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With the start of the new school term, local chapters of the Socialist Fightback Students (SFS) have been actively reaching out on the campuses to sign-up new members, distribute Marxist literature and hold our first events. Hundreds of students have signed-up and the end-of-week pub nights held in Toronto and Montreal were big successes. Additionally, the beginning of the week was marked by sizeable Labour Day parades in which impressive interventions were organized by Fightback.

Labour Day & the Fight Against Racism

This year, Fightback organized the socialist contingent under the banner of “Workers Unite Against the Far Right”. We were clearly the most energetic and political bloc in the demonstration, with placard signs bearing slogans such as “end racism, end capitalism” and “An injury to one is an injury to all”.

Over 60 socialists participated in the intervention, including trade unionists and activists from different universities, colleges and high schools. Our numbers made for a powerful show of force for the resurgence of socialist ideas we are seeing across the globe. A number of trade unionists commented on our high level of organization, with four literature stalls set up at the beginning of the parade in addition to numerous groups of sellers of the Fightback paper circulating over the course of the march. Over 200 copies of Fightback were purchased during the parade!

During the parade itself, the socialist contingent led spirited chants emphasizing the power of the working class, the importance of unity, as well as specific chants to show support with Charlottesville protesters, immigrant workers, striking workers at Pearson airport, as well as rent strikers in the Parkdale neighbourhood as the march passed through that community. There were also a rendition of the popular labour song “Solidarity Forever” as well as the “Internationale”.

Fightback is clearly establishing itself as the strongest force on the revolutionary left, and this is helping us to establish authority within the labour movement.

Fightback also participated in Labour Day activities in Waterloo and Hamilton. At Waterloo, Marxist literature was well-received at a trade union-organized barbeque with several hundred workers in attendance. Our comrades were even invited to speak at the coming Waterloo Regional Labour Council. In Hamilton, the Socialist Fightback club joined the Labour Day parade where they received a warm welcome (and many red salutes!), and were able to sell many papers at the picnic after the march.

Ryerson University

Socialist Fightback Students participated in the Clubs Day at Ryerson University on September 6th. Throughout the day over 110 students signed up with our club and 42 papers were sold. Our setup at the busy intersection of Gould and Victoria was the most visible of any club on campus. With 13 SFS activists present, we were also likely the largest group.

The atmosphere on campus was more radical than in years past, with many students expressing that they had been radicalized by the election of Donald Trump and the events in Charlottesville. Many students were drawn to our massive anti-fascist banner, and recognized Fightback from the anti-fascist rally that we had helped to organize a few weeks before, and which had received significant media coverage.

However, it was not only radical students who were drawn to us. Our club also attracted numerous personalities from the alt-right, who repeatedly approached and filmed us throughout the day. They were clearly upset at the growth of our group, and the warm reception we were given by students on campus. We believe there is incredible potential for growth of Marxist ideas at Ryerson in the coming year!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RyersonMarxists/

UofT

At the Clubs Fair this past week, some 20 activists of the Socialist Fightback Students helped to sign up over 150 students at the two literature stalls that were set-up. Nearly 25 papers and booklets were sold to students, most of whom were first-year students meeting organized socialists for the first time. Many students were willing to get involved, learn about the club, and get educated on Marxist theory.

Last year, the “Bernie bump” allowed us to have line ups of students willing to sign up to the mailing list. However, this year the election of Donald Trump and the events in Charlottesville had clearly polarized young people. Many students were extremely excited to get involved with socialist organization on campus, while on the other side, there were even some students who claimed to be fascist when approached.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fightbackatuoft/

Socialist Pub Night

This enthusiasm was reflected with the very impressive showing of UofT students at our Socialist Pub Night on Friday. Many Ryerson students and even students from as far as York University made it to the downtown pub for discussions on revolutionary politics.

In total some 60 people attended. There was even one group of first-year students from the same residence who came together, clearly encouraging each other to skip on other frosh-week festivities to discuss politics. Discussions ranged from the environment, human nature, and the collapse of Yugoslavia, to revolutionary politics in the Middle-East and in Kurdistan. At least 15 people agreed to join Marxist reading groups that are being set-up at different campuses.

George Brown College

The recently-founded Socialist Fightback club at George Brown college held its first literature stall for the school year at the St. James campus on King street. There was a lot of excitement among students about to the club, and the issue of economic inequality was on many people’s minds.  A lot of the students were fresh to politics and the ideas of socialism, but excited to learn more. About 50 students signed up to the club, with over a dozen papers and booklets sold.

At the college there is little in the way of campus club activity, and this is especially true when it comes to left-wing politics. The club at George Brown has great potential for growth this year.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RyersonMarxists/

York University

The Socialist Fightback Students began the first week of term with a concerted postering campaign, two literature stalls and an introductory public discussion on “What is Marxism?”. As capitalism results in increasing inequality and the lowering of living standards, a growing mood of frustration and anger is apparent among students, many of whom come from working class backgrounds.

This was reflected in the public discussion where 50 students gathered to discuss Marxist theory. The presentation was led by the editor of Fightback, Alex Grant, and was live streamed. The video has so far reached over 1700 views!

Alex Grant highlighted the various aspects of Marxism, explaining its roots in economics, philosophy, and history. He highlighted how Marxism concentrated the best ideas of the time period, and explained its relevance today. There was a thirst for ideas and solutions in the room, the discussion consisting of many questions about the nature of socialism and Marxism, the impact of these ideas on our lives today, and how to use these ideas to create a socialist society which will alleviate the suffering of modern day capitalism.

After a lively and eventful discussion, attendees were asked if they wanted to get involved with Socialist Fightback. Fourteen new attendees raised their hands and gave their names to get involved with the student clubs. A number of attendees joined us at the coffee shop afterwards for further discussion.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fightbackatyorku

Hamilton

The Socialist Fightback club at McMaster held a literature stall at Clubs Day. We were able to distribute several hundred leaflets, which were met with a lot of enthusiasm. We held a coffee shop gathering after the Clubs Day in which a half dozen interested students gathered to discuss Marxism.

On the Saturday after Clubs Day, the Hamilton “Supercrawl” was held and we set up a literature stall to reach out to crowds attending the music festival. A Marxist reading group is being planned for the coming Wednesday to gather all those interested in the club, and we are expecting a good showing!

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fightbackhamilton/

McGill

This past week we saw Socialist Fightback/ La Riposte socialiste activists active on all major campuses across Montreal, spreading the ideas of socialism amongst the youth. At McGill we were present for the entire 3 nights of Activities Night, from September 5th - 7th. We were generally welcomed by curious youth who have become politicized in the recent period thanks to phenomenon like Bernie Sanders. Although McGill is characterised for having a more conservative student body, it is obvious that more and more students are looking to the left in the quest of understanding the state of the world around them today.

The mood at McGill is changing and this is illustrated by our successful intervention at Activities Night 3 nights in a row. In total we sold 35 papers, 18 of our foundational booklets, and met around 140 students who signed up to our email list wanting to learn more about how to get involved. We are becoming a point of reference at McGill as we are the only openly socialist group on campus. This means we are entering a period where people are now coming to us for our ideas. As students become more and more radicalized by the events happening around the world, they will shed their political illusions in centre and centre-right politics and will look to join an organization that offers a real solution to the disasters of capitalism on a global scale.

Concordia   

At Concordia Clubs Day this year, the Fightback table was a very popular one. Despite the grey skies and intermittent rain, our intervention was more successful than that from the previous year. The various lively discussions we had with new and returning students resulted in 44 papers sold and 79 new emails on our email lists! The enthusiasm and dedication of our comrades to be on time and have a solid presence was evident, and has clearly paid off!

Visitors to the table were excited to see an openly socialist group on campus, and were impressed by our level of organization and the amount of literature we had to offer. Explaining that the club is part of a larger national and international organization seemed to intrigue a lot of the the best people we met. Comrades did great work not only welcoming those interested in the group, but also handled conversations with skeptical individuals very well. Overall, this has been a great start to our work on the Concordia University campus this semester, and we expect to maintain this level of work as the semester continues.

Concordia and McGill - Socialist Pub Night

On Saturday, September 9th, the clubs at Concordia and McGill combined forces to hold a Socialist Pub Night - our first event of the school year. Building off of a good tradition from previous years, we once again beat all of our expectations with over 70 people showing up, completely packing the bottom floor of Brutopia pub in downtown Montreal. This was the result of the hard work of our activists at Concordia and McGill, who had gathered over 220 emails and phone numbers of interested students during the previous week from the two campuses.

Dozens of fresh faces came out to the pub night, clearly demonstrating that youth are interested in Marxist ideas and are looking to get organized. Our literature table was very popular, with many new people buying copies of our paper, booklets and books. We ended up selling almost $60 of literature! Discussions were wide ranging and engaging with people embroiled in in-depth discussions for hours until late into the night!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fightbackcm

UdeM

Comrades from La Riposte Socialiste were present at the Student Clubs Fair at Université de Montréal on August 30th spreading Marxist ideas to the student population. We sold 17 copies of our paper La Riposte socialiste, 2 educational booklets and had close to 50 people sign up to our email list. In addition to this, there were a good many people who had already purchased the summer issue of the paper but wanted the September edition which was not available yet!

We were by far the most impressive and active club at the Clubs Fair. The general ambiance was very good with many people desiring to know more and wanting to get more involved building the forces of revolutionary Marxism on campus!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ripsum/

Cégep du Vieux-Montréal

At the beginning of the school year at the Cegep Vieux-Montreal, La Riposte socialiste held 4 tablings in the first two weeks of classes. These tablings were a big success! Students in general were very open to socialist ideas. We signed up around 30 new students to our club list. Many seemed very interested in helping us to create a socialist club at Vieux-Montreal! As well, we sold around 20 copies of the latest edition of La Riposte socialiste! We will be holding our first event on Wednesday, September 20th and will use this as a launching pad to officially create a revolutionary socialist club on campus!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ripsocvm/

Cégep Marie-Victorin

These past few weeks, activists from Socialist Fightback began activities to establish a club at Cégep Marie-Victorin. We organized 5 tablings where we sold 42 copies of our paper La Riposte socialiste, 3 educational booklets and one book. In addition, we gathered nearly 100 emails and phone numbers of people wanting to get involved in the club! This success is the result of our hard work on the campus last spring and we intend to building upon this.

Following this mobilization work, we held our first public event of the semester on September 6th on the topic of “Is socialism possible?” This event brought out around 20 people and their interest was shown in the fact that after the event, we sold $40 worth of literature. There is no lack of interest in socialist ideas on the campus and it is up to us to build this group!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LRSMV

University of Alberta, Edmonton

Edmonton club fairSocialist Fightback activists kicked off the semester by participating at the University of Alberta's Clubs Fair. This was the first year that we tabled and we garnered a lot of attention simply from our banner that stood out with its bold call: "One solution, Revolution. Join the fight against capitalism. Join Socialist Fightback!" Hundreds of students stopped by our table to talk to us, eager to learn more about socialism. Around 50 people signed up to our mailing list and we sold about $50 worth of literature and other socialist merchandises. 

Our first event after the Clubs Fair, Socialism 101, was attended by more than 20 people. We had a very lively discussion with many questions coming from floor: Is revolution a necessary step to socialism? How about the Soviet Union? How about human nature? We sold around $20 worth of literature at this event, which clearly shows that there is an increasing interest in revolutionary ideas. Fightback activists in Edmonton are organizing more events in the coming weeks. Come join us in the struggle against capitalism!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fightbackedmonton/

Contact us to get involved in the club on your campus or to help us build a Socialist Fightback club on your campus!

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https://www.facebook.com/RSE.SFS

Contact Us:

English Canada - (416) 461-0304 - fightback@marxist.ca

Quebec - (514) 973-9614 - lariposte@marxiste.qc.ca