Category Archives: Canada

Remembering the Christie pits riot

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The Christie Pits Commerorative BBQ was underway by noon with more than 40 participants. Members of the community and organizations sporting some very beautiful banners made it clear that Toronto ugly past of antisemitism will not be forgotten and will not be accepted in our modern society.

SA members were among the participants where a new anti-fascist banner was unfurled, and, with the help of some trusty hockey tape, was flown along the park path to the praise of onlookers seeking photos and offering support.

SA members mingled with the crowd discussing today’s events, looking back at the history that shaped Toronto, using the opportunity to discuss the ideals and goals of SA to willful ears.

At about 2:30, after everyone was fed, a few attendees were organized to speak.

In spite of a dead megaphone, an attentive crowd gathered and listened to talks on the significance of this rally, the need to stand together against discrimination and unabashed ignorance, and an assessment of the different merging hate groups and their international affiliates, reminding us of the importance of international solidarity against hate.

Specific importance was given to the changing face of fascism and the twisted language used to fool people into thinking they are something other than hate mongers as well as challenging the crowd to be critical when they hear restrictive and simplified talk of race and ideology and not give credence to caricatures and discriminatory sentiments of ethnic and marginalized groups.

The event ended with the destruction of an appropriated hate group banner by various members of the crowd followed by roaring applause. Very fitting given the first riot was incited by the display of a nazi banner. Organizers thanked everyone for their support and began to pack up as many conversations continued with feelings of good will and unity resonating through out the park.

The event, on a whole, was a very pleasant meeting and sign of solidarity, but as we were reminded throughout the talks, we will not always be among friends. we must be alert, aware and present going forward, through our united voice of reason we will drown out those of hate and expose the lies of the divisionary, manipulative, and oppressive.

We at SA would like to thank IWW General Defence Committe Local 28, United Jewish Peoples Order, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, International Socialists and the Organizing Committee Against Islamophobia for setting up this event.

The Truth About Venezuela

The Truth About Venezuela, a Socialist Action public forum on August 11 at U of Toronto, drew an enthusiastic crowd of sixty people to hear guest speaker Dr. Maria Paez Victor, who had just returned from a visit to her homeland.
With dramatic photos and poignant commentary, Maria Victor debunked many media and capitalist governments’ myths claiming there is chaos and widespread malnutrition in the oil-rich country.
Audience members included people from several Latin America and Caribbean countries.  Among them was the Consul General of Venezuela in Toronto. 
SA federal secretary Barry Weisleder addressed the meeting with a brief statement urging unity in action to defend Venezuela against foreign intervention and the threat of a right wing coup.  In the lively floor discussion that followed, speakers expressed support for the work of the VenezuelaSolidarity Committee, in which SA participates.
Videos of the talks below:

¡Heather Heyer, presente!

On Sunday August 13, Socialist Action members gathered in solemn solidarity with about 200 like-minded people outside of the United States Consulate to participate in a "Vigil for Charlottesville Anti-Fascists". The event was hosted by the Toronto International Workers of the World General Defence Committee. The group listened to a few short speeches and sang "The Red Flag" and "Solidarity Forever" before marching off to City Hall while angrily chanting "Whose Streets – Our Streets", "Refugees In, Fascist Out", and "Nazi Scum Off Our Streets".

The event was a memorial for Heather Heyer, the young woman who was murdered by an ultra-right terrorist, who drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters during an August 12 counter-demonstration against the “Unite the Right” rally. In addition to Heather being fatally run-down, more than 30 anti-racist protesters also sustained serious injuries during the course of the day. This attack was preceded by an August 11 torchlight march on the campus of the University of Virginia. The white supremacists and fascists chanted: “White Lives Matter,” “You Will Not Replace Us,” “Jews Will Not Replace Us,” and “Blood and Soil.” The fascists also attacked a smaller group of counter-protesters,using the torches, sticks, pipes, and brass knuckles, while police stood by and just watched.

This terrorist violence and murder is the latest in a series of violent acts from the far-right. In cities across North America, Nazis, white supremacists, and fascists have been going on a violent offensive to attack Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, queer and trans people, as well as left-wing militants. These attacks have been emboldened by the hateful rhetoric spewed by President Donald Trump. All the while our own Prime Minister Trudeau just watches quietly on the sidelines. Enough is enough!

We say:

  • Fascism is not to be debated – it is to be smashed!
  • Build a United Front to stop and defeat the fascists!
  • Solidarity with the brave fighters in Charlottesville and all the victims of fascism!
  • An injury to one is an injury to all.

Heather Hayer, rest in power!

Supplementary items:

Reading recommendation: Socialist Action USA article by Steve Xavier.


On August 14, Socialist Action members attended an anti-fascist rally of about 60 people on University Avenue, across from the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. Many carried signs or wore T-shirts with slogans; and they chanted:

  • Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.
  • Nazi scum off our streets.
  • Smash racism.
  • No Platform for Fascists.

 

Socialism in the Park comes to a Close

For the second summer in a row, Socialist Action in Toronto hosted Socialism in the Park at the famous Christie Pits.

The series of three presentations and discussions took place on Wednesday evenings, July 26, August 2 and August 9. Presentations were given by Mitchell S. spoke on “Origins of Class and the State”,  “Permanent Revolution, Stalinism and the Transitional Programme” by Julius A. and “Socialism in Canada – an introduction to socialistideas” by Yasin K.

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Attendance and interest surpassed expectations. Despite rain on the first two occasions, the turnout averaged close to forty people.

Lively discussion followed the main talk each time.  Socialist Action members answered many questions, supplemented by great contributions from folks in the audience.  Not only SA members, but activists from other socialist organizations and backgrounds participated as well.

Indeed, discussions were so enjoyable that they continued informally late into the night at a nearby pub.

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This is a time of growth for the radical left.  The appetite for an alternative to Trump and Trudeau, to inequality and injustice, is palpable.  Each week people, especially young workers, are signing up to join SA.  We look forward to working closely with our new members, and planning greater outreach with Rebel Films, with our activities in unions, the NDP, international solidarity, anti-fascist/anti-racist rallies, and yes, with Socialism in the Park next year!