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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.
March 18, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity — This 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”.
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.
March 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity — One 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.
By Andrea Levy and Corvin Russell
February 23, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — If there is a single theme that has distinguished left politics in Canada and Québec at least since the 1960s, it is the aspiration to national sovereignty. For both the social-democratic and radical left in Québec, the pursuit of social justice is inextricably bound up with national liberation and the creation of a sovereign state emancipated from the colonial chokehold of the Canadian federation. Meanwhile, a considerable part of the left in English Canada for decades similarly conceived the liberation of the Canadian economy and foreign policy from domination by the superpower to the south as the starting point of any viable left project.
A Tate Gallery for the New Left: Portraits, Landscapes, and Abstracts in the Revolutionary Activism of the 1950s and 1960s
campaigning to become Mayor of Toronto, Canada, 1948.
Ernest Tate, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s: A Memoir – Volume 1, Canada 1955–1965 (London: Resistance Books, 2014)
Ernest Tate, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s: A Memoir – Volume 2, Britain 1965–1970 (London: Resistance Books, 2014)
By Bryan D. Palmer
By Sam Gindin and Herman Rosenfeld
September 7, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Ever since the sit-down strikes of the 1930s, the cycle of ‘Big Three’ auto bargaining has been a major economic and political event, an indicator of the progress of the class struggle in North America. If such interest has sagged of late, it charged back into the news with the aggressive declaration of Unifor's president, Jerry Dias, that winning new investments for Canada is at the top of the union's agenda in its current bargaining round with General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler. Dias followed up this challenge to management's right to unilaterally decide investments with the audacious warning that if these U.S.-based corporations don't deliver on bringing a fair share of investments to Canada, they can expect a strike.
The Green Party of Canada have become the country’s first political party with parliamentary representation to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. They also passed a resolution at the recent convention calling for the removal of the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund. Below, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing two articles on the topic from ricochet by Canadian activists Derrick O’Keefe and Yves Engler that provide some context to this historic decision.
By Jocelyn Piercy
August 7, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- When I think of the struggles in Toronto in the 1980s and ’90s for sexual and reproductive justice or liberation (that is, for more than just legal or formal rights), I think of the importance of having AIDS Action Now and the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (OCAC) as socialist feminist leaders in these respective struggles.
June 11, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project -- The Leap Manifesto is, in a way, Canada's version of the burst of Left and socialist energies that have come with the Bernie Sanders campaign in the Democratic Party in the U.S. and the Jeremy Corbyn leadership win in the Labour Party in Britain.
Canada: Leap Manifesto unites broad forces, builds climate justice campaigns
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has acknowledged shocking details about the violence of Canada’s near past. Deepening poverty and inequality are a scar on the country’s present. And Canada’s record on climate change is a crime against humanity’s future.” —The Leap Manifesto
by John Riddell
April 3, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate and Capitalism -- Five hundred Toronto-area supporters crowded into a west-end school auditorium March 29 to support the Leap Manifesto, launched early this year in support of a rapid, “justice-based” energy transition to a renewable economy.
The movement was launched in January 2016 to popularize the ideas of Naomi Klein’s influential book on climate change, This Changes Everything. Klein pointed to the need for a mass social movement addressing both the urgent need for climate action and an agenda for social justice.
For more on Greece's struggle against austerity, click HERE.
August 13, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, also posted at LeftStreamed -- In this video of a debate, Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler discuss alternate views on recent developments in the fight against austerity waged by SYRIZA and the Greek people.
Moderated by Susan Spronk, associate professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.
Panitch is Canada research chair in comparative political economy at York University, Toronto. Fidler is life-long socialist, activist and writer who blogs at http://lifeonleft.blogspot.ca/
Armed police patrol in Ottawa on October 22, 2014, following the attack on Canada's parliament by the troubled Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
By Roger Annis, Toronto
October 24, 2014 -- A Socialist in Canada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Today, the Vancouver Sun has published a description of the troubled man who killled a guard in Ottawa two days ago and then entered Canada’s parliament building carrying his gun. He was shot and killed by police.
The Sun reporters speak to people who knew Michael Zehaf-Bibeau while he lived in Vancouver during recent years and they describe an angry and troubled man grappling with mental illness and drug addiction. He has lived in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal at various times in the past three years. He died at age 32.
In Vancouver in 2011, he staged a robbery of a McDonald’s restaurant in order to get himself placed in jail for what he considered would be a form of drug treatment. After threatening a McDonald’s employee and demanding cash, he sat outside and waited for police to arrive and arrest him.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
By Naomi Klein
Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
Review by John Riddell
October 20, 2014 -- Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Despite endless conferences, treaties and solemn promises, greenhouse gas emissions have risen 61% since 1990, and the rate of increase is accelerating. As Naomi Klein tells us in her new book, This Changes Everything, we are now experiencing an “early twenty-first century emissions explosion”.
The reason for this ominous failure, she shows, is that the present capitalist profit system itself is incompatible with climate and environmental stability. Our only hope is the rise of mass movements with the combined goals of saving the environment and achieving social justice.
This Changes Everything is a rich resource of fact and argument: it’s a book that every climate justice activist should read, use and share.
‘The Right is right’
The right-wing Canadian government endorsed a "Ukrainian Independence Day" celebration in Toronto that openly raised funds for the fascist Right Sector organisation and at which the group's red and black flags were displayed prominently.
By Roger Annis
September 18, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Just under 25 years ago, the Cold War ended with a capitalist triumph. The nationalised economies and political structures of the Soviet Union and eastern Europe collapsed and a transition to a harsh, anti-social capitalism began.
In the years that followed, an eastward expansion was undertaken by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the military alliance of the imperialist countries of Europe and North America. Many of the countries of eastern Europe joined the alliance, in explicit defiance of agreements by NATO with post-Soviet Russia not to expand in this way.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath disappointed much of her party’s base by positioning herself to the right of the Liberal Party.
By Roger Annis
July 3, 2014 -- A Socialist in Canada, first published at The Bullet (Socialist Project) and posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Voters in Canada’s largest and most industrialised province went to the polls on June 5, 2014, to choose a provincial government. The choices were limited lesser evils, "bad" or "worse", constrained by a lurch to the political right by the trade union-based New Democratic Party (NDP).
This follows elections last year in Nova Scotia and British Columbia that were marked by the drift to the right of the NDP and electoral disappointments similar to what the party suffered in Ontario.
Click HERE for more on Cuba and LGBTI rights
July 9, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Cuban political leader and advocate of gay and lesbian liberation, Mariela Castro, was an invited foreign guest and participant in the festivities and discussions during the WorldPride celebration in Toronto in late June 2014.
Mariela Castro is the director of the National Center for Sexual Education in Cuba (CENESEX). Castro and CENESEX have greatly helped to sustain and lead the fight against homophobia in Cuba. She is also an elected member of Cuba's parliament, the National Assembly.
She spoke at several events that were part of the WorldPride program and she attended the huge World Pride Parade.
During the WorldPride events in Toronto, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Syd Ryan, awarded Mariela Castro the OFL's International Workplace Rights Award. Ryan motivated the award to Castro, citing, in part, the major gains registered by Cuba's new labour code. It bans discrimination and violence in the workplace based on sexual orientation.
Introduction by Greg Albo and moderated by Carolyn Egan.
June 26, 2014 -- Left Streamed -- Ernest Tate's two-volume Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s was launched in Toronto on June 11, 2014. Presentations by:
- Chris Schenk teaches labour studies at University of Toronto
- Richard Fidler blogs at Life on the Left
- Bryan Palmer is the Canada Research Chair at Trent University, and editor of Labour/Le Travail
- Ernie Tate, author of Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s
Breaking a path for the '60s radicalisation: John Riddell reviews Ernest Tate's 'Revolutionary Activism'
Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s: A Memoir
By Ernest Tate
Volume 1, Canada 1955-1965
Vol. 1: ISBN 978-0-902869-69-1; EAN: 9780902869691
Vol. 2: ISBN 978-0-902869-60-8; EAN: 9780902869608
Resistance Books, London, 2014
Review by John Riddell
An election poster for Québec Solidaire.
For more on Quebec, click HERE.
By Richard Fidler
May 13, 2014 – Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author’s permission -- The defeat of the Parti Québécois and the election of a federalist Liberal Party government in the Quebec general election of April 7, 2014, raises important questions about the future of the Quebec movement for sovereignty and political independence. And it poses some major challenges to the left party Québec Solidaire, as it seeks to position itself in the developing struggle for the direction and programmatic content of the Québécois national movement.