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Ernie Tate

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(Video) No life like it: A tribute to the revolutionary activism of Ernie Tate

 

 

An internationalist tribute to the life, activism and legacy of Ernie Tate (1934-2021).

'No life like it': A tribute to the life, activism, and legacy of Ernie Tate

 

 

April 29, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We warmly welcome you to join us for a tribute to the life, activism and legacy of Ernie Tate (1934-2021).

Class politics at work: Ernie Tate (1934–2021) at CUPE Local One

 

Ernie Tate (front left) and Toronto Hydro strikers, 1989.
Photo by Jess MacKenzie.

By Rob Fairley

April 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Spring — Following Ernie Tate’s death on February 5, 2021, numerous tributes have been published highlighting his lifelong commitment to socialism and remarkable contribution to the anti-war movement. (Links are provided below.) His two-volume memoir, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s, provides a detailed account of this work.

Ernie’s role as a union leader has received less attention. Working at Toronto Hydro from 1977 to 1995, he served as an Executive Board member and eventually as Vice-President of CUPE Local One, which represented roughly 500 blue collar and 450 clerical and technical workers at the utility.

This article includes recollections of several local leaders at the end, retracing some of Ernie’s activity in Local One, including a few of the many battles Ernie had a hand in. With others there at the time, I describe the community of which Ernie was a part, and some of its history and his contributions.

The fortunate Marxist: Ernie Tate (1934-2021)

 

 

By Bryan Palmer

March 5, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Canadian Dimension — Born poor on Belfast’s Shankill Road in the midst of the Great Depression was certainly no entré to a life that would cross paths with Bertrand Russell, Vanessa Redgrave, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir.

Ernest (Ernie) Tate would nevertheless work closely with luminaries such as these and many others who, like him, opposed the war in Vietnam in the 1960s. A lifelong revolutionary socialist, Tate was a leading organizer of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, worked for Russell’s Peace Foundation and its International War Crimes Tribunal, and partnered with the then leftist, David Horowitz (now a prominent conservative spokesman), in taking the anti-war side at an Oxford Union debate.

In memory of Ernie Tate (1934-2021): A life of revolutionary activism

 

 

By John Riddell

February 13, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The socialist movement lost an outstanding educator and organizer with the passing of Ernest (Ernie) Tate in Toronto on 5 February. An outstanding partisan of global anti-imperialist solidarity, Ernie also contributed, with his partner Jess MacKenzie, to building revolutionary Marxist groups and to promoting socialist unity in Canada and Britain.

Raised in an impoverished working-class community in Belfast, Ernie left school at age 14, taking a job at Belfast Mills as apprentice machine attendant. An avid reader and a rebel at heart, Ernie sympathized – unusually, given his Protestant background – with the Irish republican movement.

During a youthful jaunt through France in 1954, Ernie was deeply impressed by the mass solidarity actions celebrating the victory of Vietnamese freedom fighters in Dien Bien Phu. The following year, Ernie took the path of so many of his countrymen and emigrated, settling in Toronto.

A tribute to Ernie Tate

 

 

By Phil Hearse

February 12, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — Ernie was born in 1934 in the Shankill Road, heart of Protestant Belfast. In 1955 at the age of 21 he migrated to Canada and within a year had become a member of the Canadian Trotskyist organisation, the Socialist Educational League.

In 1966 Ernie met Jess Mackenzie, an immigrant from Scotland, and from then on, they formed an unbreakable personal and political partnership. Ernie had been asked to move to Britain as the part of the international aid being provided by North American Trotskyists to establish a British section of the Fourth International and Jess moved to join him.

Fare thee well, comrade: A tribute to Ernie Tate

 

By James Clark and Pam Frache

February 12, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Spring — Ernest (“Ernie”) Tate, lifelong revolutionary socialist, died at home on February 5. He was 86. We send our deepest condolences to Jess MacKenzie, his companion of more than half a century.

With Ernie’s passing, the socialist movement has lost one of its fiercest fighters, someone whose deep commitment to working-class emancipation inspired nearly seven decades of political activity and changed the course of history. The greatest tribute we can pay to Ernie’s life is to share the countless lessons he leaves behind and pass to a new generation of revolutionaries the tools they’ll need to build a better world.

The Cuban Revolution and the Canadian solidarity movement of the 1960's

 

 

 

January 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — What follows is chapter fifteen from volume one of Ernest Tate’s memoir, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s, published by Resistance Books, London. In this chapter, using archival sources, he describes in detail how a small group of Canadian revolutionary socialists in the Socialist Educational League, S.E.L., later to become the League for Socialist Action, L.S.A., of which he was a leader, organized in 1960 to defend the early Cuban Revolution against a right-wing propaganda offensive inspired by American imperialism, designed to quarantine it from the Canadian people. Their campaign in defense of Cuba, he writes, was one of the most successful of its kind in the English-speaking world.

Letter from North America: NAFTA redux and on steroids

 

 

By Ernie Tate

 

April 27, 2017  Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity with the author's permission — The new Trump administration has made NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States, a major issue in its relations with its two neighbours. Recently, Trump has threatened to tear it up. With his standard nationalist demagogy, he claims “previous bad trade deals”, have cost the United States many jobs as a result of American manufacturers moving plants off-shore. He is now in the process of triggering the required ninety day notification period, telling Canada and Mexico the new administration is prepared to bully its way to a new and more favourable arrangement for itself.

 

'I Am Not Your Negro' - A review

 
 

By Ernie Tate

 

April 5, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity — Now and then, and despite its capitalist and racial biases,our culture throws up something that can speak quite eloquently and uniquely about the times we’re living through.  In this case, I’m referring to an amazing documentary film that has been released recently, “I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO”, by Raoul Peck, an acclaimed Haitian director with major films to his credit.This latest work is well worth seeing and has been well received here.

 

A meticulously woven story of the civil rights movement at a critical juncture in its history, expressed in the marvellous words of James Baldwin, the documentary focuses on the lives of three central leaders of that movement in the 1960s, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, their lives tragically cut short by assassinations, killings that strategically weakened the movement and from which it never recovered.

 

A Letter from North America #3 – Our migrant crisis

 
 

 

March 18, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left UnityThis is the third of Ernie Tate’s letters to Left Unity detailing and analysing the struggles against Trump as they emerge on the other side of the pond. Ernie is a lifelong revolutionary who emigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland as a young man. He was one of the most important activists of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign in the 1960s and has recently produced a two volume memoir, “Revolutionary Activism of the 1950s and 1960s”.

 

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A by-product of present toxic atmosphere in the United States against immigrants and refugees has been a sharp increase in this country in recent weeks in the number of asylum seekers walking across the Canadian border, often placing themselves and their families in harm’s way from our extremely harsh winter. It’s also a consequence it should be noted, of the military interventions by the American empire in the Arab and African world — now greatly destabilized because of it, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. And like everywhere else, reactionary forces here are attempting to exploit it to stoke up anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment.

 

Trump and after: Letters from North America

 
 

March 7, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left UnityOne of the most important areas of work for socialists in Europe in the period of Trump will be to establish ongoing working political relationships with comrades in the US and Canada. To that end Left Unity will increase our coverage of politics across the pond. We will begin with a new ‘letter from North America’ courtesy of Ernie Tate. Ernie is a lifelong revolutionary who emigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland as a young man. In the 1960s working in Britain he was one of the most important activists of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign. He has recently produced a two volume memoir of that period, “Revolutionary Activism of the 1950s and 1960s”, published by Resistance Books. Now at the age of 82 and living in Toronto he is still active and an acute observer of the political scene. Ernie will send us his thoughts twice monthly. Below are the first two instalment written to Phil Hearse his longtime friend and comrade.

 

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