Spartacist Canada No. 167

Winter 2010/2011


2010 Subscription Drive

SC Welcomes New Readers

Comrades and sympathizers of the Trotskyist League/Ligue trotskyste and Spartacus Youth Clubs concluded a five-week subscription drive in early October, exceeding our quota of 400 points by 23 percent. This represents 220 subscriptions to Spartacist Canada, 107 to Workers Vanguard, biweekly newspaper of the Spartacist League/U.S., and 59 to other publications of the International Communist League. All subscribers also received copies of Spartacist, our international theoretical journal, while subscribers to WV or Le Bolchévik, newspaper of the Ligue Trotskyste de France, also got a free ICL pamphlet. The most popular pamphlets this year were The Development and Extension of Leon Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution and Marxism vs. Anarchism, especially the French-language version which we distributed in Montreal.

Our annual subscription drive gives us a picture of current political consciousness and moods, from campuses to workplaces and union halls. This year’s drive took place in the context of the continuing capitalist economic crisis, the worst since the Great Depression. Our most successful sales to trade unionists came at the Toronto and Hamilton Labour Day marches, where comrades sold 23 subscriptions and 224 papers and pamphlets.

Comrades in Vancouver who set up literature tables at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University reported that many subscriptions were sold to newer students with little knowledge of Marxism. Our articles on the Near East, South Africa and India received a lot of interest, while our placard calling for free abortion on demand was very polarizing. Comrades made regional trips to other B.C. campuses and helped SL/U.S. supporters with work in Washington state. The trip to Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University was particularly fruitful, as comrades made the quota in the first three hours.

The Toronto SYC netted an impressive 105 points at the University of Toronto. At the annual U of T clubs fair, the SYC protested the presence of the campus cops’ booth, which the student bureaucrats provocatively placed next to the “political” (i.e., leftist) tables. Following the massive state repression around the G20 summit earlier in the year, which included roundups of activists at U of T, our placard calling for “Cops Off Campus” set us apart sharply from the various pseudo-socialist groups at the fair—notably the Fightback group, which claims that police are “workers in uniform.” Our comrades made impromptu speeches against the cop presence, polemicizing as well against the NDP social democrats (whose stall was also nearby) and the fake-socialist groups who support them. Against illusions in parliamentary reformism, we fight to win workers and youth to Marx’s understanding of the need to sweep away the rule of the capitalist exploiters through socialist revolution.

Toronto comrades also set up tables at York and Ryerson universities and organized a regional trip to Peterborough and Ottawa, selling 43 subscriptions. Our placard defending the Chinese bureaucratically deformed workers state against imperialism and counterrevolution drew attention at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, where we sold several Chinese translations of ICL material. The Montreal regional, carried out with comrades from the SL/U.S., centred on work at the francophone universities, where we sold 37 subscriptions to Le Bolchévik. Comrades also distributed a French-language version of our recent polemic, “Québec Solidaire: No Choice for Workers” (SC No. 165, Summer 2010).

Congratulations to all comrades for their hard work in making this campaign a success, and especially to comrade Jon in Toronto who sold the most subscriptions (61.5 points). We welcome new readers and those who renewed their subscriptions, and encourage you to let us know what you think of our press and to get involved in the activities of the TL/LT and SYCs.