On February 22, 2014 the International Coalition Against the War on the People of India [ICAWPI] will be holding an open meeting at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education [OISE], room 7192 from 12pm to 2pm. This meeting will concern organizing for an upcoming showing of Sanjay Kak’s documentary Red Ant Dream on March 22-23. Anyone interested in participating in this mass organization is welcome to attend.
One of the campaigns that PRAC-Toronto is helping to launch in Toronto is the campaign to build a revolutionary and communist “Proletarian Feminist Front” in coordination with the already existing Proletarian Feminist Front in Quebec. In this regard we are supporting a Toronto delegation to the First Conference for a Proletarian Feminist Front, initiated by the PCR-RCP, in Montreal from November 30th to December 1st. The hope is that, like the PCR-RCP initiated Revolutionary Student Movement [RSM] conferences that have led to the emergence of RSM and RSM-aligned chapters in various universities and cities across Canada, this conference will also lead to the emergence of a feminist movement that is thoroughly communist and, directed by the emergent theory of proletarian feminism, will demonstrate the same revolutionary politics that the PCR-RCP has come to represent but in its own particular and mass organizational manner.
In order to stir up some interest for this conference, the PRAC coordinated with the RSM-Toronto’s most recent Communist School where two PRAC/RSM members led an excellent presentation and discussion on proletarian feminism and its distinction from both bourgeois feminism and the feminism of identity politics. The event was well attended and the discussion demonstrated the disaffection many have with both the liberal and idealist feminist traditions that are disconnected from class politics.
For those who might still be interested in attending this semi-closed conference, we invite you to look at the call-out the Montreal group has drafted and send your inquiries to the email at the end of that document. [Note: cis men will not be allowed to attend. While it is correct that identity politics has caused a certain level of idealist confusion over the material basis of oppression, the reason it emerged was due to some significant concerns. Thus, it is important for this conference, since it is designed to produce a general line for a Proletarian Feminist Front, be one in which cis men cannot participate.] For those interested in participating in whatever organization emerges from this conference, please contact PRAC-Toronto and/or stay tuned for any updates and events we will be promoting in this regard.
The communist school, that Toronto’s Revolutionary Student Movement organizes and that PRAC-Toronto supports, is relaunching for the 2012/2013 year. Building on the success of past communist schools, the first event will be a more formal presentation, designed to work in tandem with a PRAC campaign around building the Proletarian Feminist Front mass organization initiated by the PCR-RCP, on the 10th of this November:
More information can be found on the Communist School facebook page.
The Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada (PCR-RCP) has asked for its supporting organizations in Toronto to participate in an evening rally on international workers day. While the PRAC also plans to participate in the main May Day march organized by the May 1st Movement, as it has in the past, it has chosen to primarily endorse and mobilize for the PCR-RCP rally, which will not conflict with the main march, because of its expressly revolutionary line.
From the Partisan:
The Revolutionary Communist Party calls on all workers, unemployed, retired, youth and students to make May 1st, International Workers Day, a moment when the bourgeoisie will fear our class is in the process of choosing insubordination; that we are rising and reclaiming the essence of our legitimate struggles —including those powerful ones that will radically change the face of Canada.
Let’s protest by the thousands in all major cities across the country. Let’s brandish our red flags everywhere and throughout this whole day of struggle. Prevent the police from seizing and destroying the red flags and class struggle banners. Let’s forge a new fighting spirit made of unity and militancy. Shoulder to shoulder, let’s answer the various calls that will arise by May 1st. Workers, students or pensioners, let’s make May First a powerful day of revolutionary action!
• In Montreal: Rally the red contingent from the PCR-RCP Canada in the May Day demonstration organized by the Convergence of Anti-Capitalist Struggles (CLAC-Montréal)! Gathering at exactly 6pm at Place Jacques-Cartier (in front of City Hall).
• In Ottawa: Take part in large numbers in the event organized by the PCR-RCP Canada at the Babylon Night Club, 317 Bank Street. Doors open at 9 pm.
• In Toronto: Join the May First demonstration initiated by the PCR-RCP Canada at 8pm in Moss Park (Queen and Sherbourne).
PRAC-Toronto asks for all of its supporters and friends to participate in what will probably be a small but exciting rally.
Seize the Time Blaze a Revolutionary Path, a conference hosted by the PCR-RCP, will take place on the first weekend of December. Since it is intended to be small and somewhat private, and so far has been arranged on an invite-only basis, anyone interested in participating should contact email@example.com for specific details.
A small brochure of the event’s focus is available here: Seize The Time Blaze a Revolutionary Path (pdf pamphlet)
Update: PRAC/RSM is sorry to announce that the panel portion for this event is no longer happening, due to our limited capacity. We are, however, happy to announce that we will be putting on a Red Theatre event in place of the panel. Check out our young protagonist as she undertakes her own red bildungsroman this coming Wednesday! DJ Hamma and Sickle is sure to get the party started after!
Join Toronto’s Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee and Revolutionary Student Movement for a thrilling panel, raucous performances and of course, revolutionary music – all in the name of communist propaganda!
Red Theatre synopsis: Gandie is a young student activist at a well-known, bourgeois university. Frustrated by endless Facebook flame wars–correcting reactionaries and liberals crying foul in response to Mao’s supposed death toll–and other forms of unfruitful propaganda work, she heads to the streets. She begins a program of delivering her communist propaganda to the masses, with hilarious, and unexpected, results.
On July 12th, PRAC joins the Anti-Colonial Working Group in presenting Anti-Imperialism Behind Bars––an event in support of political prisoners and revolutionary prisoners of war––at 460 Spadina [formerly El Mocambo––EDIT: as the commenter pointed out, the El Mocambo still exists and the 460 is just beside it!] at 7pm. The speakers in attendance will present on political prisoners in Ireland, Palestine, India, and North America. Following the presentations there will be socializing and entertainment.
And on July 15th, Anti-Imperialism Behind Bars will be in Kitchener-Waterloo. Stay tuned for details.
BORN THIS RED!: Communist Dance Party
On June 26, 2012, the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee (PRAC) and the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) will celebrate Pride Week with a night of dancing. There will be a performance by Jadelicious, and revolutionary dance tunes will be provided by DJ Hamma-n-Sickle.
Please join the PRAC and the RSM at the Hen House to celebrate the future collapse of capitalism and homophobia in a revolutionary Communist Dance Party. Yes, our revolution includes dancing!
Time: Tuesday June 26, 2012 (9pm-1am)
Place: The Hen House (1532 Dundas Street West)
Suggested donation: $4 (no one, however, will be turned away)
The PRAC is a communist-influenced grouping that, along with its sister group, the RSM, organizes campaigns, publications, and educational workshops that link racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia to capitalism.
Got questions? Leave us a comment. Hope to see you there!
“A school is a prison but real education is liberation…A call-out for high school students to join the revolution!“
[the original version can be found on the website of the Revolutionary Student Movement - Toronto]
Being a high school student sucks! Not only do parents have authority over you at home, but also the teachers, the VP and the principal at school! You have to take bullshit classes like Careers and Civics that teach you nothing about the real world. Many of you even have to deal with the surveillance of cops in the hallways.
Our society is a capitalist one – organized so that rich people can get richer by exploiting the rest of us. While it’s easy to blame teachers, capitalism is what turns schools into prisons.Under capitalism, you are treated as a commodity, something that is bought and sold. Early on in high school, you are streamed into categories—academic or applied. These categories are invented to make you fit into the capitalist system, to train you to be an obedient worker; be on time, be in proper uniform, be obedient, don’t challenge the teachers, and, don’t think for yourself.
The Revolutionary Students Movement (RSM), a sister group to the PRAC, has put posters up around Toronto high schools. These posters reflect issues that high school students face, such as cops, bullies, bullshit authority, and political powerlessness. The posters introduce RSM’s 100 Schools Campaign, which will continue over the summer and into the school year.
With this poster campaign we want to invite you to connect issues affecting you to capitalism—a system that reduces people, especially young people, to profit. Furthermore, we wish to invite you to think about how you can achieve liberation. We we believe that the people who control the school system are the same people who control the prison system and the whole social system. We believe overthrowing all of these systems is necessary.
We are interested in meeting you. We invite high-school students to join us at the next Casseroles march in solidarity with the student strike in Montreal and to future events held for the 100 Schools Campaign throughout the summer.
On Wednesday, May 30th a night march in solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike sparked a glimmer of militancy that has been missing in the Toronto activist milieu for quite some time. For nearly a decade, we in the Toronto left have degenerated into a pattern of reformist agitation, the worst form of movementism, where we have tailed social democrats, hidden ourselves in trade unionism and advocacy work. This produced boring and predictable demonstrations where the same “usual suspect” speakers, cult of personalities, and flavor of the month academics preach to the converted before we all embark on marching around the same four city blocks. Whatever militancy we used to possess evaporated in these parades with radical trappings––grand affairs that were radical in form but reformist in content and orientation.
But now, due to the student rebellions in Quebec, the Toronto movement is slowly coming alive with new forces reinvigorating the older forces. And though this revitalization might be more significant than the failed revitalization attempted by #occupy, it is still barely significant. Like #occupy, the Quebec Student Strike is also imported––on Wednesday we were marching in solidarity with a movement that had its organic roots elsewhere rather than in the midst of a rebellion springing from the precise contradictions of Toronto’s class struggle. But in the midst of this solidarity march there was a glimmer of radicalism that produced an initiative to prolong the march, to reject the simple around-the-block concessionary route.
Of course, those of us who participated in this initiative were attacked by the organizers for ruining their plans. They claimed that they had worked hard to organize the march, despite the fact that this organization seemed only to consist of an email call-out (where everyone involved organized their own contingents to attend with their own reasons for attending), and a planned route––a route that was being rejected by the people at the moment of the so-called “split”. To be sure, they might have worked hard amongst their own organizational networks to figure out this route and what to write in the email, but the march’s attendance was not the product of any agitation amongst the masses––the majority arrived in response to an email that was forwarded everywhere with little idea of who the organizers were or what they were organizing aside from a march. This, of course, speaks to another failing of the Toronto left: we rely on spontaneity, on public branding and postering, and then hope that the people who show up, because of word of mouth and informational routes that we have nothing do with, will follow our lead. Yet if we want a movement to survive its initial momentum, we require structure. Those who organized the internet call and the route, along with the non-organizers, need to think about building such a structure.
Still, we were accused of being wreckers when the only thing we helped wreck was a planned route. Even worse, because the Toronto left, like much of the petty bourgeois North American left, is entrenched in a not-for-profit model of organizing––anchored in crude identity politics and privilege theory––an appeal to one’s marginalization or oppression on identity grounds can often be employed to enforce the authority of tiny privileged cabals of student and post-student activists. The PRAC was accused of being a small group of “manarchists” who were undermining the authority of the women organizers. Although it is true that one group of PRAC men accused of being responsible for planning the “split” simply endorsed the initiative, it is also true that this “split” was initiated by one male PRAC comrade along with a female anarchist. In addition, most of the march of all genders wanted to keep marching. But despite the fact that the PRAC is not an organization composed of macho anti-feminist “dudes”, the accusation brings up the question of our relation to identity politics and the way anti-oppression and “safe-space” discourses are deployed in the “movement” to sometimes obscure other political perspectives and actions.
To be fair, those comrades involved in initiating and supporting the “split” should have behaved in a more disciplined and humble manner––the behaviour of some of us, admittedly, did not help matters and demands our self-criticism and rectification. There are some who did act macho and we have criticized them for their behaviour, just as they have self-criticized. There will be continuous rectification and transformation through our practice in the class struggle. In the PRAC, we recognize that the vast majority of oppressed workers in the service and productive industries, who are often recent immigrants, proletarian women, and poor men may not be abreast of the current “intersectional” analysis or how to therefore “check their privileges.” The process of transforming people requires a violent and revolutionary rupture with the prevailing repressive social order, but also a rupture with an identity politics that is not in the service of abolishing the root of exploitation and oppression. Regardless of our own lapses in discipline and behaviour, as an organization we supported the “split”. We are also mindful, though, of how women can be used as “optical support” in order to mask political content: if the women PRAC members were in the centre of the break-off would that have made our decision to “split” politically righteous, should we have tried to have our women comrades gather around our male comrades so that we looked “properly feminist” and thus used them as little more than a deflection for criticism? And by the same token, could those launching the supposedly feminist criticisms not be accused of playing the same optical identity politics game that in some ways mocks a feminist politics, at least a proletarian feminist politics, by hoping that the appearance of identity somehow equals the precise political approach?
Whatever the case, when the masses were presented with the opportunity to disperse in Dufferin Grove Park, they rejected this opportunity and continued onwards. People wanted to keep marching because they were angry, excited, and tired of marches with pre-ordained, ritualized beginnings, middles, and endings. And we followed the masses, marching with them, quite happy that we weren’t shutting down the street disruption before the people were ready to stop. As a comrade from another organization said to us several blocks past the initial end point: “there are times to hold the people back, but this isn’t one of them.” Eventually things ended as spontaneously as they had continued, around midnight at the centre of Queen and Spadina, in the midst of the dull stirrings of militancy––an excitement that we were reclaiming something we had lost seven years ago when the established Toronto Left cannibalized itself. [Edit: due to the confusion of this statement, we decided it was best to provide a brief explanation of what we meant. We were not speaking of any single event, sectarian fight, etc., but simply indicating that somehow, after a period of militancy, the Toronto left turned inwards, focused primarily on reformist goals, burnt out, and began to use up its resources and disintegrate. This was a process, not some controversial moment.]
To be sure, it would be a mistake on our part to imagine that the tiny fraction of militancy reclaimed in Wednesday’s moment of creative spontaneity was tantamount to revolution. Just as the march organizers organized little more than a route, an email call-out, and some posters, ALL of us in attendance failed to organize more than fractions of our own forces. We also need to reclaim the tradition of doing revolutionary mass work, building ourselves into militant organizations outside of spontaneous demonstrations of the peoples’ justified anger: when the Quebec Student Strike ends Canadian capitalism will still exist, and our solidarity marches in Toronto are just an echo of this general problematic.
We also need to think about our goals in these marches. It is one thing to reject the stagnant boundaries of Toronto’s demonstration dogma, but it is quite another to build a revolutionary movement that produces its own demonstrations, can embed itself in moments of mass creative spontaneity, and do something more than simply encourage militancy amongst a bunch of disparate and angry protestors. If we are to build something like a student strike in Toronto, then we need to think about doing mass work in proletarian high schools rather than simply universities––which is why the PRAC and its student front, the RSM, is gearing up to launch its 100 Schools Campaign, aimed at building a revolutionary movement among high school students. And if we want to build something beyond a student movement then we have to think about a revolutionary organization unified in theory and practice, rather than the same old movementist models.
What we have also tried to do ever since our founding in December 2010 at the Second Canadian Revolutionary Congress (an initiative of the PCR-RCP) is draw lines of demarcation in the militant left. We began with a boycott of the federal elections, shaking the Toronto left from its torpor and discovering that some organizations and individuals possessed a near religious devotion to a bourgeois convention. Now we are putting forward the suggestion that the Toronto left cannot continue with business-as-usual. In these spaces, bourgeois legality is another dividing line, a polarizing issue.
The crisis and its climate of austerity is upon us and we are caught unprepared, organizationally, ideologically, and especially, politically for its storm. People are rising up, decades of rebellions and repressions are upon us, and we need to figure out how to transform this rebellious anger into something sustainable and committed for a protracted fight against capitalism. In Mao’s words: “there is a great storm under heaven… the situation is excellent.”
To get involved with the PRAC in the next solidarity rally, please email:
To get involved with the 100 Schools Campaign, please email: