The fifth congress of the Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire – Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM) was a huge success. This was the first congress in which we had consolidated sections across the country (rather than just contacts or activity in several regions); we were joined by delegates from Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, all over Ontario and Québec, and PEI (in total 16 sections sent delegates). The breadth of experience represented by the delegates was exciting and will hopefully breathe new life into our work in the coming year. We had comrades who had been involved in and/or played leading roles in the #Iamastudent movement in BC, the 2015 Québec student strike, the CUPE 3902/3903 strikes in Toronto, the pro-choice movement in PEI (a province currently without access to abortion), to name a few. This congress was an important moment of consolidation coming out of the hard work and serious reflection about our work over the past three years.
Our newly elected Coordinating Committee now consists of seven positions, with new and old comrades on the committee. The positions are as follows:
Chairperson: Alexandra Lépine (returning)
Ontario Organizer: Jennifer Lawrence (returning)
Québec and Eastern Provinces Organizer: Mélissa Miller
Prairies and British Columbia Organizer: Nick Marlatte (returning)
English Propaganda Officer: Dimka Melnik (returning)
French Propaganda Officer: Justin Premier
External Officer: Brendan Copegog White
With these new regional organizer positions we are asking that all sections assign a member to be the main contact for their corresponding CoCo member to ease communication between the sections and the CoCo.
As the new CoCo, we are dedicated to strengthening the organization and making the MER-RSM an organization capable of intervening in the class struggle on and off campuses, continuing with our mandate and tasks assigned to us by the congress, as well as implementing changes and providing political leadership that will help the organization grow in a sustainable manner. With the restructuring we also hope to have a more even expansion and consolidation process aided by the regional organizing positions and a renewed push for accurate reporting from the sections. Consolidation and training the next generations of leadership will be the main focus of our work in the coming year.
The congress should also be commended and excited about the adoption of a comprehensive political report outlining our current understanding of: the education sector in Canada, the student movement, and a critical appraisal of the past 3 years of the RSM’s activity. This report, along with the motions passed, and changes to the constitution are included in the document package being sent to all sections and will be made available on the website. [Ed.–The Political Report is now available here.]
We are also happy to announce the relaunch of the Transformative Justice Committee, which will be dedicated to handling contradictions internal to the organization which require a transformative process, criticism and self-criticism, or two-line struggle. If any member of the MER-RSM wishes to join this open committee they should contact Nick. In the same manner if anyone is available to do design or translation work, please make yourself available to the propaganda officers. Finally, in light of the proposal for the MER-RSM to produce a publication we are also looking for content (polemics, theory, stories about mass work, creative writing and art). If you wish to contribute to the central publication contact a CoCo member.
There have been a lot of mistakes over the past three years, but there have also been a lot of victories. With all of our experience and practice we have managed to become the largest left-wing student organization in Canada and we should only aim to get bigger and better from here. We should strive in all our capacities to be the best revolutionaries possible, to push the class struggle forward on and off campus. Dare to struggle, dare to win!
The Coordinating Committee of the Mouvement Étudiant Révolutionnaire – Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM)
December 7, 2015