YCL members in BC joined in rallies against Harper's undemocratic prorogue last weekend. Check out this Facebook group and follow the Rebel Youth blog for updates and analysis on the prorogue and be sure to join in future rallies against Harper's attack on democracy!
As the danger of privatization and cost continue to threaten public post-secondary education there are new threats from both within and without of the student movement.
Right wing Conservative and Liberal governments continue to increase tuition and ancillary fees. The majority of post-secondary students come from working class families and refusing even a moderate increases in minimum wage or any other relief has pushed student debt well above 13 billion dollars.
Students must stand up against these attacks and fight for a better education system, including:
- The reduction and elimination of tuition fees. - Accessible post-secondary education funded by a progressive tax system. - The opening of public apprenticeship programs with a guarantee of work. - Increasing the minimum wage. - A living stipend for students. - The cancellation of student debt. - Research directed by the people, not by corporate investment interests.
These and other progressive demands can only be won through mass, united mobilization and fight back. Victory is in the streets!
But the right also has more devious and destructive tactics on campus. Progressive student organizations are harassed constantly by Conservative Party activists intent on disrupting and destroying the student movement. Some even pose as progressives to confuse and destroy the unity of youth and students.
Students can’t wait for the next election. Immediate change is needed to relieve the massive costs and escalation of debt. Real, lasting political results must come from the democratic expression of protest in the street. Lobbying is not enough, and concessions cannot continue. Students have nothing more to give but to further go in debt!
Unwillingness to take action can only hinder the fight of students. Young progressives must take it upon themselves to bring fellow students together against regressive government policies and cuts. Inaction only aids these government as well as the dangerous anti-CFS campaigns which have reared their the past few years and especially in recent months.
Recently, a group called Progressive Students 4 CFS has publicized a letter calling for a more active student movement. The letter, which was signed by over 60 progressive students from across the country, also describes some of the issues facing students in Canada and the actions of the right on campus. Other active online student progressives can be found at campusconservativewatch.ca or Rabble.ca.
Soon the massive, nationwide campaign to defederate schools from the Canadian Federation of Students will come to a head. If these destructive campaigns are successful the students of Canada will be left with no united representation, and will be vulnerable to attacks from the far right. The fight for free, universal, accessible post-secondary education cannot be won without the voice and movement of students. The YCL-BC opposes the defederation campaigns and the attacks from the Conservative Party on campus.
Another tactic of the upper class in disrupting the student movement is enforced inactivity. Schools like Kwantlen Polytechnic, where defederation campaigners hold seats or maintain control of the students union, have seen a marked decrease in political activism. At Kwantlen, student elections have dramatically lower turnout then schools with active, progressive student leaders.
Strangely, the activity of campus conservatives is in some places defended by confused left wing students. Whether the case is that these students reject the CFS because it is not a revolutionary organization, or feel that some of the services or campaigns go beyond the mandate of student representatives, they fail to understand the issue at hand. There is a real threat to post-secondary education in Canada, and now is not the time to tear down all that students have worked for.
The questions of direction and unity in the student movement are serious ones. The CFS is not only a unified voice for post-secondary students, but is often quick to support international struggles including the fight of the Palestinian people. The YCL-BC calls on students to support the CFS against these defederation campaigns. Progressive students must be active in this struggle. Nothing is perfect, but we must work to build and strengthen a united student movement, not to destroy it.
It is important that post-secondary students question their elected leaders on this issue. A united student movement is the only thing preventing the complete deregulation or privatization of schools. As the fight goes on these right wing forces will further attempt to disrupt and corrupt student politics. The only way to reverse these attacks is to stand united against the defederation campaigns, cuts, and tuition increases.
1. People's Co-Op Bookstore 65th Anniversary Party
The YCL supports the People's Co-Op Bookstore and invites you to join us in attending this important event to celebrate its 65th anniversary.
People's Co-op Books - the oldest and "hardest working" bookstore in the city - is well known as a community hub, a supporter of local writers, and a great place to buy books you often can't find anywhere else. This is your chance to support the store, and have a really good time.
January 22nd - 7:30pm - Wise Hall (1882 Adanac St.) - Tickets $10 in advance $15 at the door.
People's Co-op Bookstore turns 65 this year and will be holding series of events to celebrate. Join us!
More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/event.php?eid=235143019009
2. Young Workers Social
The Vancouver & District Labour Council Young Workers Committee is holding a Young Workers Social on Sunday, January 24th, 6pm, at the Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir Street).
The YCL supports the work of the VDLC Young Workers Committee and encourages young workers across the Vancouver area to attend the social and get involved.
More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/share.php?appid=2344061033&src=box&tid=246934534554&u=www.vdlc.ca#/event.php?eid=246934534554 3. Red Star Club YCL Vancouver meeting
The YCL Vancouver will be meeting on January 25th, 7pm, at our office in the Centre for Socialist Education (706 Clark Dr.) Interested in joining the YCL? Come on our and meet us!
Roll call Adopt agenda Membership, voting in of new members
OLD BUSINESS/STANDING ITEMS -Peace & International Solidarity (reports, WFYS) -Young Workers & Labour (reports, next steps) - Student Movement (reports, recent YCL BC statement, UBC) - Culture & Agit Prop (Buttons, distro of environment leaflet, other) - Rebel Youth (distribution, next issue) - Fundraising (report, next fundraiser) - Olympics
NEW BUSINESS - Flags / silkscreening - Plan next educational/discussion group - Any other new business
More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/editevent.php?eid=292379600808&step=1#/event.php?eid=292379600808