In mid-January, the Revolutionary Student Movement—a group of communist activists from about 15 campuses in Ontario, Québec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan—issued a bold call for a Pan-Canadian Day of Action on March 24, in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement against austerity that is currently building in Québec. The call was heard in many places, where local mobilization committees were established. Students from the Downtown Campus of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa already voted in favour of a one-day strike, while the Trent Central Student Association in Peterborough decided to support RSM’s call.
The RSM expects that there will be a variety of actions on March 24, including not only strikes, but demonstrations, occupations, and disruptive actions. The call for the Day of Action is based on five central, while non-exclusive demands, around which the movement will be mobilized:
- Abolition of tuition at all levels of education! Cancellation of all outstanding student debt!
- Open access to post-secondary education for all!
- Education in the service of the people, not profit!
- Access to post-secondary education for all indigenous people and an anti-colonial aspect to all programs!
- Democratic control of post-secondary institutions!
The fact that actions will be held across the country, not just in Québec, without any supervision from the big bureaucratic student organizations—such as the CFS, CASA, and Québec’s FECQ and FEUQ—would be a first in the contemporary history of the Canadian student movement. The Day of Action will also be unique in that it will be the first coordinated action linking the various austerity measures imposed by capitalist governments in both Ottawa and the provinces, rather than only targeting a specific policy of a single government. We can certainly say that the call from the RSM comrades is audacious!
Established from an initiative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, the RSM is part, along with the Proletarian Feminist Front and the Revolutionary Workers’ Movement, of a comprehensive strategic plan that involves the building of a series of pro-socialist and revolutionary militant organizations. The RSM describes itself as a “Canada-wide revolutionary, combative, militant, and anti-capitalist” movement guided by communist principles. It aims to strategically organize proletarian students in the interest of the revolutionary working class movement.
At its Fourth National Conference held last November in Québec City, the RSM formalized its structure and mode of operation, making it now the biggest far-left organization on Canadian campuses.