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Round Table Post

Dec 3, 2013
Camfield: Movement Building and Education

David Camfield lives in Winnipeg, and is one of the editors of New Socialist Webzine.
Beyond Stop Harper
Let’s start with an honest recognition that, overall, the forces committed to opposing neoliberalism, halting ecological destruction, and ending colonialism are weak and fragmented. 
I agree with Sam Gindin that “the collective challenge is how to build the kind of movement that can expand our options in the future,” though I’d say movements. But in order to forge “deeper connections across our fragmented movements” we need movements! In most places what we have isn’t movements but -- at best -- small groups of organizers who aspire to build movements.
The best hope for strengthening the forces that want to do much more than put the NDP in office lies in grassroots organizing in workplaces, in communities, and on campuses that aims to plant the seeds of future mass movements. 
Developments in Quebec since 2001 (and elsewhere) suggest that new left-wing political organizations are most likely to be built when the experience of powerful movement mobilization has radicalized many people and given them inspiration, commitment, skills, and confidence.
Where that’s missing, as in Canada today, radicals should prioritize movement-building efforts. Political education is also needed (ideas are too important to be left to academia), and we should look for new opportunities to collaborate (Solidarity Halifax is one positive example). 
In Quebec, prospects for new political projects of the radical left are better.


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