Political censorship in the name of #MeToo
Oppose union’s banning of Fightback from Toronto university strike picketline
the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Canada)
16 April 2018
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) unequivocally condemns the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ (CUPE) banning of the Fightback group from the picket lines of the ongoing strike by York University contract faculty and graduate assistants.
The ban, engineered by a cabal of union bureaucrats, is a flagrant attack on democratic rights. It underscores the reactionary character of the trade union bureaucracy and of the #MeToo campaign, which is being used to legitimize a frontal assault on basic democratic juridical principles and, in this case, to explicitly silence political debate.
The IYSSE and Socialist Equality Party have long-standing, well-documented, and unbridgeable political differences with Fightback, the Canadian section of the pseudo-left International Marxist Tendency. But this does not lessen our determination to uphold the basic democratic rights of political tendencies to present their programs and policies to workers and young people, especially under conditions in which they are engaged in a bitter struggle against the combined forces of university management and the provincial Liberal government.
CUPE Local 3903 Chair Devin Lefebvre announced the ban on Fightback in a terse March 29 letter. The “immediate ban of Socialist Fightback from CUPE 3903’s picket lines and spaces” was justified by Lefebvre as a response to “the pattern of sexual violence, and most shockingly, harassment of survivors’ attempts to speak up, that your organization has displayed in the recent past.” Lefebvre cited a vote in favour of…