Close the Barn Door, Keep the Pigs Out! RCMP Recruitment Protest in Toronto

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On Wednesday, November 19th, the Revolutionary Student Movement—an anti-capitalist, militant student organization—carried out a protest against a Royal Canadian Mounted Police recruitment event on University of Toronto campus. The protest outside the Medical Science Building was joined by comrades from the Proletarian Feminist Front and the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee. Protestors handed out pamphlets to passing pedestrians and attendees of the RCMP propaganda session. The comrades led chants denouncing the RCMP’s recruitment presence on St. George Campus, and held speeches denouncing capitalism, imperialism and settler-colonialism, all of which are the foundation upon which the RCMP functions as the strong arm of the ruling class.

The University of Toronto has a long history of accommodating the recruitment efforts of the repressive state apparatus on campus. The RCMP not only holds 1-2 recruitment sessions per semester, but also participates heavily in university career fairs. Police recruitment has largely been ignored by the left in most of English Canada, with no major disruption remaining in the collective memory of the University of Toronto campus. As a result, the cops have been left to their own devices in recruiting today’s bullies into tomorrow’s pigs.

The Revolutionary Student Movement broke this dubious ceasefire by leading the first protest against the pigs’ recruitment process at the University of Toronto. This struggle built on the immense success of the Sudbury Revolutionary Student Movement’s disruption of a similar event at Laurentian University. While our comrades in Sudbury were forcibly shoved out of the pigs’ playground, they still delivered a strong blow to the recruitment event. Moreover, they remained outside the building and educated participants and witnesses as to the necessity of smashing the capitalists’ grasp on the university and reclaiming the campus for the people.

The cowardly behavior of the police was not just in Sudbury; it also reared its pathetic head at the University of Toronto, where the RCMP recruiters refused to exit through the front door where the protest was being held. Instead, the pigs remained inside the lobby for 10 minutes with no idea of what to do in response to our actions. Truly, the cops are paper tigers.

These disruptions against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have shown that it is possible to engage in direct action against the police, even in a time where the pouting of opportunists has demobilized and confused the left. Moreover, these struggles have in fact shown the necessity of an independent and militant student movement that actively confronts the pigs who want to turn our campus and our city into their sty.

The police are the enemy. This is not because of incidental injustices within the police force itself, such as corruption or sexism within the ranks, although they may certainly exist. The police, first and foremost, are the repressive arm of the ruling class, raised against the masses of workers who toil each day for capitalist profits. The police are the enemy of the vast majority of society because of their social function within the capitalist system, as explained in the pamphlet produced by the Revolutionary Student Movement and distributed at the action:

“Like other police forces in Canada, they exist to protect capital and ensure the stable functioning of the capitalist system. If this means abusing and intimidating communities into submission, fine. If this means lying and spying, no problem. If this means beating up and arresting protesters who denounce this exploitative system, it’s all in a day’s work. We must have no illusions: if the people were to rise up against such a system, the police would be on the front lines against them, and would be happy for the overtime pay.”

Furthermore, the RCMP is an army of occupation of indigenous lands and peoples. This function continues into the present day, suspended only in Ontario, Québec and Newfoundland, where provincial police departments have taken over and put their jackboots on the necks of the indigenous people in their jurisdictions. This colonial function is horrendously illustrated in the outright neglect by the RCMP of the epidemic of missing and murdered aboriginal women, which they refuse to investigate, much less solve. And how could they? To remedy a crime of settler-colonialism requires that settler-colonialism be abolished, which in turn would require the abolition—in fact, the smashing—of the RCMP itself.

Finally, the RCMP is a domestic intelligence apparatus for political repression. Much like the FBI and NSA of the United States, the RCMP also exists to keep tabs on, disrupt and repress people and organizations who oppose the current state of affairs. If you’ve ever spoken out against imperialist war, capitalist exploitation, racist violence, or colonial occupation, the RCMP wants to know about it. And if they have their way, they will. If you’re upset about rising unemployment, growing personal debt, falling wages and failing social services, the RCMP is your enemy because they work tirelessly to protect the capitalist system, the system that causes all of these problems. They understand this fact and will do what they can to arrest, jail, frame or discredit anyone who opposes capitalism.

This is not just the legacy of the RCMP, but rather remains to this day the very purpose of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They are here to crush all the revolutionary (even non-revolutionary) aspirations of the oppressed. It is with this understanding that the Revolutionary Student Movement says: “Close the barn door! Keep the pigs out!” We must show that the police are unwelcome on campus. In order to do so, we must take the campus out of the hands of capitalists and make it a site of class struggle!

PCR-RCP article published here

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