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Student Movement : Issues and Perspectives

Preface
As mentioned in the Communist Manifesto Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims . It does not proceed otherwise in this booklet that we submit to debate and criticism. How to put an end to the capitalist system? How to stop this system of oppression and exploitation? How to put a term to the rule of the so powerful bourgeoisie and its modern state - a real center of management for the needs of capital? It is through hard work, but not just any work a revolutionary one that we can accumulate enough forces and to make lose even more

to the bourgeoisie to overthrow the balance of power that is currently unfavorable to the exploited proletariat with the prospect of a radical social transformation, a revolution. No more here than elsewhere, the youth of the proletariat who represent the majority of the youth can not pursue anymore a political system that is not primarily an expression of their interests. Unlike the elements of the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie who dominate the student movement and for who the relationship to politics can only exist inside the limits of the capitalist system, young proletarians should instead put forward the only adequate response to historical needs that they face : the abolition of the current system and thereby, for now, the implement of the needed practices that can enable this reversal. This booklet written by activists present the ideas of the Revolutionary Student Movement of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada. It includes some elements of history, a brief analysis of the current situation in Canada, an analysis of the student movement as well as a number of perspectives that we put forward among students.

Student Movement in the 1960's : from liberal reforms to Marxism-Leninism In the history of student movement in Canada, there is little talk on the political ideologies that have crossed and influenced it. We usually limit our disccusions to claims, specific struggles and campuses associations. However, class struggle and political ideas will directly influenced the student movement. The Cold War period following World War II was a period of tension, resulting in permanent conflict and superposed major crisis (Korean War, Berlin Blockade, Cuban Missile crisis, Vietnam War, etc.) In imperialist countries, youth is growing up in a climate of economic prosperity but must also deal with political tensions around the world. The contestation of both Soviet and American imperialism takes radical forms; revolt in Hungary (1956), revolt of workers and

students in Poland (1950 and 1960), Prague Spring (1968). Western countries are no exception : powerful anti-war movements are formed to dispute the politics of imperialism, in Europe and America. In the third world, it is the rise of liberation movement of peoples. Around the globe, the 60's will be important years of struggle that will sometimes threaten the capitalist word order. China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution began in 1966 also influences students both by the role played by the youth and by the practical experiences carried out by the masses. The barefoot doctors who will treat people in the countryside, the fight against the various manifestations of sexism, the struggle to reduce privileges and against the division between intellectual and manual labor, the excitement for ideas and culture, all that is known by politicized students. People are interested in the revolutionary classics, like Marx and Lenin, and now Mao too. In France, the protesting movement is growing so fast : during the month of May 1968, the French social order is disrupted, threatened to fall when the student struggle join the worker's movement. Maoism appeared in France in early 1960's as part of a great ideological debate between USSR and Mao's China on modern revisionism. French youth takes the part of the Chinese thesis and will lead with correctness the criticism against modern revisionism that is embodied in France by the PCF (French communist party). The comrades who support the Chinese thesis will form the UJC-ML (Union of Communist Youth Marxist-Leninist), a maoist inspired group that is also the result of the split of the communist youth with the PCF. With strong presence on campuses, UJC-ML and PCMLF will play a significant role in the Movement of May 68 in his stand against the PCF, the Social democrats and the union in action between students and workers. In the end of 1967, CAL (High School Action Committees) are formed to organize events against Vietnam War. The struggle is not limited to France : student protests affects all the West and even Japan. In 1966, the English students are struggling against the rising of tuition fees and against the Vietnam War while the IRA (Irish Republican Army) receives considerable support from the British New Left. In Italy, there is violent labor strikes during the 1960's. In 1968, a major wave of university occupation affects more than half of them. Major movements of the extreme left are formed during this period of social turmoil. In Germany, following the French May 68, the SDS (German Union of Socialists Students) gets active and radical. Violent occupations of universities, anti-war demonstrations and protests against the reduction of civil rights will be conducted in 1966, 1967 and 1968. In the U.S.A., the 1960's were very rebellious in many aspects. The creation of the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) in 1960 against the U.S. military intervention around the world has changed in the following years into an open struggle against the Vietnam War. The SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) formed in 1962, combined with the FSM (Free Speech Movement)of Berkeley in California will take significant proportions in the fight for the democratization of both schools and society. There has been several important demonstrations and universities occupations in 1967 and 1968. The struggle leads by the African American is also growing and tends to join the proletarian struggle especially with the Black Panther Party, founded in 1966. [Situation in Canada? In Ontario?] The current situation

Each time in a historical process, here as elsewhere, is punctuated by turning points, moments that put the revolutionary forces in front of new problems, new essential questions that request answers that we need to make the whole movement progress. We are undergoing a troubled period in the developed capitalist countries, a period that starts from the crisis of the development of capitalism that began in the mid-70's and is still growing year after year. This period is characterized in the imperialist countries by an almost permanent economic crisis situation, by the weakness of the more combattive organizations of the masses, by a crisis of reformism itself, etc.. In this context, each and everyone is called to react and make actions that will either permit us to escape from this situation stronger or either leave us weaker than before. Canadian bourgeoisie understands the challenge and already began the offensive. The bourgeoisie must act or risk losing its place in the world economic stage. Under the current conditions of the capitalist crisis and recession, the bourgeoisie must fight for its place by creating a space that help to achieve maximum profits levels and by the same way, maximum exploitation levels. The bourgeoisie has give terrible blows to the proletariat in the last years : on the economic and social front, cuts in social service, shop closures, relocations and restructuring; on the ideological front, it is the bourgeois education and mechanisms of selection that reproduce the bourgeois social relations; on the political front, it is the renforcement of the Capitalist State apparatus who controls, suppresses and dominates all aspects of our lives. To achieve this, the bourgeoisie has patiently worked to retrieve and integrate unions, people's organizations and youth to its projects. Gradually, the petty-bourgeois direction of the popular movement and of the labor aristocracy, a part of the student movement, their networks, their organizations, their newspapers have had to play the role of watchdogs to the interests of capitalism. Using their privileged position, these forces control and dominate ideologically the proletariat and make sure to break any hint of revolutionary action. The indication of this recuperation can be seen in the drastic fall of work conflicts as special laws and lock-outs are increasing. We can also see it through the financial dependency to the State of organizations like the student federations that become real schools club for bourgeois political parties. But to finish this job, the bourgeoisie will have to be able to eliminate one after another each and every improvements that the proletariat was able to wrest over the years. To achieve these objectives, the bourgeoisie proceeds in different ways : direct cuts, changes that made ineffective some measures for the proletarian masses or by leaving on their own structures that are related to these social services, like schools and hospitals. And we find ourselves in a situation where on one side more and more people will be brought to fight for the social progresses we won in the past, to resist to attacks of the imperialist bourgeoisie and will possibly threaten the existing social order while on the other, the directions of the labor, popular and student movement will instead of preparing clashes to come fold masses towards reformism, electioneering, and all other political alternatives offered by capitalism to survive. As a result, trade unions, grassroots groups, student organizations will be rip between two paths that can't coexist together : overthrow throw capitalism or maintain it. In the absence of revolutionary leadership for the proletariat, it's class collaboration and

reformism, whether moderate or radical, that expressed naturally as representations of the general interests of the proletariat. This policy maybe these policies are implemented in the defense organizations of the working class annexed by the forces of the bourgeoisie and thus, represent the efforts of the bourgeoisie and its allies to influence and divert the proletariat from its real interests. At a smaller scale, we can find these same currents with the same objectives in the student movement. This reality can be seen in how we confront the major problems generated by capitalism. We face the attacks of the bourgeoisie without being able to actually do anything but try to keep some assets, without ever being able to gain new ones. This way of dealing with the capitalists improvising in no particular order, no real purpose, no strategy and no tactics is not a coincidence. This way of fighting is the practical result of long time incorporation of ideas and struggles methods accepted and controlled by the bourgeoisie in our struggles. In the current global crisis, reformism is a politic that can not give favorable results to the masses. The imperialist bourgeoisie can not satisfy even the interests of segments of society that are already won to it, and yet, the little that it is forced to give by one hand is taken back by the other one. Briefly, this crisis period is not a period in which the imperialist bourgeoisie can easily grants improvements. The proletariat and the various movements of struggle may be able to win a concession, retain an advantage but only by setting large forces in hard struggles. And precisely to answer properly to the attacks of the bourgeoisie, we must be able to encourage the emergence of a militant movement of proper scale. More generally, the immediate consequence of this crisis in development is the collapse - that is getting larger and larger between the masses and the current reform movement which, unlike the reform movement associated with the period of capitalism growing, can not succeed to implement its own proposed reforms. This collapse is showed, among other things, by the significant drop of youth participation in bourgeois elections. While we can applaud the regression of the reformist movement, this should not make us forget that more and more the crisis is going to exacerbate and more the solutions proposed by the reformists are going to prove their ineffectiveness, the more the objective division into two opposing camps (bourgeoisie and proletariat) becomes visible and the masses are called upon to take action under the direction of one side or the other. The long-term effect of the penetration of bourgeois ideas assimilated by mass movement is the replacement of revolutionary perspectives by reformist ones that have become the natural order of things and were all factors that have stop the enlargement of the movement, this is why liberating the movement is an important political issue to which the revolutionary youth must tackle. Youth and Capitalism In Canada, there are 4.4 million of young people aged from 15 to 24 years old. We can say that two-thirds of them belong to the proletariat. After 19 years old, six out of ten are no longer in school. Despite this, and despite the fact the rate of activity in the general population has been high in recent years, the rate of youth employment in 2005 was only at 57,5%. This means that half of young workers earn less than 9$ an hour. Indeed, 45% of all young people who are no longer in school and working full time live below the poverty line. Today, being a young man or woman under 25 years old means to be more educated, to earn

less and to be less likely to find a stable job than the generation before. According to a report by the Canadian Labour Congress published in 2005, workers aged 15 to 24 years old earned 25% less than the wages of workers from the same age group but a generation ago (taking inflation into account). One in six in Canada is a person from a minority, and 41% of them are born and educated in Canada. Despite higher levels of education than average, this growing group continues to live with lower employment rates and higher unemployment than other young people. Similarly, Native youth face unemployment well above the average. In the first half of 2005, the rate of youth unemployment has averaged 12,5% (360 000 young people), slightly more than the double of the unemployment rate of 25 years ago. It is astonishing that today, one young worker out of three is in an unemployment situation. In addition to underemployed youth, capitalism in recent years mainly offered low-paid and lowskilled private sector services jobs. Today, these are jobs that usually entry points on the labor market for young adults most of them work in industries characterized by low wages, few or no social benefits like healthcare and retirement, and part-time or split shifts schedules. Rather than quickly improve their situation, many young people, including those who are highly educated, spend several years in a series of low paid and low skilled jobs.

Class contradictions within the student movement Contrary to trade unions or community groups to which they often identify themselves, student unions organize a social group whose class composition is particularly heterogeneous. All classes are represented, so obviously disproportionate to their relative importance in society. In the minority of young adults that will study in the University, it is not difficult to understand that the bourgeoisie is over-represented while the proletariat is underrepresented. This is precisely one of the factors explaining the reproduction of these two classes, hoarding knowledge as a necessary condition for the occupation of positions of power in society. To this objective reality, we can add another one, a subjective one, specific to the consciousness of students. Our time is a time when class consciousness is far less sharp than in other periods of the history of capitalism; they are themselves particularly blunt. The bourgeoisie today have an overwhelming ideological hegemony over the whole society and its representations of the world or evacuate specifically obscure the reality of social classes. According to it, rather than entering collectively in conflicting social relations of domination and exploitation, people are just pure individuals whose trajectories are analyzed in terms of successes and failures. Collective marks fade of consciousness of proletariat; subjectively, we identify ourselves less than before as part of a social class and as related to its collective destiny. This phenomenon is even more pronounced among the student population. The University is seen as a bridge to fit into the advantage ranks of the social hierarchy. Many children of proletarians who feed high aspirations of upward mobility identify themselves more readily to the bourgeoisie than to their class of origin, that they want to leave. They do not dream of emancipation, but of promotion. The heterogeneity of classes in the student movement and the strong influence generated by the

bourgeoisie has determined its objective limits. This is probably the main factor that determines its reformism. There is no common interest within the student movement that can be transformed into a strong political point of unity. It is condemned to oscillate between different interests, contradictory, unable to decide. One can politically works in it based on its most proletarian elements to put forward the most progressive views more accessibility, more financial support, etc. - But it will still have to deal with large student contingents of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois who refuses to break with capitalism. The class composition of the student movement as it is organized today (especially by imitating the union model of Rand formula) neutralizes the will of strong ideological demarcation. It is only possible to have a struggle for more social justice under capitalism, with more or less radical peaks depending on the circumstances, according to the activist tradition on a campus or another. This reality can be seen at a large scale during the major clashes of the student movement with the State, for example the big strike of 2005 in which General Assemblies could both extend the strike and vote at the same time proposals condemning violent militant actions. On a smaller scale, it is common in the student movement to say that one union is leftist and another is more rightist . In any case, few people have tried to understand the origin of these realities beyond the militant traditions that would explain that students of certain colleges and universities are more activists than others. The tradition is a really limited reference and analysis base. If these remarks define the limits of student unions as an instrument of struggle, we should not believe that activists are condemned to reformism. The whole question is which political life can we have beyond the student unionism ? Or in other words, how do we let the student unionism impose its limits? The limits of the current student movement For many, the political reality is apprehended mainly through categories such as left/right , radical/moderate . Useful categories, of course, but that offer a vague portrait, or at least very aproximate, of the reality. These are essentially relative, without content or specific political orientation; these refer to elements that change with the ebb and flow of class struggle. Does being at the left in Canada in 2011 mean the same than in Russia in 1917, in Spain in 1936 or in France, 1968? And actually, be at the left of what? To support a revolutionary project, we must be armed with a much more precise picture of the social and political reality. We must, in fact, based ourselves on a scientific conception of the world. The absence or the weakness of class analysis in the student movement is a serious obstacle to a more advanced and more ambitious political practice. If we do not understand the multi-classist character of the student movement, and we simply think the student community as a political subject, we can neither define clear objectives or know on what forces we must base our activity; it will be impossible to formulate a consistent revolutionary strategy. But the confusion in social change is always recovered by the bourgeoisie, that clearly knows what it wants to do with the society. A class analysis means to investigate how the different social issues in education and elsewhere, contain the conflicting interests of different conflicting social classes how the various struggles reflect a global problem : the emancipation of one class against another. Feeling leftist and advocate social justice is not enough. What is important is to discern where is the demarcation

line of this contradiction and clearly choose on which side are we positioned. It's only in this way that we can hope to get a grip on reality and overcome the vain pursuit of an illusory common good , to use a social-democrat idea that is as widespread as it is pernicious. We've got to say it : between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, there is no common good, there is only one irreducible relationship of domination and exploitation. To pretend otherwise is maintaining confusion, is giving an handicap to the proletariat in its class consciousness. If we want a society that is working for common good, we must first overthrow the bourgeoisie, and eliminated it as a dominant class. Approach struggles with the interests of a specific class and based ourselves on it will prevent to uselessly appeal to the conscience of the so-called civil society , another muddy concept from contemporary reformism. Civil society is all social classes as they are organized in civilian life, that is to say outside the State, which generally mean bourgeois organizations who claim to speak for the entire society. Again, behind this frontage of unity, it is important to determine what are the camps if we want to build a political project around the only class that is really interested in get rid of capitalism, the only revolutionnary class to the end. One of the most important victories won in the history of the student movement in its high time was undoubtedly the political elevation that led new generations to consider the stuggle on revolutionary bases and on a radical questioning of capitalist society. This elevation was closely related to the reconciliation of a large segment of students with the camp of the revolution. If we stop in 1968, we could see that all the struggles started with simple corporatist and unionist claims, but passed quickly to struggles related to the capitalist system. Then the revolted students began to look for the real path of liberation and became aware of the need of unity with the working class, based on a clear political platform. It is in this context that we need to understand the rise of Marxist-Leninist organizations which succeeded the eruption of the student movement. For the activists of the student movement, it is more precisely about the idea of going futher than just building unity around student interests. Such a thing does not exist. We have to choose between the interests of the proletariat or those of the bourgeoisie. And we must do it clearly 1. Whether we like it or not, consider the formation of a balance of power as a strategy is to consider the urgent need being the strategy, in any struggle, to create a movement strong enough to achieve the goals is the ABC of struggling. But it's also a convenient way to remove the need to develop long term strategy or a substantive orientation with specific goals and to accumulate new forces through struggling. We can not satistisfy ourselves by going from a strike to another, with some successes and too many failures. We seek to understand the reasons that could explain how our decisions and our methods of struggle are the right decisions and the right means too infrequently. This is precisely a major obstacle that prevents the student movement to grow and can be see through the years by the incapacity to conduct offensive struggles to win new gains and to always be placed in a defensive position, leaving to the bourgeoisie the initiative to decide when it will attack us. Student Movement and the Trade-Unionist Movement Theoretical weaknesses of the student movement are illustrated in the relation that so many activists hope to develop with the union movement. This hope means a wrong comprehension of
1 Don't consider that this means that we limit the class analysis to the bourgeoisie/proletariat dichotomy. This question is more complicated than this. There is, for example, another social class the petty-bourgeoisie that plays an important role in the class struggle and particularly on the student movement. Otherwise, each class is divided in different (COUCHES), different sectors of which boundaries are not always clean cut and have its own contradictions. However, it is true that all these (NUANCES) exist around a main contradiction that oppose the two structuring poles of the capitalist society that are the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

the role played by unions in this period of the history of capitalism. We must arrive to this conclusion : today, unions are a powerful adhesion factor of workers with capitalism and a repressive force against workers combativeness in class struggle. This mistake takes the form of a fetishization of trade unions and a reduction of the worker's struggle to its unionist aspect. How many times people religiously claim a will to act in solidarity with the unions and the social movements? It's a constant of each and every action plan, at least for the left wing of the movement (represented by ASS in Quebec). Invariably, this will is related to the reflex of tendering friendly perches to unions and to some community organizations. Some people hope that unions will struggle, that they will vote for a social strike. But we must make the review of this solidarity . What comes from it? Sometimes, very shy supports at the end of a press release (generally more given to the right wing of the movement), participation to unfructful coalitions where we must make all the compromises, expression of sympathy for student struggles from individual activists but who can't talk on the name of their organizations, a fashionable speach during demonstration that is generally only a simple paternalist public disavowal. There is never the beginning of a real struggle lead side by side with workers. All the good wills are stopped by the bureaucratic (stamp of unions. Do we have to identify some examples? The impressive quantity of union leaders, from the top to the base, that are politically suvbservient to a bourgeois party like the Parti Qubcois in Qubec or the NPD in the rest of Canada. The intefgration of union apparels to financial capital by the intermediate of investment funds, workers interests are now more than ever subject to capital rentability under the cover of job saving. Examples of working conflicts in which unions ended with shameful compromises, as recommended by the union direction. Passivity against special laws that force work return is a true demobilization of union activists. And this list could be long. Make a junction between student movement and worker's movement is a commendable objective, it's even an imperative. But this junction could not only exist theoretically. It must be done on appropriate political bases, which are proletarian and revolutionary, and this could not be done by the action of unions. We must meet directly the workers, and the organizations that could help us to do this are not created yet. Breaking barriers Among the heaviest ideological barriers that are obstacles to the revolutionnary potential of the student youth, there is a variety of tactical conceptions thare are wrong or limited. At the strategic level which is the level of global and fundamental objectives we must see that a lot of militants are part of the proletariat vanguard by claiming with more or less precision that they are in favor of revolution or anticapitalism. But the path that lead to these objectives, that can materialize the strategy day after day, is made of choices, steps, methods, deturns. That is what we call tactic, and it's in this tortuous road that a lot of good wills are lost. The principal tactical obstacles that affect extreme-left anticapitalist revolutionary activists is economism and opportunism. Opportunism, in the way we understand it, does not necessarily mean a dishonest careerist or bureaucrat who puts his/her personal interests first even if this kind of opportunism also exists, but it's not the more problematic one. It is not a moral attitude, but a political analysis mistake shared by activists that are oftenly honnest. If we describe this mistake, we could say that it is based on the substitution of immediate interests to the fundamental interests of the working class, research of immediate success instead of the struggle for proletarian revolution and for socialism , to drop the revolutionary strategy by short-

term tactical consideration. We owe this definition of opportunism from revolutionnaries of the beginning of the twentieth century, as Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, who analyzed how the Second International deviated from the revolutionary road and got stock in bourgeois reformism. It is objectively a betrayal of the revolutionary goal on behalf of immediate needs of the revolutionary process . The most common form of opportunism in the student movement today could be described as the theory of radical stagism. It's more a kind of an intuitive conception than a theory, but it is clear enough for us to recognize it as a widespread trend among student activists who sometimes give to it anarchist colors, sometimes marxist influenced ones, and other times strictly trade unionist ones. This conception means a tactic that essentially relates on a process of radicalization of the masses (students or others) by the struggles until the conditions of a revolutionary uprising arrive. Let's heat the pot and the pressure will come one day to blow the lid off. Let's feed the fire but above all, don't smother it! Let's not get ahead of the level of consciousness, of radicalization of the masses. Founded in 1889, the Second International brought together the social-democrat labor parties (which still meant at the time Marxist revolutionary). It went through a serious crisis with the outbreak of WWI, while its main member parties rallied behind their respective bourgeois governments, betraying the revolution in preferring the imperialist slaughter. Its left wing, led by the Russian revolutionaries, seceded to form communist parties that will soon form the Third International. According to this point of view, this is what we should do. For now, what is supposedly important is to organize struggles based on concrete and realistic claims, which mean the living conditions of people, and to win some gain, even modest or only cosmetic ones, to make the confidence in the social struggle grow. We must promote the assertion of social rights, install a critical approach to authorities, put the light on injustice, promote militancy. When this long and patient work of radicalization will have matured to the point of giving birth to a genuine popular uprising, then the time to talk about revolution will come and we could give its real name to this almost already accomplished movement, that was hidden until this point behind struggles, claims and reforms. So it will be the time to suggest a specific target to the angry masses , to talk about armed struggle and overthrowing the bourgeoisie, to talk about socialism! But today, we are still far from this time! We can see that this radical stagism allows : conciliate an essentially reformist and economist practice to a theoretical adhesion to a revolutionary horizon. This is the cheap way to claim being of extreme-left, where the revolution becomes less a political practice than a subculture group, with its symbols, songs, micro-controversies and evenings where alcohol flows freely... For now, it is entirely absorbed in immediate struggles, in the spontaneous movement in order to raise consciousness step by step, here and now, without really care about the destination. Political, strategical and tactical issues of the revolution are never clarified because it is a prospect that always appears too distant and too abstract. This oftenly takes the form of contempt for theoretical debates and reflections in the name of a denunciation of a so-called petty-bourgeois intellectualism, in favor of pure activism. This is largely what explain the ideological poverty of struggles in the current student movement and the stagnation of its politics. The materialization of this tactical conception is the encampment of militancy into student unionism frameworks, the so-called tool of campus radicalization. Student Association and General Assembly shall be the only horizon : the next proposition, the next event, the next congress and the absolute imperative to win each and every vote are all that matters and longterm politics are actually nothing. Worse, under the pretext of popularizing and expand the hearing and to be better understood, we adopt the vocabulary of the bourgeoisie, the one that is

already the current dominant discourse, regardless to the severe ideological handicaps that this cause in the (re)construction of class consciousness; in this regard, we oftenly chose the easiest paths, characteristic of opportunism. If words like social classes, proletariat, bourgeoisie, class struggle, revolution, socialism, etc. have been so effectively removed from the consciousness of many by the ideologists of the bourgeoisie (journalists, politicians and intellectuals), it is exactly the reason why it is imperative to rehabilitate these. We do not deprive ourselves of a scientific way of understanding the world that we need to have if we want to change it. Without independant revolutionary political work which means free from associative and multiclassist structures, based on explicit revolutionary positions student unionism, even combattive one, quickly becomes a ceiling in the process of radicalization. First, it is a movement that is strongly marked by cycles, ebb and flow of mobilization and militancy, the renewal of its members. It seems difficult to provide anything more than a reproduction of its workforce militants. It's because the status of student is, by definition in our society, transitory. Inevitably, in a more or less long term depending of courses, militants take their retirement from the student movement. How many of them need to face the effects of their indifference to the responsibility of establishing political issues in the student movement, opportunities that allow to consider social and political issues wider than immediate student struggles and organize beyond a small social group? Those who have based their hopes in trade unionism or on community organizations realize that it is otherwise more complicated to be radical there than in the bastions of the student left. Several student will give up, frustrated by powerlessness and isolation. Others will yield under pressure for a bureaucratic activism of class collaboration. Others will resign themselves to offer the best of their ability to support populations in difficulty, healing simply the gaping wounds of capitalist society, without a real hope to ward off evil in this social intervention. But this is at most a secondary issue. The most problematic one is that without independent revolutionary political work and by only confining in the structures and languages of combattive student unionism, we are wasting much of the political potential that this movement holds. We can't pick the fruits of the radicalization of the student masses which would means accumulate forces for the revolution. Despise all the good will, overthrowing the bourgeoisie and constructing socialism is not going to happen in the next few years. Others tried before us and there is no reason why it could suddenly be easier. By then, however, it is legitimate for the masses to fight and advocate for improvements to their fate in the short term, for reforms under capitalism. Moreover, like it or not, capitalism imposes conditions which inevitably generate eruptions of rebellion and aspirations to more dignity. It would be downright ridiculous to condemn it under the pretext that it is limited and that it does not formulate spontaneously an aspiration for socialism. On the contrary, these are the roots of the struggle for socialism. For us, the struggle for reforms or immediate demands and the struggle for revolution and socialism are not diametrically opposed or mutually exclusive. There is a way to create a link between the two, to address the pressing needs of the masses without slipping into opportunism, without compromising with our basic objectives. However, the dominant tactical ideas in the radical circles of the student movement do not arrive to do it. We must use of a little more dialectical spirit : in this case, it appears that we must reverse the problems that serves as a premise to the thesis of radical stagism. Much has been argued that if the struggles for immediate needs are so hard to lead the recent struggle over school fees for example is that we did not sufficiently keep driving home the point of preserving the achievements and that we did not have enough build the movement in its union ist and reformist forms, gathered in a wide united front; we had even frightened emerging social consciousness with extremists positions, like free education. We believe instead that if the

front of the preservation of social achievements retreats and a fortiori the fight for further reform is impotent, the main factor is the absence of a revolutionary movement that would be at least a little significant. What is the interest of the government to satisfy, even partially, claims of the current radical reformist wing of the student movement? None. It will be interested in these claims only if it could see in this wing the lesser evil, a way to escape worse. But for now, it is an organization like ASS that represents its most antagonistic opposition in the student movement. So when it starts to heat up, governement knows really well how to use student federations which, at the cost of minor concessions, allow to isolate and frustrate the left wing. It is a dynamic well known of those activists. The bourgeoisie engaged in social reforms only by fear of a revolution. The offensive of the bourgeoisie around the world since two or three decades, often referred as neoliberalism, correspond to the reflux of the revolution. And the trend to reverse. The day there will be a significant fringe of activists capable of deploying a revolutionary agit-prop in the student movement to build a radical opposition to the interests of the bourgeoisie, then the need for the government to isolate this segment will arrise, to cut off its support. And since law enforcement alone will not be sufficient, that there will be a need for a political response, the State will have to lean on the reformist movement. And then new social gains may be ripped off. Facing this situation, a new choice will come to activists : consolidate these new gains and serve as a safeguard plan to capitalism or enlarge the gap by the revolutionary path, by passing to another stage. Towards a New Movement By advancing the idea that it is possible to transform the student movement, we assume that it is possible and necessary to deploy a revolutionary political activity within the student movement. For doing so, we believe that there is a number of challenges, which are mainly ideological. Student Activism, even in its strict unionist form, politicizes those who run it. It acts as an awakener of social consciousness. Soon, however, the ideological weapons (concepts, principles, strategy and tactics) submitted by this activism are insufficient to tackle broader political tasks, to advance significantly in the path of the revolution. We must therefore address the relative lack of political and theoretical benchmarks spontaneously conveyed by the student activism. There is a rich revolutionary ideological baggage that we can use, which has accumulated over the incessant class struggle of the last two centuries under the domination of capital and which summarizes the more advanced revolutionary experiences. To ignore this historical legacy is to make a dramatic decline in the struggle against bourgeois domination and it's liquidating highly paid lessons from the struggles from the oppressed of the world. We should instead make a review of the student movement based on these lessons. We propose to do so, without attempting to have the full ownership of this precious heritage. Remain humble but without avoiding our responsibilites, without the fear of committing ourselves. Struggle to transform a social system also requires to organize differently. There is a need for making reviews and analysis of the current movement, more than just evaluating the status of forces. We must enter inside this social movement in order to identify principles that will be useful later time. We have to understand the evolution and the different trends that cross the student movement. We should highlight all its ideas and trends and then determine which serve and reinforce the revolutionary camp and which are dividing it and therefore, that we must fight. For a qualitatively different movement from what already exist, the question is not to form a new

organization bu to unite consciously on the same principles and objectives, on the revolutionary point of view and the aspirations to revolution, a youth that is trapped for too long by the (radical or not) reformist trends of class conciliation in the student movement. Revolutionary students do not seek to eliminate all student organizations, student unions, their instances, etc. Revolutionary students struggle against the reformist currents that trap the student movement and frankly seek to organize, promote and develop a broad movement of ideological struggle in the student movement and from this starting point, promote among students a new way to see their involvement in student activism, in the way they organize themselves to fight. Traditional trade unionism or combattive unionism that is supposed to be broad and democratic do not bring anything if the foundations are based on reformism. In the name of stricly student interests, this wall of ideologies, practices and conceptions isolate and particularize the students and confer to them a specificity that should make them a separate group. This create two opposing movements that do not lead the same fight. The first reformist one's goal is to improve a privileged position. The second revolutionary one's goal is to enroll in the broader movement to abolish capitalism and thereby, privileges. We need to build a broad movement, which in practice and in theory is based on the most exploited and oppressed by imperialism masses. A fundamental shift that highlights and addresses the causes of exploitation and oppression, not just the effects. We need a movement which strengthens the existing trend in the youth that sees that it's only by the complete elimination of the syste, here as elsewhere, that it will be possible to solve the problems of the people. We must resolutely deploy the spirit of revolt that lead the exploited masses, especially in the youth as was showed in several important moments in history, uniting the general struggle of the proletariat to advance the revolutionary struggle. Organizing youth around a revolutionary program in a movement based on a conscious mobilization of youth and students, that can fight why we must fight and how to do it. The movement that we want to build is founded where the proletarian youth is : in high schools, colleges and universities, in proletarian neighborhoods and in solidarity with the people. We affirm that we must work for a student movement that united the various democratic and anti-imperialist student organizations, not hypocritically and without principle, but through discussion and practice in determining what is right and what is wrong, to put revolutionnary politics at the control station. Then, the student movement will have concrete politics to serve the people in its fight against capitalist system. We know that our insistence on talking about revolution and being critical of the system will displease to those who are accustomed to accomodations in favor of the bourgeoisie. But for the proletariat, and especially for young people of the proletariat, there can be only one worthy politics, the one that leads the class struggle. This simple idea is the one that revolutionary students must defend fiercely. Communist work among students To the shortcomings of the tactics of radicalization inch by inch, we oppose the necessity of an independant communist work. We postulate that we can't just warm up the masses and

radicalize the struggles that will always be spontaneously generated by the constitutive contradictions of capitalism itself, but concretely build the camp of the revolution. We must not only win some activists to the idea of revolution, but also encourage them to organize themselves on that base. To exist and to highlight the driving force of the proletariat that students need, it needs a direction, a center of aggregation that opens the way for collective action. This center of aggregation is a set of practices, the party and its political line. Revolution is a process of political struggles organized with the objective of destroying this society in all its foundations and build a new world. The first step is taking State power to give to the proletariat the means of this transformation. The revolution therefore requires an orientation, a program, a vision of the path to communism in its various stages. This can not be acquired without a vanguard party. The spontaneous movement by itself, a possibly radical and widespread one, can be spontaneously created, but not the revolution. Because exploited people, in their vast majority, envisage their future only as part of capitalism. Their struggles are moving towards a better distribution of wealth, a better organization of society, without questioning the exploitation and the rle of producers in this society; they are spontaneously reformists. The anger provoked by exploitation, loss of jobs, high rents, increasing poverty, are the indispensable basis for the development of revolutionary politics. Based on these movements, the Communists, by their activity, may lead workers to overcome limits, to break the narrow immediate reports and to be aware of the need to transform the whole society; the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. In all these battles, reformist and revolutionary directions guidance clash. In this sens, reveal and put forward the interests of the revolutionary proletariat and the force that is guiding it in the struggle the Revolutionary Party is the beginning point of a consistent revolutionary activity. In this work, a multitude of political currents will come to oppose us. These share a common misunderstanding of the masses. To hide their own reluctance, they put forward arguments like students do not understand, students are not ready yet, we must radicalize the movement step by step starting with some progressive demands, then with the reforms and then the radical fight, etc. Each of these arguments highlights will clearly displayed unwillingness to understand the real movement of things and the needs of the movement in general. To make our political and practical action more effective, we must have a strategy and appropriate tactics. Having a strategy is much more than having a philosophy of organization.For example, we usually separate the student movement in two. The first one, the more imposing one for the moment is the student movement led by the reformist currents which main political tool is class collaboration with the state. The other, the smaller one, associated with combattive trade unionism has a certain distance with the state. Apparently, the two camps are divided. But if we look closer, we can quickly realize that the two currents have a similar objective, which is to prevent the youth to develop real practical action lying outside the rules imposed by the bourgeoisie. Combattive unionism itself is an empty shell if we do not ask what are we combatting? How do we do it? Who are we defending? The interests of who are put forward? Simply labeled itself leftist because we add the word combattive to unionism is to forget that 9 times out of 10 it's the boringly reformist unionism that wins. While it is positive to not wanting to engage in collaboration with the State, it also brings the requirement to develop an appropriate strategy for

this choice. To fight effectively both theoretical, political, economic and immediately assertive, we should equip students with a clear understanding of the revolution, the capitalism, the steps, the methods of struggle, all those things that nourish a movement and that allow it to exist and to change. The existence of the Party and its political line gives the material conditions necessary to advance in its direction. Revolutionary students agree on the essential task in their schools, neighborhoods, workplaces : to bring a majority of students, whatever their class origins, on revolutionary positions. The first step towards this movement is the effective participation of students in the long-term fight for the reconstruction of a student movement on new proletarian revolutionary bases. For us, the construction of a new student movement or the deconstruction of the former one must pass by a more profound political and ideological reorganization of the movement and this reconstruction is itself dependent on the construction of the Party. Without a strong party it is unrealistic to expect organizing a student movement really different from the current one. To achieve this, we must change our approach to student activism by putting forward revolutionary principles that will give life to such a movement. The main principles that guide our actions and characterize the distance between reformist positions and revolutionary ones are : Anti-Capitalism Each claim earned within the current order is nothing more than a temporary and partial gain, and even if we must fight to win those claims, liberties and rights, we must keep as a goal the overthrow of the capitalist system that currently dominates in our country and we must fight against the Bourgeois state in order to build a completely new society, where several of the current problems of the people will begin to be permanently and profoundly resolved. Radicalism We must try to solve problems at their root, and this requires to reinforce the organization of students in opposition to the current political and economic system, and to all of its repressive apparatus and propagandist appliances. We must raise the partial economic struggles to the level of political struggles, that is to say struggles against the system that are aimed to structure society and the state in a radically new way. We should not seek to deal small reforms to the current system, but to fight for building a completely new society, led by workers for the benefits of the people. Must fight the system It is not by integrating ourselves into the capitalist system or working with it that we can earn rights and liberties. Whatever the good intentions of some people, regardless of the name of the governement. This system determines that thousands of young people must be kept ouside the schools and that we must work to enrich a minority. This system appeals to the armed forces and police to repress the people when it rise. The real revolutionary changes take place only with the struggle of millions of people against the minority of oppressors who whill defend their system by any means. The rest is an illusion. Internationalism Workers in different countries who are the pillars of society all around the world have strong

similarities between them and almost equal living conditions. There are for sure specific conditions associated with the imperialist domination and oppression in various parts of the world but these are minimals in comparison to the differences with the exploiters of each country. In this sens, all the oppressed must join their struggle against their common ennemy, in alliance with the masses of workers and peasants, regardless of whether they speak Spanish, English or Arabic. The aspirations of the peoples of the world are already similar, although there is still a need to convert these in the true aspiration and the true function of the international proletariat : to be the gravedigger of the old order and the creator of a new society. Indepedent of the State and Anti-reformist The state is a machine of repression of the ruling class against the people. To go forward, this needs to be clear. We must clearly rejects all proposals of consultation and of class conciliation that the State may seek to make us swallow like a bitter pill to force us being the participants in our own oppression. Similarly, reformism must be fought as it aims to convert the student organizations in a State appendix and make these completely unnecessary and unable to conquer and defend our rights but very useful for the exploiting classes. Fight for a mass scientific proletarian education Education must serve the vast majority of people to build a society free of imperialism and united to the peoples of the world. Scientific in the sense that allows the people to find the truth from facts through researches on society and nature that can transform it to the benefit of the vast majority. Mass in the meaning that all the masses of the people have access to it and appropriate this new kind of education to themselves. This means fighting now against the current system, for free education at all levels, but it also means fighting for a new educational content depending on the People's liberation, being aware that an education that really serves the people and the masses will be obtained only in a new society for which we must fight. Current tasks of the Communists in the Student Movement For the Communists, the intervention in the student movement has two main fields of organization 1) The revolutionary struggle for the revolutionary organization of students (to prepare the conditions in which students could bond with the masses, lead the class struggle and make revolution) and 2) the struggle for immediate demands from the current demands of students. These two groups of tasks are inextricably related, and none can be neglicted. Tasks of the Revolutionary Struggle Become a revolutionary student activist means to lead consciously the class struggle and the struggle for revolution. In student struggles, this means to put forward and organize student struggles from the class interests of the proletariat in prospect of making grow the camp of the revolution. In their work practice, revolutionary student activists put forward the need of the revolution, explain to other students what is the current social and economic system, exposes the foundations of capitalism and its development in Canada, reveals the existence of social classes and class struggle, the rle of the State, its institutions and relationship with the big bourgeoisie and imperialism by demonstrating that improvement to the conditions of existence of the masses are never given out of the generosity of governors, but are taken by struggle. In a similar vein, it's also about raising consciousness among students on the fact that student struggles must be linked to the interests of the proletariat and of the entire people, by explaining the historical role of the proletariat, the successes and failures of revolutionary movements in the world, the need for a revolutionary party and by leading the struggle against reformism,

revisionnism and opportunism in all its expressions, in defense of the scientific ideology of the proletariat : Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Tasks of the struggle for immediate demands The tasks of the struggle for immediate demands in the student movement include political agitation around conjunctural problems that affect them. Agitation among students means that each revolutionary comrade take an active part in student demonstration, in the confrontation between students and the State that is attempting to stop the movement, in struggles motivated by gaps in infrastructure, on educational approach, in educational reforms, on the denunciation of debts, etc. Revolutionary activists must learn to face these problems and to direct the attention on major abuses and they must learn to formulate demands in an accurate and practical way. By making agitation among students, by taking as basis the immediate demands, activists must also learn how to relate things to the imperialist condition of our country, with the submission to capitalists and the exploitation of the proletariat and the people. They must also be able to show the effects of capitalism on students today and on their future working life. In any context, the publication of revolutionary ideas (oriented with the political struggle) and agitation on immediate claims are closely related. Marxism has shown in theory and in practice that both are essential for the development of class consciousness among students, proletariat and all the masses. All of these tasks, developed systematically and increasingly by revolutionary student activists will raise the consciousness of students, organize them, prove their own strength to face problems and defend the gains. Student mobilizations have shown the potential of student struggles with a revolutionary point of view. With little organization and little coordination tools, many important struggles could be conducted. Now, we need to integrate to it new revolutionary traditions of struggle. The student movement has shown that is is capable, under certain conditions, to fight hard for democratic and economic demands. For these battles, the student movement has used in particular the weapon of the strike to reclaim improvements of the loans systems, free education, etc. In general, student struggles are a spontaneous movement the practical movement of the masses goes forward as its organization and management do not meet the requirements of the moment. One of the challenges of the current period is precisely the takeover of ideological, political and practical struggle by students that will enable the emergence of a proletarian revolutionary political orientation among students. This struggle is now powered by sincere revolutionary activists and will be increased further by the emergence of a vast revolutionary student movement capable of fighting capitalism and leading the revolutionary struggle for communism. In any form and under any conditions, situations, etc... in all daily political decisions as in struggle, it's a matter of principle for every revolutionary to never lose of sight the ultimate goal. Conclusion : Fighting, learning and monitoring our experiences In the current period, the Revolutionary Student Movement of the PCR-RCP Canada intends to play the role of an active revolutionary core in the student movement. This core will be used to promote consistently of a real current of class struggle among students. We consider to be, in view of our current level of forces and general conditions prevailing today, the beginning of a long process that starts with the requirement to deploy largely revolutionary propaganda in the student movement. Of course, there are organizations reformists, anarchists, trotskists who all claim to lead the fights against capitalism. Some of them are older, or more established in

the student movement and perhaps most influencial as well. But none have shown up for now a real desire to train and organize the student movement in a different way from the one that currently exists. For the moments, according to our forces, what we are fighting are the trends and groups, ideas and concepts related to the bourgeoisie, to electoral reformism, etc. by putting forward revolutionary perspectives. The means for this work are communist agitation and propaganda and independant communist intervention in masses struggles for claims.