First Published: The Forge, Vol. 4, No. 32, September 19, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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The recent tear gas attack by the RCMP riot squad on members of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union In Caraquet, New Brunswick, illustrates with graphic force, the intensity of struggles of the Acadian people in this, the 375th anniversary year. of the founding of Acadia.
Only one week o before, over 2000 people demonstrated to support the 230 mainly Acadian families whose lands were brutally confiscated to build a federal park at Kouchibouguac. In February of this year we saw thousands demonstrate in Bathurst and Moncton for the right to a job as the jobless rate hit some 20% in areas of New Brunswick where Acadians are concentrated.
Next week-end over 2000 delegates will meet at the National Orientation Convention of New Brunswick Acadians in Edmundston,New Brunswick, organized by the Société des Acadiens du Nouveau-Brunswick, to discuss the way forward for Acadian people.
The veritable explosion of the Acadian people’s struggles in recent years has underlined the need to find a political solution to the national oppression, of the Acadian people.
No longer can the Acadian people be content with the false promises and the crumbs handed out by the Liberal and Conservative parties. A political solution is necessary. On this, many in Acadia are agreed. The question that remains is what solution, and how to achieve it.
Today, the Acadian people form a distinct oppressed nationality in Canada. Since the deportation of 1755, they have principally lived in New Brunswick as well as in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
They must have the right, to regional autonomy in the regions where they are concentrated. That is to say, they must have the right to self-government in these regions within the context of the Canadian state.
The battles for Acadian rights and regional autonomy have already begun and will continue with increasing vigour. But victories can only be won by counting on the struggles of the masses of the Acadian workers and people, not by counting on the election of more Acadians to Ottawa, or to Fredericton as the Parti Acadien maintains.
At the same time, these struggles can only be successful in the end if they are linked to the battle for a socialist Canada. It is the Canadian ruling class, and its Maritime representatives like the Irvings, the McCains and the Nickersons, that have wrung up huge profits by exploiting and oppressing the Acadian people. it is they who must be overthrown if the Acadian people are to be fully guaranteed their rights.
The English Canadian working people are not the enemies or the source of the oppression of the Acadian people, but are rather its allies in the battle for their rights. But in order to build a solid unity between the French and English-speaking workers and people of the Maritimes, English-Canadian workers must fight the anti-Acadian propaganda and lies of the capitalists. They must unite to fully support the battle for the Acadian people’s rights.
The WCP and before it the CCL(ML) has clearly demonstrated its support for the struggle of the Acadian people, both in its program and its actions.
The WCP already has within its ranks Acadian militants active in many different areas of struggle. Our Party calls on all Acadian working people who want to fight for an end to Acadian oppression and for a socialist Canada to join the ranks of the WCP.