Tag Archives: Education for Activists Conference

Trotsky School, Nov 18-19

Trotsky School 2016 Poster (1).jpg

Revolutionary Strategy

Socialist Action Toronto’s Trotsky School : 9th Annual Education for Activists’ Conference

November 18-19 ●  Woodsworth Residence (U of T) Room 20 ● 321 Bloor St  West [map]


Friday, November 18

6 p.m. Registration

7 p.m.  “The Working Class and the Road to Power”, a presentation by John Riddell, drawing on his books on the Communist International, including the latest, which he co-edited, “To the Masses”.  Barry Weisleder, co-editor of Socialist Action newspaper, will contribute as a ‘discussant’ on the panel.

Saturday, November 19

10 a.m.  “Theories of Underdevelopment – What Path to Prosperity for the Poor Countries?”, with Yasin Kaya, PhD. candidate in Political Science, York University.

12 noon   Lunch break.  Screening of film “Fidel is Fidel” (with English subtitles)

1 p.m.  “What’s Wrong with Identity Politics?”, talks by John Wilson, a Socialist Action leader and a pioneer of the gay liberation movement in Ontario; Cherie MacDonald, long time pro-choice activist; and Nick Mule, founder of Queer Ontario, and associate professor in the School of Social Work, York U.

4 p.m.  “Is Climate Justice Possible?”, with Robbie Mahood, a leader of SA/LAS based in Montreal.  There may be an additional speaker, t.b.a.


  • $5 per session
  • $10 in advance for all sessions
  • or PWYC


socialistactioncanada@gmail.com |  (647) 986 – 1917 |  (647) 728 – 9143

Reform or Revolution: Annual Education for Activists’ Conference

Socialist Action-Canada invites you to ‘Trotsky School’

its 8th annual Education for Activists’ Conference

‘Reform or Revolution!’

Woodsworth Residence (U of T) • 321 Bloor Street West • Room 35 (lower Level)

The theme “Reform or Revolution” attracted dozens of activists to the eighth annual Fall educational conference hosted by Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste at the University of Toronto, November 20-21.

Over fifty people attended one or more of the sessions, which consisted of the following (Scroll down for the schedule).

Following lively discussions and brisk literature sales, two people applied to join SA/LAS.

All sessions were video recorded and are posted on YouTube (A link to the “playlist” is provided below).

Next on the activist agenda are Climate Justice marches across the country, including in Toronto on Sunday, November 29, 4 p.m. at Queen’s Park, and the Federal Conference of the NDP Socialist Caucus on Saturday, December 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at OISE U of Toronto, in room 5-250.  The latter gathering will be transmitted live-stream via the internet.


All Videos (Scroll down the page for separate videos for each panel):


Friday, November 20

7 p.m. “Is social democracy over? From Mulcair to Corbyn to Tsipras” 

  • Desmond Cole, a Toronto Star columnist, radio talk show host, and leading opponent of racial carding by police.
  • Marty Goodman, a leader of Socialist Action USA, a retired New York City transit worker;
  • Robbie Mahood, a leading member of SA/LAS based in Montreal.

Videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Saturday, November 21

10 a.m. – Imperialism today: Is China Imperialist? Is Turkey breaking with Washington?

  • Armagan Tulunay, Revolutionary Workers Party (Turkey) [via Skype]
  • Y. Fikret Kayali, a leader of Socialist Action Canada and PhD candidate in Political Economy at York University.

Videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

1 p.m. “Why inequality?” – “They say ‘the poor have always been with us’. If so, why?”

  • Jim Stanford, chief economist for UNIFOR, a regular commentator on CBC-TV;
  • John Clarke, provincial organizer for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

Videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

4 p.m. “Where is U.S. politics going: Trump, Sanders, $15 Now, and Black Lives Matter”

  • Marty Goodman, SA New York.

Videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


  • $5 per session or PWYC
  • $10 in advance for an all-sessions ticket
  • $20 at the door.

Trotsky School Poster


Booklet: Break the Grip of the Ruling Class

Socialist Action has published this compilation of talks from our latest Trotsky School: Education for Activists Conference. A PDF version is available online HERE.
This booklet contains the talks presented at the sixth annual Socialist Action Education for Activists Conference – two days of education, discussion and debate about key issues and the political alternatives facing humanity – held November 15-16, 2013 at the University of Toronto. We call the gathering a “Trotsky School”.! Why?! Because the ideas of Leon Trotsky, the co-leader with V.I. Lenin of the Russian Revolution 97 years ago, have great relevance and power in the context of the global crisis of capitalism today.! From the general strikes in Greece, Italy, France, and Spain, to the massive protests of the Quebec students’ movement, to the Idle No More indigenous peoples’ actions, to anti-pipeline demonstrations across North America, discontent with the business agenda is increasingly visible.
More people today are turning to the ideas of revolutionary Marxism for a scientific explanation of the ills of capitalism. Indeed, they want to know what to do about it. What better guide is there than the political method employed by the architects of the world’s first workers’ state?
At the conference we looked at history, political theory, economics, and we proposed a concrete programme for action.! We are proudly part of the working class. Workers are the vast majority of the so-called 99%.! But if the problem was just the 1% minority, the working class would have solved that problem a long time ago with a simple vote.! Unfortunately, there is a huge apparatus of control that keeps the capitalist class in power.
Divide and rule is their method. The challenge facing the working class is to unite – to unite across the lines of oppression.! Whether the basis of that oppression is race, gender, sexual orientation, language or national identity, we need to unite. But to do so in a good way, we need to develop and implement the programme and strategy required for working class victory.! By critically assessing political issues, past and present, such as we did at the conference, we can find the way forward.The conference theme was:! “Revolutionary Strategy”.! The sessions included:! “Security, Surveillance and the Strong State”, “How Revolutionary Youth Movements have changed the world”, “What is the Labour Bureaucracy – and What Should be Done about it”; and “The Democratic Party – Death Trap for U.S. Blacks – The case for Independent Labour/Black political action”.
These are all big questions.! We hope that you find the talks published here illuminating!
We welcome your feedback.

VIDEO/PHOTO’S from Education for Activists conference TROTSKY SCHOOL 2013

Congratulations and thanks to all the guest speakers, members and supporters who helped to make the sixth annual Education for Activists Conference a success.  Over forty-five people attended the Socialist Action Trotsky School at OISE U of Toronto.

Security, Surveillance and the Strong State
with speakers Glen Ford, editor of Black Agenda Report, radio host and commentator and Robbie Mahood, member of Quebec Solidaire and a leader of SA/LAS Montreal.
How Revolutionary Youth Movements have
Changed the World
with speakers Lisa Luinenberg, Socialist Action – U.S.A. and Y.S.A. – U.S.A., Tyler Mackinnon, Chairperson, Youth for Socialist Action – Canada, Evan Engering, Y.S.A. – Canada
What is the Labour Bureaucracy
and what should be done about it?
with speaker Barry Weisleder.2013TrotskySchool206
The Democratic Party – Death Trap for U.S. Blacks – The Case for Independent Labour/Black Political Action
with speakers Glen Ford, editor, Black Agenda Report, radio host and commentator and Julius Arscott, V.P. OPSEU Local 532, steering committee member of NDP Socialist Caucus, and leader of Socialist Action/ Ligue pout l’Action socialiste.
2013TrotskySchool302 2013TrotskySchool303 2013TrotskySchool304 2013TrotskySchool305