On Friday, January 27, Memphis, Tennessee city officials released over an hour of video showing the murder of Tyre Nichols, a black resident beaten to death by police. Recorded earlier by three body cameras and one stationary surveillance camera, the videos were made available to family members, lawyers, and various public officials, who universally described the contents as disturbing and inhumane.
As the city’s Budget Committee wrapped up for the year, hundreds of demonstrators, including Socialist Action Canada and members of the Municipal Socialist Alliance, rallied outside of Toronto City Hall, demanding that the Toronto city council divest from the Toronto police budget and invest in Toronto communities. Socialist Action member Sean Ihn spoke at the rally, representing Students Mobilizing Against Systemic Hardship at U of T (SMASH U of T)
Canada’s 100 highest-paid corporate executives made an average of $14.3 million in 2021, exceeding the previous record of $11.8 million set three years earlier. By January 3, the average CEO on that list made $58,800, the amount an average Canadian worker earns in an entire year, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Danny Drew is a non-binary activist running to be mayor of Guelph. Born and raised in Oshawa, they moved to attend the University of Guelph in 2009, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Danny worked in a wide range of jobs, always encouraging co-workers to exercise their rights and push for unionization. Currently seeking to win rights for thousands of workers via reclassification, they’ve supported many striking workers on picket lines.
Palestine Land Day was marked in Toronto by a rally at Land Back (Yonge-Dundas) Square on April 2, 2022. About eighty participants chanted in English and Arabic, and applauded speakers who demanded an end to Zionist apartheid and the occupation of Indigenous lands, from Turtle Island to Palestine. At the end of the 90 minute gathering a Socialist Action spokesperson addressed the crowd, calling for an end to Canadian state and big business complicity with Zionism. SA's predecessor organizations opposed the creation of the colonial settler state by the United Nations (pushed by the USA, Britain, France, Canada and the USSR) in 1948. SA supports the struggle for a Single Democratic, Secular state. "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!"
In this bonus episode of The Red Review, brought to you by Socialist Action, Daniel talks with comrade Yvonne from Vancouver about what happened on the streets when the anti-mandate convoy came to town. This episode includes audio recordings from the anti-mandate convoy in Toronto.
Enjoy Socialist Action's wonderful webcast for the 2022 celebration of International Women's Day!
Responding to the call of Toronto Rise-Up, some seventy people, including members of at least four socialist parties, held a rally at the Toronto intersection of Christie and Bloor Streets to “take back (public) space” from far-right organizations. The latter recently led the anti-vax, anti-Covid-mandate, so-called Freedom Convoy that blockaded border crossings and occupied downtown Ottawa for nearly three weeks.
In this episode of The Red Review, brought to you by Socialist Action, Emily and Daniel take you on a deep dive into the anti-mandate convoy? Is this a working-class movement or a eugenecist and reactionary movement led by the petit-bourgoiesie? What fueled the anti-mandate convoy, and what role did mainstream coverage of China's zero-covid strategy play? We end with a discussion about who ought to respond to the convoy — the police or labour?
As state power is reluctantly and belatedly deployed against the far-right’s laughably named Freedom Convoy, it’s time for the political left in Canada to ask itself some very serious questions. How could a gaggle of white supremacists manage to capture the political momentum and undertake “the biggest protest organized by the Canadian far-right since the 1930s”?
As neoliberal governments faced yet another wave of Covid-19 in December 2021, this time fueled by the even-more contagious Omicron variant, politicians and corporate-owned media began laying the ideological groundwork for the scrapping of all public health protections. Despite workers and oppressed people continuing to get sick, developing chronic illnesses, and dying, and the ongoing uncertainty about new variants emerging, the resumption of maximum production and consumption again stands as the only priority. As the exploited classes are primed to acquiesce to an erosion of our right to a safe workplace, media and politicians work overtime to discredit any alternative pandemic response. In this quest, the biggest obstacle remains China’s successful and dynamic Covid-zero strategy.
Expand Public Services. Defer or reduce Taxes and Fees for Small Businesses and Primary Residence Homeowners. Provide Free Wi-Fi for Low Income Neighbourhoods. Tax big business and banks!
While the anti-mandate siege in Ottawa continued, Torontonians learned of a similar convoy set for the weekend of February 5, 2022. We anticipated thousands of people would converge in Toronto to spread a eugenicist message — that saving the lives of the most vulnerable from Covid-19 is not worth any concession of individual liberties. But frustrated and over-stressed healthcare workers decided to take a stand.
December 18 was supposed to be a day for the Toronto far-right. Featuring demagogues Maxime Bernier and Randy Hillier, a conservative students' club organized a "freedom" rally on the X University campus (formerly Ryerson U) to protest public health measures designed to fight Covid-19 and to deny the reality of Indigenous genocide.
Instead, that blustery Saturday afternoon in downtown Toronto belonged to a United Front comprised of revolutionary socialist organizations, local labour unions, anti-hate groups, and more.
The British Columbia New Democratic Party (BC NDP) Convention, held online December 11-12, met against a backdrop of capitalist catastrophes that are more frequent, more severe and cause greater waves of devastation in their wake. The convention of the labour-based party, originally scheduled for November 17-19, was postponed due to the torrential, record-breaking deluge that swept southern BC.
The downpours tore up roads, railway tracks, took out bridges, caused the collapse of buildings and mountainsides, overflowed dykes, flooded the best agricultural land in Canada, destroyed homes, killed tens of thousands of farm animals, and killed countless wild animals. The agricultural destruction is causing continued food shortages in BC.
A heat wave in June set a global record in which parts of BC were hotter than Death Valley.
Socialist Action members in Toronto joined about 150 people who rallied outside the Israeli Consulate at Yonge and Bloor Streets on Saturday, November 27 to demand freedom now for thousands of illegally detained and tortured Palestinian political prisoners, an end to the Occupation of Palestinian land, and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Zionist Apartheid state.
Across the country, on November 19, people took to the streets to express solidarity with Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders, over a dozen of whom were arrested by RCMP outfitted in combat gear. In Toronto, Socialist Action joined hundreds in a march down University Avenue and along Front Street that led to the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada. Speeches, ceremonial songs and dance brought Indigenous cultures, likely for the first time, to the lobby of the giant bank that is heavily invested in the extraction and transmission of fossil fuels.
On November 5, 2021 at 5 p m , members of Tigray community in Toronto rallied outside the office of Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland at 344 Bloor St. W., to demand an end to the funding of the genocide in Ethiopia. In Ottawa a two-day rally drew thousands who demanded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take action to stop the assault on millions in Africa. Members of Socialist Action joined these protests in an effort to raise awareness and bring justice to the people of Tigray.
Companeros, creemos que Estados Unidos es culpable de secuestro. While the US government is guilty of judicial kidnapping in the cases of Venezuelan Alex Saab and Meng Wanzhou, the Canadian government is implicated in the shameful detention of the Chinese company executive, and its promotion of extra-parliamentary regime change in Venezuela.
It's impossible to maintain the capitalist system of exploitation without force. Police violence has escalated across the country, as cop funding is increased. Public pressure has pushed the state to slow down evictions, but they have continued throughout the pandemic by order of the city and province through the Landlord and Tenant Board, and enforced by Toronto Police Services. Tenants’ groups like Acorn, People’s Defense and Parkdale Organize demonstrate that collective action protects vulnerable people from repression. They continue to support and organize communities via food banks, child care and events, while the City of Toronto works to shut them down and enforce the for-profit system.