This letter was written by PRAC-RSM upon learning of a planned walk-out and potential sit-in, by Peterborough students, on Dec 11, 2012. This walk-out is in support of Ontario teachers fighting for better work conditions, as well as for the reinstatement of extra-curricular activities. The Peterborough students correctly recognized that the blame for the teacher’s work-to-rule action is on the government and the bourgeoisie, and not their teachers. We laud the initiative taken up by the students. We hope that this protest movement will strengthen into a movement against the privatization of education, and eventually against the ongoing crisis of capitalism itself.
We were excited to learn about the stand you’re taking today, and we wish to extend our congratulations, our enthusiasm and our solidarity.
You all know as well as anyone that with a loss of school activities comes a loss of hope, a world where only those with the money to pay have a chance to develop into the whole, fulfilled people they have the potential to become while the rest of us face boredom, stagnation and isolation.
You also know that the blame for this situation falls not on the teachers, who in their work-to-rule action against the provincial government are exercising what little power they have over a power structure that wants to deprive them of a good job and a good life.
But yours is a struggle not just for extra-curriculars or for a fair contract for your teachers. It’s a struggle against a system that can no longer provide us with what we need.
Ours is a bleak future – one of debt, poverty, unemployment and imprisonment. Everywhere we look, the promises of prosperity and peace made to us by those who run the whole show are coming unraveled. Pensions are being cut, the cost of living keeps rising, and wages keep falling by comparison. How many of us will have a higher standard of living than our parents? Fewer and fewer all the time.
Broken promises, hardship, and exploitation: that’s all the system has to offer us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You haven’t asked for our advice, but if you want it, it’s this: the power structure is your enemy. If you oppose them, they’ll never respect you and the only way they’ll ever listen is if they’re afraid – afraid that the spirit of rebellion you embody will escalate and spread, threatening the whole system of exploitation that makes them rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us.
The spirit of rebellion you’re showing today can be nurtured and can grow into a force for revolution that will change the face of the planet. You can help make a world where we, the masses – the working class and oppressed people – are in control, where all the potential we hold together can be used to better ourselves and each other, where we reject domination and embrace empowerment, where everyone has everything they need.
We’re doing what we can to build this force for revolution, and we want to work with you in doing the same.
It is with great pride we count you within our ranks as students.
The Revolutionary Student Movement, Toronto