In the wee hours of Thursday morning July 1, 2010, a bomb blasted a Canadian Forces recruitment center in Trois-Rivières. The attack, claimed by an obscure group calling themselves Résistance Internationaliste, followed two others perpetrated in the same manner over a period of six years, the first on a Hydro Quebec pylon in 2004; the second in 2006 blew up the car of a petroleum industry spokesman.
There are indeed few groups in Canada claiming proletarian internationalism, and even fewer carrying the “internationalist” epithet, from orthodox Marxism, as part of their name. As international communists we are therefore part of the second group – it’s a no-brainer.
And so, on July 9th, the International Communists (Montreal), alias Klasbatalo, got a visit from two agents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) – Canada’s version of the American CIA. The two men came specially to see one of our members to elicit information concerning the attacks carried out by Résistance Internationaliste.
How to behave under these circumstances
After combing through the files of the Tsarist secret police (the Okhrana) following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Victor Serge published his little volume, “What every revolutionary should know about repression”. The book was intended as a general assessment of the methods employed by police to tail, detain, put on file, interrogate, and intimidate, any revolutionary militant deemed a potential threat to the established order “for the defense of capitalism everywhere uses the same tools; and moreover all police forces work together and are similar to each other.” (V. Serge). And so he put at the disposal of revolutionaries a guide to countering police tactics.
Our comrade managed to act with due caution in this situation: don’t open any doors to them, don’t get drawn into conversation, and feign the most crass ignorance. The two CSIS agents wanted both information on the terrorist group Résistance Internationaliste, and co-operation from our comrade in the identification of "violent and non-violent groups". What, a housecleaning for Canadian leftism?
Our comrade therefore didn’t invite them in, leaving them standing in the doorway (an important psychological barrier). To let them in is to open the door to discussion and to risk putting a foot in your mouth. Keep in mind that investigators from this sort of police agency are better trained than most revolutionaries at subtly leading a conversation. So after simply asking if they had a file on him, he told them quite plainly that he had nothing to say, and shut the door in their faces.
Even if it’s a group worthy of denunciation, with which he has nothing in common, a downright enemy (a group from the extreme right, for instance), a revolutionary militant should not collaborate with the police. It’s more than a question of principle, but his personal security that’s at stake – for anything he might say is subject to interpretation and could be quickly turned against him. The golden rule here is always silence.
Moreover as recently as during the G20 protests, several young militants were victims of police intimidation. When in the hands of police, it is important for a militant to realize that one of their methods is to threaten rape, physical abuse, and murder (sic)! Quite probably some of your personal possessions will be confiscated, ending up in some detective’s bookcase never to be seen again! The golden rule remains the same in these circumstances: if you are permitted, contact your lawyer immediately and say nothing. As little interaction possible – as little expression possible – facing the police squarely will likely get you out of there faster than the militant who babbles, cries and seems frightened.
Every militant has to be ready for this sort of thing and know how to behave under such circumstances, for the revolutionary path is no game, it’s a long-term commitment of which one should be conscious.
Concerning Resistance Internationaliste and terrorism in general
First, let’s put things into perspective: internationalism is a proper designation of the revolutionary worker’s movement descending from Marxism. Internationalism is one of the cornerstones of Marxist theory that rests essentially on class unity and solidarity without borders… Against the national and corporate divisions that entangle the proletariat. Also, faced with bourgeois conceptions of the State and of the Nation, he counterposes his international class party and its internationalist program whose objective is revolution. Against national wars, he advocates revolutionary defeatism and class war.
Secondly, note straight away that orthodox Marxism has always rejected terrorism and political intrigue, which have absolutely nothing to do with revolutionary defeatism and class war. Whatever the propaganda by revolutionary unionists of the 19th century, anarchistic banditry, or the Bakunian manipulations within the First International, for Marxists, and thus the internationalists, the revolution is not an affair of a handful of individuals with cryptic methods who as a consequence take revolutionary license in the name of the class, through an adventurism rife with intrigue and political maneuvering. It is the affair of a majority class guided by the watchwords of its revolutionary party. The internationalists, a group of individuals belonging to the proletariat whose class-consciousness is more advanced, reject ipso facto the methods of terrorist action.
So, Résistance Internationaliste, who are internationalists in name only, use methods alien to the proletariat. Terrorism is, and will always be, an expression of the bourgeoisie(Note). The terrorist hijacks as many fractions of the bourgeoisie who oppose it than the proletariat in its entirety. Its weapon is always terror, no matter the victims left behind, leaving all classes confused.
Incidently, Résistance Internationaliste uses two mutually opposing terms: resistance and internationalist. Resistance is not an act of the revolutionary proletariat, which in fact, has no interest in keeping the system in place. They have never resisted since they’ve never had a clue about communism (this system historically never having seen the light of day). Also, what communist regime would it have to defend in opposing its so-called resistance to the capitalist order? Nada.
Moreover, resistance and terrorism have always made good bedfellows within bourgeois fractions and the déclassé, who seek to preserve their assets, their property, wealth, and their capital. It is a weapon of imperialist rivalry. The attacks of Résistance Internationaliste do nothing in advancing proletarian class-consciousness toward a revolutionary outcome. To the contrary! It sows programmatic confusion in our class; it sows fear. And it threatens our lives by dubious acts.
Résistance Internationaliste simply plays the game of the police and of state repression. Terrorist acts lead only to a dead end.
Proletarian comrades, build your class party internationalist!
International Communists, Montreal.
Note: On state terrorism, read the excellent article from the Internal Fraction Communist Current International (August 2005) Terrorism, anti-terrorism : Weapon of the bourgeoisie in its Path towards War, especially the part Terrorism, a War Weapon of the Bourgeoisie.