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

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step back : A Successful Start for BDS at uOttawa

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step back : A Successful Start for BDS at uOttawa

On Tuesday March 13th, the SFUO held its 6th General Assembly. It was marked by a record attendance of over 500 people and a mobilization in support of Palestine that was without precedent. However, there is a lot to discuss as far as the events of the evening goes.

Firstly, the majority of votes that our Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) motion against the Israeli state received was overturned by a ruling that the motion needed 2/3 support, which was not communicated to attendees beforehand.

The evening proceeded with a number of hurdles, the first being a series of logistical issues. The room wasn’t large enough to accommodate all the students that came out to participate in the GA et nearly half of them were required to sit in the UCU Agora where they could not get speaking rights. No translation was offered and so the proceedings were only done in English to the detriment of francophone students who make up a quarter of campus. In the end, the General Assembly started 1:30 behind schedule due to last minute requirements on top of which the room had only been reserved for 3 hours, which is clearly to little for an assembly of over 500 members.

We should also criticize the measures taken by the SFUO that consisted of removing voting cards from students who didn’t follow the “no clapping” rule that was spontaneously adopted without precedent. There are good reasons to expel students acting in a racist, sexist or other unacceptable way, however the bureaucratic and non- transparent way this was implemented only further built up tension and derailed the meeting.

Secondly, the progression of the meeting was itself fairly bureaucratic and hindered actual debate on motions. The first proposal was on the adoption of online voting during SFUO elections, a proposal made by the right-wing student politician clique in the hopes that technology could act as a magical antidote for electoral fraud and voter absenteeism. The motion even argued for putting the elections in the hands of a private company. The RSM is opposed to online voting since it is no more democratic and does not really promote a larger participation from students. Democracy is not simply the act of voting. It must be a process in which politics are vigorously debated before being voted on. Unfortunately, procedural manoeuvres cut short debate on this proposal and it was approved without being challenged. As for our motion on BDS which followed, we were only given a brief period of discussion. Three interventions were made for each of the sides before the vote was called. Each side seemed convinced that they would win the vote, and assumed no further debate was necessary. As mentioned, we believe that democracy goes beyond simply voting, and that the way the GA developed prevented the effective combat of reactionary and liberal ideas that were brought up against BDS. The assembly had only just begun the debate on the Israeli occupation of Palestine when it was closed, ending any chance at addressing and exposing Zionist and anti-Palestinian arguments.

Despite this, we should be proud of our accomplishments that evening. We experienced a student mobilization that surpassed our expectations and that the University of Ottawa had not seen in a long time. We see that students are far from apathetic and want to participate in political life if they are given the chance. If we compare the result of the GA to the bureaucratic methods by which pro-Palestinian policies were attempted to be implemented at the Board of Administration last semester, we can confirm that mass mobilization and politicization are powerful strategies. Working with local Palestinian solidarity groups like Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights and Independent Jewish Voices, over 250 students came out in support of Palestinian liberation. The majority of votes we obtained on the motion is a victory in itself. Despite their considerable political and material advantages, we overcame the doubts of the bureaucrats and the attempts that the right-wing made to block the motion.

This experience has shown that it is possible to struggle even in situations where reactionary positions are the norm. In conclusion, we would like to reiterate or opposition to colonialist and imperialist forces and that it is therefor our duty to end the support that the capitalist, colonialist and imperialist state of Canada extends to Israel. This effort will allow the removal of barriers to the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian people.

 

From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!

In Struggle for a Proletarian Feminist Line!

In Struggle for a Proletarian Feminist Line!

Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day

Today, March 8th, the Revolutionary Student Movement celebrates Gender Oppressed Workers Day. Our celebration is part of a long tradition of celebrating International Working Women’s Day, a day that since 1911 has served to remember the history and current reality of patriarchal and capitalist violence. But it is not just to celebrate but to organize, resist, and win. Until the full liberation of proletarian women through the end of patriarchy and the end of capitalism we must continue to dare to struggle, and dare to win!

In celebrating under the name Gender Oppressed Workers Day, we recognize the need to continue developing an analysis to smash patriarchy. More specifically the ways in which patriarchal ideology exists to oppress the working class under capitalism and through cis-normative and binary ideas of gender. Our task as the Revolutionary Student Movement remains to uphold the struggles of historical revolutionary victories against patriarchy while fighting to end capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism.

“Gender Oppressed Workers Day” was adopted at the 6th MER-RSM Pan-Canadian Congress in an effort to challenge cis-normative narratives and put forward an analysis on the root of patriarchy. At the Congress and since then there has been line struggle within the organization. Moreover, we have received criticism from Comrades both in Canada and internationally over the decision. As the leading body of the MER-RSM, the Coordinating Committee is happy to receive these criticisms. Instead of retreating to dogmatism, we recognize the need to take them seriously and sharpen our work in the coming years, as we continue to celebrate and resist every March 8th, be it under Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day or International Working Women’s Day.

In order to give this struggle a means to resolve itself, the Coordinating Committee has voted to re-initiate the debate in the MER-RSM on the purpose of the name change and the name change itself. We hold that the organization was in error to change the name performatively without having struggled to develop an elaborated political line on patriarchy and celebrating resistance to patriarchy. While we are mandated to uphold the decisions of the Congress, the Coordinating Committee will be initiating an internal struggle on this question before the next MER-RSM Pan-Canadian Congress in 2019 to rectify this issue. We will be distributing more detailed criticisms of the resolution to all sections in the coming weeks and will ask all sections to adopt positions on this question, in order to push this struggle forward.

Whatever the result of the line struggle is, our core political commitment to proletarian feminism will not change. The name Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day acknowledges that it is not only the working-class cis-women who are oppressed by patriarchy, but that patriarchal ideology reinforces a binary and biological essentialist ideas of gender, neither of which reflect material reality. In rejecting these patriarchal ideas, the MER-RSM upholds proletarian feminism. We remain opposed to liberal and/or bourgeois feminism that erases class analysis and views gender identity through homogeneous categories and says the plight of the working mother and the trans-woman line worker can be solved in the same way as the “feminist” CEO who gladly exploits workers in Canada and abroad. The solution for proletarians will always be revolution. Without the end of capitalism the exploited masses of workers who are disproportionately women (trans and cis), trans-men, and gender non-conforming will continue to suffer.

Historical significance

March 8th is a day of celebration of the historical and ongoing revolutionary efforts in fighting patriarchal oppression under capitalism and is commonly celebrated by socialist movements. Its acknowledgment around the globe began with historically communist countries. The historical significance of March 8 can be traced back to 1911 when International Working Women’s Day was adopted by a congress of revolutionary women from across the world. In turn it was chosen to commemorate the 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union and the mass action of garment workers for a 10-hour work day and other better wage conditions on March 8, 1857. Perhaps the most famous and significant mobilization took place in 1917 Petrograd, Russia, when women textile workers have started a strike as a mass protest against the war, to the Czarist rationing system on flour and bread and the monarchy. The strike paralyzed the city and sparked the February Revolution which abolished to monarchy only 7 days after the strike. This strike sharpened the class struggle in the former Russian Empire and eventually paved the way for the first successful socialist revolution to take place – the Great October Revolution.

Local actions for Proletarian Feminism

Following the footsteps of our comrades from a history of mass-orientated action, we remember the revolutionary theoretical developments of feminism initiated by Anuradha Ghandy, a Maoist from India, who first put forward a theoretical base to proletarian feminism and Comrade Pavarti from Nepal who organized the women of the country to combat feudalism, capitalism and patriarchy within their own party. Locally in Canada, RSM sections have been actively organizing and pushing forward lines on proletarian feminism.

In Winnipeg, the RSM sections have occupied tables used by anti-abortion groups to stop them from spreading their hateful and fascist propaganda, disrupted on-campus anti-abortion presentations, and more recently held a workshop on “Proletarian Feminism: Combatting Anti-Choice Groups in Winnipeg”.

In Hamilton, RSM comrades organized a large disruption at Jordan Peterson’s talk (a known fascist and transphobe) and comrades in other cities have joined to protest and shut down his events.

In Peterborough the development of the Revolutionary Sexuality and Gender Education Initiative, and a March 8th rally and social last year were part of the work done to forward proletarian feminist politics, in addition to shutting down anti-abortion protestors.

In Ottawa and Toronto our comrades have organized actions to shut down the so-called anti-feminist “men’s rights activist” organizing throughout the last several years, effectively pushing them out of some campuses.

And in Charlottetown, the RSM has been a leading force in successfully organizing the mass movement to allow abortion access in PEI in 2016-17. All of our comrades study proletarian feminist works as part of our organizing and actively support local actions aimed at combating patriarchy.

We congratulate the efforts of RSM sections in upholding proletarian feminism and organizing against class-based patriarchy and fascism on campuses. We hope that the fight and growth of the revolutionary movement continues until the working class is liberated from their chains!

In Struggle for a Proletarian Feminist Line!
In Struggle against capitalism and patriarchy!

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

 

Readings and sources

Philosophical Trends in the Feminist Movement – Anuradha Ghandy
https://rsmtoronto.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/brave-new-world-philosophical-trends-in-the-feminist-movement-by-avanti.pdf

International Working Women’s Day: a day of class struggle
http://koleksyon-inip.org/international-working-womens-day-a-day-of-class-struggle/

Video of RSM Hamilton disrupting fascist and transphobe Jordan Peterson talk
https://www.facebook.com/RSMHamilton/videos/473619419636861/

Militancy Not Masculinity – Proletarian Youth Organization

What the MER-RSM Has Done in 2017

What the MER-RSM Has Done in 2017

This year has been full of major events for the MER-RSM and for the revolutionary movement in Canada. We have held our 6th Pan-Canadian Congress in February, where delegates from 14 sections across the country came together to decide on the course of our organization and share organizing experience. The Congress has elected an almost entirely new Pan-Canadian Coordinating Committee to guide the work of our organization and serves as a good indication of the growth and qualitative improvement that we are experiencing.

As the Canadian state was celebrating 150 years since its founding, many anti-colonial movements and organizers have shown their opposition to this blatant celebration of settler colonialism, capitalism and imperialism. The MER-RSM has joined the FuckThe150th campaign initiated by the Revolutionary Communist Party to protest these celebrations on the ground and to counter the messages spread by the Canadian state on social media.

More MER-RSM sections than ever before have joined in the International Workers’ Day (or May Day) events across the country by taking part and organizing marches, public talks and social events. We have also taken part in celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, a very important historic event to commemorate and learn from.

This year has also been marked by the rise of the extreme right organizations, which have been trying to take to the streets in a series of coordinated, country-wide efforts. Most of these attempts have been shut down or constrained to tiny perimeter by anti-racist and anti-fascist organizers that have been coming out to oppose them. Members of the MER-RSM have joined the efforts to stop the extreme right from taking root on campuses and anywhere they try to rear their ugly head.

It has never been a secret that the state and its running dogs – the police, try to suppress any radical organizing that challenges it and aims to change the society. As the quality of work of revolutionary organizations across the country has been on the rise, police repression followed. This has been particularly evident in Sudbury, Quebec City, and Ottawa. Despite that, we are committed to continuing to build solidarity against state repression and against the rising threat of fascism.

Many new comrades have joined our organization this year, with several new sections being created: Brandon (Manitoba), Guelph (Ontario), Waterloo (Ontario), Windsor (Ontario). Other sections have seen growth of membership and the scope of work. Regrettably, we have seen the departure of the Montreal section of the MER-RSM due to serious political disagreements. However, we have restarted our organizing in Montreal, namely at Concordia university, and we expect to expand our organizing there in the coming year.

We have big plans in the coming year! We are going to distribute our first-ever publication, Classmates, in January. Comrades in Ottawa, Hamilton, Peterborough, Saskatoon, Toronto and Winnipeg are going to be engaged in campaigns to create or improve General Assemblies on their campuses, which will become a platform where political struggles get brought out in the open and a tool to exert direct democratic control over student unions. As the experience of campuses with functional General Assemblies demonstrates, it is one of the best tools for advancing radical politics; building the culture of resistance to capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy and other reactionary systems of oppression; and challenging the bourgeois notion of representative democracy, where the small minority detached from the needs of the majority holds most of the decision-making power. Lastly, we will hold Regional Conferences where comrades will come together to meet each other, share organizing experience, and come up with ideas and proposals for the time between then and the 2019 Pan-Canadian Congress.

We are the largest and the most active anti-capitalist student movement in Canada. We remain committed to organizing in struggle against capitalism, colonialism, racism, patriarchy, ableism and other forms of oppression both on and off campuses.

Now is a good time to join our movement!

Get in touch with us: info@mer-rsm.ca

https://www.facebook.com/RevolutionaryStudentMovement/

 

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

Continue the Legacy of the October Revolution! Join the Movement to Build the Revolution in Canada! / Poursuivons sur la lignée de la Révolution d’octobre! Joignez-vous au mouvement qui construit la révolution au Canada!

Continue the Legacy of the October Revolution! Join the Movement to Build the Revolution in Canada! / Poursuivons sur la lignée de la Révolution d’octobre! Joignez-vous au mouvement qui construit la révolution au Canada!

[La version française suivra]

A hundred years ago today, a new stage of struggle against oppression was achieved in the Russian Republic, which became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a result. Workers and peasants organized by the Bolshevik communist party led a courageous attack on the old order of the Russian Tsar and the new bourgeois state that refused to fully break with it, successfully overthrowing both. Never before had a socialist revolution successfully destroyed the old order, while lasting long enough to go down the socialist road.

The October Revolution has proved that it is possible for the oppressed to throw off their chains and build a society not rooted in capitalist exploitation. The revolution brought significant progress in worker’s rights struggles, national liberation, women’s liberation, and many other struggles. Achievements of the revolution improved the lives of people within the USSR and across the world, inspiring and supporting revolutionary movements everywhere, some of which continue the struggle today. This process was neither smooth nor perfect, though it is unfair to expect it to have been. Many mistakes were made, but through this lessons were learned by revolutionary movements worldwide, in order to constantly keep improving our practice.

Just as it is important to understand that the masses are the only force that can make revolution, it is also important to remember that the revolution needs to be defended constantly against external attacks and internal threats. Under socialism, capitalists and those with bourgeois ideas wage class struggle as relentlessly as ever. Capitalist states have viciously attacked every revolutionary society, from economic sanctions to various acts of sabotage, from military threats to an all-out war. Less than two decades after the October revolution, the USSR had to defend itself from Nazi invasion. The Red Army played the most significant part in defeating fascism in Europe, demonstrating the might and the commitment of communists in struggles against the darkest, most reactionary forces. Relics of the Cold War – such as anti-communist propaganda and repressive methods developed during that period – still negatively affect the organizing conditions of revolutionaries today.

Contrary to bourgeois propaganda, the legacy of October Revolution lives on. More and more people in Canada and across the world are coming to the conclusion that capitalism cannot offer a fair and sustainable future. More and more people worldwide are joining various organizations which work to make revolutionary changes a reality. Resistance to emerging fascist forces is rising and becoming more and more organized. Resistance to forces of imperialist exploitation is intensifying across the Third World.

In nearly every historical revolution, students have joined in, playing their part in supporting the revolutionary movement. The MER-RSM seeks to build a base of support for the revolutionary movement among the students in Canada and connect our organizing with the struggles against capitalism, colonialism, racism, patriarchy, ableism and other forms of oppression both on and off campus. We do not believe in taking a reformist road. We do not support capitalist political parties and non-governmental organizations that pay lip-service to social justice, while upholding the existing power structures at the end of the day. We support working class organizing and the building of people’s power for a revolution. These are the principles which have led to us becoming the largest left-wing student organization in the country, and now is the time to join us and build the revolutionary movement together!

This centenary is an occasion to celebrate the achievements that workers, oppressed nations, gender-oppressed people and many other groups have made in the struggle against all forms of oppression. But it is also a reminder that it is up to us to make revolution wherever we are, using the tools that October Revolution has given the world.

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

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Il y a cent ans, aujourd’hui, un nouveau stade de la lutte contre l’oppression a été franchi en République de Russie, qui est devenue l’Union des Républiques Socialistes Soviétiques. Les travailleur(euse)s et paysan(ne)s, organisées par le Parti Communiste Bolchévik, menèrent une attaque courageuse contre l’ordre ancien du Tsar russe et le nouvel État bourgeois qui refusait de rompre avec ce vieux système, les renversants tous les deux. Aucune révolution socialiste, avant celle-ci, n’était parvenue à détruire l’ancien ordre tout en survivant assez longtemps pour effectuer l’expérience du socialisme.

La Révolution d’octobre prouve qu’il est possible pour les personnes opprimées de se libérer de leurs chaînes et de construire une société qui n’est pas basée sur l’exploitation capitaliste. La révolution amorçait un progrès important dans les luttes pour les droits des travailleurs, de libération nationales, de libération des femmes, et plusieurs autres. Les réalisations engendrées par la révolution ont amélioré la vie des personnes en URSS, et à travers le monde, tout en motivant et en appuyant les mouvements révolutionnaires dans le monde entier, dont certains qui poursuivent la lutte jusqu’à aujourd’hui.  Ce processus ne fut pas sans fautes; plusieurs erreurs ayant été commises. Mais c’est face à ces défis que des mouvements révolutionnaires du monde entier ont appris des leçons afin de toujours améliorer nos pratiques.

Il est important de comprendre que les masses représentent la seule force capable de révolution, et tout aussi important de comprendre que la révolution doit perpétuellement être défendue contre les attaques externes et internes. Sous le socialisme, les capitalistes, et ceux qui s’alignent avec les bourgeois, mènent une guerre de classe plus incessante que jamais. Les États capitalistes ont toujours brutalement attaqué toutes les sociétés révolutionnaires,  que ce soit à travers des sanctions économiques ou divers actes de sabotage, des menaces militaires ou carrément des guerres. Moins de deux décennies après la Révolution d’octobre, l’URSS a dû se défendre contre l’invasion nazie. L’Armée rouge a joué le plus grand rôle dans la défaite du fascisme en Europe, démontrant la force et la détermination des communistes combattants contre les forces les plus sombres et réactionnaires. Les reliques de la guerre froide – par exemple, la propagande anti-communiste et les méthodes répressives développées à cette époque– ont toujours un impact négatif sur les conditions d’organisation des révolutionnaires contemporains.

Malgré la propagande bourgeoise, l’héritage de la Révolution d’octobre demeure vivant. De plus en plus de personnes au Canada et à travers le monde viennent à conclure que le capitalisme n’offre pas un futur juste et viable. De plus en plus de personnes à travers le monde rejoignent diverses organisations qui luttent afin de réaliser des changements révolutionnaires. La résistance face aux forces fascistes émergentes est en hausse et devient mieux organisée. La résistance face à l’exploitation des forces impérialistes s’intensifie à travers les pays exploités.

Dans presque toutes les révolutions historiques, les étudiant(e)s se sont joint à la lutte, et ont fourni un appui aux mouvements révolutionnaires. Le MER-RSM cherche è construire une base de soutien pour le mouvement révolutionnaire parmi les étudiant(e)s au Canada et à joindre notre organisation aux luttes contre le capitalisme, le colonialisme, le racisme, le patriarcat, le capacitisme, et toute autre forme d’oppression sur et hors campus. Nous ne croyons pas au réformisme. Nous ne soutenons pas les partis politiques capitalistes et les organisations non-gouvernementales qui lancent de belles paroles en l’air, tout en maintenant la structure de pouvoir actuelle.  Nous soutenons l’organisation de la classe ouvrière et l’édification du pouvoir du peuple au profit de la révolution. Ce sont là les principes nous ayant permis de devenir la plus grande organisation étudiante de gauche au pays, et il est plus que jamais le temps de nous rejoindre pour bâtir un mouvement étudiant révolutionnaire ensemble!

Ce centenaire est une occasion de célébrer les réussites des travailleu(ses)rs, des personnes de nations-opprimées, des personnes opprimées par le genre, et ceux des nombreux autres groupes ayant contribué à la lutte contre toutes formes d’oppressions. Il sert aussi de rappel qu’il n’en tient qu’à nous de faire la révolution où que nous soyons, usant des outils que la révolution d’Octobre nous a légué.

Osons lutter, osons vaincre!

Comité de coordination du MER-RSM

Students for Ontario College Faculty Campaign Launch

Students for Ontario College Faculty Campaign Launch

The Revolutionary Student Movement stands in full solidarity with the striking college faculty workers in Ontario. The strike began on October 16th, after the demands of the faculty have been rejected several times by College Employer Council, an organization responsible for negotiating collective agreements with unionized staff at the 24 Ontario colleges. We are launching a campaign “Students for Ontario College Faculty” with the goal of mobilizing students across the province to show solidarity with the striking faculty workers.

We support the demands made by the faculty and advanced by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union representing over 12,000 college faculty members across Ontario. These are:

  • A 50:50 ratio of full-time to contract faculty, which currently sits at over 70% contract faculty;
  • Increased job security for partial-load faculty, who currently work on one-semester contracts; and
  • Academic freedom to give faculty a stronger voice in academic decision-making.

We see these demands as fully justified and fighting for them will benefit not only the faculty but the students as well. Winning this battle will improve the quality of our education and the working conditions of our teachers and other faculty workers. We call on all students to mobilize in support of these demands, as well as an additional demand we will be pushing for:

  • A refund of tuition fees for the period of the strike to all students.

College administrations across the province have been trying to misrepresent this labour dispute as the fault of the faculty workers, but the opposite is true. It is administrations that have been cutting full-time teaching position and making working conditions harder and harder for faculty, while increasing tuition costs for students and increasing their own salaries. Algonquin and Mohawk college presidents are trying to increase their salaries more than 50% this year, while other college presidents attempt to get a pay increase of around 40%. Median college president salary in Ontario is already at $288,505, with the highest salary at $403,911.

It is clear that college administrations have no interest in making the education more accessible for students, or improving its quality. It is college administrations that treat our education as a business, reaping huge profits at the expense of students and staff. This cannot continue unopposed, students and faculty have the interest to improve the education process and we need to support each other in this struggle if we want to win.

Check our campaign page Students for Ontario College Faculty on Facebook for strike updates and information on how you can get involved! You can email us at info@mer-rsm.ca

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

#Students4Faculty

On the Expulsion of a Carleton RSM Member / Sur l’expulsion d’un membre du MER Carleton

On the Expulsion of a Carleton RSM Member / Sur l’expulsion d’un membre du MER Carleton

Content warning: This statement includes recent events of sexual violence towards gender oppressed people

 

 

On the Expulsion of a Carleton RSM Member

 

On July 28, 2017, the Carleton Section of the MER-RSM voted unanimously to expel a member who had sexually harassed and assaulted another member of the organization. In order to protect the survivor and at their request, the name of the expelled member will not be mentioned here but organizations and individuals who may come into contact with the perpetrator will be notified. With the perpetrator’s expulsion, all Carleton RSM members have voted to break ties with the perpetrator, both personal and political. This decision extends to all members of the MER-RSM who are being notified about this.

 

The sexual assault case was initially brought up to Dimka, current chair of the Coordinating Committee (CoCo), in December 2016. Investigation began between Dimka and the perpetrator through private discussions. However, additional incidents of sexual harassment, predatory behavior, and assault became evident and proved that the perpetrator was all-together unable to self-criticize, unable to uphold proletarian feminism, and unable to uphold the mandate of the MER-RSM. Unfortunately, correct action was not taken until July 2017 when the case was brought up to the rest of the CoCo.

 

Although Dimka and Carleton leadership initially attempted to address the situation, the approach was ad hoc and subjective. It failed to engage the section and organizational leadership (the CoCo) in rectification and as a result both Dimka and the perpetrator’s actions were not held into account. It also failed to protect and inform new and existing members who were in contact with the perpetrator. Dimka has since self-criticized for his errors both to the CoCo and the Carleton section. To ensure this failure in protecting comrades and upholding MER-RSM’s political line is not repeated, he is undergoing a process of rectification. His task in rectification is to correct his understanding of sexual violence, consent, patriarchal behavior and the proper way of addressing sexual violence and predatory behavior within our organization. His rectification plan, along with a self-criticism will be made available to all members of the MER-RSM soon.

 

On behalf of the CoCo, we would also like to present a self-criticism of our handling of this incident by outlining what should have happened.

 

  • Presentation of the incident to the CoCo as soon as soon it was discovered in December with investigation and subsequent action.

  • Presentation of the case to a general meeting of the Carleton section, instead of exclusively presenting to the section’s leadership. This process would have made it possible to make the perpetrator accountable for his actions by the entire section.

  • Expulsion and then engagement in rectification outside of the organization in order to protect comrades and those we struggle with and for.

 

We take this failure seriously and will work to ensure no member of the coordinating committee will repeat Dimka’s errors. And in accordance with the MER-RSM’s 2017 Congress resolutions, the CoCo is working towards formalizing investigation and rectification processes through the Transformative Justice Committee.

 

We apologize to the survivor and to all members of the MER-RSM whose safety was put at risk because of the continued membership of the perpetrator so long after his actions were exposed. As a leadership body in the organization it is the duty of the CoCo to ensure that the actions of all members live up to our commitment to proletarian feminist politics. By failing to act accordingly we failed our gender oppressed comrades. It is our task to ensure that members are not subject to sexual violence and that support will always be there.

 

Solidarity,

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

 

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Avertissement: Ce texte aborde des actes de violence sexuelle envers des personnes opprimées par le genre

 

Sur l’expulsion d’un membre du MER Carleton

 

Le 28 juillet 2017, la chapitre Carleton du MER-RSM a voté à l’unanimité l’expulsion d’un membre qui a agressé et harcelé sexuellement un.e autre membre de l’organisation. Afin de protéger la survivant.e et à la demande de celle/celui-ci, le nom du membre expulsé ne sera pas mentionné ici, toutefois les organisations et les personnes qui pourraient entrer en contact avec l’agresseur en seront informées. En plus de l’expulsion de l’agresseur, tout.es les membres du MER-RSM Carleton ont voté de rompre tous liens avec celui-ci, à la fois personnel et politique. Cette décision s’étend à tout.es les membres du MER-RSM qui seront informé.es de la situation.

 

Le cas d’agression sexuelle fut initialement rapporté à Dimka, le président actuel du Comité de coordination (CoCo) en décembre 2016. Une enquête a a été mise sur pied entre Dimka et l’agresseur par conversation privée. Cependant, des incidents supplémentaires de harcèlement sexuel, de comportements prédateur et d’agression ont eu lieu et ont prouvé que l’agresseur n’est pas capable de s’auto-critiquer, incapable de défendre le féminisme prolétarien et incapable de respecter le mandat du MER-RSM. Malheureusement, la procédure appropriée n’a pas été faite avant juillet 2017 lorsque l’affaire a été portée au reste du CoCo.

 

Bien que Dimka et le leadership du MER Carleton aient d’abord tenté de résoudre la situation, l’approche était ad hoc et subjective. Celle-ci a échoué à intégrer le chapitre et le leadership organisationnel (le CoCo) dans la rectification et, par conséquent, les actions de Dimka et de l’agresseur n’ont pas été prises en compte. Celle-ci a également échoué à protéger et à informer les nouveaux/nouvelles membres ainsi que les membres existant.es qui ont été en contact avec l’agresseur. Dimka a depuis critiqué les erreurs qu’il a commises à la fois au CoCo et à la section Carleton. Pour éviter que cet échec de la protection des camarades et du maintien de la ligne politique de MER-RSM ne soit répété, Dimka a entreprit un processus de rectification. Sa tâche de rectification est de corriger sa compréhension de la violence sexuelle, du consentement, des comportements patriarcaux et de la manière appropriée de traiter la violence sexuelle et les comportements de prédation au sein de notre organisation. Son plan de rectification, ainsi qu’une auto-critique, seront bientôt mis à la disposition de tout.es les membres du MER-RSM.

 

Au nom du CoCo, nous aimerions également présenter une auto-critique de notre traitement de cet incident en décrivant ce qui aurait dû arriver :

 

  • Présentation de l’incident au CoCo aussitôt qu’il a été découvert en décembre avec une enquête et actions subséquentes.

  • Présentation de l’affaire à une rencontre du chapitre de Carleton, au lieu de le présenter exclusivement au leadership du chapitre. Ce processus aurait permis de rendre l’agresseur responsable de ses actions par l’ensemble du chapitre.

  • L’expulsion de l’agresseur et ensuite le commencement de sa rectification en-dehors de l’organisation afin de protéger les camarades et les personnes avec et pour qui nous luttons.

 

Nous prenons cet échec au sérieux et nous nous assurerons de faire en sorte qu’aucun.e membre du comité de coordination ne répète les erreurs de Dimka. Et conformément aux résolutions du Congrès 2017 du MER-RSM, le CoCo travaille à la formalisation des processus d’enquête et de rectification par le biais du Comité de la justice transformatrice.

 

Nous nous excusons auprès de la survivant.e et de tout.es les membres du MER-RSM dont la sécurité a été mise en danger en raison de la présence de l’agresseur dans notre organisation aussi longtemps après que ses actions aient été exposées. En tant que leadership de l’organisation, il incombe au CoCo de veiller à ce que les actions de tout.es les membres soient à la hauteur de notre engagement envers le féminisme prolétarien. En omettant d’agir en conséquence, nous avons failli à nos camarades de genres opprimés. Il est notre devoir de veiller à ce que tout.es membres ne soient pas sujet.tes à la violence sexuelle et que le soutien soit toujours là.

 

Solidarité,

Comité de Coordinaiton du MER-RSM

 

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.