On 5th June 2009 the Quebec Marxists launched a new publication, La Riposte (the Fightback). The launch of La Riposte is of extreme significance for the work of the Marxists in Québec. By having a French paper, the Marxists are able to diffuse their ideas to the broadest layers of the overwhelmingly francophone working class and youth.
Read this article in French.
Sharp class contradictions, exacerbated by the present crisis of capitalism, will sooner or later lead to an explosive situation in Québec. The attacks against the Québec working class and youth have only started. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost, living standards are falling, and pensions are “disappearing” as the bankers gamble them away in the stock market. As the crisis accentuates, the attacks will increase tenfold, leading the workers and youth to a decisive fightback.
On 5th June 2009 the Quebec Marxists launched a new publication, La Riposte (the Fightback). The launch of the paper took place at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal), a university that just had its professors go on strike a few months ago. Almost 30,000 UQAM students went on strike in solidarity with their teachers. Approximately 40 people were in attendance at the event itself. The speakers included Isa Al-Jaza'iri from the editorial board of La Riposte, Camilo Cahis from the editorial board of Fightback, the paper of the Canadian Marxists, and Jorge Martin from the International Secretariat of the IMT.
The launch of La Riposte is of extreme significance for the work of the Marxists in Québec. First of all, by having a French paper, the Marxists are able to diffuse their ideas to the broadest layers of the overwhelmingly francophone working class and youth. La Riposte will serve as a tool for the working class, offering sober perspectives for the movement and solutions to different tactical, theoretical, and political questions. Second of all, the launch of the paper coincides with the increasing attacks on working people and youth by the Québec and Canadian ruling class. This makes the need of a Marxist paper, which can explain the situation with clarity and cut through the lies of the bourgeois media, even more pressing.
Before the crisis, almost all of the bourgeois newspapers were still swept up by the belief that capitalism could continue to grow indefinitely. When the first signs of the crisis appeared they were saying that it would not hit Canada and Québec. Now that the crisis has started to hit Canada and Québec, they are singing a different song. They are telling us that the crisis is almost over. Isa Al-Jaza'iri, explained: “Trillions have been spent to save the economy and the stock exchanges are finally rising again, they say. This prediction will prove no less utopian than the previous ones, or the similar predictions of a quick recovery after the Wall Street crash in 1929. Whatever short breathing spaces this recession grants can only be followed by deeper dives, and inflationary bailouts will only add more misery.”
Camilo Cahis explained that workers in the rest of Canada are also fighting back against the Canadian federal state. Anglophone workers need to unite with their French brothers and sisters in bringing down the federal state and capitalism, and form a voluntary union of socialist Canada and socialist Quebec. The Marxists in the rest of Canada, united around the paper Fightback, are fighting for this and support fully the launch of the Quebec Marxist newspaper, La Riposte, as a first step toward the unity of anglophone and francophone workers in their struggle for socialism.
As anglophone workers need to unite with the francophone workers, the whole working class of the world need to unite as well. The presence of Jorge Martin from the International Secretariat of the International Marxist Tendency reflects this. Jorge spoke about the global crisis of capitalism that needs to be fought by a united struggle of the world working class from Montreal to Toronto to Detroit to Mexico City to Caracas to Jakarta. The workers need to shatter the language and national barriers that have prevented them from uniting. The workers have had that tradition of international unity in the past and they need to revive that tradition again.
The main articles in the first edition of La Riposte contain some very important analyses on different questions. In the article entitled “La souvairaineté, pour qui?”, Joel Bergman explains that the right to self-determination, even under a capitalist basis, will be defended by the Marxists should Québec workers choose it. However, the only way that Québec can be truly independent is under a socialist basis. In this article, Bergman exposes the PQ bourgeois nationalists. As the article explains “The bourgeois and petty bourgeois leaders of the Parti Québécois and the Bloc Québécois see the struggle for sovereignty as part of a process of coming to a reasonable accommodation with imperialism and the Canadian capitalist state for a bigger share of the pie, all the while giving themselves a progressive visage within Québec.” Only the Québec working class can liberate Québec from years of imperialist domination. In this struggle, their natural allies are the Canadian workers. United, they can tear down the bourgeois federalist state and in its place, set up a voluntary socialist union under equal terms, where the main levers of the economy are nationalized and placed under workers' control.
The first issue of La Riposte also deals with Québec Solidaire, which is a newly formed left party in Québec. The formation of this party is a historic opportunity for the Québec working class to have its own party. The International Marxist Tendency actively fights for Québec solidaire to be a party of the workers with an organic connection to the main trade unions. In the article entitled “Pour sortir de la crise: dépasser le capitalisme?, Oui, et vers le socialisme”, Ted Sprague explains the need for Québec solidaire to adopt socialist policies. This article was written as a response to a manifesto published by Québec solidaire on 1st May that questions the capitalist system.
Apart from the above-mentioned articles, workers and youth can find other very important analysis. Given the turbulence of the epoch we live in and the striving to get answers from the capitalist crisis, we confidently call every class-conscious worker and youth in Québec to support the publication of La Riposte by getting a subscription and also to join the International Marxist Tendency in the fight for a socialist world, a world devoid of exploitation, wars, discrimination, and oppression. Subscriptions are just $20 for 12 issues and cheques made out to “La Riposte” can be sent to:
Boîte Postale 842, Station H
Montréal, QC H3G 2M8
International solidarity greetings for the launch of La Riposte:
Greetings from the US to the readers of La Riposte!
The Workers International League and Socialist Appeal newspaper in the U.S. sends our best regards, wishes and solidarity to the readers, subscribers, editors and supporters of La Riposte. We believe that the ideas defended by La Riposte, those of genuine Marxism, are sorely needed not just in Quebec but in every corner of our continent in order to explain with clarity the way forward for the working class. The publication of this paper is an important link in the struggle of workers, whether Francophone or Anglophone, or even beyond borders towards our common goal - the socialist revolution, which itself respects no barriers.
Editorial Board of Socialist Appeal
C’est avec un énorme enthousiasme que nous saluons le lancement de La Riposte au Québec. En insistant sur les intérêts communs de tous les travailleurs – indépendamment de la nationalité, de la langue, du sexe ou de la couleur – en soutenant leurs luttes, votre journal contribuera grandement à la défense des idées du marxisme.
En cette période de crise économique, de guerres et de toutes les autres manifestations de l’impasse capitaliste, mais aussi de mouvements révolutionnaires comme ceux qui ont lieu en Amérique Latine, nous sommes confiants dans le fait que La Riposte jouera un rôle majeur dans le développement du mouvement marxiste au Québec. Vous pouvez comptez sur notre solidarité fraternelle.
Bon courage – et en avant vers le socialisme international !
Pour La Riposte (France), le journal de l’aile marxiste du PCF.
Nous avons récemment connu de la lutte exemplaire que les travailleurs organisés de Canadian Auto Workers Union avait fait contre les patrons de Chrysler. Ici, au Mexique, cette apparentement petite, mais vraiment grosse lutte, nous avait trop encouragé parce que on avait fait claire que la révolution suit son chemin et on ne respect pas quelque frontière et qu’il y a une alternative claire à la crise capitaliste international : la lutte consciente, firme et organisée de la classe ouvrière.
Ce premier numéro de La Riposte est sans doute un triomphe très important de la classe ouvrière canadienne et nous savons que c’est destiné á jouer un rôle de première importance dans les événements actuels à ces lieus.
L’énergie que vous imprimez à tous les tâches pour construire une alternative révolutionnaire donnera plus de fruits, comme ce merveilleux numéro de La Riposte. Salutations forts et combatives de la Tendance Marxiste Mexicaine.
De terre mexicaine nous soulevons notre poing et nous disons :
Vive La Riposte!Vive Fightback!Vive la lutte ouvrière en Canadá! Vive la lutte ouvrière en tout le monde!
Comité de redacción de Militante
Dear Canadian comrades and supporters of Fightback!
We are Eastern European Marxists who are members and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency and we would like to greet your congress and your excellent initiative of publishing a paper in Quebec. We can see that this is a tremendous step forward in your work in Canada and will enable all francophone workers in and outside of Quebec access the ideas of Marxism.
Our Eastern European Co-ordinating Committee has representatives from Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia and Serbia attending and is working in an area smaller than Canada, but with an equally diverse group of nations, languages, cultures and traditions. We are working towards publishing Marxist papers and material in all these countries and would take heart from your example of extending your range to Quebec.
We wish you the best success in your new endeavour and will follow your development with comradely interest and good wishes.
Yours in revolutionary greeting
Congratulation for the launching of La Riposte in Canada
The world crisis show us that capitalism has no borders, that the only dividing line that count is class line, not religion, race, or language.The capitalists use the question of nationality to divide the working class, whose strongest weapon is unity. Therefore we were really pleased to hear that our Canadian comrades are now launching La Riposte and we think it is an important step in building the forces of International Marxism.
Workers in all countries unite!
Socialistisk Standpunkt, IMT Denmark
Congratulations on producing a French paper. This is undoubtedly a major step forward for the work in Canada.
Socialist Appeal NZ editorial board
Apres avoir lu que vous allez publier votre journal "La Riposte", les camarades de la section polonaise vous envoyent les félicitations.
Par hasard, nous venons de publier le premier numéro de notre revue politique. Nous savons donc bien que rediger un périodique requiert un effort remarquable. L'experience commun du mouvement ouvrier nous monte, pourtant, qu'un journal peut devenir un moyen exceptionnel de l'éducation politique et du contact avec des travailleurs ? la fois. Bien s?r vous le savez - maintenant vous aurez la chance de le réaliser en pratique, et nous n'avons aucune doute que vous serez capables de réussir.
Votre travail dans le Quebec a déj? produit des progr?s important pour le socialisme international. Le journal, et le contact avec la classe ouvrier lequel vous renforcerez en l'utilisant, ce sont des nouveaux pas en avant.
Vive la révolution!
Au nom du Comité National de la section polonaise,
Alan Woods, Editors of In Defence of Marxism website:
The launching a French-language new paper in Quebec at the beginning of June is an enormous step forward for the Marxists in Canada and internationally. I am convinced that "La Riposte" will play a vital role in connecting Marxism with the Quebecois working class, which has very militant traditions.
On behalf of the IMT I wish to congratulate the comrades on this splendid initiative and wish you every success in your important work.
With revolutionary greetings,
Socialist Appeal in Britain sends its revolutionary greetings to "La Riposte". The heroic struggles of the Quebecois working class is an essential component part in the struggle for a socialist world.
Editorial Board Socialist Appeal
Dear Comrades in Quebec
It is with great pleasure that we here about the launching of a French paper in Quebec. The Canadian section of the IMT is going forward. This paper will be an important tool for the building of a marxist tendency in the Canadina labour movement. We wish you every succes!
On behalf of the Swedish EC