Introducing UpRIsing Vol. 3: Together, or Not at All: Indigenous Liberation & the Struggle for Communism

Where to Now?

From Resistance to Revolutionary Struggle

In the last issue of Uprising (Vol. 2: 2012), we focused on the question of building ‘dual power’ in large urban capitalist centers. This is the process of building a popular counter-power in opposition to that of the Canadian state and its institutions.  The ultimate task of such a power would be the liberation of all those oppressed and exploited  by the Canadian state and the big capitalists that control it, replacing this ruling class with the rule of the peoples organizations and its revolutionary leadership.  In this issue, Comrade Stella B.’s article ‘The Institutions and Elements of Working Class Power’ carries forward the discussion on dual power from the last issue.

Uprising Vol. 2 was published in the wake of the historic Quebec student strike that demonstrated the power of building popular institutions outside of ‘official’ bureaucratized structures that hold the people back, displaying to the world some of the basic elements of popular power.

Then, shortly after the publication of Uprising Vol. 2 came the rise of ‘Idle No More’, which spread like wildfire throughout Canada and captured the imagination of people all across the world.  From early December 2012 until the end of January 2013, the movement organized countless actions, round dances, protests, marches, and a number of country-wide days of action. Even if Idle No More could not achieve its formal objectives – such as having Bill C-45 repealed – its attempt to do so by ‘peaceful means’ has left an impression upon wide masses of people.  Idle No More and Indigenous people’s struggles have unquestionably secured  the moral high-ground against the Canadian state, from which more militant tactics can be applied to advance the struggle. In their March 19, 2013 joint statement, Idle No More and Defenders of the Land have called for the next phase of the struggle – ‘Solidarity Spring and Sovereignty Summer’ – to include non-violent direct actions.

This call for a tactical escalation still remains framed by calls to “deepen democracy in Canada” and rebuild the “nation-to-nation relationship that is the foundation of this country.”  However, it is the very “foundation of this country” that is the problem.  Capitalism requires colonialism in this country.  Any attempt to do away with colonialism must of necessity do away with the economic system that requires colonialism.

Indigenous peoples’ struggles in Canada today contain elements of dual power in the making.  This is a latent dual power that resides at the core of Canadian society, a dual power that has as its basis an anti-colonial consciousness that has been cultivated by centuries of colonialism and genocide.  This is a power that has been gathering its strength for decades, especially since the events at Oka in 1990, and a power that has begun to express itself in new ways with Idle No More.

From Idle No More to the hundreds if not thousands of militants who are ready for war, Indigenous peoples’ struggles are at the forefront of resisting Canadian imperialism and building a counter-power to it.  Non-Indigenous revolutionary communists working to develop dual power in our neighbourhoods, cities, and towns should not only pay close attention to this power, but ask how our liberation struggles are intertwined.

This issue, Uprising Vol.3, hopes to contribute to this debate that Indigenous peoples’ struggles have long ago started.  Specifically, we seek to address some of the main strategic considerations for a joint liberation struggle of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous oppressed and exploited peoples in Canada.  Addressing these points are Comrade Amil K.’s contribution on Indigenous liberation and communism, and a discussion document republished from the Two Row Society for Socialism and Decolonization.

– Central Committee of R.I.

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