Fuck le 150e! Feu sur la prison des peuples! // Fuck the 150th! Burn down the Prison-House of Nations!

Fuck le 150e! Feu sur la prison des peuples! // Fuck the 150th! Burn down the Prison-House of Nations!

[English to Follow]

Le MER-RSM se range derrière la campagne Fuckle150e qui a été lancée par le Parti Communiste Révolutionnaire du Canada. Dans un peu plus d’un mois, le Canada va célébrer les 150 ans de sa confédération. Alors que la bourgeoisie dilapide plus d’un demi-milliard de dollars dans les festivités, dans des babioles en plastique et dans des déploiements de nationalisme à faire vomir, c’est la vraie nature de l’État canadien qui refait surface. Né d’un génocide des nations autochtones, et maintenu à travers une série d’offensives impérialistes brutales dans des pays comme la Corée, l’Afghanistan, Haïti et le Honduras parmi tant d’autres, le Canada demeure autant le symbole de la misère, du génocide et du pillage qu’il l’était déjà il y a 150 ans. Alors que les célébrations du 150e culmineront le 1er juillet pour le jour du Canada, plusieurs sections du MER-RSM s’apprêtent à initier et à prendre part à une série de rassemblements anti-Canada à travers le pays pour freiner l’offensive de propagande hyper-nationaliste. Tandis que les étudiant.es prolétaires continuent de ressentir l’impact des mesures d’austérité à l’échelle du pays, étant forcé.es à cumuler des emplois mal-payés pour pouvoir finir leur éducation post-secondaire; tandis que des centaines d’écoles secondaires sont fermées à travers le pays, et tandis que les écoles sur les réserves continuent d’être sous-financées et de manquer de personnel, l’État canadien a réussi à trouver un surplus d’un demi-milliard pour les célébrations du 150e. C’est pour cette raison que le MER-RSM lance à l’unisson: Fuck le 150e!

-Comité de Coordination du Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire

//

The MER-RSM endorses the Fuckthe150th campaign initiated by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada. In just over a month, Canada will celebrate 150 years of confederacy. While the bourgeoisie pours over half a million dollars into celebrations, useless plastic novelties, and gross displays of nationalism, we’re reminded of the true nature of the Canadian state. Born out of the genocide of Indigenous nations, and maintained through a series of brutal imperialist ventures in countries like Korea, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Honduras among others, Canada is no-less a symbol of misery, genocide, and plunder today as it was 150 years ago. As 150 celebrations ramp up for Canada day on July 1st, several sections of the MER-RSM plan to initiate and participate in a series of anti-Canada rallies across the country to counter the onslaught of hyper-nationalist propaganda. As proletarian students across Canada continue to feel the effects of austerity, forced to work several low-paying jobs at a time just to get through post-secondary, as hundreds of high schools are closed down across the country, and as schools on reserves continue to be underfunded and understaffed, the Canadian state still manages to find a surplus of over half a billion dollars for Canada 150 celebrations. For this reason the MER-RSM unites to say: Fuck the 150th!

– Coordinating Committee of the Revolutionary Student Movement

Check on Fuckthe150th at fuckthe150.ca and on:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fckthe150/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Fckthe150

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/fuckthe150th

 

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May Day 2017: Fight to Smash Capitalism, Imperialism and Colonialism! / 1er Mai 2017: Luttons pour Écraser le Capitalisme, l’Impérialisme et le Colonialisme!

May Day 2017: Fight to Smash Capitalism, Imperialism and Colonialism! / 1er Mai 2017: Luttons pour Écraser le Capitalisme, l’Impérialisme et le Colonialisme!

 

La version française suivra

Today, millions of people worldwide take to the streets to mark May Day – the International Workers Day. For more than 100 years, workers, students and communities fighting against oppression have marched on this day for revolution. We continue this tradition in Canada this year as well. In Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Quebec City, Sudbury, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon our members have been active in planning May Day actions and will be joining red contingents to take to the streets. In Peterborough, Vancouver, and Charlottetown there will be public talks and celebrations to engage the masses on the necessity of revolution.

Many gains were made by the workers and people fighting for liberation in the last 100 years, with the October Revolution of 1917 paving the way for movements that led to radical changes worldwide. However, today we still live in very challenging times. The forces of reaction and fascism are on the rise in Canada and across the globe, the imperialists are escalating their criminal warmongering efforts, and life becomes harder for the majority of working class people. We need to remember that we can only resist effectively and turn the tide in our favor through organizing in solidarity with the most oppressed groups, while advancing revolution as the goal.

We reaffirm our commitment to organize to end Capitalism, Imperialism, Settler-Colonialism and all forms of oppression by broadening the Canada-wide movement of youth and students, a movement that can fight and win. For over 150 years Canada has been built on the colonial exploitation of Indigenous peoples at home and by imperialism abroad. Furthermore, the building of the illegitimate state of Canada is just one part of the crimes of European colonialism that has lasted for over 500 years here on Turtle Island, and across the Western Hemisphere. As expensive and elaborate celebrations are already being held to mark 150 years of the existence of Canada, we in the MER-RSM hold that there can be no Indigenous liberation while there is still Canada. So today we mark May Day, International Workers Day, and we affirm yet again that it is right to rebel, and better to make revolution!

Red Salute,

MER-RSM Coordinating Committee

Aujourd’hui, des millions de personnes prennent la rue pour souligner le 1er mai, la journée internationale des travaileurs/euses. Pendant plus que 100 ans, les travailleurs/euses, les étudiant.es et et les communautés luttant contre le capitalisme ont manifesté pour la révolution en cette journée. Nous poursuivons cette tradition au Canada cette année comme toutes les autres. À Toronto, Ottawa, Québec, Sudbury, Winnipeg et Saskatoon nos membres ont pris activement part dans la planification du 1er Mai, et se joindront à un contingent rouge pour prendre la rue. à Peterborough, Vancouver et Charlottetown auront lieux des discussions publiques et des célébrations afin d’attirer l’attention des masses sur la nécessité de la révolution.

Au cours du siècle précédent plusieurs gains ont été réalisés par les travailleurs/euses et les personnes luttant pour la libération, la révolution d’Octobre de 1917 ouvrant la voie vers une multitude de mouvements qui ont apporté des changement radicaux à l’échelle mondiale. Toutefois, nous vivons encore dans des temps difficiles. Les forces réactionnaires et le fascisme reviennent en force au Canada et à travers le monde, les impérialistes intensifient leurs efforts de guerre, et la vie devient de plus en plus ardue pour la majorité de la classe ouvrière. Cependant, il faut se rappeler que nous ne pouvons résister efficacement et tourner la vague en notre faveur qu’en s’organisant en solidarité avec les groupes les plus opprimés, tout en mettant la révolution de l’avant comme notre but final.

Nous réaffirmons notre engagement de mettre fin au capitalisme, à l’impérialisme, au colonialisme et à toutes autres formes d’oppression, en élargissant le mouvement étudiant et de la jeunesse, un mouvement qui peut lutter et gagner. Pendant plus de 150 ans le Canada a été construit sur l’exploitation coloniale des peuples autochtones, ici, et ailleurs par l’impérialisme. La construction de l’État illégitime canadien n’est seulement qu’une partie des crimes du colonialisme européen qui a perduré pendant plus de 500 ans sur l’Île de la Tortue, et à travers l’hémisphère occidental. Tandis que des célébrations dispendieuses et élaborées ont lieu pour marquer les 150 ans d’existence du Canada, nous soutenons qu’il ne peut y avoir de libération pour les peuples autochtones tant que le Canada existera. C’est pourquoi nous célébrons le 1er mai, la Journée Internationale des travailleurs/euses, et affirmons encore qu’il est juste de se rebeller, et mieux encore de faire la révolution!

Salut rouge,

Comité de Coordination du MER-RSM

Resolutions of the Sixth Congress of the Revolutionary Student Movement

Resolutions of the Sixth Congress of the Revolutionary Student Movement

 

  1. CEGEP/College Expansion

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will produce a general plan to intervene into CEGEPs or colleges that can provide guidance for local sections to intervene in institutions in their areas.

Be it further resolved that this plan provide a strategy given the perceived limitations within these institutions that would make organizing in these institutions dissimilar from our experience in universities. This should be achieved through gathering information from the experience of the MER-RSM members currently or historically in CEGEPs or colleges.

Be it further resolved that this plan be available to MER-RSM members by August 18th, 2017 to provide ample time to plan interventions for the beginning of the fall semester.

Be it further resolved that where sections exist in the same area of a CEGEP or College where the MER-RSM does not have a presence, that those sections be mandated to engage in preliminary social investigation where capacity exists – up to and including the initiation of a new section.

  1. Ideological Advancement

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will develop a reading list for sections and members who have finished the basics course, and ensure that courses are accessible upon the organization’s website.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee compile a recommended reading list for both the basics and advanced course, and ensure that courses are accessible upon the organization’s website.

  1. General Assembly Campaign Propaganda

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will centralize all of the propaganda materials from previous General Assemblies campaigns and make them accessible to all sections.

Be it further resolved that the Coordinating Committee create propaganda specific for General Assemblies campaigns.

 

  1. Plan for starting the Transformative Justice Committee.

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee is tasked with providing an open mechanism for MER-RSM members or people in our periphery to launch complaints against members that may have engaged in patriarchal, transphobic, racist, ableist, etc. behaviour or violence, which includes a process of investigation, mediation and rectification.

Be it further resolved that upon receiving a complaint that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee strike an Ad Hoc Transformative Justice Committee, of members of the Coordinating Committee and the MER-RSM members that are not directly tied to the incident presented, to investigate the complaint, and proceed forward with a rectification process if necessary.

Be it further resolved that a list of comrades that would be willing to act for the Transformative Justice Committee be compiled along with a list of their relevant skills.

Be it further resolved that a list of resources be created to aid in the work of both the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee and Transformative Justice Committee going forward in this matter. This list should also be made available to leadership of every section.
Be it further resolved that any member of the MER-RSM who has a complaint that they wish to be investigated by the Transformative Justice Committee and Coordinating Committee has the right to contact their regional organizer or any Coordinating Committee member; to be represented by another member if they wish, and to have that complaint dealt with as soon as possible. Should the complainant be in an emergency situation, the Transformative Justice Committee and Coordinating Committee should provide as much support as possible.

  1. Regional Events for 2018

Be it resolved that for the 2017-2018 school year regional organizers are tasked with holding regional events of either a political, organizational or social character.

Be it further resolved that the next Pan-Canadian MER-RSM Congress be held in 2019.

Peterborough delegation has offered to host the next regional event and potentially the next Congress.

  1. Financial Motion

Be it resolved that all sections of the MER-RSM take on fundraising initiatives and aim to apply for institutional funding wherever possible.

  1. Publication

Be it resolved that each section commits to preparing at least one article per issue for the publication before the next congress.

Be it further resolved that the publication produce an issue at least once a year.

  1. CAFE

Coordinating Committee of MER-RSM will produce guidelines on how to oppose CAFE and other MRA organizing with the goal of shutting such organizing down.
Be it further resolved that Coordinating Committee of MER-RSM produce propaganda for all sections organizing to oppose CAFE and other MRA groups. Likewise, sections currently engaged in anti-MRA work should centralize existing propaganda.

 

  1. Proletarian Education

Be it resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee be tasked with synthesizing an analysis of what proletarian education is to look like and what a proletarian student is.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee be tasked with seeking input from sections on these political questions.

  1. Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day

The MER-RSM sections will hold events on March 8th under the banner of Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day, and promote a celebration of Proletarian Feminism and revolutionary gender oppressed people.

  1. Solidarity with International League of People’s Struggles

The MER-RSM affirms our solidarity with member organizations of ILPS, where appropriate, in order to strengthen and concretize our international solidarity work.

 

  1. Strategic Plan of the MER-RSM

The MER-RSM affirms that the organization of proletarian students, and building towards revolution in Canada is its primary goal.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM adopt, as its immediate strategic orientation, the achievement of general assemblies with an eye towards organizing strikes.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM adopts the following general plan of action:

  1. MER-RSM sections should, where possible, campaign for the creation of General Assemblies, in which every student gets a vote and can initiate motions, as the highest decision making body of their respective student organizations. This includes but is not limited to unions, federations and associations.
  2. Due to the contours of student politics in English Canada, MER-RSM sections should initially work towards campus-wide General Assemblies.
  3. Once General Assemblies have been won within a student organization, MER-RSM sections should work towards program or faculty level General Assemblies.
  4. Campaigns for General Assemblies should take on a life and organizational form independent from the MER-RSM, but remains connected to and led politically by the MER-RSM.
  5. When General Assemblies have been achieved, MER-RSM sections should initiate controversial left-wing motions in order to build quorum and hype around the General Assemblies. This can include things like abolishing the student union council, condemning the occupation of Afghanistan, or other issues which will serve to separate the advanced and intermediate from the backwards.
  6. As soon as possible, MER-RSM sections should put forward motions to hold a one day strike putting forward demands based on the 2015 Red Spring Day of Action as a basic program.
  7. As more MER-RSM sections are able to organize strikes, MER-RSM sections should begin to coordinate with each other to hold strikes on the same days. This can continue to expand and grow in scale.
  8. The strategic goal of this process is the holding of an unlimited student strike across Canada, in which the RSM is a leading political force.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM affirms that this is not a stagist conception of revolution, where at the end of this process revolution will spontaneously emerge. Instead, the RSM should understand this process as a strategy which will train and attract cadre and build capacity.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM at no point in this process stop engaging in independent, anti-capitalist and revolutionary propaganda. Nor should the MER-RSM ever liquidate itself into the general movement, and should instead constantly advance its own promises and positions even while leading campaigns of lower political unity.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee should begin looking towards the creation of a short general program of promises, which touches on the immediate needs of proletarian and oppressed students. This program should form the basis of the demands advanced during strikes. It should concretize the political positions of the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee.

  1. Consolidation of Organizational Documents

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee consolidate all our documents in French and English relating to methods of organization and how to conduct ourselves. These documents should then be translated and distributed to every section and also made available to new sections and organizers as necessary.

Be it further resolved that this should take the form of a package that includes checklists for different kinds of events as well as guidelines for weekly meetings and also all report templates. In addition to this material any documents already in circulation should be included.

 

  1. Solidarity with RSM Sudbury in the face of State Repression

The MER-RSM condemns the Sudbury Police and Ontario Provincial Police for their actions against RSM Sudbury.

The entire MER-RSM stands in solidarity with RSM Sudbury during this difficult time, and we offer them any assistance they deem necessary to continue the good work they are doing in Sudbury.

 

  1. Solidarity with Igor Sadikov

The MER-RSM stands in full solidarity with Igor Sadikov against Zionist attacks, and we uphold his critique of Zionism.

Déclaration sur le départ de la section de Montréal (Statement On the Departure of the Montreal Section)

Déclaration sur le départ de la section de Montréal (Statement On the Departure of the Montreal Section)

Déclaration sur le départ de la section de Montréal du Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire

[English to Follow] 

Nous, le Comité de Coordination du MER-RSM, sommes déçu.es de voir la déclaration récente du MER Montréal annonçant leur départ de notre organisation. Bien que nous soyons déçu.es, nous ne sommes pas surpris.es: leur déclaration survient dans une suite d’évènement dont; la démission des membres du MER Montréal du Comité de coordination, des mois de non-communication avec le Comité de coordination et un manque de participation à la vie du MER-RSM pancanadien. En effet, le MER Montréal est allé jusqu’à ne pas assister au récent Congrès du MER-RSM, malgré le fait qu’initialement ils/elles s’étaient porté.es volontaire pour que celui-ci ait lieu à Montréal. C’est dans ce contexte que le Comité de coordination a envoyé un appel final au MER Montréal, qui stipulait que leur adhésion à l’organisation serait résiliée si ils/elles ne reprenaient pas contact avec le Comité de coordination. Au lieu de lutter sur les désaccords politiques avec le reste du MER-RSM, le MER Montréal a choisi d’annoncer son retrait.

Il y a de nombreux aspects de la déclaration du MER Montréal qui, selon nous, sont contestabless, nous tenons à  nous  concentrer à soulever les différents politiques. Principalement, ces différents sont: le rejet de la nécessité d’organisations de masse indépendantes et leurs critiques mal avisées du Sixième Congrès du MER-RSM, qui a eu lieu à Ottawa en février

Le MER Montréal n’est pas d’accord avec l’importance de l’indépendance des organisations de masse et intermédiaires. Ils/elles soutiennent leurs critiques en pointant vers un article de la revue Arsenal, le journal théorique du PCR-RCP, et en suggérant que de permettre des initiatives indépendantes des masses équivaut à liquider l’importance d’un parti, et même de la révolution. Nous sommes fermement en désaccord avec cette critique: nous pensons qu’un mouvement révolutionnaire robuste doit engager la société sur de multiple niveaux, y compris au niveau intermédiaire et des masses, à l’aide d’organisations de masse et intermédiaires travaillant aux côtés d’organisations au niveau du parti.

Nous soulignons l’importance de l’indépendance des organisations  de masse et intermédiaire, et de leurs propres structures démocratiques internes: nous pensons qu’un aspect crucial de la ligne de masse est de faire confiance aux masses pour gérer leur travail. Le MER-RSM doit maintenir son indépendance organisationnelle, plutôt que d’agir simplement comme un appendice directement sous le contrôle organisationnel du PCR-RCP. Nous sommes attristé.es de voir le MER Montréal rejeter la ligne de masse et adopter comme pratique une caricature d’organisation d’avant-garde qui substitue le leadership politique par un leadership bureaucratique.

Le MER Montréal a fait trois critiques principales du sixième Congrès du MER-RSM. Avant de s’engager dans ces critiques, nous voulons souligner l’absence du MER Montréal au dernier Congrès, ce qui fait que beaucoup de ces critiques proviennent d’une position d’ignorance relative. Bien que nous aurions dû  être plus proactifs pour publier diffuser l’intégralité des motions adoptées sur le site Web du MER-RSM. Cependant, le MER Montreal aurait trouvé les réponses à beaucoup de leurs questions dans le «Rapport» qui a été publié peu de temps après la clôture du Congrès. En gardant ceci en tête, le MER Montréal critique les deux éléments suivants: l’accent “inutile” mis sur les assemblées générales, la substitution de la Journée Internationale des travailleuses par la «Journée des travailleurs/euses de genre opprimé» et la taille du Congrès.

Nous trouvons étrange que le MER Montréal soit en désaccord avec la campagne pour les Assemblées générales, étant donné que celle-ci a été suggérée pour la première fois par un camarade de Montréal lors du premier congrès du MER-RSM en 2012. Cependant, nous sommes de l’avis que la critique considérant cette campagne comme étant apparemment “inutile” est de mauvaise foi. Le MER-RSM a toujours avancé la notion que les AG ne sont pas une fin en soi, mais plutôt un forum dans lequel la lutte des classes est possible. Ainsi, afin de favoriser la lutte des classes sur les campus, nous avons créé et tentons de créer des AG là où elles n’existent pas. À leur tour, les AG sont un outil permettant d’entreprendre des grèves étudiantes, et qui de par l’augmentation du niveau de militance et de la lutte à travers le Canada, contribuera à créer une génération de militant.es et les conditions pour la révolution.

De plus, dans les contextes où les AG existent déjà (comme au Québec!), les camarades ne sont pas tenu.es de s’engager dans ce type de pratique. Nous avons toujours été clairs sur cette conception stratégique aussi bien dans les motions présentées aux congrès du MER-RSM, que dans nos documents. En effet, si le MER Montréal avait lu le «Rapport» publié après le Sixième Congrès du MER-RSM, ils/elles auraient trouvé cette même conception répétée ci-haut. Alors que le MER Montréal peut être en désaccord avec cette orientation stratégique (notons bien, que jamais celui-ci fut ouvertement manifesté au MER-RSM), il est malhonnête d’affirmer que l’objectif de la campagne des AG n’est pas clair.

Le MER Montréal a aussi critiqué le MER-RSM pour avoir appelé à une «Journée des travailleurs/euses de genre opprimé» le 8 mars, plutôt que la traditionnelle «Journée internationale des travailleuses». Nous sommes en désaccord pour dire que cela constitue l’abandon de 100 ans de lutte des femmes de la classe ouvrière pour leur émancipation. Nous ne pensons pas que l’inclusion des femmes trans et des prolétaires non binaires mine la lutte pour l’égalité entre les genres et ne porte pas atteinte à la lutte pour la révolution. Notons qu’il y a eu un débat considérable sur cette motion au Congrès, soulignons également qu’en ne participant pas au Congrès, le MER Montréal a négligé leur devoir de s’engager dans une lutte de ligne avec leurs camarades sur une question importante qui était clairement controversée.

Enfin, le MER Montréal essaie de justifier leur attitude distante parprise de distance  relevant un supposé déclin de la taille du MER-RSM ppan-canadien. S’il est vrai qu’il y a eu moins de participant.es au congrès du MER-RSM cette année que par le passé, mais ceci n’a rien à voir avec la taille du MER-RSM. En fait, le MER Montréal n’a pu constater cette diminution de participant.es, que puisque le MER-RSM est maintenant trop grand et largement répandu à travers le Canada, pour qu’il soit possible de rassembler tous les membres pour chaque Congrès. C’est pourquoi, nous avons pour les deux derniers congrès, utilisé un système de délégation plutôt que d’accueillir d’inviter tou.tes les participant.es. En fait, si le MER Montréal avait assisté au Congrès, ils/elles auraient découvert que le MER-RSM était plus grand que jamais,  et ce même si les membres de MER Montréal ne sont pas inclus.es dans le total.

Le Comité de coordination est déçu que le MER Montréal ait annoncé leur départ du MER-RSM pan-canadien. Cependant, pour toutes les critiques faites par le MER Montréal, nous voulons noter que pas une seule fois ces critiques n’ont été soumises à l’interne au MER-RSM, ni aux Congrès pour que celles-ci soient discutées de manière ouverte et démocratique. Le MER Montréal a abandonné sa responsabilité de lutter avec  ses camarades. Dans la mesure où le MER-RSM défend l’importance de la lutte politique, le MER Montréal s’en écarte, le Comité de coordination voit le départ du MER Montréal comme un revers temporaire pour le MER-RSM dans une seule ville. Nous reprendrons bientôt nos activités à Montréal et continuerons de contribuer au mouvement révolutionnaire au Canada et au Québec.

Nous invitons tou.te personne à Montréal intéressée à nous aider à reconstruire le MER-RSM à nous contacter.

Statement On the Departure of the Montreal Section of the Revolutionary Student Movement

We, the RSM Coordinating Committee, are disappointed to see the recent statement of the MER Montreal announcing their departure from the broader organization. While we are disappointed, we are not surprised: their statement follows the resignation of MER Montreal members from the Coordinating Committee, months of non-communication with the Coordinating Committee, and a lack of participation in the life of the broader RSM. Indeed, the MER went as far as to not attend the recent RSM Congress, despite initially volunteering to host it in Montreal. It was in this context that the Coordinating Committee sent a final appeal to the MER Montreal, which stipulated that their membership would be terminated if they did not resume communication with the Coordinating Committee. Instead of struggling with the rest of the RSM over political disagreements, the MER Montreal chose to announce their resignation.

There are many aspects of the statement made by the MER Montreal which we find objectionable. However, we want to highlight the political differences. Chiefly, these differences are: a rejection of the need for independent mass organizations, and misplaced criticisms of the Sixth Congress of the RSM, held in Ottawa in February.

MER Montreal disagrees with the importance of independent mass and intermediate organizations. They make their criticism by pointing to an article in the PCR-RCP’s theoretical journal Arsenal, and by suggesting that to allow for independent mass initiatives is to liquidate the importance of a Party or even more broadly, revolution. We clearly disagree with this criticism: we think that a robust revolutionary movement engages society on multiple levels, including on the mass and intermediate levels, with mass and intermediate organizations working alongside party-level organizations. We uphold the importance of independent mass and intermediate organizations with their own internal democratic structures: we think that a crucial aspect of the mass line is to trust the masses to run their own affairs. The RSM should maintain its organizational independence, rather than acting simply as an appendage directly under the organizational control of the PCR-RCP. We are sad to see the MER Montreal reject the mass line, and adopt as their practice a caricature of vanguard-style organizing which substitutes political leadership for bureaucratic leadership.

MER Montreal has levelled three main criticisms of the Sixth RSM Congress. Before engaging with these criticisms, we want to highlight that the MER did not attend the Congress, and so makes many of these criticisms from a position of relative ignorance. While we should have been more pro-active about posting the full text of the adopted motions on the RSM web site, MER Montreal would have found the answers to many of their questions in the “Reportback” which was posted shortly after the Congress ended. With that in mind, the MER Montreal criticizes: the apparently “pointless” focus on General Assemblies, renaming IWWD to “Gender Oppressed Workers Day”, and the size of the Congress.

We find it strange that the MER Montreal would take issue with the General Assembly campaign, considering that it was first suggested by a comrade from Montreal at the first RSM Congress in 2012. However, we think that the criticism of GAs being apparently “pointless” is a criticism made in bad faith. The RSM has always put forward the notion that GAs are not an end in-and-of themselves, but rather serve as a forum in which class struggle is possible. Thus, as a means of furthering class struggle on campuses, we have attempted to create GAs where they do not exist. In turn, the GAs are to build towards student strikes, which by raising the level of militancy and struggle across Canada, will help create a generation of militants and the conditions for revolution. Furthermore, in contexts where GAs already existed (such as in Quebec!), comrades were not required to engage in this type of practice. We have always been clear about this general strategic conception in the motions presented to RSM Congresses, as well as in our documents. Indeed, had the MER Montreal read the “Reportback” issued after the Sixth RSM Congress, they would have found this same conception repeated there. While the MER Montreal may disagree with this strategic orientation (though we should note, never openly within the RSM), it is dishonest to say that the point of the GA campaigns is unclear.

MER Montreal criticized the RSM for calling for a “Gender Oppressed Workers’ Day” on March 8th, rather than the traditional “International Working Women’s Day.” We disagree that this constitutes an abandonment of 100 years of struggle of working-class women for their emancipation. We do not feel as though the inclusion of trans women and non-binary proletarians undermines the struggle for gender equality, nor does it undermine the struggle for revolution. While we note that there was considerable debate on this motion at the Congress, we also note that by not attending, MER Montreal neglected to struggle with their comrades on an issue which was clearly controversial and important.

Finally, the MER Montreal attempts to justify their aloofness by pointing to the supposed decline in size of the broader RSM. While it is true that there were fewer attendees at the RSM Congress this year than in the past, that has nothing to do with the size of the broader RSM. Indeed, and MER Montreal was aware of this, it was because the RSM is now too large and wide-spread for it to be feasible to bring everyone together for every Congress. As such, we have for the last two Congresses, used a delegation system rather than having everyone attend. In fact, had MER Montreal attended the RSM Congress, they would have discovered that the RSM is larger than ever, even when members of MER Montreal are not included in the total.

The Coordinating Committee is disappointed that MER Montreal has announced their departure from the broader RSM. However, for all of the criticisms that MER Montreal makes, we want to note that not once were any of these criticisms brought up internal to the RSM, nor at RSM Congresses, to be discussed in an open and democratic manner. MER Montreal has abandoned their responsibility to struggle with their comrades. Where the broader RSM upholds the importance of political struggle, MER Montreal backs away from it. With this in mind, the Coordinating Committee sees the departure of MER Montreal as only a temporary setback for the RSM in a single city. We will resume activity in Montreal shortly, and will continue to contribute to the broader revolutionary movement across Canada and Quebec.

If anyone in Montreal is interested in helping to rebuild the RSM, we welcome you to get in touch with us.

Student Democracy Sprouts at the General Assembly! / La démocratie étudiante fleurit à l’assemblée générale!

Student Democracy Sprouts at the General Assembly! / La démocratie étudiante fleurit à l’assemblée générale!

[La version française suivra]

Tuesday night, we had our first General Assembly that met quorum, meaning it had the power to make decisions. Students could modify the agenda and propose a motion to strike down the executives’ 18% salary increase that was approved by the Board of Administration. This motion was adopted with an amendment limiting future salary increases to never exceed an amount equal or lower than a simultaneous increase for staff wages. Next came a period of clarifications on the decision-making power of the GA, since they were recently stripped of their status as highest decision making body of the SFUO by the BOA. They currently only hold political power, not legislative power. Dissent was palpable in the room, some people contested the legitimacy of the BOA’s decision (it had overturned a referendum result) and demanded that GAs regain their status as highest decision-making body. However, these statements were considered points of order and were set aside without a decision being made. There was a motion proposed already about the abolishment of the BOA where this would be further discussed. It was clear by the atmosphere in the room that despite the explanation about the GAs demotion, the executive and BOA bureaucrats’ authority was being put into question.

After this came the RSM’s first motion on the Vet’s tour. This motion demanded that the GA strike a committee tasked with investigating the event which would have access to all SFUO and federated body documentation about the Vet’s tour. Furthermore, this committee must be composed of students present at the GA and that would be elected during that time. Following our motivation of the motion a kind of unease was felt in the room and the question was immediately called. The motion was adopted by a majority.

Before the selection of the committee members could take place, many people left the room. Most of them SFUO and federated body staff and friends (people suspected of having participated in the event). After the walk-out, a recount of quorum was asked by a member of the BOA. The number had dropped from 287 to 221, 10 people under quorum. After quorum was lost, the executive began their reports and the room quickly emptied out, effectively ending the GA.

The Vet’s tour motion was only partly adopted. It was agreed that a committee would be created but it would not be chosen by the GA but by the BOA at their next meeting. However, the BOA had already formed a committee earlier in the year which had been inconclusive and that they would again be expected to investigate themselves is exasperating.

On a positive note, the first real General Assembly of the SFUO has given us an inspiring example of what a vibrant student democracy looks like. By mobilising students, it is possible to end corruption in the Student Federation and fight against rape culture on our campus. Without the sabotage orchestrated by bureaucrats, the March 14th General Assembly could have brought control of the SFUO back into student hands.

No more corruption in the SFUO!

End rape culture on campus!

Abolish the BOA!

 

//////////////

 

Mardi soir a eu lieu la première Assemblée générale avec quorum, c’est-à-dire que celle-ci a été en mesure de prendre des décisions. Ainsi, les étudiant.es présent.es ont été en mesure de mettre à l’ordre du jour et d’appliquer la révocation de la hausse salariale de 18% de l’exécutif qui avait été votée par le Conseil d’Administration. La motion  a passé par une grande majorité avec un amendement supplémentaire limitant les hausses salariales de l’exécutif à un taux égale ou inférieur à une hausse des salaires des employés. Ensuite est venue une clarification sur le pouvoir décisionnel des AGs, dont le CA avait remis en question le statut de plus haute instance décisionnelle de la FÉUO. Elles n’auraient désormais qu’un pouvoir politique, et non législatif. Un certain mécontentement s’est fait ressentir dans la salle, plusieurs membres ont contesté la légitimité de cette décision du CA (puisqu’elle renversait le résultat d’un référendum), et ont demandé à ce que les AGs regagnent leur statut de plus haute instance décisionnelle. Toutefois, ces prises de paroles n’étaient que des points d’ordre et furent rejetées, sans qu’une décision ne soit prise, car il y avait déjà une motion à l’ordre du jour proposant d’abolir le CA qui permettrait de traiter du sujet plus amplement. Toutefois, la grogne manifestée par l’assemblée lorsque le président a expliqué les limites du pouvoir des AGs, a grandement fait ressentir aux bureaucrates que sont l’exécutif et le CA que leur autorité était remise en question.

Suite à ceci est venue la première motion du MER portant sur le Vet’s tour, voulant que l’AG crée un comité pour faire une enquête de l’événement et que ce comité d’enquête ait accès à toute la documentation de la FÉUO et des corps fédérés, en papier ou numérique, qui porte sur le Vet’s Tour. De plus, ce comité d’enquête devait être composé d’étudiant.es présent.es et élu.es à l’assemblée même. Suite à la motivation de cette motion, un certain malaise a été ressenti dans la salle; la question préalable fut posée immédiatement, et la motion adoptée rapidement.

Toutefois, avant de pouvoir procéder à la sélection du comité, un grand nombre de personnes ont commencé à quitter la salle, principalement des employé.es de la FÉUO ou des personnes dans l’entourage du CA (personnes soupçonnées d’être relié au Vet’s Tour) et, à la suite de cet exode, un recomptage du quorum a été demandé par un membre du CA . Le nombre d’étudiant.es  ayant passé de 287 à 221, il en manquait 10 pour avoir le quorum. Suite à la perte du quorum, l’exécutif a procédé à son rapport administratif et la salle s’est vidée rapidement, l’AG a pris fin.

Pour ce qui en est de la motion sur le Vet’s Tour, celle-ci n’a été qu’adoptée partiellement. Il a été décidé de créer un comité d’enquête, mais celui-ci n’a pu être choisi par l’AG et sera donc sélectionné par le CA lors de sa prochaine rencontre. Toutefois, le CA a déjà formé un comité d’enquête qui n’a pas jamais produit de conclusion; laisser ces bureaucrates choisir les gens qui vont enquêter une seconde fois ne fait qu’exacerber les choses.

Sur une note positive, la première véritable assemblée générale de la FÉUO nous a donné un exemple inspirant de ce qu’est une démocratie étudiante dynamique. Par la mobilisation de la masse étudiante il est possible de mettre fin à la corruption de la FÉUO et de combattre la culture du viol sur notre campus. N’eût été du sabotage orchestré par les bureaucrates liés au Vet’s Tour, l’Assemblée générale du 14 mars aurait pu remettre le contrôle de la FÉUO dans les mains des étudiant.es.

Mettons fin à la corruption dans la FÉUO!

Combattons la culture du viol sur le campus!

Abolissons le CA!

Happy Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day! / Joyeuse Journée des Travailleuses(eurs) de Genres Opprimés!

Happy Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day! / Joyeuse Journée des Travailleuses(eurs) de Genres Opprimés!

 

[La version française suivra]

Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day

On March 8th we celebrate a Gender Oppressed Workers Day. We bring attention not only to the struggle of women in modern society, but to the struggle of all those whose who face violence and oppression for their gender. We recognize that the violence of patriarchy, misogyny, binarism, imperialism, and colonialism can’t be separated. Each is a face of the same rotten capitalist system.

It is now more important than ever in the face of reactionaries across Canada, be they men’s rights activists, the alt-right or just plain fascists, to band together and defend our gender oppressed friends, family, community members and comrades. The gender oppressed always suffer when reactionary ideology takes hold but by standing together we can smash reaction and build a better future.

Our use of Gender Oppressed Workers Day was adopted at our 6th Congress to address the historically exclusionary nature of the previous title International Working Women’s Day. Through this change and our practice as a whole we acknowledge that revolutionary struggles have not always been welcoming to trans and non-binary comrades. We also seek to recognize the history of colonialism and the erasure of identities of indigenous peoples, such as two-spirit. Nonetheless, our task has not changed, we uphold the struggles of the past and the many revolutionary victories won through the struggle of not only women but all gender oppressed people.

International Working Women’s Day was first designated March 8th by an international conference of revolutionary women in 1913. The most famous of its celebrations was the Bread and Roses strike of 1917 – a precursor to the February revolution and therein the creation of the Soviet Union. On the 100th anniversary of this event we seek to have continuity with the revolutionary tradition through our upholding of proletarian feminism, while breaking with all reactionary ideas, be they chauvinism or binarism.

Solidarity with all gender oppressed people!
Smash Capitalism, Smash Patriarchy, Smash the State!

~

Journée des travailleuses(eurs) de genres opprimés

Le 8 mars, nous célébrons la Journée des travailleuses(eurs) de genres opprimés. Nous attirons non seulement l’attention sur la lutte des femmes dans la société moderne, mais sur la lutte de toutes ceux/celle qui sont confronté.es à la violence et à l’oppression par le genre. Nous reconnaissons que la violence du patriarcat, de la misogynie, du système binaire, de l’impérialisme et du colonialisme ne peuvent être séparées. Chacune est une face du même système capitaliste véreux.

Il est maintenant plus important que jamais de faire face aux réactionnaires à travers le Canada, que se soit des masculinistes, l’alt-right ou des simples fascistes, de se rassembler et de défendre nos ami.es, les membres de nos familles et de nos communautés et camarades de genres opprimés. Les personnes de  genres opprimés souffrent toujours lorsque les idéologies réactionnaires prennent place et s’étendent, mais en se tenant debout nous pouvons stopper leur croissance et construire un avenir meilleur.

Notre utilisation de la Journée des travailleuses(eurs) de genres opprimés a été adoptée lors de notre 6e Congrès pour adresser le caractère historiquement exclusif du titre antérieur intitulé Journée internationale des femmes travailleuses. Par ce changement et à notre pratique dans son ensemble, nous reconnaissons que les luttes révolutionnaires n’ont pas toujours été accueillantes envers les camarades trans et non binaires. Nous cherchons aussi à reconnaître l’histoire du colonialisme et l’effacement des identités des peuples autochtones, tels que les deux-esprits. Néanmoins, notre tâche n’a pas changé, nous défendons les luttes du passé et les nombreuses victoires révolutionnaires remportées par la lutte non seulement des femmes, mais aussi de toutes les personnes de genres opprimés.

La Journée internationale des femmes travailleuses a d’abord été désignée le 8 mars par une conférence internationale de femmes révolutionnaires en 1913. L’itération la plus célèbre de cette célébrations fut la grève du Pain et des Roses de 1917, précurseur de la révolution de Février et de la création de l’Union soviétique. À l’occasion du centenaire de cet événement, nous cherchons à assurer la continuité de la tradition révolutionnaire en soutenant le féminisme prolétarien, tout en rompant avec toutes les idées réactionnaires,  du chauvinisme au binarisme.

Solidarité avec toutes les personnes de genres opprimés!

Écrasons le Capitalisme, Écrasons le Patriarcat, Écrasons l’État !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Out November 2nd – Towards a Student Strike in Canada!

All Out November 2nd – Towards a Student Strike in Canada!


ALL OUT NOVEMBER 2
nd!

On November 2, 2016, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) has called for a Canada-wide day of action against tuition increases. The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) unequivocally supports the call for a day of action. While we have differences of both political line and tactics with the CFS, the RSM will always support action against tuition fees and we commend the CFS for this initiative. We urge all of our members and supporters to help with the organizing efforts in their various locales towards making the November 2nd day of action huge.

While we support the day of action, we feel it necessary to qualify our support. Our position towards the CFS –that it is an ossified, anti-democratic, bureaucratic, and reformist organization that serves as a barrier to the creation of a combative student movement in English Canada – remains unchanged. The CFS did not call for a day of action out of a genuine desire to launch a truly mass-based anti-tuition campaign, nor out of a desire to increase the level of militancy in its current activities against the rising cost of tuition. Instead, it will again use the day of action as part of its lobbying efforts, as a means of cynically using the mobilization of students to provide weight to the annual meetings that CFS bureaucrats have with politicians. The CFS is open about this fact (though we doubt they will be open about this during the mobilizations this fall!): CFS-Ontario writes that its current campaign, Fight the Fees, has been launched in preparation for the 2018 Ontario elections.

It is worth pointing out that this basic strategy of the CFS –mobilizations to supplement lobbying- has been the basic strategy of the CFS since its creation. And sure enough, aside from a few minor victories here and there, the strategy has been ineffective: even the relatively benign demands that the CFS makes of the federal and various provincial governments are ignored. In the context of the looming deregulation of tuition fees in Ontario in 2017 – an act that will serve as a blueprint for other provincial governments outside of Ontario to follow -, mounting student debt, increasing tuition, and a lack of jobs for youth and students, the inability of the CFS to actually win gains for its members shows increasingly the need for revolutionary students to break from the CFS.

Furthermore, the demands of the CFS do not go far enough. The current campaign and day of action is directed only against tuition fee increases. The RSM stands for the complete abolition of tuition and ancillary fees, the cancellation of all student debt, and for complete open access to all post-secondary institutions in Canada. Only by eliminating fees and entrance requirements can education become truly accessible for the working class in Canada. The RSM stands for access to post-secondary education for all Indigenous people, and an anti-colonial aspect to all education programs. The RSM stands for education to be put in the service of people and not profit; we argue that research should be for the benefit of all people and not the benefit of corporations, and that education should serve struggles for justice and liberation. Finally, the RSM stands for the democratic control of post-secondary institutions by students, support staff, community members, and faculty. And this is just the beginning. On all of these issues –issues which we see as being at the core of fighting for access to education- the CFS has very little to say.

In 2012, students in Quebec launched a strike which brought the Quebec government to its knees. The RSM continues to argue that this is an example that deserves to be emulated in the rest of Canada. Since then, the CFS has done absolutely nothing to try to learn from and implement the lessons of the Maple Spring throughout the rest of Canada. The lobbying efforts of the CFS are a dead end; the only way to force the hand of the government on the issue of tuition is to strike. The RSM holds that the creation of a genuinely democratic student movement is a precondition for student strikes in the rest of Canada. In place of the CFS bureaucratic and corporate style of student unionism, where only a handful of elected officials are consulted on the affairs of the student association, the RSM will continue to work for general assemblies of all members as the highest decision making bodies of their respective student unions. In order to win we must strike, and in order to strike we need democratic control over our student unions.

To this end, the RSM encourages its members and supporters to use the November 2nd day of action to break further with the failed politics and tactics of the CFS. While we will throw ourselves into the mobilizations for the day of action, we will also continue to struggle against the CFS bureaucrats who seek to use the day of action to maintain their stranglehold over their respective student unions. We invite all students to join the revolutionary contingents that are being planned across Canada as part of the November 2nd rallies.

For a truly democratic student movement in English Canada!

Towards a student strike for the elimination of tuition fees!

All out November 2nd!Thumbnail

De Caire Off Campus Campaign Stages Disruption at McMaster

De Caire Off Campus Campaign Stages Disruption at McMaster

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On August 29, members of the De Caire off Campus! Campaign disrupted the President’s of McMaster’s undergraduate address. Students distributed leaflets as two members of the coalition spoke about why the De Caire Off Campus! Campaign opposes De Caire, and the effect that a Director of Security and Parking like De Caire could have on new students at McMaster.

In December 2015, McMaster University hired former Hamilton police-chief Glenn De Caire for the position of Director of Security and Parking. We oppose De Caire because during his tenure as police chief he codified and encouraged racist practices among his officers, especially the practice known as “carding.” Carding in Hamilton disproportionately affected Black and Indigenous people; Black and Indigenous people were over four times more likely to be carded than white people in Hamilton. The Ontario Human Rights Commission stated that De Caire’s defense of carding constituted “a textbook description of racial profiling.” De Caire is also responsible for the creation of the ACTION police teams, which harass racialized, Indigenous, and working class people in the downtown core and act as the shock-troops of gentrification in Hamilton. More recently, a lawyer acting on behalf of De Caire contacted the McMaster student Newspaper, The Silhouette, and intimidated the newspaper by suggesting that an earlier article on De Caire’s hiring had contained defamatory statements; an accusation which the De Caire Off Campus! Campaign rejects. Given De Caire’s record, the De Caire Off Campus! Campaign believes that De Caire’s presence at McMaster is a threat to racialized and Indigenous, as well as a potential threat to campus activism.

The De Caire off Campus! Campaign was launched in late 2015, after De Caire was hired as the Directory of Security and Parking. The De Caire off Campus! Campaign demands that McMaster immediately remove DeCaire from his position. The De Caire Off Campus! Campaign is a coalition of a number of campus and community organizations including the McMaster Womanists, the Revolutionary Student Movement, and the Young Communist League. Our first meeting for the Fall 2016 semester will be on September 12, at 7PM, in the McMaster University Student Centre, Room 220.

Thank you Carly Spoelstra for the footage below

Join the Fight Against MRA Reactionaries! CAFE has no Place in our Communities!

Join the Fight Against MRA Reactionaries! CAFE has no Place in our Communities!

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In the first week of February 2016, notorious “neo-masculinist” Roosh V’s proposed meetups for his “pick-up artist” (PUA) followers across the world were crushed by the collective anger and power of the masses. Across Canada, the people mobilized protests and militant responses to what was correctly identified as the hate speech of the anti-feminist Roosh V and his misogynist followers. But the battle against the backwards ideas of reactionaries who seek to push back the gains of the feminist struggle over the last decades must not stop there. The PUAs represent only one especially disgusting section of the entire network of websites, organizations, and communities that make up the so-called “manosphere,” a network that has its political expression in the infamous Men’s Rights Activism. We must not hesitate to expose this entire movement, from its militant fringes to its sanitized fronts, for what it is: a reactionary movement of male-supremacists seeking to preserve a status quo of oppression, hierarchy, and inequality. Openly misogynist and backwards “manosphere” groups like the notorious American network A Voice for Men (AVfM) hold extreme right-wing views, including: that male power and structural inequality under patriarchy are a myth, as Warren Farrell claims in a 1990s book often described as the “Bible” or the “red pill” of the Men’s Rights Movement; that the existence of rape culture is a lie perpetuated by feminists to oppress men, so that accusations of rape are nothing more than a tool to keep women in a dominant position in society; and that present-day society is structured to disadvantage and victimize men as a class. All of these ideas are explicitly spelled out in many articles on A Voice for Men’s website.

 

In Canada, the Revolutionary Student Movement has taken a leading role in organizing against the sanitized MRA front known as CAFE, the Canadian Association for Equality. Knowing that most people will reject the openly misogynist and backwards ideas of groups like Roosh V’s PUAs and AVfM, CAFE uses an elaborate and dishonest branding strategy to keep its political agenda covert. But a closer look reveals that although CAFE is careful to maintain its organizational autonomy, it is politically affiliated with these reactionary groups and exists to give institutional legitimacy to their foundational ideas and causes. At times the connection becomes explicit, as when CAFE promoted an AVfM conference on its website as “important to Canadians[1],” or when AVfM founder Paul Elam and CAFE board member Adam McPhee held a dialogue on AVfM that ended with Paul Elam happily concluding that he saw “a bright future with both organizations moving forward with their missions enjoying mutual moral support[2].”

 

Furthermore, all of CAFE’s events – including a talk by Warren Farrell, who is also one of CAFE’s advisory fellows – have received enthusiastic coverage from A Voice for Men and its extended network of toxic misogynists[3]. CAFE’s practice of recording protesters at its events on video has resulted in female protesters being identified, tracked down, harassed, and threatened, a practice known as “doxing.” In at least one case, AVfM published a full article exposing a CAFE event protester in depth, written by an anonymous MRA referring to himself as a part of a “growing underground army” and comparing himself to the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal[4]. The affinity between CAFE, AVfM, and still more underground sections of the “manosphere” make this much more than an empty threat. In March 2014, a Queen’s student publicly involved in planning a protest to a CAFE event, a lecture by University of Ottawa professor Janice Fiamengo, was assaulted and beaten by unidentified attackers the night before the talk[5]. To be sure, CAFE as an organization denounces these individual instances of violence. But these tactics are entirely characteristic of the broader Men’s Rights Movement of which it is a part, a movement that argues that women and feminists specifically are oppressors with whom men are at war. This backwards logic, through which the oppressed are portrayed as an oppressor group that the dominant group must combat in order to preserve their status and identity, is nearly identical to the logic of fascism. In this way, CAFE creates a climate of fear on and off Canadian university campuses to quash and eliminate feminist struggle for genuine equality and justice. This is why we say that even and especially when they try to present themselves as respectable, MRAs must be confronted, exposed, and stamped out everywhere they arise!

 

We want to say a few words about the people involved in CAFE. Not all of them are open misogynists, and CAFE is quick to put forward its more liberal members as evidence that they are not like other MRA organizations. Some of the people it has attracted seem genuinely concerned with real, existing issues that affect men: suicide and mental health, unsafe working conditions, homelessness, education. But a quick look at its events shows that CAFE, like other sections of the Men’s Rights Movement, merely exploits these issues, claiming that they are all signs of a societal conspiracy against men as a class that feminists cover up by talking about the oppression of women.In this way, MRAs take advantage of the political powerlessness and exploitation of the masses to push forward their reactionary, misogynist agenda. We completely reject the incorrect, incoherent, and dangerous answers they provide to actually existing oppression and exploitation in capitalist society.

 

The Revolutionary Student Movement is a militant pan-Canadian anti-capitalist organization that organizes working-class students to advance the class struggle on campuses and build a movement to bring about the end of exploitation, oppression, and alienation on the basis of class, race, sexuality, gender identity, and disability. We see this end as achievable only through the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, a mode of production founded on the exploitation of the working class that has caused endless misery in every society organized along its lines – that has brought about suicide and mental health issues, unsafe working conditions, homelessness, underfunded education, along with many of the other social issues CAFE claims to care about, everywhere it has been put into operation. Capitalism also functions by turning dominant sections of the masses against other groups, along the lines of race, gender, sexuality, language, and whatever else it can opportunistically exploit to keep the masses from uniting to smash their shared enemy. In this regard, misogynist ideas, like other reactionary and backwards ideas, set back the people’s struggle for the end of exploitation and oppression.

 

The RSM is proud of its history of confronting Men’s Rights reactionaries when they have attempted to organize on campuses across Canada. In April 2014, comrades at the University of Ottawa shut down a lecture by Janice Fiamengo on the non-existence of rape culture; in August of the same year, the Toronto section of the RSM successfully countered another lecture of one of CAFE’s satellite fronts at the University of Toronto. These actions have seen an escalation in the response of CAFE to student protesters; security and police are now commonly found standing by prior to events, anticipating disruptions ahead of time.

 

Most recently, an RSM action at University of Ottawa on February 10th drew a direct response from CAFE advisor and Ottawa branch Vice-President Janice Fiamengo. Fiamengo is a celebrity in the “manosphere” for her regular video series, the “Fiamengo Files,” which airs on YouTube via an account called “StudioBrulé,” the very same account that posts videos of CAFE events. Fiamengo’s videos argue explicitly that feminism is a totalitarian system that oppresses men. In one video[6], she argues that open rape apologist Roosh V is a wronged victim of the feminist establishment, and cites approvingly from his article “How to Stop Rape,” in which he describes rape allegations as hoaxes used by women to persecute “the previous night’s lover” and goes on to argue for the legalization of rape. In another video from February 2016, she calls for men to “take back their power and their pride” and describes how feminism is turning her into a self-described “raging misogynist[7].” Given her far-right political line, which leads her to argue in other videos that equity is anti-meritocratic and discriminatory against men[8], that sexual harassment is a dangerous myth[9], and that feminism literally wants to degrade men’s souls and take away their specific virtues of independence, objectivity, and strength[10], it’s not surprising that she has also authored violently racist and Islamophobic editorials[11]. In one, co-authored with her husband, the extreme-right ideologue David Solway, she argues that Islam must be rejected altogether from the West and that the so-called “Muslim surge” will bring more and more terrorist attacks on Judeo-Christian values and people[12].

 

It is unacceptable to everyone who opposes Islamophobic, racist, misogynist, and fascist ideas that Fiamengo, who defends known rape apologists, who organizes a hate group on campus, and who shows nothing but contempt for students[13], is a professor at the University of Ottawa! She is the primary organizer of CAFE at uOttawa, alongside David Shackleton, a retired biology professor who has claimed that feminism today behaves like Nazism did leading up to the second world war, that “the coming war is inevitable,” and that “we have to take women off the pedestal, and we won’t do that as a culture until we see the evil that they do[14].” He has also argued that the mass shooting of women accused of being feminists by Marc Lepine at Polytechnique in 1989 was an inevitable result of feminist persecution of men[15].

 

In light of all this, the RSM is glad to be attacked by Janice Fiamengo for consistently confronting her organization, the Canadian Association for Equality. We are not interested in a dialogue with her or her organization. We intend to confirm what they suspect: that the masses, the people themselves, racialized, gender-oppressed, exploited, marginalized, recognize the Men’s Rights Movement for what it is, in all of its forms, and will reject it, through direct action if necessary, wherever it rears its head.

 

We invite everyone who shares these values and who finds it unacceptable that people like David Shackleton, Janice Fiamengo, and Warren Farrell are trying to spread their influence on Canadian campuses to join us in organizing to shut down future CAFE events and stamp out MRA lies, distortion, and deception! If you are concerned about CAFE or any other Men’s Rights Movement presence on your campus, get in touch with the local branch of the Revolutionary Student Movement. Together we can stamp out MRA ideas and fight for the rights, safety, and equality of women and gender-oppressed people on our campuses and in our communities, as well as the rights of all people to leave free of oppression and exploitation in this rotten capitalist system!

 

The RSM pledges to support struggles against MRAs wherever we have the capacity to do so. We are not afraid of combating reactionary organizations when they try take root around us. We call on everyone who wants to see them gone to join us, they won’t stop unless we stop them!

 

Down with MRAs, long live the people’s struggle!

 

 

[1] http://equalitycanada.com/a-voice-for-mens-international-conference-on-mens-issues-why-it-should-be-important-to-canadians/

[2] http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/adam-mcphee-responds-to-paul-elam/

[3] http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/we-went-to-a-mens-rights-lecture-in-toronto

[4] http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/who-is-emma-claire-and-why-is-she-so-hateful/

[5] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/queen-s-student-attacked-after-threats-over-feminist-activities-1.2589321

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZaJ_cpK87M

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kXq8Yb083I

[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Js6T45S-Dc

[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ba-pdQ8eT8

[10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1umxQInyjmQ

[11] http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/179974/supreme-foolishness-janice-fiamengo

http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2014/07/01/why-do-we-tolerate-the-intolerable-d-by-janice-fiamengo/

[12] http://www.artsandopinion.com/2015_v14_n6/solway-58hx.htm

[13] https://pjmedia.com/blog/the-unteachables-a-generation-that-cannot-learn/?singlepage=true

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RTavcTTons

[14] http://www.menweb.org/femexpos.htm

[15] http://no-maam.blogspot.ca/2005/01/eotm-war-against-men-by-david.html