Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste statement on sexual assault and gender discrimination

Socialist Action Canada / Ligue pour l'Action socialiste has become aware of a troubling wave of incidents of sexual assault and gender violence within leftist organizations across the Canadian state, and abroad. The SA/LAS leadership body, its Central Committee, is united in condemning in the strongest possible terms the occurrence and apparent mishandling of these situations where leaders routinely failed to protect, address, or even inform comrades within their ranks. Patterns that have emerged include a mere slap on the wrist as discipline for the perpetrator despite repeated allegations against the same individuals, while persons under investigation were placed in the same settings with those they abused while survivors were denied requests for reasonable accommodation and non-biased investigation. Consequently, needless re-traumatizing occurred while a failure to inform local comrades continued to put other folks at risk. We take no pleasure in reporting such horrendous incidents.  Indeed, we are pained by the evident suffering and trauma experienced by the victims of predators, by all others negatively affected, and by the failings of certain leaders.

Joseph Ryan, Revolutionary Socialist, 1944-2022

Joseph Ryan, – his friends usually called him Joe, – called me in late May from his home in Denver offering to resume his editorship of our COVID-interrupted print edition of our monthly newspaper, Socialist Action. I heartedly agreed and at Joe’s request sent him a dozen articles for inclusion in what we planned to be our summer issue. Joe was especially motivated to return to editing our newspaper by our website articles on the war in Ukraine. As was Joe’s lifelong habit, he insisted on letting us know where he stood, in this case, mercilessly pillorying those on the left who ignored the central role of U.S. imperialism in instigating the 2014 fascist-led coup and the coup government’s subsequent murderous attacks on the Russian-speaking people of the Donbas that set into motion today’s war and its associated horrors.

Marxism and the National Question

National oppression and racism are fundamental features of capitalist states in the world today. In few of them does the national question play such a central role as in Canada. This is most clearly demonstrated in the case of Quebec, where national resentment periodically erupts to take centre stage in political life. It is seen in the rising national consciousness and demands of Indigenous peoples in Canada and Quebec. French-speaking communities outside Quebec which have survived Anglo-assimilation, notably the Acadians in Atlantic Canada, also claim nationhood. And it applies, arguably, to Newfoundland, where a separate society existed for three hundred years before its incorporation, by a fraudulent set of referenda, into the Canadian state in 1949.

No War in Ukraine!

Socialists oppose all wars, except the class war.  Workers and the poor, women and children are the first and foremost victims of war, while a tiny, rich minority profit from the woe it inflicts on the vast majority.  The current conflict over Ukraine shows this again.  It stems from the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is led by Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and their imperialist allies.  The unfolding tragedy can be halted by mass protest actions in every country, along with the construction of a broad, democratic anti-war movement.  Those are the key tasks at this moment.