When Neo-Nazi propaganda was found on campus and in the Westdale area last week advocating against the conservancy of ‘white’ culture and telling the McMaster community to “punch a Nazi”, I began to question what the group advocating for this message was about.

According to their website, The Revolutionary Student Movement is a group of “definitively anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, LGBTQ2S*-inclusive and proletarian feminist” students who fight fascism.

The students that share the views of the RSM also hold that they are an anti-capitalist movement who are guided by communist principals and in the name of Karl Marx, work to “organize proletarian students in the interest of the revolutionary working-class movement”.

Now that we have established what this group is all about, we can crack down on the posters we have seen on campus.

My first impression when I saw the word “Nazi” used in a seemingly violent, World War II propaganda-like poster was not a positive one. So, I inquired further.

The RSM holds a political view that they would like to express. In and of itself, this is not a crime.

But expressing that violence against those who identify as Neo-Nazi is a violent act in itself.

The RSM, through their unsanctioned posters, are directly advocating for violence and discrimination in their views, something they are seemingly working against in their movement.

The posters in question asked the reader to “punch a Nazi”, as in, “react in a violent manner towards someone with a different political and ideological system than yours”.

Does that sound familiar? Not to mention that the posters themselves were not stamped as authorized by the McMaster Students Union, which diminishes the authority of the approach of the RSM’s view on Neo-Nazism.

Putting up posters on campus is allowed, as long as the posters are approved by the MSU. The MSU Underground Media and Design is the only place on campus that can approve posters.

The RSM, through their unsanctioned posters, are directly advocating for violence and discrimination in their views, something they are seemingly working against in their movement. 

According to the MSU Underground Media and Design Poster Checklist, posters that have any messages or images on the poster involving violence, hate, harassment, a discriminatory opinion or could be offensive/controversial will most likely not be approved.

These posters could be reviewed as offensive to certain sensibilities, but since they did not have an MSU stamp of approval it is difficult to tell.

Seeing as the club did not adhere to MSU promotion and advertising policies, the RSM, like all the other clubs who adhere to MSU policies, should revise their methods of message promotion.

The views and beliefs of the RSM are political views that they  are entitled to have, regardless of whether or not people agree with them.

That is not the issue here. What I am concerned with is the means by which they shared their views on campus.

Had the posters been approved by the MSU and attempting to simply share a view as opposed to seemingly impose it on the McMaster community, their message could have had a lot more merit to it.

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