The Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) held its first meeting at Trent University within the offices of OPIRG on Wednesday September 24.
This newly-formed group will be fighting under the banner of socialism and communism in Canada, and will predominantly focus on student and youth issues. It is open to anyone who considers themselves interested, but it is specifically limited to just these types of issues.
Founded in 2012, the RSM came to be as a result of like-minded individuals merging their separate anti-capitalist and communist groups together.
Following the economic crisis, particularly in Quebec and Ottawa, it seemed that many students and youth were spontaneously radicalizing on their own. Between 2010 and 2012, four of these communist organizations got started in that area.
Included in these groups were the Marxist Student Association at the University of Ottawa and the Revolutionary Student Movement in Montreal.
As it was discovered that all of these separate organizations existed, organizers within the Revolutionary Communist Party in Toronto held a conference.
In December of 2012, the First National Conference of Revolutionary Youth and Students took place.
A contributor to this conference and the founder of the Marxist Student Association at the University of Ottawa, Martin Rosso, has now taken on the role of coordinator here at Trent.
Martin was part of a group that saw the benefit of all these separate entities merging into one universal organization. This was seen as a strength because these groups were approaching capitalist issues with similar political lines and similar goals.
This universal organization now calls itself the Revolutionary Student Movement, and currently there are 14 sections across 10 cities. Included in this are organizations at the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa, as well as groups within Montreal, Quebec City, and Vancouver.
The organization is still rather new, however. According to Martin, “It’s still in a pre-organization state. The upcoming conference is when we’ll vote on the constitution and all of those things, but its been essentially a two-year process of unifying and making new contacts and new sections.”
Though the RSM is still new, they are unified in their stance against capitalism and have thoughtfully laid out their short term, medium term, and long term goals.
In the short term, the organization sees the importance of creating a certain hegemony on the left within campuses.
This would mean that if anybody were to want to be involved with an anti-capitalist and revolutionary student movement, the RSM is where they’d go. It’s also about getting the movement known.
Beyond that, the next step is to build a collective of working class students and to put them at the surface of the program movement. This collective will work at getting people interested in progressive and revolutionary politics.
For Martin, noting that he is speaking only for himself and not the organization, “…it would bring the level of militancy and resistance that exists in Quebec to the rest of Canada. To be able to mobilize for strikes and that.”
Finally, the endgame is building socialism and communism in Canada. While the RSM focuses specifically on student and youth issues, they do work very closely with other organizations that reach out to a broader audience under the same umbrella as the RSM.
Included in this are organizations such as the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Proletarian Feminist Front, the Revolutionary Workers Movement, as well as a number of other like-minded organizations.
According to Martin, students (and everybody) should be fighting for this because, “At the end of the day, the system that we live under, capitalism, is totally unsustainable and is not only destroying the planet, but also those of us who live on it as well.
“We need to be putting revolutionary anti-capitalist politics at the forefront of our activism if we want to see a better world.”
Those interested in more information or getting involved can contact the Peterborough chapter at email@example.com. There’s also a Facebook page called Revolutionary Student Movement–Peterbourough.
Finally, they will be having weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 6pm in the OPIRG office; located at Sadleir House.