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300 Hear Opposition in Toronto

(February 1933)

The League in Action, The Militant, Vol. VI No. 13, 27 February 1933, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Toronto. – The great interest of the workers in the position of the Left Opposition in the German crisis was shown in the meeting held in Toronto.

Although no leaflet was issued and only the meagerest form of advertisement appeared less than two days before the meeting due to the difficult conditions that exist about 300 workers packed literally every inch of sitting and standing accommodation; workers stood outside in the hallway to listen while many had to be turned away, so great was the attraction and interest of the workers in the German situation.

A real international spirit pervaded the meeting despite the silly interruptions from a small number of Y.C.L.ers who insisted on making a public exhibition of their political bankruptcy. Most of the Y.C.L.ers responded sympathetically to our viewpoint by listening attentively to the speakers and after the meeting purchased the Militant and fraternized with our comrades.

Comrades J. MacDonald and M. Spector were the principal speakers. Comrade MacDonald gave the workers an opportunity to compare the position taken by the Comintern in the German revolution when Lenin was alive with the position of the present International under the Stalin leadership. Comrade Spector traced the German events and the revolutionary possibilities which had opened up after the collapse of the monarchy to the present day.

Both speakers pointed out the significance of the present German events for the world revolutionary movement and for the Soviet Union. Although Fascism is in power it has not consolidated its position yet; the German proletariat is not yet defeated and the adoption by the Comintern and its German section of the Leninist united front tactics will smash Fascism to smithereens. Rounds of applause greeted the remarks of the speakers. A resolution was then presented from the meeting demanding the repeal of Section 98 and the unconditional release of the eight Communist leaders and all other political prisoners. At this point the aforementioned small group began making interjections. Amidst the applause of the crowd the chairman announced all those in favor of the resolution stand up and the whole audience stood up on their feet.

The question period further exposed the shameful political education of the new Y.C.L. cadres. Every question under the sun except those that dealt with the most significant events in the International today was asked by this “group.” When comrade Spector, in replying to the questions, asked why Stalin is silent on the German situation, the Stalinist “spokesman” replied amidst protest and laughter that “he (Stalin) was too busy building socialism in Russia”.

In the discussion only one YCLer took the floor to reiterate the old demagogy of the Stalinists. In the course of his ten minute speech he mentioned that the Left Opposition was afraid to give them the opportunity to reply to our arguments. The comrades of the Spartacus Youth Club immediately challenged the Y.C.L. “spokesman” to a public debate. This he promptly declined with the worn-out excuse that the question of “Trotskyism” had been liquidated and Y.C.L. was not a discussion circle. The fact of the matter is that at this very moment, under pressure of the Left Opposition, the question of “Trotskyism” has been re-opened in all the Stalinist groups throughout greater Toronto.

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Last updated: 17 April 2015