No Nazis on Campus! Fascist Propaganda found at McMaster University

No Nazis on Campus! Fascist Propaganda found at McMaster University

mcmaster-thumbnailOn Monday morning Neo-Nazi propaganda was discovered on McMaster’s Campus and in the Westdale neighbourhood calling for the preservation of ‘white culture’ and organization in support of white ‘self-interest’. This represents an attack on all marginalized students in the McMaster community. Fascists lie, propagandize, and distort the facts to support a twisted narrative of supremacy and racial purity and as such the Revolutionary Student Movement is categorically opposed to all alt-right organizations. The Revolutionary Student Movement is a militant and combative anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, and anti-capitalist student organization. We are definitively anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, LGBTQ2S*-inclusive and proletarian feminist. We will fight fascism wherever it shows itself. We will ensure that alt-right, white supremacist, and Nazi propaganda cannot be distributed at McMaster. We will not allow fascists to organize openly, and wherever they decide to come out into the open, they will be met with fierce resistance.

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Postponement of the 6th Pan-Canadian RSM Congress

Postponement of the 6th Pan-Canadian RSM Congress

Regretfully, the Revolutionary Student Movement’s 6th Pan-Canadian Congress will be postponed. The venue where we had planned to host the Congress backed out of our booking last moment, and all attempts to find another venue were unsuccessful. This cancellation happened due to the political nature of our organization, and while we cannot confirm it at this time – state repression may also be a factor.

 

As we were unable to find another venue on such short notice, the Congress will instead be held February 18-19, 2017. More details about the location will follow soon. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our organizers, supporters, and any intended observers. Despite this setback we remain firm in our revolutionary resolve. We will keep on building the largest revolutionary, combative, militant, and anti-capitalist student movement in the country, and invite everyone to join us for the next Congress. We will make sure that it will be the best Congress to date!

 

Red Salute!

 

– The Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

Defend Our Democratic Rights! Defend Our General Assemblies!

On Saturday November 6th, the Board of Administration (BOA) of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) held its monthly meeting. It was at this meeting that the executive presented the results of a legal assessment of the organization’s constitution. Despite allegedly having had this assessment since June, neither Board members nor students were made aware of it before the meeting was announced. The assessment states that the current SFUO constitution does not comply with the Corporations Act of Ontario and that one of the reasons is the current structure of the General Assembly.

The constitution of the SFUO states that the GA is the highest decision making body of the SFUO, with control over finances, by-laws and elections (section 3.13.4). However, according to the executive’s reading of Ontario law, the current structure of the SFUO is in conflict with the fact that only elected representatives of faculties and the executive are considered directors and have voting rights on constitutional matters. The solution proposed by the executive was essentially to remove the General Assembly’s ability to exert democratic control over elected officials by removing the clause which states that the General Assembly is the highest decision making body. This attempt is anti-democratic in the sense that it removes the best avenue for student participation and control over our elected officials. It goes directly against a referendum decision, as well as the constitution, that states that the GA is the highest decision making body and therefore should not be able to be dissolved by a lower body. General Assemblies would then no longer have the ability to recall elected representatives or approve budgets. The General Assembly would also no longer be able to change bylaws or policy without approval from the BOA. No matter how the executive tried to portray or diminish the importance of this change, saying they had no choice or that the opinions of an assembly that essentially functions as a town hall meeting would be seriously considered by the BOA, the result is a huge step back in terms of the democratic rights of students and transparency of the SFUO. The RSM resolutely condemns the anti-democratic nature of these proposed changes.

By removing the section of the constitution that places General Assemblies above all other bodies of the SFUO, the General Assembly is effectively stripped of all its power. Without the ability to create policy and bylaw changes, review and approve the budget, or recall elected officials, the GA ceases to have a purpose and no longer allows students to directly control our union. Of course we are told that the General Assembly will still exist as a consultative body where students can voice their opinions, but without any authority, nothing compels the BOA to follow through on the wishes of students. What is the point of having a representative organization if it can’t be held accountable or even be modified to fit the needs of the students it represents? If the structure of the SFUO is built around protecting its bureaucracy and not as a tool for protecting the interests of students, who does it serve and what is its purpose?

Many possible solutions were brought up by BOA members, including setting up a constitutional committee tasked with coming up with a proposal for a later meeting that would comply with both the referendum and Ontario law. Another proposed solution is to add a section that requires the BOA to ratify decisions made at the General Assembly. BOA members, however, were told that waiting even a single meeting would open up individual BOA members to lawsuits, fines or jail time since they would be violating their “fiduciary duty”. Not only is this false, but it is a purposeful manipulation of BOA members by the executive. The sudden urgency of this situation seems odd given the fact that the report was conducted in July, leaving the SFUO many months to come up with a solution. The way BOA members were coerced into voting against their beliefs based on threats of looming legal action (which for many members implied the possibility of removal from their programs or even loss of their student visa) is completely outrageous. The BOA, as well as students in general, were never truly given a chance to understand or attempt to fix the problem, despite having plenty of time to do so. Ultimately, the motion was approved and will undergo a second reading in December. We now only have a short period of time to organise and defend our democratic gains.

General Assemblies have enormous potential to mobilize students and provide an avenue for real change. They are the best method of organizing towards a strike which is the only way for students to fight for free and accessible education. They also have the ability to launch investigation committees open to any student who could look into abuses of power by elected officials. This could include mismanagement of funds or unacceptable situations such as the events of the Vets Tour earlier this year. It is clear that General Assemblies have the ability to challenge the bureaucratic authority of the current SFUO structure and that we therefore cannot rely on it to defend GAs.

In the next month students and concerned board members will be working together to draw attention to this attack on democratic rights and independently come up with a solution. You can get involved by joining us at the General Assembly on Saturday November 12th at 2pm in Marion auditorium. Let the SFUO executive and your faculty representatives know that your voice matters!

If you want to get further involved, follow and contact us on Facebook (Revolutionary Student Movement UOttawa) for more news on our next GA planning meetings or send us an email at uomarxists@gmail.com.

 

A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire: RSM Expands Westward!

A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire: RSM Expands Westward!

The Prairies are Rising Red

Within the last year of the work of the MER-RSM, perhaps the most promising development of our organization has been the affiliation of two anti-capitalist organizations in the prairies with our Pan-Canadian organization – the Socialist Student Association (SSA-RSM) at the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Manitoba Student Action Network (UMSAN-RSM). Through this, the MER-RSM has been capable of uniting revolutionary students across this previously untapped area of central Canada, creating a basis of experienced and already engaged organizers that can spread the militant student movement across Canada.

With the degradation of the economic conditions in the prairies for working class people, as unemployment increases; the intensity of the contradiction of settler-colonialism within this area of the country due to significant high populations of Indigenous peoples posed against resource extractive economies; and the intense attacks upon education across English-Canada, the situation is all too ripe that such a spark as the MER-RSM will undoubtedly start a fire across the Prairies. 

  • A Statement of the Pan-Canadian MER-RSM Coordinating Committee

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After the Day of Action: What Next?

After the Day of Action: What Next?

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The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) is excited to see that so many students across the country participated in November 2nd Day of Action, demanding an end to an education system which is unaffordable and inaccessible to most working class people and people from marginalized communities. Seeing this mobilization is truly inspiring, especially since most students who participated did not have an academic amnesty and many had to skip classes in order to demonstrate that they want these changes to be made now. Members of the RSM across the country have joined the actions in their cities with enthusiasm and have been involved in organizing in support of this initiative – we took part in marches and demonstrations, handed out leaflets outlining our position, promoted today’s events, and organized walk-outs.

However, despite today’s Day of Action being a success in mobilizing a large number of students across the country, we maintain our critiques of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). We maintain that it is an ossified, anti-democratic, bureaucratic, and reformist organization that serves as a barrier to the creation of a combative student movement in English Canada. The CFS did not call for a day of action out of a genuine desire to launch a truly mass-based anti-tuition campaign, nor out of a desire to increase the level of militancy in its current activities against the rising cost of tuition. Instead, it will again use the day of action as part of its lobbying efforts, as a means of cynically using the mobilization of students to provide weight to the annual meetings that CFS bureaucrats have with politicians.

The actions of CFS bureaucrats today proved our critique to be correct. At many rallies, organizers made the call to vote for politicians who would supposedly bring us free education, and to vote out the ones who do not support this demand. Organizers who sought to put forward the necessity of a strike were, in some places, barred from speaking. The CFS has used mobilizations like today as part of their lobbying efforts for more than a decade, and meanwhile tuition fees have steadily been on the rise across the country. 

Furthermore, the demands of the CFS do not go far enough. The current campaign and day of action is directed only against tuition fee increases. The RSM stands for the complete abolition of tuition and ancillary fees, the cancellation of all student debt, and for complete open access to all post-secondary institutions in Canada. Only by eliminating fees and entrance requirements can education become truly accessible for the working class in Canada. The RSM stands for access to post-secondary education for all Indigenous people, and an anti-colonial aspect to all education programs. Not just the Indigenization of programs and institutions that aim to continue to dispossess Indigenous people from their land, but independence of all Indigenous departments and students from settler organizational models. The RSM stands for education to be put in the service of people and not profit; we argue that research should be for the benefit of all people and not the benefit of corporations, and that education should serve struggles for justice and liberation.

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But now that the Day of Action is over, where do we go from here? The RSM proposes the following concrete steps as a program for building a fighting student movement across Canada:

  1. Students should fight for General Assemblies as the highest decision making bodies of their student unions. In turn, where General Assemblies already exist, students should fight for General Assemblies at both the campus and faculty level.
  2. Revolutionary students should campaign and promote the idea of a one-day strike against tuition.
  3. Votes for a one-day strike against tuition should be held in General Assemblies where they exist as a means of building a culture of striking.
  4. These sorts of activities should be continued and escalated, until it is possible to coordinate strikes between campuses.
  5. Strikes should serve as a way of forcing social crises where possible: we will force the state and ruling class to act, rather than simply beg them for table scraps.

The end of tuition, debt, the bourgeois education system, and capitalism are all possible. But in order to win, we need to be organized, and we need revolution.

In just over a week the RSM will be holding its Sixth Pan-Canadian Congress in Montreal. We invite all revolutionary youth and students, who agree with the political perspectives we uphold as well as the concrete steps we propose, to attend either as members of the RSM or observers.

For a truly democratic student movement in English Canada!

Towards a student strike for the elimination of tuition fees!

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