About 10 years after the US-led imperialist forces invaded and occupied Afghanistan, groups in Toronto, such as Barrio Nuevo, Women United against Imperialism, International League of Peoples’ Struggle-Canada and others gathered at Yonge-Dundas Square—Toronto’s centre for consumerist spectacle—to deliver a clear message against Canadian- and US-imperialism.
We stood in the cold, alternatively listening and shouting in agreement as comrades from the groups in attendance made speeches and rallying chants. (PRAC/RSM delivered a speech about the current phase of struggle in Afghanistan from the point of view of the Communist Party(Maoist) Afghanistan.) The group then marched down Yonge Street, with red flags and a large “Canada out of Afghanistan now!” banner.
“From Kandahar to Bay Street, imperialism will be beat!” The crowded chanted in unison, attracting the attention of curious onlookers and evoking support from passing cars, whose drivers beeped their horns. The group made a turn at Adelaide St. and veered to the direction of Occupy Toronto. It entered the densely populated St. James Park, the site of a smorgasbord of activists of every stripe—ranging from animal rights activists Toronto Pig Save, speakers from Food not Bombs, to people offering free hugs and advocating for the return to an age of “Peace & Love”.
This is Occupy Toronto. To put simply, anybody who is not a banker could show up, doubtlessly attracted to the breadth of the movement.
While the PRAC and RSM think that “leaderless” resistance, as exemplified by Occupy Toronto, and movements without concrete demands, articulated programs, or guiding ideology are susceptible to both co-option and being watered down, we hope that “Occupy“ will become a mass movement that has a unified communistic vision and program.
Upon reading Occupy Wall Street’s first statement, we’re struck by the movement’s tendency to label every effect of capitalism without naming the system that creates all these miseries. Instead of beating around the bush, we contend that for real change to happen, the Occupy movement needs to acknowledge the root cause of all the grievances listed in their statement. Only by acknowledging the reality of capitalism can we articulate an alternative to this system that is destroying the people. We need to start talking about a revolutionary communist solution to capitalism.