1st General Meeting of RSM-York!

The Revolutionary Student Movement – York University Chapter is ready to start things off this year! Join us on our 1st meeting of the term if you want to learn more about RSM and what we do, if you’re interested in getting involved, and what to know what our plans are for the term.

WHEN: February 2, 5-7PM
WHERE: York Student Centre, OPIRG Room 449C

We will discuss:
– Why do we need an anti-capitalist, anti-settler colonial, anti-imperialist combative student movement?
– What is the RSM?
– Topics for the weekly Communist Study Groups
– Plans for joining the Proletarian Feminist Front Toronto contingent at the February 14th Strawberry Ceremony for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
– Plans of the York Mobilization Committee and the March 24th Day of Action

If you can’t attend this meeting but would like to get involved, email revstudentsyork@gmail.com or drop us a message on our event page here

York University, Rise Up! Join the #RedSpring2015 Mobilization Committee!

York University, Rise Up! Join the #RedSpring2015 Mobilization Committee!

Students of York University!
Rise-up! Mobilize Towards the Pan-Canadian Day of Action, March 24

We are calling for individual students, campus organizations and allies to join the #redspring2015 mobilization committee.

1ST MOBILIZATION COMMITTEE MEETING:
WHEN: February 11, 2014, 4-6PM
WHERE: HNES lounge at the 1st Floor

On the FIRST MEETING, we will discuss:
– Our demands
(Are these demands applicable to our context? Do we have any additional demands?)
– How to engage and outreach to the larger student population
– Our plans for March 24th

If you are interested but cannot join the meeting, email revstudentsyork@gmail.com or drop us a message on facebook.com/rsmyork or RSVP to our event page

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Despite the demographic of the York undergraduate population to be composed mostly of working-class and racialized students, events in our campus have shown that we have no say over our how the university can work for us. Worse, Black and Brown students are racially profiled by increasing police presence in campus! Student activists have been heavily targeted by university administration for asking our university to divest from apartheid regimes! Outside, our university is actively participating in the gentrification of Jane and Finch and the displacement of its residents.

We, working-class and racialized students, understand that simply fighting for lower tuition does not guarantee the full accessibility of post-secondary education to our communities. Most of our peers drop out even before their high school graduation! And some of us who manage to attend post-secondary institutions fight tooth and nail to survive, struggling to pay tuition, rent, and bills at the same time, struggling to survive the alienation from a university built on the appropriation of Indigenous land and the appropriation of the labour of colonized people!

The Revolutionary Student Movement is calling for a pan-Canadian day of action against austerity and in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement on March 24, 2015.We call for the creation of mobilization committees on campuses across Canada with the intent of organizing actions –strikes, demonstrations, walk-outs, etc. – on March 24.

Let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement that is not content with simply begging the government for scraps by lobbying. And let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement across Canada that is not afraid to fight, and not afraid to win.

These mobilization committees will strive to be safe and accessible to all people that wish to participate; in short, any sort of oppressive behaviour (racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, national chauvinism, etc.) will not be tolerated within these committees. The committees must strive to be anti-colonial, feminist and LGBTQ2S+ inclusive, expressed in the committees’ political leadership and in their actions.

We demand:

1. ABOLITION OF TUITION FEE AT ALL LEVELS OF EDUCATION! CANCELLATION OF ALL OUTSTANDING DEBT!
Students should no longer have to pay for education. Students who could not afford post-secondary education should no longer be punished by high-interest student loans.

2. OPEN ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR ALL!
Free tuition alone cannot guarantee accessibility. We demand guaranteed admission to every post-secondary institution for all students. Good quality post-secondary education should not simply be for the elite; everyone should have access to the schools and programs of their choice.

3. EDUCATION IN THE SERVICES OF THE PEOPLE, NOT PROFIT!
Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Research should be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of private firms. We demand that a democratic and scientific education should replace the imperialist, settler colonial and patriarchal curriculum in post-secondary schools. Education should prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to work.

4. ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ANTI-COLONIAL ASPECT TO ALL PROGRAMS!
We recognize that Canada, as a settler colony, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Increased funding must be made available for all indigenous people to have access to post-secondary education, as well as for the creation of indigenous colleges and universities. We demand that education preserves the cultures and languages of indigenous people within post-secondary education, and a necessary anti-colonial component to all programs.

5. DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS!
Universities and colleges should be run by the people they serve, not by unelected boards of governors filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors, and their replacement with representative bodies composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community. All representatives should be determined by the university’s community, and subject to recall at any time.

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

Communist Discussion Group at St. George Campus

Communist Discussion Group at St. George Campus

WHEN: Every Friday from 6-8PM, starting on January 23rd, 2014WHERE: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Room 2268 on the second floor.

Join the Revolutionary Student Movement for the first communist discussion group of the winter semester. The discussion group will include discussions about the struggles of proletarian students in Canada, class struggle, imperialism, settler colonialism and the need to organize youth and students towards the revolution!

For this session, we will be reading out-loud and discussing a document from the Revolutionary Communist Party, titled “What is Canada”, in which we outline the capitalist, imperialist and colonialist contradictions of the Canadian State.

We will have copies of the document for everyone during the discussion group.
Hope to see you there!

Students of Canada: Rise-up! Pan-Canadian Day of Action, March 24

Students of Canada: Rise-up! Pan-Canadian Day of Action, March 24

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This spring, students across Quebec will strike against austerity. The Spring 2015 movement has united students and workers in the fight for free and accessible education, and is benefitting from the lessons learned in the Maple Spring of 2012. Coming from outside the traditional student organizations, the Spring 2015 committee has already organized a number of actions to promote the upcoming strike. For instance, over 80,000 students went on strike against austerity on Halloween 2014. This is all leading up to February, when students in Quebec will be convening special general assemblies to vote-in strike mandates. Combined with commitments from a number of labour unions to also support the movement, this spring is shaping up to be very exciting in Quebec.

And in the rest of Canada? Despite the fact that austerity measures have hit students in the rest of Canada even harder than in Quebec –Ontario, for instance, has the highest tuition fees in the country and the lowest per-capita funding for education- virtually nothing is being done. The main student associations (the Canadian Federation of Students and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations) are nearly silent on the movement developing in Quebec. Just like in 2012, they are not mobilizing for a strike or even for solidarity actions, and instead have a strategy of conciliatory government lobbying. And despite the fact that we’ve had three years to learn from the example of the Maple Spring, the CFS and CASA have been content to maintain their bureaucratic and anti-democratic structures, which have proven to be ineffective at protecting the interests of students.

Enough is enough.

The Revolutionary Student Movement is calling for a pan-Canadian day of action against austerity and in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement on March 24, 2015. We call for the creation of mobilization committees on campuses across Canada with the intent of organizing actions –strikes, demonstrations, walk-outs, etc. – on March 24. These mobilization committees will be safe and accessible to all people that wish to participate; in short, any sort of oppressive behaviour (racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, national chauvinism, etc.) will not be tolerated within these committees. The committees must strive to be anti-colonial, feminist and LGBTQ2S+ inclusive, expressed in the committees’ political leadership and in their actions.

Let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement across Canada that is not afraid to fight, and not afraid to win. Let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement that is not content with simply begging the government for scraps by lobbying. And let’s use this opportunity to show the students of Quebec that the rest of Canada stands behind them in their struggle.

We demand:

Abolition of tuition at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!
Students should no longer have to pay for education. Students who could not afford post-secondary education should no longer be punished by high-interest student loans.

Open access to post-secondary education for all!
Free tuition alone cannot guarantee accessibility. We demand guaranteed admission to every post-secondary institution for all students. Good quality post-secondary education should not simply be for the elite; everyone should have access to the schools and programs of their choice.

Education in the service of the people, not profit!
Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Research should be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of private firms. We demand that a democratic and scientific education should replace the imperialist, settler colonial and patriarchal curriculum in post-secondary schools. Education should prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to work.

Access to post-secondary education for all indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!
We recognize that Canada, as a settler colony, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Increased funding must be made available for all indigenous people to have access to post-secondary education, as well as for the creation of indigenous colleges and universities. We demand that education preserves the cultures and languages of indigenous people within post-secondary education, and a necessary anti-colonial component to all programs.

Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!
Universities and colleges should be run by the people they serve, not by unelected boards of governors filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors, and their replacement with representative bodies composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community. All representatives should be determined by the university’s community, and subject to recall at any time.

By uniting across Canada and Quebec, we can build a movement that will shake society to its foundations. We can win a truly liberating and democratic education system that serves the people. So what are we waiting for?

See you in the streets on March 24!

For more information, email: mobilization@mer-rsm.ca

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!”

RSM in Solidarity with Students at UBC!

RSM in Solidarity with Students at UBC!

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Dear Students of UBC,

The Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM) sends you revolutionary greetings! We stand with you in solidarity in your recent struggles against tuition fees and against all barriers to post-secondary education. We support your opposition to the unaffordable housing policy and tuition hikes upon international students that have been imposed upon you by your University’s administration. Over the course of the last semester we were excited to follow the news coming from UBC, and were happy to see that the numerous actions you planned (including a Teach-In, a General Assembly, and a protest) were successful.

We would like to particularly commend your courage in choosing to mobilize outside of your student association. More often than not outside of Quebec, it seems, student associations hinder struggles by channelling student efforts through the formal mechanisms and governing bodies set up by university administrations and governments. Student associations may lobby, and they may campaign for increased representation on governance bodies, but most do little else. As we, and surely you also have seen, these processes are seldom effective. These “official” channels and “respectable” actions often distract proletarian and revolutionary students from directing their anger at university administrations, and serve as a means by which student union careerists can pad their resumes –all at the expense of developing a strong student movement that isn’t afraid to fight. This is a lesson that we’ve unfortunately had to learn in our own contexts; it’s exciting to see others coming to the same conclusions.

We were especially impressed by your ability to use your mobilization to attain quorum in your Student Association’s annual general meeting, the first time this has been done in forty years. You were then able to use the general assembly to pass motions that were binding upon your student representatives, forcing them to oppose the tuition hikes. Insofar as we have also been working on winning and democratizing general assemblies on our campuses, we appreciate the commitment that such an accomplishment requires. We believe that your efforts prove the necessity of further democratizing student unions across Canada to more effectively fight for the interests of working-class students.

We want to wish you continued success in building a strong culture of militancy at UBC. And, we wish you luck in your struggle against the corporate university and the overreaching desire for capitalism to commodify and exploit everything of value within our communities.

For us, your mobilization points to the way forward for the student movement in the rest of Canada. As you are likely aware, this spring, students in Quebec are going to strike against austerity. The Spring 2015 movement is shaping up to be even bigger than the Maple Spring in 2012. And yet, the existing student organizations in the rest of Canada have been largely silent, and have not begun any serious mobilization. Basing ourselves on our experience, as well as your experiences at UBC, the RSM decided at its most recent congress to organize a pan-Canadian day of action on March 24 against austerity and in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement. We will no longer let the inactivity of the existing student organizations serve as an excuse for the inactivity of students in the rest of Canada; now, more than ever, we believe that the conditions exist to build a real, fighting student movement. We wish to extend an invitation to you to help organize this day of action with us.

In Solidarity,

Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire – Revolutionary Student Movement

Why Strike?

To Undergraduate Students of the University of Ottawa,

Last year UOttawa made history when we became the first campus in Ontario to have General Assemblies as the highest decision making body of our Student Federation. We achieved this victory with a referendum that ended in 1968 students voting YES to GA’s. This clearly showed us that students not only wanted but embraced new structures and methods, but that students are also willing to get engaged in ways that the SFUO has previously not presented them. In light of this fact, among many others, the Revolutionary Student Movement is calling for a strike in spring 2015 to challenge both our ridiculously high tuition fees and the new code of conduct that the University is quietly introducing this year. This letter will further expand on these issues and hopefully answer a lot of questions many students may have about the strike.

1) Is Tuition really that big of a deal?
Yes, our tuition has risen every year for the past 9 years. This year tuition fees went up 3% for domestic undergraduate students, 5% for domestic graduate students and those in “professional programs”, and 10% for international students. Despite rising fees, we have not seen a significant improvement in our quality of education. In fact, our quality of education has decreased. We have extremely large class sizes, many of the buildings on campus are inaccessible, and courses and programs such as journalism are being cut. Students do not have access to adequate study space and are paying way too much for residence. Many students work part-time or full-time jobs (sometimes more than one) to put themselves through school. Tuition is a significant burden for many students, and potential students.

2) Don’t we have student representation at the Board of Governors?
In theory yes. However, students have only 3 out of 31 seats on the Board of Governors. In the past, students have been prevent from voting on measures regarding tuition fees due to a supposed “conflict of interest”. The other 28 seats on the Board of Governors are filled by the university’s upper administration and representatives from large corporations. To quote from an SFUO Membership Advisory that was released earlier this year: “Undergraduate student representative Vincent Mousseau motioned to include a tuition freeze in the budget for the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year. Undergraduate student representative Myriam Whalen proposed a motion for the Treasury Committee to draft alternative budgets next year, including one that considers a tuition fee freeze. Both motions were overwhelmingly defeated. This disheartening defeat solidified the reality that the Board of Governors will not consider alternatives and refuses to work with students.” This quote shows overwhelmingly that the university is unwilling to work with students and that the structures which supposedly give us input in actual fact do not. The SFUO has used the same tactics of presenting motions and protesting student fees year after year with no successes. Ultimately, these measures have been exhausted. On the other hand Quebec has the lowest tuition fees in the country and a consistent history of winning those victories in strikes. If we want to successfully lower tuition and create an education system that is open to working-class students, we need to consider striking: a strike is our greatest asset.

3) Striking seems extreme, why not use other tactics like demonstrations or petitions?
Striking is a last resort. Other tactics and actions have failed on their own in the past. However, if they were to take place in the context of a strike they might be more effective. Striking necessarily has to incorporate a variety of actions in order to be effective. These actions can be marches, sit-ins, artistic events, vigils; no tactic should be overlooked but all should be in service of the strike demands and agreed upon by the students. The actions should also escalate over the course of the strike to be most effective.

4) But aren’t strikes just a thing that Quebec does? We don’t have that culture here…
We don’t have that culture yet. The strike culture in Quebec is not something that arose spontaneously. It has been continuously building since 1968 when a series of strikes took place in support of giving working class people access to post-secondary education. There have been a series of strikes in Quebec throughout the past 50 years, and this trend continues to this day with preparations for a strike in Quebec in the spring of 2015. Unlike Quebec, we have the history of Quebec strikes to look to for guidance, and in turn our struggles will help students in Quebec and across Canada win victories.

5) Will the strike go on forever?
The strike lasts as long as students decide for it continue. Ultimately strikes only work when the masses of students are mobilized and standing in solidarity. Students can vote to end a strike at any time or vote to extend the strike for a particular length of time. Ultimately we as students control when it stops, not the university.

6) Won’t this make it harder for me to finish my degree?
Yes, this can delay you finishing your courses and getting your diploma. However, so can debt and rising tuition fees. Many students drop out of school several times before finishing a degree in order to work to pay for tuition. Striking is a way for us to fight back against rising fees and mounting debt.

7) What does this mean for graduate students?
Since graduate students are organized under a different student union (GSAED), they are not bound by our strike vote. However, we should strongly urge GSAED to strike alongside us. A campus united can never be defeated.

8) Aren’t we just being selfish and greedy?
No, none of the students on this campus have had a say in any of the tuition fee increases we’ve faced. Most of us would rather be saving up for the future since, let’s face it, there are not many jobs waiting for us. This is not about greed: it’s about survival. Accumulating debt hurts students; many will never pay off their student loans despite hard work and perseverance. Furthermore, if tuition fees continue to increase at this alarming rate, our generation will not be able to afford to send our children to post-secondary education. This is not about saving a few bucks or haggling for a good deal, it’s about the fact that this is not a sustainable model of education. We are not only fighting for ourselves, but for all students across Canada and for the future.

9) I can afford tuition, why should I care?
Your generation’s children may not be able to say the same; even your younger siblings are going to have a tougher time paying if we don’t start lowering fees. Furthermore, you are letting down your classmates and anyone else who may want to come to university but cannot afford tuition.

10) What happens if the strike fails?
Failure is always a possibility, but there is also the possibility of victory. If the strike fails we will keep trying until we have eliminated tuition fees and have achieved open access to education for everyone. We will keep trying until we win.

Today we have the opportunity to make history and become the first school in English Canada to strike against tuition fees. Let’s not miss the opportunity. Vote yes to investigate the possibility of a strike in the spring of 2015. We have nothing to lose but our fees, we have a world to win.

In Solidarity,
The Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM)

RSM-UOTTAWA CONDEMNS ISRAEL’S RENEWED ASSAULT ON PALESTINE

University of Ottawa Revolutionary Student Movement in association with OPIRG denounces the unceasing attack on the people of Gaza perpetrated by the State of Israel that to this hour has resulted in more than a thousand Palestinians killed, thousands wounded, overwhelming majority of them civilians – children, women, the elderly and men not affiliated with any armed group.

As we write this statement, we want to reach out to the Palestinian people to express our solidarity with their struggle for freedom in their own homeland, liberation from colonial oppression and an end to ethnic cleansing. We express our condolences and deep sorrow to the families of victims of this horrifying bloodshed initiated and carried out by Israel.

For more than three weeks the State of Israel has indiscriminately massacred Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israel historically has been a force at the service of Western and particularly American imperialism, therefore U.S., Canadian and European governments shamelessly provide diplomatic, military and financial backing for these atrocities.

The international community too stands idly while Israel violates international law and continues the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon can only express the institutional timid position: “The people of Gaza have nowhere to run. They are trapped and besieged on a speck of land. Every area is a civilian area…” he announces, but an international action led by the UN is nowhere to be found; the UN shines for its ineffectiveness and lack of real commitment.

The Israeli government has cynically used the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in the occupied West Bank in order to launch a devastating attack on the people of Gaza, while no connection to Hamas or Gaza has been established by the Israeli Investigators. The actual reason behind the attack is the outrageous refusal of Israel to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. This attack is aimed at breaking the recently established unity government between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the occupied West Bank and it once again demonstrates that the current Israeli establishment is only interested in continuation of oppression of the Palestinian people.

In the mean time, the bourgeois media has been working hard to justify the genocidal acts of Israel by appealing to Israel’s “right to self-defense”, a right not equally granted to the historically oppressed Palestinian people. This “right”, however, is used by Israel as a justification for bombing hospitals, schools, residential buildings and even UN shelters in Gaza, killing innocent civilians who seek refuge from the carnage. This latest assault is just one more chapter in the mission of the Israeli state to enforce apartheid and complete ethnic cleansing on the Palestinian people. The ruling class in Canada and other Western countries, through its media, has expressed its support for these bloody ambitions. For them, the war on the Palestinians is just another good business opportunity.

By supporting Israel, the Canadian and other Western governments support one of the most backwards and violent elements in the Middle East. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank suffer daily humiliation of military checkpoints on every road, Israeli violation of basic human rights and unaccountable violence. Palestinian workers are exploited by the Israeli bourgeoisie that operates industrial plants on the occupied land, paying the Palestinians extremely low wages and not providing any rights to them. Not only is support given to the State of Israel perpetuating the decades-long brutal oppression of Palestinians, it also deprives most of ordinary people in Israel of peace, security and hope in the better future.

Israel must immediately cease its attacks on the people in Gaza, lift the illegal blockade, stop the apartheid in the occupied West Bank and recognize the right of the Palestinian people for their homeland, from which they are being relentlessly expelled by Israel since 1948.

Stop the massacre of the Palestinian people! Stop the Israeli occupation and oppression!

CHAIRPERSON OF UOTTAWA SECTION OF THE RSM ON THE MEN’S RIGHTS FASCISTS

After the uOttawa RSM was successful at shutting down a men’s rights fascist event in Ottawa, the organizers of the action were approached by The Fulcrum, uOttawa’s English language newspaper, for an interview (available here). Given the increased interest of this event in recent days, and that The Fulcrum’s article omitted much of the political content contained in the interview, we are reproducing the interview in full below.

How and why did the Revolutionary Student Movement come to the decision to protest the event on Friday?

A number of Equality Canada’s posters had been deliberately posted over Proletarian Feminist Front posters, a community organization our club is informally associated with and a number of our members and friends of the club felt that the event was misrepresenting feminism and would make our campus less safe. We are not the only campus that has rejected this type of event, it is clear that other campuses also feel the ideas being put forward by Men’s Rights Activists are dangerous and hateful. An example of the type of hatred these groups promote is of course the recent assault on a feminist at Queen’s University. Although equality Canada denies any connection, it is clear she was assaulted for standing up to a MRA group on her campus and we do not want that type of group here. It was brought to a vote at our general meeting the day before and we decided to attend the event.

Why did the RSM decide to protest in the way they did? In other words, why enter the room and make noise as opposed to protesting with signs at the door or some other form of protest?

We feel that these ideas have no place on our campus and refuse to legitimize them by allowing MRA’s space to organize. As was demonstrated, campus security will not protect our community from events that are harmful to men, women and transpeople in the community so we decided to stand up for what we feel is right.

The term “hate speech” was used a lot by both sides on Friday night. What is your definition of hate speech and do you think either side engaged in it at the event? In what way?

We define hate speech as comments, ideas or opinions, which incite or legitimize further violence against an oppressed group.  We do believe there was hate speech coming from Professor Fiamengo as she made it clear that she did not feel the recent threats made against Anna-Marie Roy were a big deal, stating there was a difference between fantasizing about rape and committing it. This legitimizes rape whether the threat was carried through or not.

Organizers of the event accused members of your group of censoring them. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

As students of the campus and community members we have a right to decide what does and does not happen here.

Any other comments you’d like to add?

We support gender equality between all genders, not just cis-gendered men and women and believe that an essential part of this struggle for equality is recognizing the systemic oppression of women and transpeople. The liberation of all genders ultimately includes fighting for an end to the capitalist system.