Statement from the Québec District of the Revolutionary Communist Party

(Montréal, March 11, 2017) It seems that a communiqué will soon be published to announce the so-called “expulsion” of four members of our Party in the Montréal area under the pretext of an incident that took place on March 4th at a book launch at the Maison Norman Bethune, where three hostile elements, who had separated themselves from the Party and had carried out for several months a fractional activity while spreading rumours and lies, were invited to leave the bookstore.

The Québec District of the Revolutionary Communist Party condemns and rejects with the utmost firmness this illegitimate decision, originating from a clique whose mission is to put an end to the so-called “old ideas”: the conceptions, programme and practice forged through 30 years of struggle to establish a genuine and fully Maoist proletarian center in Canada.

This decision is all the more illegitimate because it comes in a context where the Party has been engaged in an important two-line struggle for several months now—a struggle that became obvious at its most recent congress. This struggle is related to a variety of issues, including the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist understanding of mass work, the mass line and proletarian feminism, which ultimately boils down to the strategic orientations of the PCR-RCP about the centrality of the working class in the revolutionary process, revolutionary action in an imperialist country like Canada, and the strategy of protracted people’s war.

The “rupture” openly desired by the anti-party clique and its supporters is precisely a break with these conceptions and a return to a pragmatist line, which abandons all political initiative to the enemy and to the vagaries of the spontaneous movement, and opens the door to all revisionist and bourgeois democratic points of view. The “expulsion” of four comrades known for their eloquent defense of the Party’s programme as well as their militant dedication, at a moment where the debate was open and expected to continue over the next few months, testifies to the total lack of principles from the supporters of this clique.

Aware of its historical responsibility and determined to defend the integrity of the Party and its programme, the Québec District of the PCR-RCP has reinstated the four comrades in their full rights and made all necessary arrangements to ensure the continuity of its work according to the plans adopted by its congresses, and to put an end to the fractional activities and provocations aimed at weakening the Party’s programme, undermining its cohesion and dismissing the comrades who were and are at the heart of its construction and its ideological, political and organizational development.

In the coming days and weeks, a series of texts and contributions will be made public on the pcr-rcp.ca website and other platforms, which will enable comrades across the country, activists dedicated to the cause of Communism and fraternal Maoist parties and organizations to take stock of the debate and the issues at stake, in order to join the struggle to uphold and materialize Maoism and the strategic concepts that comprise it.

The Québec District of the PCR-RCP calls on all Party comrades to unite around its programme, its strategic orientations, its plans and the decisions taken by its congresses since the founding of the Party 10 years ago. While the bourgeoisie has already begun to “celebrate” the 100th anniversary of the glorious October Revolution by attacking communism and the very idea of the conquest of power by the proletarian masses, let us take up the challenge with all the audacity and determination that characterizes revolutionary proletarians! Let us spread the Party’s propaganda and actions everywhere and in all sections of the people! Let us mobilize to make a success of Revolutionary May 1st—glorious May Day, which is nothing but a day of struggle and solidarity of our class, united against the bourgeoisie! To the front, comrades!

Communiqué du Comité central sur les événements du 4 mars

Le 4 mars dernier, le PCR-RCP a tenté un lancement de livre pour le nouvel œuvre de J. Moufawad-Paul, soit Continuity and Rupture, à la maison Normand Bethune. Durant le lancement, il s’est passé une confrontation physique qui a mis fin à l’événement de façon prématurée. Le Comité central du PCR-RCP condamne entièrement les individus responsables de la confrontation. Comme ceci reflète mal sur l’organisation, nous croyons nécessaire d’offrir une explication de ce qui s’est passé ainsi qu’une mise à jour de la réponse du Comité central sur la question. Nous sommes certains que cette explication ne saura satisfaire tout le monde, et que notre réponse serait vue comme controversée. Cela étant dit, nous croyons que la situation fut assez sérieuse pour justifier cette déclaration.

La confrontation s’est déroulée entre quatre membres de la branche montréalaise du PCR-RCP d’un bord, et trois autres partisans du PCR-RCP de l’autre. Les trois individus attaqués furent considérés comme « anti-parti » par la branche montréalaise, une évaluation qui n’est pas partagée par le Comité central ni l’organisation au complet. Durant la présentation, les quatre membres perturbateurs sont rentrés dans la Maison Nomand Bethune en criant, ont physiquement agressé les trois individus classés comme « anti-parti », et les ont expulsés de la bibliothèque malgré les protestations de l’auteur et des autres membres présents. À aucun point les individus attaqués n’ont tenté de déranger le lancement de livre. Les attaquants ont même écrasé et cassé les lunettes d’un individu. Les attaquants les ont poursuivis au métro le plus près en leur criant une variété de noms, donc plusieurs insultes de nature chauvinistes.

Le raisonnement derrière cette déclaration des trois étant « anti-parti » se résume à deux problèmes particuliers. Premièrement, depuis un bon moment se déroule une lutte de ligne politique au sein du PCR-RCP qui jusqu’à maintenant, était interne. La contradiction primaire de cette lutte est une compréhension différente de la ligne de masse, mais elle touche à plusieurs autres sujets, dont la libération transgenre, le travail de sexe et la relation entre le parti et les syndicats. Les camarades attaqués défendent des lignes qui sont contraires à la majorité de la branche montréalaise, mais pas contraire à l’opinion majoritaire de l’organisation au complet. Deuxièmement, deux des camarades impliqués avaient récemment écrit des critiques envers la branche qui contenait des allégations très graves envers un partisan du PCR-RCP. Au moment de la confrontation, le Comité central était dans le processus d’enquêter sur ces allégations. Cette attaque était donc un acte spontané qui est complètement contradictoire avec l’enquête en cours, et ceci est contraire à la méthode maoïste pour la résolution des luttes de lignes.

Le PCR-RCP n’est pas un parti de brutes. Nous rejetons l’utilisation de la force physique pour résoudre une lutte de ligne, surtout quand cette lutte n’est pas rendue à un stade antagoniste. Cette attaque n’était pas une manière maoïste de résoudre nos luttes de lignes. De plus, même si des membres réellement anti-parti se présentent à un événement public, ceci n’est pas une raison de les attaquer à moins que ces derniers soient physiquement antagonistes et violents. Si des individus font des déclarations anti-parti durant un événement ouvertes aux masses, c’est notre responsabilité d’argumenter avec eux et démontrer qu’ils ont tort. Si notre argumentation est correcte, nous n’avons aucune raison d’avoir peur. Les attaquer physiquement ne fait que compromettre notre capacité à organiser des événements publics, car cela nous fait paraitre comme une organisation punitive et dogmatique. En plus, ceci justifie le spontanéisme violent qui endommage la discipline nécessaire pour une organisation à des aspirations avant-gardiste.

Ce qu’il s’est passé samedi dernier ne rentre pas dans la méthode maoïste du travail politique. Encore pire, cette confrontation mine la crédibilité même de l’organisation dans les yeux des masses. Pourquoi des gens se joindraient-ils à une organisation où un groupe de gens s’attaque à un autre lorsqu’ils sont censés partager la même ligne politique? Cette attaque n’a fait que démontrer aux masses un manque de discipline important pour l’organisation.

Donc, en réponse à ce comportement condamnable, le Comité central a expulsé du parti les quatre individus responsables de la confrontation le 4 mars dernier. Cette décision n’était pas facile, nous reconnaissons sa nature extrême, mais nous croyons aussi que la nature de la situation même est elle aussi extrême. Le fait qu’ils aient endommagé réellement une enquête en cours du Comité central, qu’ils se soient engagés dans des actions qui n’étaient pas maoïstes en caractère, qu’ils aient élevé le niveau d’antagonisme dans une lutte de ligne en cours, qu’ils aient discrédité le PCR-RCP dans les yeux des masses, et de plus qu’ils ne semblent avoir aucun remords pour leur action nous a forcé a prendre cette décision. Nous espérons qu’avec le temps, nous pourrions regagner la confiance des membres agressés, résoudre la lutte de ligne de façon non antagoniste, et rebâtir la confiance des masses envers le PCR-RCP.

Le Comité central du PCR-RCP

Statement of the Central Committee Regarding the Events of March 4

On March 4th, the PCR-RCP attempted to hold the book launch of J. Moufawad-Paul’s Continuity and Rupture at Maison Norman Bethune. During the book launch, there was a physical altercation that ended the event prematurely. The Central Committee of the PCR-RCP condemns those behind the altercation. Because this altercation reflects poorly on the PCR-RCP, we believe it is necessary to offer an explanation of both what happened and how the Central Committee has responded. We know this explanation will not satisfy everyone involved, just as we know that our response will be controversial, but we feel that the situation is serious enough to warrant this statement.

The altercation occurred between four members of the Montreal branch of the PCR-RCP on the one side, and three other PCR-RCP supporters on the other side. The three who were attacked have been branded “anti-party elements” by the Montreal branch, an evalutation that the Central Committee does not share and which was not made by the organization as a whole. In the midst of the presentation, four party members stormed into the Maison Norman Bethune, physically assaulted the three individuals classified as “anti-party”, and forcibly ejected them despite the protests of the author and others in attendence. At no point did any of the three individuals attempt to disrupt the book launch. One of these three individuals had their glasses stomped on and broken. They were all followed to the nearby Metro station and called a variety of names, including some chauvinist slurs.

The reason for the Montreal branch labelling these three as anti-party elements relates to two issues. First, there is a developing line struggle within the PCR-RCP which, up until now, had been internal. The primary issue in the line struggle is an understanding of the mass line, but related questions include: trans liberation, sex work, and the relationship of the Party towards unions. The assaulted comrades uphold a line which runs counter to the majority opinion of the Montreal branch, but not counter to the majority opinion of the organization as a whole. Second, two of these individuals had previously written criticisms of the PCR-RCP which were then distributed internally. One of these criticisms contained very serious allegations against a PCR-RCP supporter; the Central Committee was, at the time of the altercation, in the process of investigating these allegations. This attack was a spontaneous act that is in contempt of the ongoing investigation, and runs counter to Maoist methods of resolving line struggles.

The PCR-RCP is not a Party of goons. We reject the use of physical force to solve line struggle, especially when the line struggle is not yet at an antagonistic level. This attack was not a Maoist way of resolving line struggles. Even further, we note that if anti-party elements show up at a public event, there is no reason to attack them physically unless we are also physically attacked. If people in attendence make anti-party statements then it is our job to argue with them and prove them wrong. If we are correct, we should have nothing to fear. Physically assaulting them not only undermines our ability to hold public events by making us appear to be a punitive and dogmatic organization, but also justifies a violent spontaneity that undermines the kind of discipline to which a vanguard-seeking organization should aspire.

What happened was not in line with Maoist methods of work. Worse, and most egregiously, what happened undermines the credibility of the organization in the eyes of the masses. Why would anyone want to join an organization where one group of people assault another group of people who supposedly share the same politics? What sort of discipline and care for the masses does this attack demonstrate?

In response to this condemnable behaviour, the Central Committee has expelled from the Party those four members who initiated the altercation on March 4th. We have not taken this decision easily: we recognize it is extreme, but we feel this is an extreme situation. The fact that they undermined an ongoing investigation of the Central Committee, engaged in actions which were not Maoist in character, raised the level of antagonism in an ongoing line struggle, discredited the PCR-RCP in the eyes of the masses, and yet do not appear to show remorse for their actions has forced us to make this decision. We hope that in time we can regain the confidence of the assaulted comrades, resolve the line struggle in a non-antagonistic manner, and rebuild the trust of the masses in the PCR-RCP.

Central Committee
PCR-RCP