Strikes for social justice have taken hold of Canada’s two largest universities. 6,000 members of Local 3902 (unit 1) of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are on legal strike against their employer, the University of Toronto (U of T). “We are poor, precarious, and need improvement in our standard of living,” Union Chair Erin Black said after her members overwhelmingly rejected U of T management’s terms at the end of February. The 3,700 members of CUPE Local 3903 hit the bricks on March 3, taking on their bosses at York University. At a special membership meeting held a day earlier, members voted 71 per cent to reject the university’s last offer and to commence strike action. They want protection against tuition hikes and an end to precarious, one year at a time, teaching contracts.
TROTSKY SCHOOL – Education for Activists Conference
with special guest speaker Glen Ford, U.S. radio host of the Black Agenda Report
Friday, November 15
7 p.m. Security, Surveillance and the Strong State
Glen Ford, editor, Black Agenda Report, radio host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America’s Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded and is current editor of the Black Agenda Report, which is widely broadcast, including on CIUT-FM in Toronto. Ford is the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion. He is on the board of directors of the United National Anti-war Coalition.
Robbie Mahood, member Quebec Solidaire and a leader of SA/LAS Montreal.
Saturday, November 16
10 a.m. How Revolutionary Youth Movements have changed the world They ended the war in Vietnam, helped to desegregate the schools of Boston, and form the backbone of Idle No More, Occupy, and the Arab Awakening.
Lisa Luinenberg, Socialist Action-USA and YSA-USA.
Tyler Mackinnon, chairperson, Youth for Socialist Action-Canada.
12 noon Lunch break
1 p.m. What is the Labour Bureaucracy – and what should be done about it?
Barry Weisleder, federal secretary, Socialist Action/Ligue pour l’Action socialiste; co-editor, Socialist Action newspaper; substitute teacher organizer, and member of OSSTF.
Lindsay Hinshelwood, ran for President of UNIFOR at its founding convention in August 2013, obtaining 17.5% of the votes cast. She is an assembly line worker at Ford Oakville and a member of UNIFOR Local 707, formerly of the Canadian Autoworkers.
4 p.m. The Democratic Party – Death trap for U.S. Blacks – The case for independent Labour/Black political action
Glen Ford, editor, Black Agenda Report, radio host and commentator.
Julius Arscott, V.P. OPSEU Local 532, steering committee member of the NDP Socialist Caucus, and a leader of Socialist Action/Ligue pour l’Action socialiste, will talk about independent working class political action in the Canadian context.
6 p.m. Social gathering at a nearby pub
November 15 – 16, 2013
OISE, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West (St. George Subway Station) Room 2-214.
$10 for the weekend, $5 per session or PWYC
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