1st General Meeting of RSM-York!

The Revolutionary Student Movement – York University Chapter is ready to start things off this year! Join us on our 1st meeting of the term if you want to learn more about RSM and what we do, if you’re interested in getting involved, and what to know what our plans are for the term.

WHEN: February 2, 5-7PM
WHERE: York Student Centre, OPIRG Room 449C

We will discuss:
– Why do we need an anti-capitalist, anti-settler colonial, anti-imperialist combative student movement?
– What is the RSM?
– Topics for the weekly Communist Study Groups
– Plans for joining the Proletarian Feminist Front Toronto contingent at the February 14th Strawberry Ceremony for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
– Plans of the York Mobilization Committee and the March 24th Day of Action

If you can’t attend this meeting but would like to get involved, email revstudentsyork@gmail.com or drop us a message on our event page here

York University, Rise Up! Join the #RedSpring2015 Mobilization Committee!

York University, Rise Up! Join the #RedSpring2015 Mobilization Committee!

Students of York University!
Rise-up! Mobilize Towards the Pan-Canadian Day of Action, March 24

We are calling for individual students, campus organizations and allies to join the #redspring2015 mobilization committee.

1ST MOBILIZATION COMMITTEE MEETING:
WHEN: February 11, 2014, 4-6PM
WHERE: HNES lounge at the 1st Floor

On the FIRST MEETING, we will discuss:
– Our demands
(Are these demands applicable to our context? Do we have any additional demands?)
– How to engage and outreach to the larger student population
– Our plans for March 24th

If you are interested but cannot join the meeting, email revstudentsyork@gmail.com or drop us a message on facebook.com/rsmyork or RSVP to our event page

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Despite the demographic of the York undergraduate population to be composed mostly of working-class and racialized students, events in our campus have shown that we have no say over our how the university can work for us. Worse, Black and Brown students are racially profiled by increasing police presence in campus! Student activists have been heavily targeted by university administration for asking our university to divest from apartheid regimes! Outside, our university is actively participating in the gentrification of Jane and Finch and the displacement of its residents.

We, working-class and racialized students, understand that simply fighting for lower tuition does not guarantee the full accessibility of post-secondary education to our communities. Most of our peers drop out even before their high school graduation! And some of us who manage to attend post-secondary institutions fight tooth and nail to survive, struggling to pay tuition, rent, and bills at the same time, struggling to survive the alienation from a university built on the appropriation of Indigenous land and the appropriation of the labour of colonized people!

The Revolutionary Student Movement is calling for a pan-Canadian day of action against austerity and in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement on March 24, 2015.We call for the creation of mobilization committees on campuses across Canada with the intent of organizing actions –strikes, demonstrations, walk-outs, etc. – on March 24.

Let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement that is not content with simply begging the government for scraps by lobbying. And let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement across Canada that is not afraid to fight, and not afraid to win.

These mobilization committees will strive to be safe and accessible to all people that wish to participate; in short, any sort of oppressive behaviour (racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, national chauvinism, etc.) will not be tolerated within these committees. The committees must strive to be anti-colonial, feminist and LGBTQ2S+ inclusive, expressed in the committees’ political leadership and in their actions.

We demand:

1. ABOLITION OF TUITION FEE AT ALL LEVELS OF EDUCATION! CANCELLATION OF ALL OUTSTANDING DEBT!
Students should no longer have to pay for education. Students who could not afford post-secondary education should no longer be punished by high-interest student loans.

2. OPEN ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR ALL!
Free tuition alone cannot guarantee accessibility. We demand guaranteed admission to every post-secondary institution for all students. Good quality post-secondary education should not simply be for the elite; everyone should have access to the schools and programs of their choice.

3. EDUCATION IN THE SERVICES OF THE PEOPLE, NOT PROFIT!
Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Research should be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of private firms. We demand that a democratic and scientific education should replace the imperialist, settler colonial and patriarchal curriculum in post-secondary schools. Education should prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to work.

4. ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ANTI-COLONIAL ASPECT TO ALL PROGRAMS!
We recognize that Canada, as a settler colony, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Increased funding must be made available for all indigenous people to have access to post-secondary education, as well as for the creation of indigenous colleges and universities. We demand that education preserves the cultures and languages of indigenous people within post-secondary education, and a necessary anti-colonial component to all programs.

5. DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS!
Universities and colleges should be run by the people they serve, not by unelected boards of governors filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors, and their replacement with representative bodies composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community. All representatives should be determined by the university’s community, and subject to recall at any time.

Resisting White Supremacy, Colonialism, and Racism on Campus Event

Resisting White Supremacy, Colonialism, and Racism on Campus Event

The Equity Committee and the Accessibility Community Equity Committee in the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) are holding an anti-colonial and anti-racist event on Tues January 20th between 2:00 – 4:00 pm, with a special panel from groups on campus!

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York friends and comrades, please come to this event to learn, share and strategize!
Our university continues to deny that racism and racial profiling occurs in campus. Those who deny the reality of colonialism and white supremacy are the very same people who uphold it — from our Deans, professors, registrar and campus police!
We have to show up and demonstrate not only that white supremacy and colonialism exist, but in fact, students actively organize against them! This campus is ours! Let’s continue to transform it as a site of class struggle!

Working-class universities like York are sites of racism and colonialism as well as of resistance, resurgence and community building. Recent examples include the University’s inaction in the wake of racist Immigration Watch flyers, and the antiblack responses to sexual assaults on campus, including racial profiling of Black students, staff and faculty and the demonizing of the surrounding Jane and Finch community, which the University plays an active role in gentrifying. This conversation between Black, Indigenous and racialized students and teachers explores what an anti-racist and anti-colonial education might look like that counters the pathologization, criminalization and appropriation of our lives and knowledges by the academic industrial complex.

RSVP to the FB event here

Communist Discussion Group at St. George Campus

Communist Discussion Group at St. George Campus

WHEN: Every Friday from 6-8PM, starting on January 23rd, 2014WHERE: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Room 2268 on the second floor.

Join the Revolutionary Student Movement for the first communist discussion group of the winter semester. The discussion group will include discussions about the struggles of proletarian students in Canada, class struggle, imperialism, settler colonialism and the need to organize youth and students towards the revolution!

For this session, we will be reading out-loud and discussing a document from the Revolutionary Communist Party, titled “What is Canada”, in which we outline the capitalist, imperialist and colonialist contradictions of the Canadian State.

We will have copies of the document for everyone during the discussion group.
Hope to see you there!

Students of Canada: Rise-up! Pan-Canadian Day of Action, March 24

Students of Canada: Rise-up! Pan-Canadian Day of Action, March 24

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This spring, students across Quebec will strike against austerity. The Spring 2015 movement has united students and workers in the fight for free and accessible education, and is benefitting from the lessons learned in the Maple Spring of 2012. Coming from outside the traditional student organizations, the Spring 2015 committee has already organized a number of actions to promote the upcoming strike. For instance, over 80,000 students went on strike against austerity on Halloween 2014. This is all leading up to February, when students in Quebec will be convening special general assemblies to vote-in strike mandates. Combined with commitments from a number of labour unions to also support the movement, this spring is shaping up to be very exciting in Quebec.

And in the rest of Canada? Despite the fact that austerity measures have hit students in the rest of Canada even harder than in Quebec –Ontario, for instance, has the highest tuition fees in the country and the lowest per-capita funding for education- virtually nothing is being done. The main student associations (the Canadian Federation of Students and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations) are nearly silent on the movement developing in Quebec. Just like in 2012, they are not mobilizing for a strike or even for solidarity actions, and instead have a strategy of conciliatory government lobbying. And despite the fact that we’ve had three years to learn from the example of the Maple Spring, the CFS and CASA have been content to maintain their bureaucratic and anti-democratic structures, which have proven to be ineffective at protecting the interests of students.

Enough is enough.

The Revolutionary Student Movement is calling for a pan-Canadian day of action against austerity and in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement on March 24, 2015. We call for the creation of mobilization committees on campuses across Canada with the intent of organizing actions –strikes, demonstrations, walk-outs, etc. – on March 24. These mobilization committees will be safe and accessible to all people that wish to participate; in short, any sort of oppressive behaviour (racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, national chauvinism, etc.) will not be tolerated within these committees. The committees must strive to be anti-colonial, feminist and LGBTQ2S+ inclusive, expressed in the committees’ political leadership and in their actions.

Let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement across Canada that is not afraid to fight, and not afraid to win. Let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement that is not content with simply begging the government for scraps by lobbying. And let’s use this opportunity to show the students of Quebec that the rest of Canada stands behind them in their struggle.

We demand:

Abolition of tuition at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!
Students should no longer have to pay for education. Students who could not afford post-secondary education should no longer be punished by high-interest student loans.

Open access to post-secondary education for all!
Free tuition alone cannot guarantee accessibility. We demand guaranteed admission to every post-secondary institution for all students. Good quality post-secondary education should not simply be for the elite; everyone should have access to the schools and programs of their choice.

Education in the service of the people, not profit!
Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Research should be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of private firms. We demand that a democratic and scientific education should replace the imperialist, settler colonial and patriarchal curriculum in post-secondary schools. Education should prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to work.

Access to post-secondary education for all indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!
We recognize that Canada, as a settler colony, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Increased funding must be made available for all indigenous people to have access to post-secondary education, as well as for the creation of indigenous colleges and universities. We demand that education preserves the cultures and languages of indigenous people within post-secondary education, and a necessary anti-colonial component to all programs.

Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!
Universities and colleges should be run by the people they serve, not by unelected boards of governors filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors, and their replacement with representative bodies composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community. All representatives should be determined by the university’s community, and subject to recall at any time.

By uniting across Canada and Quebec, we can build a movement that will shake society to its foundations. We can win a truly liberating and democratic education system that serves the people. So what are we waiting for?

See you in the streets on March 24!

For more information, email: mobilization@mer-rsm.ca

Revolutionary Students Disrupt Cop Recruitment at Laurentian University

Revolutionary Students Disrupt Cop Recruitment at Laurentian University

On 9 October 2014, the Sudbury chapter of the Revolutionary Student Movement carried out disruptive operations against an RCMP recruitment event held on Laurentian University campus. As the recruitment presentation began at 4pm, members of the RSM stood up to read aloud a statement condemning “the RCMP – enforcers of the racist settler-colonial capitalist order – and their presence here to disseminate state propaganda on the ‘socially beneficial’ role of the police and gather new recruits to expand the police force!”

RCMP: Racist Colonial Mercenary Pigs!The statement went on: “This encroachment on our campus comes on the eve of the first anniversary of the brutal RCMP raid on the brave land-defenders of Elsipogtog who defied exploitation and destruction of their territories. … In opposing the RCMP’s presence here, we stand with the common struggle of all oppressed and exploited people across the world for liberation from the imperialist yoke of the capitalist class, its state institutions, and armed forces!”

The disruption continued with the student-militants brandishing a red banner and chanting “Police everywhere, justice nowhere!” Their intention was to stay until the RCMP ceased the recruitment presentation, left the space and ultimately the campus. However, as one RSM member recounted after the action, “the officer proceeded to physically remove us from the room. Despite acknowledging our actions weren’t illegal and we weren’t under arrest, the officer continued to use force to suppress and silence us.”

RSM members regrouped outside the room and continued to educate students about the enemy in their midst, in line with the mission outlined in the leaflets they handed out: “Whereas the capitalists want to use the university for their own ends … we want to reclaim it for the people, by building a combative movement of revolutionaries and progressives on campus, turning the university into a site of class struggle. Against cop recruitment on campus, we advance the recruitment and development of revolutionaries from the student body.”

Preempting false liberal outrage over impeding the cops’ “right to free expression”, the leaflet explained that the “action is justified because the mantra ‘serve & protect’, so empty and deceitful coming from a cop, can ring beautiful and true when uttered by a revolutionary. We aim to serve the people, to protect the interests of the oppressed and exploited masses, to unite with their most pressing struggles and aspirations while pointing the way forward to liberation, and together make revolution!”

RSM in Solidarity with Students at UBC!

RSM in Solidarity with Students at UBC!

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Dear Students of UBC,

The Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM) sends you revolutionary greetings! We stand with you in solidarity in your recent struggles against tuition fees and against all barriers to post-secondary education. We support your opposition to the unaffordable housing policy and tuition hikes upon international students that have been imposed upon you by your University’s administration. Over the course of the last semester we were excited to follow the news coming from UBC, and were happy to see that the numerous actions you planned (including a Teach-In, a General Assembly, and a protest) were successful.

We would like to particularly commend your courage in choosing to mobilize outside of your student association. More often than not outside of Quebec, it seems, student associations hinder struggles by channelling student efforts through the formal mechanisms and governing bodies set up by university administrations and governments. Student associations may lobby, and they may campaign for increased representation on governance bodies, but most do little else. As we, and surely you also have seen, these processes are seldom effective. These “official” channels and “respectable” actions often distract proletarian and revolutionary students from directing their anger at university administrations, and serve as a means by which student union careerists can pad their resumes –all at the expense of developing a strong student movement that isn’t afraid to fight. This is a lesson that we’ve unfortunately had to learn in our own contexts; it’s exciting to see others coming to the same conclusions.

We were especially impressed by your ability to use your mobilization to attain quorum in your Student Association’s annual general meeting, the first time this has been done in forty years. You were then able to use the general assembly to pass motions that were binding upon your student representatives, forcing them to oppose the tuition hikes. Insofar as we have also been working on winning and democratizing general assemblies on our campuses, we appreciate the commitment that such an accomplishment requires. We believe that your efforts prove the necessity of further democratizing student unions across Canada to more effectively fight for the interests of working-class students.

We want to wish you continued success in building a strong culture of militancy at UBC. And, we wish you luck in your struggle against the corporate university and the overreaching desire for capitalism to commodify and exploit everything of value within our communities.

For us, your mobilization points to the way forward for the student movement in the rest of Canada. As you are likely aware, this spring, students in Quebec are going to strike against austerity. The Spring 2015 movement is shaping up to be even bigger than the Maple Spring in 2012. And yet, the existing student organizations in the rest of Canada have been largely silent, and have not begun any serious mobilization. Basing ourselves on our experience, as well as your experiences at UBC, the RSM decided at its most recent congress to organize a pan-Canadian day of action on March 24 against austerity and in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement. We will no longer let the inactivity of the existing student organizations serve as an excuse for the inactivity of students in the rest of Canada; now, more than ever, we believe that the conditions exist to build a real, fighting student movement. We wish to extend an invitation to you to help organize this day of action with us.

In Solidarity,

Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire – Revolutionary Student Movement

RSM Algonquin Statement on 2014 Trans Day of Remembrance

According to a prominent GLB organization, Pride Toronto, Trans Day of Remembrance ‘serves several purposes’ from ‘raising public awareness of hate-crimes against trans people’ to mourning and honoring ‘the lives of our “brothers and sisters” who might otherwise be forgotten.’

We, the Revolutionary Student Movement: Algonquin College Chapter, understand Trans Day of Remembrance to be a day to mourn victims of misogyny and trans misogyny who face a spectrum of violent attacks daily, and a time to memorialize the courageous resistance that trans communities have been showing through struggle since the inception of brutal patriarchal class economic relations. We also believe it is a time to reflect on our structural and personal anti-trans tendencies and actions in order to dismantle our internalized misogyny and trans misogyny.

On this day, we remember the words of the Radical Caucus of the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations spoken in August of 1970, “ We see the persecution of homosexuality [and we understand this to extend to all queer and trans people] as a part of a general attempt to oppress all minorities and make them powerless…. A common struggle, however, will bring common triumph.” We remember that within a week after the Stonewall Rebellion, the Gay Liberation Front formed – naming itself to honor the National Liberation fronts (the national resistance movements) in Algeria and Vietnam –, and demanded in solidarity with the Black liberation movement, “Power to the People!”

We remember that our comrade Huey P. Newton, while Chairman of the Black Panther Party, worked for there to be full participation of the gay liberation movement and the women’s liberation movement in the BPP’s revolutionary conferences, rallies, and demonstrations. We remember that he urged revolutionaries to excise any historical anti-gay references because it is the bourgeoisie that are the enemies of the people. He reminded revolutionaries then, and he reminds revolutionaries now, that it is against the bourgeoisie that we must struggle, and it is standing in solidarity with revolutionary LGBTQ* people as well as all oppressed communities that we will achieve freedom.

This particular day, the 20th of November, was chosen to honor Rita Hester whose murder on November 28th, 1998, lead to the first candlelight vigil in San Francisco in 1999.

We urge all revolutionaries to support the initiatives that exist on your campuses and in your cities to memorialize the trans people who fell victim to trans misogyny. We believe we must struggle to build with our queer and trans comrades relationships of support and solidarity, of communal action and common struggle, not unlike the relationship the Young Lords had with Silvia Rivera and STAR. “It was just the respect they [the Young Lords] gave us as human beings, Silvia Rivera said. They gave us a lot of respect.”

We remember the historical legacy of communal action and close-ties between anti-capitalists and queer & trans folks. We remember that we are here to learn from one another and to struggle with one another; let us not forget the words of Lilla Watson, “If you come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. If you come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Politicians Are Liars, And Trudeau Isn’t Any Different

Tomorrow, on March 28th 2014, Justin Trudeau is coming to the ‘Gonk to try to convince students to vote (presumably for the Liberals) in the upcoming election, to become politically involved, despite the falling voter turn-out due to a general disenchantment wand loss of confidence in our bourgeois parliamentary ‘democracy.’ All over Canada, it’s plain to see that folks know that politicians lie when they claim their Party is fighting for them and has their interests at heart.

It’s increasingly clear that due to the cowardly and tentative nature of the self-professed liberal, progressive, radical middle-class elements in this bourgeois parliamentary game; it’s necessary for the working class to organize independently to safeguard our own class interests. Canadian parliamentary ‘representative democracy’ is in fact just another instrument of the ruling class to remain in power, and their elections are elements in this parliamentary game that aims to convince us that is true democracy. However, as soon as elected officials are shown a chance to bring about any systemic change in the interests of the working class through electoral politics, to act in the interest of the people so to speak, they defend instead time and time again fiercely the interests of the bourgeoisie.

True democracy, the dictatorship of the Proletariat, will not come by casting ballots during election season but by struggling to smash capitalism. Come out tomorrow, Friday March 28 to the Algonquin Commons Theatre to express your dissatisfaction with bourgeois parliamentary politics, and your desire for a real alternative to capitalist drudgery.

Doors open at 12 pm, the event begins at 12:30 pm

Look for the Red&Gold swag (banners and posters).

QSA Under Fire: Rally for Support

Against homophobia and trans*phobia! Against capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism!

The struggle against homophobia and trans*phobia is part of the struggle for socialism!

The Revolutionary Student Movement: Algonquin College Chapter (RSM), in light of the attack on the Queer Student Alliance (QSA) office, wishes to express our solidarity with the QSA and outrage against what is rightfully being called a hate crime. The RSM is totally in support of LGBTQ+ folks in their struggles for liberation and for basic democratic rights; we consider these struggles to be an important part of the broader fight against capitalism as a whole. As we say in our mandate, “We will end exploitation, alienation, and all oppressions by supporting struggles against institutional and individual oppressions in their various forms. We strive to support externally and maintain internally a strong anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-homophobic, anti-trans*phobic, and proletarian feminist culture in both word and action.” We denounce the cowardly attack made against our LGBTQ+ comrades and wish to offer our support in any efforts to fight back against hate.

Why is support for LGBTQ+ struggles important for the RSM? Within this capitalist system, each and every person is no more than a cog in the machinery that uses humans to constantly produce wealth. Our relations to one another are meticulously pre-determined and plotted out by the ruling class, and our movement within this hierarchy is limited by unbreakable glass ceilings (with very, very few exceptions). Consequently, ‘traditional’ gender roles, including but not limited to sexual preferences and exterior presentation, were crafted to support this system; and strict, rigorous, and immutable social norms have, through blood, sweat, and tears, been enforced – and continue to be.

We maintain that the gender-binary is a pillar of social and class relations and capitalist oppression. The unpaid labour of women, in the form of domestic work, is necessary for capitalism to exist; if women were to be paid for this labour, it would undercut the ability for capitalists to profit. Therefore, if members of society cease to relate to each other through a rigid structure in one area, all areas are seen as under attack by the ruling class. By engaging in homosexual and trans*behaviors and ‘life-styles,’ some individuals fail to fulfill prescribed roles and functions (and to relate to one-another based on these artificial constructs); they fly in the face of this pre-determined mold. While being LGBTQ+ is not in-and-of-itself an act of resistance against capitalism, homophobia and trans*phobia certainly have their root in the attempt to enforce the strict gender roles necessary for capitalism to continue. And because of this, the RSM is proud to struggle against misogyny, homophobia, and trans*phobia alongside capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism; we see these struggles as necessarily bound together.

We call for this hate crime committed against the QSA center to be treated with the seriousness it deserves. We call for direct action showing our resolve as a campus to fight back against hateful attacks. Algonquin security and the police will not admit that these attacks were a hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community at Algonquin College; if the establishment will turn a blind eye to hate on campus, we will not. We call on all LGBTQ+ folks, and straight allies to come together next Friday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day 2014) at 14:00 in the second floor of the Student Commons for a rally against the hate attacks on the QSA. Let’s show the perpetrator that Algonquin students are watching. Let’s show strength in the face of cowardice. Let’s show solidarity with our queer comrades. And most of all, let’s make this a day to celebrate all forms of love, straight and queer.

“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” – Che Guevara