Statement Released by the East Indian Defence Committee on the Occasion of the Mass Demonstration Against State-Organized Racist Attacks Organized by the Joint Committee of EIDC, WIPO and CPDC on November 6, 1977
State-organized racist attacks on immigrant communities, particularly the East Indian community have escalated lately. Our community is vigorously fighting against these attacks. The line of self-defence put forward by the East Indian Defence Committee, the militant self-defence organization of the East Indian community has taken deep roots in the community. We have called for this demonstration on November 6 to denounce the state-organized racist attacks on our community and to further arouse the community to defend itself. It is becoming clear, day by day, that our community cannot rely for protection on the same state which organizes these attacks, and that the community must rely on its own strength and fight to defend its honour and dignity. This truth is borne out by the entire history of our community in Canada.
Ever since our people started coming to Canada around 1902, the Canadian state has been launching one racist attack after the other against the community. As early as 1906, the colonial state in British Columbia set up a commission to find out whether the East Indians were living under “hygenic” conditions, were employed and whether they could bear the climate of BC. The results of this commission showed that not only were the East Indians able to bear the climate of BC, but they were also among the most hygenic and hard working people in the country. This commission did not find a single East Indian living on state welfare. But did the state change its attitude towards the East Indian people? No, not at all! On the contrary, despite these findings, the state tried to deport the East Indian community en masse to British Honduras on the pretext that the climate of British Honduras suited the East Indians better. Our community fought against and repulsed this attack.
Then in 1908, the Canadian state passed the so-called continuous journey law, making it almost impossible for East Indians to come to Canada. And when in 1914 some East Indians even complied with this law and sailed to Vancouver in a ship called Kamagata Maru, they were not allowed to disembark. Not only that, the ship was not allowed any supplies and the Royal Canadian Navy was mobilized to attack the ship. At this point, the East Indian community in Vancouver warned the state that if it attacked the ship, they would burn down the entire city of Vancouver. This made the Canadian state think twice and the ship was allowed some supplies. Various other examples of the heroic struggles of the early East Indian immigrants to Canada could be given, which show that the Canadian state has always taken our community as its enemy and has launched one attack after the other, and our community has fought the state-organized racist attacks tooth and hail. The same fight has continued to date.
When the recent round of racist attacks started around 1970-71, our community soon realized that it could not rely on the reactionary Canadian state for protection against these attacks, that it could not expect any cure from the gods of plague. Because when our people are attacked and they call the police, the police do not come, and they only come if the racist attackers are in danger of being punished by our people. There are numerous examples of this attitude of the police. Not only that, the police themselves engage in physical racist attacks against our people. The attitude of the courts and various other agencies and departments of the state is no different. The Department of Immigration is a department of harassment for our community. It launches gestapo-styte raids in order to intimidate the immigrants. It is very clear that we cannot rely on any of these agencies of the state for protection against state-organized racist attacks.
The East Indian Defence Committee since its founding in November 1973 has vigorously put forward the line that these racist attacks are state-organized and our community cannot rely on the same state for protection against these attacks, that our community can defend its honour and dignity only by relying on its own strength and vigorously fighting back on the basis of the line Self-Defence Is the Only Way! EIDC has led the community in uniting its ranks and standing up to the attacks of the state. It has exposed and defeated various schemes of the state. It is no wonder that the state has always viciously attacked EIDC. From the very beginning the state has attacked the line of self-defence of EIDC as vigilante activity. The reactionary Canadian state launched a propaganda campaign against Comrade Hardial Bains, Chairman of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and national leader of the East Indian community in order to deprive the community of its leadership. When some reactionary MP’s issued the call for the deportation of Comrade Hardial Bains in 1975, our community came forward as one man and challenged the state on this flimsy threat. The state was intimidated.
Why is the state escalating these attacks at this time? As everyone knows, the rich in Canada are confronted by a serious crisis, an economic, political, cultural and all-sided crisis. These money-bags have no solution to this crisis, so they shift the burden of this crisis onto the people, using their state to launch vicious attacks against the people. In this content, state-organized racist attacks are designed to force the immigrant workers to submit to the most vicious exploitation and repression and to divide the people along race lines. The communities which are facing this persecution are not taking it lying down. Our community, among other communities, is vigorously fighting on the basis of the slogan Self-Defence Is the Only Way!
Faced with such a situation, the state of the rich is trying to divert the people by offering phoney “solutions”. First it tries to confuse the target of the struggles by saying that it is the people who are racist. But actual life experience has shown that these racist attacks are organized by the state. Was it not the Trudeau government which issued the “Green Paper” on immigration, which blamed the immigrants for various social problems and tried to whip up racist hysteria against national minority people? The same state has now taken measures to step upthis campaign by passing anti-immigrant Bill C-24, to further terrorize immigrant communities. It tells the people to rely on the state for salvation, promotes the “ethnic police squad” whose aims are to stop the people from taking the path of-self-defence and to “educate” them not to “take the law into their own hands” when they are faced with racist attacks. Other solutions are promoted, such as having East Indian policemen in the force, having members of the community sit on education boards, city councils or-other “advisory” boards of the state, as if these were going to put an end to these racist attacks. In addition the state floats “humanitarian” organizations such as the Human Rights Commission. The experience of our community over the years in dealing with various agencies of the state, the police, courts, etc. is that the solutions offered by the state are no solutions of all. These solutions are meant to disarm our people, take initiative out of their hands, to leave us unprepared, sitting with folded arms while the state-organized racist attacks keep on escalating.
The East Indian Defence Committee firmly states that there is one struggle against racist attacks which is directed solely against the main enemy, the main culprit responsible for racist attacks, that is the Canadian state, and the state at various provincial and local levels. We call upon the people to very firmly reject all the phoney, dead-end “solutions” offered by the state. The only solution is the path of self-defence, the path of relying on our own strength and in this way defending the honour and dignity of our community and firmly repulsing these racist attacks.
BLAME THE RICH AND NOT THE PEOPLE FOR RACIST ATTACKS!
DOWN WITH STATE-ORGANIZED RACIST ATTACKS ON OUR PEOPLE!
FIGHT STATE-ORGANIZED RACIST ATTACKS THROUGH MASS REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLES!
SELF-DEFENCE IS THE ONLY WAY!