The Young Communist League condemns the anti-democratic and illegal evictions (and attempted evictions) of the Occupy movement in Halifax, London, Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon, Whitehorse, Quebec city as well as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and elsewhere across Canada. In many cities the police attacks or threats against the occupiers have been pushed back by the largest showings of community mobilization since the demos began!
Across Canada, youth and students have been coming together behind the slogans “Occupy Everywhere” and “We are the 99%.” Occupy camps have been set up all around the world, with an extraordinary 300+ occupations in the USA and all major cities in Canada being occupied.
Youth should take heart in the fact that, despite increasingly cold, freezing, wet and snowy weather (as well as internal challenges) the occupations in Canada increased both in numbers and popular support. In many places they have been joined by representatives of the trade unions and striking workers, and have received official solidarity from a broad range of labour and people’s forces. The 99% have set up kitchens, meeting spaces, libraries and literally hundreds of tents, with a general sense of organization.
This is both a conscious and deliberate action, and a liberating act of resistance. The destruction of the camps therefore has nothing to do with “safety” or the “health and welfare of the protestors” or to avoid “violence.” In fact, the enforcement of municipal by-laws or trespass notices is unconstitutional because these actions violate our fundament rights and freedoms. We have a fundamental right to assemble in public spaces, organize forms of collective resistance and speak out for real change and reforms, as well as revolutionary social transformation.
Young people are completely justified in asking where are our Charter Rights and Freedoms? and again being outraged as the occupations face trickery, unilateral action, harsh treatment, and often violent repression by municipal, federal and provincial police – the tools of the state of the 1%.
Youth and students should continue to have courage now, taking confidence in the reality that the issues the occupiers are raising will not go away by destroying the encampments or jailing the occupiers.
The massive inequality and social injustice we face today, massive environmental problems etc., occur in the framework of an ongoing and severe crisis of capitalism. We are not in a “long recession,” a “slow or jobless recovery,” nor is there just an isolated “Euro-zone debt problem.” We cannot “hunker-down” and wait for the storm to pass – the only way forward is struggle.
Occupy is another sign that more and more people, especially youth, are saying “Enough is Enough.” The YCL-LJC Canada joins these voices and calls-out that our anger must be just the start of organized resistance behind the demand of people’s needs, not corporate greed. To this end the YCL-LJC continues to advocate for a Charter of Youth Rights.
As we have said, the corporate drive for maximum profits is responsible for destroying our planet, and for the escalating attacks against workers, Aboriginal peoples, racialized communities, women, youth, seniors, and other sections of the people. Ultimately, stronger collective resistance against this deadly enemy can open the door to a process of genuine democratic social change, leading towards a socialist future!
YCL-LJC CEC, November 2011
YCL-LJC CEC, November 2011