Category Archives: Anti-War

Video of Education for Activists conference now available!

Video of each of the sessions at the Education for Activists conference, November 15-16, 2019 in Toronto is now available!

Working class politics — The crisis of the labour movement, lessons of the federal election, and a strategy to win.

Speakers: Dirka Prout, NDP candidate in London North-Centre; Barry Weisleder, federal secretary of Socialist Action Canada and Yvonne Hanson, NDP candidate in Vancouver Granville.

Capitalism versus Life on Earth. Is the answer the ‘free’ market, green capitalism, or mass anti-capitalist action?

Speakers: Ian Angus, editor, Climate and Capitalism; Gary Porter, leading member of SA based in Victoria, B.C.; Yvonne Hanson, NDP candidate in Vancouver Granville.

The Next Great Recession — The business cycle, decline in the rate of profit, and the socialist alternative.

Speakers: Dimitri Lascaris, lawyer, journalist, Montreal-based coordinator of Disruption Network Canada; John Clarke, founding member of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and Jeff Mackler, national secretary, Socialist Action-USA, and Rebecca Keetch, worker at GM Plant in Oshawa and UNIFOR Local 222 Political Action Committee and Education Committee.

Imperialism, Origins and nature of the system. Are Russia and China imperialist?

Speakers: Jeff Mackler, socialist candidate for President of the United States, and Robbie Mahood, leading member of SA/LAS Canada based in Montreal.

This session will open with Giovanna Riccio reading her poem about the public campaign to ‘Take the Plant’ at GM Oshawa, and George Elliott Clarke, National Poet Laureate, 2016-17, with an anti-imperialist poem.

Green Party Foreign Policy – ‘Connected’ to NATO and American Imperialism?

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by Dimitri Lascaris

The Green Party of Canada declares that it “begins with the basic premise that all life on the planet is interconnected.” Yet, the Greens’ newly released electoral platform, consisting of eighty-two pages, says remarkably little about Canada’s relationship with the rest of humanity. A mere two pages of that platform, which appear at the very end, are devoted to that subject.

Continue reading Green Party Foreign Policy – ‘Connected’ to NATO and American Imperialism?

CSIS Violates Democratic Rights, says BCCLA

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by Gary Porter

The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) is a heavily funded spy agency. With a $500 million (CDN) annual budget, it operates gunslinger-style, spying on Canadians and others it considers a security risk, gathering information from the dozens of innocent people their suspects contact, such as friends, relatives, neighbours and co-workers. This information is fed into a data analysis program where CSIS purports to develop an understanding of the lifestyles and personality profiles of “targets”.

CSIS collects intelligence information and conducts open and covert investigations and operations within Canada and abroad. As a measure of their objectivity, in 2017, several CSIS members accused the organization of having a racist and homophobic workplace culture.

Continue reading CSIS Violates Democratic Rights, says BCCLA

Contradictions Evident in Vancouver rally for Hong Kong

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by Kurt Young

On August 17, between 4 and 7 p.m., a protest was held in Vancouver in solidarity with those in Hong Kong fighting against their corrupt government. At the corner of West Broadway and Cambie Street, protesters and counter-protesters rallied in front of the entrance to the Broadway–City Hall subway station. This is a site of great importance to the Vancouver Chinese community, steps from City Hall and a gateway to the heart of Downtown and Richmond, a predominantly Chinese area of the city.

The protesters gathered there to raise awareness of both the 3-month-long struggle of the people of Hong Kong against the repression they have faced since June of this year and for their demands. They ask that: Hong Kong government withdraw the extradition law; that it stop referring to protesters as rioters; that it unconditionally free those who have been arrested; that it hold free and open elections; and that it establish an independent inquiry to investigate allegations of police brutality.

Continue reading Contradictions Evident in Vancouver rally for Hong Kong

Socialist Action at CBC Headquarters

On February 23rd, 2019, Socialist Action’s members joined over 200 other activists and concerned citizens in a show of unity outside of the CBC headquarters in Toronto. This was part of an international day of solidarity with over 130 other actions across the world organized under the demand “No War on Venezuela”.

The Toronto event, proposed by Socialist Action, was endorsed by a number of organizations including Venezuela Solidarity, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network, NDP Socialist Caucus, the Toronto Association for Peace and Solidarity, the Communist Party of Canada, the Hugo Chavez Front, the Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle and many others. All of these organizations had speakers who consistently criticized the CBC for its disgustingly biased coverage on Venezuela.

It is impossible for us to remain silent in the face of the latest aggression against the Venezuelan people organized and supported by the governments of Canada and the United States. All of those in attendance were united in opposition to any foreign interference in a sovereign and democratic country. 

It was just over one month ago when the governments of Canada and United States gave their acknowledgement to Juan Guaido, the self-declared President of Venezuela. This is a man who the majority of Venezuelans had never even heard of until Donald Trump announced that he was recognizing him as the President. Canada soon followed suit. The situation is so absurd that it would be laughable if the stakes were not so high.

This is all part of package of Canadian and US sanctions, increasing financial and material support for the opposition forces, and endorsing the continued hording of products, including food and medicine, by the Venezuelan capitalist thugs. These are shocking violations of international law, national sovereignty, and the charters of both the United Nations’ and Organization of American States. The situation today remains critical and risks further escalation as the Western imperialist vultures circle above threatening military intervention.

Yet Canada’s own public broadcaster, the CBC, as well as the rest of the capitalist-run corporate media, are overwhelmingly pushing support for a regime change all in the name of “helping the poor” and “averting a humanitarian crisis”. We know this is a lie and we were able to call out the falsehoods. By bringing our protest to the front door of the CBC, we continued to expose the lies behind the propaganda that is pushing for a US- and Canada-sponsored coup in Venezuela. We wanted to ensure that the voices of the majority of Venezuelans who oppose such foreign interventions were heard loud and clear.

Following a very spirited rally, those gathered then marched through Toronto’s financial district demanding that the natural resources of the people of Venezuela remain theirs. Canadian mining in Latin America has pushed Ottawa towards a much more aggressive position in the region. As was pointed out by a number of speakers, stealing oil and other resources is the primary reason for the coup attempt. It has absolutely nothing to do with the so-called “promotion of democracy” and easing of a phony “humanitarian” crisis.

We know the truth and we will not be sold a false bill of goods from the Canadian government and its cowardly propaganda arm, the CBC. Shame on the CBC and shame on the Canadian government!

Respect Venezuelan sovereignty and self-determination!  CBC, stop telling lies! Hands Off Venezuela!

February 23, 2019 – Socialist Action speech by Mitchell Shore at CBC Headquarters

Sisters and brothers, comrades and friends, my name is Mitchell Shore and I am very pleased to speak to you today on behalf of Socialist Action. 

This is a historic moment for the people of Venezuela and the international working class. The threat of imperialist aggression is blatant.

The US and Canadian economic and political war is the primary cause of the so-called “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela.  But the CBC hides the truth from the general public.

The CBC refuses to report that imperialist powers have seized the assets of Venezuela, frozen its credit, stolen over one billion dollars in gold, imposed a trade embargo, and that Venezuelan capitalists are hoarding goods. 

This is how a democratic country is strangled by the Western vultures who want to go back in time to resume their plunder of Venezuela’s resources. 

There is no reason for Maduro to “dialogue” with the US-funded reactionary opposition, led by a puppet who never even ran for president.  And we need to remind NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh that Venezuela already has a democratically elected President.  His name is Nicolas Maduro. 

Now I don’t have to remind you, here today, about the violent history of US intervention in Latin America:  Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the list goes on and on and on….

And now, Ottawa wants to get into the game, leading the charge for regime change.

Every single time the West gets involved in Latin America they leave a bloody path of destruction in their wake. And you’d have to be a fool to believe it will be any different this time around.

The aim is simple: to overthrow Nicolas Maduro and any remnants of the Bolivarian Revolution.

What brings us here today is that the CBC is acting as the de facto propaganda arm of Trudeau’s imperial ambitions – which is why we must bring it under workers’ control.

For years, the CBC has spread rabidly biased lies about the situation in Venezuela. They deny the realities on the ground: they throw softball questions to the right wingers, they provide unlimited air time for the opposition, and yet they refuse to interview government officials and its supporters. This is the shameful story of the CBC’s coverage.

The most vocal siren of the Trudeau government is Chrystia Freeland.  She states, and the CBC obediently reports, that Canada needs “to help the poor people of Venezuela.”

Well I say to her: don’t you worry about the poor, the Black and Indigenous people of Venezuela. They are engaged in a project to eradicate centuries of white supremacy and apartheid conditions. This is the reality on the ground.

And despite the many troubles rooted in oil dependency and corruption, Venezuela today demonstrates more democracy than the 14 countries of the Lima Group combined.

The failure of the government to break the stranglehold of foreign and domestic capital, to effect a socialist transformation, is a matter solely for the people of Venezuela to resolve.

The bottom line is that we as progressive voices must oppose any outside interference in Venezuela – whether from Canada, the US, or anywhere else. They have absolutely no right to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

Whatever one thinks about the Maduro government, the one thing which unites most Canadians is a rejection of any attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

If we don’t speak up, and challenge the dominant narrative fed to us by the CBC, there will be serious consequences for those working-class Venezuelans who continue to fight for self-determination and social justice in their country.

This is why we call for an end to the sanctions, an end to Canada’s participation in the Lima Group, and an end to the coup.

We stand with the people of Venezuela, and we support their efforts to complete their revolution. And we loudly tell the imperialist vultures to Go Home!

We say:  

No Coup!  No Sanctions!  No War!

CBC, stop telling lies!

Hands Off Venezuela!!