Category Archives: International

¡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.

 

No coup! No foreign intervention! Imperialist Hands Off Venezuela!

Speech to Rally held August 1, 2017 in Toronto, near the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland.
by Barry Weisleder, federal secretary, Socialist Action

We should begin by congratulating the people of Venezuela. Over 8 million voted on July 30 to elect a National Constituent Assembly. That is more than voted for President Nicolas Maduro in 2013, or for his party in the 2015 legislature election. It is 1 million more than the votes claimed in the right wing’s fake referendum two weeks ago.

The people of Venezuela stood up to a mountain of media lies, to threats by a number of capitalist governments, and to months of violence organized by reactionary fanatics, who were chiefly responsible for 125 deaths and over 2,000 injuries in the streets.
Efforts to foment a coup, to cause panic by creating shortages in medicines and other imported items, were frustrated by the resilience of the Venezuelan working class.

But Ottawa and Washington will not take Yes for an answer, not even 8 million times. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland denounces the election. She says the Constituent Assembly will cause more violence. It sounds like wishful thinking on her part. I think Freeland, whose grandfather was editor of a Nazi newspaper in German-occupied Poland during WW2, shows that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I think Freeland and Justin Trudeau should be more concerned about electoral reform in Canada, about the police spy law C-51 (which they promised to amend substantially), about the lack of clean drinking water and proper housing in many indigenous communities, and about taxing the super-rich, instead of increasing the Canadian military budget by 70 per cent.

And what about their friend in Washington? President Trump, who got three million votes less than Hilary Clinton, calls Nicolas Maduro a dictator, and threatens more sanctions against Venezuela. Sunday’s vote was mandated by the Venezuela constitution. But Trump says No. Please tell me: Who made Trump head of Venezuela’s Supreme Court? The arrogance of imperialism knows no bounds.

Sadly, the New Democratic Party foreign affairs critic, Helen Laverdiere, called Sunday’s vote “illegitimate.” Well, in light of the massive turnout, despite an organized right wing boycott, and in light of the achievements of the Bolivarian process, we must say that the NDP criticism is illegitimate.

Clearly, a new chapter in the history of Venezuela is opening. Big challenges and tests lay ahead. As someone famously said, “The revolution is not a tea party.”

Nicolas Maduro in a recent speech told the rulers of the Empire that he “will not be taken for a sucker.” In other words, this is no time to put faith in conciliation, or the OAS or the Vatican. It’s time for the Venezuelan working class to settle accounts with the exploiters, the hoarders, the drug smugglers, the banksters, the violent thugs who would burn, not only Chavistas, but every leftist, every union member, everyone who benefits from social housing, medicine and education.
We have to support Venezuela as the hour of reckoning approaches. The road forward is

workers’ power. The road forward is socialist revolution, the road of Russia 100 years ago under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, the road of Cuba in 1959, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Haydee Santamaria and Vilma Espin. As Che said, “The revolution will be a socialist revolution, or it will be a caricature of a revolution.”

There must not be a repeat of the tragedy of Chile in September 1973. Forward to socialism! And our task here is clear. We should ask all the working class organizations to take up the call: “Self-determination for Venezuela. Respect the vote. Ottawa, Washington, Hands Off Venezuela!”

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