The following is a joint statement from Kitchener-Waterloo’s branch of the PCR-RCP and Kitchener-Waterloo Against Fascism.
On Wednesday May 9, Laurier Society for Open Inquiry, a group that regularly attempts to bring far right speakers to Kitchener-Waterloo, hosted Frances Widdowson. Widdowson is a C list academic who believes that residential schools were a positive thing for Canada’s indigenous peoples, and that they would be worse off had they not been subjected to these genocidal schools. Advocating genocide is nothing new for LSOI; they have tried twice (unsuccessfully) to host Faith Goldy, a prominent white supremacist. The Grand River General Defence Committee (GDC) and Kitchener-Waterloo Against Fascism (KWAF) organized a protest to show that racists are not welcome in our city.
Shortly after the GDC/KWAF event was put up on Facebook, Fightback put up their own event called “Fightback Contingent to Racists Not Welcome Here”. While this is unusual, it’s not terrible. Fightback’s contingent turned out to be nearly their entire southern Ontario membership. Initially this was a pleasant surprise – we were happy to see so many people show up to oppose Widdowson’s talk. As is the norm for Fightback, they set up a table and attempted to sell newspapers to everyone at the rally, but there was a twist on their usual routine. For the first time ever, Fightback was handing out a piece of propaganda for free!
The article they were handing out was about their May Day fiasco the week before. For those lucky enough to have not heard the story, Fightback asked to set up a table at a May Day event hosted by some Kitchener organisations so they could sell their newspapers, and they were given a firm no. This was due to their recent behaviour at York after being accused of harbouring a sexual assaulter and being banned from the picket lines and the reclamation. Despite being asked not to come they felt entitled to show up and hawk papers at an event they had no part in planning, organizing, or setting up. Fightback felt the need to write a piece singling out the Revolutionary Communist Party for banning them from the event, which is strange because the RCP was a relatively small part of the May Day coalition and the decision to not allow Fightback.
This article, in addition to its petulant whining, gave the name of a local anti-fascist organizer and claimed that they were a member of the RCP. Considering that the RCP is heavily monitored by the state, and its membership is not public, making this claim does nothing but endanger this organiser, telling the state (without any proof!) that they are a part of a clandestine organisation. To hand out information on an anti-fascist organiser at an event where fascists may be present shows that not only is Fightback incompetent at fighting fascism, they are a serious threat to anti-fascist organizing.
Unsatisfied with attempting to hijack an anti-fascist demo for their own ends, and ratting out a local anti-fascist organizer, Fightback felt the need to show their true colours one last time. As masked anti-fascists squared off with LSOI’s goons, Fightback announced that they were heading to a bar to talk about anti-fascist organizing and left. They left real anti-fascists in the streets to go drink and talk about fighting fascism!
Fightback needs to be recognized for what they are. They used a demonstration against an advocate of genocide to promote themselves and bad-mouth revolutionary organizers. They did pig work by handing out and publicizing information about an anti-fascist. They left real anti-fascists to go drinking right when things started to get tense. Fightback has no place at revolutionary events, no place in leftist spaces, and no place in Kitchener-Waterloo. They have made it clear that they are a threat to revolutionary and anti-fascist organizing.
Kitchener-Waterloo Against Fascism
Revolutionary Communist Party Kitchener-Waterloo