The Joint Committee of the East Indian Defence Committee, the West Indian People’s Organization and the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee is continuing its campaign in preparation for the November 6 demonstration and rally in Toronto against state-organized racist attacks.
On Friday, November 4, the Joint Committee organized three programmes: 1. a press conference to explain the nature of the November 6 action and to provide clarification to oppose the confusion being created in the bourgeois media on the question of the demonstration and the Joint Committee; 2. a public meeting at York University in the afternoon; and 3. a community meeting that evening in East Toronto, an area where there have been a lot of state-organized attacks recently, including state-organized attacks on members of the Joint Committee and of CPC(M-L).
The press conference was attended by representatives of the capitalist media – radio, television and newspapers, and by reporters from Lok Awaz, PCDN and other press.
The statement “There Is One Struggle Against Racist Attacks” was distributed at the press conference. After the statement was read, Comrade Hardial Bains, who will be the main speaker at the rally to follow the November 6 demonstration, answered questions from the press concerning the November 6 action and on the confusion being created by the media. (The statement and the transcript of the question period of the press conference are printed in today’s PCDN, beginning on page 4).
The statement points out in a straightforward manner that there is one struggle against racist attacks, and repudiates the allegations by the press and others that the demonstration and rally of November, 6 are organized for some other purpose than to oppose the state. As well, the statement clearly repudiates the line that the people are racist and that government “inaction” is the cause of continuing racist attacks.
In the question period, Comrade Bains thoroughly exposed the activities of the capitalist press for attempting to create confusion and to organize a provocation at the November 6 demonstration and rally. He pointed out that while a reactionary alderman in the Riverdale area has been organizing the police to attack the Joint Committee and the comrades from CPC(M-L) who are popularizing the demonstration, the news media has carried propaganda alleging that it is these people who have launched some attack on the alderman.
Comrade Bains combatted the insinuation of the press that the Joint Committee is organized to attack the people. He resolutely pointed out that the Joint Committee is “not organized to have a fight with anyone. We are not organizing to have the community fighting with one another. We are organizing to fight the state-organized racist attacks.”
At the meeting at York University, a spokesman for the Joint Committee presented the views of the Committee to the students and workers there, stressing the line that Self-Defence Is the Only Way! to respond to racist attacks, and popularizing the November 6 demonstration and rally. Comrade Bains was the main speaker at this meeting. In his speech, he stressed the necessity of combatting the racist anti-working class and anti-communist ideology of the reactionary bourgeoisie.
The meeting in the evening in East Toronto was addressed by representatives of all three organizations in the Joint Committee. The representative of West Indian People’s Organization convincingly refuted the lies and distortions of the bourgeois press that racist attacks are no longer taking place against the West Indian community in Toronto. He provided many examples to refute this lie. He explained that the state floats the misleading notion that the West Indians are no longer under attack in order to lull the community to sleep, to pacify it, and prevent it from getting organized. This is in order to prepare conditions to launch even fiercer attacks against the community in the future. He said that the West Indian people have learned through their own life experience that Self-Defence Is the Only Way! to fight state-organized racist attacks.
The representative of the East Indian Defence Committee took up this theme of Self-Defence Is the Only Way! and expanded on it in his speech. He cited many cases in which the police either actively participated in racist attacks on East Indians, or else openly collaborated with the racists, giving them every freedom to attack the East Indians, and then coming to the rescue of the racists when the East Indians dared to fight back. He told of large numbers of cases in which the police actually arrested the East Indians who had been the victims of racist attacks right in front of the eyes of the police.
The police committed a brazen provocation against the Joint Committee at the community meeting itself. Before the meeting got underway, two Toronto police, in plain clothes, tried to sneak into the auditorium. Before they set foot in the hall, however, people from the community in the audience recognized one of the men as a policeman, and alerted the others to his presence. This particular policeman has a notorious reputation in the community for attacking the people with the line that they should establish closer links with the police, better “community relations”, etc. He was one of the reactionaries who had attended a meeting a few weeks earlier organized by the reactionary Toronto alderman to promote racism by dealing with the “problem” of a Sikh temple in the neighbourhood. The police were not allowed to enter the meeting, and after protesting that their “rights” had been denied, they admitted defeat and slunk off.
The EIDC spokesman spoke of the long and proud history of the East Indian community in Canada in fighting state-organized racist attacks, and vigorously denounced those traitors to the community who approach the racist government on their hands and knees begging for an end to racist attacks. He spoke of how the line of the EIDC, Self-Defence Is the Only Way!, has taken deep roots in the East Indian community. He said that on November 6 at the demonstration and rally, the EIDC will tell the state that no matter what they do, the EIDC will stick to its line of Self-Defence Is the Only Way! and that the East Indians in Canada will not be diverted from this path.
The spokesman from the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee stressed the point that with regard to racist attacks there are two questions: What are the causes of the racist attacks? and What should the people do about them? He said that there are two replies to each question. The rich falsely assert that the people themselves’are the cause of racist attacks and that the victims of racist attacks should rely on the state for protection. In opposition to this erroneous and treacherous line of the state is the correct line upheld by CPDC which is that it is the rich minority and its state who are behind the attacks, and that these attacks have intensified in the conditions of the current economic crisis of monopoly capitalism, for which the rich have no solutions other than to attack the people. He said that in examining the issue of racist attacks it is not correct to look at the individuals who commit the attacks, but rather at those who are responsible for setting the racist policies and making the racist laws of the state. These people are responsible for the racist attacks in Canada, he stressed.
The CPDC spokesman emphasized that the people must fight the state-organized racist attacks by relying on their own efforts and strength and upholding the correct line of Self-Defence Is the Only Way! He urged all those at the meeting to vigorously participate in the November 6 demonstration and rally against state-organized racist attacks. The demonstration will take place at City Hall at 2:00 p.m. and the rally at 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto. The meeting concluded with the unanimous adoption of a resolution denouncing the state-organized racist attacks and wholeheartedly supporting the correct line of the Joint Committee to Blame the Rich and Not the People for Racist Attacks! After the meeting was adjourned, many people vigorous discussion on the struggle stayed on and engaged in against state-organized racist attacks.
(People’s Canada Daily News, Volume 7 No. 265, November 5, 1977)