All posts by sa-staff

Rally in Toronto against electoral fraud, repression in Honduras – December 6, 2017

About 60 people rattled pots and pans, and rallied at Dundas and Yonge in Toronto to protest the electoral fraud and repression in Honduras. In addition to the Central American Solidarity Network, which sponsored the event, present were a number of people from Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia and other Latin American countries. The political organizations present were Socialist Action and the Communist Party. I spoke for SA. A U of T professor, Tyler Shipley, referred to Canadian capital as the biggest foreign investor in Honduras, following remarks by some members of CASN. Chanting was mainly in Spanish, “Fuera JOH”, referring to the incumbent president. Our slogan was “Down with the Electoral Fraud. Down with the Dictatorship!”  I emphasized demands to put to the Trudeau govt to denounce the fraud, demand an end to the repression, and cut off all economic, military, political and “security” ties with the dictatorship in Honduras.

Socialist Action Statement on the U.S. Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

On December 9, 2017 close to one thousand people rallied outside the United States of America Consulate in Toronto, and many more demonstrated in cities around the world, to protest the decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.  The following is a statement by Socialist Action Canada on the occasion.
 
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
This has been a resounding slogan of the Palestine solidarity movement for decades.  It is central to the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Zionist apartheid state.  The homeland of the Palestinian people is under occupation, but it is indivisible.  
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel is a crude provocation.  But it is consistent with the strategy of U.S. imperialism and its allies in Ottawa, London, Paris and Berlin to bury Palestinian aspirations in the carnage of occupation and ethnic cleansing.
It will not succeed.  Wave after wave, the Palestinian intifada demonstrates that the two-state solution is an illusion, that apartheid Israel is a death trap for the Jews, and that the Arab and Muslim regimes across the Middle East and beyond are complicit in genocide.
Around the world today protests are demanding “Hands Off Jerusalem” and call for an intensification of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, the cat’s paw of imperialism in the Middle East.
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
While we condemn Washington’s policy, its cultivation and funding of the Zionist economy and military, we should also target our own government in Ottawa and the Canadian ruling class.  They have profited from the misery of the Palestinian people for generations, under the cloak of fraudulent ‘diplomacy’ and hypocritical posturing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland condemned the progressive, democratically-elected government of Venezuela, but not the electoral fraud in Honduras last week, nor the coup in Honduras in 2009.  They condemn Russia and Syria, but not the reactionary regime in Kiev, Ukraine.  They participate in the NATO build-up across Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, but do not openly criticize Trump’s policy on Israel, on North Korea, on Cuba, or anything else.  They do not denounce the repression by Spain of the people of Catalonia who demand self-determination.  And Canadian police continue to participate in the foreign occupation of Haiti.
Finally, it is necessary to insist that the stance of the labour-based New Democratic Party on all of these issues is unacceptable.  NDP policy will be challenged at its federal convention in Ottawa, February 16-18, 2018.  Socialists and labour activists demand that the NDP break with NATO, support BDS, and fire NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Helene Laverdiere immediately.  
Most of all, remember that the fight is not exclusively in Parliament.  It is primarily in the streets.  Solidarity forever.  “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
 
Barry Weisleder,
Co-editor, Socialist Action newspaper

DEMISE OF ONTARIO FACULTY STRIKE

After 86 per cent of 12,000 Ontario community college teachers rejected Management’s last offer in a forced vote, the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne broke their strike with a law pushed through the Ontario Legislature on Sunday, November 19.
Conservative MPPs welcomed it.  Only the labour-based New Democratic Party opposed the strike-breaking law.
Sadly, the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union, Smokey Thomas, expressed relief that the strike was ended.  He actually said that if he was in Wynne’s position, he’d have done the same thing.
No section of the labour bureaucracy urged defiance of the blatant assault on the principle of free collective bargaining and the right to strike.  There may be an OPSEU-initiated court challenge, but that will take years for a decision on the constitutionality of the law.
No union leaders called for mass job action to demand that the colleges’ Management be forced, by an act of the Legislature, or otherwise, to accept the teachers’ requests for more full-time jobs (right now, 70 per cent of all the teaching positions are part-time), and for ‘academic freedom’ to properly teach and grade their students.
The issues in dispute, that fomented months of negotiations and a five-week strike, go to arbitration.  Meanwhile, students and teachers will have to should an intense work load as the school year is extended by about four weeks.

2017 NDP Socialist Caucus National Conference

2017 NDP Socialist Caucus National Conference Agenda – December 2, 2017
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.    Registration: $5.00 (or PWYC)
Location:   Woodsworth Residence, University of Toronto, 321 BLOOR ST. WEST, Room 25, at St. George Street
10 a.m.   Left activism in European soc dem parties
Reports from Richard Margerison, member of Momentum and the Jeremy Corbyn leadership campaign in the British Labour Party; and Walid Malik, member of the Socialist Caucus in the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
Noon – Lunch break
1 p.m.
Policies, tactics and strategy for the Federal NDP Convention in Ottawa, February 16-18, 2018
Barry Weisleder, chair, Socialist Caucus, will lead off a discussion on how to advance socialist policies prior to, and at the February 2018 NDP federal convention, including via resolutions, SC display table and meetings at meal breaks, Turn Left magazine, plus a team of socialist candidates for federal NDP Executive.
3:00 p.m.
Turn Left Magazine – Sean Cain, Editor
3:30 p.m.
Selecting our Socialist Caucus Candidates for Federal NDP Executive
The NDP Executive is elected at the Federal NDP Convention, Feb. 16-18.
4:15 p.m.
Welcoming new members to the Socialist Caucus Steering Committee.
5 p.m.
Adjournment. Social at a nearby pub.
For more information, e-mail info@ndpsocialists.ca   or call 416.535.8779

GLOBAL CONFERENCE IN PARIS

The Platform for a Revolutionary International convened its first global conference on November 10-12 in Paris.  The interesting and constructive meeting attracted socialists from a number of countries, including France, Spanish State, Greece, USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland and Denmark. Comrades from six other countries communicated their solidarity and a strong desire to participate, but were finally not able to attend. 
Discussions at the conference focused on:
-the current international economic and political situation, which is characterized by the deep crisis of the imperialist system, which produces growing poverty, unemployment and misery for the working class worldwide, aggravates harm to the environment, and causes more and more geostrategic instability and military interventions in many regions of the world.
-the level of the workers’ movement resistance, the development of struggles in recent years, and the prospects for the working class and socialist intervention.
-the tasks of revolutionaries, especially concerning the need for an alternative orientation for the FI looking to the World Congress in March 2018, and beyond, which involves bringing together different revolutionary organizations, political currents and active comrades.
-the text proposed by the Platform for adoption at the World Congress, which was amended on the basis of a thorough debate among the participants in Paris.
 
In the course of the conference it became quite clear that, despite certain different shades of opinion and points of emphasis, there is a vast common ground concerning analysis of the overall political situation, the urgency of change in the orientation of the FI leadership, the possibility and actuality of socialist revolution in our time, and the indispensability of our strategy for building revolutionary working class parties on that basis.  Grounds for optimism spring from the fact that, in addition to the organizers of the meeting, practically all participants pledged to be even more engaged in the Platform for a Revolutionary International going forward.  This is reflected in an expanding new list of signatures, drawn from around the world, for the edited version of the text produced at the Paris conference.
 
On the Friday evening prior to the start of the conference, an inspiring rally to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution took place at a meeting hall in central Paris.  Five speakers and one presiding comrade, coming from six different countries (France, Greece, Spanish State, USA, Italy, and Canada) addressed the relevance of the October Revolution in terms of today’s strategic debates and actual struggles.  The meeting ended with the audience of close to one hundred singing the Internationale in several languages and with great emotion and enthusiasm.