The Path to Women’s Emancipation Can Only Be Achieved by Abolishing Imperialism and Patriarchy Inseparably!

The Path to Women’s Emancipation Can Only Be Achieved by Abolishing Imperialism and Patriarchy Inseparably!

A graphic of a woman tying a red bandana across her lower face. There is a white hammer-sickle on the front of the bandana. The background is red. To the left of her head, it says: "IWWD 2021". To the right of her head, there is a small graphic of the side-profiles of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Gonzalo lined up. At the very bottom, it says: "THE PATH TO WOMEN'S EMNACIPATION CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED BY ABOLISHING IMPERIALISM & PATRIARCHY INSEPARABLY!"March 8 marks International Working Women’s Day.

The first ever Working Women’s Day March was held in New York City in 1908 at the initiation of the (then revolutionary) Socialist Party of America. This march was pushed for after women workers protested their conditions in garment factories across New York City. Its implementation would then be championed principally by German revolutionary Clara Zetkin who, through the Second International, made the mobilization of International Working Women’s Day a world-wide event in 1910. Demonstrations led by revolutionaries – from the US to China – would be held on March 8 to commemorate and advance the struggle for women’s emancipation to be completed through socialist revolution.

Seizing on the revolutionary fervour of the masses, seeking to defang it into a passive day of celebration rather than a combative and militant one, the imperialists would turn IWWD into simply “International Women’s Day”. This can be seen by the United Nations adopting International Women’s Day as a harmless celebration. The change goes beyond just language, it removes the class character of the day and the revolutionary history of struggle surrounding women’s emancipation. The diluting of the class content of IWWD is done to cover for the imperialist and colonial powers that seek only to – at best – give lip service to the struggle against patriarchy, principally the oppression of women, among the big capitalist class. The capitalist women are fundamentally a reactionary group incapable of changing anything but the most superficial elements in the manifestation of patriarchy. They are unable to break this system, and fundamentally it is not in their class interest to do so, as the patriarchal exploitation of working women helps to line their pockets. This reveals the complete bankruptcy of postmodernist conceptions of “gender solidarity” where women can be united as women to fight patriarchy. Like the erasure of the class character of IWWD by the big capitalist class, this only serves to confuse contradictions, divide the working class, and prolong the existence of imperialism. Only the working class can destroy imperialism and only working women can be a vanguard fighter in the inseparable struggle to eradicate patriarchy.

A myth peddled by some is that women’s oppression no longer exists in Canada. This ilk would have you believe that some social and political rights – rights that had to be won by countless women revolutionaries who struggled tooth and nail to achieve them – means that patriarchy has been crushed. They would complement this by saying that patriarchy exists only in the “backward” societies. This is most often seen in countries like Canada in the characterization of Muslim-majority countries, wherein the most die-hard opponents of women’s emancipation in Canada will paint themselves as the most ardent feminists internationally. This lie perpetuated by the imperialists is nothing more than an attack on the people of the Third World, the nations oppressed by imperialism, by painting them as barbaric and thereby justifying intervention economically or militarily toward the strengthening of their political power over these nations. This lie also aims to keep private property and women’s oppression alive in the home markets.

The reality is that the exploitation and oppression of working women is alive and well in Canada and is integral to its functioning. The current economic crisis of imperialism has only sharpened this exploitation. The oppression of women is principally rooted in the existence of private property, whose origin allowed for the subjugation of women. This exploitation manifests in how they are pushed toward the role of reproductive and domestic labour whose value is erased, thereby justifying it going unpayed under capitalism. On top of this assignment to reproductive labour, women are also pushed into the workforce to conduct productive labour on top of reproductive labour. The jobs open to women are often restricted to “feminized labour” that is underpaid and overworked. In this way, capitalism provides the means for women’s emancipation by proletarianizing the bulk of them, yet it simultaneously thrusts this double exploitation, both in the home and as workers outside the home, upon them.

Marxist analysis shows that the State is made up of two main elements, primarily its armed force, and secondarily its massive bureaucratic apparatus. Under capitalism, this bureaucratic apparatus has brought forward a whole host of obstacles to prevent the organization of working women to break their chains. Access to healthcare, housing, stable and viable employment, and other necessities are stonewalled by these bureaucratic obstacles and they face increasing unavailability due to rising costs all around. Reproductive rights that include access to birth control, hormones, and abortion are under relentless attacks, whether from religious fundamentalists and fascists who are catered to by “moderate” politicians on the federal levels, or through economic means by denying funding to clinics for the sake of “balanced budgets” that makes access impossible even if “freed” from bureaucratic red tape. Universal childcare has been mocked as either a waste of resources or derided for “denying women their natural maternal role,” which has greatly worsened the condition of women and children as living expenses increase and schools are fluctuated between being opened or being closed. Increased living expenses and impoverishment has made escape from violence in the home and the workplace all but impossible for many, shackling countless women to incredibly dangerous and abusive living situations.

The already meagre situation of trans women has only been compounded. Access to necessities such as housing and medical services are out of reach due to costs, and trans women often experience violence at work or difficulty gaining stable employment due to discrimination. On top of all this, there are bureaucratic obstacles that are added with the very denial of their right to even call themselves women.

The imperialist and colonial core of Canada has only worked to strengthen women’s oppression. The genocide of Indigenous nations within the borders of Canada has been marked by the most ruthless violence against Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people. The fight to get the Old Canadian State to simply investigate the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women has been resisted, no doubt due to the clear reality that many of these murders were done at the hand of civil servants, police, and soldiers as a result of ongoing colonial policy and action. Within Canada’s borders to the global scale, Canada’s economic and military endeavours have only strengthened the oppression of women.

Canadian imperialism penetrates deeper into the Third World, creating new semi-colonies. The Old Canadian State does this economically through the export of capital to these colonies or through force. In the latter case, economic domination and ultimately political power follows. Imperialism stunts the economies of these nations, forcing many workers and peasants to flock to the imperial centres to support their families. This is best seen in the case of Filipina women who represent one of their country’s biggest exports.

The solutions normally offered to end patriarchy are often short-sighted and outright reactionary. Some liberal feminists believe the solution is through removing some obstacles so the few women at the top can reach esteemed positions easier; more women cops, corporate board members, drone operators and Hollywood producers. It is assumed that slightly better media representation and “sensitivity training” will somehow tear down patriarchy. Some politicians even recognize the primacy of the economic problem at the root of women’s oppression, only to then argue that this is proof there isn’t “patriarchy”, but rather it is an issue of poverty, leading to an argument for a “gender-blind” and purely economic solution. These social-fascists (they may posture behind more radical labels but amount to social-fascists all the same) will advocate a “revolution” to achieve this by incredibly incremental reform achieved only by glorified lobbying of politicians, by petitioning, and by voting. In total, these reforms do not empower women to attack the issues at their root but rather strengthen the reliance on the Old State through welfare aid.

Alongside these “progressives”, there exists a number of reactionaries who wish to cement old-style traditionalist oppression and paint it as liberation. Whether “traditional conservatives” or postmodernists, they will push for conditions that make it “easier” for women to remain subjugated in the home and workforce, whether it be through pushing tax credits to take care of families to outright justifying sexual exploitation as “legitimate options” or “alternatives” in place of destroying the root of patriarchal oppression stemming from putting women in these conditions against their will.

The reality is that only a revolution that destroys imperialism and settler-colonialism, principally imperialism, can destroy patriarchy. The only way to achieve revolution is through the conquest of Power to destroy the Old State through a People’s War under the centralized leadership of a Communist Party.

Today, the working class lacks this Communist Party. They have been robbed of it at least since its liquidation into the “Labour-Progressive Party” at the hands of the revisionist traitor Tim Buck in 1943. Since then, the proletariat has been left with nothing but opportunists and traitors falsely portraying themselves to the masses as a Communist Party. The most recent face adopted by revisionism in Canada is the “Revolutionary Communist Party”. Whether it is the RCP’s historic leadership in Montreal (the self-styled “Continuators”), or their recent splinter calling itself the Charles Gagnon Cell, or the postmodernist sycophants of Joshua Moufawad-Paul in English Canada, they are all the same: obstacles to be disposed of by the working class on the road to the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Canada as a Militarized Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Communist Party.

Only when armed with our reconstituted Communist Party can we join our comrades in India, Peru, Turkey, and the Philippines in waging a glorious People’s War against the Old Canadian State, abolishing patriarchy alongside imperialism and settler-colonialism all the way until Communism, serving the World Proletarian Revolution.

Women of the working class: it is our duty to reconstitute the Communist Party of Canada!

Wave after wave, blow after blow – against imperialism and patriarchy!

Proletarian Feminism for Communism!


Signatories:

Toronto Rally for International Working Women’s Day 2021!

Toronto Rally for International Working Women’s Day 2021!

Join us for a rally on International Working Women’s Day! For over 100 years, this day has been an occasion to advance the women’s movement as part of the revolutionary struggle against imperialism, capitalism, and patriarchy around the world.

When: Monday, March 8, 5:30 PM
Where: Yonge & Finch, North York
Facebook event    Instagram    Twitter
Dress warm and wear a mask!

Imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalism, unleashes horrors and violence on the oppressed peoples of the world in order to enrich itself. Women of the oppressed classes face the worst violence: the most exploitative jobs, harassment at work and on the streets, sexual exploitation, backbreaking domestic labour and abuse at home – the list goes on. Here in settler-colonial Canada, the Canadian State pursues a centuries-old policy of genocide against Indigenous Nations, targeting Indigenous women in particular. This appears most clearly in the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, which the State continues to perpetuate.

We are in the midst of a historic crisis of imperialism. Every day, imperialist powers like Canada pump more money into wars of conquest and aggression, desperately trying to find profitable ventures while every day it is less and less feasible to maintain them. We see this crisis in the response of the ruling classes to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The capitalists impose mass layoffs and evictions in a futile effort to keep themselves afloat, while the State works overtime to maintain the whole rotten order, yet it can never solve the problems inherent to capitalism. Amid such conditions, working women have been among the most harshly hit by the dying throes of this system.

Imperialism is drowning – and it is time for the workers and oppressed peoples of the world to finish the job! Make no mistake, even in its sick and rotten condition, it is still a brutal oppressor. It will stop at nothing to preserve the system of private property and the oppression of women which is rooted in this system. Only a Militarized Communist Party, mobilizing the masses for People’s War, is capable of smashing the throne of capital and ensuring the real emancipation of women. Today there is no genuine Communist Party in Canada, and so it is our historical duty to reconstitute it! Only with the active participation of proletarian women will the Communist Party of Canada be reconstituted!

We call on all people whose blood boils with fury at exploitation and injustice to join us in the struggle against imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy! Revolutionary vigour alone won’t keep COVID-19 and the cold away, so be sure to dress warmly and bring a mask.


Women of the working class: it is our duty to reconstitute the Communist Party of Canada!

Wave after wave, blow after blow – against imperialism and patriarchy!

Proletarian Feminism for Communism!


— An initiative of the Revolutionary Student Movement – Greater Toronto Area

Campaign for Proletarian Feminism: To the Streets on March 8!

Campaign for Proletarian Feminism: To the Streets on March 8!

At the top-centre of this banner image, it says: "Working women: It is our duty to reconstitute the Communist Party of Canada! Wave after wave, blow after blow, against imperialism and patriarchy! Proletarian Feminism for Communism!" At the bottom-centre of the image, it says: "Toward March 8: International Working Women's Day". The background is a sketch of women marching with fists raised into the air, and large red flags with yellow hammer-and-sickles waving behind them.


A message from the Revolutionary Student Movement – Greater Toronto Area:


March 8 marks International Working Women’s Day (IWWD). This special day was established over a hundred years ago at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference, at which the proposal for the establishment of IWWD was lead by Clara Zetkin. IWWD was established in an effort to unite and bring proletarian women into the struggle for Communism.

This revolutionary occasion is often diluted and diminished both by liberals on one end and revisionists on the other. Both sides sing false songs about how women’s oppression no longer exists by reducing it to “identity politics” or distracting from the fact that the real solution to women’s oppression is through socialism. We must not be distracted: the liberation of women depends on the abolition of private property and capitalism itself. Therefore, the correct orientation for Communist women is to take up the struggle to conquer political power for the working class through People’s War, which can only be achieved with a Militarized Communist Party.

Today, the principal task of Communists all across the world is to constitute or reconstitute their Communist Parties. This is especially urgent in our country, where revisionism has deprived the working class of its organized vanguard for nearly a century! This task must be taken up amidst the class struggle and ideological two-line struggle. Proletarian women, who face a double oppression as workers and as women, are a key element to the reconstitution of the Communist Parties. It is crucial for working women to develop strong class consciousness that will make them capable of grasping problems faced by the working class as a whole and providing correct solutions to them.

To mark International Working Women’s Day this year, the Revolutionary Student Movement will post one profile per day on our social media about a revolutionary woman, building toward March 8. In the lead up to the occasion and on March 8 itself, there will be actions to educate, agitate, and propagandize the working women’s struggle – so stay tuned for upcoming announcements. Additionally, the RSM intends to conduct social investigation into the conditions of working women in the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada. If you would like to join in this campaign, reach out to us directly through our social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) or via toronto@mer-rsm.ca.

Women! Unite around the revolutionary slogans:

It is our duty to reconstitute the Communist Party of Canada!

Wave after wave, blow after blow – against imperialism and patriarchy!

Proletarian Feminism for Communism!

If Reconciliation Is Dead, Then So Is Any Hope in the NDP

If Reconciliation Is Dead, Then So Is Any Hope in the NDP

Reconciliation is dead: this fact is plain to see for all. The Canadian State will fight against Indigenous national liberation until its very last breath. Liberal leaders will talk at length about reconciliation, only to turn around and assault Indigenous Peoples on behalf of Canadian capital, to say nothing of reactionaries like former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer calling for the blood of Land Defenders. But where does the New Democratic Party stand?

At first glance, the NDP seems to support progressive struggles. It criticizes the Liberal Party for failing to commit to even a single point of reconciliation, and its MPs, like Matthew Green, come to show support for the Six Nations Land Defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane. We are forced to raise the question: What are their motives in doing so?

In stark contrast to their official positions, the NDP in British Columbia are not supporters – or even bystanders – in the struggle of the Wet’suwet’en People. On the contrary, it is under NDP Premier John Horgan’s leadership that the invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory is being carried out! The NDP nationally refuses to take a concrete position, with Jagmeet Singh stating that he supports the “rule of law” when asked about RCMP actions, a justification everyone knows to be a dog-whistle for police repression.

The two faces of the NDP are like night and day. In Ontario, where the Conservatives rule, NDP leaders come to personally speak with Land Defenders, yet in B.C. it is the NDP itself which organizes the invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory under the pretext of “law and order”! There is only one conclusion: the NDP’s support is nothing but a cynical attempt at dragging the struggle for national liberation to the voting booth, to bury it in meaningless drivel about reconciliation. Colonialism has many faces, and the NDP is one of them.

The Revolutionary Student Movement condemns all attempts at co-opting Indigenous resistance for electoral gains. Such tricks only serve to further entrench the old colonial order. Be it Liberal or New Democratic, the Canadian State has no intention of halting its plans of genocide. Indigenous Peoples on the front lines of anti-colonial struggle have already made it clear: they have no wish to hear more prattle about reconciliation. It is dead, and revolution is alive!

Victory to the Six Nations Land Defenders!

No colonial snakes, no NDP!

Reconciliation is dead, Canada will be next!

Workers and oppressed nations of the world, unite!

People’s War until Communism!


— A statement from the Revolutionary Student Movement – Greater Toronto Area

THE ONTARIO STUDENT MOVEMENT WILL NOT BE CO-OPTED

THE ONTARIO STUDENT MOVEMENT WILL NOT BE CO-OPTED

Yesterday the Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario (CFS-ON) launched a callout for a province wide student walkout on March 20th at noon. It is an interesting coincidence that they chose to initiate a callout for action on that specific date. This date and time is exactly the same as the Red Spring Day of Action which we made a public callout for on January 19th and have been actively organizing to promote on campuses across the country. Already the CFS leadership is feigning ignorance about this widely promoted campaign, admitting they didn’t try to reach out to us before announcing it. This is a dishonest and opportunistic move to co-opt and undermine what is and continues to be an independent, radical initiative of student organizers across Canada. Failing to mobilize quickly and effectively themselves, they have chosen to try and graft themselves onto the work of others. They hope to take the credit by throwing money at expensive promotion, photo ops with pictures of paid staffers and plastic mass-produced protest signs, all to go towards lobbying the politicians who keep on passing legislation to harm most students and prevent us from organizing. They will keep on pretending they have any semblance of relevance to the 500,000 students they claim to represent, the absolute majority of whom has never heard of the CFS despite funding it. This action cannot be swept aside as a misunderstanding, a miscommunication or an innocent mistake. Leadership of the group with a multi-million dollar operating budget, paid organizers and deep rooted networks among student bureaucracy knows perfectly well what events are organized by which student group across the country. The CFS exposes itself once again not only as ineffective and not useful to the student movement, but also as harmful to us all.

If they were simply useless, trying to foster professional careers in “activism” and secure jobs as staffers for political parties without repercussions for the lives of students it would be easy to ignore them. But they work to co-op, control and undermine every student initiative that is new, radical and bold. Their ossified bureaucratic apparatus is completely disconnected from the reality of most students and is incapable to represent us. They are rife with corruption and embezzlement scandals, as well as dishonest bureaucratic maneuvering instead of open political engagement. Our future is on the line and the CFS is part of the problem. The working class in Canada is facing harsh austerity attacks ratcheted up by every government and working class students are no exception to this. We are facing higher levels of debt post-graduation, if it is at all possible for some of us to afford attending school in the first place. Upon graduation we find ourselves pushed more and more into working temp jobs for capitalists taking a greater and greater share of the wealth that needs to be shared by us all. The situation is dire and therefore we need a movement that can fight and win. We need to put politics in command and build a genuine student movement led by the interests of the people who face the most oppression while making the most sacrifices and putting in the most work for everything around us to exist. We need to stop asking politicians for handouts. Instead, we need to strike as often and for as long as we need until we win major systemic changes. All the CFS can do is lobby and unsurprisingly in their 38 years of existence we have experienced 38 years of defeat. Their demands are hollow. They may sound appealing at times, but at best they pay lip service to the interests of most students they claim to represent. They call on the government to give us the right to organize, to protect student voices, for more grants less loans, and to eliminate tuition fees. But they are afraid of being bold, decisive and of fighting for these demands. Demands are not gifts to be handed down by benevolent lords but victories we must win on the streets, at our schools and at work. We will never win anything on the negotiating table not already won in struggle.

In contrast, our points of unity are explicitly political, they are not requests we make of a government that we already know would rather see us chained by our debt and dutifully working for them and the profit of their boss friends. And we are tirelessly organizing to mobilize more and more students around these:

  1. Education in the service of the people, not profit!
  2. Guaranteed paid internships for all students
  3. Abolition of tuition fees at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!
  4. Barrier-free access to post-secondary education for all Indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!
  5. Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!

 

We have no illusions that the task of realising these demands is an easy or simple process. But we cannot afford to keep begging for scraps from the table of the ruling class and we have a plan to win our demands. Our task is to build a working-class student movement capable of exercising powerful, united student strikes. A movement that is only a part of a larger set of revolutionary forces which can demand on the negotiating table what we have already won. This is no small feat, but it is possible. The examples of Quebec in 2012 and 2015 most recently show us that we can win victories by strong, continuous resistance and working class solidarity. We do not see these experiences uncritically, but we also are not afraid to get our hands dirty and actually build a student movement that can fight.

The CFS-Ontario can definitely recognize they are at the brink of total collapse, as they cannot exist without money. And their only response is to attempt to pretend they have been at the helm of the work students across the country have been doing since January for the upcoming Red Spring actions on March 20th. We need to reject their insufficient demands and go beyond trying to prop-up the same failed strategies of the last 38 years. That union bureaucrats would stoop to grafting on to existing work speaks to their own pathetic desperation. Calling for an action to conflict with an already existing organizing efforts of many students across the country is an attempt to damage the student movement and assert their dominance in a hostile way. The government and the ruling class couldn’t have gotten better help than this – seeing a major student organization step on toes of independent, radical organizing to try to split students apart must make them really happy.

We reject any attempts to water down the politics of the student movement. We call on all of our comrades and supporters to completely abandon any kind of engagement with every CFS-aligned initiative. The student movement needs to get rid of this dead weight by building a genuinely radical resistance and organizing. We must fight knowing that it is right to rebel and it is even better to make revolution. We will continue to resist and to build a movement that can smash the current system of for-profit education and oppressive anti-people governments and we will unite the students across this country to build a new, better system in its place.

In Struggle,

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

Congratulation to the PCR-RCP on the 12th Anniversary of its Founding

Congratulation to the PCR-RCP on the 12th Anniversary of its Founding

This January 25th marks the 12th anniversary of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada (PCR-RCP). We congratulate them on this occasion and renew our commitment to working closely with our comrades to make revolution in Canada. It was the PCR-RCP which made the initiative to call a Conference of Revolutionary Youth and Students together in 2012. This meeting was the first of several which culminated 4 years later with the creation of our organization the Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM). Along the way we have been lucky to struggle alongside the PCR-RCP and appreciate the strong leadership they have offered us as well as others in making revolution. Our modest success would have been impossible without their guidance and support.

We have never made any bones about the fact we are guided by communist principles and that the end goal of our work is revolution. We recognize that we are only one part of the larger united front against the various enemies of the oppressed people and the proletariat in Canada. The united front that will defeat capitalism, settler-colonialism and imperialism in this country. The PCR-RCP is an integral part of that movement.

Today we say to our comrades Lal Salam or Red Salute and look forward to continuing the revolutionary struggle for as long as it takes to build a new world!

In Struggle,

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

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/

 

RED SPRING IS COMING: LET’S SHUT THE SCHOOLS DOWN ON MARCH 20TH!

RED SPRING IS COMING: LET’S SHUT THE SCHOOLS DOWN ON MARCH 20TH!

As we sit in the depths of winter, the many hardships that working class students are faced with seem to have no end in sight, and only get worse as time goes by. But as spring comes to replace this difficult season, so too will the masses rise in defiance to bring about change! It’s time to turn the spring red with the fury of students! For too long we have been forced into a crushing debt, only to be pushed into a world of precarious jobs and unemployment after graduation. For too long we have been denied control over our own education and future. Nevertheless, there is a way to build a better tomorrow: we can organize, resist and fight for a better world! Governments and school administrations can no longer be allowed to keep robbing us through unbearable fees and loans with no repercussions.  We will take control and ownership over our own education, instead of being treated both as clients that need to pay or get out, and obedient subordinates to an education system created without our involvement. We will support national self-determination struggles of all Indigenous people across this part of Turtle Island against the long history of colonial oppression, which must end now. We can and will take action to make this clear. We won’t let the capitalists and their government lapdogs sabotage our future for profit anymore. We will not stop until we win!

The Revolutionary Student Movement has long been at the forefront of struggles against the evils of capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, racism, imperialist wars, destruction of the environment and more. We are once again staging a coordinated action across the country. In the spring of 2015 we acted in solidarity with the striking Quebec students and mobilized across the country for a Red Spring, to build a wider, more combative student movement. This year, we are launching a series of coordinated actions across the country to grow our resistance further!

We call on all of our comrades, supporters, and anyone who finds this call to action to resonate with them to join us in organizing for a shutdown of every school across Canada this March 20th! At noon local time – walk out of your class and join the actions on your campus! Let us unite into a force to be reckoned with! Let us make this spring a Red Spring of combative resistance, solidarity and change!

We organize with broad, yet clear, political demands. We do not need to do the work of the government and school administrations for them in figuring out how exactly to meet these. Other student groups have been producing detailed plans and fruitlessly lobbying hundreds of politicians for decades, and we are not interested in going down this dead-end path. We are angry and we will not stop until we win.

 

Our 5 core demands are:

  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.

 

While these demands are more radical than the demands of any other progressive student group, we do not see them as end-goals in and of themselves. We believe that we need to grow the power of the masses to change the root causes of the hardships most people around us suffer from today. To us, these root causes are: capitalism, colonialism and imperialism. They shape the main aspects of the world around us. Protests and walk-outs to disrupt the usual order of things at schools is just the beginning. We are organizing towards a country-wide student strike in the coming years, because strikes are one of the most powerful tools we have in fighting for our interests. But even that is not the end goal our organizing. We don’t stop when the demands we are fighting for are met. We will continue to organize until the root-causes of most of our problems and hardships will be eliminated: when we make Revolution, united with all the revolutionary forces across society, and achieve a genuine socialist society. Only then can all of us be truly free.

This may sound like a long way from where we are all today, so where should we start? It all starts from students organizing to fight back against the rotten capitalist education system as it currently stands. Come out to organizing meetings on your campus, reach out to us if you want to organize them, spread the word – we need to rise up together, so we can win together!

No fees, no debt, no barriers to education!

Dare to struggle – dare to win!

In Struggle,
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/

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

Resolutions of the Sixth Congress of the Revolutionary Student Movement

Resolutions of the Sixth Congress of the Revolutionary Student Movement

 

  1. CEGEP/College Expansion

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will produce a general plan to intervene into CEGEPs or colleges that can provide guidance for local sections to intervene in institutions in their areas.

Be it further resolved that this plan provide a strategy given the perceived limitations within these institutions that would make organizing in these institutions dissimilar from our experience in universities. This should be achieved through gathering information from the experience of the MER-RSM members currently or historically in CEGEPs or colleges.

Be it further resolved that this plan be available to MER-RSM members by August 18th, 2017 to provide ample time to plan interventions for the beginning of the fall semester.

Be it further resolved that where sections exist in the same area of a CEGEP or College where the MER-RSM does not have a presence, that those sections be mandated to engage in preliminary social investigation where capacity exists – up to and including the initiation of a new section.

  1. Ideological Advancement

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will develop a reading list for sections and members who have finished the basics course, and ensure that courses are accessible upon the organization’s website.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee compile a recommended reading list for both the basics and advanced course, and ensure that courses are accessible upon the organization’s website.

  1. General Assembly Campaign Propaganda

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will centralize all of the propaganda materials from previous General Assemblies campaigns and make them accessible to all sections.

Be it further resolved that the Coordinating Committee create propaganda specific for General Assemblies campaigns.

 

  1. Plan for starting the Transformative Justice Committee.

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee is tasked with providing an open mechanism for MER-RSM members or people in our periphery to launch complaints against members that may have engaged in patriarchal, transphobic, racist, ableist, etc. behaviour or violence, which includes a process of investigation, mediation and rectification.

Be it further resolved that upon receiving a complaint that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee strike an Ad Hoc Transformative Justice Committee, of members of the Coordinating Committee and the MER-RSM members that are not directly tied to the incident presented, to investigate the complaint, and proceed forward with a rectification process if necessary.

Be it further resolved that a list of comrades that would be willing to act for the Transformative Justice Committee be compiled along with a list of their relevant skills.

Be it further resolved that a list of resources be created to aid in the work of both the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee and Transformative Justice Committee going forward in this matter. This list should also be made available to leadership of every section.
Be it further resolved that any member of the MER-RSM who has a complaint that they wish to be investigated by the Transformative Justice Committee and Coordinating Committee has the right to contact their regional organizer or any Coordinating Committee member; to be represented by another member if they wish, and to have that complaint dealt with as soon as possible. Should the complainant be in an emergency situation, the Transformative Justice Committee and Coordinating Committee should provide as much support as possible.

  1. Regional Events for 2018

Be it resolved that for the 2017-2018 school year regional organizers are tasked with holding regional events of either a political, organizational or social character.

Be it further resolved that the next Pan-Canadian MER-RSM Congress be held in 2019.

Peterborough delegation has offered to host the next regional event and potentially the next Congress.

  1. Financial Motion

Be it resolved that all sections of the MER-RSM take on fundraising initiatives and aim to apply for institutional funding wherever possible.

  1. Publication

Be it resolved that each section commits to preparing at least one article per issue for the publication before the next congress.

Be it further resolved that the publication produce an issue at least once a year.

  1. CAFE

Coordinating Committee of MER-RSM will produce guidelines on how to oppose CAFE and other MRA organizing with the goal of shutting such organizing down.
Be it further resolved that Coordinating Committee of MER-RSM produce propaganda for all sections organizing to oppose CAFE and other MRA groups. Likewise, sections currently engaged in anti-MRA work should centralize existing propaganda.

 

  1. Proletarian Education

Be it resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee be tasked with synthesizing an analysis of what proletarian education is to look like and what a proletarian student is.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee be tasked with seeking input from sections on these political questions.

  1. Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day

The MER-RSM sections will hold events on March 8th under the banner of Gender Oppressed Worker’s Day, and promote a celebration of Proletarian Feminism and revolutionary gender oppressed people.

  1. Solidarity with International League of People’s Struggles

The MER-RSM affirms our solidarity with member organizations of ILPS, where appropriate, in order to strengthen and concretize our international solidarity work.

 

  1. Strategic Plan of the MER-RSM

The MER-RSM affirms that the organization of proletarian students, and building towards revolution in Canada is its primary goal.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM adopt, as its immediate strategic orientation, the achievement of general assemblies with an eye towards organizing strikes.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM adopts the following general plan of action:

  1. MER-RSM sections should, where possible, campaign for the creation of General Assemblies, in which every student gets a vote and can initiate motions, as the highest decision making body of their respective student organizations. This includes but is not limited to unions, federations and associations.
  2. Due to the contours of student politics in English Canada, MER-RSM sections should initially work towards campus-wide General Assemblies.
  3. Once General Assemblies have been won within a student organization, MER-RSM sections should work towards program or faculty level General Assemblies.
  4. Campaigns for General Assemblies should take on a life and organizational form independent from the MER-RSM, but remains connected to and led politically by the MER-RSM.
  5. When General Assemblies have been achieved, MER-RSM sections should initiate controversial left-wing motions in order to build quorum and hype around the General Assemblies. This can include things like abolishing the student union council, condemning the occupation of Afghanistan, or other issues which will serve to separate the advanced and intermediate from the backwards.
  6. As soon as possible, MER-RSM sections should put forward motions to hold a one day strike putting forward demands based on the 2015 Red Spring Day of Action as a basic program.
  7. As more MER-RSM sections are able to organize strikes, MER-RSM sections should begin to coordinate with each other to hold strikes on the same days. This can continue to expand and grow in scale.
  8. The strategic goal of this process is the holding of an unlimited student strike across Canada, in which the RSM is a leading political force.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM affirms that this is not a stagist conception of revolution, where at the end of this process revolution will spontaneously emerge. Instead, the RSM should understand this process as a strategy which will train and attract cadre and build capacity.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM at no point in this process stop engaging in independent, anti-capitalist and revolutionary propaganda. Nor should the MER-RSM ever liquidate itself into the general movement, and should instead constantly advance its own promises and positions even while leading campaigns of lower political unity.

Be it further resolved that the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee should begin looking towards the creation of a short general program of promises, which touches on the immediate needs of proletarian and oppressed students. This program should form the basis of the demands advanced during strikes. It should concretize the political positions of the MER-RSM Coordinating Committee.

  1. Consolidation of Organizational Documents

The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee consolidate all our documents in French and English relating to methods of organization and how to conduct ourselves. These documents should then be translated and distributed to every section and also made available to new sections and organizers as necessary.

Be it further resolved that this should take the form of a package that includes checklists for different kinds of events as well as guidelines for weekly meetings and also all report templates. In addition to this material any documents already in circulation should be included.

 

  1. Solidarity with RSM Sudbury in the face of State Repression

The MER-RSM condemns the Sudbury Police and Ontario Provincial Police for their actions against RSM Sudbury.

The entire MER-RSM stands in solidarity with RSM Sudbury during this difficult time, and we offer them any assistance they deem necessary to continue the good work they are doing in Sudbury.

 

  1. Solidarity with Igor Sadikov

The MER-RSM stands in full solidarity with Igor Sadikov against Zionist attacks, and we uphold his critique of Zionism.