Canada: Worker resistance must be armed with a socialist strategy
22 July 2009
Canada’s corporate elite has launched an assault against the living standards of the working class of unprecedented ferocity and hypocrisy.
The bankers, captains of industry and investment house moguls and their servants in the establishment political parties are demanding that working people—cleaners, autoworkers, miners, garbage collectors and clerks as well as all those families dependent on basic social services—bear the full brunt of the greatest crisis of the capitalist system since the Great Depression.
Job cuts, contract concessions, and government cutbacks are exacting a harsh and ever-widening toll on workers in all parts of the country.
Since last October, more than 450,000 jobs have been eliminated as companies seek to protect the bottom line by destroying workers’ livelihoods.
Retired workers now worry that their corporate pensions may be wiped out—a prospect that caused Ontario’s government to rush …
For the first time in generations, people are challenging the view that a free-market order – the system that dominates the globe today – is the destiny of all nations. The free market's uncanny ability to enrich the elite, coupled with its inability to soften the sharp experiences of staggering poverty, has pushed inequality to the breaking point.
As a result, we live at an important historical juncture – one where alternatives to the world's neoliberal capitalism could emerge. Thus, it is a particularly apt time to examine revolutionary movements that have periodically challenged dominant state and imperial power structures over the past 500 years.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which laid the foundation for liberal democratic elections and the expansion of the free-market system throughout the world, revolut…
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 31 (acn) While the Honduran army and police's repression of peaceful demonstrations against the coup gets harsher, constitutional president Manuel Zelaya is preparing in Managua a campaign to return to his post.
Cuban News Agency Zelaya announced that a popular pacific army made up of his supporters is being organized to try to revert the coup d’état that ousted him from his position one month ago, reported Granma newspaper.
In Ocotal, Nicaragua, President Zelaya said there is a group of Honduran soldiers and officers who are not happy with the military coup.
During a meeting with hundreds of supporters, Zelaya revealed that he has reports of the existence of army sectors in Honduras that reject the way in which the military leaders have led the armed forces into a sacrifice.
Meanwhile, in Tegucigalpa, for the sixth consecutive day the Venezuelan embassy continues to be protected by members of the National Resistance Front against the Coup d'état.
Much has been made of the so-called “civilian surge” that’s supposed to accompany the military escalation in Afghanistan, but it comes with an ugly caveat: a civilian surge means an escalation in the presence of private military contractors like Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, acting as guards and bodyguards.
Nancy Youssef’s McClatchy article last week details how the security firms are clamping down around civilian life in Kabul and beyond, driving resentment (emphasis mine).
Huge intimidating convoys of armored SUVs now are common sights in the city’s growing traffic jams. …Nearly every day, there’s some incident involving security teams pointing guns out of windows at frightened commuters.
“I have not faced an incident myself, but in front of me I saw foreigners shoot and kill two people in a small bus. We feel like we are condemned in our own country. They came from thousands of miles away, and my car can’t go in front of them. We are not happy about this situation,” said Mohammad …
Far from embodying any dramatic changes, President Obama's foreign policy has thus far tended toward continuity or worse in most major areas. The administration has escalated the US wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan against the advice of knowledgeable observers of the region and against the wishes of the vast majority of the Afghan and Pakistani populations. Despite bowing to overwhelming Iraqi pressure by agreeing to withdraw at least some US forces from Iraq, Obama has pushed hard for continued war funding and has sought to consolidate US control over Iraq "without being seen to do so," as publicly conceded by one high-level official. With regard to Palestine, Obama has refused to endorse the decades-old international consensus and the 2002 Arab League peace proposal calling for a two-state solution on the pre-1967 borders. And he has increased total military spending by four percent over Bush-era levels rather than redirecting those funds to meet human needs . As wi…
(The following article is from the April 16-30, 2009, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading communist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $25/year, or $12 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $25 US per year; other overseas readers - $25 US or $35 CDN per year. Send to: People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 133 Herkimer St., Unit 502, Hamilton, ON, L8P 2H3.)
Excerpts from a statement by the Canadian Peace Congress on April 4, the 60th anniversary of the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Since its inception, NATO has been an aggressive military alliance whose purpose is to be the self‑appointed enforcement officer for the strategic and economic interests of Western capitalist states. The alliance started out as an anti‑Soviet institution of the Cold War, taking in countries in North America and Europe and dominated by the military‑industrial complex of the United States. The end of the…
ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE : Le Front de gauche, et après ? By Sébastien Crépel
Marie-George Buffet has announced initiatives to continue the front beyond the European elections and open it up to citizens and interested groups with a view to making it a majority force. Is the Left Front an electoral coup without a future? Marie-George Buffet gave the lie to sceptics very clearly yesterday by announcing a series of steps to be taken to ‘continue and build the Left Front making it more popular, open to more citizens and more progressive groups’. The election result, considered ‘satisfactory for a new and growing initiative’ is thanks to the militant mobilisation in which the communists played a ‘key role’ (6.47% nationally and 5 MEPs) and encourages a ‘pursuit of the united movement’ beyond the European elections, she said. ‘It’s the only way’ insists the communist leader ‘to create the conditions for a popular majority movement’ of a progressive Left. A popular majority movement What needs to …
Actualidad and Comunicados and Comité Central COMUNICADO COMISIÓN ANTIIMPERIALISTA DEL CC DEL PCPE: EL GOLPE MILITAR FASCISTA EN HONDURAS Y LA AGRESION IMPERIALISTA CONTRA LOS PROCESOS DEMOCRATICOS EN AMERICA LATINA 28 July 2009
El pueblo hondureño resiste frente al golpe de estado en Honduras, consciente del momento histórico se enfrenta a los militares golpistas en las calles, en las universidades, en los centros de trabajo.
Siguen produciéndose detenciones ilegales, asesinatos, militarización de instituciones públicas, los escuadrones de la muerte han rescatado a sus antiguos dirigentes con experiencia en la práctica de desapariciones y torturas, algunos incluso han sido elevados a la categoría de asesor político de los golpistas, como es el caso del torturador Billy Joyer, sicario de los 80 e integrante del escuadrón de la muerte 3-16.
A pesar de que el gobierno estadounidense se ha empleado en ganar tiempo a favor de los golpistas, el pueblo hondureño no se rinde.
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 24 (acn) US graduates in Cuba Pragveleen Valcourt and Sarpoma Sefa-Boakye thanked this Friday Fidel Castro and the Cuban people for the opportunity they were given in Cuba to study medicine and become doctors.
Both youngsters participated this Friday in a meeting held at the Friendship House with the 20th USA-Cuba Pastors for Peace Friendship Caravan, which collected over 115 tons of humanitarian aid for Cuba in an open defiance to the US blockade laws against the Caribbean nation.
With tears in her eyes, Valcourt, an African-American woman from New York, told ACN news agency that this day she is receiving her diploma of Medical Doctor, after seven years of studies, which has allowed her to fulfill a dear wish, impossible to achieve in her country due to her humble origin.
In these years here I have learnt a lot from the Cuban people and its capacity to resist the cruel blockade, she explained and went on to stress that she will return to her New York community of Hamps…
Steffi Baca of Kalispell was one of hundreds of Montana constituents who rallied outside the district offices of Democratic Sen. Max Baucus July 24 to demand that he include a strong public option in the health care reform bill his committee is drafting.
Baca, a recently retired public school teacher, told the World she and several others went to Baucus’ Kalispell office to protest his failure to include the Medicare-like public option in legislation before his Senate Finance Committee. Baca said a Baucus aide asked them to write out in longhand their views on what should be in the health care reform package. They wrote those messages on the spot.
Baca, herself, is a living testament to the need for a public plan. “I worked three years with heart failure and two years after I was diagnosed with cancer,” she told the World in a phone interview from her home. “I shouldn’t have been working but I couldn’t retire until I was covered by Medicare…
Our all-out push for real health care reform continues—we can’t afford for Congress to wait any longer.
We need to fix our broken health care system with a reform bill that provides a quality public health insurance option, calls on employers to pay their fair share and doesn’t ask workers to pay more for what they already have.
This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. The time is now, and we need a few minutes of your time today to make sure Congress acts now. Call on your representative to support real health care reform today.
Call your representative toll free today: 1-877-702-0976
Across the country as a part of a nationwide call-in day, tens of thousands of activists like you are calling their representatives demanding real health care reform with the following three conditions:
-A quality public health insurance option. -Requirements that all employers pay their fair share. -No taxation of workers’ benefits.
The conventional wisdom in the North Atlantic community nowadays is that the Cold War confrontation between the US and USSR was a disaster for an Africa that was squeezed by both sides. Actually, as this informative memoir cum history suggests, the reality was that – for example in apartheid South Africa – Washington was supportive of the white minority regime, while Moscow backed those fighting this illegal government.
The author is uniquely situated to tell this story, as he now serves as Deputy Director of Russia’s Institute for African Studies and once served as Moscow’s chief liaison in the region. He recounts events over a three decade long period – 1960-1990 – with grace and detail. Not only does he provide a useful perspective on the largely successful effort to dismantle apartheid but, as well, provides an enlightening viewpoint of tumultuous events that enveloped Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola. Washington was enraged since Mo…
Colombia’s sovereignty will be blatantly violated by the United States very soon. This will officially take place when the militarization process, which is euphemistically called “cooperation agreements”, allowing US troops to use Colombian bases, is signed. However, things have changed and this time the US has not invaded – or “liberated,” as it has been known since 2003 - Colombia. This agreement was conducted with explicit approval and self-interest of the national government.
The Colombian ruling class and their supporters have readily embraced this cooperation agreement that would give Carte Blanche with total immunity (or impunity) to US troops and civilian contractors for the utilization of three Colombian bases - the government had actually offered five - for an initial period of ten years. Other incentives may include exemption from environmental laws, paying for environmental damages, and clean up exercises, things that Okinawa (Japan) knows too well.