources and now launches imperialist wars around the world to plunder other people’s resources.  The land rights of First Nations and those of other people fighting for their rights and freedom should be everyone’s fight.  The right to work and dignity for those who come as immigrants and migrants need to be the fight of all of us who came as or descend from immigrants.

This is a call to reject the rampant consumerism and the social decay, climate chaos and environmental destruction imposed by this system.  We don’t want the “growth” that capitalism has to offer.

We want a truly democratic and just society that meets the social needs of all people. Capitalism can’t do this.

So May Day is a call to all those coming under attack, to the sick and tired, the exploited and oppressed.

A call to all unionized workers whose rights and wages were the result of years of struggle, not from supporting this or that party or by back-room negotiations. Remember your role in this society, reclaim the proud history of militant labour.

A call to precarious workers with little job security and no benefits.

A call to the students struggling to find jobs and tied down to tens of thousands in debt.

A call to all the working class women who have to work multiple minimum wage part-time jobs to feed a family.

A call to the racialized youth, targeted and brutalized by police and under attack from policies aimed at stuffing their bodies into new prisons.

A call to the migrant mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, who left their homes in for the empty promise of a better life.

A call to the indigenous peoples defending their land rights against Canadian colonialism, and a call to all non-indigenous peoples struggles to unite with them.

On May 1, 2012, International Workers Day, join us at 4pm at Nathan Phillips Square for a rally and march to respect Indigenous sovereignty, insist that no one is illegal, for international workers solidarity, to defend and expand public services, to stop prison expansion…and corporate handouts, to end imperialist wars and aggression, to build people’s power, and to move beyond capitalism.