Category Archives: Events

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!

SOCIALISM 2017 videos are now available online

The Relevance of the Russian Revolution Today

Speakers:

  • Jeff Mackler, national secretary, SA USA
  • Barry Weisleder, federal secretary, SA Canada
  • Aurélien Perenna, teacher and union activist of the New Anti-capitalist Party, France.

Videos:

Part 1:

Part 2: 

Q and A: 


Millions on the Move: Behind the Refugee Crisis

Speakers:

  • Jaime Gonzales, LUS-Mexico
  • Sharmeen Khan, No One Is Illegal
  • Yasin Kaya, SA-Canada
  • Nikolas Skoufoglu, a leader of OKDE, section of the Fourth International in Greece.

Videos:

    Part 1: 
    Q and A: 

Basic Income or Raise the Rates?

Speakers:

  • John Clarke, provincial organizer, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
  • Sharon Anderson from Put Food In the Budget

Videos:

    Part 1: 
    Q and A: 

Fake News: Who’s the Real Culprit?

Speakers:

  • Yves Engler (author of 8 books on Canadian foreign policy, including “Propaganda System”)
  • Jeff Mackler, national secretary, SA USA
  • John Wunderlich, Toronto Danforth NDP executive member and privacy issues consultant.

Videos:

    Part 1: 
    Part2: 
    • Q and A:

 


Labour Revivial: What will it take?

Speakers:

  • Sid Ryan, past-president of the Ontario Federation of Labour
  • Julius Arscott, Executive Board member of OPSEU
  • Aurélien Perenna, teacher and union activist of the New Anti-capitalist Party, France.

Videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

The Political Situation in Canada Today, and How Revolutionary Socialists Intervene in the Workers’ Movement

Barry Weisleder

[Speech to Kurdish people, April 9, 2017, in Scarborough.]

Ewara bash. (Good afternoon.) Choni? (How are you?) Bigi! (Long live)

Please pardon my poor pronunciation.  You may be relieved to learn that the rest of my remarks will be in English.  As a socialist, I am an internationalist who believes that solidarity knows no boundaries.  My party, Socialist Action, stands in total solidarity with the struggle of the Kurdish people for self-determination.  We condemn imperialism, and all the governments under its influence that have denied the Kurdish people a state you can call your own. National liberation is a precondition for the emancipation of the working class internationally.

My task today is to begin a dialog with you about the present political situation, and how socialists intervene in the workers’ movement in this country to improve living conditions and to advance the socialist transformation of society.

Continue reading The Political Situation in Canada Today, and How Revolutionary Socialists Intervene in the Workers’ Movement

New Rebel Films series off to a great start

On Friday, March 3, Socialist Action launched a new weekly series of Rebel Films in Toronto with the screening, at OISE U of Toronto, of The Coming War on China, John Pilger’s film on the United States and China–both nuclear-armed and on the road to war.

The screening drew more than 50 people, most of whom stayed for the discussion led off by Yasin Kaya, a leading member of Socialist Action and a political economist. Participants engaged in a lively discussion on issues such the nature of the Chinese state and its place in the world order, the imperialist aggression of the US, and threat of nuclear war.

In addition to announcements of many upcoming events, including the rally and march for International Women’s Day in Toronto on March 11, a leader of the striking food service workers at York U addressed the gathering.  Anthony Seet of UNITE HERE invited everyone to a mass picket to be held outside York’s Glendon campus, at Bayview and Lawrence, on Sunday, March 5 at 10 a.m.

The Rebel Films series continues next Friday, March 11 with Ukrainian Agony, a documentary by Mark Bartalmai, who had access to many critical moments in the civil war.  Konstantin Goulich, a long time observer of political events in Russia, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union, will lead off the discussion.