Across the country the concern of Canadians with Bill C-51 is reflected in the serious work to organize the April 18 Day of Action. In spite of significant pressure to undermine the opposition to Bill C-51, ordinary people from all walks of life are exercising their social responsibility by recognizing that there is a need to continue and advance the movement according to its own aim. They have come forward to provide these concerns with a form in which they can be expressed.
This responsibility is being taken up from coast to coast on the basis of people’s own resources and initiative, the most important resource being the human factor itself. Everywhere that this work is taken up, people from all walks of life are responding with the enthusiasm and urgency of their convictions that Bill C-51 must be defeated.
There is an aim
In the first place it can be said that the movement has its own aim. In the urgent and immediate sense, it is to defeat Bill C-51 and block the Harper government’s attack on rights and everything the legislation entails. Deprived of the mechanisms to hold governments accountable, the concern of Canadians expresses itself in all manner of resistance to the bill, not least of which is the organizing of demonstrations to say No! and take the opposition to the people.
Recognition of the aim affirms that the parliamentary majority captured by the Harper Conservatives confers no legitimacy to their claim to represent Canadians or to make decisions on their behalf. In setting its sights on the defeat of Bill C-51 the movement upholds the right of the people to participate in making those decisions which affect their lives.
The immediate aim to defeat Bill C-51 rests on the necessity to defend the rights of all and the aim to bring into being a society which provides rights with a guarantee. The resistance to Bill C-51 reveals this necessity and clearly shows the work required to create such a society, in which the provisions contained in Bill C-51 and the way in which they have been forced on the people would be anathema.
A key slogan of the movement, “Our Security Lies in Our Fight for the Rights of All,” precisely expresses that the affirmation of rights is the condition of the people’s security and that this is the road upon which Canadians can open up a bright future for all.
With fidelity to this aim, the movement takes up many tasks including going all out for the defeat of the Harper government and all governments which make their mission to attack the rights of the people and criminalize their political aspirations.
The work to defeat Bill C-51 is non-partisan, which means that it does not belong to this or that political party or group. It belongs to the society and it cannot be taken over by any self-serving or narrow interests. Nor can it give in to the pressure of the Liberal Party to be liquidated or of the NDP to become part of an extra-parliamentary pressure group or reserve of campaign volunteers. The determination of people across the country to continue all forms of resistance to Bill C-51 including protests and the April 18 Day of Action has directly overcome many of these attempts, including from forces which seek to hijack the movement for sectarian aims.
One way in which this pressure to demobilize is carried out is to sow doubt in the minds of the people by suggesting that if demonstrations are not “ as big” as they were previously this signals a defeat and will be portrayed negatively in the monopoly-owned media. Why not go further and say that no public opposition at all should take place because it might not succeed! This sowing of doubt goes hand in hand with suggestions that the people should put their faith in the parliament and its members to protect them from Bill C-51, rather than seizing the initiative themselves and building on whatever other initiatives exist.
In this regard, the movement must be partisan to its own aim alone. This means that it does not bow to such pressures and it must remain true to its aim of defending the rights of all. It is on this basis that the movement can and must make its advances. Its most important aspect is to uphold its non-sectarian spirit by giving space to one and all to join in on the basis of their own slogans and banners, so long as they do not seek to undermine the movement to defeat this bill.
All Out to Make the April 18 Day of Action a Success!
Consolidate Our Organizations on the Basis of Defending the Rights of All!
Defeat Bill C-51! Defeat Harper!
Our Security Lies in Our Fight for the Rights of All!
Source: Renewal Update, April 7, 2015, No. 61