Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
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December 28, 2015

Anti-Communist Monument Used to Promote Self-Serving Definition of Human Rights, Pauline Easton TMLW

Written by Pauline Easton in The Marxist-Leninist Weekly

After much hoopla about "deliberation," the Trudeau government on December 17 announced its official decision on Harper's abominable monument to the so-called 100 million victims of communism.[1] This "deliberation" did not include involving the Canadian people in any discussion as to the actual aim and content of the memorial or even the process to be followed. 

On the contrary, Liberal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly merely announced that the monument will be built at the Garden of the Provinces and Territories on the south side of Wellington Street. This is the location originally decided by the National Capital Commission (NCC).[2] The Liberal government will hold a new design competition for a smaller monument, Joly said. The federal budget for the project has been cut to $1.5 million, which will be matched by private donations, for a total budget of $3 million, she said.[3]

Thus, without being forthright about their own aim, the Liberals have decided to make the memorial smaller and less expensive and to place it in a different location. By implication, opposition to the monument merely concerned its proposed size and location, not its fundamental nature and the outlook it represents. Why the monument should be built at all and why the federal government should pay anything at all Minister Joly did not say. The question remains however, why the Liberals are taking up Harper's despicable campaign to make communism a main concern of Canadians? The only explanation is that they seek to use the monument to promote the virulently anti-communist definition of rights created by the Anglo-American secret services during the Cold War.

Notably, Justin Trudeau and numerous other Liberals such as former MP Irwin Cotler and former federal party leader Bob Rae supported the memorial project from the get-go. This is because in essence, the Liberals' ideology and definition of rights, like that of the Harperites, is also rooted in Cold War anti-communism and the neo-liberal values of the Paris Charter taken up by the Anglo-American imperialists after the end of the bipolar division of the world. These values serve their purpose of imposing the neo-liberal anti-social offensive onto the working people and continuing to restructure the state in the service of private monopoly interests. Progressive humanity has established a modern definition of rights, whereby rights belong to people by virtue of their being. The Cold War definition of rights brought forward by the Paris Charter after the bi-polar division of the world came to an end constitutes a direct attack on this modern definition of rights and the attempts to open society's path to progress. This must not pass!

Earlier this year, TML Weekly pointed out the danger posed by the memorial project: "...the government has run rough-shod over established Canadian institutions to give pride of place to a monument which imposes a private extremist view of the world and makes this official policy. All of this is done in a manner that offends the many sectors of society which do not share its world view or interpretation of history. This is not governance. It is extremism. No society can survive on the basis of being taken over by extremist views and practices. This is a matter of profound concern."[4]

Not only is the monument a matter of concern for all Canadians because it is based on a self-serving Cold War definition of rights, but also because it turns history on its head and is an attack on everything Canadians and the peoples of the world sacrificed so much to achieve in the Second World War -- freedom, democracy and peace -- with the Soviet Union making the greatest sacrifice.

What is the purpose of attempts to recognize Nazis from Ukraine and the Baltic states and various eastern European countries as "freedom fighters" who were "victims of communism"? It is claimed they were not truly Nazis because their alleged aim was to liberate their countries from communist oppression. Who will be targeted today on the basis of attempts to promote a self-serving Cold War definition of rights? Is it not used to undermine the people's striving for progress and the realization of rights which belong to them by virtue of being human?

The sacred causes Canadians fought for when they defeated Nazi-fascism are present today in their striving for empowerment and for a society which recognizes the rights of all, in opposition to systems of privileges for those who espouse values based on the private interests of the monopolies which strive to be number one on world markets.

The working people must make sure attempts to impose retrogression are stopped!

No to the Anti-Communist Monument! No to Anti-Communist Definitions of Human Rights! Our Future Lies in the Defence of the Rights of All!


1. The so-called victims of communism are in fact the Nazis and their collaborators. Attempts are being made to revive these Nazis in various countries to again criminalize the struggles of the working people and discriminate against minorities and those deemed "undesirables" by the ruling circles. The monument is based on the U.S. "Victims of Communism Memorial," dedicated in 2007, which has as its honourary chairman George W. Bush. It is backed by U.S. monopolies such as war contractor Lockheed Martin.
2. Following the intervention of Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney, the original location was replaced with a massive 5,000 square metre location next to the Supreme Court, in contradiction with long-established plans of the NCC.
3. This monument was said to be a private initiative which after almost seven years has not been able to cover even its own expenses. Its initial cost was estimated at $1.5 million, of which the organization that proposed the monument, Tribute to Liberty, was supposed to raise two-thirds the cost. At no time has it come close to meeting this threshold, while the estimated costs continued to escalate, up to $5.5 million. The Harper government had promised $3 million in federal funds, while the value of the land it wanted to hand over was estimated to be worth $30 million.

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