On November 9th and 10th, the Socialist Fightback student clubs in Hamilton and at Kitchener- Waterloo held public discussions regarding the U.S. presidential election. Outrage with Donald Trump’s victory was abundant at both McMaster University and at the University of Waterloo, which serves as an indication of young people’s growing awareness of the failures of the American electoral system.
Given his blatant racist, sexist, and openly reactionary policies, the possibility of a Trump presidency had seemed unthinkable to many. Hillary Clinton’s appeals to women and her main campaign pitch that she was “Not Trump” did little to convince many American workers who felt that she was an out of touch and bought-and- paid-for elite. The lack of enthusiasm for Clinton however did not mean acquiescence to Trump. Within several hours of the announcement of the results, youth and workers across major cities in the U.S. took to the streets in protests. Anti-Trump protests and demonstrations have continued since then, and these have spilled over into Canada.
In a region not really known as a socialist hotbed, a total of 50 people attended the two events in Hamilton and Waterloo. The activists of Fightback were well-received in the lead up to the events. For example, at McMaster University, some Trump supporters began heckling our activists while they were distributing flyers. Students in the vicinity spontaneously came out in our defence against this handful of Trump supporters.
Discussion at both events was perceptive and engaging. None of the attendees were supportive of either Trump or Clinton, however there were a number of supporters of Bernie Sanders and his campaign during the Democratic primaries. Through the discussion, Fightback’s criticism of the Democratic Party and how it was a dead-end for the struggle against “the billionaire class” was very well-received. Many sought answers to questions concerning how Trump won, the anticipated effects following his victory and what kind of collective action could defeat his program.
Overall, the events in Hamilton and Waterloo were a big success and had the largest turnout of any of our gatherings to date in these two cities. The positive response received at both events demonstrates the growing anger and will to get politically involved among youth and the working class. As more and more people are confronted with the reality of the crisis of capitalism, they feel that ‘enough is enough’ and that they have no choice but to take a stand.
The Socialist Fightback student clubs aim to unite and encourage the growing number of dissatisfied students and workers to get organized and educated. Holding events and discussions such as the ones in Hamilton and Waterloo are only the first steps towards spreading revolutionary ideas. Building revolutionary organization will allow us to take further steps towards collective action against the capitalist system.
If students and workers in Hamilton and Waterloo would like to join the fight against capitalism and get organized, reach out to us! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Help build a revolutionary movement across Canada!