Solidarity with SFI, Oppose BJP-RSS Fascist’s Violence Against Students

On January 5, 2020, students and some faculty from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India were brutally attacked by armed assailants belonging to Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a far-right student organization affiliated to the fascist and Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The students and faculty of the university have been protesting against fee hikes for months and have been prominent in opposition to the far-right BJP-RSS government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The CAA is a recent law passed by the Indian parliament which creates a path to citizenship for refugees from neighboring countries, so long as they are not muslim. It represents a continuation of ongoing efforts to repress the minority Muslim population and transform India into a Hindu nation. In passing this law and mobilizing fascist paramilitaries to brutally repressing any opposition, the Indian state further pulls back the false veil of liberal democracy, to reveal itself as a fascist state which depends on Hindu nationalism to defend and strengthen the Indian ruling classes.

The Revolutionary Student Movement stands in solidarity with the Student Federation of India (SFI), the student affiliate of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and especially with comrade Aishe Ghosh of SFI, one of many that were seriously injured during the attacks by the ABVP. These attacks expose the fear of ruling class and righteousness of the struggles of those they exploit and oppress. However, the BJP government cannot defeat the revolutionary movement by these or any other means, as the the more brutality they use, and the wider the sections of Indian society they attack, the more isolated the government will become and the greater and more numerous will be the resistance.

This has been proven in India already in the heroic resistance of the Naxalite movement to the genocidal Operation Greenhunt, which has sought to surround the red base areas and exterminate their base of support. By improving their organization and training the masses in Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology and in the armed struggle, the Revolutionary Communist movement in India in the last few years only grown. We therefore call for the students of SFI to align themselves with the Naxalite movement. Nothing could more make the Indian ruling class tremble than unity between the workers and students struggling in the cities, and the oppressed nations and peasantry struggling in the countryside. Facing the united working classes of India, organized and armed, the fascist BJP-RSS could not hope to win.

Solidarity with the Student Federation of India!
Oppose BJP and Hindu fascism!
Support the Indian Revolutionary War!

The Revolutionary Student Movement upholds and supports the RCP’s expulsion of abusers and their apologists

Recently the rapist Brendan Copegog White and his apologist Dimka Melnik were expelled from the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada. Each had abused their influential positions to engage in manipulative or violent patriarchal behaviour. While Brendan sexually assaulted and subsequently harassed a member of the former RSM-Carleton, Dimka worked to cover up the assault to protect Brendan from accountability, and used his position as Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of the RSM to isolate, slander and attack the survivor.

Though Dimka’s coverup was eventually discovered and a thorough investigation conducted, the RSM still betrayed the survivor and RSM-Carleton by failing to immediately begin an independent investigation, instead taking Dimka at their word, even knowing about their social connection to Brendan and their past failure to correctly handle instances of patriarchal violence on the left. The result was the further isolation of the survivor and the dissolution of RSM-Carleton as an RSM section.

There is sufficient evidence to conclude that the accusations against Brendan are credible, such that any attempt to defend or protect Brendan is rape apologism, and incompatible with membership in any revolutionary organization. Brendan and those who support him should be excluded from any revolutionary organizing space, and any other space, depending on the revolutionary movements ability to enforce their exclusion and justify it to the masses.

The RSM therefore upholds and supports the expulsion of Brendan and Dimka from the Party. Further, it expresses solidarity with the survivor and commits to aiding them with combating Brendan and his supporters attempts to silence and intimidate them in any way that it is able.

– Coordinating Committee of the Revolutionary Student Movement

Resolutions of the Seventh Congress of the Revolutionary Student Movement

1. The RSM Internal Journal

The RSM will institute a theoretical-scientific internal journal, to be published bi-annually, once per semester.

Be it further resolved that an editorial board for the internal journal be formed, which will act as a standing committee of the RSM, with members elected by the Congress,

Be it further resolved that an this editorial board shall be tasked with (1) retrieving and compiling articles from RSM members, and (2) overseeing the publication and distribution of the journal.

Be it further resolved that an the editorial committee should be able to request revisions to submitted articles that require improvement or wholly reject those which do not conform to the principles of the RSM mandate.

Be it further resolved that an the final content of every issue should be subject to final approval and review by the Coordinating Committee.

 

2. Combating Patriarchal Behaviours in the RSM

A committee will be struck to study the development of past incidents of patriarchal behaviour and the RSM’s handling of them, study the theories and procedures of other revolutionary organizations in combating internal patriarchy, and oversee their implementation in the RSM;

Be it further resolved that an this committee should keep track of abusers named from other organizations to inform sections of these individuals.

Be it further resolved that an each RSM section will contribute one member to this committee if possible;

Be it further resolved that an the minimum requirements for such procedures be recognized as follows:

  • they must address patriarchy in both the antagonistic and non-antagonistic stages
  • in the latter case, they must provide methods for recognizing and relentlessly struggling against less harmful manifestations of patriarchy, recognizing that failing to do so is liberalism, and that these will lead to greater harm and division if left unchecked
  • in the former case, where antagonism has developed, whether in the form of harassment, abuse, or assault, that the accused should be suspended from the RSM immediately, pending a thorough investigation
  • the survivor has authority to appoint an “inreach” team to represent them to this committee, oversee subsequent procedures such as official statements, official internal documents, and demands.
  • conditions permitting, this investigation should be carried out by out by individual(s) without biases w.r.t. the different parties, such as principally close interpersonal relationships outside of organizing spaces, and should report directly to the committee on their findings
  • if any involved parties feel that the investigation or its results are not in accordance with proletarian feminism, they may appeal to the committee and to the CoCo
  • if it is determined that an accusation of abuse, harassment, or assault is credible, then the accused shall be immediately expelled; the RSM does not have the resources to dedicate to transforming very harmful individuals, we can only isolate them, warn others, and punish them to the extent which our power and conditions allow
  • isolation would here be defined as all members being required to remove the abuser from social media, excluding the abuser from social events where possible, and excluding the abuser from political organizing where possible. Isolation also involves an active struggle to defend and uphold the verdict against apologists and abusers.
  • when the verdict has been reached, the CoCo members have 48 hours to distribute this information to each chapter. This must include the following information of the abuser: name, social media accounts, and photos, so that sections know to isolate this person.  If recommended by the survivor or inreach committee, the CoCo should make a public statement regarding the incident.
  • in the instance that a chapter refuses to expel an abusive member, this committee will have the authority of an investigative committee to make a recommendation to the CoCo that the chapter be dissolved.
  • when experiencing non-antagonistic patriarchy from other RSM members, members must immediately report it to their local leadership; if the accused is in leadership, or if the leadership does not take the situation seriously, it should be escalated to both the committee and the CoCo; sections must create such conditions that all members are aware of this and feel comfortable doing so; they must ensure that all members have the contact information for certain non-local committee and CoCo representatives;
  • if an RSM member experiences antagonistic patriarchal behaviour from another RSM member, they should immediately inform the committee and the CoCo
  • the RSM must reject the survivor-centric approach, as it often serves to perpetuate abuse and allows abusers to continue to exist in radical spaces under conditions when survivors are reluctant to act against the abuser; conditions must be created where a survivor does not fear coming forward and acting against their abuser;

Be it further resolved that an that proletarian feminism, being still relatively undeveloped can only be developed through a scientific approach; the committee must therefore keep detailed records of all findings either in investigations or study, continuously criticize established methods, and develop new analyses of proletarian feminism and the methods of combating internal patriarchy, to be published in the internal journal and analyzed by all sections.

 

3. On General Assemblies and the Strategic Line of Construction of MER-RSM

Be it resolved:

  • We should unite under the slogan: “Students to the streets” / “Étudiant à la rue”
  • This means to concentrate all capacities in constructing the MER-RSM in struggle among the deepest, most exploited and oppressed layers of the masses, the hard-core of the proletariat, according to the concrete conditions of each chapter of the MER-RSM.
  • The hard core of the proletariat is the larger strata of the proletariat, the millions of workers who have nothing to lose but their chains, who constitute the hard core of the revolutionary camp. These strata are notably made up of, not necessarily exclusively: the poor and exploited workers who are at the bottom of the social ladder; the workers excluded from the labour market, who comprise the industrial reserve army for the capitalists; the new strata of proletarians that come from recent immigration; women, who continue to massively integrate the labour market – the capitalists profit from sexism and discrimination and over-exploit them; the youth, that are more than any other generation, confronted with precarious and underpaid work; the indigenous workers, for whom unemployment is the rule and who are subjected to the worst discrimination.
  • Instead of orienting toward the careerist and reformist vipers’ nest of petty-bourgeois campus politics, as we have largely done to this day, we will organize on campus principally to get students off campus and into the proletarian struggle in the streets, the factories and the fields. This is the practice of the Maoist revolutionaries leading the national democratic movement in the Philippines, as well as a major component of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution concentrated in the slogan “DOWN TO THE COUNTRYSIDE!”
  • On campus organizing is to be treated according to the nature of each section. When on campus work is secondary, such as at universities, this will take the form of on campus recruitment, confronting class enemies, study groups, having a militant presence at relevant demonstrations, and other similar events. In instances of high schools or CEGEPs, it may be more appropriate for members to do off-campus outreach where feasible, treating campus work as more primary.
  • Our purpose is to fight the old state. Our analysis proves that universities are nothing but towers of the bourgeoisie. They are more reactionary than the most reactionary of trade unions. Still, like those trade unions, we should never renounce struggling within them. It is necessary to organize within them, but we must always ask: to what end, and for whom? We say: for the conquest of political power by the proletariat.
  • We must always strive to link the just struggles of the masses for their demands, to the central task of the revolutionary movement in the Canadian state: power for the proletariat, conquered with the force of arms, for socialism and communism.
  • In doing so, RSM sections must concretely combat class enemies and oppose opportunism.
  • No more jockeying almost full-time for General Assemblies, or worse, so-called “proletarian unions” which represent a detour to a detour. Neither represents genuine “dual power” as synthesized by Lenin and Mao, which hinges ultimately on guns: “Political power grows from the barrel of a gun.”
  • We must avoid this narrow sectional interest, which is exclusive to students, and has no concrete perspective for linking itself to the wider proletarian struggle for power.
  • The bourgeoisie has always had their schools to reproduce themselves. We need to show the alienated students, who live in an ideological bubble, the realities of the daily struggle for mere existence confronting the toiling masses.
    RSM sections should synthesize the results from these struggles into articles to be included in the Internal Journal, and that sections incorporate the positive lessons from others’ experiences into their own efforts, in particular lessons on sections of the masses to do work on, how that work is to be conducted, what form of organizations will be created, and what the RSM’s connection will be to those organizations.

 

4. Security Culture

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will create a detailed internal document of security protocols to be followed at meeting, while online, during actions, or anywhere deemed necessary.

Be it further resolved that this document contain not only what security protocols to follow, but also the benefits and risks of various security practices especially related to online security.

Be it further resolved that local leadership ensure the disciplined adherence to these protocols by all section cadre and train them in their use.

Be it further resolved that the Coordinating Committee will indicate the appropriate level of security for each document sent out to sections.

Be it further resolved that whenever the Coordinating Committee releases a document for its members they should specify one of the following levels of security: (1) section leadership; (2) general members, and (3) public.

 

5. International Bureau

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will take the initiative to seek advice from international comrades engaged in the student struggle and also to materially support them as needed.

 

6. International Working Women’s Day

The RSM will rectify the error of renaming International Working Women’s Day to “Gender Oppressed Workers’ Day” and return to celebrating this occasion by its original name. Additionally, be it resolved that such action stand in solidarity with the struggles of all members of the working class who are socially perceived as women, including trans women and some non-binary and intersex people, and who therefore are the primary targets of patriarchal oppression.

 

7. On Video Propaganda

Be it resolved:

  • We must create compelling video propaganda. Teaching people the basics of shooting videos of protests and actions clearly so that we get footage of confrontations with class enemies. We must encourage the masses to record testimonies of their reality without shame. We must put the unseen and unspoken proletarian reality at the forefront and always in order to flip the script on the rancid and festering culture of imperialism.
  • Propaganda officers from each section will form a Propaganda Committee, lead by the Coordinating Committee propaganda officers to:
    • centralize raw video footage of all sorts produced by local chapters;
    • archive them for use in future productions according to the security protocols of the propaganda committee;
    • edit them on case-by-case basis if that capacity is lacking locally;
    • synthesize them into gripping and professionally produced videos that speak to a pan-canadian context;
    • decentralize high-quality video assets, skills and practices.
    • Create a document laying out the RSM’s line on video propaganda

 

8. On the Logo of the MER-RSM

The Coordinating Committee will consult with sections on the possibility of a new logo design.

 

9. On Plain Living and Hard Struggle

The following argument was put forth by one section. The Congress elected to retain this information for the purposes of constructing an appropriate code of conduct and recognizes that some of the wording is subject to criticism and change:

  • “The MER-RSM reaffirms that we are not an apolitical social scene, an “Ol’ Boys Club” or a fraternity which exists to generate personal social capital for a few charismatic opportunists.
    • The MER-RSM reaffirms that we are an organization of disciplined revolutionary militants, forging ourselves as leaders for the coming war against the old state, within our lifetimes. We must get serious, professionalize our structure and ourselves. Our personal lives are fully subordinate to our political commitments. We should hold ourselves and one-another to that standard, in the real world and online.
    • No more decadent social gatherings! No more bourgeois cultural events! Just one hour of doing room-to-room talks, having brief but regular meetings where we touch base and study and talk objectives, collective physical training, immersing ourselves among the masses to share in their work and their recreation – this is worth more than a 100 hours of apolitical social gatherings that look no different than the average college party.
  • Camaraderie is important, and to socialize with comrades is important too. But just as with everything else we do, camaraderie must be unfolded among the masses and in service to them.
  • Instead of just fraternizing with each other, we should fraternize with the proletarian masses and take part in their festivities, but not cause trouble. We should listen to them talk about their lives and problems, and wait until they are done before we judge them
  • MER-RSM is all struggle all the time. We must sleep on the ground if necessary, eating the food of the urban poor masses, sharing in their joys and sorrows, forever keeping to the style of plain living and hard struggle. If we are not prepared to give up our gold and soft bed, we will be useless when the time of struggle comes. We must master the new conditions of revolutionary life, or we will perish along with the revolution.
  • Remember, in the last analysis, the workers and peasants are the cleanest people and, even though their hands may be soiled and their feet smeared with cow-dung, they really are cleaner than the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois intellectuals. Our purpose is always to build links and make contacts within the masses.”

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee, in coordination with the Concordia and Ottawa comrades, and all other sections, will develop a statement on proletarian ethics, rectifying past mistakes, and develop a code of conduct for all members based on that statement. This code of conduct should be completed before January 1st, 2020, and be sent out to all sections.

 

10. Motion on supporting survivors of abuse

Be it resolved:

  • In case of an expulsion of a member from the revolutionary movement due to abuse against anyone, the RSM will uphold the verdict on the abuser and actively protect the survivor against all form of threats and intimidation, including especially threats of legal action against the survivor in reactionary bourgeois courts.
  • the responsibility falls to the pan-Canadian RSM to continue to uphold their statement against all subsequent attacks, as the RSM is the one brought it public, so it’s their duty to continue upholding it.
  • The work of protecting the survivor is not finished once the abuser is exposed and expelled, as history as made it clear that abusers will retaliate using any means at their disposal, including reactionary bourgeois courts, be it a month or a year following their expulsion.
  • Be it further resolved the RSM should make a public statement upholding the expulsion of the accused. In the instance of subsequent intimidation or threats from the abuser, the CoCo will release a letter to the accused, and also to organizations that continue to work with the accused, that they will continue to uphold their previous statements and materially support the survivor, even if the accused intends to pursue bourgeoisie reactionary courts or further escalation in reactionary law or other reactionary attacks.

Report back from the 7th Congress of the MER-RSM

The seventh congress of the MER-RSM has concluded, having been held from Nov. 23-24, 2019. This congress was long overdue, though it was still held in 2019, as resolved at the time of the previous congress nearly three years ago. This congress was marked by numerous struggles on issues of crucial importance to the RSM. There were also certain minor logistical problems in the planning and execution of this congress which we will be able to rectify in the future. Several workshops were given which educated the congress delegates in the production and delivery of various forms of propaganda. A new Coordinating Committee was also elected to guide the RSM until the next congress.

Some of the most prominent victorious struggles waged by the congress delegates include the struggle for the establishment of methods for upholding proletarian feminism and combating patriarchy, on changing the primary focus of the RSM from on-campus to off-campus organizing, on the establishment of an internal journal for recording political experiences and waging line struggle in the RSM, and on not changing the organization’s name in a misguided attempt to symbolize rectification of past mistakes. All congress resolutions and the updated constitution can be found online at mer-rsm.ca.

In recognition of the of the RSM’s failure to properly investigate instances of patriarchal abuse, and to systematically eliminate patriarchal behaviour and ideology in the RSM, and that this failure has caused significant harm to RSM sections, members, and periphery, a proletarian feminist committee was created. This committee will have members from all RSM sections, and will investigate instances of patriarchal behaviour when reported to it, as well as develop training and behavioural guidelines for proletarian feminist praxis, and work to further develop proletarian feminist theory itself as much as possible. The congress also resolved to actively work to support and defend survivors of sexual violence on an ongoing basis.

In a major strategic shift, the congress rejected the General Assembly strategy of the previous congress, as well as a newly proposed strategy of building proletarian student unions on campuses. Instead the congress recognized that the relationship of on-campus to off-campus organizing must be based on the relative balance of class forces in a given educational institution. In high-schools or CEGEPs which are largely proletarian, on-campus work may take precedence, but in most universities, bourgeois elements are overwhelming. In this case, RSM sections must limit on-campus activities to propaganda work, study groups, and combating class enemies; the greater part of its effort must go toward bringing students out of the campus to aid in building the larger proletarian revolutionary movement. Using the slogan “Students to the Streets!”, we will work to determine those methods by which students can build the workers, youth, and other movements.

In an affirmation of the place of Marxism as the science of class struggle, the RSM has ratified the creation of the RSM Internal Journal, which all RSM sections will contribute to and which will be published once per term. The campaigns of all RSM sections will be summed-up and analyzed in journal articles, so that other sections can read and learn from them. The journal will also be a space for new theories to be proposed and line struggle to occur. The congress also elected an editorial committee which has been tasked with reviewing submitted articles and preparing the journal.

One of the final motions presented was to change the RSM name. This motion was presented in light of the various mistakes the RSM has made, including in failing to apply proletarian feminism, but also others which have harmed the RSM image and made organizing under the banner of the RSM more difficult for local organizers. This motion was roundly defeated after much discussion. In the end, it was confirmed that the RSM’s newer resolve to uphold and apply proletarian principles is not a break with RSM principles, but an affirmation of them. In places where the RSM has made more harmful mistakes, organizing as the RSM will be difficult, but changing the name will not undo the mistakes; only effective organizing that serves the needs of the masses will win their forgiveness.

The minor organization problems include difficulty in arranging transportation to the congress, such that the Vancouver and Kitchener-Waterloo comrades were unable to attend. This was mostly a result of the lack of budget and time in organizing the conference, though a lack of effective communication within the RSM contributed as well. In the future, better communication networks and less urgency will allow all RSM sections to send delegates to the congress.

This congress has allowed the RSM to affirm its unity and its commitment to rectifying errors. Our new scientific journal will enable us to continually develop ever better methods of combating internal patriarchy and other forms of reactionary ideology, and of engaging in mass work. With it we will forge an intractable organization that will transform bourgeois universities into trenches of combat, and aid in raising the larger revolutionary movement to ever greater heights.

 

Students to the Streets!

Long live MER-RSM!

Uphold proletarian feminism to smash patriarchy!

Another Year Begins: Train Revolutionary Students For Revolutionary Struggle!

Another Year Begins: Train Revolutionary Students For Revolutionary Struggle!

Students are heading back to school for another year, amidst deteriorating conditions in Canada and world-wide. As the ruling class attempts to enrich itself and cement its power, students face relentless attacks. Education funding gets cut as tuition rises across the country, though the offensive is most intense in Ontario. There, the PC government has made cuts to education and is planning to eliminate thousands of teaching positions, while attempting to eliminate the funding stream of the bureaucratic post-secondary student unions. The capitalist ruling class which orchestrates this renewed round of attacks on students also perpetuates settler-colonialism and imperialism, such that resistance on one of these fronts also serves the resistance on the others.

The strength of the proletariat is its organization, yet how it is organized will determine success or failure. While high school students have been brave in resisting attacks in solidarity with the teachers unions, it is inevitable that a lack of revolutionary strategy and organization will prevent them challenging the provincial government in a serious way. The bureaucratic unions on the other hand are as ineffective as ever, unable to either defend themselves from these new attacks or make new gains for students. Their weakness comes from at least three interrelated factors, 1) their bureaucratic methods such that they neither seek to nor are able to mobilize the masses of students in their own interests 2) their reformism, such that their focus is only on winning certain meagre concessions rather than building power that can be welded against the ruling class so that in the end any rare gains won can be easily reversed later, and 3) the lack of class analysis, such that the bureaucratic unions attempt to represent all of the contradictory and mutually exclusive class interests of students, rather than recognizing that there are multiple classes of students, and siding with the most and exploited among them, the end result being that the bureaucratic unions will only represent the interests of the most privileged of students, either bourgeois or petty-bourgeois depending on context.

Only the RSM has the perspectives and methods which can overcome all of these weaknesses. Instead of bureaucratism, we must mobilize proletarian students with ever increasing militancy by applying the mass line to build movements which address the masses’ concrete conditions. Instead of reformism, we must connect these conditions to broader revolutionary goals, and build dual power institutions that will grow the masses’ ability to win future victories and defend those of the past. Instead of liquidating class analysis, we must be partisan, and side with proletarian students and their allies against their enemies, on campus and off.

On these points the RSM has had both successes and failures. When at its best, RSM sections have been able to consolidate a core of dedicated organizers and wage successful campaigns that win over significant numbers of students to our perspectives and into our organization. However we have failed to universalize these good practices – in regards to effective social investigation and mass work, and in consolidating comrades and raising leadership among them – and to synthesize and retain concrete lessons from all of these experiences, such that gains won are later lost and important lessons learned are later forgotten as experienced students graduate and move on.

In investigating and recognizing these problems which hold us back, the solution presents itself. To universalize good practices and retain important and hard-won lessons, we have created the RSM Internal Journal, and must work to synthesize, record, and struggle to develop lessons from our past and future work, to be included in future issues. We must now work to develop our ability to conduct social investigation and mass work, and to train and educate revolutionary students, each in their proper time and place, that is to keep in mind the balance between expansion and consolidation.

The main task now is consolidation; we must cement the RSM as an organization which can lead future struggles by both training our members in revolutionary practice and educating them in revolutionary theory. This should consist on the one hand of workshops and study sessions, and on the other hand in engaging in basic mass work practice, especially social investigation. Social investigation will keep each of our sections deeply entrenched in their campus life and knowledgeable in the struggles of the local proletarian students, so that campaigns around these struggles can be launched as soon as our sections prepared to do so. Onward!

Train Revolutionary Students For Revolutionary Struggle!

Build Power Among Proletarian Students!

Learn and Apply Lessons Gained Through the Class Struggle!

Build the Revolutionary Student Movement!

– Coordinating Committee of the Revolutionary Student Movement

Removal of Chair from the Coordinating Committee and Expulsion from the MER-RSM

It is our duty to inform you the former chair of the MER-RSM, Dimka has been removed from the Coordinating Committee. He has also been expelled from the movement. This comes after his inexcusable mishandling of an investigation into sexual violence perpetrated by a former comrade from Ottawa.

In short, he failed to take seriously and properly investigate concerns of patriarchal, abusive and manipulative behaviour due to his close connection to the perpetrator. He took an antagonistic approach through all of his actions. When contacting the survivor initially rather then taking the position of believing and supporting them and working from there, his first step was to discredit and not to support them, rather to take an antagonistic attitude. Even prior to contacting the survivor when he learned they had faced sexual violence he errored in failing to recognize the predatory behaviour as it developed and prevent it before harm could be done. As a member of leadership he had a great responsibility and he used his position to ultimately prevent proper investigation and obscure the truth. He put forward a red herring which misdirected the focus from the initial concerns protecting his comrade and himself from criticism. He assumed a level of intrigue on the part of the comrade who raised concerns and accusations which then led him to push through isolating them from the movement as a whole without basis, an error from which the damage cannot be undone. This prevented the investigation from being taken on properly and fundamentally broke the trust put in the Coordinating Committee by comrades.

One lesson we have learned is any comrade can make grievous errors and no one should be above criticism. There is no excuse for the damage Dimka has done to comrades locally, he used his position to insulate himself and a close comrade from accountability. This behaviour is unacceptable for any member of the revolutionary movement, and his errors demonstrated a failure to apply proletarian feminist politics. Even in his departure, he did not grasp the root of his errors and failed to correct his misdirection continuing to slander and victim-blame.

However, we also need to self-criticize. Although Dimka was partially to blame for what happened, the Coordinating Committee acts collectively and we fundamentally failed to recognize the errors that Dimka made early in the process. We allowed our confidence in Dimka to stop us from criticizing what should have been clear errors in the way he handled the situation. We did not look further into the details and remove Dimka from the role of lead investigator before taking action. There were errors in judgment that actively put comrades at risk and we facilitated those continuing in that we failed to act sooner to question his perspectives. For the first week of our knowledge about the accusations of the perpetrator we were complacent and that allowed Dimka to continue to do damage. The comrade who brought forward allegations was not contacted immediately by other members of Coordinating Committee to allow for a proper investigation. We allowed Dimka to be our single information source in spite of the severity of the situation and his role in it. He had previously made similar errors in failing to investigate properly instances of sexual violence and in having good practice of proletarian feminism. Although he produced a self criticism at that time we should not have placed our trust in his ability to handle the same sort of case effectively given his connection to the perpetrator. Our failure to do so allowed him to do harm yet again and perpetuate sexual violence. We recognize our principal error was to not remove him from taking an active role in the investigation when we first learned about it. Secondarily we acted without independently contacting the survivor and finally we assumed bad faith based on very little information from a single source being Dimka. We apologize for these errors on our part we did not act to put a stop to the harm being done as soon as we possibly could and instead allowed it to continue for far to long.

In universalizing the lessons our approach should have been to remove Dimka from an active role in the investigation, to independently contact all parties involved and seek the truth from facts, and finally to collectively sort through information before pursuing any action. Our failure to do so in this case caused severe damage and it cannot be allowed to happen again. Beyond this we must recognize, no matter how earnest the comrade, no one is invincible from error so as we say above no one is beyond criticism. With his departure the Coordinating Committee has elected Ken Kollontai to be the chair until the next congress. If you have any questions or criticisms please contact us. Finally we would like to apologize again our practice failed to meet the standards it must. We have and will continue to draw lessons from this to properly practice proletarian feminism in Canada.

In Solidarity,
MER-RSM Coordinating Committee

Red Spring 2019

Red Spring 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, March 20th, across Canada students are mobilizing. They are joining together to walkout, strike and rally as part of the Red Spring, rising up to defiantly unite to defend work class student interests and fight a capitalist education system built for profit at the expense of the working class. We have five core points of unity which we are joining together in action to defend and propose, not as a quick fix to capitalist education to make it slightly more tolerable, but as a new vision of an education system which is progressive, revolutionary, and liberatory.

We say let us have an education system which realizes:

1. Education in the service of the people, not profit!

Education must serve the interests of the people, not corporations and profit. Everyone needs to have access to post-secondary education. Research has to be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of capitalists and their wars. A democratic and scientific education must replace the imperialist, settler-colonial and patriarchal curriculum. Education needs to prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to be exploited on the job.

2. Guaranteed paid internships for all students

Interns are workers and must be paid equally for the same work as other workers in their field. Over 300,000 interns across the country do not get proper pay. The times when employers could exploit intern workers without pay must end now!

3. Abolition of tuition fees at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!

Banks and the government keep using students as cash-cows while tuition fees and debt become unbearable for most of us. We will not be held hostage to the scam of having to give an arm and a leg for a basic necessity such as education!

4. Barrier-free access to post-secondary education for all Indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!

Canada, as a settler-colonial state, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous nations. All Indigenous people must have barrier-free access to post-secondary education. We support the creation of independent faculties, colleges and universities controlled by the Indigenous people. The education system needs to foster the cultures and languages of Indigenous people within it and include mandatory anti-colonial components in 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 and administrators filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors. Instead, schools must be run by committees elected at a general assembly composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community.

The fight of today, the organizing of the last two months, the Red Spring campaign is only one step in the path. What we demonstrate is that simply lobbying is not enough. We can ask all we want instead we need to build a movement which can realize the education system we need. Working class students face an education system that tries to make us obedient subordinates, future workers who will toil for someone else’s profit. But we must continue to defiantly build our own movement, not one that requests but demands a better future and one that can gain the power to make it a reality.

We need not one day of actions, not one day of strikes, but unlimited general student strikes as part of a broader revolutionary front against capitalism, imperialism, and settler-colonialism. That can only come by joining together to organize as we have today and continuing the work we have started. In 2012, 2015 and this year again the students across Quebec are striking. We must learn from their success and failures and build toward similar general strikes from coast to coast.

To accomplish these tasks we need to understand what is necessary, that is a militant, politicized working class student movement. A movement that breaks from old bad habits of reformism and begging for a set at the table to ask for concessions and instead fights to win. This is the movement that we aim to build around us as the Revolutionary Student Movement.

The work does not stop today. In the coming week many local Revolutionary Student Movement sections will be having meetings to continue to organize and to learn from our successes. Join us, whether you were out today or not we cannot let up.

No Fees!
No Debt!

No barriers to education!

In Struggle,

MER-RSM Coordinating Committee

THE ONTARIO STUDENT MOVEMENT WILL NOT BE CO-OPTED

THE ONTARIO STUDENT MOVEMENT WILL NOT BE CO-OPTED

Yesterday the Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario (CFS-ON) launched a callout for a province wide student walkout on March 20th at noon. It is an interesting coincidence that they chose to initiate a callout for action on that specific date. This date and time is exactly the same as the Red Spring Day of Action which we made a public callout for on January 19th and have been actively organizing to promote on campuses across the country. Already the CFS leadership is feigning ignorance about this widely promoted campaign, admitting they didn’t try to reach out to us before announcing it. This is a dishonest and opportunistic move to co-opt and undermine what is and continues to be an independent, radical initiative of student organizers across Canada. Failing to mobilize quickly and effectively themselves, they have chosen to try and graft themselves onto the work of others. They hope to take the credit by throwing money at expensive promotion, photo ops with pictures of paid staffers and plastic mass-produced protest signs, all to go towards lobbying the politicians who keep on passing legislation to harm most students and prevent us from organizing. They will keep on pretending they have any semblance of relevance to the 500,000 students they claim to represent, the absolute majority of whom has never heard of the CFS despite funding it. This action cannot be swept aside as a misunderstanding, a miscommunication or an innocent mistake. Leadership of the group with a multi-million dollar operating budget, paid organizers and deep rooted networks among student bureaucracy knows perfectly well what events are organized by which student group across the country. The CFS exposes itself once again not only as ineffective and not useful to the student movement, but also as harmful to us all.

If they were simply useless, trying to foster professional careers in “activism” and secure jobs as staffers for political parties without repercussions for the lives of students it would be easy to ignore them. But they work to co-op, control and undermine every student initiative that is new, radical and bold. Their ossified bureaucratic apparatus is completely disconnected from the reality of most students and is incapable to represent us. They are rife with corruption and embezzlement scandals, as well as dishonest bureaucratic maneuvering instead of open political engagement. Our future is on the line and the CFS is part of the problem. The working class in Canada is facing harsh austerity attacks ratcheted up by every government and working class students are no exception to this. We are facing higher levels of debt post-graduation, if it is at all possible for some of us to afford attending school in the first place. Upon graduation we find ourselves pushed more and more into working temp jobs for capitalists taking a greater and greater share of the wealth that needs to be shared by us all. The situation is dire and therefore we need a movement that can fight and win. We need to put politics in command and build a genuine student movement led by the interests of the people who face the most oppression while making the most sacrifices and putting in the most work for everything around us to exist. We need to stop asking politicians for handouts. Instead, we need to strike as often and for as long as we need until we win major systemic changes. All the CFS can do is lobby and unsurprisingly in their 38 years of existence we have experienced 38 years of defeat. Their demands are hollow. They may sound appealing at times, but at best they pay lip service to the interests of most students they claim to represent. They call on the government to give us the right to organize, to protect student voices, for more grants less loans, and to eliminate tuition fees. But they are afraid of being bold, decisive and of fighting for these demands. Demands are not gifts to be handed down by benevolent lords but victories we must win on the streets, at our schools and at work. We will never win anything on the negotiating table not already won in struggle.

In contrast, our points of unity are explicitly political, they are not requests we make of a government that we already know would rather see us chained by our debt and dutifully working for them and the profit of their boss friends. And we are tirelessly organizing to mobilize more and more students around these:

  1. Education in the service of the people, not profit!
  2. Guaranteed paid internships for all students
  3. Abolition of tuition fees at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!
  4. Barrier-free access to post-secondary education for all Indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!
  5. Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!

 

We have no illusions that the task of realising these demands is an easy or simple process. But we cannot afford to keep begging for scraps from the table of the ruling class and we have a plan to win our demands. Our task is to build a working-class student movement capable of exercising powerful, united student strikes. A movement that is only a part of a larger set of revolutionary forces which can demand on the negotiating table what we have already won. This is no small feat, but it is possible. The examples of Quebec in 2012 and 2015 most recently show us that we can win victories by strong, continuous resistance and working class solidarity. We do not see these experiences uncritically, but we also are not afraid to get our hands dirty and actually build a student movement that can fight.

The CFS-Ontario can definitely recognize they are at the brink of total collapse, as they cannot exist without money. And their only response is to attempt to pretend they have been at the helm of the work students across the country have been doing since January for the upcoming Red Spring actions on March 20th. We need to reject their insufficient demands and go beyond trying to prop-up the same failed strategies of the last 38 years. That union bureaucrats would stoop to grafting on to existing work speaks to their own pathetic desperation. Calling for an action to conflict with an already existing organizing efforts of many students across the country is an attempt to damage the student movement and assert their dominance in a hostile way. The government and the ruling class couldn’t have gotten better help than this – seeing a major student organization step on toes of independent, radical organizing to try to split students apart must make them really happy.

We reject any attempts to water down the politics of the student movement. We call on all of our comrades and supporters to completely abandon any kind of engagement with every CFS-aligned initiative. The student movement needs to get rid of this dead weight by building a genuinely radical resistance and organizing. We must fight knowing that it is right to rebel and it is even better to make revolution. We will continue to resist and to build a movement that can smash the current system of for-profit education and oppressive anti-people governments and we will unite the students across this country to build a new, better system in its place.

In Struggle,

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

Congratulation to the PCR-RCP on the 12th Anniversary of its Founding

Congratulation to the PCR-RCP on the 12th Anniversary of its Founding

This January 25th marks the 12th anniversary of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada (PCR-RCP). We congratulate them on this occasion and renew our commitment to working closely with our comrades to make revolution in Canada. It was the PCR-RCP which made the initiative to call a Conference of Revolutionary Youth and Students together in 2012. This meeting was the first of several which culminated 4 years later with the creation of our organization the Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM). Along the way we have been lucky to struggle alongside the PCR-RCP and appreciate the strong leadership they have offered us as well as others in making revolution. Our modest success would have been impossible without their guidance and support.

We have never made any bones about the fact we are guided by communist principles and that the end goal of our work is revolution. We recognize that we are only one part of the larger united front against the various enemies of the oppressed people and the proletariat in Canada. The united front that will defeat capitalism, settler-colonialism and imperialism in this country. The PCR-RCP is an integral part of that movement.

Today we say to our comrades Lal Salam or Red Salute and look forward to continuing the revolutionary struggle for as long as it takes to build a new world!

In Struggle,

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

Ontario Students Rise Up! Red Spring is Coming

Ontario Students Rise Up! Red Spring is Coming

Ever faithful to protecting capitalist interests, the enemies of the people in the government of Ontario have struck another blow against the interests of working class students. This time, it is by increasing the cost of education through a particularly conniving scheme: first, they leaked an announcement about a 10% tuition fee decrease for the 2019-2020 school year. They even promised that tuition fees will be frozen at this level for the following year as well. However, this is a diversion from the real news. The far more significant changes are in the structure of loans through the OSAP program. As always, when we delve deeper we find that behind every such announcement, whatever the rhetoric, the goal is for the government to structure education to train a generation of workers equipped only to take on the jobs they desire to exploit us through, and be pacified both through debt and propaganda.

What are the nuts and bolts of these changes? First, the 6-month post-graduation grace period has been eliminated, making repayment process and loan interest start immediately after graduation. This will result in students being forced into deeper debt, faster than before. It will also push more students into jobs outside of their field of study. This will lead to an increase of the class divide between working class and bourgeois students: working class students bear the brunt of student debt and will not have time to pursue work in the field of their study before they are forced to pay their loans. The second change is the altering of the way available funding is calculated, with the maximum cap put on the portion of funding offered in grants to 50%. This change hits working class students the hardest, since they are predominantly low-income. Previously, the grant-to-loan ratio was scaled to income and the number of dependents an applicant has. Now, while this is still the case, those with minimal income will be saddled with a higher debt load. Ultimately, this will push working class students who have the least ability to pay for the loans to have the greatest amount of debt. These changes should remind us that our education system is constructed to serve the interests of capitalists. These changes will entrench the class divisions amongst students and hurt those of us from the working class especially hard. None of us should be so naïve as to think that any politician today can create an education service that is in our interests. But we can fight to build one both in resisting these changes in the here and now and building a movement that can fundamentally restructure society. We can build a movement that can make revolution.

In addition to these decreases, one of the other changes is the so called “Student Choice Initiative”. The choice, of course, was made for the students by this government, without asking for our permission or opinions. The aim of this initiative is to alter the rules around ancillary fees. When realized, it will direct post-secondary education institutions to let students choose to opt-out of “non-essential” fees. This will be realized in two ways:

1. Student union or association fees will be made optional. We need to remember, that outside Quebec these organizations are not democratic, accountable or connected to serving the interests of most students. Corruption scandals and toothless actions are the order of the day for most student unions across this country. But let us be clear on this: this is an issue that working class students need to solve on our own, by organizing to rebuild our student movement in our interests. Politicians need to keep their filthy hands out of our affairs! And the same goes for school administrations, constantly working to sabotage our future.

2. Other fees and levies that predominantly serve working class students will be undermined. We can think of many examples from food banks to daycare services. These fees, while “non-essential”, primarily help working class students who are in need of assistance. What this change will functionally achieve is to further privatize the provision of services that may not be essential to the school as a whole, but are certainly essential for working class students. These meager handouts are not even enough to adequately help most people in need of assistance, but the attack on it cannot be seen as anything other than an attempt by capitalists to profit further off of the misery they create for us.

Most student groups, including those on the left that oppose this tuition increase have adopted a stance of laying all of the blame on one bad man – Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario. He is certainly a bad man, but the changes we fight against aren’t the result of one man’s actions – they are a result of the governing Conservative party’s policies. But even more so, they are the result of how the Canadian state works, on the federal, provincial and municipal levels. It is the result of it serving the ruling class of the wealthiest capitalists and their interests. We do not have universal, barrier-free and accessible post-secondary education. We do not have an education system that serves the people, we only have a system where we take on a huge debt to be able to qualify as sufficiently-trained workers for the capitalist bosses. Our education system only constantly reproduces society as we know it – a society built on oppressive and outright criminal system of capitalism, colonialism and imperialism. It does not help to bring us towards a better future, towards a different kind of world. And those who cannot afford to take on education get forced into increasingly precarious, low-paying, back-breaking labor that can barely suffice for survival.

Outrage against the actions of this government is justified. However, things will not change through expressions of moral outrage and knee-jerk reactions to every terrible measure that this government announces every few weeks. Students and workers need to organize around longer-term goals instead. We need to unite in a fight for a better world, the way we want to see it. Not just be scattered and on the defensive all the time.

This government has already launched an attack on every working class person in the province, by depriving us of the small, overdue, minimum wage increase. It has attacked us by stealing the much needed guaranteed few paid sick leave days and other basic workplace necessities. In a show of adherence to colonial oppression, it has canceled all work to include the general practices, customs and traditions of Indigenous peoples in geography, history and social studies courses in both elementary and high school curriculum. It has forced our high-schools to revert back to an outdated sex-education curriculum, reversing years of improved understanding of healthier relationships. It has deprived the Francophone communities in Ontario of the funding for their education programs. There is much harm this government has done, and much more it will do.

This is why we call on all the communities, groups and individuals harmed and outraged by all these attacks on the people to join us in taking matters into our own hands. We are calling for a one-day Strike and marches on February 15th at noon. We will organize a walk-out of classes across the province, and we are looking for every bit of solidarity and support!

We aim to increase the resistance further, and we call on all the students in Ontario to join our Red Spring Day of Action on March 20th! Students across the country will mobilize for a one-day strike to shut down the schools and make the following 5 demands:

 

  1. Education in the service of the people, not profit!

Education must serve the interests of the people, not corporations and profit. Everyone needs to have access to post-secondary education. Research has to be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of capitalists and their wars. A democratic and scientific education must replace the imperialist, settler-colonial and patriarchal curriculum. Education needs to prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to be exploited on the job.

  1. Guaranteed paid internships for all students

Interns are workers and must be paid equally for the same work as other workers in their field. Over 300,000 interns across the country do not get proper pay. The times when employers could exploit intern workers without pay must end now!

  1. Abolition of tuition fees at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!

Banks and the government keep using students as cash-cows while tuition fees and debt become unbearable for most of us. We will not be held hostage to the scam of having to give an arm and a leg for a basic necessity such as education!

  1. Barrier-free access to post-secondary education for all Indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!

Canada, as a settler-colonial state, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous nations. All Indigenous people must have barrier-free access to post-secondary education. We support the creation of independent faculties, colleges and universities controlled by the Indigenous people. The education system needs to foster the cultures and languages of Indigenous people within it and include mandatory anti-colonial components in all programs.

  1. Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!

Universities and colleges should be run by the people they serve, not by unelected boards of governors and administrators filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors. Instead, schools must be run by committees elected at a general assembly composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community.

 

We can fight and we will fight, but in order to win it is not enough to just push back against the harmful changes constantly being hurled at us before we can effectively organize to resist. The only way we can hope to win is by building a movement of students and workers capable of putting up a fight. This movement will grow in each and every struggle until we have realized a world where education serves the people, not profit and where the governing rules of society are not exploitation and oppression, but mutual support and solidarity among the working class. In order to achieve this, we need to end capitalism and the capitalist education system. Today, this means gathering together and striking back.

On February 15th join us across Ontario and on March 20th join us coast to coast to coast. Let us be the spark to start a prairie fire and burn down this old system, clearing the way for a new one to grow!

 

No fees, no debt, no barriers to education!

Dare to struggle – dare to win!

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

For more information about getting involved, email: info@mer-rsm.ca

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RevolutionaryStudentMovement/