Rapport du 6eme congrès du MER-RSM

Rapport du 6eme congrès du MER-RSM

Le MER-RSM a tenu son 6eme congrès pancanadien le 18-19 février. Des délégués de 14 sections à travers le pays sont venus à Ottawa afin de  décider quelle sera le cours que prendra l’organisation, partager de l’expérience organisationnelle et réaffirmer notre engagement à avancer la lutte de classe partout où l’on s’organise! De par la résolution du 5e congrès, de consolider et de bâtir des racines, la plupart de nos sections ont grandi, quelques-unes ayant doublé le nombre de leurs membres. Le MER-RSM demeure le plus grand mouvement étudiant au Canada et nous allons continuer de s’organiser pour s’étendre et de grandir dans les régions où des sections sont établies.
À l’issue congrès, nous avons établi des plans clairs pour avancer. Le but principal à court terme pour toutes les sections du MER-RSM au Canada anglais est de travailler à la création d’assemblées générales (AGs) sur les campus, afin de faire des corps étudiants la plus haute instance décisionnelle dans les organisations étudiantes tel que les syndicats, les associations et les fédérations. Plusieurs sections se sont déjà engagées dans des campagnes d’AG et planifient d’intensifier leur travail durant les semaines à venir. Le congrès a rendu explicite une autre raison de lutter pour les assemblées générales; la capacité de celles-ci de travailler vers une grève étudiante illimitée dans laquelle les politiques révolutionnaires seront la force dirigeante. Cette tâche concorde avec l’engagement du MER-RSM d’établir la révolution au Canada. Afin de faciliter la lutte des sections pour les AGs, le Comité de coordination (CoCo) du MER-RSM centralisera la propagande et l’analyse des campagnes réussites et de cela développera du nouveau matériel de propagande qui aidera à la propagation d’un leadership étudiant pour la démocratique directe à travers les assemblées générales.
Le congrès a aussi décidé de changer la façon dont était vue le Comité de justice transformative( CJT). Initialement fondée en 2014 au congrès de Québec, le comité a pris du temps à se matérialiser. Afin de rectifier ceci, le 6e congrès a défini un nouveau plan pour la création d’un CJT ad-hoc qui adressera les possibles plaintes contre les membres du MER-RSM ayant fait montre de comportements ou de violence patriarcale, transphobe, raciste, capacitiste, etc. Dans le mandat du CJT est inclus un processus d’investigation, de médiation et de rectification. Tout.es camarades intéressé.es à participer dans le CJT quand le besoin surgira sont encouragé.es à contacter le CoCo par le moyen de leur organisatrice/teur régional.e. En plus de ça, le CoCo créera une liste de ressources qui aideront le CJT dans son travail et rendront cette liste disponible au leadership de chaque section. N’importe quel.le membre du MER-RSM ou personne de sa périphérie qui a une plainte et souhaite que celle-ci soit étudiée par le CJT ou le CoCo a le droit de contacter leur organisatrice/teur régional.e et de voir leur plainte traitée aussi vite que possible. Nous prendrons toutes plaintes avec l’attention et la gravité qu’elles méritent. Par ce mécanisme le MER-RSM va réaliser son engagement de maintenir une forte culture inclusive des orientations et identités LGBTQ2SIAP+ ainsi qu’une culture féministe prolétarienne en paroles et en actions.

Pour faire progresser ces mêmes politiques à l’extérieur, nous appliquerons les deux résolutions suivantes. Le Congrès a ordonné que, dans la mesure du possible, les sections tiendront des événements ce 8 mars prochain sous la bannière de la Journée des travailleur.es de genres opprimés et de promouvoir une célébration du féminisme prolétarien et des personnes de genres opprimés révolutionnaire. De plus, le MER-RSM intensifiera son opposition, au cours des prochaines années, à l’Association canadienne pour l’égalité et à d’autres organisations masculinistes. Pour ce faire, le CoCo centralisera et produira des lignes directrices et de la propagande pour les campagnes et les actions contre ces réactionnaires.

D’autres décisions ont porté sur le renforcement de nos organisations locales et l’amélioration de notre matériel de propagande. Au cours de l’année à venir, le CoCo travaillera à organiser les cégeps et les collèges, ce qui élargira notre organisation dans ce site crucial de lutte au-delà de notre section unique actuelle au Collège Algonquin. De plus, le CoCo élaborera également des listes de lectures recommandées de base et avancées pour l’avancement idéologique des membres et rendra ces cours accessibles sur le site Web du MER-RSM.

En encourageant une culture révolutionnaire dans les écoles canadiennes, le CoCo a présenté le projet de la première publication du MER-RSM – «Camarades de classe». Après discussion et rétroaction, il a été décidé qu’elle sera publiée au moins une fois par an, le premier numéro étant prêt pour septembre 2017. Cela ajoutera du dynamisme à notre mouvement et permettra aux partisans et aux membres de contribuer activement à la perspective de l’organisation soit par l’art, l’analyse, ou la polémique.

Finalement, le 6e Congrès a exprimé sa solidarité avec les camarades du RSM Sudbury, qui sont confrontés à une forte répression policière. Le MER-RSM condamne sans équivoque les actions outrageuses de la Police de Sudbury et de la Police provinciale de l’Ontario et offre le soutien et l’aide qui sont dûment nécessaires pour que nos camarades de la région continuent à faire leur excellent travail. De plus, le MER-RSM exprime sa solidarité envers Igor Sadikov, un étudiant de McGill qui est confronté à un contrecoup important de la part de la Société étudiante de McGill et de l’administration de l’université pour avoir exprimé publiquement ses opinions antisionistes. Le MER-RSM soutient les luttes contre l’impérialisme et le colonialisme au Canada et à l’échelle internationale et défend donc sa critique du sionisme. Dans cette veine, nous affirmons également notre solidarité avec les organisations membres de la Ligue internationale des luttes populaires. A travers chacune de ces déclarations, le MER-RSM espère développer camaraderie et force en célébrant ceux et celles qui nous rejoignent dans la lutte contre l’impérialisme, le colonialisme et le capitalisme.

En tenant compte de la qualité et la croissance de l’organisation, notre Comité de coordination se compose principalement de camarades qui ne l’ont pas encore fait partie auparavant. De ce fait, certaines responsabilités seront réparties entre plusieurs personnes, afin d’assurer une transition stable. Les organisateur.es régionaux communiqueront bientôt avec leurs sections pour se présenter:

Président: Dimka Melnik (membre sortant)
Organisateur pour l’Ontario: Ken Kollontai
Organisatrice pour l’Ontario: Emma Calico
Organisateur pour le Québec et les Maritimes: Dimka Melnik & Juju Rmd
Organisatrice/teur pour les Prairies et la Colombie-Britannique: Yan Ni & Ian Desales
Agent à la propagande Anglaise: Cameron Mcalpine
Agent à la propagande française: Juju Rmd

Le MER-RSM a grandi et s’est considérablement développé depuis sa fondation. En dépit de nouveaux défis, nos luttes parmi les masses étudiantes ont fait de nous la plus grande organisation étudiante de gauche au Canada. De plus, nous avons commencé à jeter les bases pour développer, à travers le Canada anglais, un mouvement étudiant véritablement militant. Nous l’avons accompli sans tomber dans des stratégies réformistes, et affirmons qu’il est juste de se rebeller, et mieux encore de faire la révolution!

En solidarité,

Le Comité de Coordination du Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire – Mouvement Révolutionnaire des Etudiants (MER-RSM)

Report Back from the 6th Congress of the MER-RSM

Report Back from the 6th Congress of the MER-RSM

On February 18-19 the MER-RSM has held its 6th Pan-Canadian Congress. Delegates from 14 sections from across the country came to Ottawa to decide on the course of our organization, share organizing experience and reaffirm our commitment to pushing the class struggle forward wherever we organize! Realizing the resolution from the 5th Congress to consolidate and build roots, most of our sections have grown, with some doubling their membership numbers. The MER-RSM remains the largest anti-capitalist student movement in Canada, and we will keep organizing to expand our reach and grow in places where sections are established.

Coming out of this Congress, we have set out clear plans for moving forward. The main short term goal of all MER-RSM sections in English Canada is to work to create general assemblies (GAs) on campuses, in order to make students the highest decision making body in student organizations such as unions, associations and federations. Several sections are already engaged in GA campaigns and plan to intensify their work over the coming weeks. The Congress made explicit another reason to struggle for general assemblies, the ability to build towards an unlimited student strike, in which revolutionary politics will be the leading force. This task is in furthering the commitment of the MER-RSM to build towards a revolution in Canada. To help facilitate section’s struggle for GAs, the Coordinating Committee (CoCo) of the MER-RSM will centralize propaganda and analysis from successful campaigns, and from this develop new materials to aid in the spread of direct democratic student leadership through General Assembly.

The Congress also decided to change the way we view our Transformative Justice Committee (TJC). Initially called for at the 2014 Congress in Quebec City, the committee has been slow to materialize. To rectify this the 6th Congress set out a new plan for an ad-hoc TJC to address complaints against MER-RSM members that may have engaged in patriarchal, transphobic, racist, ableist, etc. behaviour or violence. The mandate of TJC includes a process of investigation, mediation and rectification. All comrades interested in acting for the TJC when the need arises are encouraged to get in touch with the CoCo via their Regional Organizer. In addition, the CoCo will create a list of resources to aid in the work of the TJC and make this list available to the leadership of every section. Any member of the MER-RSM or its periphery who has a complaint that they wish to be investigated by the TJC and CoCo has the right to contact their regional organizer or any Coordinating Committee member and to have that complaint dealt with as soon as possible. We will take all complaints with the attention and seriousness they deserve. Through this mechanism the MER-RSM will realize its commitment to maintaining internally a strong LGBTQ2SIAP+-inclusive, and proletarian feminist culture in both word and action

To advance these same politics externally we will implement the two following resolutions. The Congress directed that wherever possible sections to hold events this upcoming March 8th under the banner of Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day, and to promote a celebration of Proletarian Feminism and revolutionary gender oppressed people. In addition, the MER-RSM will intensify our opposition, in the coming years, to Canadian Association for Equality and other “Men’s Rights Activist” organizing. To guide this the CoCo will centralize and produce guidelines and propaganda for campaigns and actions against these reactionaries.

Other decisions focused on strengthening our organizing locally and further improving our propaganda materials. In the coming year CoCo will produce a plan for organizing at CEGEPs and Colleges, this will expand our organizing in this crucial site of struggle beyond the single section currently at Algonquin College. Also the CoCo will also develop recommended basics and advanced reading lists for the ideological advancement of members and will make these courses accessible on the MER-RSM website.

In fostering a culture of revolution in Canadian schools, the CoCo presented the draft of the first MER-RSM publication – “Classmates”. After discussion and feedback, it was decided that the publication will be released at least once a year, with the first issue being ready for September 2017. This will add a vibrancy to our movement and allow supporters and members to contribute actively to the perspective of the organization be it through art, analysis, or polemic.

Finally, the 6th Congress expressed solidarity with the comrades from RSM Sudbury, who are facing heavy police repression. The MER-RSM unequivocally condemns the outrageous actions of the Sudbury Police and Ontario Provincial Police and offers the support and assistance necessary for our comrades there to continue doing their great work. Further the MER-RSM extends our solidarity to Igor Sadikov, a student at McGill who faces major backlash from McGill’s Student Society and university’s administration for publicly expressing his anti-Zionist views. MER-RSM supports struggles against imperialism and colonialism in Canada and internationally and therefore stand in defence of his critique of Zionism. In this vein, we also affirm our solidarity with the member organizations of the International League of People’s Struggles. Through each of these declarations MER-RSM hopes to build comradery and strength by celebrating others who join us in the fight against imperialism, colonialism and capitalism.

Demonstrating the quality and growth of the organization, our Coordinating Committee now mainly consists of comrades who have not been on it previously. Due to this fact, some responsibilities are going to be shared between several people, in order to ensure a steady transition. Regional organizers will contact their sections shortly to introduce themselves:

Chairperson: Dimka Melnik (returning)
Ontario Organizer: Ken Kollontai
Ontario Organizer: Emma Calico
Quebec and Eastern Provinces Organizer: Dimka Melnik & Juju Rmd
Prairies and British Columbia Organizer: Yan Ni & Ian Desales
English Propaganda Officer: Cameron Mcalpine
French Propaganda Officer: Juju Rmd

Our struggles among the student masses have made us the largest left-wing student organization in Canada!

In Solidarity,
The Coordinating Committee of the Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire – Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM)

RSM-UPEI Opposes School Closures!

RSM-UPEI Opposes School Closures!

On February 1st a public meeting about the proposed closure of 5 PEI schools was held at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown. RSM-UPEI chairperson Nova spoke at the meeting, highlighted that these closures are an attack on working class communities and, in the case of closing St Jean Elementary, they are a step toward gentrifying the midtown area. This is a video of the speech from RSM-UPEI, and the following is a transcript:
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“Good evening. My name is Nova Arsenault and I’m the chairperson of the UPEI chapter of the Revolutionary Student Movement. We are an anticapitalist organization for youth and students with chapters from coast to coast. We oppose the proposed closures because we believe they amount to an attack on working class communities and, in particular, the children in those communities. I’ll explain in what way this issue affects the working class as a whole.

In order for people as workers to get decent jobs with livable wages, to make healthy decisions in life, and ultimately to liberate their class from capitalist exploitation, education is of utmost importance. This education must be as cheap as possible — preferably free of charge, it must be accessible to all, and it must be thorough and accurate. Schools must also provide programs for children with special needs, and services that benefit the community as a whole. In the case of St. Jean Elementary specifically, we have that. Contrary to what the government-appointed school board has said, an average class size of 17-18 students is not “underutilization”, it is an adequate class size that provides students an opportunity for one-on-one time with their teachers. Operating at 100% capacity should never be the goal, as any influx of new students — refugee students or new immigrants — would abruptly overcrowd the school and put unnecessary stress on both students and teachers. Closing a school like St. Jean that provides services for autistic children, math and literacy programs, and houses a dental clinic*, would also overburden other local establishments that provide these services, and would leave people scrambling to claim their place in line at another establishment. Affordability and the cost of travel would also become a major issue for families who have to travel longer distances to take their children to school, or for those who may have to relocate to make transportation easier. This would impact poor working class families and rural residents the hardest.

In terms of the capitalist exploitation of entire communities, the closure of St. Jean in particular is just one more step in the process of gentrification of the midtown area. For those who are unfamiliar with the term gentrification, Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.” In simpler terms; when people with money come in, poorer people tend to get pushed out. We can see that this process has already begun: the construction of pricey condominiums on Passmore street and the block surrounding it, and the closure of the Co-Op grocery store just a few blocks north are early factors of making this area unsuitable for poorer people. The next major obstacle to the gentrification of this area is St. Jean Elementary. Now, I have no ties with any local political parties, businesses, or developers. I have no insider information on this issue of gentrification. But to paraphrase Bob Dylan who I’m sure you’re all familiar with, “I don’t need to be Boomer Gallant to know which way the wind is blowing.” The wind of capitalism is blowing the downtown petty-bourgeois development northward into midtown, and we need to brace ourselves for the storm of capitalism that will follow if these closures happen.

Now, my recommendations to the board would be a reinvestigation of capacity and zoning issues, taking into account very carefully the zoning-related and capacity-related recommendations of the other speakers today, and also to not close any of the schools most importantly.

My recommendations to the public are that these closures absolutely must be stopped, and if we band together we can stop them. If the closures go ahead, the Revolutionary Student Movement intends to organize students at UPEI, high school students across the province, workers, parents, and the affected communities at large, to march to the PEI Public Schools Branch and make our demands heard as loudly as possible if they proceed with these closures.

And I leave you with three basic principles:
Education before greed;
People before profit;
And the interests of the children before the interests of the government!
Thank you.”

*the part about the dental clinic is out of date, the dental clinic was removed and the office is now used by CHANCES.