Ontario Students Rise Up! Red Spring is Coming

Ontario Students Rise Up! Red Spring is Coming

Ever faithful to protecting capitalist interests, the enemies of the people in the government of Ontario have struck another blow against the interests of working class students. This time, it is by increasing the cost of education through a particularly conniving scheme: first, they leaked an announcement about a 10% tuition fee decrease for the 2019-2020 school year. They even promised that tuition fees will be frozen at this level for the following year as well. However, this is a diversion from the real news. The far more significant changes are in the structure of loans through the OSAP program. As always, when we delve deeper we find that behind every such announcement, whatever the rhetoric, the goal is for the government to structure education to train a generation of workers equipped only to take on the jobs they desire to exploit us through, and be pacified both through debt and propaganda.

What are the nuts and bolts of these changes? First, the 6-month post-graduation grace period has been eliminated, making repayment process and loan interest start immediately after graduation. This will result in students being forced into deeper debt, faster than before. It will also push more students into jobs outside of their field of study. This will lead to an increase of the class divide between working class and bourgeois students: working class students bear the brunt of student debt and will not have time to pursue work in the field of their study before they are forced to pay their loans. The second change is the altering of the way available funding is calculated, with the maximum cap put on the portion of funding offered in grants to 50%. This change hits working class students the hardest, since they are predominantly low-income. Previously, the grant-to-loan ratio was scaled to income and the number of dependents an applicant has. Now, while this is still the case, those with minimal income will be saddled with a higher debt load. Ultimately, this will push working class students who have the least ability to pay for the loans to have the greatest amount of debt. These changes should remind us that our education system is constructed to serve the interests of capitalists. These changes will entrench the class divisions amongst students and hurt those of us from the working class especially hard. None of us should be so naïve as to think that any politician today can create an education service that is in our interests. But we can fight to build one both in resisting these changes in the here and now and building a movement that can fundamentally restructure society. We can build a movement that can make revolution.

In addition to these decreases, one of the other changes is the so called “Student Choice Initiative”. The choice, of course, was made for the students by this government, without asking for our permission or opinions. The aim of this initiative is to alter the rules around ancillary fees. When realized, it will direct post-secondary education institutions to let students choose to opt-out of “non-essential” fees. This will be realized in two ways:

1. Student union or association fees will be made optional. We need to remember, that outside Quebec these organizations are not democratic, accountable or connected to serving the interests of most students. Corruption scandals and toothless actions are the order of the day for most student unions across this country. But let us be clear on this: this is an issue that working class students need to solve on our own, by organizing to rebuild our student movement in our interests. Politicians need to keep their filthy hands out of our affairs! And the same goes for school administrations, constantly working to sabotage our future.

2. Other fees and levies that predominantly serve working class students will be undermined. We can think of many examples from food banks to daycare services. These fees, while “non-essential”, primarily help working class students who are in need of assistance. What this change will functionally achieve is to further privatize the provision of services that may not be essential to the school as a whole, but are certainly essential for working class students. These meager handouts are not even enough to adequately help most people in need of assistance, but the attack on it cannot be seen as anything other than an attempt by capitalists to profit further off of the misery they create for us.

Most student groups, including those on the left that oppose this tuition increase have adopted a stance of laying all of the blame on one bad man – Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario. He is certainly a bad man, but the changes we fight against aren’t the result of one man’s actions – they are a result of the governing Conservative party’s policies. But even more so, they are the result of how the Canadian state works, on the federal, provincial and municipal levels. It is the result of it serving the ruling class of the wealthiest capitalists and their interests. We do not have universal, barrier-free and accessible post-secondary education. We do not have an education system that serves the people, we only have a system where we take on a huge debt to be able to qualify as sufficiently-trained workers for the capitalist bosses. Our education system only constantly reproduces society as we know it – a society built on oppressive and outright criminal system of capitalism, colonialism and imperialism. It does not help to bring us towards a better future, towards a different kind of world. And those who cannot afford to take on education get forced into increasingly precarious, low-paying, back-breaking labor that can barely suffice for survival.

Outrage against the actions of this government is justified. However, things will not change through expressions of moral outrage and knee-jerk reactions to every terrible measure that this government announces every few weeks. Students and workers need to organize around longer-term goals instead. We need to unite in a fight for a better world, the way we want to see it. Not just be scattered and on the defensive all the time.

This government has already launched an attack on every working class person in the province, by depriving us of the small, overdue, minimum wage increase. It has attacked us by stealing the much needed guaranteed few paid sick leave days and other basic workplace necessities. In a show of adherence to colonial oppression, it has canceled all work to include the general practices, customs and traditions of Indigenous peoples in geography, history and social studies courses in both elementary and high school curriculum. It has forced our high-schools to revert back to an outdated sex-education curriculum, reversing years of improved understanding of healthier relationships. It has deprived the Francophone communities in Ontario of the funding for their education programs. There is much harm this government has done, and much more it will do.

This is why we call on all the communities, groups and individuals harmed and outraged by all these attacks on the people to join us in taking matters into our own hands. We are calling for a one-day Strike and marches on February 15th at noon. We will organize a walk-out of classes across the province, and we are looking for every bit of solidarity and support!

We aim to increase the resistance further, and we call on all the students in Ontario to join our Red Spring Day of Action on March 20th! Students across the country will mobilize for a one-day strike to shut down the schools and make the following 5 demands:

 

  1. Education in the service of the people, not profit!

Education must serve the interests of the people, not corporations and profit. Everyone needs to have access to post-secondary education. Research has to be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of capitalists and their wars. A democratic and scientific education must replace the imperialist, settler-colonial and patriarchal curriculum. Education needs to prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to be exploited on the job.

  1. Guaranteed paid internships for all students

Interns are workers and must be paid equally for the same work as other workers in their field. Over 300,000 interns across the country do not get proper pay. The times when employers could exploit intern workers without pay must end now!

  1. Abolition of tuition fees at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!

Banks and the government keep using students as cash-cows while tuition fees and debt become unbearable for most of us. We will not be held hostage to the scam of having to give an arm and a leg for a basic necessity such as education!

  1. Barrier-free access to post-secondary education for all Indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!

Canada, as a settler-colonial state, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous nations. All Indigenous people must have barrier-free access to post-secondary education. We support the creation of independent faculties, colleges and universities controlled by the Indigenous people. The education system needs to foster the cultures and languages of Indigenous people within it and include mandatory anti-colonial components in all programs.

  1. Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!

Universities and colleges should be run by the people they serve, not by unelected boards of governors and administrators filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors. Instead, schools must be run by committees elected at a general assembly composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community.

 

We can fight and we will fight, but in order to win it is not enough to just push back against the harmful changes constantly being hurled at us before we can effectively organize to resist. The only way we can hope to win is by building a movement of students and workers capable of putting up a fight. This movement will grow in each and every struggle until we have realized a world where education serves the people, not profit and where the governing rules of society are not exploitation and oppression, but mutual support and solidarity among the working class. In order to achieve this, we need to end capitalism and the capitalist education system. Today, this means gathering together and striking back.

On February 15th join us across Ontario and on March 20th join us coast to coast to coast. Let us be the spark to start a prairie fire and burn down this old system, clearing the way for a new one to grow!

 

No fees, no debt, no barriers to education!

Dare to struggle – dare to win!

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

For more information about getting involved, email: info@mer-rsm.ca

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RevolutionaryStudentMovement/

 

International Working Women’s Day 2016 – A March and Demonstration for Abortion Access in Charlottetown, PEI

In February 2016, the Revolutionary Student Movement at UPEI initiated a united front for abortion access. Working with affiliates of the Campus Alliance for Reproductive Justice (CARJ), the PEI Reproductive Rights Organization (PRRO), the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARRC), and Abortion Access Now PEI (AANPEI), we organized a demonstration which took place on March 8th, International Working Women’s Day, to raise the struggle for abortion access.

The rally started on Kent Street at 4 o’clock, where we distributed signs, flags, and the now-iconic red braids and bandannas of the ‘militant Anne of Green Gables’ street art, created by a local artist known only as iamkarats. We started by singing an abortion-themed parody of the Ice Cream song from Anne, and then began our march down Great George Street, past the Province House, and toward the Gentleman’s Club on King Street. Speeches were given over a megaphone by a few participants. The demonstration ended with a Scream Choir, to put the frustration and rage of the masses on display.

This demonstration, however, does not signify the pinnacle of the struggle we are waging for reproductive justice and against patriarchy. Capitalism and patriarchy have developed together, out of the same historical process, as a dual system of exploitation and oppression. As long as there is capitalism, there will be an economic system in which patriarchy can flourish. And as long as there is patriarchal oppression, there will be a society that favours capitalist exploitation. It is only by smashing both capitalism and patriarchy through communist revolution that we can end gender oppression, and secure a future that is free from exploitation and oppression. We will continue organizing demonstrations like these to bring more proletarian women, and other gender-oppressed people, into the mass struggle for liberation. Guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and Proletarian Feminism, we must wage an endless struggle against all forms of oppression to build socialism and communism.

 

A March and Demonstration for Abortion Access
Photo by Jon Viau
Class On Campus: How does Class Decide Education?

Class On Campus: How does Class Decide Education?

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Join Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) Peterborough as we present and discuss the University as a place of class conflict. Many groups continue to propose that students are a single group, but all of us know in some way this is a lie. Some students will go on to run businesses and exploit others and some will go on to be exploited.

Discuss with us as we cut through the BS and take a hard look at what it means to be a student and who really is gaining from education as it stands. The RSM stands with all oppressed students who want to end oppression not form false alliances with their own oppressors.

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For those unable to attend or interested in more information take a look at our documents found here on the website:

Limits of the Current Student Movement

Class Struggle or Democratic Struggle?

About our Methods of Work

 

Solidarity!

Revolutionaries shut down Men’s Rights Activists Event at the University of Toronto

Revolutionaries shut down Men’s Rights Activists Event at the University of Toronto

Comrades from the Revolutionary Student Movement, the Proletarian Feminist Front, and the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee confronted reactionary Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) as they gathered to spread their message of misogyny this past Tuesday at the University of Toronto.

MRAs, organized under the dubiously-named “Canadian Association For Equality” were completely unprepared for the opposition they must inevitably face. After facing the organized resistance of the comrades, who disrupted the meeting by shouting slogans, heckling, and singing “The Internationale”, the MRAs disbanded their meeting and attempted to relocate and reconvene. The comrades pursued them, again forcing an end to their event.

After dispersing entirely, the MRAs scattered like cockroaches and found a hidden corner of the campus in which to collectively lick their wounds. Laughably, they have even attempted to use this fact as evidence that their event was not shut down!

The emergence of Men’s Rights Activists, who attempt to paint feminism as the source of men’s “oppression” and “declining status” – is a trend which must be curtailed. From rape apologism to the stalking, harassment and threatening of feminist activists, MRAs have revealed that they are more interested in being the enemies of women than anything else.

This is another in a series of examples where organized resistance to Men’s Rights reaction is met with overwhelming success. They demonstrate time and again that they are incapable of holding firm in the face of opposition. A cowardly politics gives rise to cowardly behaviour, and with resolution and organization we can drive this anti-people ideology into the dustbin of history!

Join the Revolutionary Student Movement and the Proletarian Feminist Front for a Revolutionary May Day!

This International Worker’s Day, join the Revolutionary Student Movement and the Proletarian Feminist Front Toronto as we celebrate the historical struggles of working class people, and rally together in our fight for communism!

The Revolutionary Student Movement will be hosting an hour of radio on CHRY 105.5 FM from 1 pm-2 pm as part of their special May Day Programming. We will be highlighting the struggles of working class youth and students under capitalism, by presenting stories and interviews with organizers and activists about the need to build a revolutionary movement. You can tune in online at http://www.chry.fm/

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Later in the evening, join us as we participate in the 9th Annual May Day Rally. We will be meeting at Alan Gardens at 530 pm. Look for the red flags and the Mao banner!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

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Want to Build a Combative, Anti-Capitalist Student and Youth Movement?

Want to Build a Combative, Anti-Capitalist Student and Youth Movement?

Report-back from the Third National Conference of Revolutionary Students and Youth 

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The Third National Conference of Revolutionary Students and youths, held March 1 and 2, was a success. It further solidified the determination of young revolutionaries from across Ontario, Quebec, and BC in building the kind of organization that’s capable of leading the masses of oppressed and exploited youths in Canada.

Attendees from the conference will report back on the resolutions adopted at the conference. They will also share the knowledge they gained from talking with other revolutionary students and youths.

Revolutionary students and youth who were not at the conference, but who are interested in building a combative, anti-capitalist student and youth movement should come out and discuss the kind of work they’re interested in doing.

Together, we can further the development of a real power to defeat the bourgeoisie in Canada.

The capitalist system is rotten! Down with the system that sucks the blood of proletarian students and youth!

For more info about the conference: http://www.mer-rsm.com/2014/01/call-out-for-third-national-conference.html

For the Facebook event page, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/296408813817110/

If you have any questions, please contact the RSM-UofT at revolutionarystudentsto@gmail.com

Revolutionary Student Movement – Toronto Orientation: Thurs Oct 10

Revolutionary Student Movement – Toronto Orientation: Thurs Oct 10

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The Revolutionary Student Movement sees its mission to create a combative, anti-capitalist student movement that will serve the proletariat and oppressed peoples in the fight against exploitation. We’re committed to making the city a site of class struggle!

We currently have chapters at University of Toronto, Centennial College and York, and are looking to expand towards all campuses and high schools in the city.

We invite all revolutionary minded youth and students to come to our first orientation event in order to:

– Learn what we mean when we talk about communism and revolution and find out more about student and youth revolutionary movements all over the world

– Vent to us and let us vent to you about the increasing difficulty of being a young person in capitalist society

– Discuss campaigns and actions we can do across various campuses and parts of the city to take a stand against exploitation and oppression in our communities.

We will be meeting at 6:00, Thursday Oct 10th.

There will be yummy snacks!

Join us afterwards 8:00 pm at Red Room (444 Spadina Ave) for drinks and conversation.

Denounce the MRAs! Defend Womens’ Rights! Build the Revolutionary Student Movement!

Recently, U of T has seen an upsurge of men’s rights activism (MRA).  Warren Farrell travelled to the university to discuss his new book, The Myth of Male Power.  His “in-depth” outline of male powerless has incited a new pro-men movement on our campus.  MRAs on campus have been campaigning with posters and guest speakers in order to draw attention towards new issues men are facing within our society. Some of these issues revolve around the erosion of masculinity, sexual consent, biased portrayals of men in the media and a global lack of representation.

It is not a surprise that significant numbers of Western men are drawn towards a pro-male movement that distinguishes women as the reason for economic depression and the erosion of patriarchal norms. Men feel threatened by dramatic changes in their traditional roles in recent decades. They have seen a dramatic decline in their economic status and ability to achieve economic success or stability, a shift in their ‘historic’ role as breadwinner and a general shift away from patriarchal structures of the family.

As a result, the underworld of misogynists has been unleashed. From the blogosphere, to men’s separatist movements and now to campuses nationwide their fury goes well beyond criticisms of the family court system, domestic violence laws and false rape accusations. The scary reality is literally hundreds of websites, action groups and advocates whose political line reeks of misogyny: within this movement, women are branded sluts, gold diggers and temptresses and the police have been named ‘armed enablers’ or women’s rights. Unfortunately, men’s rights activist and the organizations they politically affiliate themselves with hold other anti-modern, proto-fascist sentiments such as opposition to same sex marriage, immigration, women in the workplace and the economic advancement of non-white citizens.

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We do not deny that men have suffered in daily life, mental health and self-esteem. However, we contend that blame placed on women is misdirected.  Instead of understanding economic hardship and political powerlessness as the manifestations of the capitalist order, in which increasing numbers of proletarians are forced to compete for crumbs, while the bourgeoisie reap record profits, MRAs categorically blame women for their losses of social, legal and economic status. We cannot tolerate this reactionary point-of-view! The MRAs must be exposed for what they really are—at best, opportunistic hate-mongers who are taking advantage of the powerlessness keenly felt by the masses. At worst, they represent the most reactive, backward voices within the masses. As such, they need to be verbally condemned as well as physically challenged.

Only a revolutionary students’ movement that unites the progressives on campus will be successful in fighting this hateful, opportunistic trend as well as future proto-fascist movements. Only a RSM can unite proletarian women on campus with those who seek to defend and further women’s rights, and all genders’ liberation. Let’s build the RSM!

Join the RSM at Communism-Out-Loud School

Join the RSM at Communism-Out-Loud School

Are you interested in Marxism? Want to learn the basics but can’t get required readings done in advance? The Revolutionary Students Movement (RSM), together with its parent organization Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee (PRAC), are hosting a series of Communist Schools on the topic of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). These sessions are meant for beginners with no prior knowledge of MLM. In addition, we encourage group study. Therefore no reading of material in advance is necessary. We will take turns reading the material to be studied aloud.

On Sunday March 10th from 5PM-7PM, join the Revolutionary Students Movement at the Coffee Time opposite Lansdowne station for our bi-monthly communist school. The topic for this session is Lenin and Leninism. Copies of the material will be distributed to you when you arrive.

Hope to see you there!

Communist Propaganda: Red Theatre and Music!

Hi! In case you haven’t heard, Toronto’s Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee and Revolutionary Student Movement is hosting a communist propaganda event, at Hen House–the same venue where the Born This Red! Communist Dance Party was held. What’s special about this event is that PRAC/RSM will be putting on their first red theatre performance.

Here is the event poster:


Synopsis: Gandie is a young student activist at a well-known, bourgeois university. Frustrated by endless Facebook flame wars–correcting reactionaries and liberals crying foul in response to Mao’s supposed death toll–and other forms of unfruitful propaganda work, she heads to the streets. She begins a program of delivering her communist propaganda to the masses, with hilarious, and unexpected, results.

 Hope to see you there!