On June 15-16, activists from across Canada assembled in Ottawa for the second national conference of revolutionary youth and students, It is Right to Rebel, sponsored by the PCR-RCP. After the first conference, which was held in Toronto at the end of 2012, students mobilized in order to consolidate a common political line that would unite various Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) chapters and other revolutionary minded student groups.
The result of this mobilization and consolidation was a conference that was attended by nearly twice as many students, many of whom represented larger student groups, hailing from regions as diverse as Kamloops, Saskatoon, St. Therese, Valleyfield, Quebec City, Gatineau, Montreal, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa, Sauble Beach. There was even a contingent from New York City present as out-of-country observers.
In a period where the student movement has by-and-large been absorbed by reformist politics and movementist strategies, the growth and consolidation of a revolutionary student movement that is united on general communist and anti-imperialist principles ––one that refuses to waste time focusing on state-sanctioned unions and building its own power–– is heartening.
Indeed, the conference resulted in the election of a new coordinating team that would work on planning a successive student conference in Montreal in 2014 based on the proposals adopted by the participants. These proposals included a commitment to build the RSM, expanding current chapters and building chapters where they don’t yet exist; working towards “a new movement in theory and practice” founded on anti-capitalism, radicalism, militancy, internationalism, independence from the state; struggling against reformism; and developing a broad-based educational movement that is proletarian in nature.
Participation in this conference, when compared to the first conference, proved that the Revolutionary Student Movement is growing: not only was larger and more diverse group of students present, but the discussions and proposals demonstrated a commitment to breaking from the tired student movements represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and other organizations that seek to repeat the same stale political strategies that have always amounted to bland reformism. Hence the growth and consolidation of a Revolutionary Student Movement is necessary.
The conference concluded with a moment of silence to observe two fallen and martyred youth fighting for a better world, in France and Turkey, and the singing of the Internationale. The participants unanimously agreed “to integrate new traditions of revolutionary struggle; to form a revolutionary core among students; to lead the attack against the bourgeoisie and the capitalist state; to make every struggle a problem for public order, a political problem that will trigger the struggle for socialism and proletarian power.”
In preparation for the conference, two important documents were issued. The first one, from the RSM organizers, dealt with the “Limits of the Current Student Movement”; it is available at http://www.mer-rsm.com/2013/06/limits-of-current-student-movement.html. At the conference, an open letter from the PCR-RCP Central Committee was also circulated which argued for developing “a new political practice capable of responding to the increasing attacks of the capitalists and their bourgeois state.” This document is also available here.