Statement by the Canadian Party of Labour on FLQ terrorism
First Published: Canadian Worker, Special, October 1970
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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No one is going to hand workers socialism on a silver platter...least of all a handful of “elite commandos.” Only the organized violence of masses of workers led by a communist party can lead workers to set up a state run by and for workers.
Has the ruling class been weakened by the Cross and Laporte kidnappings? Have we workers moved ahead in our struggle against the rotten boss system and for socialism as a result? NOT A BIT! Workers are still in the same fix. Of course, the bosses are always upset by the loss of their faithful servants. But beneath their “humanitarian” statements, they know that Cross, Laporte, or any other politician is expendable. There’s no shortage of substitutes. As far as their profits are concerned, the bosses don’t care whose life it is. The FLQ might “win” the release of a few bombers, or a ransom – but never a real gain for the working class. The bosses would much rather face a few isolated FLQ cells and risk the lives of a few diplomats and ministers than be crushed by the organized rage of the working class.
FLQ actions have never had anything to do with working-class struggle. While workers have been fighting year after year, and needing better organization and class unity more than ever (that is, needing a real communist party which knows how to lead our fight), the FLQ has spent its time planting bombs in letter-boxes, factories, statues and stock exchanges. Today, they abduct diplomats. Tomorrow it will be political assassination or skyjacking. And what do we workers have to do with all this? Nothing. It’s up to us to organize our forces for a fight to the finish against the bosses. Nobody’s going to do it for us.
The FLQ talks a lot about workers. It says that it wants to “liberate” the workers (but only in Quebec) and demands the rehiring of the Lapalme drivers. But is the FLQ organizing workers for the fight against the bosses and for socialism? Did they lift a finger to support the Lapalme drivers when there was still time? Do they denounce the real traitors, the sell-outs like DiTerlizzi and Co? Is the FLQ organizing support for striking autoworkers all across Canada? No! Far from workers and their struggles, it supports the union hacks who knife us in the back day in and day out. The FLQ is against the building of a party able to lead workers to unite against all our enemies, a vanguard party that will lead the fight against the whole capitalist system. The FLQ is against the setting up of a workers’ state – where workers exercise dictatorship over the bosses who’ll never stop trying to get back their lost power. In reality the FLQ tells workers: “Don’t organize with your class brothers and sisters, fight alone, each one in his shop, let yourself be led by the same people that screw you, stay isolated from workers in the rest of Canada who have the same enemies, defend the ’national culture’ of the bosses with your lives.” The FLQ fights to spring its own members from jail – not to liberate workers from the capitalist system. The hard truth – whether the FLQ likes it or not – is that their actions aid the enemies of workers everywhere. Their actions are counter-revolutionary.
The bosses aren’t playing up the FLQ kidnappings for nothing. There’s no better pretext for beefing up the cops, pushing the coordination of local, provincial and federal police forces, tightening up the screws of repression of the workers. What luck to be able to plaster the front pages with FLQ manifestos and hide the “family quarrel” between medical specialists and the Bourassa government, a quarrel which was starting to get workers angry (because they’re going to pay); what luck to be able to move Trudeau’s Throne Speech, with its unemployment insurance laws and new labour legislation (which means heavier chains for workers) back to third place; to say not a word about the GM strike, the hottest battle in the class war raging in North America today. The FLQ doesn’t only turn its back on workers’ real fights; it gives the bosses a smokescreen to hide the real problems of society.
It’s a sight to see! All the nationalists, chicken-hearted would-be terrorists like the racist Bourgeault, Michel Chartrand and his “left” bureaucrats of the CNTU Montreal Central Council, all the “left” nationalist monkeys like the FRAP misleaders, the Quebec-Presse skunks’ even the Toronto Star of Walter Gordon, big shot of Canadian nationalism, “disapprove’ of the means but approve of FLQ objectives. They’ve got a hard time of it to hide their grins. But what’s so surprising about that? The FLQ puts the struggle for “national liberation” (bosses’ liberation) ahead of the struggle for socialism (workers’ liberation). It thinks it’s fighting for the Quebec people – but its doesn’t say which people. In spite of its nice pats on the workers’ backs, the FLQ leaves the bourgeoisie in charge. This is why Walter Gordon, one of the big “English” bosses the FLQ claims to be fighting, uses terrorist blackmail to put pressure on the Wall Street sharks, all to the profit of Canadian bosses.
All of us, workers of both nations, have the same foot on our necks: the bosses’ state. To get rid of it, we need to unite in a single, fighting organization. What’s the result of FLQ actions? Give the bosses the chance they never miss; set off a wave of anti-Quebec racism among English-Canadian workers, and turn us against each other, the better to rake in the PROFITS. We need unity. The bosses and the FLQ lead us into isolation. Unite with French-speaking workers, fight anti-Quebec racism and nationalism, the bosses’ double-edged knife! French and English-speaking workers fighting together can win!
Students and intellectuals, cut off from the working class by their bourgeois “education” are confused by the nationalism-terrorism of the FLQ. We say that all students and intellectuals who really want to change society – and there are thousands of them – can become vital allies of workers in their struggles. But to do this, they must break down the influence of bosses’ ideas and get rid of anyone who leads them into the dead-end of individual or elite-group action. They can and must child firm ties with workers and with the Canadian Party of Labour in the stormy attack that will sweep away all exploiters.
The FLQ terrorists are right when they say the system crushes us. The bosses’ class is the root of all violence in our society, and workers are always first to pay the price. Take a few recent examples: Lapalme driver Albert Latendresse shot by the Phillips private murder squad; the striking Chatham auto-workers clubbed by Ontario Provincial Police. Other parts of society are also hit hard by the violence and injustice of the bosses’ system. Students at D’Arcy McGee High School in Montreal were attacked by cops called out by the principal, as were parents, teachers and students at Lignery, in Laprairie. Everyone is right to rebel against the system – it stinks!
The middle class produces some people who want to put an end to this state of affairs, but who think bombs and kidnappings are the way to do it. Violence must be fought with violence. We must fight back. The Canadian Party of Labour supports violence. CPL has no use for Cross, Laporte and their kind. They are workers’ enemies. But it’s useless to attack a handful of individuals. We say that the face of the earth has to be wiped clean of the WHOLE BOSSES’ CLASS. The FLQ is dead wrong in thinking that the violence of isolated cells, cut off from the masses, can do this. FLQ violence turns against the wishes of those who set it in motion. It serves the bosses. The FLQ can’t win. Only the organized working class can win, led by a revolutionary communist party like: the Canadian Party of Labour.
CPL supports workers’ revolts. We say that it’s in the masses of workers – and only there – that we’ll find the strength to smash the bosses system. CPL members and friends everywhere are part of these struggles: we intend to push them ahead, linking them with Marxism-Leninism, the science of working-class revolution. Nothing scares the bosses more than the mixture of mass violence and communist ideas: that’s the only bomb the bosses fear! The Walter Gordons, Mel Watkinses, Michel Chartrands, Paul Cliches and their boss or union-hack buddies don’t pat communists on the back. They do their best to kick them out of the workers’ movement and destroy them.
The bosses try to make workers think that the terrorists are “communists” or “Marxist-Leninists”. That’s how they hope to discredit CPL. While workers understand that FLQ violence hardly bothers the ruling class – and even helps them – some are still misled by the influence of bosses’ ideas about communism. But workers won’t be tricked much longer. CPL is already taking root in the working class; communist ideas are already being grasped by the working masses!
Contrary to the FLQ terrorists, CPL says that workers all across Canada can be united against their common enemy; that a real communist party can be built, a party made up of workers ready for front-line combat, a party that can lead the attack against the bosses’ class and state, smash their rotten system, and build a new system for workers – socialism.
FIGHT FOR SOCIALISM
BUILD THE CANADIAN PARTY OF LABOUR
WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!