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Toronto L.O. Branch Scores New Gains

(September 1933)

League Activities, The Militant, Vol. VI No. 41, 2 September 1933, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

An open-air mass meeting of the International Left Opposition of Toronto took place Friday, August 18 in Earlscourt Park before an interested crowd of about 1,500 workers. The meeting was organized, as the chairman comrade Chris Dorrow announced, in the interests of the fight of the workers for free speech and assembly.

The first speaker was comrade M. Spector who pointed out that the reasons for the growing repressions in Canada and throughout the world was because capitalism was decaying and its further existence was possible only through the introduction of Fascism, the restriction of the workers rights and the forcing down of the workers living standards. The capitalists were now only way out for the workers into a new imperialist war and the only way out for the workers was through organization for the Socialist revolution. He further pointed out what was behind the present Swastika movement in Toronto and finally the fallacy of the Commonwealth Co-operative Federation as a party to free the workers from capitalism.

The Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky in 1917 showed the workers the way to emancipate themselves and the International Left Opposition holds to this same program. The speaker concluded with the demand for the repeal of section 98 and the freeing of all class war prisoners. Comrade T. Mill added a few words and the meeting was thrown open for questions and discussion.

A Reformist Has His Day

As Buckley of the Toronto Trades and Labor Council and one of the leading spokesmen of the C.C.F. was invited to take the platform. Buckley spoke for fifteen minutes in which he attempted to justify the C.C.F. and explain why the class struggle in Canada could be resolved through the use of parliamentary methods only. Buckley was against all dictatorships whether it be socialistic or capitalistic.

Comrade Spector when he took the platform to reply asked the assembled workers whether they would rather be under a dictatorship of the workers over the capitalist or a dictatorship of the capitalists over the workers because there was no in-between. The workers dictatorship would in the end do away with all dictatorship and class repression, the capitalist dictatorship must today in its present period of decline, increase the repression and sufferings of the workers in order to maintain its class rule.

In a masterful way, comrade Spector tore all of Buckley’s arguments to shreds and tatters and exposed the C.C.F. as a party to save capitalism despite all its “socialistic” phrases.

The meeting was a huge success and a decided gain for Communism and the Left Opposition.

Successful Meeting

On August 23, another big open-air mass meeting was held in Earlscourt Park, with comrades J. MacDonald and M. Spector as the principle speakers, and comrade Chris. Morrow as chairman.

Comrade J. MacDonald dwelt on the capitalist crisis, the bankruptcy of the old political parties and the present belated attempt of reformism, which has shown its bankruptcy and worthlessness on a world scale to resurrect itself anew in Canada, by exploiting the radical trend to the Left of the Canadian workers, farmers and sections of the city petty-bourgeois. He warned the workers that the C.C.F. will only be able to repeat the failure of reformism in Europe.

When comrade Spector took the platform the C.C.F. supporters made a futile attempt to disrupt the meeting, which met the significant resistance of the workers The speaker was able to handle the situation quite easily and continued with more fire his short talk, which was a reply to several questions asked of him by C.C.F. supporters.

This meeting like the previous one was very successful. The criticism of reformism in this C.C.F. stronghold was very sympathetically received by a big section of the assembled workers and definite progress could be noted in winning these workers to Communism.

We Are Active in Strikes

The Left Opposition of Toronto is able to record progress in the economic as well as the political sphere of the class struggle. In the strike of the Hallan and Sable fur dyers, members and sympathizers of the Left Opposition assisted in the organization of the strike and actively participated in the picket demonstrations. Likewise we have given assistance to the strike of the Durable Leather Goods and Cloak workers. Our members have been invited to attend the strike meetings and have daily appeared on the picket lines. Comrade MacDonald has addressed meetings of the railroad workers and valuable contacts exists in the Boot and Shoe Trade.

Bureaucratic Expulsion Rebuked

A short time ago the Stalinists organized a “united front” on the election issue. The presence of delegates from the Left Opposition, Unser Kamf and Spartacus Clubs was the cause of the Stalinist bureaucrats bringing in a motion for our exclusion on the same grounds that the Right wing bureaucrats demand the expulsion of Left wins organizations from their conferences.

Several years ago when we were excluded from a Stalinist packed election conference we had only 3 votes registered against the motion. This year over 30 delegates voted against the Stalinist split policy and bureaucratic ultimatism. Amongst those who voted and spoke against the motion were the Workers Ex-Servicemen’s League, who voted in a bloc. This organization is the most militant of the Left wing on the English field. The delegation of the Furriers Union representing 800 workers also appealed to the delegates to reject the introduction of the Amalgamated methods in a Left wing conference. A leaflet on this question was issued in English and Jewish languages, and for the first time in Toronto, protest against Stalinist opportunism and bureaucracy is being heard amongst the Ukrainian Left wing masses.

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