Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Learn from International Women’s Day

First Published: In Struggle! No. 62, May 27, 1976
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

International Women’s Day has been celebrated regularly in Montreal for the past three years. The organization of that day has been, every year, an important moment of polarization of the different political currents and their ideologies regarding the question of the struggle for the emancipation of women.

This year, more than ever, the debates resulting from the organization of the celebration of March 8th in Montreal, have helped the marxist-leninists to wage an ideological struggle on that question and to stand apart from the feminist and reformist ideologies. But this is in no way unique to our country. As the struggle for the emancipation of women becomes more and more important throughout the world, the struggle against bourgeois thinking on that question becomes stronger. The Mexico Conference held in 1975, during International Woman’s Year was a striking example of this fact. On one side, the Soviet Union and the United States tried to reduce the struggle for women’s liberation to the demands of democratic rights, a position that Canada and France rallied, by denying the political aspect of that struggle. And on the other hand, China and the countries of the Third World clearly showed that women’s liberation is an living part of the liberation struggle of the peoples against imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism, that is to say the desire for power of the capitalist countries.

Throughout the world and our country, more and more women are rejecting feminist and reformist ideologies for they understand that it is not by struggling against men, nor by satisfying themselves with the struggle for democratic rights that they will become truely free women. They are conscious that the only solution is to fight for the destruction of capitalism which is the source of the oppression and exploitation of the whole working class and the people, men and women alike.

The Marxist-Leninist coalition, constituted by the CRICS, IN STRUGGLE! and the Groupe pour la Revolution proletarienne (G.R.P.), formed on the occasion of last March 8th, has undertaken a report of its intervention during I.W.D. and believes it important to publish the most important parts. In this way, the coalition hopes that the lessons learned, will serve the Marxist-Leninist movement, the worker’s movement and the women’s movement [1]. At the same time, this report is a occasion to study thoroughly the problems that confronted the coalition in its intervention tactics regarding the Labour Congresses, mass organizations and popular groups.

We want this general evaluation to be criticised so that the lessons learned from March 8th serve us in our need to reach our goals: the unity of the marxists-leninists and the rallying of the vanguard of the proletariat (men and women) to communism.

It is important to note that the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) (C.C.L.(M.L.)) refused to participate in the coalition and organized the celebration on its own terms. This report therefore refers to only one of the actions undertaken by the Marxist-Leninist movement in Montreal on March 8th, the action under-taken by the coalition.

An important Moment to Convince the Masses of Communist Ideas

I.W.D. organized by the coalition brought together more than a 1,000 people who celebrated the day with enthusiasm and in a spirit of solidarity. Remember that last year. when all the Marxist-Leninists had united together to organize a single celebration, about 600 people had taken part in the activities of the day. The statistics clearly show that the influence of Marxism-Leninism is growing. As a woman worker put it: “It’s now when you realize that we’re not alone in our struggle for socialism!”

Women demonstrate their determination to struggle for socialism

This year more than ever the active presence of women workers, housewives and welfare recipients made itself known by their interventions in the workshops and during the evening. Their testimonies showed us that their desire to end capitalism grows stronger day by day. In the workshops women testified “that the kitchen door hides the world”. A woman worker told of her 59 year old mother who had to recently take a job as a waitress because of the terrific rising in the cost of living. That experience, in spite of its limits, was beneficial. It opened her eyes. She is beginning to understand what repression and struggle in the capitalist system mean. Women also testified that it was by actively involving themselves in the struggles in factories, in the Common Front struggle against the capitalist State, in the struggle of the welfare recipients against the outrageous schemes of the State against them, in women committees to support their worker husbands on strike, in the parents’ struggle for their right to daycare, that they realized that capitalism was falling apart and that the bourgeoisie and its State, as a watch dog, are doing everything they can to save their profits and to make the proletariat and the people pay for the crisis. “Before the strike, we thought things weren’t going so bad but with the strike we understood a lot of things”, said the wife of a worker.

Struggle is the school of war; an important moment to develop our consciousness, to experience solidarity, to measure the numbers and strength of the enemies. It was also for the women who spoke during that day, a moment to realize that all those struggles are partial victories, because oppression and exploitation will only disappear with capitalism itself.

By speaking out, by making their voices heard to denounce the injustices of which they are victims, these women showed us clearly that they are determined to struggle for the overthrow of capitalism. In this way, they make their own experiences of struggle serve the whole of the working class movement and women’s movement. And this, in its turn, greatly helps communicate their desire for socialism. Of course, the necessity of building a proletarian party in order to lead the struggle towards proletarian dictatorship has not yet convinced the masses of women generally. But what was striking during that day, was the growing desire of these women for education, for the comprehension of the mechanisms of their oppression and exploitation, for their appropriation of the science of proletarian struggle, Marxism-Leninism by overcoming their fear of “big words”.

By their example, they clearly show us that women aren’t just made for raising children, taking care of their husband or keeping house. Nor are they just good as cheap labor for capitalist induatry. By their example, they prove that they have an important role to play in the revolutionary struggle. By acting in this way, these women are advancing on the road of their liberation and are concretly showing us that the struggle for the liberation of women is indissociable from the struggle for socialism. The projection of the film “Shanghai day by day” showed us the victories of Chinese women towards their emancipation since they have begun participating actively in the struggle for socialism. They play an active role in production, leaving aside the family as their one and only universe. They take a hand in social and political life. They have built daycare centres in factories and neighbourhoods with the help of the State. Girls and boys are taught on a new basis. The ideological struggle against the prejudices regarding women’s inferiority is crowned with victory more and more because the women proved, during the struggle for socialism, that what a man can do a women can do as well!

Unity of thought and action: the struggle against economism in the M-L movement is making itself felt

Thus I.W.D. was an occasion to launch a call to the women of the people and particularly to women workers to rally the struggle against the Trudeau measures and from this moment on, to struggle for the creation of the proletarian Party, indispensable guide for socialist victory. By such slogans as: Let’s struggle against the bourgeois solutions to the crisis! No to the Trudeau measurest Let’s struggle for socialism, only road for the liberation of women!: by such a propaganda it was clearly shown that the struggle for the liberation of women is not separated from the struggle for the emancipation of the whole working class.

All of the interventions during the day, in the workshops and during the evening were marked by this unity of thought and action. The question of knowing how to undertake socialist revolution in our country was the central question. Can we reach socialism with reforms? What difference is there between social reforms in a capitalist country and socialism? What is to be thought of the Tricofil experience [2]? What place does the struggle for the democratic rights of women hold in the struggle for socialism? What kind of Party must we form? All these questions forced us to clarify that we do not want to build just any kind of socialism nor just any kind of Party. I.W.D. was thus an occasion to demonstrate the importance of unifying all of the struggles that men and women of the working class wage everyday in factories and neighbourhoods, towards a same goal and in the same combat: that of the struggle to build a proletarian Party in order to guide all those struggles on the road to proletarian dictatorship.

From that point of view, I.W.D. marks a step forward as opposed to the celebration by the Marxist-Leninist groups of that day in 1975 where the propaganda was tainted by economism and tinged with feminism. Indeed. last year, the tract called for the solidarity of women in struggle, for the struggle against all forms of oppression in very general terms and by insisting only on the struggle for the democratic rights of women without encouraging them to struggle for Socialist revolution. In the workshops and during the evening, the necessity of building a Canada-wide proletarian Party and the discussion of socialism had been much less present than this year. Few efforts had been made to mobilize women workers inspite of the principles we had put forward in the platform.

The growing consciousness of the necessity of overthrowing capitalism, the thirst for socialism and the desire to grasp Marxism-Leninism, manifested by the men and women participants of the day, can only persuade us even more, that the communists must be equal to the present task. That task is to spread communist propaganda in view of educating the masses and of rallying the more advanced elements to the struggle for the Party. As men and women workers put it: “We want to learn so as to pass on our knowledge to our friends, to be able together to transform the present situation in order to build socialism.”

This year, the large mobilization created by I.W.D., the active participation of working women, housewives, welfare recipients, united around a communist day revealed that the struggle against economism undertaken over a year ago in the Marxist-Leninist movement has permitted the penetration of communism among the masses.

In a workshop, answering a woman who declared that we musn’t go too far or too fast with the working class, a worker said that on the contrary. we musn’t hide the goal for which we are struggling. It is only in clearly stating against whom we are lighting and what we are aiming for that the combative elements will rally communism. Thus March 8th was an occasion to see that the struggle against economism bears fruit and makes the revolutionary struggle in our country advance.

Let us struggle against dogmatism

Nevertheless, the struggle against economism (right-wing opportunism) can lead to its opposite, dogmatism (left-wing opportunism), if it is not properly led. In a certain way, dogmatism made itself felt during I.W.D. particularly in the workshops but also during the evening and in the propaganda.

In the workshops, some comrades adopted an attitude which consisted in hurriedly reciting a series of Marxist-Leninist principles without linking them to the concrete preoccupations and struggles that the participants were telling us about. That is a dogmatic way of intervening among the masses. These people are afraid of applying too much attention to the immediate interests of the proletariat and people and of thus falling into economism. But a dogmatic speech never succeeds in convincing someone of the trueness of Marxism-Leninism. Such workshops must be places where communists can put forward correct ideas but they must also serve as an occasion to seize upon the correct ideas expressed by the masses. Not starting from the masses’ consciousness in order to advance it leads to adopting a dogmatic style of intervention.

This attitude of inquiring, of listening attentively to the masses failed in certain workshops. As a result a lot of working men, women and housewives did not dare express themselves in front of the intellectual comrades’ eagerness to take the floor, often in a complex and abstract way.

During the evening, many pointed out that there had been an exagerated repetition of the principal ideas, especially in the speech and play. We must avoid repeating the same general ideas. It is more important to concentrate ourselves on convincing the masses, of the correctness of these ideas by the many concrete examples of class struggle.

As for the propaganda, the coalition feels that it did not give the necessary attention to the struggle for women’s democratic rights. This may have led many to believe that we considered these correct struggles that women are leading for their emancipation as being of little importance compared to the struggle for the creation of the proletarian Party. We think that we should have made it one of the principal slogans of March 8th and given more attention to the explanation of the place and significance of the struggle for democratic rights in the struggle for the liberation of women. Indeed, it is a question that deserves to be examined more seriously by communists, that is considering the concrete situation of Canadian women and their rights.

Finally, economism and dogmatism are two deviations manifesting a contempt for the masses: where as the first one leads to lower the level of propaganda to that of the proletariat’s economic interests, the second consists in making communist propaganda glide over the preoccupations of the masses, without linking Marxist-Leninist principles of Proletarian revolution to the concrete analysis. Both lead to separating Marxism-Leninism from the proletariat and in that way, only end up by stopping its appropriation and delaying the process of revolutionary struggle.

To cure these two diseases of the Marxist-Leninist movement affecting our ties with the masses, we must intensify and enlarge communist propaganda, principally towards the industrial proletariat, develop inquiry among the masses, develop our knowledge of the Canadian reality in order to always be supported by the concrete analysis of the concrete situation. These actions will permit us to rally the vanguard of the proletariat to communism and to progress in the struggle for the creation of the proletarian Party.

For a Correct Intervention of the Marxist-Leninists on I.W.D.

It is with the following principles, put forward by IN STRUGGLE!, that the Marxist-Leninist coalition was created and intervened:

– the Marxist-Leninist groups must put forward the communist point of view on the emancipation of women among the broader masses likely to mobilize themselves for I.W.D.;
– for this, they must work in order to gather the greatest possible number of unions, organizations and popular groups around the same celebration, with the same revolutionary spirit.
– finally they must unite their efforts in order to counteract as vigorously as possible the revisionist, trotskyist, reformist and feminist points of views and reinforce the penetration of the communist point of view among the masses. This unity is a tactical one that will serve the struggle against erroneous tendencies.[3]

The principles presiding the formation of the coalition are correct

We think that these principles are stilt correct. It is important that communists work to advance among the broader masses a single point of view during I.W.D., to be able to reinforce the penetration of the communist point of view not only among the advanced elements already receptive to these ideas, but also among the greatest number of men and women of the proletariat and people still under the influence of reformism. The crucial question is to determine how we can reach that goal; what is the correct tactic of intervention that Marxist-Leninists have to put forward during I.W.D. The answer can only come from the application of the principles to the concrete situation of the forces present during the organization of I.W.D. in Montreal. Let’s see what teachings we can draw from this year’s experience.

This year, if we called for the unified action of Marxist-Leninists within the regroupment formed by the Central Labour Congresses, it is because we thought that this would permit us to reach the masses in a better way. Thus we decided to answer the invitation made by the women representatives of the Labour Congresses! We had the groups wishing to participate in the organization of I.W.D. At least, that seemed to be their intention. We knew that in the past, the Labor Congresses had collaborated on March 8th with trotskyist, revisionist and feminist groups, whose militants are often linked with the women representatives of Labour Congresses! We had the firm intention of using this occasion to unmask them. On the other hand, the Labour Congresses had also called for the participation of popular groups and mass organizations for the organization of the day. With the work already undertaken by the unions in the framework of the Common Front’s struggle to put forward the demands of working women: equal work, equal pay, daycare at the workplace, paid maternity leave without lost of job security, we all had reason to believe that the women representatives of the Labour Congresses would take advantage of I.W,D, to emphasize the struggle of the working women of the Common Front. We must be aware that within the Congresses, the organization of March 8th doesn’t have the same place or importance as the organization of May 1st. It relies entirely on union staff who have to struggle within the unions for the financing of this celebration, proof that the direction, the union bosses, are disinterested in the liberation of women to such an extent that the demands of the working women have little importance at the contract tables and, more often than not, end up as “forgotton” promises.

But as we realized at the meeting, we were not dealing with a mass regroupment, not were the groups invited to organize that celebration but rather to be consulted, even though the Labor Congresses had led us to believe the contrary right to the end of the meeting. In fact, most of the groups present were either trotskyist, revisionist or feminist; very few local unions and mass organizations were represented (contrary to what the supplement of IN STRUGGLE! of March 4 announced). The organizing commitee of March 8th composed of union women representatives planned on controling the ideological and organizational direction of the day. But what is even more serious, is that the union women representatives decided to categorically dissociate the celebration of March 8th from the struggle of the working women of the Common Front, as they claimed many times later in the newspapers and on the radio. In acting this way, they showed that for them, the struggle for women’s liberation is alright providing it goes no further than speeches and general declarations but when it comes to mobilizing the working women of the Common Front, that’s another thing! The demands of the working women are only important during the official negotiation talks in Quebec!

Not surprisingly, during the meeting they refused to put to a vote the proposition of the coalition to make a speech during the evening, under the poor excuse that it was “unfair” to let some groups express themselves and not others, arguing that they were forced in good conscience to let the 35 groups present, express themselves. Except that if there was 35 groups there were not 35 ideological tendencies! Their attitude showed an out and out refusal to consider that there were different tendencies. They thus attempted to disguise this fact by saying that we had to establish a “consensus” for “between women, we must understand ourselves, we’ve got to talk to each other”! But it did not stop them from calling upon feminists such as the actresses of the Net des sorcieres [4] who place women’s liberation above the classes and to such groups as le Theatre des cuisines [5], le Comite de lutte pour l’avortement [6], and les Editions Remue-monage [7] who spread among women the illusion that the struggle for their democratic rights alone is enough to overcome capitalism! This is an example of how the Labor Congresses use democracy and justice when it serves their purposes and when it serves to isolate the Marxist-Leninists.

By acting in this way, these women unionists proved that they were themselves union bosses. Their “personal career” came first and not the interests of the working women of the Common Front. They were afraid of losing their jobs if they made March 8th an example of the struggle of the working women of the Common Front and if they permitted the Marxist-Leninists to express themselves.

Considering this situation, the coalition decided to organize its own celebration. It is always the concrete analysis of the forces in presence that permits us to determine if the Marxist-Leninists must or must not organize their own celebration of I.W.D. This depends upon the action and mobilization planned by the Labor Congresses, as well as the attitude of the local unions and popular organizations towards the Labor Congresses and the Marxist-Leninist movement, as well as the degree of penetration of communism among the masses and of the concrete situation of the forces in presence in each region. Thus in Quebec, IN STRUGGLE! organized a March 8th celebration with women representatives of the Central Labour Congresses on the basis of an anti-capitalist and anti-feminist platform putting forth the slogan: “same enemy, same struggle”. This did not keep the comrades of IN STRUGGLE! from expressing their communist point of view in the workshops and during the evening. The organization of this day proved itself to be an excellent occasion to carry out ideological struggle against the representatives of the Congresses and those participants among which reformist ideas were often sharply expressed. Such an experience permitted to take a step forwardin the penetration of Marxism-Leninism by proving the correctness of Marxism in the struggle against what is anti-Marxist.

The coalition nevertheless criticizes itself for not having conducted before hand an inquiry among the congresses, local unions and popular groups, in order to have a better knowledge of their attitudes concerning the celebration of I.W.D. Neither did we work correctly to unite the greatest possible number of unions and popular groups as we had put forth in our principles. The delay with which I.W.D. was organized prompted a spontaniety in the general organization which had negative effects on this level. In short, this delay did not allow us to carry out the ideological struggle correctly by emphasizing what we intended to advance during this day. Organizations such as the A.D.D.S. [8] and S.O.S. Garderies [9] which collaborated in the coalition’s celebration stated that the quality of this collaboration could have been superior if it had been established on a more solid basis.

As for the action of the Marxist-Leninists, we are still convinced after this year’s experience, that on I.W.D., Marxist-Leninists must join together to put forth a communist point of view on the emancipation of women amongst the proletariat and the people. The organization of two Marxist-Leninist celebrations as was the case this year, weakens the struggle against bourgeois ideologies regarding the women’s liberation struggle instead of strengthening it. The unity of Marxist-Leninists for this celebration must be used to wage a better struggle against reformism, revisionism, trotskyism and feminism. One may also ask himself if a situation like this year’s does not spread confusion among the masses and even among the advanced elements for whom the differences existing in the Marxist-Leninist movement, even if they are acquainted with them, are not always clear enough to permit them to “choose”. Such was the case of the A.D.D.S. who chose to participate in the coalition’s celebration rather then the CCL (ML)’s not because of the platform, but because the coalition, and not the CCL (ML) encouraged their active participation in terms of display boothes, presence in the workshops, distribution of their propaganda.

On the other hand, the comrades of the CCL (ML) claimed that Marxist-Leninists should organize their own celebration in order to carry out “in depth” education. We think that in depth work is not guaranteed “in itself” by the fact of organizing I.W.D. on our own basis. The question is evidently not simply one of expressing a communist point of view but that this point of view should be received and listened to by the proletariat and people. At the present time, Marxist-Leninists can’t pretend they rally the masses on a large scale basis to celebrate March 8th. Foremost, we want to work to rally the most advanced elements of the proletariat to communism. However, these advanced elements are to be found within the proletariat and masses. If we want I.W.D. to really be a moment of extension and intensification of communist propaganda, we must assure ourselves that this be achieved not only regarding the distribution of communist propaganda for the day, but also in regard to the organization of that day. This is why we think that Marxist-Leninists must work to bring together the largest number of local unions and mass organizations to celebrate I.W.D. in a same revolutionary spirit. Thus we will have really accomplished in depth work for we will have attempted to spread the communist viewpoint among the masses with the aim of rallying their advanced elements to the revolutionary struggle and most particularly to the struggle for the creation of the proletarian Party.

How to correctly apply the principles that guide us?

This year’s experience has allowed us to clarify the tactics of intervention of the Marxist-Leninists for the celebration of I.W.D.

We must encourage the active participation of local unions and popular organizations in the organization of this day and favour the setting up of a regroupment while being certain of reserving the necessary time to express our point of view correctly and to carry out the ideological struggle with them. We must struggle so that I.W.D. encourages the expression of the working class and popular struggles that women lead daily. We must also denounce the union bosses who prevent March 8th from being a real celebration of the growing consciousness of women workers and women of the people to gel rid of capitalism. We must sharply denounce the reformist, trotskyist, revisionist and feminist points of view and stand apart from these false-friends of the masses more than we did this year by thoroughly studying these political currents on the question of women, We must always struggle for the expression of the Marxist-Leninist point of view, as we did this year, and encourage the rallying of the conscious elements to this point of view.

As we have already said, the question of organizing or not organizing our own celebration remains a tactical question linked to the concrete analysis of the forces in presence wishing to celebrate March 8th. The question is to favour the intervention tactic which will allow us to fulfill more adequately the tasks that we determine important in the actual period of revolutionary struggle in Canada.

The unity of Marxist-Leninists always remains an objective to be reached in the celebration of that day as for all wide-spread action among the masses where reformists of all kinds express themselves widely. Unity remains a tactical unity and must not be considered as a place of ideological struggle on the existing differences in political line between the different Marxist-Leninist groups. In such coalitions, the principal aspect remains the necessity for the communists to present a proletarian and unified revolutionary point of view when facing the masses, However, these moments, as we saw, allow us to strenghten the unity of Marxist-Leninists as long as there is always a struggle for the application of the principles put forward in a concrete situation through common interventions: tracts, workshops, speeches, etc. In this situation, comrades must encourage the spirit of unity and confidence towards the other comrades in the accomplishment of common tasks. This year, with little time left, many comrades were not afraid to assume responsabilities and develop their initiative. We think that such a spirit of maturity must enrich coalitions set up for a specific action, if we don’t want to spend hours debating on all the organizational aspects of a common action.

Develop Communist propaganda among Women

I.W.D. was an important moment of intensification and extension of communist propaganda among the feminine masses and particularly among the women workers.

The results of that day must be reflected in all communist work at the present moment, when the question of the day. is of spreading and diversifying communist propaganda with the aim of rallying the advanced elements of the proletariat to create the Canadian proletarian Party. Working men, women comrades and intellectual comrades must take an active part in the intensification of propaganda among women and mainly among the women workers, for they are, with the male workers the leading force of the proletarian revolution. We must develop oral propaganda, take the floor in meetings, use our experiences of struggle to convince the women workers and women of the people that the only way out of the crisis of capitalism and of the oppression of women is socialism. We must also invite them to participate actively in the struggle for the creation of the proletarian party that will lead all the struggles towards proletarian dictatorship.

We must be concerned with developing specific methods of work with women workers and women of the people. These methods must take into account their oppression as women, as they endure it everyday: double day of work discrimination, enslavement in the family, responsbility of children, care of the husband and household. For these reasons, we must carefully answer their specific needs correctly so that they may actively participate in the revolutionary struggle. For example, we must bring more attention to the adequate organization of nurseries during demonstrations or meetings mobilizing women. On the one hand daycare must really relieve mothers from the care of their children: on the other hand they must not be a kid “parking lot” but a place of communist education. It is only by developing our propaganda work among the Canadian women workers and women of the people that we will be able to develop methods which will take into account the concrete situation and political conscienceness of the women of our country.

Inject ourselves with the desire of unity of the Marxist-Leninists

However, the main task that we must seize upon at the present time, in promoting proletarian revolution in our country, is the struggle for the unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists. Consequentely it is necessary to sincerely make it our duty to combat sectarianism and pride which, as a comrade worker put it so well. manifested itself in the Marxist-Leninist movement on the occasion of I.W.D. this year.

The CCL(ML) was an important standard-bearer of that erroneous attitude by refusing to join the Marxist-Leninist coalition. We will not go over the details of the polemics which took place on that question on the occasion of March 8th. For this, we refer you to the texts which have been published. [10]

However, for us, it is clear that the CCL(ML) never sincerely wanted to join other Marxist-Leninist groups for the organization of I.W.D., on the basis of a common action, the invitation of the CCL(ML) to IN STRUGGLE! in its answer where it refuses the proposition to participate in the formation of a coalition, is completely ridiculous: the League informs IN STRUGGLE! it has “already (we underline) undertaken the preparation of a celebration” but that it is still willing to unite its effort with IN STRUGGLE! on the basis of the platform it submits. The platform contains a clear formulation of the principal contradiction in Canada whereas the CCL(ML) knows very well that its position on this question differs from that of IN STRUGGLE! and that it had just specified in its letter that an agreement on this question was a prerequisite to joint action for I.W.D.

Furthermore, the comrades of the CCL(ML) know very well that its position on this question differs from that of IN STRUGGLE! and that it had just specified in its letter that an agreement on this question was a prerequisite to joint-action for I.W.D.

Furthermore, the comrades of the CCL(ML) spread false ideas by claiming that IN STRUGGLE!, by its proposition, was henceforth putting “Joint practices in the fight for ’unity’ in the foreground” while it was clearly stated in the letter that the aim was to achieve tactical unity. The comrades of the CCL(ML) also stated that IN STRUGGLE! proposed a “minimal platform” while the letter clearly stated that this day should serve to counter feminist, reformist, trotskyist and revisionist points of view by putting forth the necessity of socialist revolution and the active participation of women of the people In the revolutionary struggle in our country by working in this way to develop the struggle for the creation of a proletarian party. Did this lead to confusion? Was this not clear enough? We do not think so. Morever IN STRUGGLE! had the opportunity on several occasions to express its point of view on these questions in its paper.

In our opinion, the GCL(ML) sought by nit-picking to build a polemic based on false elements in order to build its reputation. It raised as principles, questions which were not basic principles for the organization of this day, since the positions of principle were clear on both sides,

Was it opportunism to mobilize the masses in the struggle to abolish capitalism and the bourgeoisie, to install the dictatorship of the proletariat, and to construct the proletarian party, while abstaining from formulating the principal contradiction? We do not think so, in so far as there was agreement on the nature of the Canadian revolution, that is the implementation of socialism through the dictatorship of the proletariat, which by the way, distinguishes the real Marxist-Leninists from the false.

Such an attitude of arrogance and self-complacency does not favour unity but hinders it. It is not enough to proclaim the necessity of unity of Marxist-Leninists but it is also necessary to show this desire of unity in practice. The coalition also criticizes IN STRUGGLE! with having adopted an incorrect attitude when it did not see fit to answer to the CCL(ML)’s letter immediately in order to carry on the ideological struggle and to dissipate what appears as misunderstandings on both sides.

Comrades, let us not give way to narrow mindedness and let us learn how we may be able to put the interests of the Proletarian revolution above our “group” interests.

May we be able to draw the lessons from the experience of I.W.D.!

Let us develop a spirit of unity!

Let us intensify communist propaganda among women workers!

Concerning the Platform...

This year’s experience has enabled us to determine the role and use of a platform in the organization of a demonstration such as I.W.D.

It is no doubt helpful to remind you that such a platform is essentially a basis of agreement which serves to create unity of thought in view of united action. Under the circumstances, the aim of the platform submitted by IN STRUGGLE!, for March 8th was to achieve unity of Marxist-Leninists for joint action during I.W.D. It is on this basis that Marxist-Leninists were to work together in elaborating joint propaganda.

In this respect, we ask ourselves why the CCL(ML} published a platform as it intended to organize I.W.D. on its own? We do not think that Marxist-Leninist groups should publish a platform every time they undertake an action if it is not their intention to unite with other groups towards joint-action. Besides, no Marxist-Leninist group published a platform for May 1st.

On the other hand, if the platform we seek to formulate in order to achieve unity of action for I.W.D. contains fundamental Marxist-Leninist principles. In short a whole political program, it is precisely to take into account the fact that Marxist-Leninist groups and cells have not all, to this day, published their political line. It is the rallying to the Marxist-Leninist platform which allows to distinguish the real Communists from the false. No trotskyst, no revisionist would have rallied the platform of the coalition. Such a procedure takes the concrete situation of the Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada into account. The movement is largely composed of groups and cells either engaged or on the verge of engaging into the struggle for the unification of communists.

Therefore the platform works towards the creation of ideological unity for joint action. Afterwards the groups forming the coalition may organize their propaganda on, the basis of this platform. The principles put forth in the platform must be reflected in propaganda on the whole. A speech may be a condensed expression of the principles of the platform. But each intervention, each instrument of propaganda need not go back every time to the different points in the platform since this would give rise to a dogmatic style of intervention.


[1] By women’s movement. we mean: the movement for the struggle of the emancipation of women throughout the whole world. Movement which aims at legal, social and political equality for women and which embraces women of all social classes.

[2] Tricofii: a textile factory in St.Jerome, owned and run by the workers; it used to be Regent Knitting.

[3] We refer you to the letter of IN STRUGGLE! to the Marxist-Leninest groups. IN STRUGGLE! supplement to no 56 (vol 3. no. 15).

[4] Play written and acted by a group of feminists in Montreal in March 1976.

[5] Feminist theater grouq active in popular neighborhoods in Montreal.

[6] Committee that is presently struggling for women’s right to abortion.

[7] A feminist publishing firm that only published works “written by and for woman”.

[8] A welfare rights’ association.

[9] Coalition of popular day nurseries struggling to save daycare.

[10] The Forge, vol. 1, no. 5 IN STRUGGLE!. vol. 3, no 15 (supplement) The Forge, vol. 1. no. 6.