May Day 2017 Roundup

Annual May Day mobilizations provide a number of opportunities for revolutionary communists. They’re an opportunity for us to put revolutionary politics front-and-centre in the minds of workers and oppressed people, to commemorate the history of revolutionary struggles which continue to present the best hope for the future, and to take stock of the state of our work building such a struggle.

The PCR-RCP has expanded quickly in the past two years, opening up work in new regions and rallying new forces to the revolutionary movement, and improving the quality of our work in regions where we are already established.

The Party was active in many regions this May Day, and in some regions we were the leading force in the mobilizations, which shows the viability of revolutionary communism and shows that the people are ready for the emergence of a revolutionary movement to cast capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism into the dustbin of history. Here’s what we managed to pull off this year:

Charlottetown – The RCP (OC) took the opportunity of May Day to engage in propaganda work in the city’s downtown.

Quebec City – A Red/Black contingent involving the PCR-RCP and a wide variety of revolutionary forces made up a significant portion of the larger May Day march and this was followed by a gathering at L’Etincelle hosted by our comrades to celebrate, share ideas, and build ties.

Ottawa – “Anti-Capitalist May Day”, which a variety of radical forces including the PCR-RCP participated in heavily, organized a, Anti-Colonial May Day rally and march, and attracted some 100 people. They stopped at an Ottawa Police Services station, St. Patrick’s Basilica, and the Prime Minister’s Office to denounce these institutions for their historical and continued role in maintaining Canadian capitalism, imperialism, and settler-colonialism. Heavy rain prevented the marchers from burning an effigy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and so they contented themselves with smashing it to bits.

Peterborough – The PCR-RCP hosted a dinner which attracted local radicals and was accompanied by an educational talk.

Toronto – Comrades from the PCR-RCP initiated the May Day Coalition and brought together a variety of progressive and revolutionary forces under the slogan “Workers of the world: Unite against war and fascism!” A rally of some 500 people gathered and marched through the city’s west end, making links with a number of the city’s progressive organizations in the process.

Hamilton – Comrades from the PCR-RCP and Revolutionary Student Movement organized a red contingent for the May Day march which was organized by local anarchists. The rally, which was about 45 people, marched through the city’s downtown and a few working class areas.

Sudbury – PCR-RCP comrades in Sudbury kept up the tradition of having a high level of activity on May Day. Their 3rd annual Art Attack attracted a large number of working class families to have lunch and produce pro-communist art projects. They also held an afternoon matinee screening of the movie Comrades. All this was before their rally and march, dubbed a “Red Demonstration”, attracted around 30 people to march through town in the pouring rain. If this weren’t enough, they held a music festival in the proletarian Donovan district later that night!

Winnipeg – Comrades from the PCR-RCP Organizing Committee initiated a coalition of anti-capitalist forces to plan this year’s May Day. This was a special May Day in Winnipeg because it marks one year since Errol Greene was murdered at the Remand Centre, for which the prison guards were indirectly responsible. Because of this, a vigil at the remand centre was held before the May Day march where the RCP (OC) participated before leading the crowd of about 70 people to the legislative park. There a representative of the labour council and another from MEGU – the union which represents the prison guards – were met with jeers and heckles by the revolutionary forces.

Saskatoon – The PCR-RCP and IWW coordinated to initiate May Day organizing, then brought in a variety of forces to rally some 40 people in a park where they heard speeches on the history of May Day and the Haymarket Massacre, the necessity of militant mobilization and revolution, and a number of local initiatives. From there, they marched through a poor neighbourhood to City Hall and denounced the “progressive” mayor, whose idea of supporting the working class is to increase the police budget. Comrades said it loud and clear: “Austerity no more, this is fucking class war!”

The Party was certainly more active and more prominent this May Day than in previous years. The revolutionary, progressive and working-class organizations who partnered with us for this are too numerous to mention individually, but nearly everywhere the Party mobilized there was enthusiastic support and participation by the Revolutionary Student Movement and the new “Against Fascism” organizations.

If we think of May Day mobilizations as a road marker for how our work is progressing, we’re clearly on the right path, so let’s use the next year to build the revolutionary movement, make wider and deeper connections with the masses, win new forces over to revolutionary politics, and make next year’s May Day even better!

Expulsion of the Montreal and Valleyfield Cells of the Revolutionary Communist Party

Note: In the following document, reference is made to Montreal branches of mass organizations alongside the RCP cell in Montreal. Insofar as the old-ideas clique rejects the mass line and the role of independent mass organizations, it should be understood that it is more-or-less the same people in the MER Montreal, MRO Montreal, FFPR Montreal, Red Youth Front, the Montreal RCP cell, and the Quebec District leadership. Thus, while it would not make sense to, for instance, criticize the actions of the RSM in Ottawa when criticizing the RCP in Ottawa, in Montreal the “mass organizations” (small movements) and cell are much more directly linked than elsewhere.

It is with great sadness that the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR-RCP) announces the expulsion of the Montreal and Valleyfield cells of the PCR-RCP. While we recognize that this is a heavy-handed measure, our hand has been forced. The leadership of the Montreal cell has seized control of the Party’s website and is actively preventing communications between the Central Committee and the cells in Montreal and Valleyfield. Thus we are unable to discern to what extent the members of these cells agree support the actions of the old-ideas clique. As a result, insofar as these two cells ostensibly do not recognize the legitimacy of the Party leadership, we are left with no other choice than to expel the cells as a whole. We recognize that not all members of these cells support the obstructionist behaviour of the old-ideas clique; as we will outline below, we therefore invite any members of these cells who recognize the legitimate leadership of the Party to get in contact with us for re-admission into the Party.

We want to make clear that these expulsions are not a result of the ongoing line struggle (over the question of the mass line with subsidiary questions including proletarian feminism and the role of unions) in the Party. These expulsions are a result of organizational and procedural infractions: infractions which, if not addressed, undermine the entire party. The reason for the expulsions is as follows:

Failure to Initiate a Mandated Rectification Campaign

On March 5, the Central Committee mandated that the Montreal cell comply with a rectification campaign, intended to rectify the cell’s work. A copy of the Central Committee resolution has been included below as an addendum. Shortly after this was passed, the Montreal leadership declared the Central Committee illegitimate and has broken off communications. In this context, it has been impossible to launch the badly needed rectification campaign.

Use of Violence to Solve Political Disagreements

There has been a recent pattern of using violence towards others on the left as a means of solving political disagreements. The first incident occurred on March 4 at Maison Norman Bethune, where four supporters of the PCR-RCP attacked 3 other supporters of the PCR-RCP over the ongoing line struggle. On March 5, a member of the Central Committee was threateningly told to not go to the Maison Norman Bethune by one of the Montreal leadership. And more recently, there was the incident at Café Aquin, where two supporters of the PCR-RCP (who had already been expelled!) assaulted a barista because they were told not to poster. In each of these cases, the assailants have been totally unapologetic about their actions. We find this to be totally reprehensible conduct, and not a Maoist way of solving contradictions among the people.

-Pattern of Unwillingness to Struggle Politically

In line with the use of violence to solve political disagreements, there is an unwillingness on the part of the old-ideas clique to engage in any political struggle. We point here to the sudden departure of the MER Montreal from the MER-RSM without first struggling with the rest of the organization, sudden accounts of past leaders having been unhappy with the work of the Party for years despite not voicing criticisms at the time, and a repeated pattern at the last Congress whereby members of the old-ideas clique continually voted against having any sort of internal debate or discussion on contentious issues. The old-ideas clique also preferred intrigue to political struggle when the question of trans politics arose in the FFPR.

Interference with an Investigation into Sexual Assault Allegations

We recently received information that someone from the old-ideas clique allegedly sexually assaulted a former member of the Party. We want to make absolutely clear that these allegations were not made by the survivor, but rather by a third person, and not at the request of the survivor. The Central Committee has been investigating this issue since we first learned of it. Recently, some members of the old-ideas clique alleged to have received a letter from the survivor denying the allegations. However, the old-ideas clique has refused to turn over this letter to the Central Committee, making the investigation considerably more difficult. As a result, the investigation is still ongoing.

Transphobia

The old-ideas clique upholds transphobia under the guise of proletarian feminism. Specifically here we point to a number of events. A document titled “On the PFF and the Oppression of Women” was submitted to the last Congress by members of the Montreal FFPR and subsequently rejected by the Congress. This document rejects the idea that there is such a thing as “cis-sex”, and refers to trans women as simply men who, under the malaise of patriarchy, have decided to subject themselves to gender-based oppression. Aside from this document, a trans supporter of the Party in Montreal was pushed out of the FFPR and then ultimately the cell itself due to their gender identity and appearance. A member of the FFPR who questioned that decision was also ostracized. There was also a pattern of consistent misgendering of trans comrades by members of the old-ideas clique.

Theft

When the old-ideas clique declared the Central Committee to be illegitimate, they not only seized control of the Party website but also the majority of the Party’s resources. They were able to do so because many of the old-ideas clique constitute members of the “historical leadership group”; those that formally led the Party, but who are currently not on the Central Committee. The current Central Committee did not expect that there would be issues of this magnitude, and so saw no issue with the Party’s resources being held in the same locations they had been previously. As a result, the old-ideas clique has absconded with the majority of the party’s savings –a substantial amount after 10 years – and physical resources (including 1000 printed copies of the latest edition of our theoretical journal) while also leaving the Central Committee with the responsibility to repay previously incurred expenses.

-Rejection of Democratic Centralism

For some time now there have been issues with centralization of information to, and decentralization of decisions from the Central Committee to the Montreal cell. In part, this was due to the tacit rejection, on the part of the old-ideas clique, of the authority of the Central Committee. Instead, the old-ideas clique constituted a “second centre” which in essence made decisions for Quebec without involving the Central Committee. Issues arose previous to the recent events when the Montreal cell and the Quebec District (effectively the same people) both voted to “not-integrate” a transferred member, despite our Constitution being very clear that only the Central Committee has the authority to expel anyone. This issue came to a head when the old-ideas clique was no longer the majority of the Party’s leadership; the old-ideas clique unilaterally, representing only 15% of the Party’s membership at most, declared the Central Committee to be illegitimate and overturned the decision to expel the four supporters involved in the March 4 assault. Since declaring the Central Committee to be illegitimate, the old-ideas clique have travelled around Quebec attempting to get the Quebec branches to sign a document declaring the members of the old-ideas clique the legitimate leadership of the Party. Even in this blatant factional behaviour they refuse to abide by the democratic centralism of the Party, bypassing local leadership and instead going to “trusted” comrades for the endorsement. The old-ideas clique, insofar as they do not abide by the authority of the legitimate democratically elected Central Committee, has shown that they reject the democratic centralism of the PCR-RCP and instead give pride-of-place to their own subjective opinions.

While many of these issues are not new, the Central Committee had hoped that they could be solved through rectification. However, due to recent events we feel they are now serious enough to warrant the expulsion of the old-ideas clique, and by extension, the Montreal and Valleyfield cells.

As mentioned earlier, we are sure that these actions and positions are not reflective of all comrades in the Montreal and Valleyfield cells of the Party. However, because the old-ideas clique has made it impossible for us to contact members of these cells, we have been forced to expel the entire cells. To the comrades in these cells we want to make it clear: regardless of your position in the line struggle, if you recognize the current leadership as legitimate, please contact the Central Committee at: pcr.rcp.canada@gmail.com and you will be reinstated.

The Central Committee of the PCR-RCP would also like to take this time to apologize to the masses of Montreal for the very serious mistakes we have committed in the past. We apologize to the workers of Café Aquin for the recent assaults committed under the name of the Party. We apologize to queer and trans comrades for the transphobia of the Montreal cell and the FFPR. We apologize for the sectarianism of the former Montreal cell, specifically to the IWW. And we also apologize to the masses more broadly and those involved with the initiatives of the Montreal cell for the bureaucratic manner in which the cell oversaw its work, and the lack of importance it gave to independent mass initiatives. Further, we want to apologize to everyone affected by this unprincipled and antagonistic behaviour for our inability to reign in these destructive tendencies on the part of the old-ideas clique and prevent them from doing harm to others on the left and the masses more broadly.

Insofar as the Montreal and Valleyfield cells of the RCP have been expelled, the Central Committee requests that other people and organizations consider these facts. Until these individuals stop using the “Revolutionary Communist Party” name, we ask that they not be included in coalitions or other joint initiatives. Until many of these problems are rectified, it is the opinion of the Central Committee that the old-ideas clique should be politically isolated.

We would also like to take this opportunity to announce the launch of a new Organizing Committee in Montreal. In no uncertain terms, the Montreal RCP (OC) is the only legitimate representative of the RCP in Montreal. In turn they have begun mass work in earnest, with the launch of ROAR: a mass organization of queer revolutionaries. We applaud their tenacity and commitment to revolutionary politics in what is surely a volatile and difficult situation. We invite all other individuals and organizations in Montreal who are interested in working with the RCP to contact the RCP (OC) in Montreal.

In closing, it is unfortunate that we have been forced to expel the Montreal and Valleyfield cells. We recognize that many of the old-ideas clique were instrumental in bringing MLM to North America, and in the construction of the PCR-RCP. This is undoubtedly a step backwards for our organization, if only a short-term one. We hope that in time we can regain the trust of the masses of Montreal, and we know that with correct methods our work will recover in the Montreal region.

-The Central Committee of the PCR-RCP

——————

Addendum: Motion for Rectification in Montreal, Adopted March 5, 2017

Since the last Congress (though truthfully, since 2012 and the 2014 special congress) it has become apparent that there are problems with the work of the Montreal cell. At present, these errors on the part of Montreal not only threaten to lead to the stagnation of the work in Montreal, but also threaten the work of the Party in the rest of Quebec and Canada. This is not to say that there is no good work being done in Montreal, or that we do not appreciate the considerable sacrifice in time and resources that comrades in Montreal have devoted to the cause of revolution. However, we charge that there is an incorrect understanding of MLM amongst the comrades in Montreal, and errors in work. This document will highlight some of the errors, and will end with a proposal for a rectification campaign.

We want to make clear as well: this is not a punitive motion, and should not be interpreted as such. In fact, we see this as being less severe than the action the Central Committee took towards the Toronto cell in 2015, where the cell, due to incorrect approaches to work, was stripped of its cell status and turned into an organizing committee. We do not think that such a severe approach would be useful in rectifying the errors in Montreal.

 

Background

The current errors in Montreal were all, more-or-less, identified at the Third Congress, specifically in the document titled Assessment – Development of the Party and Proposals. It is worth noting that comrades from Montreal wrote this assessment, and that it was adopted at a time when comrades from Montreal constituted the majority of the Party. This document identified that: the work and expansion of the Party in Quebec had stagnated (#7), that the general level of work in Montreal was weak, that there had been the loss of several organizing committees in Quebec, that there had been an inability to develop cadres and intermediate leadership (#8), that the level of Marxism was low (#9), and that there was an irrational fear of economism which prevented the Party from properly deploying among the masses (#10). These problems mainly manifested in the Party’s incredibly poor showing during the 2012 student strikes: contrary to current interpretations that downplay the importance of the 2012 strikes, at the Third Congress we identified that the poor showing was “disastrous… our party slipped away, while it should have shone like never before.” The root cause of these problems was identified as the failure of the historical leading group of the Party: it was no longer to issue “clear and relevant” proposals, and as a result was deemed no longer able to “propel the party forward.”

The Congress was tasked to elect a new leadership, and re-constitute a new direction for the party. In this it was partially successful: while a number of good resolutions and perspectives were passed, shortly after the Congress the majority of the new Central Committee either resigned or fell ill. As such, despite the party entering the fastest period of growth in its history, the rectification was uneven.

The central problem seems to be that instead of the cell in Montreal internalizing the results of the Third Party Congress, the cell in Montreal has instead decided to forget the Third Party Congress and repeat the errors that led to the need for a special congress in the first place. That this was able to occur speaks to the weakness of the leadership of the Party during the period between the Third and Fourth Congresses.

 

Identification of Problems

Before listing the current perceived problems in the work of the Montreal cell, it should be noted that one of the central problems – a shroud of mystery around the affairs of Montreal – makes it difficult at many times to speak concretely. We are open to these criticisms being incorrect; however, the central problem of a lack of clarity from Montreal underlines this issue. We will add that in the past it has been difficult for Central Committee resolutions and decisions to reach Montreal, and in turn, the Central Committee seldom received reports from Montreal, nor was called on to inform or comment on the work of the Montreal cell.

First, the main issue, as stated earlier, is the fact that the Montreal cell has not internalized the resolutions of the Third Congress. Following from this: there appears to be an inability to build new leadership outside of the old leading group (and certainly outside of the perspectives of the old leadership group!). We also identify that there seems to have been a large turnover of membership within Montreal that has not been accounted for; membership of the cell seems to be more-or-less what it was in 2014, despite several new comrades being brought in. We note that on the part of the Quebec district leadership (which, insofar as it is cohesive with the Montreal leadership, bleeds together these issues) there has not been an account of why the Party has failed to expand across Quebec since 2014.

We note that from what we have heard about the life of the Montreal cell, there is no regular criticism/self-criticism; it does not appear to be done at meetings of the cell. Indeed, this seems to have translated into the general culture of the Party in Quebec, and indicates why there has not been systematic attempts to rectify incorrect conceptions and learn from mistakes. As a result, the Quebec district, instead of learning from past mistakes, seems committed to repeat them: the relaunching of the Partisan, the relaunching of the Red Youth Front, and the relaunching of the RWM according to its previous unsuccessful mode of deployment all point to this.

Another error in the practice of the cell is the failure to properly integrate a comrade, and their subsequent exclusion. We state, in no uncertain terms, that cells do not have the right to not-integrate Party members. This action implies that cells have the right to expel members, a responsibility which our Constitution very clearly states only the Central Committee has. Realizing the mistake, comrades from Montreal instead turned to bureaucratic and legalistic justifications for the error. Since then there has been no attempt to self-criticize for the errors, nor has the comrade been integrated. In turn, another comrade from the PFF who reached out to the comrade who was not integrated properly was also excluded from the PFF, indicating a cliquish mentality, and a troubling culture in what was and should be a vibrant mass organization.

More broadly, the conception of the mass line by the comrades in Montreal is incorrect, and is out of step with the rest of the Party. Instead of understanding the importance of initiative from the masses and the role of the Party as a political leadership, the cell in Montreal advances a bureaucratic understanding of the mass line which subordinates all mass organizations to a position of being simply sector-based detachments of the party. This indicates that there is a fear of independent initiative from the masses, as well as a fear of the Party’s inability to politically lead the masses. It is a commandist error, and will prohibit the Party from growing and expanding its influence.

[We have redacted a short section at the beginning of this paragraph whose inclusion would necessarily have outed a few comrades as Party members. In short, it pertains to the Montreal cell ignoring a directive from the CC concerning local members’ participation in the RSM]. Furthermore, we note that even after bringing up this error at the Central Committee, and mandating the members of the Central Committee from Montreal to ensure that the RSM in Montreal participate in the Pan-Canadian RSM, the Montreal cell did not ensure that the Montreal RSM attended the 6th Pan-Canadian Congress of the RSM, nor did they find a replacement member for the Coordinating Committee of the RSM. This, in our opinion, represents a deliberate attempt to undermine a Party initiative, flies in the face of the established trajectory of the party (flirting with a breach of democratic centralism), and is totally unacceptable. Even if the local RSM section and Party cell disagreed with the approach of the Pan-Canadian RSM (over which, we should add, the RCP has considerable political influence), it should have attended and struggled through issues of line with other comrades: this is the Maoist way of doing work. In light of this, as well as the poor and antagonistic attitude of Montreal RSM members in the Party, we find the sudden cancellation of the Montreal Congress of the RSM in November to be worthy of investigation. If nothing else, the lack of effort to find a new venue –as confirmed by a Central Committee member who was in Montreal at the time – is worthy of a more thorough investigation into this issue.

We also suggest that the cell in Montreal advances an overly clandestine approach to mass work, choosing tactics which do not necessarily fit the situation. Here we point to the November 2 Day of Action, where RSM comrades did a banner drop. However, instead of using the banner drop as a means of engaging with the masses, distributing propaganda, and having conversations (potentially bringing new comrades closer), the RSM comrades stood apart from the masses by “blocing up.” The result was, to be frank, embarrassing, and reflected poorly on the RSM and the Party.

We also add here the hostility towards other organizations, such as the IWW: the “Limits of the IWW” event was needlessly sectarian, and was only saved by the good-graces of IWW members in attendance. Especially egregious was the position that the IWW’s activity actually did not need to be investigated in order to critique it.

One of the more egregious errors is the prevalence of trans-exclusionary and transphobic politics within the Montreal cell under the veneer of Proletarian Feminism. Not only are these politics absolutely vile –communists should be tribunes of the oppressed, not contributing to oppression – but they are incorrect as well. Instead of a genuine Proletarian Feminism, the conception in Montreal is simply radical feminism with a Marxist veneer.

There is a general attitude of dogmatism amongst comrades in Montreal. Comrades uphold certain internal texts and the Programme, as being infallible, despite the Party having already identified shortcomings in these texts. In the place of critical thinking and a scientific approach to work, there is a dogmatic and religious approach to theory. We point here to the comrades in Montreal voting systematically at the Congress against internal debates over the mass line, proletarian feminism, and other issues. As a result, the cell in Montreal continues to rely on vague, bombastic declarations rather than concrete proposals. This was a problem indicated at the Third Congress of the Party, as was identified in the Assessment.

Finally, we also note the level of antagonism currently shown by the comrades in Montreal to the rest of the organization. There seems to be an overwhelming attitude that comrades from outside of Quebec are not worth engaging with, are inherently Liberal, or are somehow compromised politically. We point here to conduct during the Congress, the Quebec District Plan, and reports we have heard from the Quebec district Congress. Such an attitude is not conducive to building political unity, and serves to fracture the organization.

It is clear that there are numerous errors in Montreal, which are bleeding into the work of the entire Quebec district. The question now becomes: how do we solve these problems.

 

Rectification

As was earlier noted, there is a veil of mystery around the operations of the Party in Montreal. As a result of this, we are not confident that we can pinpoint the root of the problem, either in terms of individuals, mistaken attitudes, or other sources.

To that end, we propose the following steps towards rectifying these mistaken ideas.

  1. Investigation – The General Secretary will meet individually with every member of the Party in Quebec. All members of the Party are required to cooperate with the rectification process. The GS will conduct interviews with these comrades in order to discern their attitudes towards a number of issues. Questions will include:
    1. What is your opinion of the development of the Party in your city?
    2. What is your opinion of the development of the Party in Quebec?
    3. What is your opinion of the development of the Party throughout Canada?
    4. To what extent has information on the development of the Party throughout Canada been made available to you?
    5. Evaluate your cell meetings. Do you feel as though you have political ownership over the direction of the Party? What is done well? What can be improved?
    6. What role does criticism and self-criticism play, concretely, in the work that you do?
    7. What is your understanding of the mass line?
    8. What is your evaluation of the current debates on line (proletarian feminism, the mass line, role of unions) ongoing within the Party?
    9. What is your evaluation of the Third and Fourth Congresses?
    10. What steps have been taken to implement the decisions of the Third Congresses?

Questions are not limited to these, and should seek to uncover the basic opinions of Party members on the life of the Party.

The GS should also meet with as many forces external to the Party as possible (failed integrations, people who have left, mass organizations, other organizations, etc.) to get a sense of what the general perception of the Party is among the masses.

  1. Report – The GS will prepare a report for the Central Committee containing the results of this investigation. The report should be comprehensive, and should indicate the contours of opinions (including majority and minority opinions) on these questions.
  2. Action – Upon receiving the report, the Central Committee will decide what rectification actions need to be taken, tailored to address the specific conditions in Quebec.

 

We believe that if this plan for rectification is followed, it can only have a positive outcome, and can only result in greater political unity amongst revolutionary forces across Canada.

 

 

Expulsion des cellules de Montréal et de Valleyfield du Parti communiste révolutionnaire

Note : Dans le document qui suit, l’on fait référence aux branches montréalaises d’organisations de masses aux côtés de la cellule montréalaise du PCR. Jusqu’à présent, comme la clique des vieilles idées rejette la ligne de masse et le rôle indépendant des organisations de masses, il devrait être entendu que ce sont plus ou moins les mêmes personnes dans le MER-Montréal, le MRO-Montréal, le FFPR-Montréal, le Front rouge des jeunes, la cellule de Montréal et le leadership du District du Québec. Ainsi, bien qu’il serait insensé, par exemple, d’agglomérer les actions du MER-Ottawa alors que l’on critique le PCR à Ottawa, à Montréal lesdites « organisations de masses » (petits mouvements) et la cellule sont beaucoup plus directement liées qu’ailleurs.

C’est d’une immense tristesse que le Comité Central du Parti communiste révolutionnaire (PCR-RCP) annonce l’expulsion des cellules de Montréal et de Valleyfield du Parti. Alors que nous reconnaissons que ceci est une mesure très sévère, elle l’a été forcée de notre main. Le leadership de Montréal a saisi le contrôle du site internet du Parti et est activement en train de prévenir les communications entre le Comité Central et les cellules de Montréal et Valleyfield. Ainsi nous sommes incapables de discerner quelle est l’étendue des membres qui soutiennent les gestes de la clique des vieilles idées. Par conséquent, dans la mesure où ces deux cellules ne reconnaissent apparemment pas la légitimité de la direction du Parti, nous ne sommes laissés qu’avec aucun autre choix que d’expulser les cellules dans leur ensemble. Nous reconnaissons que ce ne sont pas tous les membres de ces cellules qui soutiennent le comportement obstructionniste de la clique des vieilles idées ; comme nous le délimiterons ci-dessous, nous invitons tous les membres de ces cellules qui reconnaissent le leadership légitime du Parti d’entrer en contact avec nous pour une réadmission dans les rangs du Parti.

Nous désirons rendre explicite que ces expulsions ne sont pas le résultat de la lutte de ligne en cours dans le Parti (sur la question de la ligne de masse avec des questions subsidiaires, dont le féminisme prolétarien et le rôle des syndicats). Ces expulsions sont le résultat d’infractions organisationnelles et procédurales – des infractions qui porteront gravement atteinte au Parti si laissées intraitées. Les raisons pour les expulsions vont comme suit :

Défaut d’initier une campagne de rectification mandatée

Le 5 mars, le Comité Central a mandaté la cellule de Montréal de se conformer à une campagne de rectification ayant pour but de rectifier le travail de la cellule. Une copie de cette résolution du CC a été inclue ci-joint en annexe. Peu de temps après que cela n’ait été décidé, le leadership de Montréal a déclaré le CC illégitime et a rompu les communications. Dans ce contexte, il a été impossible de lancer cette cruciale campagne de rectification.

-Usage de la violence afin de résoudre des désaccords politiques

Récemment, un schéma d’utilisation de la violence s’est développé envers autrui parmi la gauche comme moyen de résoudre les désaccords politiques.  Le premier incident a eu lieu le 4 mars à la Maison Norman Bethune, où quatre sympathisants du PCR-RCP ont attaqué trois autres sympathisants du PCR-RCP sur la base de la lutte de ligne en cours. Le 5 mars, un membre du Comité central a été menacé de ne pas se rendre à la Maison Norman Bethune par l’un des dirigeants montréalais. Plus récemment, il y a eu l’incident au Café Aquin, où deux membres du PCR-RCP (qui avaient déjà été expulsés!) ont agressé un barista parce qu’on leur avait dit de ne pas faire d’affichage. Dans chacun de ces cas, les assaillants n’ont absolument pas affiché quelque regret que ce soit quant à leurs actions. Nous trouvons que c’est une conduite totalement répréhensible, et non une manière maoïste de résoudre les contradictions entre au sein du Peuple.

-Schéma de désintérêt à lutter politiquement

De pair avec l’usage de la violence pour traiter de désaccords politiques, nous observons un désintérêt de la clique des vieilles idées à s’engager dans toute lutte politique. Notons ici le soudain départ du MER-Montréal du MER-RSM sans lutter au préalable avec le reste de l’organisation, la manifestation soudaine du déplaisir des dirigeants précédents avec le travail du Parti dans les dernières années sans rendre explicites leurs critiques en temps opportun, et un schéma répété au dernier Congrès où des membres de la clique des vieilles idées votaient continuellement contre toute possibilité de débat interne ou de discussion sur les questions litigieuses. La clique des vieilles idées a également préféré l’intrigue à la lutte politique quand la question des politiques trans sont survenues dans le FFPR.

Interférence dans une investigation à propos d’allégations d’abus sexuels

Nous avons récemment reçu des informations selon lesquelles quelqu’un de la clique des vieilles idées aurait agressé sexuellement un ancien membre du Parti. Avant tout, nous désirons rendre abondamment clair que ces accusations n’ont pas été faites par la survivante, mais plutôt par une tierce personne et pas à la demande de la survivante. Le Comité Central avait entamé une investigation dès que cette question nous avait été soulevée. Récemment, un membre de la clique des vieilles idées a déclaré avoir reçu une lettre de la survivante niant ces accusations. Cependant, la clique des vieilles idées a refusé de transmettre la lettre au Comité Central, rendant ainsi l’investigation considérablement plus difficile. En conséquence, l’enquête est toujours en cours.

Transphobie

La clique des vieilles idées défend la transphobie sous le couvert du féminisme prolétarien. Plus précisément ici, nous faisons référence à un certain nombre d’éléments. Un document intitulé « Sur le FFP et l’Oppression des femmes » avait été soumis par des membres du FFPR-Montréal et subséquemment rejeté par le Congrès. Ce document rejette l’idée qu’il existerait les « cisgenres » et réfèrent aux femmes trans comme simplement des hommes, qui sous le malaise du patriarcat, ont décidé de s’assujettir à l’oppression de genre. Mise à part de ce document, une supporter trans du Parti à Montréal a été mise du côté dans le FFPR et ultimement de la cellule elle-même dû à son identité et son apparence. Une camarade du FFPR qui a questionné la décision fut également ostracisée. Nous avons également relevé un schéma de constante mauvaise utilisation des pronoms appropriés par les membres de la clique des vieilles idées.

Vol

Lorsque la clique des vieilles idées a déclaré que le Comité Central comme étant supposément illégitime, elle ne s’est pas seulement saisie du site internet du Parti, mais aussi de la majorité de ses ressources. Ils étaient capables de faire ainsi étant donné que plusieurs de la clique des vieilles idées constituaient le « leadership historique du groupe » – ceux qui menaient autrefois le Parti, mais qui ne siègent présentement pas sur le Comité Central. Le Comité Central ne s’attendait pas à ce qu’il y aurait des problèmes de cette magnitude et ne voyait aucun problème à ce que les ressources soient tenues aux mêmes endroits que dans le passé. En conséquence, la clique des vieilles idées s’est défilée avec la majorité des économies du Parti – un montant substantiel après 10 ans – ainsi que ses ressources physiques (incluant plus de 1000 copies-papier de la dernière parution de notre journal théorique) tout en laissant le Comité Central avec la responsabilité de rembourser les dépenses faites en notre nom.

-Rejet du centralisme démocratique

Depuis un bon moment, nous avons de sérieux problèmes avec la centralisation de l’information, ainsi que la décentralisation des décisions, entre le Comité central et la cellule de Montréal. D’une part, ceci était en conséquence du refus de la clique des vieilles idées de reconnaître l’autorité du Comité central. Au contraire, cette clique a pris la décision de constituer un « deuxième centre » qui se chargeait de prendre de décision pour le Québec sans impliquer le Comité central. Des problèmes sont donc survenus lorsque la cellule de Montréal et le District du Québec (effectivement les mêmes personnes) ont voté pour « non-intégré » un membre transféré d’une autre ville, malgré le fait que la constitution du parti dit très clairement que seul le Comité central a l’autorité d’expulser des membres. Ceci est devenu encore plus problématique lorsque la clique des vieilles idées, qui ne représentait plus la majorité du parti avec uniquement 15% de l’effectif, a déclaré le comité central comme non légitime et a annulé sa décision d’expulser les 4 membres responsables de l’assaut du 4 mars 2017. Depuis, cette clique a voyagé partout au Québec en tentant de faire signer au membre un document qui déclare la clique des vieilles idées comme la direction légitime du parti. Même ici, dans leur comportement factionnel flagrant, ils refusent de suivre les procédures du centralisme démocratique de l’organisation, contournant la direction locale pour discuter avec des « camarades à qui on fait confiance » dans le but d’avoir un support de la région. La clique des vieilles idées nous a démontré qu’ils rejettent le centralisme démocratique du PCR-RCP pour favoriser leur propre vision orgueilleuse et subjective.

 

Bien que plusieurs des problèmes discutés ci-haut ne sont pas nouveaux, le comité central espérait les résoudre par un processus de rectification. Cela étant dit, avec les actions récentes nous croyons maintenant que ces problèmes soient assez importants pour justifier l’expulsion totale de la clique de vieilles idées, et par conséquent, les cellules de Montréal et Valleyfield.

Comme nous avons mentionné plus tôt, nous sommes certains que ces actions et positions ne reflètent pas la totalité des camarades à Montréal et Valleyfield. Malheureusement, en conséquence du fait que la clique des vieilles idées nous a rendu la communication avec eux impossible, nous n’avons pas le choix d’expulser les cellules de façon entière. Au camarade dans ses cellules nous voulons rendre de quoi très clair; peu importe votre opinion dans la lutte de ligne présentement, si vous reconnaissez la direction officielle du parti, contactez le comité central à : pcr.rcp.canada@gmail.com et vous serez réintégré.

Le comité central du PCR-RCP aimerait aussi prendre cette opportunité pour s’excuser aux masses montréalaises pour les erreurs sérieuses que nous avons commises dans le passé. Nous nous excusons auprès des travailleurs du Cafée Aquin pour l’assaut physique qui s’est déroulé dans leur lieu de travail sous le nom de notre parti. Nous nous excusons pour les camarades queer et trans pour la transphobie commise de la part de la cellule montréalaise, le MER, et le FFPR. Nous nous excusons pour le sectarisme de l’ancienne cellule de Montréal, en particulier à l’IWW. Et nous nous excusons aussi aux masses en général, celles et ceux impliqués dans les initiatives de la cellule de Montréal pour les manières bureaucratiques de leur direction ainsi que pour leur non-respect des organisations de masses automne. Finalement nous aimerons aussi nous excuser à tout le monde affecté par ces comportements antagonistes et sans principes pour notre inhabilité d’arrêter ces tendances destructives de la part de la clique des vieilles idées ainsi que pour le mal qu’ils ont commis à la gauche et aux masses montréalaises.

Dans le but de consolider l’expulsion de ces deux cellules problématique, le Comité central du PCR-RCP demande aux gens et aux organisations de considérer les demandes suivantes : tant que ces individus s’organisent sous le titre du « Parti communiste révolutionnaire », nous demandons qu’ils ne soient pas inclus dans des coalition ou autre initiative de gauche. Tant que les comportements problématiques perdurent, c’est l’opinion du Comité centrale que la clique des vieilles idées devrait être complètement isolée au niveau politique.

Nous voulons aussi prendre cette opportunité pour annoncer le lancement d’un nouveau comité d’organisation à Montréal. En termes clairs, le PCR(CO)-Montréal est la seule représentation légitime du PCR-RCP à Montréal. Illes ont commencé du travail de masses avec le lancement de ROAR, une organisation révolutionaire queer. Nous applaudissons leur ténacité et leur engagement à la politique révolutionnaire dans ce qui est sans doute une situation volatile et difficile. Nous invitons tous les autres individus et organisations à Montréal qui sont intéressés par le PCR-RCP de contacter le PRC(CO)-Montréal.

En conclusion, il est décevant que nous devions expulser les cellules de Montréal et Valleyfield. Nous reconnaissons que plusieurs membres de la clique des vieilles idées étaient instrumentales dans l’établissement d’une politique MLM en Amérique du Nord et dans la construction du PCR-RCP. Ceci est sans doute un pas vers l’arrière pour notre organisation, même si ce n’est que temporaire. Nous espérions qu’avec le temps nous pourrions regagner la confiance des masses montréalaises. Et qu’avec nos méthodes correctes de travail nous pourrons rebâtir le PCR à Montréal.

– Le Comité central du PCR-RCP

–————————————————————————————–

Addendum: Motion pour la rectification à Montréa, adopté le 5 mars 2017

Depuis le dernier Congrès (quoi qu’à vrai dire, depuis les congrès spéciaux de 2012 et de 2014), il est devenu apparent qu’il y a des problèmes avec le travail de la cellule de Montréal. Présentement, ces erreurs de la part de Montréal ne menacent pas seulement de mener à la stagnation du travail à Montréal, mais menacent aussi le travail du parti dans le reste du Québec et du Canada. Ça ne veut pas dire qu’il n’y a pas de bon travail effectué à Montréal, ou que nous n’apprécions pas les sacrifices considérables en temps et en ressources que les camarades montréalais ont voué à la cause de la révolution. Cependant, nous affirmons qu’il y a une compréhension incorrecte du MLM parmi les camarades à Montréal, et des erreurs dans le travail. Ce document soulignera certaines de ces erreurs, et terminera avec une proposition pour une campagne de rectification.

Nous voulons également être clairs : ceci n’est pas une motion punitive, et ne devrait pas être interpretée de cette façon. En fait, nous voyons ceci comme étant moins sévère que l’action entreprise par le comité central auprès de la cellule de Toronto en 2015, quand la cellule, en raison d’approches incorrectes par rapport au travail, s’est vue retirée son statut de cellule et a été reconvertie en comité d’organisation. Nous ne pensons pas qu’une approche aussi sévère serait utile pour rectifier les erreurs à Montréal.

 

Contexte

Les erreurs actuelles de Montréal ont plus ou moins toutes été identifiées au troisième Congrès, spécifiquement dans le document titré Assessment – Development of the Party and Proposals. Il vaut la peine de mentionner que des camarades de Montréal ont écrit cette évaluation, et qu’elle a été adoptée à un temps où les camarades de Montréal constituaient la majorité du parti. Ce document a identifié que : le travail et la croissance du parti au Québec avait stagné (#7), que le niveau général du travail à Montréal était faible, que plusieurs comités d’organisations au Québec avaient été perdus, qu’il y avait une incapacité à développer des cadres et du leadership intermédiaire (#8), que le niveau du marxisme était faible (#9), qu’il y avait une peur irrationnelle de l’économisme qui empêchait le parti de se déployer proprement parmi les masses (#10). Ces problèmes se sont manifesté surtout par la performance incroyablement faible du parti pendant la grève étudiante de 2012 : contrairement aux interprétations actuelles qui minimisent l’importance de la grève de 2012, au troisième Congrès nous avons identifié que notre performance était «désastreuse… notre parti s’est éclipsé, alors qu’il aurait dû brillé comme jamais auparavant.» La racine de ces problèmes a été identifiée comme étant l’échec du groupe de leadership historique du parti : ce groupe n’était plus capable de faire des propositions «claires et pertinentes», et a été considéré incapable de «mener le parti vers l’avant.»

Le congrès a reçu comme tâche d’élire un nouveau parti, et de reconstituer une nouvelle direction pour le parti. En cela, il a en partie réussi : quoi qu’un bon nombre de bonnes résolutions et de perspectives ont été passées, peu après le congrès, la majorité du comité central a soit démissionné ou est tombée malade. Ainsi, malgré l’entrée du parti dans la plus grande période de croissance de son histoire, la rectification a été inégale.

Le problème central semble être que la cellule de Montréal, plutôt que d’internaliser les résultats du troisième congrès du parti, a décidé plutôt d’oublier le troisième congrès du parti et de répéter les erreurs qui ont menées à la tenue de ce congrès spécial en premier lieu. Que cela ait pu se produire montre la faiblesse du leadership du parti pendant la période entre le troisième et le quatrième congrès.

 

Identification de problèmes

Avant de faire une liste des problèmes perçus actuellement dans le travail de la cellule de Montréal, il devrait être noté qu’un des problèmes centraux – un voile de mystère autour des affaires de Montréal – rend souvent difficile une prise de parole concrète. Nous sommes ouverts et ouvertes à ce que ces critiques soient incorrectes; cependant, le problème central d’un manque de clarté provenant de Montréal souligne ce fait. Nous ajouterons que dans le passé il a été difficile pour les résolutions et les décisions du comité central de se rendre à Montréal, réciproquement, le comité central a rarement reçu des rapports de Montréal, ou n’a pas reçu d’appels à informer où à commenter sur le travail de la cellule de Montréal.

Premièrement, le problème principal, comme dit précédemment, est le fait que la cellule de Montréal n’a pas internalisé les résolutions du troisième congrès. Suvant cela : il semble qu’il y a une incapacité à bâtir un nouveau leadership hors du vieux groupe dirigeant (et certainement en dehors des perspectives du vieux groupe dirigeant !). Nous identifions qu’il semble qu’il y ait eu un grand roulement du membership qui n’a pas été expliqué; le membership de la cellule semble être plus ou moins le même qu’en 2014, malgré plusieurs nouveaux et nouvelles camarades inclus. Nous notons que de la part du leadership du district du Québec (ce qui, dans la mesure où il est solidaire avec le leadership de Montréal, met ensemble ces problèmes), il n’y a pas eu d’explications sur pourquoi le parti n’a pas réussi à croître au Québec depuis 2014.

Nous notons que de ce que nous avons entendu à propos de la vie au sein de la cellule de Montréal, il n’y a aucune pratique régulière de la critique et de l’auto-critique; ça ne semble pas être fait aux réunions de cellule du parti. En effet, il semble que ça se soit transmis dans la culture générale du partie au Québec, et indique pourquoi il n’y a pas eu de tentatives systématiques de rectifier des conceptions incorrectes et d’apprendre de ses erreurs. Par conséquent, le district du Québec, plutôt que d’apprendre de ces erreurs passées, semble voué à les répéter : le relancement du Partisan, le relancement du Front rouge des Jeunes, le relancement du MRO selon son ancien mode de déploiement pointe tous vers cela.

Une autre erreur dans la pratique de la cellule est l’incapacité à intégrer proprement un camarade, et son exclusion subséquente. Nous stipulons, en termes sans équivoques, que les cellules n’ont pas le droit de ne pas intégrer des membres du parti. Cette action implique que les cellules ont le droit d’expulser des membres, une responsabilité que seul le comité central possède, tel que mentionné très clairement dans la Constitution. Réalisant cette erreur les camarades de Montréal ont décidé de trouver des justifications bureaucratiques et légalistes pour leur erreur. Depuis ce temps, il n’y a eu aucune tentative d’autocritique pour ces erreurs, et la camarade n’a pas été intégrée. Ensuite, une camarade du FFP qui a tenté de joindre le camarade exclu a aussi été exclue du FFP, indiquant une mentalité de clique, et une culture troublante sur ce qu’est et ce que devrait être une organisation de masse vibrante.

De façon plus générale, la conception de la ligne de masse des camarades de Montréal est incorrecte, et est déphasée du reste du parti. Plutôt que de comprendre l’importance de l’initiative des masses et du rôle du parti comme leadership politique, la cellule de Montréal avance une compréhension bureaucratique de la ligne de masse qui subordonne toutes les organisations de masses à n’être simplement que des détachements spécifiques du parti. Cela indique qu’il y a une peur des initiatives indépendantes des masses, en plus d’une peur de l’incapacité du parti à mener politiquement les masses. C’est une erreur de commandisme, qui empêchera la croissance du parti et l’expansion de son influence.

[Nous avons exclu une courte section au début de ce paragraphe qui, si inclus, aurait identifié certains camarades comme membres du Parti. En bref, le paragraphe se rapporte à la cellule de Montréal qui ignore les directives du CC sur la participation de membres locaux dans le MER]. De plus, nous notons que même après avoir mentionné cette erreur au CC et d’avoir mandaté les membres du CC de Montréal de s’assurer que le MER participe au MER pancanadien, la cellule de Montréal ne s’est pas assurée que le MER de Montréal participe au 6e congrès du MER. Ils n’ont aussi pas trouvé de remplaçants pour le comité de coordination du MER. Ceci est, selon nous, une tentative d’affaiblir l’initiative du Parti qui va à l’encontre de la trajectoire établie du Parti (se rapprochant d’une brèche du centralisme démocratique), ce qui est complètement inacceptable. Même si le MER et la cellule locale sont en désaccord avec l’approche du MER pancanadien (dans lequel, il faut dire, le PCR possède une grande influence), ils auraient dû participer et lutter avec leurs camarades sur la ligne politique : ceci est la façon dont travaille les maoïstes. À la lumière de tout ceci, en plus de l’attitude antagoniste des membres du MER de Montréal dans le Parti, nous trouvons que l’annulation soudaine du congrès à Montréal du MER mérite d’être examinée. Si pour aucune autre raison que le manque d’effort mis pour trouver un nouveau lieu pour le congrès – ce qui est confirmé par un membre du CC qui était à Montréal à ce temps – mérite aussi d’être examiné plus profondément.

Nous maintenons aussi que la cellule de Montréal a une approche clandestine au travail de masse, choisissant des tactiques qui ne correspondent pas nécessairement à la situation. Ici nous faisons référence à la Journée d’action du 2 Novembre où les camarades ont suspendu une bannière. Par contre, plutôt que d’utiliser cette action pour s’engager avec les masses, de distribuer de la propagande ou de discuter avec des gens, les camarades du MER se sont tenus à part pour former un « bloc ». Le résultat est franchement embarrassant et représente mal le MER et le Parti.

Nous voulons aussi ajouter l’hostilité envers d’autres organisations telles que l’événement « Limites du IWW » qui était inutilement sectaire et qui a été sauvé par la bonne foi des membres du IWW présents. Particulièrement flagrante était la déclaration que l’activité du IWW n’avait pas besoin d’être investiguée afin d’en faire une critique.

Une des pires erreurs est la présence de politiques transphobe et transexclusive dans la cellule de Montréal sous le vernis de Féminisme prolétarien. Non seulement ces politiques sont-elles viles – les communistes devraient être des tribuns des gens opprimés et ne devraient pas contribuer à l’oppression –  elles sont incorrectes. Au lieu d’un féminisme prolétarien, la conception à Montréal est simplement un féminisme radical avec un vernis marxiste.

Il y a une attitude dogmatique parmi les camarades de Montréal. Les camarades défendent certains documents internes et le Programme comme étant infaillible, malgré le fait que le Parti a déjà identifier des lacunes dans ces textes. Au lieu de pensée critique et une approche scientifique au travail, il y a une approche dogmatique et religieuse à la théorie. Nous soulignons ici les camarades de Montréal qui votent systématiquement au Congrès contre des débats sur la ligne de masse, le féminisme prolétarien et autres questions. Par conséquent, la cellule de Montréal continue de compter sur des déclarations vagues et grandiloquentes plutôt que des propositions concrètes. C’est un problème apporté au troisième Congrès du Parti, tel qu’identifié dans l’Évaluation.

Finalement, nous voulons noter le niveau d’antagonisme entre les camarades de Montréal et le reste de l’organisation. Il semble y avoir une attitude prédominante qu’il ne vaut pas la peine d’engager avec les camarades à l’extérieur du Québec, qu’ils sont intrinsèquement Libéraux ou qu’ils soient politiquement compromis. Nous faisons référence aux comportements lors du Congrès, le Plan du District du Québec et les rapports que nous avons reçus du Congrès du District du Québec. Une telle attitude n’est pas propice à la construction de l’unité politique et sert à fracasser l’organisation.

 

Rectification

Comme mentionné plus haut, il y a un air de mystère autour des actions du Parti à Montréal. En conséquence, nous ne sommes pas sûrs d’être capables de localiser la cause du problème, soit en termes d’individus, attitudes ou autres sources.

À cette fin, nous proposons les étapes suivantes afin de corriger ces idées erronées.

  1. Investigation – Le secrétaire général rencontrera individuellement chaque membre du Parti au Québec. Tous les membres du Parti sont requis de coopérés avec le processus de rectification. Le SG devra effectuer des entrevues avec ces camarades afin de discerner leurs attitudes sur plusieurs sujets. Les questions incluront :
    1. Quelle est votre opinion sur le développement du Parti dans votre ville?
    2. Quelle est votre opinion sur le développement du Parti au Québec?
    3. Quelle est votre opinion sur le développement du Parti au Canada?
    4. Dans quelle mesure l’information sur le développement du Parti au Canada est-elle disponible pour vous?
    5. Évalue vos rencontres de cellule. Croyez-vous posséder un contrôle politique sur la direction du Parti? Qu’est-ce qui va bien? Que pourrait être améliorer?
    6. Quel est le rôle de la critique et de l’autocritique, concrètement, dans votre travail politique?
    7. Quelle est votre compréhension de la ligne de masse?
    8. Quelle est votre évaluation des débats actuels (féminisme prolétarien, la ligne de masse, rôle des syndicats) à l’intérieur du Parti?
    9. Quelle est votre évaluation des troisièmes et quatrièmes Congrès?
    10. Quelles étapes ont été prises pour implémenter les décisions du troisième Congrès?

Les questions ne seront pas limitées à celles-ci, et devront découvrir les opinions de base des membres sur la vie du Parti.

  1. Rapport – Le SG préparera un rapport pour le Comité central contenant les résultats de l’enquête. Le rapport devra être compréhensif et devra indiquer la diversité d’opinions (incluant les opinions majoritaires et minoritaires) sur ces questions.
  2. Action – Après la réception du rapport, le Comité central décidera quelles actions de rectification devront être prises, adaptées aux conditions spécifiques au Québec.

 

Nous croyons que si ce plan de rectification est suivi, le résultat ne peut être que positif et mènera à une plus grande unité politique parmi les forces révolutionnaires au Canada.

 

International declaration for May Day 2017: Red, Revolutionary, Internationalist May Day!

This year marks the Centenary of the October Revolution. Imperialists, reactionaries, reformists, and all kinds of opportunists are making efforts to delete, obscure, denigrate and sully this event, as they did last year with the 50th anniversary of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. They do so because they know that the great message coming from these events for the proletarians and the masses is more and more present. To get rid of imperialism, capitalism, war, exploitation of the proletariat and oppression of peoples we must make the proletarian revolution! The working class must tear off the political power from the ruling classes, establish its power, its state─the dictatorship of the proletariat─and construct socialism; it must develop and continue the revolution in each country and in the world to get rid of all the chains of imperialism and march towards communism world-wide.

The imperialist system shows to be what Lenin analysed and described in his great work “Imperialism highest stage of capitalism”: a rotten and decadent system. Imperialism and its governments, at all latitudes, continue crossing a deep economic and financial, political and social crisis, and unload their crisis on the proletarians and the masses internally, and on the oppressed people and nations internationally. Imperialism is economic war, war of aggression and looting for a new division of the world. Imperialism is reaction and fascism. Imperialism is the last stage of capitalism and shows every day more the need to overthrow it. That is why the message of Lenin and the October Revolution is more alive than ever!

In the US, under the strongest imperialism, Trump’s victory reflects the crisis of Yankee imperialism and its attempt to get out of that accentuating the economic war, the military rule, the control on geopolitical strategic regions, redefining the alliances in the different theatres of war in the world. Trump’s victory shows the barbarity of the so-called “American democracy”: a fascist billionaire in power, waging war against the poor masses internally and the oppressed peoples internationally. Trump’s victory feeds, in all imperialist countries, the reaction, the police State, militarization, permanent emergency state and internal war against proletarians, women’s rights, against Afro American people, against immigrants with walls and expulsions, against Muslims and Arabs, against any progressive idea in schools, universities, mass medias, culture, art.

The new aggressive phase of US imperialism sharpens the inter-imperialist contradictions, with Russian imperialism, atomic superpower; with China, new social-imperialist power; and with the countries of imperialist Europe, currently under the German hegemony. The global contest between the imperialist countries for the division of markets and the fight to control the energy resources originates and feeds wars of aggression and reactionary wars, sowing death, massacres and destruction all over the world.

It is the imperialist wars of aggression in every corner of the world that give rise to the great wave of immigration! It is the barbarism of imperialist wars and the “homecoming” of these wars even in the heart of the imperialist citadels that blood the streets of the imperialist countries themselves!

In all the imperialist countries, the states and the governments of the masters of the world develop an internal war against the proletarians and the masses, who are driven by the crisis, oppression and repression to fight and to rebel more and more.

In the countries oppressed by imperialism, proletarians and oppressed people intensify the anti-imperialist and national liberation struggles; in particularly we need to support the Palestinian and Arab people struggle against Zionist state and imperialism, and the people’s wars. From India to Philippines, from Turkey to Peru, the people’s war, guided by Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties, is the reference for the way to get free from imperialism, the reactionary regimes and to build states of New Democracy, marching towards socialism. The People’s War in India, today celebrating the 50th Anniversary of “Naxalbari uprising” that has opened this way, fights against massacres, Green Hunt Operation, repression against Maoists, Adivasi people, democratic and revolutionary intellectuals and students, against workers, peasants, women struggles, against national minorities; it shows that nothing can stop the people’s war and the liberation struggle of the people as nothing can stop international support.

The October Revolution and the great Lenin showed that we cannot fight and win against imperialism and its states without fighting revisionism and opportunism.

The objective conditions are favourable for revolution, because it is the principal tendency in the world. All the forces of social-democracy, the ex “communist” parties became revisionists and reformists; they lose credit among the masses and proved to be useless tools to defend the living and working conditions of the masses, to oppose imperialism, war, fascism and the police state. Beside the crisis of these forces, we are witnessing the rise of reactionary populist tendencies and fundamentalist reactionary movements that divide the masses to tie them to the car of this or that imperialism and, ultimately, to the most reactionary fractions of imperialism, bourgeoisie and the regimes serving them. Proletarians and masses must firmly reject the illusions of the parliamentary and peaceful paths, aimed to disarm them, and boldly undertake the revolutionary path.

People’s War is the most advanced form to accomplish the revolution; that is why we must support it in all countries where it already begun and prepare it in all other countries, applying it to the concrete conditions of each country. It needs to build genuine communist parties that will be the vanguard of the working class and leading core of all the people. The Communist Parties, based on the revolutionary science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are built into the fire of the class struggle in close connection with the masses, for the beginning and development of the people’s war, applied to reality. The Communist Parties must build the United Front of the exploited masses, of all sections oppressed by imperialism and develop the necessary tactics, according to the form that the political and military domination takes.

In the imperialist countries, the Communist Parties must integrate in their ranks the new migrant proletarians, by playing a vanguard role in their fight against over-exploitation, slavery, racism. The Communist Parties must gather and organize the rebellion of the youth and the struggle of women as a powerful force for the revolution. They must fight their own imperialism as the main enemy of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples, taking side resolutely with the masses of the nations attacked. Today in particularly we must fight against the imperialist occupation of Afghanistan, the imperialist aggression on Syria and nuclear menaces against North Korea. The imperialist war and the reactionary dictatorship of bourgeoisie bring the need for the communist parties to equip themselves for opposing to imperialist war with people’s war and build their fighting force as nucleus of the red army.

The people’s wars, beside the policies of genocide, also face the pitfalls of peace negotiations, which, far from allowing people’s wars to grow in strength and consolidation in the view of the strategic offensive, are aimed to divert, suffocate and split them, to lead them to surrender.

Internationalism is unity between the proletariat and the oppressed peoples in the world against the common enemy.

Internationalism is “working whole-heartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one’s own country, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy, and material aid) this struggle, this, and only this, line, in every country without exception.” – Lenin

Internationalism is the construction of a new international organization, which, addressing the current problems of the Communists, will be able to move towards a general line of ICM and a new Communist International.

Long Live the 100th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution!
Death to Imperialism! On the way to protracted people’s war in all the world!
Long Live the Struggles of Proletarians and Oppressed Peoples in the World!
Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!
For a Red and Socialist Future, Marching to Communism!

LIST OF SIGNATORIES:
Collective of Iranian Maoists
Committee for Building the Maoist Communist Party, Galicia, Spanish State
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan
Communist Movement of Serbia
Communist Nucleus Nepal
Communist Party of Brazil Red Fraction – CPB (RF)
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist)
Democracy and Class Struggle, British State
Klassenstandpunkt, Class Position, Editorial Staff, Germany
Maoist Communist Movement Tunisia
Maoist Communist Party – France
Maoist Communist Party – Italy
Maoist Communist Party Manipur
Maoist Revolutionary League – Sri Lanka
Organisation de travail communiste – Tunisie
Parti des khadéhines – Tunisie
PCR-RCP Canada
Revolutionary Communist Party (Québec District)
Revolutionary Praxis – Great Britain
Union Obrera Comunista (MLM) – Colombia
Workers Voice – Malaysia

RCP May Day 2017 Statement

May Day 2017 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Finally, after decades of being told that capitalism is the end of history, communism is again on the agenda. Nearly three decades since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, a time during which the capitalists triumphantly pursued every form of brutality and told us that socialist revolution was a colossal mistake, communism is losing its stigma. Capitalists have reacted by increasing their ideological campaign against communism. They go out of their way to remind the working class that there is no hope, by constructing monuments to the “victims” of communism and chiding “millennials” for daring to speak this word anew. Communist revolution remains the great fear for those invested in defending capitalism.

Since the early 1990s the rallying cry for communist revolution could be heard from the global margins, through massive insurrections and people’s wars, and now it is beginning to be heard even at the heart of the imperialist countries. Multiple imperialist wars, an exponential increase in worldwide oppression and exploitation has not silenced resistance or the demand for communist revolution. While it is the habit for the ruling classes to call their victims “naïve” for daring to struggle for a better reality, it is also the habit of these victims to struggle to exist and demand a world deemed impossible by those who would seek to annihilate the majority of life just so capitalist production and profit can persist.

On the global battlefield the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed masses is becoming more apparent as the most powerful nations seek to secure their interests by bombing and invading more and more regions. Imperialism becomes more parasitic and predatory as it sinks into patterns of attrition: since the invasion of Afghanistan fifteen years ago, the War on Terror has truly shown itself to be a war without end. Imperialism as a system is also reaching its own internal contradiction, the contradiction between competing imperialists, as the unilateral world conceived by the US as a “new world order” crumbles. The contradictions between the US and Russia, between the UK and the EU, between even the US and Canada in certain regions, both produce the possibility of a third world war, but also for increased anti-imperialist resistance.

Within the imperialist nations the contradiction between the capitalists and the working class is increasing, no longer as muted as it was even a decade ago. Austerity measures, anti-scientific refusals to deal with climate change, a pitiless war upon multiple oppressed communities, the continued attack on working-class organization and living standards, and even the specter of fascism undermines the myth of capitalist utopia. The long crisis that began in 2008 is still not over for the vast majority, even if profits for capitalists have “recovered”; the most exploited and oppressed have been made to pay for the sins of capitalist mismanagement. All of this increases the possibility of the working-class rediscovering its destiny to overthrow capitalism. Class conflict is increasingly the order of the day.

To borrow an old phrase, the ‘great storm under heaven’ means that the situation is excellent. So many openings, so many rejections of the capitalist vision of reality, innumerable brush-fires that the ruling class attempts to snuff out. Unfortunately, although the objective circumstances are indeed “excellent” the subjective circumstances are still lagging behind. Movementism is still the norm. Revisionism and social-democracy continue to dominate the political left. False hope in social reformism and the electoral circus remains despite failure after failure. Identity politics have succeeded in splintering movements and transforming anti-capitalist struggles into sites for opportunism and NGO careerism. Conversely, old chauvinisms such as racism and sexism continue to infect understandings of the working-class within the socialist old guard. Chauvinisms such as transphobia and cissexism infiltrate the broad movement. In settler-colonial contexts such as Canada the necessity of Indigenous self-determination continues to determine every anti-systemic struggle. Most alarmingly, fascism has reemerged as a serious obstacle because the broad left has failed to create a movement capable of stamping out its return.

Now, more than ever, the failure of the establishment left should be clear. Against the movementist, revisionist, and reformist tendencies we continue to maintain that a contemporary return to the revolutionary communist party is necessary. It is in fact egregious in the face of environmental destruction, austerity measures, the rise of the so-called “alt-right”, imperialist wars, and a disarmed worker’s movement to persist with unaccountable and undisciplined movementism or the kind of revisionist “communism” that appeals to historical recreation societies. The very real dangers of fascism and environmental catastrophe, if we take them seriously, demand that we get our house in order.

We have spent a decade organizing according to this revolutionary ethos. We continue to uphold the necessity of: building a party to wage war upon capitalist reality, organizing the hard-core of the working class for revolution, and taking these tasks seriously. Since our foundation in 2007 we have spread across Canada, and have put these politics in command in all of our efforts. We encourage others to join us in building towards revolution. The overthrow of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism will not be easy, but it is both possible and necessary.

100 years ago, the working class in Russia overthrew their masters and began to build socialism, a process which set the entire 20th century on fire. 100 years later, despite twists and turns, successes and failures, we carry that legacy forward, and promise to do the same to the 21st century.

In solidarity:

PCR-RCP

Déclaration du PCR à l’occasion du 1er mai 2017

Ce 1er mai 2017 marque le centième anniversaire de la révolution bolchevique en Russie. Après avoir passé des décennies à se faire dire que le capitalisme était la fin de l’histoire, voici que le communisme est de nouveau à l’ordre du jour, enfin! Près de trois décennies après la chute du Bloc de l’Est, période où les capitalistes nous ont soumis à toutes les formes de brutalité tout en claironnant que la révolution socialiste était une erreur colossale, l’étiquette attachée au communisme ne colle plus autant. Face à cela, les capitalistes réagissent en augmentant d’un cran leur campagne idéologique contre le communisme. Les capitalistes ne manquent plus une occasion pour rappeler à la classe ouvrière qu’il n’y a pas d’espoir, comme quand ils construisent un monument aux «victimes» du communisme ou quand ils réprimandent les «milléniaux» de s’intéresser à cette idée. La révolution communiste continue d’effrayer ceux qui ont pour préoccupation de défendre le capitalisme.

Depuis le début des années 90, le cri de ralliement à la révolution communiste pouvait tout de même se faire entendre depuis les coins les plus marginalisés du monde, à travers des insurrections de masse et des guerres populaires, et dorénavant elle commence à se faire entendre au cœur des pays impérialistes. De multiples guerres impérialistes, et un accroissement exponentiel de l’oppression et de l’exploitation mondialement n’ont pas réussi à faire taire la résistance ni la volonté pour une révolution communiste. Bien que ce soit devenu une habitude pour nos classes dirigeantes de se moquer de leurs victimes comme étant «naïves» de simplement oser se battre pour une vie meilleure, ça a aussi toujours été une habitude pour les victimes de lutter pour exister et pour envisager un monde meilleur; un monde décrié comme étant impossible par ceux qui sont prêts à annihiler presque tout ce qui vit juste pour que le flux de production capitaliste et de profits puisse perdurer.

Sur le champ de bataille mondial, la contradiction entre l’impérialisme et les masses opprimées devient plus apparente alors que les nations les plus puissantes défendent leurs intérêts en bombardant et en envahissant de plus en plus de régions. L’impérialisme se fait plus parasite et prédateur à mesure qu’il s’enfonce dans une guerre d’attrition: depuis l’invasion de l’Afghanistan il y a quinze ans, la guerre contre le terrorisme s’est révélée être une guerre sans fin. L’impérialisme est un système qui est déchiré par des contradictions internes, celle entre les capitalistes qui se font concurrence, et le monde unilatéral conçu par les États-Unis comme un «nouvel ordre mondial» est en train de s’écrouler. Les contradictions entre les États-Unis et la Russie, entre le Royaume-Uni et l’Union européenne, même entre les États-Unis et le Canada à certains endroits, amènent la possibilité d’une troisième guerre mondiale, mais aussi une résistance impérialiste accrue.

Au sein des nations impérialistes, la contradiction entre les capitalistes et la classe ouvrière s’intensifie, et fait beaucoup plus de bruit qu’il y a une décennie seulement. Les mesures d’austérité, le refus anti-scientifique de s’attaquer au changement climatique, la guerre sans pitié menée contre plusieurs communautés opprimées, l’assaut répété contre l’organisation et les conditions de vie de la guerre ouvrière, et même le spectre du fascisme, font sauter le mythe d’une utopie capitaliste. La longue crise qui a commencé en 2008 n’est toujours pas terminée pour la grande majorité des gens, même si les profits des capitaliste sont revenus; ce sont les plus opprimé.es et exploité.es qui ont dû payer les pots cassés de la mauvaise gestion capitaliste. Tout cela contribue à ce que la classe ouvrière redécouvre sa mission historique qui est de renverser le capitalisme. Le conflit entre les classes revient au goût du jour.

Pour emprunter une vieille maxime, «le grand chaos qui règne sous les cieux» signifie que la situation est excellente. Toutes ces ouvertures, et tous ces rejets de la vision capitaliste de la réalité, sont autant de feux de broussailles que la classe dirigeante doit éteindre. Malheureusement, même si les circonstances objectives sont effectivement «excellentes», les circonstances subjectives traînent la patte. Le mouvementisme continue d’être la norme. Le révisionnisme et la social-démocratie continuent de dominer la gauche politique. Les faux espoirs dans le social-réformisme et le cirque électoral sont encore là malgré toutes les défaites consécutives. Les politiques identitaires ont réussi à diviser les mouvements et à transformer les luttes anti-capitalistes en tremplins pour le carriérisme d’ONG et l’opportunisme. De même, ces vieux chauvinismes que sont le racisme et le sexisme continuent d’infecter la compréhension de la classe ouvrière au sein de la vieille garde socialiste. Des chauvinismes comme la trans-phobie et le cis-sexisme s’infiltrent dans le mouvement élargi. Dans des sociétés de colonisation de peuplement comme le Canada, le besoin d’auto-détermination autochtone continue d’être le déterminant de toute lutte anti-système. Plus inquiétant encore, le fascisme refait surface en tant qu’obstacle sérieux parce que la gauche élargie n’a pas su créer un mouvement capable d’empêcher son retour.

Maintenant plus que jamais, le cuisant échec de la gauche établie devrait être évident. Contre le mouvementisme, le révisionnisme et les tendances réformistes, nous persistons à dire que le retour contemporain à un parti communiste révolutionnaire est nécessaire. Face à la destruction environnementale, aux mesures d’austérité, à l’émergence de la soi-disant droite alternative, face aux guerres impérialistes et à un mouvement ouvrier désarmé, il n’y aucun sens à aller de l’avant avec un mouvementisme non-redevable et indiscipliné, ou avec une sorte de «communisme» révisionniste qui s’apparente à des sociétés de reconstitution historique. Les menaces lourdes que sont le fascisme et la catastrophe environnementale, si nous sommes pour les prendre au sérieux, nous forcent à remettre la maison en ordre.

Nous avons passé une décennie déjà à s’organiser avec ce cadre révolutionnaire. Nous soutenons encore ce besoin: construire un parti pour mener la guerre au capitalisme, organiser le noyau du prolétariat pour la révolution, et prendre ces tâches au sérieux. Depuis notre fondation en 2007 nous nous sommes étendus à travers le Canada, et ce en mettant nos idées politiques à l’avant-plan de toutes nos initiatives. Nous encourageons les autres à se joindre à nous pour travailler ensemble vers la révolution. Le renversement du capitalisme, de l’impérialisme et du colonialisme ne sera pas une chose facile, mais c’est tout aussi possible que nécessaire.

Il y a 100 ans, la classe ouvrière de Russie renversait ses maîtres et commençait à construire le socialisme, un processus qui a allumé tout le 20e siècle au complet. Cent ans plus tard, malgré les détours et les embûches, les réussites et les défaites, nous poursuivons notre chemin avec ce bagage, en promettant de refaire le coup pour le 21e siècle.

En solidarité:

PCR-RCP

Break with Old Ideas

This document was circulated within the Party in advance of its 4th Congress, where many of the contradictions in the current line struggle within the Party came to a head. It is published here to give context for the ongoing line struggle.

————————————–

There currently exists a contradiction within the Revolutionary Communist Party. In the process of preparing for this Congress, the contradiction has made itself apparent. We welcome the opportunity provided by the Congress to debate this line and to unify the Party around a better perspective and better style of work. The resolution of this contradiction will allow us to become truly integrated with the masses.

This contradiction currently centres around three political questions: Proletarian Feminism and the Trans Question; the Mass Line, Mass Organizations and the Small Movements; and Workplace Organizing. We believe the positions put forward by the FFPR Montreal and by the Montreal chapter on these questions to reflect erroneous perspectives which have held back the Party’s growth and expansion and we intend to debate them at the upcoming congress. It is our contention that the differences over these political questions constitute a single contradiction, a line struggle, between the ideas of the old leadership group on the one hand and newer styles of work that have been advanced in the last half-decade on the other.

Proletarian Feminism and the Trans “Question”

The politics of the document put forward by the Comrades from the FFPR Montreal are non-Maoist, mechanistic, Marxist Feminism – a relic of the 1970s heavily influenced by petty-bourgeois Radical Feminism. The FFPR in Montreal has substituted Proletarian Feminism for Radical Feminism, changing only its name but not its content. In so doing, they have not only missed out on an important advancement in the struggle against capitalism and patriarchy, they have actually sided against trans people. Communists are supposed to be tribunes of the oppressed. However, comrades adopting this perspective have made themselves complicit with gender-based oppression of trans comrades.

It would be a mistake to treat the oppression of women in general as identical to the oppression of trans people. The two are different in character and in the dynamics internal to them. That difference does not negate the existence of systematic oppression of trans people, nor the ways in which the two are related, overlap and reinforce one another. A feminism which does not take this into account, and worse one which reduces trans people to practitioners of a postmodern subjectivism, holds itself back from an important avenue of struggle against patriarchal oppression. Such a line would also unjustly preclude us from organizing any potential trans comrades, not to mention anyone sympathetic to the struggles of trans people, who are disproportionately poor and working class, and their allies.

The error here does not just pertain to trans people. One of the great advances of MLM is identifying that ideas can become a material force when they are put into practice. It also identifies the need for the continuation of class struggle under socialism, not least of all against the ideas of the old society, which remain partially intact among the people and, when practiced, become a material force which can undermine the new society. When the document specifies argues that: “the very idea that the proletariat can take power and leave in place the oppression of women is nonsense,” it fails to integrate an MLM perspective on building socialism. To imagine that sexism would not be reproduced under socialism is not only a fantasy, it is against the historical experience of building socialism. The FFPR fails to integrate the advancements made both by MLM and Proletarian Feminism in understanding the question of women’s oppression. It gives the impression, intentionally or not, that we do not think we will have to struggle against gender-based oppression after establishing socialism. Proletarian women and trans people will surely see this as a grievous error, one which will often preclude them from rallying to the party.

The Mass Line

At the last congress, the CC identified in its assessment of the previous work that, particularly in Montreal: “It is like if we were not able to grasp and apply the through meaning of the direction we nevertheless stand for with a lot of conviction in the Chapter 13 of our Programme (“Unleash the fury of the masses as a mighty force for the revolution”) and like if we are paralysed by the thoughtless fear of economism. This prevents us from really act as a people’s vanguard.”

Lest we forget that the Party, despite proclaiming itself the Vanguard, has been virtually absent from all of the major struggles of the Canadian working class in recent years. We here can include: Occupy, The Maple Spring, Idle No More, and Black Lives Matter. While our practice is improving, we should be a leading force in these movements. We are not.

We believe that our failure to engage the masses concretely is due to a fear of economism inherited from the worst practices of the Marxist-Leninist movement of the 1970s. This same fear of economism has produced a style of work which has cut the Party off from the masses. In practice, organizations and campaigns which should have a mass or intermediate character are conceived of as subordinate units of the Party, organizationally subordinated to the Party, rather than groups which should have their own internal democracy and where the Party should exert political leadership. In our internal documents these mass organizations are referred to as “small movements,” which we believe constitutes an erroneous conceptualization of the role of mass organizations vis-à-vis the Party.

In practice, the expansion of the RSM – an intermediate organization with its own internal democratic structure and where the Party wields tremendous political influence, and indeed where most of the organizational leadership is made up of Party supporters – has allowed the Party to expand across the country in a way that would have been impossible by other means. This has allowed us to rally comrades who would not have joined the Party from the outset, and to win them to our perspectives by applying them to concrete political questions.

In this way we have gone from having no presence in the Prairies or the Maritimes just two short years ago, and now have both RSM chapters and RCP OC’s in Halifax, Charlottetown, and Saskatoon. This is without considering the other cities in Ontario where similar processes happened – Sudbury and Peterborough.

The development of the RSM shows our perspective to be correct. Initially formed in 2012 in Montreal to respond to the Maple Spring, the initial incarnation of the RSM was a failure. Comrades from Ottawa advanced a criticism that the level of political unity required to join the RSM was too high: there was no reason why someone would get involved in the RSM and not the Party. It was only after the style of work advanced in Ontario was adopted by the comrades of the RSM in Montreal in 2014-2015 that the RSM grew and became self-sustaining. The methods advanced by the old leadership group in Montreal were incapable of drawing new forces into the orbit of the party, and they were incapable of conceiving how organizations could exist under the political rather than organizational leadership of the Party.

We believe that the “Short thesis on the construction of the small-movements” is an affront to a Maoist understanding of the mass line. Instead of synthesizing and building on the experiences of the Party’s expansion throughout Canada, the document harkens back to the former, incorrect conceptions and methods of work. Particularly egregious are the theses which state that the creation of a centralized RSM was an accident not to be repeated (#10), that the “small movements” are used to avoid line struggle internal to the Party (#17), that the internal democratic structures of the “small movements” constitute a breach of democratic centralism (!!!) (#19), and that the Party has had difficulty recruiting from and exercising political leadership over chapters of “small movements” (#27). We think that this entire resolution is incorrect, and we urge comrades to vote against it. It is only through a correct understanding of the mass line that we can actually concretize our politics and expand.

Workplace Organizing

The same fear of economism identified above manifests itself in the conception of how workplace organizing fits into the process of building the revolutionary movement, and here combines with an incorrect understanding of labour history to produce a perspective which precludes a potentially fruitful area of mass organizing.
It is true that when workplace struggles stop short of abolishing capitalism – which undoubtedly is the vast majority of them – what’s left is at best a reform, an economic gain for the proletariat. Workplace struggles are not unique in this regard, though – any struggle, for example the struggle to prevent the racist PEGIDA from organizing will ultimately result in a gain for the proletariat which is not total. This is obviously not enough to preclude that kind of work, provided it is carried out correctly, in a way which build the objective forces of the revolutionary movement and increases the subjective appreciation of the situation among the workers being organized. The decisive factor here is the presence of the party and the revolutionary united front as active participants in the struggle, and the recruitment of the organized workers to the revolutionary movement.

Furthermore, while it is true that the current unions are yellow unions, are class collaborative unions, it is incorrect to say that unions are necessarily class collaborative in nature. The fundamental site of class conflict under capitalism is still the workplace: it is the location where surplus value is literally pumped out of the working class. In the process of production, struggles over the appropriation of surplus value (conscious or not) spontaneously arise. Unions are not signs of class collaboration, but rather represent the organized manifestation of the natural spontaneous class struggle that emerges out of the process of production itself.

The proposal put forward in “On revolutionary or “red” unionism” actually represents the worst of all possible choices on this question. It limits intervention in workplace struggles to propaganda actions, and effectively cedes the leadership of workers-as-workers to reformists and revisionists. The conditions for concerted workplace organizing are better than they have been in years, and the reformists are unable to capitalize on these conditions: there is no reason why we should not.
The communist movement in Canada had a great deal of success historically in organizing workplaces, even during a time when labour unions were formally legalized. The idea that legal unions are necessarily class collaborative is not born out by history: unions were legalized in Canada in the late 1800s, and the decisive shift towards reformist unionism did not begin until 1945 with the passage and embrace of the Rand Formula.

It is possible, at this early stage in the development of the RWM, that workplace organizing is not the most viable course of action, but at the same time, to preclude it at this early stage would be an error as well. In any case, the arguments presented against this do not do justice to the history of communist union organizers in Canada or to the position in favour of workplace organizing as it’s been presented.

———-

We believe that the disagreement over the positions presented here constitute a contradiction within the Revolutionary Communist Party, between the ideas of the old leadership group, and new practices. We urge comrades to break with these old ideas, and embrace new ideas and practices which will carry the party forward as we advance in our current stage of the plan.