February 7, 2020

Reform and Class Struggle

Although reformist and social democrat,
Communists in Venezuela support Nicolas Maduro
By Sam Hammond

This piece was written by Sam Hammond, former Labour secretary of the Communist Party of Canada in 2016. Although some examples are dated (for example, references are made to the Harper Tories) or very specific to Ontario Labour movement, they are still useful in understanding the relation between reform and revolution from a concrete perspective. A lot of the references to business unionism also apply to the student movement and are, as such, a good starting point for a reflexion on how to strengthen the student movement on the basis of unity, militancy and struggle. 
Communists are generally the most determined fighters for reforms, because they know only an organized and combative working class can ever push beyond reforms. Liberals and many social democrats want to “balance” things.

January 31, 2020

Organisation, politics and theory

By Adrien Welsh 

Can one be a good organiser without understanding theoretical elements of Marxism-Leninism, and vice-versa? This is an interesting question that touches different topics. In other words, the question refers to consider what is a political cadre or, to use more contemporary words, a political organiser in the way we, communists, understand it and this, no matter what their responsibility is.

Can we organise a club without knowing the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism? Can we be a good unionist, a good student leader without having read What is to be done or any other classic? Or, to the opposite, can we have read all classics without having recruited one person to the organisation and identify as a « cadre »? Can we identify as a « communist theorist » without having distributed one leaflet only once? Or can we be a revolutionary simply because of vibrant speeches without being so vibrant when it comes to send an e-mail or to achieve administrative tasks?

January 17, 2020

A Global Reaction to the movie "Joker"

Review by James C. Jones

The movie Joker was released last year in 2019, first premiering in August at the Venice Film Festival before coming to cinemas in North America on October 4. It is a standalone film about the famous Batman villain, taking place in 1981 in the fictional city of Gotham. The lack of a large budget, special effects, and fight scenes makes it quite different from most superhero movies. In fact, it is quite far from being a superhero movie as it doesn’t feature a morally righteous protagonist nor anyone with supernatural abilities.

December 9, 2019

“All Power to the People” : Meeting with Ajamu Baraka

Report by Igor Sadikov

On November 15, national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace, former U.S. Green Party vice-presidential candidate and longtime peace activist Ajamu Baraka addressed a full room gathered at the Greek Workers Association hall in Montreal, as part of a tour of Eastern Canada organized by the Canadian Peace Congress and the Mouvement québécois pour la paix. Baraka provided an analysis of imperialism as the material basis for war and spoke of a “global de-colonial imperative” – the need for an international anti-imperialist front in order to directly confront white supremacy and neoliberal ideology.

November 25, 2019

Two Degrees between Me and Fidel

By Abram Lutes 

History is not made by individuals, but sometimes history places individuals at the heart of momentous events. The leadership and moral character of these individuals can thus, sometimes, change the world.

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is one such individual, also known simply as “Castro”, or affectionately just “Fidel” in much of Latin America. Having spent some time in Latin America, I too think of him as Fidel.

November 23, 2019

A history for student sturggle for unity (2)

Divisions and current challenges

by Drew Garvie
To oppose the militancy of the CFS, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) was founded in June of 1995 with help from mainly the Liberal Party, but also from the Conservatives. Its tactics do not include any member mobilization and instead focus entirely on lobbying and photo opportunities with politicians. CASA and its provincial affiliates have distinguished themselves by frequently supporting rises in tuition fees over the last 25 years. Its capture by governments and the Liberal party remains and students cannot call it a truly independent student federation.

November 20, 2019

We must become the true social media

by Adrien Welsh

This article is the Editorial of the latest print issue of Rebel Youth - Jeunesse militante.

Two years ago, at the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students, the General Secretary of the World Federation of Trade Unions George Mavrikos addressed the anti-imperialist youth gathered in Sochi for the occasion. Having tackled different issues relating to the trade union struggle at the international level and among the youth, he took the time to broaden his address to young people in general.

"One of the main challenges facing you,” he told us, “is that capitalism has found in the internet a way of alienating you even further. You are being told that you can struggle on the internet, that you can have friends on the internet, and even that you can find love on the internet.”

November 19, 2019

The history of student union federations in English-speaking Canada (1)

A history of student struggle for unity
by Drew Garvie

The student movement has a long, proud history of struggle across Canada. This issue of Rebel Youth is going to print as the Canadian Federation of Students, English Canada’s largest and only independent student union federation, finds itself facing crises on several fronts: a split with the “BC Federation of Students” (what was left of CFS-BC) and attacks from Ontario’s Doug Ford government which threaten to defund a large part of their remaining base in Ontario.

November 14, 2019

University of Victoria's Student Society prevents a celebration of the International Day of Students

November 17, 1939 antifascist rally in Prague
By Tyson Riel Strandlund

November 17th marks the International Day of Students, a day which commemorates the anniversary of the 1939 Nazi storming of the University of Prague after demonstrations against the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, following which student leaders were executed and over 1200 students sent to concentration camps. This day is marked and celebrated by students around the world, and it was with this day in mind that students at the University of Victoria had intended to come together to raise their voices in unison demanding the right to free, universal, democratic post-secondary education on November 14th. It would cost approximately $10 billion to eliminate tuition fees in Canada. Meanwhile, Canada’s 6 banks reported $42 billion in profit for 2017. With the $4.5 billion used to purchase the Trans-Mountain Pipeline, we could’ve eliminated student debt for over 150,000 people. Additionally, our commitment to NATO means our already bloated military budget of over $20 billion will be increasing by 73% over the course of the decade. There is simply no excuse for the prioritisation of corporate profits over education.

September 30, 2019

Young Communists challenge capitalism in the Federal Elections

Special to RY

Capitalism has no future, but the youth does!

It is increasingly clear that young people have nothing to gain from a system that has nothing else to offer them than crises, exploitation, destruction of the environment and wars. This is why out of the 31 candidates who will defend the Communist Party’s ideas and fight capitalism, almost a third are young communists. Indeed, 9 young people respected in their colleges, universities, workplaces or in their neighbourhood decided that enough is enough, and that now is time to build a new world, one that suits the interests of the majority, not the minority of the exploiting minority.

September 24, 2019

Your list to the climate strikes on Friday, September 27th

Special to RY 

In a statement released at the beginning of September, the Young Communist League – Ligue de la jeunesse communiste du Canada calls for an active support of the “youth and workers around the world fighting for a sustainable future and their right to a clean, sustainable and safe environment” and calls “on all progressive people and organisations (including student unions) to take an active part in local activities during the Climate Strike.” This is an appeal that Rebel Youth wishes to bring to its readers while literally hundred of actions are being organised in the lead to what is likely to be the biggest worldwide strike for environment on Friday, September 27th.

September 6, 2019

Strike for Climate!

By James Chumsa and Lia Sommer

This article is an updated version of the article published in the latest printed version of Rebel Youth

On Friday March 15, over one million young students from around the world walked out of class to demand that their governments take serious action against climate change. The global student strike for climate was held in 2000 cities across 125 countries. In Canada over 56 cities had youth climate protests, with many YCL clubs in attendance such as in Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver. In Nanaimo, members of the YCL were also organizers of the local climate protest.

Since then, other student lead protests have taken place. According to the official Fridays For Future Canada website, 98 cities participated in the nation wide climate strike on Friday May 3 and 104 Canadian cities participated in the Friday May 24 global strike. There are also plans for a global Earth Strike during the week of September 20-27.

August 29, 2019

INVITATION: Rebel Youth Festival, Sept. 6-7: let's celebrate alternative and progressive media!

Special to RY 

It is increasingly clear that corporate media empires considerably reduce our ability to access quality information. Big corporations and the ruling class love it. With the commodification of information, they control the editorial line of major media groups by financing them generously.

This kind of media is presented as being moderate and holding the truth. This is in the context of the rise of the extreme right (of which it is a major sponsor) and while the dangers of imperialist wars and the destruction of the environment (which it does not seriously challenge). There is no doubt that promoting an alternative, militant and combative press is a necessity.

August 9, 2019

“Against looting, socialism!” Say the Çanakkale people (Turkey) against Canadian Mining Corporation Alamos

Thousands protest against Alamos Gold Mining in Çanakkale
By Adrien Welsh 

It was with this rallying cry that activists from the Çanakkale branch of the Turkish Communist Party joined the thousands of demonstrators who stormed the site of the Kirazli gold mine project operated by the Canadian mining company Alamos. Despite a few altercations with security personnel, a human tide of thousands of protesters were determined to voice their opposition to the company caused deforestation and defeated the company's security agents. Once on the site, the event went off without a hitch, the protesters came among others to make an eminently symbolic gesture: planting trees.

July 31, 2019

Canadian Network on Cuba’s campaign to reopen IRCC office in Havana well underway

Special to RY

Coming out of its last biennial Convention held this past June in Toronto, the Canadian Network on Cuba resolved to continue a major campaign to reopen Canada’s Visa office in Havana.

For this purpose, activists in solidarity with Cuba have begun gathering signatures for a petition addressed to the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed D. Hussen, and Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign affairs. It states that “on May 8th, 2019, the Government of Canada made the abrupt decision to shut down the section of its Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship (IRCC) Office in Havana.”

Popular stories