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

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

Movie Night: “Communists on Campus!”

Movie Night: “Communists on Campus!”

Take a break from studying for exams and come out to an end-of-semester social night hosted by RSM-Sudbury. There will be popcorn, camaraderie and a screening of an unintentionally hilarious anti-communist documentary from the Cold War era.

When: This Thursday, March 30, 6:30-8pm.
Where: Room C-102, Classroom Building, Laurentian University.

Communists on Campus is a crude attempt by a right-wing U.S. lobby group to “expose” communist activity in the student, black liberation, and anti-war movements of the 60s, with comically off-base results. The movie desperately uses every anti-communist trope in the book, embodying the capitalists’ deep dread of being overthrown by the workers and oppressed peoples. Fortunately the subject matter is given a chance to speak for itself through extended footage of young militants from progressive and revolutionary groups of the time; they are shown giving speeches and interviews, organizing strikes and armed campus occupations, and working to unite forces against U.S. imperialism and the Vietnam War.

There will be an open discussion after the movie, plus a quick presentation from RSM to help debunk its Cold War clichés, explore the actual role of revolutionaries in the student movement, and connect it with RSM’s local and pan-Canadian work. There will also be Marxist literature and hand-made swag on sale to raise funds for the club.

Please invite friends to the Facebook event and share it widely! Everyone is welcome to attend. The venue is accessible. Entry is $0 (donations welcome).

 

Movie and Discussion – ‘Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance’

Movie and Discussion – ‘Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance’

The Indigenous Students Circle and the Revolutionary Student Movement – Sudbury invite you to a free screening of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, an award-winning documentary about the Mohawk resistance to theft of their land by the Canadian state in the summer of 1990. The event will be held on Thursday, December 3, 6-9pm at the Lower Fraser Auditorium (FA-054), Fraser Building, Laurentian University.

One of the finest works by Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, this is the definitive on-the-ground record of the just rebellion of the Mohawk Nation against the forces of settler-colonialism. The armed stand-off between the Mohawk Warriors vs the Canadian army and Québécois police was sparked when the latter laid siege to a pine forest near Kanehsatake, home to a traditional Mohawk cemetery, which had been occupied by the Warriors in protest against the planned expansion of a golf course onto the territory. The government’s aim was to secure the land in the interests of the Canadian bourgeoisie, which has lived and grown off the oppression and exploitation of Indigenous peoples for centuries.

The stand-off lasted for over two months, with the colonial Canadian state showing to all the world its ugly face by unleashing its full arsenal of repression against the Warriors: thousands of soldiers deployed, arrests made, trumped up charges pressed, fascist settler groups given room to terrorize the Mohawk community. This powerful documentary takes you right into the thick of an important episode in the long history of Indigenous struggle against dispossession and genocide. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades, giving insight into the Mohawks’ unyielding determination to protect their lands.

The screening will be followed by a discussion of the film’s events, connecting them to the present plight of Indigenous people, and drawing out the important lessons that cannot fail to inform ongoing struggles for national liberation and social revolution in this country today.

Snacks will be served. Venue is accessible. Support available on site. Donations are welcome and will go toward supporting future events organized by the RSM and the ISC.

See this event on Facebook and share it with your friends and comrades.

No Revolution without Trans Liberation: Statement of RSM-Sudbury on the Transgender Day of Remembrance

No Revolution without Trans Liberation: Statement of RSM-Sudbury on the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Below is a statement of solidarity with trans people and the trans liberation struggle, distributed by RSM-Sudbury on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Nov 20, at a vigil held at Tom Davies Square. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and has become an annual event marked around the world.

On the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Revolutionary Student Movement – Sudbury joins with trans people and allies in remembering the countless trans lives lost to the vicious system of patriarchal imperialist capitalism. Whether it is hateful violence, social neglect or suicide, the oppression that trans people face daily is as undeniable as it is outrageous. As an organization based on revolutionary anti-capitalist and proletarian feminist principles, the RSM strives to combat all forms of individual and institutionalized oppression, including transphobia, in order to build a genuinely liberatory unity among all working and oppressed peoples in their common struggle for emancipation.

In today’s society – an imperialist, capitalist society based on exploitation of the working class for private profit – the patriarchal oppression of queer people ultimately serves the interests of the dominant class: the minority of bourgeois profiteers. A basic function of systemic barriers, for example, is to bar trans people from sections of the capitalist job market, as reflected in the high rates of underemployment, poverty and precarity they face. They are thus pushed into the ‘reserve army of labour’, a necessary part of the capitalist system that drives down wages to ensure a favourable market for the capitalists. Trans people are therefore overwhelmingly part of the proletariat, which is borne out by the fact that in 2012 the median reported income for trans people in this province was only $15,000 per year, with a sizable proportion relying on social assistance.

Historically capitalism has found many uses for patriarchal ideology and practices. On this continent, the foundations of the present-day capitalist ‘prison-house of nations’ were laid on top of the ruins of Indigenous societies which were in contradiction to the new order envisioned by the white European settlers. The imposition of the patriarchal gender-binary through direct and indirect violence played a key role in this project of colonial domination. And despite some liberal reforms, it remains a painful reality for most gender-nonconforming people, especially those who are proletarian, racialized or nationally oppressed. Recall the murder in 2012 of Filipina trans woman Jennifer Laude by a United States Marine, one of countless soldiers sent by various colonial and imperialist powers to oppress the Filipino people over the centuries. And in so-called ‘Canada’, too, the gender-fluid traditions of two-spirit Indigenous people put them especially at odds with the gender-disciplined labour force demanded by capitalism today.

That is why a consciousness of class and class struggle in all their various guises is fundamental to building a movement that can really stamp out transphobia, as well as all other oppressions that result from and sustain the imperialist, capitalist, settler-colonial organization of society. Doubly so, because the capitalists and their political lackeys have to some extent managed to co-opt some demands of the LGBTQ2S movement that they find less threatening, in an attempt to present bourgeois democracy as the best possible framework for resolving the contradictions of the sexed and gendered division of labour. They have even tried to mobilize LGBTQ2S supporters for imperialist interests under cover of ‘promoting liberal queer rights abroad’! All this must be vigorously opposed. We must remember that although capitalism may allow for the assimilation of sections of the trans community into the bourgeois order, it can never ensure the full liberation of all trans people. Anti-capitalism and proletarian internationalism thus remain indispensable components of trans liberation.

The radical problems that most transgender people face demand a radical solution: a revolutionary mass movement lead by the proletariat and aimed at destroying the roots of all oppression – a movement that dares to struggle for socialism. Yet not only do trans people need socialism; socialism also needs trans people and their full participation in the struggle to build it! To ensure this, we revolutionaries must take a critical look at our own spotty record on the question of queer liberation. Past ‘communists’ have often adopted a tragically incorrect theory and practice on this front. Their male-chauvinist and cis-sexist deviations drove away the rebellious energy of gender-oppressed people, doing great harm to the movement. The RSM is completely opposed to that phony brand of radicalism! We acknowledge that we have much to learn from the long struggles and rich perspectives of trans people. That is why we are here today, to show our solidarity, and to learn how we can struggle alongside trans people for a completely new world.

Down with transphobia and patriarchy!

Fight against chauvinism in the revolutionary movement!

Unite our common struggles against imperialism and capitalism!

Resisting White Supremacy, Colonialism, and Racism on Campus Event

Resisting White Supremacy, Colonialism, and Racism on Campus Event

The Equity Committee and the Accessibility Community Equity Committee in the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) are holding an anti-colonial and anti-racist event on Tues January 20th between 2:00 – 4:00 pm, with a special panel from groups on campus!

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York friends and comrades, please come to this event to learn, share and strategize!
Our university continues to deny that racism and racial profiling occurs in campus. Those who deny the reality of colonialism and white supremacy are the very same people who uphold it — from our Deans, professors, registrar and campus police!
We have to show up and demonstrate not only that white supremacy and colonialism exist, but in fact, students actively organize against them! This campus is ours! Let’s continue to transform it as a site of class struggle!

Working-class universities like York are sites of racism and colonialism as well as of resistance, resurgence and community building. Recent examples include the University’s inaction in the wake of racist Immigration Watch flyers, and the antiblack responses to sexual assaults on campus, including racial profiling of Black students, staff and faculty and the demonizing of the surrounding Jane and Finch community, which the University plays an active role in gentrifying. This conversation between Black, Indigenous and racialized students and teachers explores what an anti-racist and anti-colonial education might look like that counters the pathologization, criminalization and appropriation of our lives and knowledges by the academic industrial complex.

RSVP to the FB event here

Revolutionary Students Disrupt Cop Recruitment at Laurentian University

Revolutionary Students Disrupt Cop Recruitment at Laurentian University

On 9 October 2014, the Sudbury chapter of the Revolutionary Student Movement carried out disruptive operations against an RCMP recruitment event held on Laurentian University campus. As the recruitment presentation began at 4pm, members of the RSM stood up to read aloud a statement condemning “the RCMP – enforcers of the racist settler-colonial capitalist order – and their presence here to disseminate state propaganda on the ‘socially beneficial’ role of the police and gather new recruits to expand the police force!”

RCMP: Racist Colonial Mercenary Pigs!The statement went on: “This encroachment on our campus comes on the eve of the first anniversary of the brutal RCMP raid on the brave land-defenders of Elsipogtog who defied exploitation and destruction of their territories. … In opposing the RCMP’s presence here, we stand with the common struggle of all oppressed and exploited people across the world for liberation from the imperialist yoke of the capitalist class, its state institutions, and armed forces!”

The disruption continued with the student-militants brandishing a red banner and chanting “Police everywhere, justice nowhere!” Their intention was to stay until the RCMP ceased the recruitment presentation, left the space and ultimately the campus. However, as one RSM member recounted after the action, “the officer proceeded to physically remove us from the room. Despite acknowledging our actions weren’t illegal and we weren’t under arrest, the officer continued to use force to suppress and silence us.”

RSM members regrouped outside the room and continued to educate students about the enemy in their midst, in line with the mission outlined in the leaflets they handed out: “Whereas the capitalists want to use the university for their own ends … we want to reclaim it for the people, by building a combative movement of revolutionaries and progressives on campus, turning the university into a site of class struggle. Against cop recruitment on campus, we advance the recruitment and development of revolutionaries from the student body.”

Preempting false liberal outrage over impeding the cops’ “right to free expression”, the leaflet explained that the “action is justified because the mantra ‘serve & protect’, so empty and deceitful coming from a cop, can ring beautiful and true when uttered by a revolutionary. We aim to serve the people, to protect the interests of the oppressed and exploited masses, to unite with their most pressing struggles and aspirations while pointing the way forward to liberation, and together make revolution!”