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!”

Close the Barn Door, Keep the Pigs Out! RCMP Recruitment Protest in Toronto

Close the Barn Door, Keep the Pigs Out! RCMP Recruitment Protest in Toronto

On Wednesday, November 19th, the Revolutionary Student Movement—an anti-capitalist, militant student organization—carried out a protest against a Royal Canadian Mounted Police recruitment event on University of Toronto campus. The protest outside the Medical Science Building was joined by comrades from the Proletarian Feminist Front and the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee. Protestors handed out pamphlets to passing pedestrians and attendees of the RCMP propaganda session. The comrades led chants denouncing the RCMP’s recruitment presence on St. George Campus, and held speeches denouncing capitalism, imperialism and settler-colonialism, all of which are the foundation upon which the RCMP functions as the strong arm of the ruling class.

The University of Toronto has a long history of accommodating the recruitment efforts of the repressive state apparatus on campus. The RCMP not only holds 1-2 recruitment sessions per semester, but also participates heavily in university career fairs. Police recruitment has largely been ignored by the left in most of English Canada, with no major disruption remaining in the collective memory of the University of Toronto campus. As a result, the cops have been left to their own devices in recruiting today’s bullies into tomorrow’s pigs.

The Revolutionary Student Movement broke this dubious ceasefire by leading the first protest against the pigs’ recruitment process at the University of Toronto. This struggle built on the immense success of the Sudbury Revolutionary Student Movement’s disruption of a similar event at Laurentian University. While our comrades in Sudbury were forcibly shoved out of the pigs’ playground, they still delivered a strong blow to the recruitment event. Moreover, they remained outside the building and educated participants and witnesses as to the necessity of smashing the capitalists’ grasp on the university and reclaiming the campus for the people.

The cowardly behavior of the police was not just in Sudbury; it also reared its pathetic head at the University of Toronto, where the RCMP recruiters refused to exit through the front door where the protest was being held. Instead, the pigs remained inside the lobby for 10 minutes with no idea of what to do in response to our actions. Truly, the cops are paper tigers.

These disruptions against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have shown that it is possible to engage in direct action against the police, even in a time where the pouting of opportunists has demobilized and confused the left. Moreover, these struggles have in fact shown the necessity of an independent and militant student movement that actively confronts the pigs who want to turn our campus and our city into their sty.

The police are the enemy. This is not because of incidental injustices within the police force itself, such as corruption or sexism within the ranks, although they may certainly exist. The police, first and foremost, are the repressive arm of the ruling class, raised against the masses of workers who toil each day for capitalist profits. The police are the enemy of the vast majority of society because of their social function within the capitalist system, as explained in the pamphlet produced by the Revolutionary Student Movement and distributed at the action:

“Like other police forces in Canada, they exist to protect capital and ensure the stable functioning of the capitalist system. If this means abusing and intimidating communities into submission, fine. If this means lying and spying, no problem. If this means beating up and arresting protesters who denounce this exploitative system, it’s all in a day’s work. We must have no illusions: if the people were to rise up against such a system, the police would be on the front lines against them, and would be happy for the overtime pay.”

Furthermore, the RCMP is an army of occupation of indigenous lands and peoples. This function continues into the present day, suspended only in Ontario, Québec and Newfoundland, where provincial police departments have taken over and put their jackboots on the necks of the indigenous people in their jurisdictions. This colonial function is horrendously illustrated in the outright neglect by the RCMP of the epidemic of missing and murdered aboriginal women, which they refuse to investigate, much less solve. And how could they? To remedy a crime of settler-colonialism requires that settler-colonialism be abolished, which in turn would require the abolition—in fact, the smashing—of the RCMP itself.

Finally, the RCMP is a domestic intelligence apparatus for political repression. Much like the FBI and NSA of the United States, the RCMP also exists to keep tabs on, disrupt and repress people and organizations who oppose the current state of affairs. If you’ve ever spoken out against imperialist war, capitalist exploitation, racist violence, or colonial occupation, the RCMP wants to know about it. And if they have their way, they will. If you’re upset about rising unemployment, growing personal debt, falling wages and failing social services, the RCMP is your enemy because they work tirelessly to protect the capitalist system, the system that causes all of these problems. They understand this fact and will do what they can to arrest, jail, frame or discredit anyone who opposes capitalism.

This is not just the legacy of the RCMP, but rather remains to this day the very purpose of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They are here to crush all the revolutionary (even non-revolutionary) aspirations of the oppressed. It is with this understanding that the Revolutionary Student Movement says: “Close the barn door! Keep the pigs out!” We must show that the police are unwelcome on campus. In order to do so, we must take the campus out of the hands of capitalists and make it a site of class struggle!

PCR-RCP article found here