From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free, to hell with the Zionist Entity

No Peace with Israel.

No Recognition of Israel.

No Negotiation with Israel.” – the Three Nos of the Khartoum Conference

 

The Third Intifada has been called.

In the wake of the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ resistance operation and the recent general strike throughout Palestine a ceasefire has been issued but the struggle is far, far from over. The arrests, colonial murders and settler-thievery continues. So does the resistance.

The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) declares it’s solidarity with the Palestinian national liberation struggle in its fight against the Zionist Entity. The RSM fully recognize the right of the Palestinians to resist against their ongoing displacement, subjugation and genocide at the hands of Zionist fascism. The RSM wholeheartedly condemns the actions of Zionist forces not just in the Holocaust they are orchestrating in Gaza and the ethnic cleansings they are committing in Jerusalem but in their entire occupation of Palestinian territory.

The renewed call to struggle in the form of the Third Intifada was called in response – in the short term – to the evictions being carried out in Sheikh Jarrah, the Zionist assaults upon the sacred al-Asqa Mosque, the relentless assaults against the people of Gaza, the barbarity of Zionist settler lynch mobs and the other recent assorted crimes of the settler-regime, all on the holy month of Ramadan. The Zionist Entity has overplayed their hand and underestimated the willingness and capacity of the Palestinian people to hold their ground and strike back.

This recent call to resistance must be understood in context of the century-old struggle for independence of the Palestinian people, first against European, now against Zionist colonization. In 1917 the Balfour declaration signaled the beginning of British imperialism’s support for establishing an ethno-state for European Jews in what was then Ottoman-ruled Palestine as a means of ridding Europe of the persecuted Jewish population. Rather than fighting anti-Semitism the British imperialists – many of whom were virulent anti-Semites themselves – hoped to rid Europe of Jewish people entirely while diverting working class Jewish energy towards a colonial and imperialist project: Zionism.

What was originally a fringe movement that was denounced by most segments of European Jews developed into a powerful force with the help of British and American imperialism in the wake of the Nazi Holocaust. In May 1948, the British colonialists ceded all authority over Palestine to a provisional Zionist government.

The Zionists immediately unleashed a campaign of genocidal settler colonialism. So began the Nakba, or great catastrophe, where over 400 Arab Palestinian villages were ethnically cleansed in a spree of murder, rape, and pillage by Zionist militias. These atrocities were directly compared, even by Zionist settlers on the ground, to those of the Nazis. The Zionist Entity has conducted its activities in a similar fashion ever since, as seen in its historical and present economic exploitation of the labour of Palestinians made to build up the Zionist infrastructure as their own homes have been demolished; it’s premeditative seizure of the West Bank and the Golan Heights in 1967, it’s mass murder of Arab civilians during the 1973 War; it’s brutal repression of the first two intifadas; its attacks on Lebanon in 1982 and 2006; and its non-stop campaign of genocide against the people of the Gaza Strip. The Zionist expansionists seem to be determined to eventually carve out a ‘greater Israel’ – one that would involve the further theft of vast swathes of territory from all neighbouring states and even those beyond that – even before they have finished seizing all of Palestine from the Palestinian people. This tiny, illegitimate, nuclear-armed settler-colony is the most powerful state in West Asia, a more militarized society than Germany from 1871-1945 and a blatant obstacle to not just regional peace but world peace. Opposing its existence isn’t merely a good principle, it’s just good sense generally.

‘Israel’ is thus quite plainly a thoroughly illegitimate settler-colonial state whose evolution from Ben Gurion’s farcical brand of ‘labor/socialist’ Zionism towards the almost completely explicit and outright fascism of Netanyahu’s Likud Party has been an entirely logical and authentic process born of the internal dialectics of settler-colonialism itself. Many poor Zionist liberals have strained and exerted themselves much to paint the growth of the Kahanist movement (in both the Knesset and the ‘Israeli’ public), the unceasing brutality of the IDF and the political dominance of Bibi’s merry gang of lunatics as an aberration from the normal character and conduct of the Zionist Entity. Any halfwit can see that these merely represent the naked form of what Zionism truly is, what the pig looks like without any poorly-applied lipstick.

We also note that two of the most major claims that the Zionist Entity has made to defend its own hollow legitimacy – that it is the only democracy in the WANA region and that it is the representative and haven for the entire Jewish people – are patently absurd.

For starters, in the past, one could perhaps have upheld the former notion with a variety of qualifiers attached – that it is a Herrenvolk regime that enforces a brutal system of apartheid, that it is a state built on stolen land and the dispossession of its indigenous people, that until 1967 a fifth of its population were held under outright military rule, that the ‘democracy’ of capitalist society “is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority”. Perhaps. But now? The seemingly eternal and unaccountable rule of the comically corrupt and criminal figure of Netanyahu, who has actively stoked the tensions that led to the call to Intifada as a means of avoiding serious legal charges via a state of emergency, should destroy this pathetic illusion entirely.

And the attempts of Zionists and open anti-Semites (and openly anti-Semitic Zionists, often of an openly reactionary Christian evangelical bent) to equate the Zionist Entity with the Jewish community should be rejected entirely, and already have been by the RSM. Further, not only do we oppose this slander against those who oppose settler-colonial barbarism, not only do we acknowledge the principled and correct opposition of many members of the Jewish community to Zionism (from Norman Finkelstein to Ronnie Barkan to Ilan Pappe to Noam Chomsky and so on and so on) but we condemn the role that the Zionist occupiers have played throughout the world in enabling and even promoting anti-Semitism.

Examples galore can be found of this in the Zionist leadership’s key role in supporting rabid anti-Semites like Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Viktor Orbán (support that has only strengthened as their anti-Semitism has become more open); in Netanyahu’s public defence of Adolf Hitler (saying that in 1941 “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews, he wanted to expel the Jew” and was only convinced to go about exterminating Jews due to Palestinian manipulation – though to be fair, at a very early point in the 1930s Hitler did support the German Zionists in their campaign to move Jews out of the country and into Palestine, the truly loathsome element of Netanyahu’s statement was his attempt to shift much of the blame for the Holocaust away from Germans and onto Arabs); in the crucial military aid and training to Jew-murdering neo-Nazi militias like the Ukrainian Azov Battalion; in the major role Likud leaders, Netanyahu advisers and even Netanyahu’s own son (a fellow who is admired by a great many Western neo-Nazis) have played in spreading far-right conspiracy theories about George Soros; in the discrimination that exists in ‘Israel’ against Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews; and in Hasbarist attacks on the anti-Zionist Jewish diaspora as ‘traitors’ and ‘self-hating Jews’. These are not merely expressions of the current state of affairs in ‘Israel’ but an expression of the fact that the existence of the Zionist Entity is built on the ethnic separation of Jews from all other societies, the fact that the structure of ‘Israeli’ capitalism encourages Zionists to ally themselves with imperialist states that themselves have a long history of anti-Semitism and its claim to be a unifying force for all Jews inherently creates an antagonistic contradiction between itself and diaspora Jews unwilling or unable to participate in or defend its colonial project.

We of the RSM declare that the Zionist Entity of ‘Israel’ is an anti-Semitic formation even if it promotes white Jewish supremacy in occupied Palestine, it is a formation built on the idea that Jews are a foreign entity that should be expelled from Euro-America and we stand by the idea that the defence of Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic.

Never have the Palestinian people been willing to accept their own genocide at the hands of the settler-fascists. The most heroic moments of struggle undertaken by the forces of the PLO and Hamas; the righteous fury of the first two Intifadas; the images of young Palestinian Davids throwing stones against the forces of the Zionist Goliath; the protests big and small in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem; these are all testament to the fact that they have not and will not ever lay down and accept their demise. The absurdity of Zionist talking points regarding their murder of Palestinians – claims that every civilian killed in Gaza was a suspected Hamas ‘terrorist’, claims that Palestinian protesters cut down by the IDF have been driven to “self-genocide” on Hamas’s orders and so on – themselves hint at this, that their sick race war will be met with constant resistance from near-all sections of the Palestinian people. And indeed, now Palestinians stand more united than ever, with the gaps in the factions of the resistance dissolving now in a truly historic way and the Palestinian masses celebrating the blows struck against their oppressors through strike action – something that in and of itself reveals just how dependent the Zionist ethnostate is upon the labour of Palestinians.

Palestinian history is a history of extraordinary revolutionary struggle. This struggle, contrary to Hasbarist nonsense, has historically been a secular and perfectly legitimate struggle for the national liberation of the Palestinian people, and not some a reactionary Al-Qaeda-style vendetta against Jewish people for simply being Jewish. The rise of more theocratic elements in the movement (even if they do not have a degree of control over the movement that is monolithic or complete) is something that the Zionist intelligence agencies are themselves in large part responsible for, helping Islamists take over leadership of the movement, pushing aside the PLO as a means of – among other things – making the Palestinian resistance easier to demonize. Whilst this does not fully account for the rise of Hamas within the Palestinian resistance and its base of support within Palestine, this is something that should be taken into account by even those of us who critically all factions of said resistance, especially when looking at the actual role of political Islam in WANA region politics and the role of the ‘specter of Hamas’ in Zionist narratives about Gaza. It should also be noted that – given the position of Hamas in the current resistance movement and the recent unification of all factions of said resistance movement, these are not grounds to dismiss the important work that Hamas has recently done in striking back against the Zionists, nor are they grounds to deny Hamas our aforementioned critical support – if the dedicated Marxist revolutionaries of the PFLP and DFLP inside Palestine itself can stand arms-locked in solidarity with Hamas, then we on Turtle Island can at the very bloody least put in a kind word for them right now.

The continued defiance and resistance of the Palestinian masses can in fact be seen as a key factor in why exactly the absurd barbarism of the Zionist Entity is currently reaching its zenith – no lesser measures could possibly work to properly protect settler-colonialism in Palestine from the resistance of its indigenous masses.

It comes to no surprise that the Western imperialist camp, and most virulently the Anglo-settler colonial nations such as Canada and America, stand in full support of Zionism whilst pretending to give a rat’s ass about butchered Palestinians. The US gave $3.8 billion in military aid and $8 billion in loan guarantees to the Zionist Entity in 2019. This is on top of joint intelligence operations, military training, exercise, and arms sales. Canada also partakes in all these activities. Both countries have been involved in pressuring the states of the Muslim-majority world to normalize relations to and cooperate with the Zionists, sabotaging, sanctioning and even overthrowing governments that take a stand against Tel Aviv’s barbarism. Both countries further refuse to recognize the Palestinian state. The leaders of the Trudeau government have condemned the actions of Hamas but refuse to call out the Zionist aggressor, hiding behind tepid complaints and moral sophistry. For the Zionists they have arms and finance, for the Palestinians, thoughts, and prayers (subject to recall).

There are many reasons why imperialists and settler-colonial imperialists specifically would back Tel Aviv – primary among them being the material benefits that these powers receive from the existence of the Zionist Entity. For one, it represents a white imperialist beachhead in the heart of the West Asia. The WANA region holds around 70% of the world’s known oil reserves. What is more, it is centrally located between Russia, China and the waking giant of Africa, where more and more imperialist attention is being focused. Controlling West Asia is thus central to maintaining western imperialist hegemony.

We can also note how similar ‘Israel’s’ conduct is to that of the US and Canada even when it bears only a loose connection or even no connection to their own activities. The coups, election interference and sabotage operations throughout the world that the CIA is so infamous for carrying out have likewise been replicated by Mossad, bringing Idi Amin to power in Uganda, orchestrating the Lavon affair and the sinking of the USS Liberty, destroying Syria’s Al Kibar Nuclear Reactor in 2007, aiding the Nicaraguan Contras as far back as 1979 and ensuring the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 and 2019 UK elections, just to name a few individual cases.

One cannot help but notice how many settlers in ‘Israel’ are equipped with Canadian, British, American, Australian and New Zealander passports, connections and accents – not only do the imperialist powers support the colonization with arms, money and good press, they have lubricated the process by which foreign settlers arrive to facilitate the invasion of Palestine. On top of the general imperialist interests in maintaining Israel, the countries of Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada have an additional incentive. These countries, all of which are settler-colonial countries built on the genocide and displacement of their rightful inhabitants, uphold Israel as legitimate, not just due to the politico-economic benefits they gain from doing so but because to do otherwise would call in to question their very right to existence. The recognition of the illegitimacy of Zionist settler colonialism would likewise be a recognition of the illegitimacy of the other settler countries. They uphold Israel to uphold themselves.

The sheer inhuman brutality of the Zionists may look unique in its wretchedness but in truth it represents merely a modern remaking of the exact sort of criminality that previous settler-colonialisms used. What is happening to Palestine is exactly what happened previously to the peoples of Turtle Island, and the difference between the colonial powers in question is simply the difference between how developed and firmly entrenched their settler-colonialisms are. We can add to the seemingly endless list of crimes that the Zionists have committed: plagiarism.

Ever since October 1917 it has become increasingly hard for a colonial power to bring a united Indigenous nation to its knees. The Nazis – whose conduct Zionist military commanders have at times explicitly drawn inspiration from (Amir Oren’s 2002 article At the Gates of Yassergrad openly admitted that Israeli soldiers were studying the tactics used to repress the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising) – attempted the Manifest-Destiny-inspired project of Lebensraum in Eastern Europe and it resulted in their complete annihilation. The American empire waged a campaign of genocidal warfare against the people of Vietnam and ended up humiliated. The British worked with the American imperialists in their colonial Reconquista of Iraq in 2003 and the resulting turmoil showed both the decrepit state of British imperialism and signaled the beginning of the real decline of the US Empire. And now, in Palestine this new Intifada is spreading into territory the Zionists have held since 1948 and has tied itself to the wave of organized resistance pouring through the Zionist’s borders from Iraq, Lebanon, Tehran, Damascus and so on. This is an Intifada of historic significance, whose power can be felt resonating across the world just days after the blessed call to intifada.

Just as the imperialists have good reason to support the Zionists, so too do the world’s masses of proletarians, peasants and other exploited peoples have reasons to support Palestinian resistance. The Palestinian struggle against the Zionist Entity represents a key struggle against imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism, one that has advanced to a stage where it in fact may constitute the most important national liberation struggle on the planet at the time of writing. It represents a path towards the environmental preservation of Palestine against the Zionist arsonists, capitalists and pillagers of nature; the destruction of one of the most supremely repulsive forms of colonialism in existence today; the destruction of imperialism and capitalism; and the liberation of the oppressed classes of Palestine. The Palestinian people are the vanguard of the world anti-colonial struggle. Their potential, looming victory would be a victory for all of us who wish to see a better, livable future. Any person who believes themselves to be a champion of the international proletariat must lend their full support to the Palestinian people in their struggle to topple Zionism as a political force. They share with us the common goal of defeating world imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism.

In the long term, the best thing we in Canada can do for the Palestinian cause is work towards the dismantling of the Canadian settler colonial state (and it’s larger, supremely imperialist neighbour) through the establishment of a socialist republic on Turtle Island, guided by the anti-colonial, scientific and correct application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. In the process of this, we can aim to force the Ottawa to cut all ties and all support for the Zionist Occupation. We must use every tool at our disposal to force the Canadian Entity into abandoning ‘Israel’, whether peacefully or militantly, whether through BDS or alternative strategies consistent with the preparation for a protracted people’s war. We must amplify the current movement as well as connect it to our own colonial question until the global anti-colonial struggle forms one deafening chorus. Every blow struck by the forces of progress against the Canadian Entity a victory for Palestine. Every blow the Palestinian people strike against the Zionist Entity is a victory for us.

We call on all students, workers, and advanced sections of every class to struggle on behalf of the Palestinian people, to openly support all forces of resistance in general and particular those such as the DFLP and the PFLP who are explicitly committed to the communist cause in Palestine. We call on all nations to renounce their recognition of the criminal settler states of Canada and the Zionist Enemy. We call on all nations, especially those Arab nations which have normalized and aided ‘Israel’ to repent and uphold the principles of the Three No’s of 1967 in the face of the Zionist Enemy and by materially supporting the Palestinian people in their struggle. May those new Anwar Sadats who remain on the path of compradorism, co-existence with settler-colonialism and treason to the Arab people meet the fates they deserve. We declare our support for the actions all of West Asian governments that have supported Palestinian national liberation, from Damascus to Tehran, insofar as their actions facilitate this. ‘Israel’ cannot be reasoned with; it cannot exist without expansionism, environmental destruction and outright genocide; and for the good of all humankind it cannot continue its illegitimate dominance over the region. It is a threat to all Palestinians, it is a threat to the entire region and it is a threat to the people of the entire planet – any blow struck against it is to be welcomed. This conflict must be resolved with a one-state solution built on foundations of human equality and anti-colonial solidarity, one state that is called Palestine.

The Revolutionary Student Movement declares its unyielding support for the Palestinian national liberation struggle, as well of that of the greater Arab masses, and defends their right to stand against the Netanyahu’s Fourth Reich and its allies, and to reclaim every inch of land that is theirs by whatever means necessary.

Every inch.

 

References

Al-Bani, Akram. “Israeli considerations in the Syrian arena.” Middle East Monitor, 24 Jan. 2014. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20140124-israeli-considerations-in-the-syrian-arena/

Abunimah, Ali. “Trump budget slashes foreign aid, but not for Israel.” The Electronic Intifada, 16 Mar. 2017. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/trump-budget-slashes-foreign-aid-not-israel

Ahmed, Nasim. “There is no parity between ethnic cleansing in Palestine and Jews’ exodus from Arab states.” Middle East Monitor, 26 Jun. 2019. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190626-there-is-no-parity-between-ethnic-cleansing-in-palestine-and-jews-exodus-from-arab-states/

Amin, Samir. “Political Islam in the Service of Imperialism”. Monthly Review, 1 Dec. 2007. https://monthlyreview.org/2007/12/01/political-islam-in-the-service-of-imperialism/

Baroud, Ramzy. “Unity at Last: The Palestinian People Have Risen.” MintPress News, 18 May 2021. https://www.mintpressnews.com/sheikh-jarrah-unity-last-palestinian-people-risen/277176/

Dowden, Richard. “Revealed: how Israel helped Amin to take power.” The Independent, 17 Oct. 2013. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/revealed-how-israel-helped-amin-to-take-power-100683.html

Empire Files. “Empire Files: How Palestine Became Colonized.” 28 Sep. 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT5L4YU_Fl4

Empire Files. “Gaza Fights For Freedom (2019) | Full Documentary | Directed by Abby Martin.” 9 May 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnZSaKYmP2s

Engler, Yves. “The innumerable ways Canada supports Israeli apartheid.” Yves Engler, 14 May 2021. https://yvesengler.com/2021/05/14/the-innumerable-ways-canada-supports-israeli-apartheid/

Faulkner, Neil. “A Marxist History of the World part 95: Oil, Zionism, and Western Imperialism.” Counterfire, 30 Sep. 2012. https://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/a-marxist-history-of-the-world/16067-a-marxist-history-of-the-world-part-95-oil-zionism-and-western-imperialism

Moorer, Thomas. “A Legacy of Betrayal.” The Electronic Intifada, 21 Oct. 2004. https://electronicintifada.net/content/legacy-betrayal/4960

Oren, Amin. “At the Gates of Yassergrad.” Haaretz, 25 Jan. 2002. https://www.haaretz.com/1.5336833

Pappé, Ilan. Ten Myths About Israel. Verso Books, 2017.

Winstanley, Asa. “Israel is arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine.” The Electronic Intifada, 4 Jul. 2018. https://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-arming-neo-nazis-ukraine/24876

Winstanley, Asa. “Kahanism is now Israel’s mainstream.” Middle East Monitor, 13 Feb. 2021. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210213-kahanism-is-now-israels-mainstream/

Winstanley, Asa. “Video: How Israel helped bring down Jeremy Corbyn.” The Electronic Intifada, 30 Apr. 2021. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/video-how-israel-helped-bring-down-jeremy-corbyn

“Netanyahu: Hitler Didn’t Want to Exterminate the Jews.” Haaretz, 21 Oct. 2015. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/netanyahu-absolves-hitler-of-guilt-1.5411578

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

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

What the MER-RSM Has Done in 2017

What the MER-RSM Has Done in 2017

This year has been full of major events for the MER-RSM and for the revolutionary movement in Canada. We have held our 6th Pan-Canadian Congress in February, where delegates from 14 sections across the country came together to decide on the course of our organization and share organizing experience. The Congress has elected an almost entirely new Pan-Canadian Coordinating Committee to guide the work of our organization and serves as a good indication of the growth and qualitative improvement that we are experiencing.

As the Canadian state was celebrating 150 years since its founding, many anti-colonial movements and organizers have shown their opposition to this blatant celebration of settler colonialism, capitalism and imperialism. The MER-RSM has joined the FuckThe150th campaign initiated by the Revolutionary Communist Party to protest these celebrations on the ground and to counter the messages spread by the Canadian state on social media.

More MER-RSM sections than ever before have joined in the International Workers’ Day (or May Day) events across the country by taking part and organizing marches, public talks and social events. We have also taken part in celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, a very important historic event to commemorate and learn from.

This year has also been marked by the rise of the extreme right organizations, which have been trying to take to the streets in a series of coordinated, country-wide efforts. Most of these attempts have been shut down or constrained to tiny perimeter by anti-racist and anti-fascist organizers that have been coming out to oppose them. Members of the MER-RSM have joined the efforts to stop the extreme right from taking root on campuses and anywhere they try to rear their ugly head.

It has never been a secret that the state and its running dogs – the police, try to suppress any radical organizing that challenges it and aims to change the society. As the quality of work of revolutionary organizations across the country has been on the rise, police repression followed. This has been particularly evident in Sudbury, Quebec City, and Ottawa. Despite that, we are committed to continuing to build solidarity against state repression and against the rising threat of fascism.

Many new comrades have joined our organization this year, with several new sections being created: Brandon (Manitoba), Guelph (Ontario), Waterloo (Ontario), Windsor (Ontario). Other sections have seen growth of membership and the scope of work. Regrettably, we have seen the departure of the Montreal section of the MER-RSM due to serious political disagreements. However, we have restarted our organizing in Montreal, namely at Concordia university, and we expect to expand our organizing there in the coming year.

We have big plans in the coming year! We are going to distribute our first-ever publication, Classmates, in January. Comrades in Ottawa, Hamilton, Peterborough, Saskatoon, Toronto and Winnipeg are going to be engaged in campaigns to create or improve General Assemblies on their campuses, which will become a platform where political struggles get brought out in the open and a tool to exert direct democratic control over student unions. As the experience of campuses with functional General Assemblies demonstrates, it is one of the best tools for advancing radical politics; building the culture of resistance to capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy and other reactionary systems of oppression; and challenging the bourgeois notion of representative democracy, where the small minority detached from the needs of the majority holds most of the decision-making power. Lastly, we will hold Regional Conferences where comrades will come together to meet each other, share organizing experience, and come up with ideas and proposals for the time between then and the 2019 Pan-Canadian Congress.

We are the largest and the most active anti-capitalist student movement in Canada. We remain committed to organizing in struggle against capitalism, colonialism, racism, patriarchy, ableism and other forms of oppression both on and off campuses.

Now is a good time to join our movement!

Get in touch with us: info@mer-rsm.ca

https://www.facebook.com/RevolutionaryStudentMovement/

 

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

Coordinating Committee of the MER-RSM

Movie Night: “Communists on Campus!”

Movie Night: “Communists on Campus!”

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

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

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

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

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

 

Down with Displacement, Up with Decent Housing!

British Columbia’s Lower Mainland includes some of the most expensive places to live in occupied Canada. Of the 523 municipalities surveyed in the Canadian Rental Housing Index, Vancouver and Burnaby rank last, or close to last in measures of rental affordability and quality of rental units. [1] The lack of affordable housing for working class people has been termed the “housing crisis”. This crisis affects up to 116,000 people in BC alone. [2]

With the housing crisis deepening, activists have initiated a number of actions in the Lower Mainland to raise awareness about it. In Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) have organized a “Tent City” since July 9. About 50-60 activists, including individuals who are homeless or are currently living in squalid conditions, have set up tents to occupy 58 West Hastings Street, a site currently owned by the municipal government. [3] “Tent Cities” have also been set up in Victoria and Abbotsford elsewhere in BC, and Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario.

Furthermore, there was currently an occupation of an apartment, acquired by the developer Amacon, at 5025 Imperial Street in Burnaby, by the Alliance Against Displacement. Tenants in this block of apartments are among an estimated 1,400 people in the low-income Metrotown neighbourhood facing the threat of “demoviction”. Apartment buildings with affordable housing units will be demolished so that expensive condos get built in their place. [4, 5] The occupation started on July 9, and as of the morning of July 20, the RCMP have carried out the court injunction to remove the protestors from the site of occupation. [6]

The Revolutionary Student Movement-Vancouver section, extends our solidarity with the “Tent City” in Vancouver and the occupation in Burnaby. We believe that decent, affordable housing for working-class people is a vital necessity, and as such, resolutely support their demands. We commend both occupations for highlighting how the housing crisis affects some of the most vulnerable sectors of capitalist society. We also commend the actions for highlighting the inaction that “progressive” municipal governments in Vancouver and Burnaby, led by Gregor Robertson and Derek Corrigan respectively, have taken in addressing the housing crisis.

The Homelessness Crisis

At its most visible level, the housing crisis includes the 11,000 people in BC who live on the streets. Although Robertson was elected on a promise to wipe out street homelessness in Vancouver by 2015, there are 1847 people who live on the streets in Vancouver in 2016, the highest in a decade. [7] These figures do not include the 40,000 people who are “hidden homeless” in BC and who get by through living in cars or couch-surfing. As the crisis of homelessness has gotten worse, some cities such as Burnaby and Surrey do not even have homeless shelters, and the number of empty units in Vancouver now exceeds the estimated homeless population. [8, 24]

Some of the most vulnerable sectors of the proletariat, or working-class, are at risk of street homeless. We are appalled when migrants, and indigenous people disproportionately face homelessness and housing insecurity. It is estimated that even although 4% of the Lower Mainland’s population are indigenous, they represent over 30% of the homeless population [2]. When migrants, including refugees, and indigenous people do not have access to basic needs, this highlights the continuing racist, colonial, and white-supremacist nature of the Canadian State. Next, women and other gender oppressed people who are homeless face a vicious cycle. They often need to choose between facing physical and sexual abuse from an abusive partner, or going homeless; and while homeless, they sometimes need to return to an abusive partner for financial support, so they can afford fines just for being homeless! [3, 9] Finally, we are concerned when up to 1 in 5 homeless youths identify as LGBTQ2S and when the number of homeless youth is growing. [2, 10] We are appalled especially when homeless youth face unnecessary stress and abuse as they try to get an education or enter the workforce. [10, 11]

The Gentrification of Proletarian Neighbourhoods

13718521_10205350418759957_4339080494318765082_nThe housing crisis also includes up to 65,000 individuals in BC who spend more than 50% on their income on rent, and who often live in substandard, cramped conditions. These individuals are considered at risk of homelessness since housing is considered affordable if it uses 30% of a person’s total income [2]. Housing insecurity, however, does not come out of nowhere. The continuing displacement working-class communities experience in Vancouver and Burnaby is because of policies of gentrification set out by Robertson and Corrigan’s “progressive” governments. These policies are often framed as benign “densification” plans.

In principle, more housing is a good thing, but in reality, building more housing actually displaces low-income residents when they are not able to afford the new housing which is being built. In Metrotown alone, tenants on average would need to pay 25% more in rent than they currently do under Corrigan’s “Downtown Metrotown” plan, yet over half of the tenants in Metrotown cannot afford to pay their existing rents! [3] The same fears of being “priced out” of their own communities are being expressed by tenants in nearby Joyce-Collingwood. [13]

In the Downtown Eastside, including Chinatown, the Robertson government has advocated “social mix” for new developments in these neighbourhoods. “Social mix” means any new developments would include both social housing and “market-price” housing. However, few social housing units in practice would be developed. For instance, a new development at 105 Keefer Street would only include 25 social housing units compared with 102 “market-price” units, at a time when 3,000 Chinese seniors are in need of affordable housing. [14, 15] Next, “social mix” is a policy of segregation. Low-income residents face additional policing, and have separate amenities from higher-income residents, although both live in the same building.  Most importantly, “social mix” destroys more affordable housing than it creates. A net 279 units of low-income housing were lost during the development of the Woodward’s building, one of the first buildings in Vancouver with a “social mix”. [16]  Policies of “social mix” offer no permanent solution to thousands of individuals who have waited years for decent housing, and in the meantime, have lived in cockroach, bedbug-infested, and unaffordable SROs without a shed of privacy. [113606803_10205315895976909_4803548621804326757_n2] It is an absolute shame when these policies destroy the fabric of proletarian neighbourhoods.

The Housing Crisis at Universities

As many working-class students now attend universities, the housing crisis also affects them and extends on campus. There is a lack of affordable housing for students whether housing is on or off campus. Indeed, more than 6000 students are now on the waiting list to access residences at UBC at a time when residence fees are getting more expensive. [21] In 2015, students at UBC protested a 30% increase in residence fees as part of the “I Am A Student” movement. A dormitory at UBC can now cost over $1000 per month [17] at a time when the average student makes only about $750/month (unadjusted for inflation) [18]. This means that students often need to work 2-3 jobs, even during the school year, to make ends meet and to pay for tuition.

To make matters worse, universities do not make developing affordable housing a priority but instead choose to destroy units of affordable housing! Earlier this year, tenants at the SFU’s Louis Riel House, which included 60 units of affordable housing for low-income students, students with families, single mothers, and First Nations students, were evicted. SFU had willfully neglected the condition of the building over its lifetime, and does not have a plan to rehouse all students who were evicted. SFU plans to close down an additional 210 units of affordable student housing. [19] The closure of affordable housing for students with families has also happened at UBC with the closure of the Acadia Courts in 2012. [20] It is shameful when universities choose profit-making from developing projects such as Wesbrook Village and UniveriCity at a time when many students are in need of affordable housing.

Our Demands

Once again, we are glad that a genuine proletarian movement has emerged to struggle for housing justice when until now, “taxpayers” and “homebuyers” have dominated this conversation. We are glad to see militant struggle against landlords and developers who take advantage of oppressed peoples, and action against governments who do not listen to proletarian communities. [3, 13, 14] We see the struggle for housing justice as part of the wider struggle for socialism since capitalism is the root of oppression for proletarian communities. Power needs to be directly in the hands of proletarian communities so that gains for housing justice are made permanent.

 In solidarity with the demands made by the “Tent City” and the occupation at Metrotown [3, 22, 23], we demand the following:

  • Stop the gentrification!: Declare an immediate moratorium on all new “demovictions” and new expensive housing developments in proletarian neighbourhoods.
  • Social housing now!: Build 100% social and affordable housing on government-owned lands in all proletarian neighbourhoods, including the site at 58 West Hastings Street, and university-owned lands for proletarian students.
  • Stop the displacement!: Rehouse all students living at Louis Riel House evicted by SFU, and all tenants evicted by current or future “demovictions”.
  • Rent control laws!: Enact rent control laws, which also apply to dormitories, to ensure housing is affordable for working-class tenants and students in the long term.
  • Homes not jails!: Divert $5 billion dollars from the federal prison, military, police, immigration enforcement budgets, and subsidies to Canadian mining companies committing dubious acts abroad, to support affordable and safe housing for the people!

We finally encourage all proletarian and politicized students raise awareness about the housing crisis and to support both the “Tent City” and the occupation in Burnaby. To support these actions, students can:

  1. Sign VANDU’s online petition, linked here, to support the “Tent City”’s demands in resolving the housing crisis.
  2. Donate supplies to Vancouver’s “Tent City” or support it financially. A list of supplies which the “Tent City” needs is here, and a site where financial contributions can be made is here.
  3. Follow the “Alliance Against Displacement” on Facebook and Twitter for latest updates about future mobilizations in Burnaby and other information about their campaign.
  4. Share this statement, the demands of housing justice campaigns, and other news items on housing justice on social media.

Homes not jails!

Our homes can’t wait!

Affordable housing is a right. What do we do? Unite and fight!

References:

  1. http://rentalhousingindex.ca/pdf/Ranked-Indicator-Scores.pdf
  2. http://www.socialhousingbc.com/
  3. http://thevolcano.org/2016/07/13/were-not-going-home-and-were-not-giving-up/
  4. http://www.burnabynow.com/news/update-housing-activists-occupy-vacant-building-1.2300122
  5. http://www.stopdisplacement.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Dunblane-Demovictions-Report_Spring2016-1.pdf
  6. https://twitter.com/stopdisplacemnt
  7. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/homeless-create-new-tent-city-to-protest-vancouvers-social-housing/article30898440/
  8. http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/10/28/Burnaby-Surrey-Shirk-Homeless-Responsibility/
  9. http://www.wavaw.ca/talking-the-talk-vancouvers-homeless-count/
  10. http://blogs.ubc.ca/gayandhomeless/files/2011/07/BetweentheCracks2002.pdf
  11. https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2015/06/09/foreign-whiz-kid-endured-homelessness-to-graduate-top-of-class-at-u-of-t.html
  12. https://raisetherates.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/2015report.pdf
  13. https://joyceareara.wordpress.com/
  14. http://www.vancouversun.com/business/controversial+chinatown+proposal+rejigged/11438334/story.html
  15. http://thevolcano.org/2016/02/04/our-generations-fight-for-chinatown/
  16. https://ccapvancouver.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/ww_gent/
  17. http://vancouver.housing.ubc.ca/applications/fees-payments/
  18. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/2010109/pdf/11341-eng.pdf
  19. https://lrhcommunity.wordpress.com/about/our-declaration/
  20. http://ubyssey.ca/news/acadia-courts-relocation-876/
  21. http://www.theprovince.com/news/housing+waiting+list+names+long+would+month+square+feet/11736766/story.html
  22. https://tentcityvancouver.wordpress.com/
  23. https://ccapvancouver.wordpress.com/ourhomescantwait/
  24. http://www.straight.com/news/653356/empty-homes-study-reveals-10000-vacant-condos-still-fails-explain-vancouver-real-estate

Images taken by ILPS Canada and author.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Down with transphobia and patriarchy!

Fight against chauvinism in the revolutionary movement!

Unite our common struggles against imperialism and capitalism!

Revolutionary Students Disrupt Cop Recruitment at Laurentian University

Revolutionary Students Disrupt Cop Recruitment at Laurentian University

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

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

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

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

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