First Published: The Forge, Vol. 2, No. 11, May 26, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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After several months of debate with In Struggle and the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist), the Moncton Study Circle (Marxist-Leninist) has been dissolved and its members have placed themselves under the direction of the CCL(ML).
The Moncton Circle was created in September, 1976, on the initiative of New Brunswick militants involved in the magazine l’Acayen (the Acadian), organizing coastal fishermen and working with small farmers. Although they had an honest desire to assimilate Marxism-Leninism, the Moncton Circle never had a revolutionary practice and so was never a Marxist-Leninist group.
During the short period of its existence the Moncton Circle had to wage a firm struggle against opportunism. It certainly was not In Struggle that helped advance this struggle. Manoeuvering and pulling the wool over the Circle members’ eyes, In Struggle tried to convince them that they were a Marxist-Leninist group in order to draw them into their opportunist project of unity conferences.
When the Moncton Circle found itself confronted by the urgent demands of class struggle – for example, in face of police violence around the Kouchibougouac expropriations (see The Forge Vol.2 No.7) – In Struggle used an intellectualist cover to mask its inability to give a just and concrete communist leadership in the class struggle. In Struggle thumbed its nose at class struggle. Instead it spoke of the “ideological struggle on the question of the state” and of the “reformist” character of the slogan class against class. It urged the Moncton comrades to go and parade up and down at the “unity conferences” before the delighted eyes of opportunists like the May First Collective and counter-revolutionaries like Bolshevik Union.
But the Moncton comrades rejected the easy road, the road to opportunism, which In Struggle offered them. They rallied to the League to develop communist education work among the New Brunswick masses and in particular with the Acadians.
There are about 200,000 Acadians in New Brunswick, distributed mainly in the counties of Kent, Gloucester, and Madawaska which are about 80% Acadian. There are Acadians living in the other Maritime provinces also.
The Acadian people suffer fierce national oppression at the hands of the Canadian bourgeoisie. The manifestations of this national oppression are striking.
For example, concerning the right to work: the unemployment rate in New Brunswick, as in the other Maritime provinces, is very high. In New Brunswick it is over 27%. And it’s the Acadians who are hardest hit. In the north-east, the Acadian peninsula, unemployment reached 54% in spring 1976. One third of the Acadians’ income consists of unemployment insurance and welfare payments, while these account for 18% of the income of the province as a whole. A third of Acadian families live on an annual income under $5000. and have less than 5 years of schooling, while 18% of anglophones are in the same position.
As for Acadian language rights, these too are blatantly scoffed at. Even in villages which are 90% Acadian, replies in stores are made in English. The language of work is English.
There is a constant battle to hang on to the few French schools and social services which have been won in hard fights of resistance against national oppression.
Faced with this situation there are some, like the Parti Acadien – a 100% bourgeois party, who try to use a recipe well known in Quebec, mixing reformism and narrow nationalism. Promising the sky and trying to divide the Acadian people from the English Canadian proletariat even more, the Parti Acadien is the answer of the petit-bourgeoisie and the weak Acadian middle-bourgeoisie to the crisis and to national oppression. This answer runs counter to the interests ot the Acadian people. But this is a false solution for only socialism will put an end to crises and guarantee the end of national oppression for the Acadians. We must win the Acadian people to the cause of the proletarian revolution in Canada. We must fight to defend their national rights.
The Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) is undertaking its work of rallying to its ranks the best elements of the Acadian proletariat and rural population (farmers and fishermen). It is within an authentic communist party (Marxist-Leninist) and under its leadership that we will achieve the indestructible unity of the Canadian proletariat for the overthrow of our common exploiter and oppressor, the Canadian bourgeoisie.
Recently the League held its first communist meeting in New Brunswick. Acadians, welfare recipients, fishermen, farmers, and people expropriated from Kouchibougouac Park discussed with League comrades the necessity of organizing a united fightback against the crisis in Canada, and) of constructing our party. This first meeting marked a great victory: Marxism-Leninism is starting to penetrate more widely in the oppressed Acadian masses.
Against the oppression of the Acadian people!
For the unity of the Canadian proletariat!
Forge our communist party!