Thursday, November 28, 2019

info - Canada Resolutions of the Seventh Congress of the Revolutionary Student Movement

Report back from the 7th Congress of the MER-RSM

The seventh congress of the MER-RSM has concluded, having been held from Nov. 23-24, 2019. This congress was long overdue, though it was still held in 2019, as resolved at the time of the previous congress nearly three years ago. This congress was marked by numerous struggles on issues of crucial importance to the RSM. There were also certain minor logistical problems in the planning and execution of this congress which we will be able to rectify in the future. Several workshops were given which educated the congress delegates in the production and delivery of various forms of propaganda. A new Coordinating Committee was also elected to guide the RSM until the next congress.
Some of the most prominent victorious struggles waged by the congress delegates include the struggle for the establishment of methods for upholding proletarian feminism and combating patriarchy, on changing the primary focus of the RSM from on-campus to off-campus organizing, on the establishment of an internal journal for recording political experiences and waging line struggle in the RSM, and on not changing the organization’s name in a misguided attempt to symbolize rectification of past mistakes. All congress resolutions and the updated constitution can be found online at
In recognition of the of the RSM’s failure to properly investigate instances of patriarchal abuse, and to systematically eliminate patriarchal behaviour and ideology in the RSM, and that this failure has caused significant harm to RSM sections, members, and periphery, a proletarian feminist committee was created. This committee will have members from all RSM sections, and will investigate instances of patriarchal behaviour when reported to it, as well as develop training and behavioural guidelines for proletarian feminist praxis, and work to further develop proletarian feminist theory itself as much as possible. The congress also resolved to actively work to support and defend survivors of sexual violence on an ongoing basis.
In a major strategic shift, the congress rejected the General Assembly strategy of the previous congress, as well as a newly proposed strategy of building proletarian student unions on campuses. Instead the congress recognized that the relationship of on-campus to off-campus organizing must be based on the relative balance of class forces in a given educational institution. In high-schools or CEGEPs which are largely proletarian, on-campus work may take precedence, but in most universities, bourgeois elements are overwhelming. In this case, RSM sections must limit on-campus activities to propaganda work, study groups, and combating class enemies; the greater part of its effort must go toward bringing students out of the campus to aid in building the larger proletarian revolutionary movement. Using the slogan “Students to the Streets!”, we will work to determine those methods by which students can build the workers, youth, and other movements.
In an affirmation of the place of Marxism as the science of class struggle, the RSM has ratified the creation of the RSM Internal Journal, which all RSM sections will contribute to and which will be published once per term. The campaigns of all RSM sections will be summed-up and analyzed in journal articles, so that other sections can read and learn from them. The journal will also be a space for new theories to be proposed and line struggle to occur. The congress also elected an editorial committee which has been tasked with reviewing submitted articles and preparing the journal.
One of the final motions presented was to change the RSM name. This motion was presented in light of the various mistakes the RSM has made, including in failing to apply proletarian feminism, but also others which have harmed the RSM image and made organizing under the banner of the RSM more difficult for local organizers. This motion was roundly defeated after much discussion. In the end, it was confirmed that the RSM’s newer resolve to uphold and apply proletarian principles is not a break with RSM principles, but an affirmation of them. In places where the RSM has made more harmful mistakes, organizing as the RSM will be difficult, but changing the name will not undo the mistakes; only effective organizing that serves the needs of the masses will win their forgiveness.
The minor organization problems include difficulty in arranging transportation to the congress, such that the Vancouver and Kitchener-Waterloo comrades were unable to attend. This was mostly a result of the lack of budget and time in organizing the conference, though a lack of effective communication within the RSM contributed as well. In the future, better communication networks and less urgency will allow all RSM sections to send delegates to the congress.
This congress has allowed the RSM to affirm its unity and its commitment to rectifying errors. Our new scientific journal will enable us to continually develop ever better methods of combating internal patriarchy and other forms of reactionary ideology, and of engaging in mass work. With it we will forge an intractable organization that will transform bourgeois universities into trenches of combat, and aid in raising the larger revolutionary movement to ever greater heights.

Students to the Streets!
Long live MER-RSM!
Uphold proletarian feminism to smash patriarchy!

1. The RSM Internal Journal
The RSM will institute a theoretical-scientific internal journal, to be published bi-annually, once per semester.
Be it further resolved that an editorial board for the internal journal be formed, which will act as a standing committee of the RSM, with members elected by the Congress,
Be it further resolved that an this editorial board shall be tasked with (1) retrieving and compiling articles from RSM members, and (2) overseeing the publication and distribution of the journal.
Be it further resolved that an the editorial committee should be able to request revisions to submitted articles that require improvement or wholly reject those which do not conform to the principles of the RSM mandate.
Be it further resolved that an the final content of every issue should be subject to final approval and review by the Coordinating Committee.

2. Combating Patriarchal Behaviours in the RSM
A committee will be struck to study the development of past incidents of patriarchal behaviour and the RSM’s handling of them, study the theories and procedures of other revolutionary organizations in combating internal patriarchy, and oversee their implementation in the RSM;
Be it further resolved that an this committee should keep track of abusers named from other organizations to inform sections of these individuals.
Be it further resolved that an each RSM section will contribute one member to this committee if possible;
Be it further resolved that an the minimum requirements for such procedures be recognized as follows:
  • they must address patriarchy in both the antagonistic and non-antagonistic stages
  • in the latter case, they must provide methods for recognizing and relentlessly struggling against less harmful manifestations of patriarchy, recognizing that failing to do so is liberalism, and that these will lead to greater harm and division if left unchecked
  • in the former case, where antagonism has developed, whether in the form of harassment, abuse, or assault, that the accused should be suspended from the RSM immediately, pending a thorough investigation
  • the survivor has authority to appoint an “inreach” team to represent them to this committee, oversee subsequent procedures such as official statements, official internal documents, and demands.
  • conditions permitting, this investigation should be carried out by out by individual(s) without biases w.r.t. the different parties, such as principally close interpersonal relationships outside of organizing spaces, and should report directly to the committee on their findings
  • if any involved parties feel that the investigation or its results are not in accordance with proletarian feminism, they may appeal to the committee and to the CoCo
  • if it is determined that an accusation of abuse, harassment, or assault is credible, then the accused shall be immediately expelled; the RSM does not have the resources to dedicate to transforming very harmful individuals, we can only isolate them, warn others, and punish them to the extent which our power and conditions allow
  • isolation would here be defined as all members being required to remove the abuser from social media, excluding the abuser from social events where possible, and excluding the abuser from political organizing where possible. Isolation also involves an active struggle to defend and uphold the verdict against apologists and abusers.
  • when the verdict has been reached, the CoCo members have 48 hours to distribute this information to each chapter. This must include the following information of the abuser: name, social media accounts, and photos, so that sections know to isolate this person.  If recommended by the survivor or inreach committee, the CoCo should make a public statement regarding the incident.
  • in the instance that a chapter refuses to expel an abusive member, this committee will have the authority of an investigative committee to make a recommendation to the CoCo that the chapter be dissolved.
  • when experiencing non-antagonistic patriarchy from other RSM members, members must immediately report it to their local leadership; if the accused is in leadership, or if the leadership does not take the situation seriously, it should be escalated to both the committee and the CoCo; sections must create such conditions that all members are aware of this and feel comfortable doing so; they must ensure that all members have the contact information for certain non-local committee and CoCo representatives;
  • if an RSM member experiences antagonistic patriarchal behaviour from another RSM member, they should immediately inform the committee and the CoCo
  • the RSM must reject the survivor-centric approach, as it often serves to perpetuate abuse and allows abusers to continue to exist in radical spaces under conditions when survivors are reluctant to act against the abuser; conditions must be created where a survivor does not fear coming forward and acting against their abuser;
Be it further resolved that an that proletarian feminism, being still relatively undeveloped can only be developed through a scientific approach; the committee must therefore keep detailed records of all findings either in investigations or study, continuously criticize established methods, and develop new analyses of proletarian feminism and the methods of combating internal patriarchy, to be published in the internal journal and analyzed by all sections.

3. On General Assemblies and the Strategic Line of Construction of MER-RSM
Be it resolved:
  • We should unite under the slogan: “Students to the streets” / “Étudiant à la rue”
  • This means to concentrate all capacities in constructing the MER-RSM in struggle among the deepest, most exploited and oppressed layers of the masses, the hard-core of the proletariat, according to the concrete conditions of each chapter of the MER-RSM.
  • The hard core of the proletariat is the larger strata of the proletariat, the millions of workers who have nothing to lose but their chains, who constitute the hard core of the revolutionary camp. These strata are notably made up of, not necessarily exclusively: the poor and exploited workers who are at the bottom of the social ladder; the workers excluded from the labour market, who comprise the industrial reserve army for the capitalists; the new strata of proletarians that come from recent immigration; women, who continue to massively integrate the labour market – the capitalists profit from sexism and discrimination and over-exploit them; the youth, that are more than any other generation, confronted with precarious and underpaid work; the indigenous workers, for whom unemployment is the rule and who are subjected to the worst discrimination.
  • Instead of orienting toward the careerist and reformist vipers’ nest of petty-bourgeois campus politics, as we have largely done to this day, we will organize on campus principally to get students off campus and into the proletarian struggle in the streets, the factories and the fields. This is the practice of the Maoist revolutionaries leading the national democratic movement in the Philippines, as well as a major component of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution concentrated in the slogan “DOWN TO THE COUNTRYSIDE!”
  • On campus organizing is to be treated according to the nature of each section. When on campus work is secondary, such as at universities, this will take the form of on campus recruitment, confronting class enemies, study groups, having a militant presence at relevant demonstrations, and other similar events. In instances of high schools or CEGEPs, it may be more appropriate for members to do off-campus outreach where feasible, treating campus work as more primary.
  • Our purpose is to fight the old state. Our analysis proves that universities are nothing but towers of the bourgeoisie. They are more reactionary than the most reactionary of trade unions. Still, like those trade unions, we should never renounce struggling within them. It is necessary to organize within them, but we must always ask: to what end, and for whom? We say: for the conquest of political power by the proletariat.
  • We must always strive to link the just struggles of the masses for their demands, to the central task of the revolutionary movement in the Canadian state: power for the proletariat, conquered with the force of arms, for socialism and communism.
  • In doing so, RSM sections must concretely combat class enemies and oppose opportunism.
  • No more jockeying almost full-time for General Assemblies, or worse, so-called “proletarian unions” which represent a detour to a detour. Neither represents genuine “dual power” as synthesized by Lenin and Mao, which hinges ultimately on guns: “Political power grows from the barrel of a gun.”
  • We must avoid this narrow sectional interest, which is exclusive to students, and has no concrete perspective for linking itself to the wider proletarian struggle for power.
  • The bourgeoisie has always had their schools to reproduce themselves. We need to show the alienated students, who live in an ideological bubble, the realities of the daily struggle for mere existence confronting the toiling masses.
    RSM sections should synthesize the results from these struggles into articles to be included in the Internal Journal, and that sections incorporate the positive lessons from others’ experiences into their own efforts, in particular lessons on sections of the masses to do work on, how that work is to be conducted, what form of organizations will be created, and what the RSM’s connection will be to those organizations.

4. Security Culture
The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will create a detailed internal document of security protocols to be followed at meeting, while online, during actions, or anywhere deemed necessary.
Be it further resolved that this document contain not only what security protocols to follow, but also the benefits and risks of various security practices especially related to online security.
Be it further resolved that local leadership ensure the disciplined adherence to these protocols by all section cadre and train them in their use.
Be it further resolved that the Coordinating Committee will indicate the appropriate level of security for each document sent out to sections.
Be it further resolved that whenever the Coordinating Committee releases a document for its members they should specify one of the following levels of security: (1) section leadership; (2) general members, and (3) public.

5. International Bureau
The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee will take the initiative to seek advice from international comrades engaged in the student struggle and also to materially support them as needed.

6. International Working Women’s Day
The RSM will rectify the error of renaming International Working Women’s Day to “Gender Oppressed Workers’ Day” and return to celebrating this occasion by its original name. Additionally, be it resolved that such action stand in solidarity with the struggles of all members of the working class who are socially perceived as women, including trans women and some non-binary and intersex people, and who therefore are the primary targets of patriarchal oppression.

7. On Video Propaganda
Be it resolved:
  • We must create compelling video propaganda. Teaching people the basics of shooting videos of protests and actions clearly so that we get footage of confrontations with class enemies. We must encourage the masses to record testimonies of their reality without shame. We must put the unseen and unspoken proletarian reality at the forefront and always in order to flip the script on the rancid and festering culture of imperialism.
  • Propaganda officers from each section will form a Propaganda Committee, lead by the Coordinating Committee propaganda officers to:
    • centralize raw video footage of all sorts produced by local chapters;
    • archive them for use in future productions according to the security protocols of the propaganda committee;
    • edit them on case-by-case basis if that capacity is lacking locally;
    • synthesize them into gripping and professionally produced videos that speak to a pan-canadian context;
    • decentralize high-quality video assets, skills and practices.
    • Create a document laying out the RSM’s line on video propaganda

8. On the Logo of the MER-RSM
The Coordinating Committee will consult with sections on the possibility of a new logo design.

9. On Plain Living and Hard Struggle
The following argument was put forth by one section. The Congress elected to retain this information for the purposes of constructing an appropriate code of conduct and recognizes that some of the wording is subject to criticism and change:
  • “The MER-RSM reaffirms that we are not an apolitical social scene, an “Ol’ Boys Club” or a fraternity which exists to generate personal social capital for a few charismatic opportunists.
    • The MER-RSM reaffirms that we are an organization of disciplined revolutionary militants, forging ourselves as leaders for the coming war against the old state, within our lifetimes. We must get serious, professionalize our structure and ourselves. Our personal lives are fully subordinate to our political commitments. We should hold ourselves and one-another to that standard, in the real world and online.
    • No more decadent social gatherings! No more bourgeois cultural events! Just one hour of doing room-to-room talks, having brief but regular meetings where we touch base and study and talk objectives, collective physical training, immersing ourselves among the masses to share in their work and their recreation – this is worth more than a 100 hours of apolitical social gatherings that look no different than the average college party.
  • Camaraderie is important, and to socialize with comrades is important too. But just as with everything else we do, camaraderie must be unfolded among the masses and in service to them.
  • Instead of just fraternizing with each other, we should fraternize with the proletarian masses and take part in their festivities, but not cause trouble. We should listen to them talk about their lives and problems, and wait until they are done before we judge them
  • MER-RSM is all struggle all the time. We must sleep on the ground if necessary, eating the food of the urban poor masses, sharing in their joys and sorrows, forever keeping to the style of plain living and hard struggle. If we are not prepared to give up our gold and soft bed, we will be useless when the time of struggle comes. We must master the new conditions of revolutionary life, or we will perish along with the revolution.
  • Remember, in the last analysis, the workers and peasants are the cleanest people and, even though their hands may be soiled and their feet smeared with cow-dung, they really are cleaner than the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois intellectuals. Our purpose is always to build links and make contacts within the masses.”
The MER-RSM Coordinating Committee, in coordination with the Concordia and Ottawa comrades, and all other sections, will develop a statement on proletarian ethics, rectifying past mistakes, and develop a code of conduct for all members based on that statement. This code of conduct should be completed before January 1st, 2020, and be sent out to all sections.

9. Motion on supporting survivors of abuse
Be it resolved:
  • In case of an expulsion of a member from the revolutionary movement due to abuse against anyone, the RSM will uphold the verdict on the abuser and actively protect the survivor against all form of threats and intimidation, including especially threats of legal action against the survivor in reactionary bourgeois courts.
  • the responsibility falls to the pan-Canadian RSM to continue to uphold their statement against all subsequent attacks, as the RSM is the one brought it public, so it’s their duty to continue upholding it.
  • The work of protecting the survivor is not finished once the abuser is exposed and expelled, as history as made it clear that abusers will retaliate using any means at their disposal, including reactionary bourgeois courts, be it a month or a year following their expulsion.
  • Be it further resolved the RSM should make a public statement upholding the expulsion of the accused. In the instance of subsequent intimidation or threats from the abuser, the CoCo will release a letter to the accused, and also to organizations that continue to work with the accused, that they will continue to uphold their previous statements and materially support the survivor, even if the accused intends to pursue bourgeoisie reactionary courts or further escalation in reactionary law or other reactionary attacks.

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