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/

 

RED SPRING IS COMING: LET’S SHUT THE SCHOOLS DOWN ON MARCH 20TH!

RED SPRING IS COMING: LET’S SHUT THE SCHOOLS DOWN ON MARCH 20TH!

As we sit in the depths of winter, the many hardships that working class students are faced with seem to have no end in sight, and only get worse as time goes by. But as spring comes to replace this difficult season, so too will the masses rise in defiance to bring about change! It’s time to turn the spring red with the fury of students! For too long we have been forced into a crushing debt, only to be pushed into a world of precarious jobs and unemployment after graduation. For too long we have been denied control over our own education and future. Nevertheless, there is a way to build a better tomorrow: we can organize, resist and fight for a better world! Governments and school administrations can no longer be allowed to keep robbing us through unbearable fees and loans with no repercussions.  We will take control and ownership over our own education, instead of being treated both as clients that need to pay or get out, and obedient subordinates to an education system created without our involvement. We will support national self-determination struggles of all Indigenous people across this part of Turtle Island against the long history of colonial oppression, which must end now. We can and will take action to make this clear. We won’t let the capitalists and their government lapdogs sabotage our future for profit anymore. We will not stop until we win!

The Revolutionary Student Movement has long been at the forefront of struggles against the evils of capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, racism, imperialist wars, destruction of the environment and more. We are once again staging a coordinated action across the country. In the spring of 2015 we acted in solidarity with the striking Quebec students and mobilized across the country for a Red Spring, to build a wider, more combative student movement. This year, we are launching a series of coordinated actions across the country to grow our resistance further!

We call on all of our comrades, supporters, and anyone who finds this call to action to resonate with them to join us in organizing for a shutdown of every school across Canada this March 20th! At noon local time – walk out of your class and join the actions on your campus! Let us unite into a force to be reckoned with! Let us make this spring a Red Spring of combative resistance, solidarity and change!

We organize with broad, yet clear, political demands. We do not need to do the work of the government and school administrations for them in figuring out how exactly to meet these. Other student groups have been producing detailed plans and fruitlessly lobbying hundreds of politicians for decades, and we are not interested in going down this dead-end path. We are angry and we will not stop until we win.

 

Our 5 core demands are:

  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.

 

While these demands are more radical than the demands of any other progressive student group, we do not see them as end-goals in and of themselves. We believe that we need to grow the power of the masses to change the root causes of the hardships most people around us suffer from today. To us, these root causes are: capitalism, colonialism and imperialism. They shape the main aspects of the world around us. Protests and walk-outs to disrupt the usual order of things at schools is just the beginning. We are organizing towards a country-wide student strike in the coming years, because strikes are one of the most powerful tools we have in fighting for our interests. But even that is not the end goal our organizing. We don’t stop when the demands we are fighting for are met. We will continue to organize until the root-causes of most of our problems and hardships will be eliminated: when we make Revolution, united with all the revolutionary forces across society, and achieve a genuine socialist society. Only then can all of us be truly free.

This may sound like a long way from where we are all today, so where should we start? It all starts from students organizing to fight back against the rotten capitalist education system as it currently stands. Come out to organizing meetings on your campus, reach out to us if you want to organize them, spread the word – we need to rise up together, so we can win together!

No fees, no debt, no barriers to education!

Dare to struggle – dare to win!

In Struggle,
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/

No Free Speech for Enemies of the People

No Free Speech for Enemies of the People

Since coming to power in June of 2018, the reactionary Ford government in the province of Ontario has been leading a relentless attack against all the progressive values that the people have fought hard to secure for decades. It represents the deepening of reactionary politics in Ontario which is part of an international trend towards reaction. Cutting the funding for necessary social services, canceling the $15 minimum wage increase, scrapping the work to include the history of genocide inflicted upon Indigenous nations (specifically through Residential Schools), and reversing positive changes to the sex-education high school curriculum. Now they are shielding the extreme right from justified protests against their attempts to spread their vile messages. The conservatives have laid bare the nature of bourgeois politicians, enemies of every progressive aspect of society. At every turn they attack and attempt to reverse the gains that the workers, Indigenous people, women, racially oppressed, and LGBTQ people have fought so hard to achieve.

These attacks will not be met with silence and tolerance – just like there can be no silence and tolerance of racist, sexist and other extreme right views on and off campuses! Already mass protests are happening. On September 21st, thousands of students all across Ontario high schools have organized a walk-out against the attack on the progressive sex education. Smaller protests have begun and will surely multiply in coming months. No bourgeois party can or will end the system of capitalism, colonialism and imperialism in Canada. It is clear that under the conservatives attacks on the people will become stronger, and therefore the resistance we need to put up has to become fiercer in response.

The Revolutionary Student Movement has a long tradition of organizing and boosting events and actions aimed at shutting down extreme-right reactionary events from taking place, both on and off campuses. Many events that the so-called “men’s rights activists” have tried holding across the country have consistently been disrupted and shut down by our organizing, making it impossible for them to take root on campuses, gain legitimacy and increase their ranks. Similarly, we have supported protests against Jordan Peterson’s misogynist, trans-antagonistic speeches. And we have always supported confronting fascist and other extreme-right organizing in the streets across the country.

The new push for legislation to develop campus-based free speech policy is a clear attempt to make it easier for abhorrent reactionary views that get confronted by the masses to be promoted at universities. The rightful backlash against those who promote and organize around such views is now at risk of being further restricted, with heavier penalties for individuals and groups who stand up to oppose them. Ironically, the new free speech rules are aimed at shielding and sheltering the despicable organizers of reactionary events from facing the appropriate response from the public. They should be continuously taught what the people think about their opinions when those are brought out in the open, instead of being allowed to exist in an academic bubble free from consequences. After all, spreading their messages has consequences, as exemplified by the current Ontario government, where they now have powerful allies.

We commit to continue organizing in the combative and militant spirit we have always had. We call on all of our comrades and supporters to organize with renewed energy and vigor and take part in events and actions to resist the reactionary attacks by the Ontario government against the people. We must do all we can to help unleash the power of the masses to oppose it effectively!

No shelter for reactionaries!

It is right to rebel, but better to make revolution!

 

 

In struggle,

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

Solidarity with Youth and Student Militants in Brazil and India!

Solidarity with Youth and Student Militants in Brazil and India!

 

The Revolutionary Student Movement is in solidarity with Umar Khalid, Igor Mendes and the Brazilian 23!

Around the world militants and organizers face harsh repression. This past week it was made clear by the arrest of 8 prominent revolutionary supporters in India. Students and youth are calling for strikes across India to rally to the defense of the imprisoned organizers. This is just a month after an assassination attempt by Hindu-fascist agents against Umar Khalid – a member of Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students’ Organisation (BASO) in India. On the other side of the globe – Igor Mendes and 23 other student organizers were convicted in Brazil for being defenders of the oppressed masses.

In these cases what are the reasons behind the attacks, be they from the state or the fascists? Umar was simply attending a presentation on the lynching of Dalits which took place after the Hindu nationalist BJP Modi government took power. Igor and his comrades had been organizing with the residents of the impoverished neighbourhoods around the large cities to fighting displacement resulting from the FIFA and Olympic events. In short, these militants were targeted for daring to defend and fight alongside the oppressed masses in their respective countries. Umar Khalid says it best: “the question is what does “freedom” even mean if the citizens of this country have to be ready to die for their “crime” of just being vocal against injustice?”

The events this summer have shown two things: First, as the revolutionary movement grows the ruling class becomes so terrified of revolution and liberation that it goes to greater and greater extremes to stop the next generation of organizers from raising our heads high. Second, in the face of repression the only response can be to continue the fight against the state and recognize the trio of enemies of the people: Capitalism, Imperialism, and Colonialism.

As the Revolutionary Student Movement our tasks are to unite proletarian youth and students to fight for their interests as well as training the next generation of organizers. While it would be arrogant to compare our experiences to what the militants mentioned above are facing, we have also seen growing repression of our comrades and supporters being arrested and harassed by police and fascists. We know that as our efforts reach the scope of organizing of our comrades abroad, we too will see attacks on us escalate. We are never glad to face repression, it wastes time we can better spend organizing, but when the choice is to cower or resist there is only one clear choice.

Solidarity with Umar Khalid in the face of fascist attacks!
Solidarity with Igor Mendes and the Brazilian 23 facing arrests for democratic protest!
Solidarity with the August 29th 8 in India unjustly imprisoned by the hindu-fascist state!

Solidarity with all revolutionary youth and students across the globe facing the intensifying counterrevolutionary trend of repression!

In struggle,

Revolutionary Student Movement – 2018 Ontario Regional Conference
Revolutionary Student Movement – Pan-Canadian Coordinating Committee

Ontario Conference Report Back

Ontario Conference Report Back


The Revolutionary Student Movement is ready to take on organizing in the upcoming school year! Most of our comrades across the country have already made plans for re-launching of work after the summer, and we are as prepared as ever. Last weekend, we have held the first ever Eastern Regional Conference in Hamilton, Ontario. Comrades from Hamilton, Toronto, Peterborough, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Ottawa came together for 2 days of sharing of experience, learning to become better organizers and building better connections within our movement.

The Conference was a definite success, being the first conference of revolutionary students that the majority of the comrades participating have ever attended. The political level of discussions held was formidable, with comrades connecting our work and experiences to the longer-term goals of the broader revolutionary movement and grounding their analysis in communist theory and practice. Instead of focusing on lectures and workshops prepared by one presenter, we have decided to focus on giving everyone the chance to share their different organizing experiences and the result was truly inspiring – all of the comrades engaged with exceptional discipline and respect, strengthening their leadership and organizing skills. The Conference allowed participating sections to build higher political unity around our methods of organizing and we move forward as united as we have ever been. Special thanks from all of us to Hamilton Against Fascism for organizing a fantastic show, which partly served as the social event for the weekend. Even the attempted attack of a lone fascist later that night did not ruin the fun, but only made us all more resolute to unite and fight against this heinous political tendency and all of its adherents.

If you support the revolutionary struggle against capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, racism, patriarchy, ableism and other deplorable forms of oppression – we invite you to join our movement this fall! We are the most active revolutionary student organization that isn’t afraid of militant action and doesn’t support the tired methods of appealing to student bureaucracy and bourgeois politicians for small handouts. We build the power of working class students to take control into our hands, remove all barriers to free and good education, and make our education serve the interests of the working class for liberation instead of service of the ruling class. Together, we can win this fight!

Come out to our events and meetings in September, send us a message on Facebook or send us an email if you would like to get involved or to get more information.