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Canada

The fight for independence in Catalonia: What lessons for Quebec?

 

 

‘We are the grandchildren of the grandparents you bashed' October 3 demonstration 
outside the Spanish National Police headquarters in Barcelona

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

October 16, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Following the October 1 referendum in Catalonia — held in the face of massive repression resulting in hundreds of injured — the people shut down production and massed in cities and towns across the autonomous state on October 3 to protest the Spanish government’s attempt to deny them the elementary democratic right to vote on their constitutional and political future.

 

Quebec sovereigntists debate fallout from Québec solidaire’s decisions on alliances

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

June 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — As I explained in my previous report on the Québec solidaire congress, it was disclosed after the congress that the QS central leadership had disavowed the signatures by its representatives on a proposed “road map” to independence drafted in April by the coalition OUI Québec, which includes all the pro-independence parties including QS.

 

That decision, not reported to the QS congress delegates in late May, has since given rise so far to several articles, all of them published in the Montréal nationalist daily Le Devoir. I have translated them below.

Canada’s New Democratic Party and the “Leap Manifesto”

 

 

By Ernie Tate

 

June 1, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity The campaign has begun in Canada’s New Democratic Party to replace Tom Mulcair as leader, after the party’s disastrous performance in the 2015 Federal election, the results of which induced a major crisis in the party, from which it has yet to recover.  In 2011 under its previous leader, Jack Layton, the NDP had achieved the status of Official Opposition,the closest it had ever come to forming a government in Ottawa. Layton, who had campaigned in that election while suffering from prostate cancer, died not long after that. Mulcair replaced him as party leader.

 

Québec solidaire: No to an electoral pact with the PQ, Yes to a united front against austerity and for independence

 

 
By Richard Fidler

 

May 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — As expected, the 500 delegates to the congress of Québec solidaire (QS), held here May 19-22, voted to work toward a fusion with Option nationale, debated and adopted the remaining part of the party’s draft program with few major amendments, and elected a new leadership headed by “co-spokespeople” Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

 

Major decisions face Québec solidaire at its forthcoming congress

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

Original published on May 16, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left Quebec’s broad party of the left, Québec solidaire (QS), will open a four-day congress on May 19 in Montréal — the 12th congress in its 11-year history. The delegates face a challenging agenda. It includes the final stage of adoption of the party’s detailed program, a process begun eight years ago; discussion of possible alliances with other parties and some social movements including a proposed fusion with another pro-independence party, Option nationale; and renewal of the party’s top leadership.

 

A Québécois view of Canada’s 150th anniversary: Why celebrate colonial autonomy?

 

 

By André Binette, translation and notes by Richard Fidler

 

May 16, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Each sovereign state can choose the date of its national holiday. Generally, this date recalls the accession to independence. The United States, for example, chose to emphasize each year their unilateral declaration of independence of July 4, 1776. They preferred this date to the date of the Treaty of Paris, 1783, which ended the revolutionary war they had won thanks to France’s decisive support. Their national holiday commemorates a founding act.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Mapping the Canadian Left: Sovereignty and solidarity in the 21st century

 

 

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

 

Revolutionary Workers Party national secretary Ross Dowson,
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

 

Bargaining over corporate investment: innovation or trap?

 

 

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.

 

Climate justice and the prospect of power

 

 

 

A balance sheet of the movement to block the cross-Toronto ‘Line 9’ pipeline project by John Riddell. With notes on the meaning of “climate justice” and the relationship of socialism to social movements.

 

Green Party of Canada takes historic step of supporting BDS campaign against Israel

 

 

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.

 

Canada: History and strategies in the fight for reproductive justice

 

 

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.

 

A Leap toward radical politics?

 

 

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.

Naomi Klein-inspired 'Leap Manifesto' shakes up Canadian left

 

 

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.

 

Lessons from Greece: Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler debate SYRIZA

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/

Canada: Rulers, media exploit random violence by troubled people to justify 'war on terror'

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.

Naomi Klein: ‘Only mass social movements can save us’ from climate catastrophe

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’

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