Report-back from the anti-corporatization, anti-imperialism rally

Recently, PRAC/RSM participated in an anti-corporatization, anti-imperialism rally organized by a coalition, headed by a student organization at UofT. The rally was by-and-large successful, despite the fact that one of the coalition groups threatened to back out after seeing the previous post.

This experience led RSM to make a post about right-wing sectarianism and opportunism.

Background info:

The deal-breaker, as it came to light, was the fact that PRAC/RSM supported the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan–the C(M)PA . Confusion and abdication of responsibility momentarily took hold of the coalition, as the coalition organizers tried to decide whether to capitulate to the withdraw-ees by changing the overall tone of the event, or moving forward without the withdraw-ees.

This turn of events makes a good teaching moment about one of the dominant tendencies within the mainstream Left: sectarianism.

Sectarianism

Sectarianism is sometimes disguised behind anti-sectarian appearances, as MLM Mayhem recently writes. For instance, the broad “‘anything goes’ ideology” that infects the Left fosters the exclusion of groups and ideas that are deemed too radical.

Moreover, sectarianism is complicated by its indulgence in right-wing opportunism, which is the:

“Adaptation of the policy and ideology of the working-class movement to the interests and needs of nonproletarian (bourgeois and petty– bourgeois) strata”. Opportunism is usually associated with revisionism (q.v.) or dogmatism (q.v.). It can be right-wing or ‘left’-wing.”

“Right-wing opportunism comes into being together with the organised working-class movement (trade-unionism, Lassalleanism, “Economism”, [and in this case petty-bourgeois student activism–ed.] etc. ). It manifests itself in the rejection of revolutionary methods of struggle, conciliation with the bourgeoisie and, in the final analysis, abandonment of the struggle for socialism.”

PRAC/RSM was leading the more internationalist, pro-people's war, and anti-imperialist chants

From our recent experience, for instance, we were able to cooperate with the various coalition groups with whom we attended the rally, but only through reaching a disunited kind of unity, and a lowest-common-denominator kind of cooperation, where the coalition prematurely degenerated into a group of ad hoc parties.

Of course, there are time restraints, as the coalition organizers were all working to put together an action at the top possible speed. However, this does not detract from the fact that we all need to be better organized, and rely less on the spontaneity of the moment to stage a successful rally.

RSM learned from this experience that sectarianism is the opposite of unity.

For coalition-building, MLM-Mayhem suggests a number of principles that provide guidelines for maintaining unity. RSM thought it worthwhile to reiterate these principles.

The coalition organization/organizer:

“a) will work in coalitions without trying to force the entire coalition to liquidate itself into its ranks; b) will maintain its parallel principles in this organization without apology, but with humility; c) will not intentionally engage in asinine and internecine left-wing turf wars and member poaching; d) will maintain that their principles will be proved in the class struggle rather than in name-calling.”

Unity is of vital importance, especially in the face of the enemy. Without criticism and self-criticism, there can be no unity. To quote Mao, “that means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle, and arriving at a new unity on a new basis.”In the case discussed in this article, the rally could have been better had there been more unity to start with, and better criticism and self-criticism along the way.

With better organization, starting with more unity, we could have broken through the ranks of the cops/administrators.

Click  here to read the RSM speech from the rally.

M1M–May 1st Movement

Click to enlarge.

For May 1st, in recognition of International Worker’s Day, PRAC/RSM Toronto is working with a number of other anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist organizations to put together a unified march from Nathan Philips Square to Alexandra Park. Unlike the previous year, which saw the march divide into two parts, this year’s march there will only be one march.

We hope you join us. You can contact us at revolutionarystudentsto[at]gmail[dot]com to march with us.

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Unite the struggles of the people on International Workers’ Day!
For an anti-capitalist May Day!

* The richest 10 people in Toronto earn almost 3.5 times the annual income of all people earning minimum wage in Canada *

All over the world on May 1, MAY DAY, millions of people fill the streets to advance the struggles and issues of the working class.

On May 1, 2012 in Toronto, we need to also be out in the streets – not as a parade, but as a call to people across the city and across the country.

A call to action against the governments of the bankers and the rich who are imposing “austerity” on the people.  After decades of spending billions on wars, prisons, police, tax cuts and tax breaks for the rich, subsidies, oil and mining companies and other corporations, they tell us there is an ‘economic crisis’ that justifies their layoffs, wage freezes and reductions, cuts to social programs and higher and more fees for what we need.

This is capitalism: their system is the crisis!

This is a call to unity against the nationalism, racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, sexism, homophobia, and any other hatred their media creates to keep us divided while the rich continue to line their pockets.

Since its founding, Canada has been stealing and plundering First Nations lands, minerals and resources and now launches imperialist wars around the world to plunder other people’s resources.  The land rights of First Nations and those of other people fighting for their rights and freedom should be everyone’s fight.  The right to work and dignity for those who come as immigrants and migrants need to be the fight of all of us who came as or descend from immigrants.

This is a call to reject the rampant consumerism and the social decay, climate chaos and environmental destruction imposed by this system.  We don’t want the “growth” that capitalism has to offer.

We want a truly democratic and just society that meets the social needs of all people. Capitalism can’t do this.

So May Day is a call to all those coming under attack, to the sick and tired, the exploited and oppressed.

A call to all unionized workers whose rights and wages were the result of years of struggle, not from supporting this or that party or by back-room negotiations. Remember your role in this society, reclaim the proud history of militant labour.

A call to precarious workers with little job security and no benefits.

A call to the students struggling to find jobs and tied down to tens of thousands in debt.

A call to all the working class women who have to work multiple minimum wage part-time jobs to feed a family.

A call to the racialized youth, targeted and brutalized by police and under attack from policies aimed at stuffing their bodies into new prisons.

A call to the migrant mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, who left their homes in for the empty promise of a better life.

A call to the indigenous peoples defending their land rights against Canadian colonialism, and a call to all non-indigenous peoples struggles to unite with them.

On May 1, 2012, International Workers Day, join us at 4pm at Nathan Phillips Square for a rally and march to respect Indigenous sovereignty, insist that no one is illegal, for international workers solidarity, to defend and expand public services, to stop prison expansion…and corporate handouts, to end imperialist wars and aggression, to build people’s power, and to move beyond capitalism.

Short speech made at the Oct 15th “Canada out of Afghanistan Now!” rally

A more detailed summary of the rally, as well as an analysis of Occupy Toronto, which happened on the same day, can be found on the PRAC website.

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We are the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee of Toronto. We denounce Canadian imperialism. We denounce the occupation of Afghanistan.

We stand in solidarity and support of the Communist-Maoist Party of Afghanistan. The goal of the Communist-Maoist Party is to resist occupation in all its forms. We support all those who are working tirelessly in resistance. We particularly those who are mobilizing the oppressed Afghans.

Background information:

In July 2011, a regiment of 650 US troops left Afghanistan, and 33,000 more are due to leave soon.

Why are they leaving? Because the occupation has changed its tactic from one of pure occupation to the gradual transfer of responsibility.

For example, the UK is withdrawing its forces completely. However, the UK will be establishing a military academy for Afghans. The purpose of the imperialists and their cronies is the training of forces that would be able to repress its own people.

This does not mean the US has withdrawn from the business of occupation; the US will be now be occupying in a smarter way—via a puppet regime. How will the US establish this puppet regime? Through 2 ways:

1. the imperialist US intends to maintain permanent army bases in Afghanistan

2. the imperialist US plans to buy out the local Islamist insurgency. It will do this through a variety of tactics, from repression and appeasement, to peace and conciliation.

The ultimate goal of the imperialists is the consolidation of its own rule via the puppet regime. The Islamist, chauvinist and autocratic character of the Afghan regime is of no consequence to the US and its imperialist cronies.

And why is the US so interested seeing the puppet regime consolidate? Because the installation of 400,000 local security personnel will save the US money. Saving money will mean the US can maintain longer dominance of both Afghanistan and the regions around Afghanistan.

It is not hard to see the that end goal, whether 2001 or 2011, is still global supremacy for the US and its imperialist cronies.

What must we do about this? Since the puppet regime will now carry out the wishes of the imperialist forces, the revolutionary struggle will be targeting the puppet regime. That is its top priority.

We, as opponents of imperialism in an imperialist country, must support the Afghan revolutionary forces in its struggle to topple the puppet regime the US and its imperialist cronies helped set up!