Palestine solidarity encampment movement spreads to Canada!

The Palestine solidarity encampment movement has come to Canada. This escalation of the struggle is a breath of fresh air.

[Originally published at]

On Saturday morning, an encampment was set up at McGill University in downtown Montreal. This weekend, thousands of people visited the camp to show their solidarity. Students from McGill, Concordia, UQAM and other campuses are also present.

This morning, the administration of the University of British Columbia woke up to the news of an encampment on its grounds. Other encampments are sure to appear in the coming days.

Administrations and the ruling class are scared and are already trying to prevent the movement from spreading. This is what we’re seeing at the University of Toronto, where the largest open space on campus was fenced off today, with admin citing concerns about “unauthorized activity”. The University of Ottawa administration released a statement saying that “encampments and occupations will not be tolerated”.

After months of stagnation, the encampments represent a concrete step forward in the Palestine solidarity movement. Communists fully support this struggle, and our activists are working to expand the movement to all campuses and to the broader working class.

Fighting mood

At McGill, the camp is in its third day. The encampment is being run in a calm and disciplined manner, but the mood is festive and combative.

On both Saturday and Sunday, marches for Palestine ended at the camp. By the administration’s own admission, the camp has tripled in size since the start. It is clear that thousands of people are following the events closely and are excited by this development, where students are resorting to mass direct action to stop the genocide.

There’s a real thirst for ideas and political discussion on site—reading circles, discussions, banner-making sessions are constantly being organized.

Comrades from the Revolutionary Communist Party held a teach-in on imperialism yesterday, with between 50 and 100 people listening in. We’ll be continuing to organize political education activities at the encampment throughout the week.

Clearly following a pre-written script, the university administration sent an email to the students denouncing the “antisemitic language” allegedly used in the occupation. It affirms its commitment to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly… and the administration is now preparing to crack down on the movement.


At the time of writing, riot police are present, and could attack the camp at any moment.

These people never learn. Momentum is on the side of the pro-Palestine protesters, as encampments spread around the world. Slander and repression, as we saw at Columbia University, could make the movement grow even more.

Spread the movement!

The ice has been broken. Now the movement must spread to every university, college and cégep in Quebec and Canada. Everywhere, the rage against genocide must be organized.

The encampments shouldn’t be left up to students alone. We should expand them by appealing to the employees of the universities themselves to join. Professors, teaching assistants, support staff, research workers; all must join the struggle on the ground. Professors at McGill’s Faculty of Law are already on strike. All these layers should be brought on strike to support the movement.

World School banner

The encampment movement has a specific goal: divestment from companies complicit in genocide, and for universities to disclose their financial activities.

These demands have the merit of pointing to an important question: why do our universities operate like private companies? At McGill, members of the administration make between $147,603 and $595,325 a year. Why is it that a small bourgeois clique can rake in staggering sums in exorbitant tuition fees, give themselves fat bonuses, and invest money in financial projects that enable genocide in Palestine?

We need to create a movement so powerful that administrations are forced to make concessions. Not a penny, not a bullet for Israel’s war machine! Open the books!

This clique of rich parasites must be kicked out. The RCP demands the abolition of non-elected boards, replacing them with elected representatives of the students, faculty and staff. Control of the universities must be in the hands of the students and the workers running them!

The working class

The encampments are a step forward and could force some universities to make concessions. But the genocidal war relies on more than the investments of university boards.

To this day, Canada is sending military equipment to Israel. This war machine must be stopped.

We should make it our mission to broaden the movement to include the working class as a whole. Workers, due to their role in production, can stop the gears of the war machine. We must bring the workers into the struggle.

Workers at the ports of Montreal and Vancouver; workers at the Raytheon arms company in Calgary; workers at TTM in Toronto; workers at Google, where employees in the U.S. have tried to take matters into their own hands; whole swathes of the working class are involved in one way or another in companies that do business with Israel. These workers must be approached and drawn into the movement!

Down with genocide Justin!

down with genocide Justin Image Communist RevolutionIn Canada, we have a golden opportunity to advance the movement against the genocidal onslaught on Gaza / Image: Communist Revolution

In Canada, we have a golden opportunity to advance the movement against the genocidal onslaught on Gaza. We are ruled by a hated, weak minority Liberal government which only exists because they are being propped up by the NDP. Through spreading the movement to every campus in Canada and bringing the workers into the struggle, we could bring down this government. This would send a shockwave through the movement worldwide.

The movement is just beginning in Canada, but the potential is immense. Communists will be at the heart of the movement wherever we have forces on the ground. We’ll be arguing for the need to overthrow the entire capitalist system, to put universities and workplaces in workers’ hands, and to build a socialist society free of war and exploitation.

Not a single penny for Israel’s war machine! Cut all financial ties with Israel and open the books!

For student, faculty and staff control and management of universities!

For a workers’ boycott of any industry or company that enables Israel’s crimes!

Down with Genocide Justin!

Intifada until victory!

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