“What a great red year we’ve had!” proclaimed Arash Azizi, a strikingly tall fellow perched on top of a sofa in a Santa Claus—er, Santa Marx—costume at a Friday night house party called Marxmas.
The event, which promised to be “the most communist party you have ever attended,” was put together by Fightback, a Marxist youth and labour journal, ostensibly to celebrate a year of movements and “the tottering Rob Ford regime.” In truth, it was an astoundingly tame gathering of (mostly male) university students drinking beer and chatting.
There were some familiar names among the crowd: event co-host Farshad Azadian, a self-described “grad student and revolutionary,” achieved brief notoriety at U of T when, in 2008, he was one of the “Fight Fees 14” who were arrested and nearly expelled after staging a sit-in at the university’s admin headquarters. (He went on to complete his studies at York.)
Apart from casual discussions of revolution and group cheers during Santa Marx’s speech about the Quebec student protests, Marxmas felt like any other holiday bash. “I remember the Young Liberals once had a joke,” said Azizi. “‘Whatever you think about the Marxists, they really throw a good party.’”