This statement from the BC Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada is to inform progressive political activists on Vancouver Island and beyond about a relentless and escalating campaign of racist lies, attacks and sabotage against our Party, carried out in recent months by Nanaimo resident Lia Sommer, María Tenayuca, and others formerly associated with our movement.
This campaign falsely accuses a wide range of members of the Communist Party and Young Communist League of engaging in and covering up predatory sexual activities. The huge scope of these accusations targets many of our comrades – young and old, of different sexual orientations and identities, from racialized, European and Indigenous backgrounds.
No movement in capitalist society is immune from oppressive behaviors. Like every other responsible progressive movement, the Communist Party and the YCL regard any form of sexism, racism or harassment within our organizations as completely unacceptable. We have policies, procedures and education in place to address such problems on occasions when they arise, as part of ongoing efforts to ensure that our members can engage in political activity in an atmosphere free from oppressive behaviours. However, it is clear that in this case such accusations, coupled with slander and harassment, are being used as a political tool to discredit our party.
Since last June, we have been the focus of a racist, misogynist, sexist and anti-communist hate campaign which seeks to undermine the Communist Party and YCL, organizations which have always been committed to the struggle for full gender and social equality, and which have been gaining significant numbers of new members in recent years.
The following is a partial list.
– On July 4, these people repeatedly posted attacks in the question box, in an attempt to discredit the well-attended online international webinar organized by YCL members in British Columbia, addressed by comrade Evo Morales, the first Indigenous president in the Americas, which also heard from several Indigenous activists, at least one of whom was contacted and told false accusations in an attempt to stop them from speaking. The exact moment the webinar ended, one of Lia Sommer’s supporters sent a message of intimidation threatening further actions.
– Lia Sommer has sent emails and letters demanding money from the Communist Party.
– A former member of the Nanaimo CPC club, a collaborator of Lia Sommer, has stolen the minutes book belonging to the Nanaimo Club and refuses to return it.
– During the Oct. 24 British Columbia election campaign, posters were pasted up near the homes of two Communist Party of BC candidates in the Victoria region, as well as in other prominent locations. These defamatory posters claimed that the Communists were urging votes for John Horgan and the NDP, including in a riding where one of our candidates was on the ballot. The posters, in addition to other slanderous accusations, made misogynist and racist statements claiming to be from the Communist Party of BC. The office of Elections BC appointed an investigator, since these illegal actions violate the BC Elections Act, which bars the circulation of election campaign materials by unregistered third party groups. Lia Sommer refuses to cooperate or speak to the Elections BC investigator about this illegal campaign of defamatory actions and stalking of our comrades.
– On several occasions beginning in early 2020, María Tenayuca made openly racist and sexist comments against Francophone and Indigenous members of the Communist Party and the YCL, as well as racist accusations against Black revolutionary movements in the United States.
– Despite their ongoing allegations of predatory activity by Communist Party and YCL members, these people have absolutely refused to respond to requests to specify any such activity by any individual.
As a result, we have decided to bring public attention to this hateful vendetta against the Communist Party and YCL, a campaign which includes racist and misogynist bullying, stalking of our members, social media harassment, demands for money, publication of racist and anti-communist posters, and the shocking attempt to sabotage the Evo Morales webinar.
These activities have created an unsafe and even dangerous environment for many young people, women, trans folks, and Indigenous and racialized people. Clearly these acts should be condemned by activists across Vancouver Island. We demand that the perpetrators should receive comprehensive anti-oppression training before being allowed to participate in any activities organized by progressive movements.
For more information, please contact the Communist Party’s BC provincial office, at 604-255-2041.
BC PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Communist Party of Canada
706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC
Traditional, Ancestral and Unceded Territories of the Coast Salish Peoples