On Friday, January 27, Memphis, Tennessee city officials released over an hour of video showing the murder of Tyre Nichols, a black resident beaten to death by police. Recorded earlier by three body cameras and one stationary surveillance camera, the videos were made available to family members, lawyers, and various public officials, who universally described the contents as disturbing and inhumane.
Canada’s 100 highest-paid corporate executives made an average of $14.3 million in 2021, exceeding the previous record of $11.8 million set three years earlier. By January 3, the average CEO on that list made $58,800, the amount an average Canadian worker earns in an entire year, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
On September 18, 2022, rallies and marches took place across the Canadian state to demand "Status for All!", for migrant workers' rights and to end the super-exploitation of undocumented workers from abroad.
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.
The continued “maturation” of late-stage capitalism saw multiple societal trends intersect violently in the 2020s. The Covid-19 pandemic intersected with real-time climate collapse and ongoing state violence against Indigenous, black, and other racialized people, which triggered spontaneous mass mobilisations against these multiple oppressions. That spontaneous display of anger towards the status quo spilled over into the labour movement as well. With decades of neoliberal austerity and outsourcing, union representation in Canada has fallen to only 30%. At the same time, the pandemic killed off and disabled a record number of workers and forced even more into early retirement. Workers now wield more economic leverage while being less organised than earlier periods of labour struggle. This combination of material factors built up to “The Great Resignation,” where individual workers eschew any company loyalty to take advantage of a labour shortage to maximise individual gains. But bubbling under the surface of this hyper-individualised approach to bargaining with the bosses is a resurgence in strike action of multiple flavours. Unions in multiple sectors struck for safer work conditions, better pay, an end to two-tiered contracts, and more. Yet many non-unionised workers, particularly front-line workers, also stood up and collectively struck in illegal job actions known as wildcat strikes. Given historic levels of worker upheaval and societal crisis combined with low levels of union representation, it is imperative to understand the wildcat strike as a tactic. By looking at important wildcat strikes in North American history, from the Pullman strike of 1894 to the 2020 wildcat of Albertan healthcare workers, we will highlight important lessons for the labour movement going forward
As neoliberal governments faced yet another wave of Covid-19 in December 2021, this time fueled by the even-more contagious Omicron variant, politicians and corporate-owned media began laying the ideological groundwork for the scrapping of all public health protections. Despite workers and oppressed people continuing to get sick, developing chronic illnesses, and dying, and the ongoing uncertainty about new variants emerging, the resumption of maximum production and consumption again stands as the only priority. As the exploited classes are primed to acquiesce to an erosion of our right to a safe workplace, media and politicians work overtime to discredit any alternative pandemic response. In this quest, the biggest obstacle remains China’s successful and dynamic Covid-zero strategy.
The Che Guevara Brigade is a unique opportunity to get to know Cuba through people-to-people solidarity and on the ground experiences. There is no better way to get to know the Cuban people than working alongside them, sharing meals and leisure time, and there is no better way to learn about the Cuban Revolution than by seeing its accomplishments first hand! The Brigade’s vibrant program also includes participating in cultural activities, meeting community organizations, visiting health and educational institutions, visiting historical sites, attending workshops and of course visiting the beach!
In this bonus episode of The Red Review, brought to you by Socialist Action, we feature an interview with Canadian Foreign Policy Institute Fellow, anti-war activist, and No New Fighter Jets organizer Tamara Lorincz.
The same day this podcast is released, No New Fighter Jets will launch a week of action to oppose Canada’s planned procurement of new fighter jets. The Red Review endorses the call — No New Fighter Jets! Demilitarize to decarbonize and decolonize! Check out the website to see a list of webinars and actions for this week and beyond.
Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m. EDT, watch the next live webcast, "A Class Struggle History: The Peasants' Revolt of 1381," with Gary Porter, a leading member of Socialist Action. Watch it live on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/__9jx9ueRpA
On Thursday Oct. 14 at 7:00 p.m. EDT, watch the next live webcast entitled, "Canada's Foreign Policy in Ruins - China, Israel, Haiti, Venezuela", with Yves Engler, Canada's foremost foreign policy expert. Watch live on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/qzsJ8MoY-ns
This upcoming Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. EDT, you are invited to watch our next live webcast entitled, "Choice is Under Attack! Women Resist from Texas to Toronto to New Brunswick," with speakers Lisa Luinenberg, Socialist Action – USA, Rubina…
Thursday, June 24, 7 p.m. Eastern Time – “The Tragedy of Science, from the Cold War to the Forever Wars”, featuring author Clifford Conner in New York, and discussant Daniel Tarade in Toronto. Link: https://youtu.be/MMIpx-zMqPQ
In great detail the unfolding Palestinian freedom struggle against the racist, Zionist, colonial, apartheid settler capitalist state of Israel has captured headlines worldwide and won the solidarity of humanity’s finest democratic and human rights fighters. That apartheid Israel receives $3.8 billion annually in U.S. military aid – exceeding all other countries – has been roundly condemned as has Israel’s role as the U.S. gendarme/imperial enforcer in the Middle East. I use the five adjectives – racist, Zionist, colonial, apartheid and settler – capitalist state advisedly, that is, to accurately describe the reality of Israel, yesterday and today. The horror of that reality, coupled with the heroic resistance to it by the beleaguered Palestinian people, has inspired tens and hundreds of thousands to mobilize in solidarity demonstrations around the world today. Several major U.S. cities have witnessed mobilizations of 10,000 or more, including New York and Los Angeles, with similar numbers in the streets in San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere. 10,000 mobilized in Toronto; 20,000 in Montreal and thousands more across Canada. The mass protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people are not dissimilar to last summer’s anti-racist, anti-police brutality Black Lives Matter mobilizations. They have been markedly multi-racial and youthful. 100,000 took to the streets in London.
In the face of the ongoing, ten-year U.S./NATO-orchestrated war against Syria in collaboration with Turkey and the Gulf State monarchies – a war has taken the lives of some 500,000 Syrians and driven half the population into internal or external exile – the statement, signed by 300 Syrian expatriate writers, artists, academics and supporters from 34 countries, asserts against its opponents that, “America is not central to what has happened in Syria, despite what these people claim.” [Emphasis added.]
President Joe Biden, in announcing an ostensible end to the US war in Afghanistan, is continuing his streak of paying eloquent lip service to progressive causes while maintaining the implied status quo. In a televised address from the White House on April 14, Biden said, “it’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for American troops to come home.” But just a day later, the New York Times reported without a hint of irony that “the Pentagon, American spy agencies and Western allies are refining plans to deploy a less visible but still potent force in the region.” This means we are ending the war, but not really.
Thursday, May 6 4 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. EST, “The Persecution of Julian Assange” featuring Nathan Fuller, Courage Foundation campaigner in New York. Host: Elizabeth Byce. Discussants: Corey David in Toronto.
Saturday, May 1, 1 p.m. Eastern Time, a united front celebration of Workers’ Day, featuring Socialist Action leading member Julius Arscott (the Labour Forward candidate for President of the Canadian Labour Congress), Yvonne Hanson, chair of the Vancouver Socialist Unity Assembly, and Christopher Thompson, interim leader of the New Brunswick NDP and a prominent Socialist Caucus activist. Event co-chaired by Elizabeth Byce.
Friday, April 30 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Socialist Action Annual Celebration of International Workers’ Day – a cultural/political event. With speeches by John Clarke, Zahia El Masri, Dirka Prout, Barry Weisleder, Chris Thompson, Hannah Leichnitz, Gary Porter, Jeff Mackler, and music by HOTCHA!, Kevin Barrett and the Special Interest Group, Glen Hornblast, Y.C. Lee, Sandra Griffith-Bonaparte and Emily Steers. Host: Elizabeth Byce.
Thursday, April 22 4 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. EST, “James P. Cannon and the Foundations of Trotskyism” featuring Bryan Palmer, Emeritus Professor of History at Trent University, Ontario, and author of “James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left 1890-1928”. Host: Elizabeth Byce. Discussants: Jeff Mackler, national secretary, Socialist Action – USA.
Grace Carlson was the only female member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) (predecessor organization of Socialist Action) to be convicted and sentenced under the notorious anti-communist Smith Act of 1940. She was sentenced to sixteen months in the Federal Correctional Facility For Women in Alderson, West Virginia. The trial and convictions of the 17 male leaders of the SWP is a well known part of Trotskyist history. All 18 leaders were convicted of allegedly trying to overthrow the U.S. government by force and violence on the eve of the U.S entrance into World War II . (See “Socialism On Trial” by James P. Cannon).