Student March Organizers Turn Backs on Antifascists in Ottawa

Student March Organizers Turn Backs on Antifascists in Ottawa

On February 4th, 2019 a rally and a march for student rights was held at Parliament Hill, as part of Ontario-wide day of protests. The event was organized by a new coalition of students who are passionate about resisting the recent cuts in tuition fee subsidies to working class students and the further dismantling of student organizations that were enacted by the current conservative government. Recently, career activist groups such as the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and Carleton Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) have been latching on to similar spontaneous protests organized by members of the masses. The CFS is notorious for its corruption scandals and waste of student money that sustains them, while both they and the GSA are largely disconnected from most students who are not even aware of the existence of these organizations. Despite access to significant institutional funding and student networks, these organizations are rarely able to mobilize more than a few dozen students on each campus largely due to a lack of political perspective to rally most students around. What these groups bring to student organizing is the push to undermine militancy of the masses, the cooptation of events made by others in order to control the political messaging and speakers, and the same old ineffective methods of organizing that boil down to politely asking politicians for small handouts (which they never even give). These groups and their methods of organizing are one of the major reasons why student resistance is at a very low level everywhere outside of Quebec, as they bring much more harm than good by undermining any sort of radical, combative initiatives while most of their leaders seek to bolster their resumes for a future career.

Despite the abundant organizing resources available to the CFS and GSA, the event only attracted around 50 people and was one of the many traditional methods of organizing that does not threaten the ruling class and their drive to harm the working class and people from oppressed groups. Members of the MER-RSM in Ottawa attend many events like this with the aim of offering a more radical perspective on student organizing, as we talk to participants, and try to push the militancy of such events forward when possible, as well as learning more about the grievances that the people and groups that organize such events have. We recognize that the initial drive to go and do something against outrageous processes that harm the masses is a just cause and we support the intent behind it. However, we also understand the limitations of traditional organizing and lead campaigns of our own, with the goal of growing the militancy of the masses that we organize with and winning major gains instead of defending against every new attack that keeps being hurled at us by the ruling class daily.

We are often met with hostility from some anti-communist participants, who are usually unhappy with our flags and banners, as well as stunts that phoney leftist activists pull to exclude us as they feel threatened by our presence. However, something really uncommon has happened at this event that has left us highly disappointed and dismayed at the conduct of the main organizers. A known extreme right “yellow vest” organizer has attempted to disrupt the event, recording everyone in it and raving about the made-up harms of immigration. Two comrades confronted her, putting flags in front of her camera in order to block her from the event and protect those in attendance. She was aggressively pulling our flags, trying to get into a physical alteration and somehow managed to get a small cut on her face. She backed off shortly after this, which shows that standing up to racists and extreme right organizers is the only way to get rid of them.

Since most of the organizers, especially those in the CFS and GSA constantly talk about how anti-racist and progressive they are, surely they would want to rejoice at the sight of an extreme right troll being pushed away from the rally. But their response couldn’t have been further from this. Instead, the organizers rushed to check up on the “wounded” racist that tried to disrupt the rally, asking if there is anything she wanted them to do. She asked them to go and report this to the police, which some of the organizers gladly did. But one of the organizers shined the brightest among them. Zidane, who works with the GSA and was recently affiliated with the student organization called the Young Communist League (YCL) and the Communist Party of Canada has taken the initiative of being ready to dial 911 on his phone as we were attempting to block the right wing troll. A comrade from our group has notices this and quickly confronted him. In response, he claimed that he was only prepared to call the paramedics in case that the extreme right racist would have needed medical attention.

Such behavior is completely unacceptable, disgraceful and dangerous for any leftist, as everyone knows that doing so would invite police harassment of the rally and its participants. Cops in Ottawa have a long history of racist and politically motivated violence, against leftist protesters. It is especially egregious, since someone affiliated with the communist movement would choose to call the cops instead of helping confront a racist. People who choose to act this way should not be allowed in any progressive organizing, much less be allowed to take leadership of it.

It is extremely disappointing and shocking to see organizers of the event making more efforts to protect a racist organizer rather than students who opposed her attempts to disrupt the rally. The organizers have tried to blame us for the confrontation and kept asking us to leave after that incident. Seeing that the cops were getting closer and pointing at our group, and realizing that most people at the rally do not have our backs, we decided to leave it early.

As the result, we no longer have any reason to join events organized by the same organizers. We cannot be a part of events where we not only have to be on guard against cops and extreme right counter-protesters, but also need to watch our backs around event organizers. It is time to break away from the ineffective, traditional methods of organizing that have exhausted any potential they could have had. We are moving forward with the organizing for a student walk out across Ontario in February 15th, leading on to a one-day student strike across the country on March 20th. It is time to sweep away the corrupt and unprincipled career activists and their decaying organizations that suck the life of radical student organizing. We need to end this blight upon the student movement and organize a truly combative, militant student movement that dares to struggle and dares to win!


In struggle,

Revolutionary Student Movement in Ottawa

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step back : A Successful Start for BDS at uOttawa

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step back : A Successful Start for BDS at uOttawa

On Tuesday March 13th, the SFUO held its 6th General Assembly. It was marked by a record attendance of over 500 people and a mobilization in support of Palestine that was without precedent. However, there is a lot to discuss as far as the events of the evening goes.

Firstly, the majority of votes that our Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) motion against the Israeli state received was overturned by a ruling that the motion needed 2/3 support, which was not communicated to attendees beforehand.

The evening proceeded with a number of hurdles, the first being a series of logistical issues. The room wasn’t large enough to accommodate all the students that came out to participate in the GA et nearly half of them were required to sit in the UCU Agora where they could not get speaking rights. No translation was offered and so the proceedings were only done in English to the detriment of francophone students who make up a quarter of campus. In the end, the General Assembly started 1:30 behind schedule due to last minute requirements on top of which the room had only been reserved for 3 hours, which is clearly to little for an assembly of over 500 members.

We should also criticize the measures taken by the SFUO that consisted of removing voting cards from students who didn’t follow the “no clapping” rule that was spontaneously adopted without precedent. There are good reasons to expel students acting in a racist, sexist or other unacceptable way, however the bureaucratic and non- transparent way this was implemented only further built up tension and derailed the meeting.

Secondly, the progression of the meeting was itself fairly bureaucratic and hindered actual debate on motions. The first proposal was on the adoption of online voting during SFUO elections, a proposal made by the right-wing student politician clique in the hopes that technology could act as a magical antidote for electoral fraud and voter absenteeism. The motion even argued for putting the elections in the hands of a private company. The RSM is opposed to online voting since it is no more democratic and does not really promote a larger participation from students. Democracy is not simply the act of voting. It must be a process in which politics are vigorously debated before being voted on. Unfortunately, procedural manoeuvres cut short debate on this proposal and it was approved without being challenged. As for our motion on BDS which followed, we were only given a brief period of discussion. Three interventions were made for each of the sides before the vote was called. Each side seemed convinced that they would win the vote, and assumed no further debate was necessary. As mentioned, we believe that democracy goes beyond simply voting, and that the way the GA developed prevented the effective combat of reactionary and liberal ideas that were brought up against BDS. The assembly had only just begun the debate on the Israeli occupation of Palestine when it was closed, ending any chance at addressing and exposing Zionist and anti-Palestinian arguments.

Despite this, we should be proud of our accomplishments that evening. We experienced a student mobilization that surpassed our expectations and that the University of Ottawa had not seen in a long time. We see that students are far from apathetic and want to participate in political life if they are given the chance. If we compare the result of the GA to the bureaucratic methods by which pro-Palestinian policies were attempted to be implemented at the Board of Administration last semester, we can confirm that mass mobilization and politicization are powerful strategies. Working with local Palestinian solidarity groups like Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights and Independent Jewish Voices, over 250 students came out in support of Palestinian liberation. The majority of votes we obtained on the motion is a victory in itself. Despite their considerable political and material advantages, we overcame the doubts of the bureaucrats and the attempts that the right-wing made to block the motion.

This experience has shown that it is possible to struggle even in situations where reactionary positions are the norm. In conclusion, we would like to reiterate or opposition to colonialist and imperialist forces and that it is therefor our duty to end the support that the capitalist, colonialist and imperialist state of Canada extends to Israel. This effort will allow the removal of barriers to the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian people.


From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!

We Say Yes to BDS at UOttawa!

We Say Yes to BDS at UOttawa!

The Israeli colonization project is causing untold suffering to the Palestinian people. Families are losing their land and livelihoods as the military and illegal settlers swoop in; adults and children alike beaten, jailed or even killed simply for trying to resist dispossession; and Palestinian society becomes fragmented as their territory gets divided into enclaves separated by checkpoints and illegal colonies, while millions of Palestinians continue to live abroad in refugee camps, unable to return to their homeland.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign was started by Palestinian civil society groups as a means to put pressure on both state and private actors who play a hand in the colonization process. Inspired by the successful boycott campaign that helped put an end to South African apartheid in the 1980s, it seeks to expose those companies and other institutions that enable Israel’s military and make them turn their back on this vicious operation.

Israel currently benefits from an unfair power balance over Palestine, due to its multi-billion dollar support coming from the US government, its alliance with NATO and partnership with multiple transnational corporations. As a result, fair dialogue is impossible and Israel continues to invade and occupy Palestine in spite of all international condemnations.

The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) opposes all imperialist and colonial forces, and it is our responsibility to show solidarity with national liberation movements across the world. Full liberation can only be achieved when the Palestinian people are able to wage resistance strong enough to put an end to the Zionist settler-colonial project. In the spirit of internationalism, we aim to end the support that the capitalist, settler-colonial, imperialist Canadian state gives to Israel. We do this in an effort to remove as many barriers as we can for the just struggle for national liberation that the Palestinian people wage.

The call for BDS is supported by hundreds of schools, unions, artists and other groups across the world, resulting in a growing withdrawal of financial, academic and cultural support for Israel. The Israeli state is pouring billions to oppose BDS worldwide, even calling for the criminalization of BDS proponents, and thus proving it is an effective measure. The Canadian government and parliament formally support the Zionist oppression of the Palestinian people, adopting an outrageous resolution in 2016 to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian groups or individuals to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which it describes as promoting the “demonization and delegitimization” of Israel.

This is why the RSM UOttawa is bringing forward a motion to the upcoming General Assembly to make the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) endorse the BDS campaign. We have joined forces with the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and Independent Jewish Voices (Ottawa/Carleton University) to mobilize as much support as we can for BDS to be adopted at UOttawa.

The General Assembly will take place Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30PM in the Alumni Auditorium, UCU building.

Let’s bring BDS to UOttawa and show our solidarity with the struggle for national liberation of the Palestinian people!

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!


Say Yes to BDS! | Dites Oui au BDS! Facebook event

Our email:

Un autre cafouillage de la FÉUO : l’importance de la ligne de masse et de l’assemblée générale dans les luttes de libération

Un autre cafouillage de la FÉUO : l’importance de la ligne de masse et de l’assemblée générale dans les luttes de libération

La dernière réunion du Bureau des Directeurs de la FÉUO a été le théâtre d’une bataille autour d’enjeux de taille, allant de la solidarité avec la résistance palestinienne à celle pour l’autonomie corporelle des femmes et comprenant plusieurs autres fronts. Malheureusement, les bureaucrates de la FÉUO ont encore une fois emprunté une stratégie qui écartait la participation des masses et qui consistait à ajouter une liste de mouvements de libération politiques à appuyer dans le manuel de politiques de la FÉUO. En cherchant discrètement à faire adopter cet amendement par l’institution restreinte qu’est le bureau des directeurs, sans aucune annonce à l’ensemble de la population étudiante, la manœuvre ne bénéficiait d’aucun appui qui lui aurait permis de résister à l’attaque réactionnaire qui a été lancée par les forces conservatrices quand celles-ci ont découvert le projet d’amendement, quelques jours à l’avance.

Avant d’aller plus loin, nous tenons à souligner que le Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire appuie la lutte de libération du peuple palestinien, l’autonomie corporelle, l’émancipation des personnes de couleur, des peuples autochtones et des personnes opprimées par le genre, et s’oppose à l’islamophobie, à l’exploitation abusive des gaz fossiles, au capitalisme et au colonialisme. Ces positions politiques ne sont pas l’objet de nos critiques envers la FÉUO, puisque nous estimons qu’elles sont justes, même révolutionnaires dans la mesure où elles remettent en question un système de classes oppressif comme le capitalisme. Le problème est plutôt dans la façon par laquelle la FÉUO prétend appuyer ces luttes alors qu’il ne manque pourtant pas d’alternatives.

Alors qu’approche à grand pas la prochaine Assemblée Générale, l’instance décisionnelle suprême de la FÉUO qui réunit des centaines d’é pour débattre et décider de diverses propositions pour utiliser les ressources de notre fédération, les bureaucrates ont plutôt choisi une instance restreinte, réunissant une poignée de leurs partisans, pour présenter cette proposition qui affecte la vie de millions de personnes et qui inclut des principes que nous savons controversés. Comme de fait, des groupes conservateurs, et plus particulièrement pro-Israël, ont été informés du projet et ont mobilisé leurs forces, proférant des menaces à quiconque appuierait notamment la mesure de Boycott, Désinvestissement et Sanctions (BDS) envers Israël.

Le BDS est une campagne internationale, lancée par une centaine d’organisations militantes et humanitaires palestiniennes pour aider la lutte pour la libération de leur peuple. Inspirée par la campagne de boycott contre l’État sud-africain de l’apartheid, elle vise notamment à empêcher toute collaboration avec les opérations militaires israéliennes et à freiner les activités économiques qui se font sur des terres volées au peuple palestinien. L’État israélien combat férocement cette campagne, car il se reconnaît implicitement dans une position similaire à l’État sud-africain des années 80, et pour ce faire il mandate des organisations à travers le monde pour défendre ses intérêts.

C’est le cas d’un des groupes qui a mobilisé contre le projet d’amendement, Hillel, une organisation pro-israélienne qui a des sections sur des campus collégiaux et universitaires à travers le monde et dont le mandat consiste à défendre le projet de colonisation israélien. Bien qu’elle prétende agir au nom de la lutte contre l’anti-sémitisme et de la défense de tous les Juifs, Hillel défend une vision très restreinte de l’identité juive, assimilée à l’identité israélienne, et se permet de taxer d’anti-sémite toutes les personnes, même juives, qui défendent le BDS. Il existe pourtant une myriade de groupes juifs qui condamnent l’État israélien et qui voient le BDS comme une mesure légitime pour rectifier l’injustice historique commise envers le peuple palestinien. De plus, même au sein des rangs pro-israéliens, les tactiques de Hillel sont contestées. Le groupe Open Hillel, par exemple, refuse de taxer d’anti-sémite tous les opposants à Israël et préconise le dialogue sur la question du BDS. De plus, dans leurs propres recherches, Hillel reconnaît que la grande majorité des étudiants juifs en Amérique du Nord ne ressentent aucun lien avec Israël. Les prétentions de Hillel et ses alliés conservateurs à représenter l’ensemble de la communauté juive sont donc frauduleuses.

Dans la même veine, un groupe d’étudiants « pro-vie », c’est-à-dire contre l’autonomie corporelle des personnes enceintes, ont protesté contre l’inclusion d’une clause pro-choix, qui menacerait leur éligibilité à jouir des bénéfices d’un club étudiant. C’était donc à toute une coalition de groupes fermement conservateurs, y compris des bureaucrates du Parti Conservateur lui-même, que la FÉUO avait affaire. Leurs tactiques d’intimidation, y compris la menace de poursuites judiciaires, avaient toutes les chances de gagner en l’absence d’une mobilisation du côté pro-palestinien, pro-choix et de gauche en général. Résultat, la FÉUO a capitulé sur le chapitre de la lutte pro-palestinienne, retirant à l’avance la mention du BDS et finissant par adopter un engagement insignifiant « pour la paix » entre la Palestine et Israël, et les directeur.trice.s ont procédé au vote secret, empêchant au corps étudiant de savoir de quel côté illes se tiennent. Nous pouvons saluer le maintien de l’amendement pro-choix, mais la situation dans son ensemble n’est vraiment pas encourageante.

Cependant, notre principale critique ne vient pas du résultat, prévisible, de la manœuvre, mais vise plutôt sa légitimité et sa substance. Car en quoi une trentaine de bureaucrates é qui sont é une fois par année sont-illes aptes à adopter des positions politiques pour l’ensemble des membres de la fédération, soit plus de 35 000 personnes; il est inconcevable qu’une telle adoption se fasse sans débat à travers la population étudiante.

Ceci nous porte donc à la mise en application des propositions, car bien qu’il y ait eu une forte opposition à celle-ci, l’étendue des propositions est très limitée. Puisque l’ensemble des propositions ne sont en fait que des amendements à la constitution de la FÉUO, document interminable et très peu connu de la population étudiante, et qui dispose de peu de pouvoir réel. Ainsi, changer quelques lignes dans la constitution de la FÉUO n’apporte pas de réel soutien à ces communautés opprimées, bien au contraire elle fait passer leurs luttes légitimes pour des manœuvres de bureaucrates.

Comment la FÉUO peut-elle alors adopter des positions politiques de façon légitime et substantielle?  Et bien pour ce faire ces positions doivent être présentées devant et soutenues par la population étudiante.  En d’autres mots, la FÉUO ne peut aller au-devant de ses membres, et de telles positions doivent refléter un changement au sein son membership. De plus, l’adoption de positions politiques se doit d’être démocratique, sans quoi elles sont vides de sens.

C’est avec ses principes à l’esprit que le MER met de l’avant la stratégie de la ligne de masse pour mener les luttes de libération. Cette approche, alimentée par l’expérience des luttes révolutionnaires des peuples des quatre coins de la planète, peut être résumée par le principe «Partir des masses pour retourner aux masses». Concrètement, en tant que pour la libération des masses, nous devons mener notre travail politique parmi celles-ci, recueillir leurs idées, et façonner des campagnes politiques en se basant sur leur appui et leur participation. Nous devons rencontrer les masses ou elles sont pour pouvoir faire avancer la lutte. C’est seulement ainsi que nous serons en mesure de faire avancer des combats extrêmement difficiles, comme le BDS, qui nous mettent en opposition avec des États et des corporations qui sont capables de se payer des mercenaires politiques sur tous les continents.

C’est pourquoi, dans notre contexte à l’Université d’Ottawa, le MER réitère l’importance des Assemblées Générales en tant que plus haut corps décisionnel de la FÉUO. Car nous estimons que ce n’est qu’à travers celles-ci que de telles positions politiques peuvent être adoptées en toute légitimité! Nous vous invitons donc à venir participer à la prochaine Assemblée Générale de la FÉUO qui aura lieu mardi prochain, le 14 novembre, à 18h30 dans l’Auditorium des Anciens. Il y aura à l’ordre du jour les  propositions suivantes de la part du MER:


-La réduction du salaire des membres de l’exécutif de la FÉUO à un taux horaire de 15$/h pour un total de 20 heures par semaine;


-De mandater la FÉUO d’assurer une plus grande participation des é dans la définition du syllabus, qui serait prise en compte par les et de promouvoir l’introduction d’un cours obligatoire pour les é, traitant du thème de la colonisation.


De même, nous appelons tous les é progressistes à passer à l’offensive devant la débâcle des amendements de la FÉUO. Le BDS notamment, est une victoire à portée de main, qui fait des progrès ailleurs au Canada et aux États-Unis, et nous nous engageons à appuyer toute lutte en solidarité avec les groupes opprimés.

Another mess at the SFUO: The importance of general assemblies and the mass line in liberation struggles

Another mess at the SFUO: The importance of general assemblies and the mass line in liberation struggles

The last Board of Administration meeting was the theatre of a struggle around important issues, from solidarity with Palestinian resistance to women’s bodily autonomy. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats at the SFUO once again used a strategy that discards mass participation that consisted of adding a list of liberation movements that would be supported in the SFUO policy manual. By trying to sneak in these amendments using the limited institution that is the BOA, by making no public announcement to the student body, the manoeuvre has not benefited from any support that would have defended it against the reactionary attacks that were called by conservative groups when they discovered the proposed amendments a few days earlier.

Before we move on we would like to mention that the Revolutionary Student Movement is in full support of the Palestinian liberation struggle, bodily autonomy, emancipation of people of colour and indigenous peoples, support gender oppressed people in their struggle; are opposed to islamophobia, abusive extraction of fossil fuels, capitalism and colonialism. The object of our criticism towards the SFUO is not directed towards the politics presented since they are correct positions, even revolutionary ones if taken in the context of a challenge to systemic oppression within capitalism. The problem lies in the methods used by the SFUO to support these movements when there are plenty of better alternatives.

As the Fall General Assembly (the highest decision making body of the SFUO) quickly approaches, the opportunity for hundreds of students to debate and decide on various motions, the bureaucrats opted to pass their motions in the BOA where participation is limited to a handful of supporters despite these motions being controversial and affecting millions of people. Of course, this mobilized conservative groups, specifically pro-Israel ones, who threatened anyone who would support Boycott, Divest and Sanction measures against Israel.

BDS is an international campaign launched by hundreds of different militant and humanitarian Palestinian organisations in order to support the liberation of their people. Inspired by similar campaigns against apartheid measures in South Africa, it seeks among other things to oppose collaboration with Israeli military operations and to stop economic activities taking place on stolen Palestinian land. The Israeli state leads a ferocious fight against this campaign, recognising implicitly that its position is similar to that of South Africa in the 80s, by mandating groups around the world to defend its interests.

This is the case for one of the groups that mobilised against the amendment, Hillel, a pro-Israeli organisation that has sections on many college and university campuses around the world and whose mandate is to defend the Israeli colonisation project. Despite claiming to act against antisemitism and for the defence of all Jewish people, Hillel defends a very narrow vison of Jewish identity that is assimilated to the Israeli identity. This allows them to accuse anyone, including other Jewish people, of being anti-Semitic who defend BDS. There exists a large number of Jewish groups that condemn the acts of the Israeli state and that see BDS as a legitimate measure to rectify the historic injustice faced by Palestinians. Additionally, even within pro-Israeli groups, Hillel’s tactics are controversial. The organisation Open Hillel refuses to label any opposition to Israeli actions and support discussion around BDS tactics. Furthermore, Hillel itself recognises that a majority of Jewish students in North America do not feel like they have any ties with Israel. Hillel and its allies’ claims that they represent the Jewish community are false.

In a similar case, a “pro-life” group (that is to say against bodily autonomy for pregnant people) protested against the addition of a pro-choice amendment that would threaten their club status. A coalition of conservative groups, including bureaucrats from the Conservative Party itself, confronted the SFUO. Their tactics of intimidation, including threats of lawsuits, had a good chance of succeeding given the absence of pro-Palestinian, pro-choice and general leftist support. The result was that the SFUO capitulated on the section on Palestinian solidarity, withdrawing ahead of time the mention of BDS and opting for a meaningless “pro-peace” position. The votes took place by secret ballot so that students can’t know where their representatives stand. We can applaud the upholding of the pro-choice amendment, however the situation in general is not very encouraging.

Our main criticism does not stem from the obvious results of the maneuver but its legitimacy and substance. How are thirty or so student bureaucrats elected once a year able to take political positions in the name of all 35 000 students? It is inconceivable to adopt such motions without a larger debate among the student population.

This brings us to the implementation of the motions. Despite the strong opposition to them, the scope of these motions is very limited. These motions simply amend the constitution of the SFUO, an incredibly long and poorly known document with very little actual power. Merely changing or adding a few lines to the constitution offers no solutions for marginalised communities, it only appropriates their real struggles into bureaucratic maneuvers.

How then can the SFUO adopt political positions in a substantial and legitimate way? For this to happen they would need to be presented and supported by the student population. In other words, the SFUO cannot surpass its members; such positions should reflect changes in its membership. Furthermore, the adoption of political positions must be democratic. Without this they are essentially meaningless.

It is with these principles in mind that the RSM puts forward the concept of Mass Line to lead struggles of liberation. This approach, informed by the experiences of revolutionary struggles worldwide, can be summed up as “from the mases, to the masses”. Concretely, as militants for the liberation of the masses, we must conduct our political work among the people: gather their ideas and build our political campaigns based on their support and participation. We must meet people where they are at in order to advance the struggle. This is the only way to move forward on complex struggles like BDS that will put us in opposition with States and corporations able to hire political mercenaries on every continent.

This is why in the context of the University of Ottawa, the RSM reiterates the importance of General Assemblies as the highest decision making body of the SFUO. We uphold that it is only through the GA that political decisions can be made with legitimacy! We invite everyone to participate in the next General Assembly which is taking place this Tuesday, November 14th at 6:30pm in the Alumni Auditorium. On the agenda will be the following motions proposed by the RSM:


  • A reduction of the executive members’ salaries to a hourly rate of 15$/h for a total of 20 hours per week;
  • A mandate for the SFUO to guarantee a larger participation from students in the conception of class syllabuses and the inclusion of a mandatory class for all students on the theme of colonialism.


Additionally, we call on all progressive students to organise against the mess caused by the SFUO amendments. BDS is a victory that is close at hand, having made progress elsewhere in Canada and the US. We are committed to support all struggles in solidarity with oppressed peoples.

No more tuition hikes! No more lobbying! Time to strike! / Non hausse de frais de scolarité! Non au lobbying! C’est le temps d’aller en grève!

No more tuition hikes! No more lobbying! Time to strike! / Non hausse de frais de scolarité! Non au lobbying! C’est le temps d’aller en grève!

[La version française suivra]

Yesterday, the Board of Governors of uOttawa has voted to raise the tuition fees for the 12th consecutive year. The students have only 3 out of the 31 seats on the Board of Governors (BOG). The other 28 seats on the BOG are filled by the university’s upper administration and representatives from large corporations. The university is unwilling to work with the students, the structures which supposedly give us input, does not in fact. Moreover, the few times that student representatives proposed a motion including a freeze of the tuition fees, they were overwhelmingly defeated.

However, the BOG is not the only bureaucrat body that the students need to be wary of. The Student Federation of uOttawa (SFUO), who are supposed to work to promote student interests, is filled with bureaucrats who work against us. Recent examples of this misconduct would be the covering-up of the organized sexual assault during Vet’s Tour investigation; the lays-off of many student employees of the SFUO to cover for their poor financial management; and the decision by the execs to raise their own salaries in April, even though a crushing majority of students voted against it at the last General Assembly in March. Additionally, the Board of Administration (BOA), under pressure from SFUO execs, has repeatedly voted to reduce the power that General Assemblies have – to take away student control over them and to reduce their accountability to us! The SFUO executive and the Board of Administration acting as if they were fighting for students today is beyond hypocritical.

The SFUO has used the same tactics of presenting motions and organizing ineffective protests against tuition increases 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, which is the result of a consistent history of winning those gains by organizing student 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 weapon! Strikes have historically been proven to achieve radical changes, both on and off campuses.

The General Assemblies (GAs) are the only decision-making body which the student can use effectively to decide to go on strike by themselves, for themselves. This is why the Revolutionary Student Movement has initiated a successful campaign to implement General Assemblies as the highest decision making body of the SFUO, works to strengthen the GAs, and has been mobilizing students around using them more. The RSM believes not only that tuition should be lowered, but that it should be abolished altogether to make post-secondary education accessible and barrier free for working-class students. Education should serve the people!
We reiterate our 5 demands that we have been organizing around since Spring 2015:

1. Abolish tuition at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding debt!
2. Open access to post-secondary education for all!
3. Access to post-secondary education for all indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!
4. Education in the service of the people, not profit!
5. Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!


Hier, le Bureau des Gouverneurs de uOttawa a voté pour la douzième année consécutive une augmentation des frais de scolarité. Les é occupent seulement 3 sièges sur les 31 sièges du Bureau. Les 28 autres sièges sont occupés par la haute administration de l’université et les représentants des grandes corporations. L’université ne désire pas travailler avec les é, les structures qui sont supposées nous donner une représentation, ne nous le permettent pas concrètement. De plus, les quelques fois que les repré é ont proposé une motion incluant un gel des frais de scolarité, celles-ci ont été largement vaincus par le Bureau.

Cependant, le du Bureau des Gouverneurs n’est pas la seule institution bureaucrate dont les é doivent se méfier. La fédération Étudiante de uOttawa (FÉUO), qui est supposée travailler pour les intérêts étudiants, est remplie de bureaucrates qui agissent à l’encontre de ceux-ci. Des exemples récents de cette inconduite est le cover-up d’agressions sexuelles organisées durant l’enquête sur le Vet’s Tour; la mise-à-pied de plusieurs é employé.es par la FÉUO pour éponger leur mauvaise gestion financière; la décision de l’exécutif de s’attribuer une hausse de salaire en avril, et ce même si, en mars, à l’Assemblée Générale une majorité écrasante vota à l’encontre d’une telle décision. Additionnellement, le Conseil d’administration (CA), sous la pression des exécutifs de la FÉUO, a, à maintes reprises, voté pour réduire le pouvoir des Assemblées Générales- Pour éliminer le pouvoir que les é ont sur eux, et pour réduire leur redevabilité envers les é! Que l’exécutif et le Conseil d’Administration de la FÉUO agissent aujourd’hui comme s’ils luttaient pour les é dépasse l’hypocrisie!

Pour contrer la hausse des frais de scolarité, la FÉUO a utilisé sans succès les même tactiques années après année, de présenter des motions et d’organiser des manifestations inefficaces. En bout de ligne, ces mesures ont été épuisées. D’autre part, le Québec a les frais de scolarité les plus bas au pays, ceci est le résultat d’une histoire de victoire constante de par l’organisation de grèves étudiantes. Si nous voulons abaisser les frais de scolarité et créer un système éducation accessible aux é de la classe ouvrière, nous devons envisager de faire la grève: celle-ci est notre plus grande arme! L’efficacité des grèves est historiquement prouvée, celle-ci sont en mesure d’apporter des changements radicaux, aussi bien qu’en-dehors et que sur les campus.

Les Assemblées Générales (AG) sont le seul corps décisionnel que les é peuvent utiliser efficacement pour décider de faire la grève par eux-mêmes et pour eux-mêmes. C’est pourquoi le Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire a lancé une campagne pour mettre en place les Assemblées Générales en tant que plus haut corps décisionnel de la FÉUO, travaille pour renforcer les AG et mobilise les é pour que ceux/celle-ci utilisent les AG. Le MER croit non seulement que les frais de scolarité devraient être diminués, mais qu’ils devraient être complètement abolis pour rendre l’éducation postsecondaire accessible et sans obstacles pour les é de la classe ouvrière.

Nous réitérons nos 5 demandes autour desquelles nous nous organisons depuis le Printemps 2015:

1-L’abolition des frais de scolarité de tous les niveaux d’éducation et l’annulation de toutes dettes étudiantes!
2-Libre accès à l’éducation postsecondaire pour tous!
3-Accès à l’éducation postsecondaire pour tous les peuples autochtones et un aspect anticolonial à tous les programmes!
4-Une éducation au service du peuple, pas du capital!
5- Un contrôle démocratique des établissements d’enseignement postsecondaire!

Student Democracy Sprouts at the General Assembly! / La démocratie étudiante fleurit à l’assemblée générale!

Student Democracy Sprouts at the General Assembly! / La démocratie étudiante fleurit à l’assemblée générale!

[La version française suivra]

Tuesday night, we had our first General Assembly that met quorum, meaning it had the power to make decisions. Students could modify the agenda and propose a motion to strike down the executives’ 18% salary increase that was approved by the Board of Administration. This motion was adopted with an amendment limiting future salary increases to never exceed an amount equal or lower than a simultaneous increase for staff wages. Next came a period of clarifications on the decision-making power of the GA, since they were recently stripped of their status as highest decision making body of the SFUO by the BOA. They currently only hold political power, not legislative power. Dissent was palpable in the room, some people contested the legitimacy of the BOA’s decision (it had overturned a referendum result) and demanded that GAs regain their status as highest decision-making body. However, these statements were considered points of order and were set aside without a decision being made. There was a motion proposed already about the abolishment of the BOA where this would be further discussed. It was clear by the atmosphere in the room that despite the explanation about the GAs demotion, the executive and BOA bureaucrats’ authority was being put into question.

After this came the RSM’s first motion on the Vet’s tour. This motion demanded that the GA strike a committee tasked with investigating the event which would have access to all SFUO and federated body documentation about the Vet’s tour. Furthermore, this committee must be composed of students present at the GA and that would be elected during that time. Following our motivation of the motion a kind of unease was felt in the room and the question was immediately called. The motion was adopted by a majority.

Before the selection of the committee members could take place, many people left the room. Most of them SFUO and federated body staff and friends (people suspected of having participated in the event). After the walk-out, a recount of quorum was asked by a member of the BOA. The number had dropped from 287 to 221, 10 people under quorum. After quorum was lost, the executive began their reports and the room quickly emptied out, effectively ending the GA.

The Vet’s tour motion was only partly adopted. It was agreed that a committee would be created but it would not be chosen by the GA but by the BOA at their next meeting. However, the BOA had already formed a committee earlier in the year which had been inconclusive and that they would again be expected to investigate themselves is exasperating.

On a positive note, the first real General Assembly of the SFUO has given us an inspiring example of what a vibrant student democracy looks like. By mobilising students, it is possible to end corruption in the Student Federation and fight against rape culture on our campus. Without the sabotage orchestrated by bureaucrats, the March 14th General Assembly could have brought control of the SFUO back into student hands.

No more corruption in the SFUO!

End rape culture on campus!

Abolish the BOA!




Mardi soir a eu lieu la première Assemblée générale avec quorum, c’est-à-dire que celle-ci a été en mesure de prendre des décisions. Ainsi, les é pré ont été en mesure de mettre à l’ordre du jour et d’appliquer la révocation de la hausse salariale de 18% de l’exécutif qui avait été votée par le Conseil d’Administration. La motion  a passé par une grande majorité avec un amendement supplémentaire limitant les hausses salariales de l’exécutif à un taux égale ou inférieur à une hausse des salaires des employés. Ensuite est venue une clarification sur le pouvoir décisionnel des AGs, dont le CA avait remis en question le statut de plus haute instance décisionnelle de la FÉUO. Elles n’auraient désormais qu’un pouvoir politique, et non législatif. Un certain mécontentement s’est fait ressentir dans la salle, plusieurs membres ont contesté la légitimité de cette décision du CA (puisqu’elle renversait le résultat d’un référendum), et ont demandé à ce que les AGs regagnent leur statut de plus haute instance décisionnelle. Toutefois, ces prises de paroles n’étaient que des points d’ordre et furent rejetées, sans qu’une décision ne soit prise, car il y avait déjà une motion à l’ordre du jour proposant d’abolir le CA qui permettrait de traiter du sujet plus amplement. Toutefois, la grogne manifestée par l’assemblée lorsque le président a expliqué les limites du pouvoir des AGs, a grandement fait ressentir aux bureaucrates que sont l’exécutif et le CA que leur autorité était remise en question.

Suite à ceci est venue la première motion du MER portant sur le Vet’s tour, voulant que l’AG crée un comité pour faire une enquête de l’événement et que ce comité d’enquête ait accès à toute la documentation de la FÉUO et des corps fédérés, en papier ou numérique, qui porte sur le Vet’s Tour. De plus, ce comité d’enquête devait être composé d’é pré et é à l’assemblée même. Suite à la motivation de cette motion, un certain malaise a été ressenti dans la salle; la question préalable fut posée immédiatement, et la motion adoptée rapidement.

Toutefois, avant de pouvoir procéder à la sélection du comité, un grand nombre de personnes ont commencé à quitter la salle, principalement des employé.es de la FÉUO ou des personnes dans l’entourage du CA (personnes soupçonnées d’être relié au Vet’s Tour) et, à la suite de cet exode, un recomptage du quorum a été demandé par un membre du CA . Le nombre d’é  ayant passé de 287 à 221, il en manquait 10 pour avoir le quorum. Suite à la perte du quorum, l’exécutif a procédé à son rapport administratif et la salle s’est vidée rapidement, l’AG a pris fin.

Pour ce qui en est de la motion sur le Vet’s Tour, celle-ci n’a été qu’adoptée partiellement. Il a été décidé de créer un comité d’enquête, mais celui-ci n’a pu être choisi par l’AG et sera donc sélectionné par le CA lors de sa prochaine rencontre. Toutefois, le CA a déjà formé un comité d’enquête qui n’a pas jamais produit de conclusion; laisser ces bureaucrates choisir les gens qui vont enquêter une seconde fois ne fait qu’exacerber les choses.

Sur une note positive, la première véritable assemblée générale de la FÉUO nous a donné un exemple inspirant de ce qu’est une démocratie étudiante dynamique. Par la mobilisation de la masse étudiante il est possible de mettre fin à la corruption de la FÉUO et de combattre la culture du viol sur notre campus. N’eût été du sabotage orchestré par les bureaucrates liés au Vet’s Tour, l’Assemblée générale du 14 mars aurait pu remettre le contrôle de la FÉUO dans les mains des é

Mettons fin à la corruption dans la FÉUO!

Combattons la culture du viol sur le campus!

Abolissons le CA!

Crisis in the SFUO and the way forward

There is a lot more than what appears on the surface concerning the financial crisis at the student federation (SFUO). As a militant anti-capitalist organization active on campus for 6 years now, we have been a part of, observed and struggled with the SFUO for some time and have noted what we have identified as structural weaknesses leading to an inevitable collapse as a center of power for students on campus. This is why the founders of our predecessor organization, the Marxist Student Association, broke with the politics of the core of left-wing militants who were struggling for power over the SFUO in the late 2000s and sought to lead a different way forward for the mass of students[1]. The current crisis is another sign that liberal politics are in decay at the SFUO and unfortunately it is afflicting students as well.

We’ll explain in this article how the crisis in the SFUO originated and how it’s negatively impacting us. We’ll also talk about how we can overcome this and organize ourselves to defend our interests not only as working-class students on campus but also to support the wider struggle for liberation from all exploitation and oppression.

The problem unfortunately runs deeper than this year’s budgetary situation. The current politics ruling over the SFUO are largely the result of a takeover by liberal, social-democratic student politicians with the support of radical militants in the late 2000s. The people who would later found the Marxist Student Association were then part of a wide coalition of militants organizing against tuition fees and in support of other progressive causes, such as opposing imperialist wars. One of the highlights of that time was when hundreds of students protested a planned talk by Ann Coulter in Marion Hall and forced her to abandon, in 2010. While never getting close to resisting the increase of tuition fees and other negative measures of the administration, the coalition did succeed in setting up a strong enough base to dominate student politics in campus over a number of years, and to get by referendum the SFUO to re-integrate the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), a liberal student union with locals (including many in dispute) across Canada but mainly centred on Ontario. The radical, combative movement that made this push would then gradually shift to reformist perspectives and bureaucratic tactics, forming a layer of cliquey student politicians. At the same time, through the connection with the CFS, the leading student bureaucrats placed the SFUO into a wide network of liberal organizations, chief of which were labour unions like CUPE, and the New Democrat Party (NDP), turning the SFUO into basically a revolving-door / escalator for aspiring politicians. To put it in other terms, the SFUO was sucked into a bureaucratic machine, and its resources were more and more preyed upon by bigger organizations.

In more details, a certain faction from the initial militant core set out to expand the organization’s bureaucracy rather than focus on building mass support and democracy on campus. From their elected position as executives, they built up a network of bureaucrats throughout the various departments and service centers of the SFUO, which would become their support base to engineer the re-orientation of the SFUO as a stepping stone for the bigger liberal organizations such as the labour unions and the NDP. By adding more and more positions and hiring their supporters, with the promise of further advancement as everyone graduating through the SFUO executive seemed to be moving on to fancy staffing jobs at the CFS, at CUPE locals and with NDP members of parliament, they established an effective support base that was constantly working to uphold the politics in power and direct the SFUO’s resources and the militancy on campus toward those ends.

But to keep things going, the mechanics had to be sheltered from oversight. What little transparency and accountability there existed in student politics at uOttawa at the time, it was thrown by the wayside; one of the ways this was done was to declaw the union of SFUO staffers, CUPE 4943, to render it unable to defend employees from the politics of management. Exec sympathisers were promoted to union leadership and gradually allowed their friends to strip the collective agreement of its power to resist management, paving the way for them to manipulate hiring for their political advantage. A toxic atmosphere of liberalism and opportunism set in the SFUO, causing lasting damage among people there. Another way bureaucratic control was installed was through the creation of the executive coordinator position; this un-elected, permanent, cushy and seemingly unsupervised job was designed to keep the CFS’  liberal politics in command at the SFUO in case some exec positions still ended up being lost to opponents, generally self-assuming conservatives, during elections. This is a common tactic employed by the CFS throughout its locals to ensure its hold over them. Needless to say, this position was consistently staffed with supporters who had carried the torch for the organization and subsequently went on to other bureaucratic positions in the movement. Through this kind of approach, the social-democrats were able to maintain their hold over quite some time in spite of consistent opposition from the anti-CFS right.

Energy was also sucked out of the combative left-wing elements on campus to sustain the machinery. Any legacy of combativeness as well as autonomy was drained away from the service centers for women, for queer people, for disabled people, for international students and others. Those centers came into existence as a result of intense struggle from oppressed people who wanted a center from which they could build resistance, but they were over time co-opted into the liberal SFUO politics. Similarly, the climate justice movement that was burgeoning in the early 2010s was diverted to make bureaucratic gains, and the more recent victories arising from intense mass work, such as the U-Pass and the healthcare insurance, were treated as mere services that only required an “apolitical” management, serving to justify the straight-up bureaucratization. This partly explains why the gap between the dues paid for the health insurance and its costs was allowed to increase since 2011; the health insurance was no longer being sustained as a material interest for the mass of students that needed to be fought for constantly. In this way, the SFUO began losing effectiveness even in its basic delivery of services, especially to students who needed them the most. Each scandal that made it into the news was another sign of cracks in the machine, from the fireworks debacle to Yogagate, from the sudden mass firings of last April to the unprecedented waiting lines for U-Pass this Fall.

Perhaps most sadly, the liberal direction over the SFUO failed to provide the leadership to tackle emerging problems arising on campus. The ills of rape culture, sexual harassment and the attempts by a tenured professor to organize students in an anti-feminist, misogynist and trans-phobic group for example require more mass action. There has been a lot of good work by many individuals from within student associations on campus, which has led to the issue of rape culture and specific acts of sexual harassment and violence to attain wide public attention, but it has so far been left to the initiative of the university administration. The mass of students, and especially gender-oppressed people, need be empowered to defend themselves against these threats. That is why we advocate organizing to fight the aforementioned anti-feminist group known as CAFE which actively denies the existence of rape culture and labels feminists as threats, while harbouring militant islamophobes and white supremacists. As well, the shameful loss by the administration of the personal information of hundreds of students who used accessibility services is another matter that should be met with more militant response. Under the democratic control of the mass of students, the SFUO could be brought more effectively to use in such campaigns.

Similarly, when it came to fighting tuition, which is most often used to justify the existence of the CFS, any expectations there were also fell flat. The CFS strategy on this issue amounts to nothing more than plain lobbying of politicians, cloaked in progressive discourse and assorted with stunt actions every 2 or 3 years. At the most crucial times in recent years, the CFS and the SFUO execs made little to no effort to express solidarity with and draw lessons from the student movement in Québec, the only movement that has had any success in Canada when it comes to fighting tuition fees. In 2015, when another attempt was made to launch a student strike in Québec and was facing heavy repression, and while the RSM was organizing a day of action of solidarity, the CFS and its local hacks were too busy networking on Parliament Hill to even pay attention. At best, the CFS will organize a “day of action” every 5 years or so to prove its combativeness, but these efforts do nothing to undermine the power of the bourgeois government and university administrations. The fact that for an 11th consecutive year now, the university has increased its fees, including an exponential growth over the year for international students, should lead everyone to reconsider the approach that has been taken.

From the beginning, as the Marxist Student Association and then as the RSM, we called for a different path to be taken, for attacking the roots of the system. We realized that fighting against tuition fees was part of a wider struggle against our exploitation and oppression as a class; the terms set out by the oppressing state and its academic institutions are only meant to disempower and manipulate us. As working-class students, we have to connect with the wider struggle for our liberation, and within our context, we have to build up a counter-power to defend our interests and win victories.

This is why in 2013 and 2014 we campaigned for GAs to be established, which was successful, in spite of opposition from such mainstream groups as the campus associations of both the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. It has been a struggle since then however to make effective use of the GAs, but we will continue to encourage students to use them and this year, more than ever, working-class students have a chance to turn things around in their favour.

The liberal politicians who ruled over the SFUO for all those years and who fooled so many militants into their trap are at their core a clique of petty-bourgeois students, attempting to draw power from their bureaucratic positions to go up while building themselves a nice base of loyal supporters. What is also interesting to note is that the first wave of these student politicians were overwhelmingly from white, settler backgrounds, while the next wave that succeeded them are in majority from racialized, colonized-nations backgrounds, who are left to pick up the pieces while a good number among the former are safely installed in their staffer positions further up the chain. Those petty-bourgeois politicians have caused enough damage, and they must never be allowed again to have leadership over left-wing organizing. More than ever, it is time for working-class students to chart their own path and organize their own power.

The MER-RSM will continue its efforts to organize students in this direction. If you want to participate in our initiatives, come to our general meeting on October 20, where we will discuss openly our plans for the coming year. This will include motions to bring to the GA to improve the situation and empower students with regards to the SFUO, as well as the continuation of our campaign to root out MRAs on campus, and participation in the planned day of action against tuition fees. There will also be other meetings and activities over the course of the semester. Nothing is lost! With mass work and organization, we can not only turn things around, but turn our student union into a powerful weapon at the service of the people!

[1] On this topic, you can read an in-depth analysis written by one of those militants in 2010, titled “Whither the student movement in Ottawa”




In February of this year, following public outrage, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson voiced his opposition to the misogynist “pick-up artist” Roosh V and the Return of Kings meet up in Ottawa that he has called for to happen across the world. People organizing to protest this unacceptable event has caused the predatory, women-hating “pick-up artist” organizers to cancel their public meeting and effectively drove them underground. Despite all this, today the city allows another misogynist organization to openly organize to promote their anti-women views, grow their movement and use the Ottawa city hall to do so. Not only does this make the city complicit in the misogynistic organizing taking place, and in the Men’s Rights Movement, but it also makes the so-called progressive mayor Jim Watson complicit. The city of Ottawa and the Men’s Rights Movement are working hand in hand and we need to stop it!

The Canadian Association for “Equality” (CAFE) is hosting its first conference on September 17th, 2016 at the Ottawa city hall. CAFE is a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) group, their work consists of acting as a moderate front group for the wider MRA movement. CAFE founders and members have repeatedly voiced their misogynist, racist and homophobic views all under the pretense of “Men’s Rights” and free speech. These views ultimately harm the safety of women and other gender oppressed people as well as the safety of the men they claim to represent. Far from standing for “Men’s Rights”, they are exclusively an anti-feminist organization rallying angry and violent misogynists. CAFE uses legitimate issues in our society like murdered indigenous men, and men’s high rates of suicide and depression as a tool, using the hardships of men, often the result of oppression from other factors like race, class, indigeneity, or ability, to spread their hatred of women and other gender-oppressed people by blaming all these problems on feminism and women having too many rights.


The Revolutionary Student Movement has repeatedly confronted CAFE when they attempted to hold meetings on the University of Ottawa campus. Janice Fiamengo, a leading member of CAFE Ottawa, is a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa, and has been using this position to try to give legitimacy to CAFE as an organization, which only thinly veils the hate-speech of its members, herself included. We recognize that MRA groups gaining a foothold on campuses puts women and gender-oppressed people in danger. This is equally true of a place as public as City Hall. We refused to let them organize on campus, and we oppose their organizing here.

The Revolutionary Student Movement denounces all anti-feminist and MRA movements, we stand in opposition to CAFE and all their organizing. We are outraged by the city of Ottawa and Mayor Jim Watson’s decision to allow this hate group to hold events at the city hall, a central public space.

We demand that CAFE and all other MRA groups be banned from using public spaces for their events!

We demand that CAFE have their charity license revoked!

We demand that the University of Ottawa bans CAFE and all other MRA organizations from booking rooms and organizing on campus!

We demand that the University of Ottawa fire Professor Janice Fiamengo for her leadership of CAFE and her racist reviews!


Join us on the ground wherever CAFE tries to organize, growing the strength in our numbers is the only way to stop them!

Let the mayor’s office know that you think hate groups such as CAFE cannot be allowed in our city


Phone: 613-580-2496

The Revolutionary Student Movement is dedicated to the fight against misogyny and MRAs in Ottawa and all around the county. Join us in our campaign to stop CAFE from organizing Ottawa!


September 24, 2pm Room UCU 215 University of Ottawa

Find us on Facebook: MRAs Off Campus /// Masculinistes Hors Campus

Revolutionary Student Movement UOttawa


Dare to struggle!

Dare to win!

Police Rush to Defend MRAs! Statement on RSM-uO’s Protest of CAFE

Police Rush to Defend MRAs! Statement on RSM-uO’s Protest of CAFE

Ca5HgiYUAAAqxp3Last night, February 10th, the RSM participated in protesting a meeting of misogynists under the guise of “men’s rights activism” on uOttawa campus. As a result, this event, which was organized, led and attended almost entirely by retired and tenured professors and other non-students, turned into a totally inappropriate, disgusting, and illegitimate show of repressive force against students.

First, campus security threatened student protesters with expulsion, a criminal record, unhireability, and homelessness. When these transparent attempts at intimidation were rightly ignored, they called the police, who had planned and prepared to make arrests in collaboration with event organizers ahead of time. No fewer than seven police officers immediately brought a cruiser and a police van to campus and swarmed the Arts (Hamelin) building, forcing the protesters to scatter. These police forces continued to patrol and sweep campus until the event was over.

Why is our campus playing host to events like this, whose organizers are explicitly conspiring beforehand with cops to use repressive force against nonviolent student protesters?? How is it that, only days after Ottawa’s mayor and police force were basking in praise for their condemnation of the violent and reactionary misogyny and hate speech of Roosh V and the Return of Kings meetup planned in Ottawa, the same police force is aggressively defending CAFE’s “freedom” to misogyny and hate speech?

CAFE, the so-called Canadian Association for Equality, is a men’s rights activist (MRA) organization which preaches misogyny, antifeminism, and rape culture. Although it is registered as a charity under the Canadian government and presents itself as concerned about men, this is only a cover. CAFE is explicitly not interested in providing social services to men, or with equipping them with tools to deal with the real issues that they face in our capitalist, patriarchal, white-supremacist and colonial society. Instead, CAFE’s “charitable work” consists entirely in “public education” and “raising awareness.” This means, in practice, that they work to spread a misogynist, antifeminist ideology that despises the gains feminism has achieved through long and hard struggle for women and gender-oppressed people’s equal right to bodily autonomy and self-determination. CAFE is on record as denying the existence of rape culture, the importance of consent, and the ongoing oppression and exploitation of women, especially women of colour, Indigenous women, women with disabilities, trans women and transfeminine people, queer women, women involved in sex work, and all intersections thereof. It is a hate group that builds its base of support upon the bodies of these women, denying that they face oppression and in fact maintaining that they are the oppressors – of privileged white men. CAFE tries to convince men that feminism has brought about their oppression in modern society, and that men need “to take back their power and their pride,” to quote directly from a recent Youtube video by Janice Fiamengo, CAFE’s primary organizer on campus. Fiamengo, who is a tenured University of Ottawa professor, is also known for her viciously racist and Islamophobic co-publications with her partner David Solway. It is clear that although CAFE tries to distance itself from less “respectable” groups like Roosh V and Return of Kings, it represents the same thing – a toxic, hateful, violent, and reactionary force that has no place on any university campus.

The RSM-uOttawa stands with students in universities across Canada in opposing CAFE’s incitement of hate, ignorance, and misogyny. CAFE’s lectures have been protested across the country. At Ryerson, CAFE has been decertified as a group and banned from campus. This is an important precedent, as an expression of the collective will and political power of students. We understand that this same will and potential for political expression exists at our university. For hours prior to the event, we participated in leafletting around campus, engaging students about the issue. Many knew about the hate and violence of MRAs already, but were not aware that an organization like CAFE was hosting events on our campus with the apparent blessing of university administration and security and police forces. Some of the students we engaged wanted to take multiple leaflets with them, so that they could deal them out to even more students in their classes. It is clear that CAFE’s message and agenda are opposed to the values and interests of students at this university.

The RSM invites University of Ottawa students to organize with us in opposition to MRA misogyny and hatred on and off campus! In weeks to come, we will have an opportunity to clearly express our opposition by attending the upcoming General Assembly, the highest decision-making body of the students of uOttawa, to vote for a motion to decertify CAFE. We will demand that the SFUO push to have CAFE banned from campus, and challenge the unacceptable anti-student police presence in our halls that comes with hateful and reactionary events like MRA meetings. Together, we can make our voices heard in a clear and unified call:

Down with rape culture!! Down with the police presence that defends misogynists and reactionaries instead of students! NO COPS ON CAMPUS!! NO MRAs ON CAMPUS!!