The Proletarian Feminist Front Toronto launched a monthly discussion series based in Toronto’s St James Town and Regent Park areas on January 31. This area has been and is still undergoing massive devastation from “revitalization” efforts to clean up the area. Proletarian people have been pushed onto the streets, relevant programming is disappearing, and housing is being demolished for condominiums and institutions that only serve the rich.
The discussion series focuses on the issues proletarian women and those of marginalized genders face not only in this particular community, but in Canada’s capitalist, settler-colonial, and imperialist context. As workers, we must go beyond the liberal discourse on gender liberation as the only solution to women’s oppression and express that this is not sufficient to change the conditions for working class and poor women. Even with gender liberation, proletarian women will continue to be oppressed.
Unfortunately, it has been difficult to find a community based space that will allow programming that is politically agitational and communist in content. It is disheartening given the worsening conditions in these communities and for the poor in Canada at the hands of the mainstream political parties and the bourgeoisie. What is more, anti-oppression based services and programming is welcomed with open arms, but expressly apolitical. This discourse has finally crept from the academic institutes and the ivory towers into the NGOs and even grass-roots organizations. This apolitical state-backed ideology does nothing but preserve the interests of the Canadian state and prevent any militant agitation and politically driven organizing from being fostered. What purpose do these community spaces serve if not to allow working people to learn to change their own conditions?
As communists, we will not allow this to prevent us from organizing in proletarian neighbourhoods. We will continue to use public and community spaces for our events, whether public libraries, neighbourhood centres, parks, cafés, and perhaps in the near future, in our own dedicated communist headquarters!