Category Archives: Events

¡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!

Socialism 2017 really rocks in T.O.

by Barry Weisleder

Over one hundred people attended one or more parts of Socialism 2017, “100 Years of World Revolution” at the University of Toronto, May 12–13.  Conference organizers collected over $900 in admissions, over $500 in literature sales, and sold five subscriptions to SA newspaper.

The conference sessions included “The Relevance of the Russian Revolution Today” with Jeff Mackler, national secretary, Socialist Action USA; Barry Weisleder, federal secretary SA Canada; and Aurélien Perenna, teacher and union activist member of the New Anti-capitalist Party, France;  “Millions on the Move – Behind the Refugee Crisis” with Jaime Gonzales, LUS-Mexico, Sharmeen Khan of No One Is Illegal, Yasin Kaya, SA-Canada, and Nikolas Skoufoglu, a leader of OKDE, section of the Fourth International in Greece;  “Basic Income or Raise the Rates?”with John Clarke, provincial organizer, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and Jessica Sikora, Executive Board member, OPSEU; “Fake News – Who’s the Real Culprit?”with Yves Engler, author of 8 books on Canadian foreign policy, including “A Propaganda System”, Jeff Mackler, SA-USA, and John Wunderlich, Danforth NDP executive member and privacy consultant: and “Labour Union Revival – What will it take?” with Sid Ryan, past-president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Aurelien Perenna of NPA-France, and Julius Arscott, Executive Board Member, OPSEU.

SA members recorded all five sessions, now posted on YouTube and on the SA website.

Ten people asked to join SA Canada, and many new friends entered our political milieu.  Lively socials at a nearby pub showed that our party is getting younger and more energetic, with a greater capacity than ever to fight for a Workers’ Agenda, for an eco-socialist and feminist future, and to put an end to the wretched capitalist system that threatens the very survival of nature and humanity.

Poverty and Homelessness in Canada: Kurdish Socialists Host John Clarke

Members of Socialist Action joined about 30 Kurdish socialists and supporters gathered at the East York Civic Center on June 4 to listen to John Clarke, provincial organizer of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, talk about Poverty and Homelessness in Canada. The event was sponsored by Voices – an independent Kurdish Online publication.

John exposed the root causes of poverty in Ontario and described the heroic role of OCAP.  He told the audience how every night over 4000 people crowd into shelters, how tens of thousands have been forced by the government’s neo-liberal austerity policies to use food banks, and how since last year there have been over 100 tragic homeless deaths on the streets— the most ever recorded in Toronto!  He illustrated how disgraceful it is that this can happen in a city with such immense wealth. He also aptly defended OCAP’s use of direct action tactics, without seeking permission from the cops or anyone.  Clarke noted that while workers can withdraw their labour and go on strike, the unemployed and homeless can use only direct action as their weapon to fight against the system. His talk was animated by very moving personal anecdotes about the many people that OCAP has helped over the years.

During the discussion period, Barry Weisleder, a leader of Socialist Action, stressed that the only way to end poverty is through a revolutionary break with the existing class system, that is, by a socialist transformation of society. Such a transformation has at least two pre-conditions for it’s success: a working class that is rising in anger about the unacceptability of current conditions, and a revolutionary leadership in the unions and other working class organizations that will fight for a program to fundamentally change society.

This is not a matter of charity.  It is a struggle for justice and a revolt against unacceptable conditions for humanity and the environment. He urged members of the audience to join with Socialist Action in order to help build a strong and resolutely revolutionary party.

Socialist Action demands immediate action as follows:
• Mayor Tory: Immediately expand Toronto’s shelter capacity.  Open the armories!  People have been waiting long enough!

• Build decent housing for all, starting with a crash programme to create 500,000 new housing units by means of a publicly owned land development and construction industry.

• Provide immediate support and resources for those suffering mental health issues and drug addiction!

• Stop the war on the poor! Tax rich property owners, land developers, giant corporations and banks!

• NO MORE HOMELESS DEATHS!