Quebec meeting discusses new book, launches CL campaign

By Steve Penner
February 27, 2023

MONTREAL — Communist League leader Michel Prairie welcomed close to 30 people at a meeting here Feb. 11 to celebrate publication of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward. The new book by SWP leaders Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark “presents a guide for revolutionary action by workers who want to build their unions into instruments of class struggle to fight the effects of the deepening crisis of the world capitalist system,” Prairie said.

He added that the meeting was being held “to celebrate a weekend of internationalist campaigning to put Beverly Bernardo, the Communist League candidate in the March 13 by-election race in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne, on the ballot.” She was introduced at the meeting.

Participants at the meeting and in the petitioning effort came from France, Madagascar, Montreal, Toronto, New Jersey and Albany, New York. Petitioners got 78 signatures over the weekend bringing the total to 100, with 50 more needed to go over the top. They also sold 11 books, including nine copies of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us in English and Spanish, and two introductory subscriptions to the Militant. Volunteers in Quebec and France are working on translating the new book into French. Another copy of the book was sold at an action that day in solidarity with the protests in Iran attended by 1,000 people.

Joanne Kuniansky, SWP candidate for State Senate in New Jersey, spoke at the meeting. “Exacerbated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, rival capitalist powers are preparing their militaries for future conflicts — a march toward fascism and world war,” she said. “That’s clearer today for working people to see.”

In order to fight for a different future for humanity, a socialist future, she said, “We need an independent working-class foreign policy, based on the fact that the workers, farmers and oppressed peoples of the world have common interests — and common enemies in the imperialist rulers and their capitalist allies and rivals.”

She explained that it’s not only in the U.S. and Canada that the retreat of the labor movement is behind us. “The increased confidence and combativity, as well as the anger of working people, is being seen worldwide,” from Ukraine and Iran to China and beyond. “The future of humanity depends on the world’s toilers entering on the road of bigger class battles.”

The new book puts forward the class against class course of action that’s needed to build proletarian parties and an international communist movement able to lead the struggle to end capitalist rule, Kuniansky said.

Diego Contreras Levesque, an 18-year-old Montreal college student, said what he found most interesting about the meeting is that “there are people in the United States who are part of the communist movement. I think that’s very important because the U.S. is the most powerful country in the world and revolutionary change is needed there as well as here.”

Lovatiana Andriamboavonjy, a 29-year-old Montreal university student from Madagascar, added that it’s “enriching to have speakers from other countries who help us to see our common fight to overthrow the capitalist system and to understand that the low point of labor resistance is behind us around the world,” not only in North America.

Before the meeting participants enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Communist League supporters and stayed long after it ended to continue discussing the big political perspectives introduced by the speakers.