Category Archives: Labour

East enders demand action after violent racist attack!

Members of Socialist Action along with many others particupated in the Say No To Racist Violence: Community Protest on Mondau July 6, 2020 demo outside of Toronto Police 55 division on Coxwell Avenue to protest the police inaction after a former Steelworkers and his parner were violently attacked.

‘On the morning of Thursday, June 25, Toronto east-end residents Mark Austin and Candace Zinkweg were victims of a brutal racist assault as they walked their dog in Dentonia Park.

Candace was pushed to the ground and then kicked in the head by a white assailant. She was knocked unconscious and taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion.

Mark, who is Black, and Recording Secretary of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1998, also was violently assaulted and subjected to racist abuse by the same assailant. The assailant made repeated death threats to Mark, including saying he would shoot Mark the next time he sees him.

The police have not laid any charges though the assailant is known to them, saying it is a matter of ‘he said, she said.’ It came to light that the assailant lives in the same apartment complex as the victims.

“We recognize this is not occurring in isolation. There is a growing climate of racist brutality around the globe and systemic racism in our communities and our institutions,” said Carolyn Egan, President of the Steelworkers Toronto Area Council and one of the protest’s organizers.

“We are demanding that the Toronto Police immediately lay charges against the assailant,” said Egan.

“Police across Canada are more than willing to lock up Black lives but when the same Black life needs justice it’s an uphill battle,” said Mark Brown, an executive board member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Canadian chapter.

“Until the Black life is valued as much as the non-Black life, there will be no justice and there can be no peace,” Brown said.

“We won’t tolerate members of our community being attacked in this way. There is no place for racist violence in Toronto,” said Ken Neumann, the USW’s National Director.

“It is our collective responsibility to take on racism and violence against Black, Indigenous and people of colour,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada. “Authorities must aggressively investigate and prosecute perpetrators of racially motivated violence in our communities.”


WEBCAST: The Exploitation and Resistance of Migrant Workers

Thursday, July 2   7 p.m. eastern time:  The Exploitation and Resistance of Migrant Workers   Host: Jeremiah Carag, with panelists Gabriel Allahdua and Pauline Corpuz.


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Larry Kramer fought indifference, and won!


by John Wilson *

The death of Larry Kramer on May 27th was a huge loss, not only for gay men and others in queer communities, but for all of us involved in the fight against every kind of oppression brought down on us by our decaying, crisis-ridden capitalist society.  It was also a major loss for the world of art and culture. Kramer was a playwright, author, film producer, public health advocate and activist. He was a key figure in the fight against AIDS, being a co-founder of both the Gay Mens Health Crisis (GMHC) in NYC (1981) and the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). ACT UP, with its bold, militant protests and policy of direct action, started in 1987 in New York city, quickly growing and spreading to many cities in the US and internationally. It denounced the paralysis, indifference and bias of governments and public health agencies as well as the predatory role of Big Pharma. Many protests were designed for a maximum number of arrests, since these attracted media attention. Kramer was often on the list of those arrested.

Continue reading Larry Kramer fought indifference, and won!

On the Pandemic Front Line in Nova Scotia


by Edson Castilho, President, IWK local of the NSNU

I am a nurse at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. It is a women’s and children’s hospital that serves the people of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI. This hospital has had no cases of patients with the corona virus. Very few or no staff (it is impossible to know because the bosses cite the confidentiality of occupational health information) have tested positive. This means no staffing shortage caused by the need to have contacts of an infected person self-isolate until they test negative. So, we have been relatively lucky, compared to an institution like Northwood.

Northwood is the largest long-term care facility east of Quebec. Fifty-two (as of May 22) of the total of fifty-eight (90%) deaths that have occurred in Nova Scotia as a result of the pandemic have occurred to residents of this one facility. It is a private, not-for-profit facility that receives government funding (woefully inadequate) for the care of the people who live there. Northwood is a facility that consists of a wide range of elderly residents, from seniors who live independently in their own Northwood apartments, to seniors who require some assistance with medical care or activities of daily living, to seniors who are completely reliant on the care provided by the staff for their medical needs as well as activities of daily living.

Continue reading On the Pandemic Front Line in Nova Scotia

Ed Gould 1953-2020


This morning (May 26) the working people of Niagara Region (Ontario) lost one of their most outstanding militants and leaders. Ed Gould was an active trade unionist and leader for nearly three decades dating back to 1990 when he was a Skilled Trades Shop Committeeperson and member of the CAW – GM Master Bargaining Committee. Over the following two decades Ed was a major figure in the local labour movement, including at the St. Catharines & District Labour

Council. Ed was its President in 1998 at the time of the St. Catharines Day of Action/General Strike, putting him at the forefront of that mass mobilization. Ed went on to become the Chair of the Unifor Niagara Skilled Trades Council, member of the CAW Local 199 Executive Board and a Health and Safety Rep for several years. Very few people in the labour movement are as committed to advancing the interests of the working class as was Ed Gould. Stalwart activists and leaders like him are few and far between. Ed stood out by courageously opposing contract concessions in the auto industry. * Ed passed away after a long battle with cancer of the blood. He was wearing his St. Catharines Day of Action t-shirt. His departure is a real loss for us all. Mourn for the dead and fight for the living.

— Bruce Allen, past vice-president of the Niagara Regional Labour Council.

* (Ed Gould was a member of the NDP Socialist Caucus and a cherished friend of Socialist Action. – BW)