First Published: In Struggle No. 127, October 3, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Five months ago, IN STRUGGLE! denounced the dangerously fascist-like methods used by the so-called Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) to oppose the penetration of the communist point of view in the masses.
What’s the situation today, at a time when the line which this group tries to peddle in the masses has been increasingly unmasked? The League has doubled its efforts in its determination to “ideologically, politically, and organizationally destroy IN STRUGGLE!”. It has refined its police methods, and here is an example.
Two IN STRUGGLE! distributors arrived at a Montreal open-air market which serves many immigrants. The League, already in place, warned them: “It’s our market, it’s our territory, these are our immigrants” and demanded that IN STRUGGLE! take off. We obviously had no intention of asking the League’s permission to distribute: 60 newspapers were sold in an hour and a half.
The following week, the League was out in force and started beating up the communists from IN STRUGGLE! Three thugs circled each of our distributors, shook them up, threw their newspapers to the ground, tearing up a dozen of them. Whenever anybody tried to pick up one of the newspapers, they put a Forge (the League’s newspaper) into their hand. Those who were able to put their hands on one of our newspapers had it torn away and were given 25 cents in exchange. Inside the market, one of their gang started inspecting shopping baskets to assure that none of the workers or housewives had escaped their surveillance. Despite everything, IN STRUGGLE! continued its distribution.
The next week, after the experience of IN STRUGGLE!’s firm fightback in the face of their attack, the League radically changed its tactic. Instead of a commando of bouncers, they sent two young women to the “front” of the counter-revolution. On arrival, the immediately began trying to provoke the IN STRUGGLE! militants verbally. Since our distributors tried to avoid them, one of them gave a signal and a car moved in. A man, armed with a camera with a telescopic lens, slipped out of the car and snapped the scene before clearing out. The “frame-up” was perfect: can’t you already see “red” headlines in the Forge: “young and fragile Forge distributors brutalized by IN STRUGGLE! heavies”...
This scene over, the Leaguists continued harassing our distributors, tailing them everywhere, waiting in vain for a push or a shove or some exasperated remarks so that they could start making a fuss about violence or chauvinism. Pointing to the spot where the League photographer had been, one of them even dared say to a worker: “You know just awhile ago there was an IN STRUGGLE! photographer there, who’s going to send your pictures to the RCMP”...
The League wants to “destroy” IN STRUGGLE! with police methods. Its attempts were a dismal failure. We will not let ourselves be intimidated. We must answer fascist provocation with firmness and determination. The wider we spread the communist point of view in the masses, the more these opportunists will be unmasked. The incidents which took place at this market are not the result of inter-group quarreling. It is a struggle for freedom of speech which concerns all working-class and mass organizations, a struggle against provocation, intimidation and sabotage.