Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

In Struggle!

The CPC(ML): A Revisionist Organization of Agent-Provocateurs

Provocation, intimidation and anti-communism used against the masses!

“CPC(ML) is like organized crime!” That is the conclusion which two East Indian immigrants, who used to work in the East Indian Defence Committee (EIDC), reached in an interview published in a recent issue of IN STRUGGLE! The EIDC is an organization completely dominated by CPC(ML). It serves as a front for a whole range of manoeuvres aimed at making the communities of East Indian immigrants across Canada submit to the revisionist dictates of CPC(ML) and Hardial Bains:

“The November 6th demonstration against racism in Toronto is another example. CPC(ML) organized a separate demonstration a few yards away from the main demonstration and bussed in their members from all over the province. They pretended they were the sponsors of the demonstration so many immigrants joined their contingent out of confusion. They tried to drown out the slogans of the main demonstration by yelling ’Self-defence is the only way’ over and over (...)

“At first, people liked ’Self-defence is the only way’, but the EIDC never explained what this meant beyond saying ’Gun for gun, fist for fist, stick for stick’. After a while many of us began to feel that we could not defend ourselves alone. The EIDC promoted self-defence as the be all and end all – it never talked about unity with Canadian workers.

“Self-defence is not the only way. In fact this slogan incites national minorities to start a race war in reverse. Self-defence is important but it is not the only way – the unity of all Canadian workers, regardless of race, sex or creed, is the way. This slogan just shows what a divisive force CPC( ML) is in our community.” (...)

“I.S.: CPC(ML) calls all those who attack East Indians ’hired goons of the racist state’. This means a GM worker, egged on by racist headlines in the Toronto Sun who yells ’dirty Paki’ at an East Indian is part of the ruling class!” (...)

“Hardial Bains treats all contradictions this way. He does not distinguish contradictions within the enemy camp from those among the people. He does this quite deliberately. He is a conscious agent of the ruling class. He does what he is told to do.”[1]

We saw in an earlier chapter how the self-glorifying history of the Internationalists and CPC(ML) is nothing but a string of lies and counterrevolutionary manoeuvres performed with the goal of destroying the Marxist-Leninist movement and fostering revisionism. CPC(ML)’s extravagant claims that they are leading the mass movement in Canada are cut from the same cloth. In fact there is only one place in Canada where CPC(ML) has a regular presence and base of support and that is in the Punjabi sections of the East Indian community. Here Bains has exploited his Punjabi origins to the hilt, even to the point of declaring himself leader of the East Indian community in Canada. And, as the testimony of the two ex-EIDC members quoted earlier confirms, CPC(ML)’s actions in the East Indian community have been nothing less than the actions of a mafia.

It was in November of 1973 that the East Indian Defence Committee was founded in Vancouver following in the wake of a wave of racist attacks on East Indians in the street and on East Indian homes. This wave of racism was not simply a plot of the State as the CPC(ML) likes to claim but the result of a general policy of the capitalist class which uses the immigrant communities as a captive labour force, and, at the same time, tries to make other workers believe that the immigrants come and “steal our jobs”. This policy of the bourgeoisie is used not only to pit Canadian, Jewish, Italian, Pakistani or Portuguese workers against one another but also to build up mistrust between Native, English-Canadian and French-Canadian workers. What happened in the town of Quesnel in British Columbia is a typical example of this policy in operation.

To attract workers into this relatively isolated region the capitalists had to hike wages. East Indian and Canadian workers alike moved into the area. But during the summer, many of the young Canadian workers had the tendency to quit their jobs while the East Indians, working principally in the sawmills, often settled down permanently. Similarly, in Vancouver, many East Indians would buy a house and move into the basement with other members of their family who had recently arrived in the country, while renting out the upstairs! The bourgeoisie was quick to jump on these trends and to twist them around to serve their own ends of scapegoating East Indian workers and immigrants in general for all the evils actually caused by capitalism: “The Indians are just here to steal the jobs of white Canadians in the sawmills and even worse they’re getting rich by becoming landlords!” Trying to make people believe that it is the East Indians and not the capitalists who are getting rich, the bourgeoisie kills three birds with one stone: they cover up their role as exploiters; they provoke division and racism among the workers; and they make the situation of the immigrants even more precarious so that they are vulnerable to having even worse conditions imposed on them by the capitalists.

But it wasn’t just the openly-identified defenders of bourgeois interests who took advantage of the situation. CPC(ML) perked up its ears at the first sound of trouble and saw right away an opportunity to impose its control over the East Indian community. Using their radical-sounding slogan, “Self-defence is the only way”, CPC(ML) tried to isolate this community even more. And far from trying to promote the communist program, their only concern from Day One was to grab control of East Indian organizations, including the religious temples, hoping to use this base to build for themselves an image of “party in charge”, the “sergeants who drill the masses”. CPC(ML)’s offensive was pursued along two complementary paths: to attack and destroy the existing community organizations, such as the East Indian Welfare Benefit Society which was controlled by businessmen and reformists; to create its own ethnic organization which would claim it wanted to group together all classes in the community except for the handful of “traitors”, meaning in fact, except for all those who opposed the ultra-nationalist line of CPC(ML).

Thus CPC(ML) did not intervene in the community, and more particularly among the workers, to defend the communist program. It did not intervene in the working class as a whole, and more particularly among Canadian workers, to get them to take up the active defence of immigrants and to combat the racist prejudices promoted by the bourgeoisie. What it did do was trade in the reality of the leading role of the proletariat in the democratic struggles for the myth that it, and more particularly its great leader Bains, could represent the entire community. While it might have been justifiable to organize self-defence squads in 1974 to counter racist attacks, the slogan “Self-defence is the only way” was very quickly revealed to be a tactic which isolated East Indian immigrants from their Canadian worker comrades. This slogan soon showed its true face as a splitting tactic which could be used to intimidate people within the East Indian community as the testimony cited earlier confirms. Once the racist offensive had died down, CPC(ML) tried (again) to take over control of the temples, acting just like the Mafia which tries to take over any and all organizations which might be key in permitting it to lay down the law in a given community. To put their plan into operation, CPC(ML) supported a slate of traditionalist Sikh (majority religion among Punjabis) candidates running against the reformists in the elections of the executive of the Khalsa Diwan Society which has responsibility for both religious and community activities which take place on the temple grounds. The results of the elections were contested, leading to a pitched battle outside the temple which ended with many arrests. In the following weeks, many dissidents who had got involved in the fighting had their homes raided and individuals were harassed. From this point on, CPC(ML) began to lose much of its support in the community. Unable to seize control of the existing temples, CPC(ML) proceeded to build their own temples in Vancouver, Winnipeg and recently Toronto.

“The opening of the Desh Bhagat Temple in Toronto is an historic occasion for the East Indian community in Canada and for the entire Canadian people (...) Comrade Hardial Bains, Chairman of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and national leader of the East Indian community was invited to cut the ribbon, officially opening the Desh Bhagat Memorial Hall.”[2]

It’s one thing when the East Indian community decides to pool its resources to finance the building of a new temple but it’s quite another when a party that pretends to be communist takes the initiative to put up temples to win sympathy in the community while at the same time using the premises to hold their public meetings. This is opportunism in its purest form. But that is not all. Because Bains, not satisfied with being chairman of CPC(ML) and simultaneously chairman of PCQ(ML) up until when he decided to dissolve it, besides being “national head of East Indian community”, and chairman of the East Indian Defence Committee is, on top of that, chairman of the Hindustani Ghadar Party. The latter organization was set up in 1970 by CPC(ML) to mislead East Indian immigrants. The Ghadar Party is the name of an old revolutionary party which existed from the turn of the century through the twenties. Organized mainly down the west coast of North America, the Ghadar party fought to defend the democratic rights of East Indian workers in Canada and the US and to mobilize support for the struggle in India, at the time a British colony. The influence of this party was considerable and its name remains imbedded in the collective memory of East Indian workers. It is this prestige which the CPC(ML), more opportunist than the most venal of bourgeois politicians, hoped to exploit in setting up a completely new organization which bore the same name...

The Hindustani Ghadar Party serves a double purpose for CPC(ML). First of all, it functions within the East Indian community in Canada which by and large is preoccupied with the situation in the home country. This preoccupation is all the more strong because many people can only read Punjabi and among the women, especially the older ones, a large number are unable to speak English. The Hindustani Ghadar Party and its “mass” front organization, the Indian Workers Movement, intervened on the basis of what was going on in India in order to put over CPC(ML)’s line and to increase their domination of the East Indian Defence Committee. The second function served by this ’party’ was to make it easier for Bains to interfere directly in the line struggle within the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

However, despite all of these countless organizations and manoeuvres, CPC(ML) was becoming more and more exposed in the eyes of East Indian workers and it had to increase the level of its mafia-style actions to break any organization which refused to submit to its dictates in the community. The best known of these attacks took place in August 1976 during a demonstration organized in Vancouver by the Indian Peoples Association of North America (IPANA).

“Just as the demonstrators reached the steps of the courthouse, a column of about 150 persons waving red flags and walking in close ranks appeared. It was the CPC(ML) and its string of fake organizations, the Hindustani Ghadar Party, the Indian Worker Association of Canada, etc. that had decided to hold a demonstration at the same time! Rapidly the column of instigators encircled the demonstration shoving and kicking children who got in their way. At the same time the bouncers of the CPC(ML) rushed some demonstrators who had clearly been chosen in advance: the leaders of IPANA. Those who tried to defend themselves and their comrades were roughly assailed. Using the stick of their flags – real baseball bats – the thugs struck savagely on all sides. Catching an Indian comrade they hit him again and again over the head. The comrade collapsed under the many blows, but Hardial Bains’ mercenaries continued to hit him. An American comrade who wanted to react was hit straight in the forehead and nearly lost an eye. (...) The two wounded were taken to the hospital by Vancouver comrades. The ambulance? It never came. The police? It just sympathetically looked on throughout the whole bloody battle. What’s so surprising? The capitalist State’s police never defends the people. But, on the other hand, it always recognizes its allies.”[3]

So there we have it. In the final analysis, CPC(ML) is nothing but a gang of fascists who, like all fascists, try to give themselves a “socialist” cover and use the basest kind of demagogic manoeuvres to fool the people and to justify their counter-revolutionary terror.

But we don’t want to leave the impression that these were isolated incidents. Far from it. Within the East Indian community, IPANA has been singled out for particular attention and has had to suffer a constant stream of attacks from these provocateurs. One example worth mentioning is CPC(ML)’s sabotage of the speaking tour made by Mary Tyler, whose husband was a political prisoner in India and who was herself jailed for five years and then deported. CPC(ML) chose this tour, organized by IPANA to publicize the cause of political prisoners in India throughout Canada and the US, as a target for systematic harassment and attacks, particularly in Buffalo.

As for the anti-racist demonstration of 2,000 people on November 6, 1977, which we made reference to in the interview quoted at the beginning of the chapter, we should also mention that CPC(ML) did not restrict its actions to trying to sabotage and seize control of the leadership on the day of the demonstration. They also organized physical attacks on members of the groups that organized it. For example just before a meeting called to discuss the details of organizing the demonstration, several thugs from CPC(ML) jumped one of the main organizers and beat him up. The victim was a man of Bengali origin who has been active for several years in anti-racist and progressive movements in Canada. He was attacked while he approached the Sikh temple in Toronto where the Action committee Against Racism, made up of more than thirty groups, was holding its meeting. According to an eyewitness report the incident came to an end when literally several hundred Sikhs came from various parts of the temple building and showed their indignation at the attack by condemning the thugs from CPC(ML) as “fascist bandits” and “Bains’s gang”!

Behind the mask of “revolutionary violence”: fascist provocations

But, one might ask, are these actions of sabotage and counterrevolutionary violence carried out by CPC(ML) within the East Indian community representative of the practice of CPC(ML) in general? In fact, as we shall see, these actions are not only typical but they are part of a systematic pattern. They follow a general model laid down by the fascists, the methods being a concrete reflection of their bourgeois conception of the relationship of the party to the masses which we took a look at in an earlier chapter: spontaneous struggle for the masses, politics for the party, the party which commands the masses, the party which “drills the masses”!

Another point which we will take a look at now is one which has come up in page after page of this account whenever an example of its practice or quotes from its publications have been mentioned. This is the question of violence, which CPC(ML), of course, always calls “revolutionary”, but which in fact is reactionary violence which takes the form of terror and fascist provocation.

A terrorist and fascist view of violence, considered not as a “necessary evil”, as a war to end all wars, but as a way to “excite” the masses, is at the very heart of the conception which CPC(ML) has of building the party. The appeal to “revolutionary violence” as “the revolutionary method” has but one objective: to provide a left cover to a rightist line. Embracing without qualification terrorists’ theories, CPC(ML) considers violence – and in practice this means isolated and random violence – as if it was in itself revolutionary:

“What was the ingredient lacking in the working class movement in Canada which was stopping the development of the revolutionary struggle before the summer of 1968? The main ingredient was the large scale dissemination of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung Thought and the Party of the Proletariat. What then was the thing to do? It was obvious that the revolutionary task was to begin disseminating Mao Tse-tung Thought and in the process build the Party of the Proletariat... (this movement) gave rise to the glorious resistance movement against the attacks of the counter-revolutionary alliance of the fascists, social-fascists and the lackey police, and exposed the real fascist face of the imperialist lackeys.”[4]

On first reading you might think that all CPC(ML) is saying here is that in the course of assimilating Marxism-Leninism and taking part in the revolutionary struggle, the workers are going to run up against repression. However, the fact is that for CPC(ML) “disseminating Mao Tse-tung Thought” doesn’t in any way mean patiently carrying out the work of political agitation among the workers. On the contrary, it means organizing “mass democracies” which often means going to a meeting, for example the Mary Tyler meetings, and sabotaging it by reciting a declaration and (literally) clubbing anyone who stands up to oppose this disruption. At other times, this could mean invading a cafeteria in order to make a similar declaration, the little red book in hand, and again using their clubs to beat anybody who protests the intrusion. These are what CPC(ML) calls “mass democracies”: “Struggle against fascist rules and regulations means resolutely upholding mass democracy. It is a form of struggle which cuts across all rules and regulations, ’Robert’s Rules of Order’ and other imperialist devices to keep people down, and consolidates the ranks of the people.”[5]

On December 30, 1969, one of the early “mass democracies” was held in Canron metallurgical plant, one of the largest plants in Vancouver. On this day Bill Shpikula, accompanied by five other “red guards” from the Canadian Communist Movement (Marxist-Leninist) invaded the cafeteria in the plant before the beginning of the first shift. As the CPC(ML) paper told it later, Shpikula and his group began “to sell revolutionary literature and to invite the workers to participate in a support meeting for People’s China which was to take place the same evening”. As you might expect, a security guard and then the foreman were first in line to oppose this “mass democracy” which was taking place right in the middle of the plant. And then “the stewards came forward and openly sided with the managers in trying to prevent discussion by pushing the young people out of the cafeteria by force. The young people fought back.”[6] The rest of this sad story can be summarized in a few words. The police arrived, Shpikula was arrested and charged. Continuing to act out his “vigorous mass democracy” in front of the judge who he accused of being a lackey of US imperialism, Shpikula was condemned to two and one-half years in jail. And that is how new heroes are created. That is how yet another “glorious” page was written in the continuing saga of the “mass democratic anti-imperialist revolution”, whereby the “vigorous” university students gave their all in a “vigorous” fistfight with the elected union representatives working in the plant...

We could carry on for pages giving examples like the one at Canron. But we will content ourselves with taking a second example which occurred more recently.

In September 1976, CPC(ML), already quite discredited by its efforts to infiltrate and take over the student movement on the provincial level, decided to hold yet another of its infamous “mass democracies” at Rosemont CEGEP in Montreal. In this particular college, the Student Association had succeeded in getting control of the Student Services department which is the body which takes care of all the extracurricular program and activities. It is on this basis that the general meeting of students was to adopt a set of rules governing postering inside the school. Having been soundly defeated in the elections to the Student Association executive, CPC(ML) decided to “celebrate” in its own peculiar way the death of Mao Tse-tung. It goes without saying that they also decided to flaunt the rules governing postering by covering the school with huge banners. Despite repeated warnings, CPC(ML) continued with its acts of provocation and passed on to the second stage: the “mass democracy”.

On the appointed day a band of Hardial Bains’s most “vigorous” disciples arrived at the CEGEP armed with clubs to which they had carefully attached red flags. Jumping on top of the tables in the cafeteria they began to denounce the Student Association and the “holy alliance of the left”. The students who had been sitting in the cafeteria started to protest against this new offensive of CPC(ML) which was in such flagrant opposition to the decisions which had been reached in the general student meeting. It is not too difficult to predict what followed. The Bains gang unleashed their clubs on the heads of some of the students. The administration called the riot squad which cleared the place out. Afterwards the students and staff at the CEGEP were unanimous in their condemnations of this vicious attack. A teacher who had participated actively in the provocation was expelled and CPC(ML) was banned from the CEGEP from that day on. On another occasion, the Bains gang tried to rationalize their counter-revolutionary violence by denouncing those whom they labelled “bourgeois pacifists”:

“What is the position of Marxist-Leninists on violence? It is a class question. We declare loud and clear that we must counter-pose the revolutionary violence of the proletariat to the violence of the bourgeoisie. More than that, the people must not allow the reactionaries any freedom to get organized.”[7]

And that is how CPC(ML), always trying to discredit Marxism-Leninism and the working class, uses the rhetoric of “the revolutionary violence of the proletariat” to describe its ultra-rightist violence and actions which reflect the aspirations of a class which wants fascism. For what could a call to action for struggle against “bourgeois pacificism” or the slogan “no freedom to organize for the reactionaries” possibly mean in a situation where the reactionaries are in power, where Canadian imperialism, far from being “pacifist” is actively engaged in the imperialist redivision of the world and in the brutal repression of the struggles of the workers movement and other sections of the people? What can this appeal mean other than the upleashing of the open terroristic dictatorship of the bourgeoisie against the people and the suppression of the few democratic rights that the people have managed to wrench away from the bourgeoisie through many long and bitter struggles?

Certainly, CPC(ML) tries to cover up the truth by posing as the eternal victim of unprovoked police attacks in order to justify their actions and their political line. So for example, Dave Patterson, author of the article in Canadian Revolution quoted earlier, reports that:

“Hardial Bains once told me that surely they wouldn’t have suffered thirteen hundred arrests, and have a section of the RCMP constantly watching them if they were not indeed a threat to the bourgeoisie. (Conversation, December 1972)”[8]

By that yard stick the FLQ, the Symbionese Liberation Army, Weatherman and the Mafia itself would have to be counted among the biggest revolutionaries in the world. This argument comes up time and time again in CPC(ML)’s propaganda which usually contains a running box score of the latest totals achieved in arrests as if they were a badge of honour. At last count, they were claiming over two thousands. When you consider the actual number of people who are members of their organization, you are driven to the conclusion that some of their members must be given the specific task of getting themselves arrested ten times a year. This glorification of action for action’s sake, of repression for repression’s sake and of violence for the sake of violence is one of the characteristic features of fascism and of its kissing cousin, terrorism cut off from the masses, which are both justified by Bains:

“Anything that becomes static becomes anti-conscious”.[9]
“Any part of comprehension in its pure state is anti-consciousness”. [10]
“Consciousness of being in a state of change is that act of finding out in action. If it does not remain in action, then it becomes anti-consciousness”. ”Understanding does not bring freedom. Liberation does not come with awareness. Only consciousness is liberating and consciousness is ’I’. Only ’I’ is liberating as the operation that acts is ’I’, and liberation without action is not possible”. “The moment we believe something without undertaking the act of finding out then we are manifesting a fascist tendency.”[11]

What does this mumbo-jumbo mean other than that consciousness is self, your “ego” which can only be realized through action? Action for the sake of action, and what is more the isolated action of an individual, is the path to consciousness for Hardial Bains, the path of “revolutionary violence” to be more precise. Now we can see more clearly the real import of CPC(ML)’s demagogic use of the watchword of opposing the reactionary violence of the bourgeoisie against the people with revolutionary violence, the conscious and organized violence of the people. For Marxist-Leninists, the call to arms, the call to insurrection and revolutionary violence is not a spontaneous act nor is it something which is done for revenge to satisfy our own egos. It is on the contrary the putting into practice at the correct time one of the forms of the revolutionary political struggle against the bourgeoisie. The Leninist principle that war is the continuation of politics applies equally well to revolutionary war. If the masses do not take it up or if it is not based on a correct tactic and political line, then such pseudo-revolutionary violence becomes nothing less than reactionary violence, fascist provocation.

“Yes we are honeys and petty criminals and we like it that way and it is becoming increasingly clear more and more of our countrymen like us that way... And furthermore you can never forget: BLOOD DEBTS WILL BE PAID IN BLOOD – AN EYE FOR AN EYE, A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH. EVERY OUNCE OF BLOOD SHED BY OUR COMRADES WILL BE REVENGED! (sic)”

What does this formulation by CPC(ML) have in common with the revolutionary strategy of the proletariat? Absolutely nothing. Indeed it is the foundation of a counter-revolutionary strategy which calls on each worker affected by the bourgeois machinery of repression to fight back individually against the whole bourgeoisie which is united as a class around the capitalist State. Who would have an interest in the slaughter which would be the inevitable outcome of such confrontations if not the fascist gangs who stand by and offer “out of the goodness of their hearts” to give para-military support to such individual actions, the better to head off the workers from preparing an organized political counter-attack?

Mammoth publicity campaigns to whip up anti-communism

CPC(ML) has virtually no regular presence anywhere among the masses. What they do instead is stage a series of ’events’ heralded by a seemingly endless string of slogans and publicity blitzes which have a single goal: to make people believe through demagoguery and outright lies that CPC(ML) is a big and powerful organization which is leading the masses, and to try and associate in the eyes of the public the words “Marxist-Leninist” with the name “CPC(ML)”. Demagogy, lies and falsified associations with prestigious groups: these are the ingredients for the standard recipe of a CPC(ML) big publicity campaign. The latest publicity campaign leading up to the April 30 1978 Internationalist Meeting is a case in point.

This campaign began many months beforehand with CPC(ML)’s Third Congress which finished just before Bains took off for a visit to socialist Albania. It should be noted that for the last number of years the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement has been growing and getting stronger by leaps and bounds. The period of little isolated circles has given way to organizations whose lines are clearly demarcated. Due to IN STRUGGLE’s initiative the line struggle in our movement has taken the form of a polemical public debate systematically organized across the country. For more than two years now, IN STRUGGLE! has undertaken rigorous critique of the social-chauvinist tendency which today is waving the revisionist flag of the “three worlds theory” in order to downplay the imperialist nature of Canada and to preach in practice an alliance with Canadian imperialism on the pretext of struggling against the two superpowers. Further, IN STRUGGLE! has continued to deepen its critique of economism, a deviation which puts the decisive question of the communist program into second place in the struggle for the rebuilding of the proletarian party in Canada. In other words, the demarcation with revisionism and neo-revisionism has seen some very important steps forward in our country.

Already largely discredited among the masses and within the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement, CPC(ML) has gone steadily downhill to the extent and degree that the real Marxist-Leninist movement has developed and grown. It was at an important turning point in this development that CPC(ML) decided, after years of efforts at fooling Marxist-Leninists in other countries, to take up yet another publicity campaign to make up the gains which it had tried and failed to make in the sixties and early seventies. The object was to once again make people believe that CPC(ML) was in the vanguard in the struggle against revisionism. After having spent several years pretending to be the one and only representative of Mao in Canada, Bains suddenly became the personal emissary of Enver Hoxha. We have seen throughout this account just what the “anti-revisionism” of CPC(ML) amounts to: ultra-nationalism and counter-revolution. Be that as it may, CPC(ML) hasn’t spared anything in laying the publicity on thick since Bains’s return from Albania. It hopes to exploit to its own opportunist ends the revolutionary prestige of foreign Marxist-Leninists – especially the courageous Party of Labour of Albania which since the sixties hasn’t ceded an inch of ground in the struggle against modern revisionism’s perversion of basic principles. CPC(ML) has had no hesitation whatever, when it comes to the task of deceiving foreign parties, in making gifts of important sums of money. They did this for example with the People’s Front of Chile and they have “graciously” printed a whole series of publications on behalf of Marxist-Leninists in other countries. Certainly we in Canada are quite used to such manoeuvres and it is no secret that CPC(ML) and in particular its chairman are never lacking for funds. CPC(ML) has undoubtedly got financial resources that we don’t know about, sources that are bottomless pits because, as the many delegations who have been offered all expense paid tours across Canada by CPC(ML) can testify, the broad masses do not frequent the meetings of this “Party”.

But the biggest splash of all in this publicity campaign was without a doubt the Internationalist Meeting on April 30 in Montreal and the international banquet the following day. The banquet just happened to take place in the same building where the May First demonstration organized by the union centres which mobilized ten thousand marchers, ended up. Indeed it was in the room immediately next to the one rented by the unions for May Day rally. CPC(ML) devoted all its energies in the last several weeks to sticking up thousands of posters all over Montreal and in other Canadian cities in order to make sure that it milked the maximum publicity out of this manoeuvre to make people believe that it was the Marxist-Leninist grouping in Canada. And then of course there were all the articles in the PCDN which regularly reported on how the Canadian people were dancing in the streets at the sight of their country being painted with little red posters. Other articles told the chilling story of how heroic CPC(ML) had braved all harassment by the “fascist” State which had done all in its power to stop the spread of its “revolutionary” propaganda.

“Hundreds and hundreds of participants in the rally, who have come to Montreal from all parts of North America, were profoundly moved to see the city painted in red with propaganda hailing the rally. Thousands of posters of all sizes had been put up on almost every corner in view, and immense slogans decorated the walls around the city. This was also the case across the country were Party sympathizers deployed all their energies in making propaganda for the historic event. All of this was accomplished in the face of a barbarous campaign carried out by the reactionary Canadian State to prevent all propaganda for the rally, and in the face of the infamous activities of the opportunists who organized to systematically tear down and cover over the rally posters. In the weeks before this, a large number of comrades battled with the police and were arrested for having persisted in the work of revolutionary propaganda.”[12]

But this publicity campaign accompanied in PCDN with various self-glorifying articles which were as hard to read as they were to believe (e.g. according to the May Day issue of PCDN there were 3500 people at the big rally whereas in fact there were only 800) are only half the story. For at the same time that they were trying to pass themselves off as Marxist-Leninists CPC(ML), unable to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses in Canada redoubled its fascist attacks particularly against IN STRUGGLE! Some of our comrades were attacked and beaten, not because they had laid a hand on any of CPC(ML)’s posters, but because they were putting up their own posters which posed the danger of tarnishing the publicity image which CPC(ML) was trying to generate. As always, in order to impose its revisionist line, CPC(ML) must do everything in its power to stop the Marxist-Leninists from putting forward its line. Such attacks in the streets are merely the complement to the “mass democracies” imposed with 2 by 4’s that aim to stop the holding of meetings where the communist point of view is being expressed. This was the case in particular during IN STRUGGLE!’ Canada-wide speaking tour on the Quebec national question, during which our group upheld Quebec’s right of self-determination, the absolute equality of languages and nations, and the unified struggle of the multinational proletariat in Canada against the Canadian bourgeoisie and for the socialist revolution. CPC(ML) systematically organized or tried to organize the sabotage of these meetings. This is what happened in Saskatoon, among other places, where CPC(ML) happened along with their clubs, decorated with the usual “red flags” for the most part, which were used to strike the security people at the doorway of the meeting. They then made their grand entrance into the room and started to recite their statement to try to disrupt the meeting. But their tactic backfired because everyone left the room so that they were alone to listen to their own profundities. After yelling a few of their usual slogans like “Make the rich Pay” to an empty room the CPC(ML) thugs were left with no alternative but to leave. Shortly thereafter the meeting was reconvened and successfully carried on.

Lacking any support among the masses, CPC(ML) is forced to throw itself into acts of sabotage to try to destroy the mounting influence of the communist point of view. It should be noted that Saskatoon is supposed to be CPC(ML)’s “stronghold” in Saskatchewan.

However, on his last tour, Bains was only able to attract two or three people in that city and the meeting had to be cancelled. The same thing had happened two days earlier in Regina. This is what really got them worked up. The following letter sent by these thugs to the student newspaper at the University of Regina, The Carillon, speaks for itself:

“Dear Carillon:

“On March 23rd a contingent of the Saskatchewan branch of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) denounced the Secretary-General of an opportunist sect ’In Struggle Against Marxism-Leninism’ who was treacherously visiting Saskatoon. The big chauvinist from Quebec had come to Saskatchewan specifically to attack the Marxist-Leninist, working class and Native movements here.

“Fraudulently, presenting himself as a genuine ’Marxist-Leninist’ this impotent petty-bourgeois spews out all the old revisionist theses, associated with known local traitors and anti-communists, and plays the role of sowing maximum confusion as to what is the revolutionary political line for Canada. This is organized police activity!

“The state could not stop the growth of CPC(ML) by violent attacks and over 2,000 arrests so they are desperately attempting to undermine it by sowing confusion and establishing various opportunist sects. Resistance to opportunist attacks and mystification is an important battlefield of struggle to the revolutionary people.

“On March 23rd in Saskatoon a CPC(ML) contingent with red flags held high marched boldly and militantly to the Secretary-General’s police socialist meeting to firmly denounce his hateful activity. The contingent marched to the meeting room. Two feeble characters tried to prevent our comrades from entering the room. They were swiftly and severely dealt with.

“The impotent Secretary-General cowered in fear and sipped at a glass of water in an attempt to calm his bourgeois nerves. The snivelling coward didn’t even defend himself or his pathetic “meeting”. Exposing in actual fact that this so-called “Marxist-Leninist” is mere intellectualism and windbaggery of the highest order, a state-organized fraud to disrupt the Marxist-Leninist movement.

“We are sure that every variety of opportunism in Saskatchewan will howl and scream about ’nasty and violent’ CPC(ML). For the revolutionary proletariat, not to be nasty violent to its enemies is traitorous! This is a life and death struggle not some intellectual dinner party. Anyone who attacks the people, the revolutionary proletariat or its vanguard party CPC(ML) will be fought tooth and nail.

“The aroused red proletariat is not liberal. To be liberal and meek and to passively allow opportunism to exist means disaster for the people. Let the opportunists and other reactionaries tremble in fear of CPC(ML). Defence of Marxism-Leninism, CPC(ML) and the people is our very blood.

“Regina Student Movement Saskatchewan Branch CPC(ML)”[13]

This Don Quixote-style rhetoric may appear ridiculous and that’s exactly what it is. But this type of propaganda which is typical for CPC(ML) is none the less dangerous for its absurdity. For its demagogy and self-glorification are aimed essentially at promoting open and systematic fascist provocation. Contrary to bourgeois democracy which tries to hide and to minimize obvious repression and counterrevolutionary violence, the standard-bearers of fascism publicize terror openly all the while pretending that they are using this violence for the good of the “Nation”, the good of the “National Revolution”. Their actions against the communists are thus traditionally presented as acts of vigilante “justice” taken against “traitors”, the “feeble” and the “impotent”...

The major publicity actions carried out by CPC(ML) such as the Internationalist meeting and its participation in the bourgeoisie’s electoral campaigns usually coincide with the times when its appeal among the masses is at its lowest ebb. This lack of credibility or support is due to the struggle of Marxist-Leninists to expose their revisionist line. As well, it is the consequence of CPC(ML)’s own practice of trying to seize control of certain key organizations or struggles through demagogy and a systematic practice of intimidation and provocation.

A general tactic of sabotaging mass struggles

We have already seen how CPC(ML) intervened in the East Indian community to profit from the sentiment of revolt which existed there, in order to defend an ultra-rightist and ultra-nationalist political line. We have also seen that the success of this activity, which is advanced in the name of communism and the tradition of struggle of the East Indian people, is highly dependent on their ability to use the reputation of others: taking over the name and thus the prestige of the old Ghadar Party, exploiting Bains’ nationality in an opportunist way, making an alliance with conservative and religious elements in order to play on the traditionalist sentiments among the people, bowing before narrow nationalism etc. Finally, we have seen how the CPC(ML)’s claim to “represent” the interests of the East Indian community is based on violence and intimidation which, like with organized crime and the Mafia, is directed at eliminating any democratic debate and any attempts by progressives and Marxist-Leninists to intervene.

CPC(ML)’s tactics in mass struggles rest on three basic principles: first, to play up the glories of the spontaneous movement as an excuse for advancing right-wing slogans; second, to usurp the prestige of certain national groups and genuine Marxist-Leninists and exploit the sentiments of the working class and people against domination and for socialism; finally, provocation and threats and counter-revolutionary violence directed against the masses. Now let’s look a little more closely at these tactics which look strangely similar to the methods of work of the fascist movements.

First of all, being the chameleons that they are, CPC(ML) tries to mimic the approach taken in the struggle or group which it wants to take over. In the worst demagogic tradition, CPC(ML) hails the spontaneous struggle in grand style and, tries its best to “flow with the tide”. For example, in Quebec, CPC(ML) has been all for nationalism which was particularly influential in progressive student milieus in the sixties. Instead of showing that the revolt against national oppression cannot be successful unless it is subordinated to the main struggle against capitalism in the struggle for socialism, CPC(ML) – going under various names PCQ(ML), Intellectuels et ouvriers patriotes du Quebec (ML), Mouvement Communiste Canadien (ML), etc. – applauded and encouraged the negative influence of bourgeois nationalism. Of course, they called this nationalism not bourgeois but “revolutionary nationalism” so as to make it sound more radical, more “Marxist-Leninist”. CPC(ML) has acted in more or less the same way in relation to the revolt of students and various progressive groupings against the increased involvement of US imperialism in Canada. It has acted in similar fashion with the East Indians, with the Native groups on the Caravan in 1974, with the workers at United Aircraft in 1974-75, with the students in Quebec in 1975-76... and list could go on and on for pages.

Now we move on to what we might call “Phase two”, infiltration in order to take over the organization or struggle. This often means setting up a parallel leadership which enables CPC(ML) to get control of the struggle into its own hands and then, as quickly as possible, to involve the people influenced by it in confrontation-type actions, to sabotage the struggle. We are using the word control here in its strictest sense, meaning organizational hegemony and infiltration, literally “taking over” the leadership. This is fundamentally opposed to the communist approach which is to politically convince the masses of the correctness of the communist point of view. CPC(ML)’s actions borrow generously from the tactics used by the police: false representation, hiding the communist program, infiltration and/or provocation. And they even admit this. For example, if we pay close attention to understand what is meant by the following directive:

“It is very important that wherever the reactionary alliance is weak, we reach there with maximum speed and in secrecy, build ties and surprise the erroneous tendencies vying for influence in the revolutionary mass movement and put them out of action. We achieved this in Montreal in 1968(...) This correct position of advancing into one area secretly, with a plan, and with a massive force of whatever can be mustered within given conditions and carrying out systematic work will remain valid also for a long period of time. Our comrades instead of arousing the reactionary alliance against them by dogged straight-line moralistic battles, should pay close attention to organizing struggles scientifically and with a plan, without prematurely telling the enemies to come forward and attack us and liquidate the struggle.”![14]

The Native Caravan of 1974 is one example of this method of infiltration. It ended with a violent attack by the RCMP on the demonstrators on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Another example is that of the Association Nationale des Etudiants du Quebec (ANEQ, the Quebec National Students Association). As far as workers struggles are concerned, the first thing to note is that CPC(ML)’s interventions in this milieu are few and far between. A number of examples show how CPC(ML) has either tried to provoke an incident like it did during the railworker demonstration in August of 1973 or has incited the workers to armed struggle in the form of individual violence as in the Dare strike of August 1973, or Artistic Woodwork in October 1973 or Robin Hood in July 1976.

Anti-communism, this is, ultimately, what “phase three” in CPC(ML)’s arsenal of sabotage methods comes down to. After it has lauded a mass struggle to the skies and spread its right-wing line which is completely opposed to the communist program, after it has done its best to infiltrate the movement and take over control, “phase three” marks the turn to a direct attack on the masses and Marxist-Leninists. It is at this point that CPC(ML)’s true nature comes out full-flower: it is a group of the extreme Right. After the experience of CPC(ML)’s take over and manipulation during the Native Caravan in 1974, this “Party” was denounced by most of the Native leaders and a wave of anti-communist feeling was widely generated in that movement. The same thing was to happen a little while later among students in Quebec, with CPC(ML) efforts to use ANEQ to its own ends. There are even a number of instances on record where, in order to maintain its control, CPC(ML) came right out in the open and itself initiated an anti-communist campaign.

This was what happened for example at the Mussens factory in Montreal in May 1977 where one of the appointed people in charge of the strike was an agent of CPC(ML) although he didn’t identify himself as such of course. When the Marxist-Leninists intervened in this strike he was forced to reveal his true hand. So whenever the Marxist-Leninists made proposals to the workers for concrete forms of support, this agent of CPC(ML) did all in his power to keep the strike isolated and to prevent the workers from debating communist ideas. Alleging, like the union bosses always do, that the Marxist-Leninists were there to divide the workers, that they were all spies etc., he launched a campaign of intimidation to block the distribution of communist newspapers, to stop the workers from buying them and even went so far as to confiscate those newspapers which had already been bought. Refusing all suggestions to broaden support for the struggle he set about promoting and encouraging every trend to individual provocation and anarchist-style sabotage among the workers who were becoming frustrated with their continued isolation. Finally, as things got hotter, he disappeared from circulation even before the strike was over...

The picture of CPC(ML)’s actions of consistent sabotage would not be complete without mentioning the many manoeuvres and provocations that they have brought to bear against the anti-imperialist movements in Canada. Our Vietnamese, Palestinian, Iranian, and Haitian comrades, to name only a few, have experienced efforts by this group to take over the leadership of their demonstrations, using the following techniques: running to the head of the demonstration; chanting their own slogans in competition with those of the organizing committee; carrying their own signs; distributing their own leaflets ahead of and alongside the route of the march to make it look like they organized the demonstration; trying by force to get to speak in the rally afterwards; trying to take over the coalition beforehand by sending delegates from any number of its dozens of paper anti-imperialist committees which are mainly composed of a handful of individuals who have been thrown out of the genuine anti-imperialist organizations.

Indeed we would have to write a book using the cases which we have direct knowledge of, just to illustrate the methods of sabotage used by CPC(ML). But what is essential to grasp above all is that everywhere that CPC(ML) pokes its nose, it applies the same method of provocation: first, to flow with the tide and offer its “help” to the mass movement, totally abandoning even the pretext of defending the communist program; second, to set up an “ad hoc committee” or some other form of clique which has as its goal to infiltrate its agents into leading posts; and, finally, open anti-communist attacks to liquidate the influence of Marxist-Leninists and to get rid of those people who refuse to knuckle under to its dictates.

In practice, far from helping the struggles of the masses, these police tactics end up without fail in sabotaging them: either CPC(ML) gains effective control of the action and imposes a Mafia-style rule along with its revisionist line and acts of provocation which lead directly to the defeat of the struggle and the masses’ abandoning of the organization that they had fought to build but which CPC(ML) has fought to destroy. Or, and this is what usually happens, the most reformist and anti-communist elements take up CPC(ML)’s anti-communist campaign and make it their own exploiting the democratic sentiments of the masses in order to get them to reject in block all those who claim to be Marxists and get the people involved instead in giving support to the reformist policies of the bourgeois parties like the NDP or the Parti Quebecois.

This is why it is so important for all progressive workers in our country to strongly oppose the tactics of sabotage and provocation promoted by CPC(M L) as soon as it makes its appearance. We have a duty to alert workers and all sections of the people of this danger and to openly denounce the general set of tactics used by CPC(ML) so that the masses can keep this ultra-rightist group of provocateurs and saboteurs disguised as Marxist-Leninists out of their struggles.

Socialist in words, fascist in deeds

So in the final analysis, just what is CPC(ML) – a communist group or a fascist group? The alternatives may seem pretty radical but they are valid; we are not indulging in verbal overkill. Those are the real alternatives. What is CPC(ML)’s line? An ultra-nationalist line which, when you lift off the veil of pseudo Marxism-Leninism, pseudo anti-revisionism and pseudo anti-opportunism-of-all-stripes, essentially reduces everything down to the nation and the race. For CPC(ML) who has never put forward even a whisper of a scientific analysis of classes nor a Marxist-Leninist program, the enemies are, after all is said, nothing more than all the traitors to the “Nation”. Trudeau, Levesque, Mackenzie King, the NDP and even the RCMP are not patriotic enough for CPC(ML). The application of the slogan of a “mass democratic anti-imperialist revolution” to Canada, an advanced capitalist and imperialist country, and the surest ally of US imperialism, is as we have seen a counter-revolutionary slogan, which serves only to push the masses away from the socialist revolution.

The “order” and “harmony” among working people[15] that CPC(ML) promises us with its slogan of a State that is truly “democratic”, truly “independent” and truly “socialist” is really nothing other than an extremely radical formulation of the reactionary politics of the bourgeoisie. More precisely it is the ultra-nationalist politics of the Canadian imperialist bourgeoisie. It is the aspiration to “liberate” Canadian imperialism from the American superpower which bears more than a passing resemblance to the politics of a certain National Socialist Party and someone called Hitler who wanted to liberate imperialist Germany from the yoke of the great European powers. Once you have stripped away all the lies and falsifications, is Bains’ socialism really so very different from the “socialism” of the Nazis, or the “socialism” of Peron in Argentina, or the “socialism” of the military junta in Ethiopia, or the “socialism” of the New Czars in the Kremlin?

It is true that fascism is put forward behind all kinds of masks depending on the kind of socialism or populism it is trying to imitate. But fundamentally all variants of fascism share one characteristic in common: the open terroristic dictatorship of the monopolist bourgeoisie, the extreme concentration of bourgeois power in a single headquarters which directly commands the military and the police. When it has not yet made it into power, fascism is characterized by the unleashing of para-military gangs directing their terror against the communists and progressive workers who get up and expose the true nature of fascist demagogy to the masses.

Another feature of fascism is the way it co-opts the people’s aspirations for socialism and usurps the political leadership of the mass movement from the working class while, in fact, claiming to exercise that leadership in the name of the working class. This trick may sometimes enable the fascists to get fraudulent popular support which they then use as a lever to replace the endless quarrels between different factions of the bourgeoisie in the face of the economic and political crisis with the absolute power of an “enlightened dictatorship” of the big generals.

This new regime stands for total monopolization and the ultra-reactionary politics of the financial bourgeoisie.

Here, in a schematic form, is the general method employed by the fascists to gain control of the mass movement and impose the hegemony of the bourgeoisie over the struggles of the working class: manipulate the masses by populist demagogy, which is ultra-nationalist and even “socialist”; indulge in the basest forms of opportunism in order to neutralize certain enemies; pretend to support the demands of the masses with wild speeches that are all sound and fury; offer to take charge of organizing mass struggles in order to get their people infiltrated into them and eventually to take over both the struggles and the organizations; stand ready to use violence to get rid of anyone already in a leading post who stands in their way; to be prepared to use provocation methods to discredit those organizations which refuse to submit to their dictates and to use these same methods to bring down repression on them.

But fascism can’t impose itself as a mass movement overnight any more than it can earn the unanimous support of the monopolists from the first day of its creation. In practice, the initial social base for the recruitment for fascist movements is certain sections of the petty-bourgeoisie and the lumpen-proletariat. These social groupings find themselves confronted with the crisis and imperialist domination. They are shaken by the loss of the few little privileges that they had enjoyed before. At the same time they are incapable of changing the course of history with only their own strength. These are the sections of society which are the first to respond to the monopolists demagogic promises of “National Destiny” and of a “renewed greatness”. They are the ones who get excited about the military discipline and the extremes of violence which are an expression of the voluntarism of the intermediate social strata which have neither the power of the bourgeois State nor the indestructible power of the masses when they are united, organized and conscious.

To make a straight and simple comparison of CPC(ML) with a broad fascist movement would be, however, to falsify reality because, even though it has recently stepped up its manoeuvrings to get “international respectability”, this is being done precisely because in Canada it has little or no support in the working class or among any section of the people. And what little it had gathered in the East Indian community due to their Mafia-style tactics is being undercut more and more with exposures of their real nature. Some people are still making the mistake of thinking that it is good enough to just brush aside the very name of CPC(ML) and to pretend it no longer exists or even that it never did exist.

But history has shown that it is not enough to simply invent a few new swear-words or make loud but empty declarations if the rise of the Right is to be stopped. This is especially true when this rightism tries to hide its true face behind the red flag. There a hundred different ways to say the words “national” and “socialist” and fascism cannot be reduced to simply the Hitlerian Nazi version. There is a name which can be used to describe this new kind of fascism: “social-fascism”, the fascism of those who pretend to be Marxist-Leninist but who, like the new czars in Moscow, exercise savage dictatorship over the Soviet people and over their satellites like Czechoslovakia, all of which is done in the name of the dictatorship of the proletariat which has been re-baptized for the occasion and christened with the more soothing name of “State of the whole people” and “State of the Great Russian nation”!

The deepening of our study of the line and practice of CPC(ML) has brought us to the definite conclusion that it has not only made some ”errors”, not only has it not broken completely with revisionism, but CPC(ML) is a bourgeois party actively engaged in the work of counterrevolution, actively involved in sabotaging the struggle for the rebuilding of the party of the proletariat. For this group, declaring the party with an ultra-nationalist line, was a conscious manoeuvre to usurp the leading political role from the working class. This party wants to impose the hegemony of the bourgeoisie over the working class and has from its very first days organized shock troops, and this is becoming more and more of a preoccupation for them. These shock troops rely on reactionary violence and systematic demagogy to help the bourgeoisie impose its leadership over the mass movement. In short, CPC(ML) is a counter-revolutionary and social-fascist group, socialist in words, but fascist in deeds.


[1] IN STRUGGLE! no 112, April 13, 1978, p. 12.

[2] PCDN. January 9, 1978, p. 1. Hail the Inauguration of Desh Bhagat Temple in Toronto!

[3] IN STRUGGLE! no 69, September 2, 1976, p. 8.

[4] Mass Line, vol.2, no 44, May 16 1971.

[5] Mass Line. November 5, 1969.

[6] Mass Line. April 12, 1970, p. 4.

[7] QCP October 11, 1977, p. 4. (our translation)

[8] Canadian Revolution. August-September, 1975, p. 14.

[9] Mass Line. September 17, 1969, p. 4.

[10] Ibid., p. 5.

[11] Ibid., p. 6.

[12] QCP, May 1, 1978, (our translation)

[13] The Carillon, student newspaper. University of Regina, March 30, 1978.

[14] IV73 Political Report. Documents 1976, pp. 66-67.

[15] The Communist Manifesto for the 1972 Federal Elections, pp. 2-3.