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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
1487. September 23, 2017 Dick Nichols Catalonia Referendum: Resisting the Spanish Government Siege
In 1713-14, it took the troops of Spain’s Borbon monarchy 14 months of siege before taking Barcelona and ending Catalan self-rule. In September 2017, Catalonia is again under siege, this time from the central Spanish People’s Party (PP) government. Under prime minister Mariano Rajoy the Spanish state is concentrating all its firepower on stopping the Catalan government’s October 1 independence referendum. On that day, if this siege is successfully resisted, Catalan citizens will vote on whether 'Catalonia should become an independent state in the form of a republic.'
1486. September 22, 2017 José Luis Martínez In Defence of Democratic Rights in Catalonia
In Catalonia an important process of independence is taking place against Spain. At the request of the Popular Party (PP), the Spanish Constitutional Court declared the Catalan Statute of 2010, unconstitutional. This statute was negotiated between the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and later endorsed by the Spanish Parliament. Since then, the number of Catalans who want to become independent from Spain has not stopped growing. The degree of autonomy that Catalonia was going to reach was far too much for a right-wing party as the PP, despite the 2010 statute cuts which were decided by the Spanish parliament.
1485. September 21, 2017 Trade Unions for Energy Democracy UK Unions Call for Energy to be Returned to Public Ownership
The annual congress of the UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) has passed a historic composite resolution on climate change that supports the energy sector being returned to public ownership and democratic control. The resolution - carried unanimously - calls upon the 5.7-million-member national federation to work with the Labour Party to achieve this goal, as well as to: implement a mass program for energy conservation and efficiency; lobby for the establishment of a 'just transition' strategy for affected workers; and, investigate the long-term risks to pension funds from investments in fossil fuels.
1484. September 20, 2017 Ontarians for a Just Accountable Mineral Strategy First Nations and Ontario's Ring of Fire
Ontarians for a Just Accountable Mineral Strategy (OJAMS) condemns the Wynne government’s recent decision to begin road construction to the Ring of Fire mineral deposit in 2019 without obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of the Matawa First Nations. This decision is not only in violation of the constitutionally-recognized rights of Aboriginal peoples, but also the Ontario Government’s Regional Framework Agreement with the Matawa First Nations finalized in 2014.
1483. September 18, 2017 Aidan Macdonald and Heidi MacFarland Workers’ Comp is a Right!
For years now, injured workers and frontline advocates have been sounding the alarm that Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has been 'getting its financial house in order' through austerity and cost-cutting measures. Whether it be from slashing compensation for lost wages, denying healthcare treatment and medication, or refusing to recognize mental health injuries, the cuts have come squarely on the backs of injured workers. But resilient and strong in the face of injustice, injured workers across the province are rising up. The Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) - an umbrella organization of injured worker groups throughout Ontario - is launching a province-wide campaign called Workers’ Comp is a Right.
1482. September 15, 2017 Gilmar Mauro interviewed by Brian Mier The MST and the Fight to Change the Brazilian Power Structure
Unlike other former European colonies in the Americas, Brazil has never implemented agrarian reform. With the world’s most unequal land division, three per cent of the population owns approximately 2/3 of the arable land. When former president João Goulart attempted to enact agrarian reform in 1964, he was thrown out of office in a U.S.-backed military coup.
1481. September 13, 2017 Confédération générale du travail Casualization as a Social Model in France? Definitely No!
On August 31st, the French government finally published decrees which alter labour law, for the second time in little over a year. Less rights for workers, more power for employers: that is, in a nutshell, the contents of this new law. This further social retrenchment goes much further than the previous reform (so-called 'El-Khomri Law'), although the El-Khomri Law was explicitly condemned by the United Nations as contrary to France’s international Commitments and against which a complaint has been lodged with the International Labour Organization. Under the pretext of efficiency - but more so in order to reduce to nil any in-depth discussion and restrict protests - this pro-employer reform has been adopted through a fast-track process.
1480. September 11, 2017 Phil Hearse Fighting for Climate Justice
Lies, damn lies and statistics, right? Well not always - sometimes statistics dramatise social reality in a graphic way. A year before the devastating floods in India, Bangladesh and Texas, a little-noticed UN report revealed extraordinary figures about the effects of climate change worldwide. Climate-related catastrophe is now not just an additional hazard for the world’s poor, but a central factor in their oppression and poverty. And this will eventually lead to a cascade of millions of climate change refugees, a process already starting.
1479. September 8, 2017 Michael Hale Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Shall Not Pass
Shortly after British Columbia’s recent election, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley publicly declared that one province cannot hold another hostage by blocking a pipeline. She was referring to the fact that both the B.C. New Democrats and the Green Party had campaigned on platforms focused on building the new energy economy and opposing new pipelines. Many who live in B.C. reject Notley’s specious logic and instead believe that one province cannot trample First Nations’ rights and ruin the earth for the rest of the country.
1478. September 6, 2017 Richard Fidler Quebec Independence -- A Key to Building the Left in Canada
The program introduction speaks of 'convergence' as the goal. And it speaks of an impasse between the lefts in Quebec and Canada, implying a divergence. So I’ll begin by exploring this. In what follows I will focus on what can be termed the political left, seeking political solutions to the problems addressed more generally by the various social movements. And I will treat the New Democratic Party (NDP) as a part of the broad 'left' in English Canada, for reasons I explain later. Generally speaking, the socialist project is to 'change the world by taking power' - that is, building powerful anticapitalist social forces and parties capable of winning control of the state and using government to help build a new anticapitalist popular sovereignty based on decentralized grass-roots participatory democracy.
1477. September 4, 2017 George Hewison Labour and the Corporate Economy: General Electric Ends 128 Years in Peterborough
General Electric (GE) is moving out of Peterborough. It leaves the town, the county, Ontario and Canada with an enormous mess. One of the world’s largest conglomerates has become the poster child for a sick corporate citizen in a sick economic system. It’s not just about leaving hundreds of former workers dead or dying of cancer after having literally given their last breath to the company. We’re not referring to the 21 acre property in the heart of the 'Electric City' that the Company has occupied for over a century with many saying the soil underneath is so contaminated that remediation is going to cost a fortune.
1476. September 2, 2017 Steven Tufts Job Action at Toronto Pearson Airport Shows Why Little Strikes Matter
As Labour Day approaches, we are often reminded of the large strikes that defined Canada’s labour movement. The 30,000 workers in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike or 11,000 autoworkers in the Windsor Ford strike of 1945 that established formal industrial relations in Canada. But little strikes also matter. Teamsters Local 419 represents 700 workers employed by Swissport, a multinational company subcontracted to handle baggage for several airlines at Toronto's Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The workers have been on strike since July 27.
1475. August 29, 2017 Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui The NAFTA Consensus
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks started on August 16 with very little of the fire and fury Donald Trump had promised during his campaign. His pledge to abolish the deal has largely been replaced with a plan to modernize it. Some currents within the Trump administration would certainly like to get rid of NAFTA entirely. But, considering the strength of corporate interests both in and outside the government, this seems unlikely. Big business, NAFTA’s political-intellectual author, remains committed to the agreement and the neoliberal agenda more broadly. The capitalist class simply wields too much power to make abolition possible at this time.
1474. August 27, 2017 Lindsey German Afghanistan: There Is Only One Solution
Donald Trump spent a lot of time when campaigning last year denouncing Barack Obama's foreign policy. Yet within months of entering the White House he too is pledging to continue the war in Afghanistan, sending more troops not to engage in nation building as he puts it but to 'kill more terrorists.' It is hard to see what another estimated 4000 troops will do that Obama's surge didn't do, or how he thinks that this move will in any way improve the fortunes of the U.S. backed government which is losing the war against the Taliban.
1473. August 25, 2017 J. F. Conway Grant Devine’s Alternative Truth
You may have noticed that former Tory premier Grant Devine has returned to public life in Canada. Brad Wall, the current premier of Saskatchewan, has appointed Devine, his old mentor, to the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan. This marks Devine’s second attempt at a return to public service. Back in 2004 he declared his candidacy for the federal Tory nomination in the district of Souris-Moose Mountain.
1472. August 23, 2017 Josep Maria Antentas Catalonia: The Referendum and its Previous Lives
In June 2017 a referendum on Catalan independence was announced by the Government of Catalonia, formed by members of the Junts pel Sí coalition, supported by the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), for October 1 2017. The Spanish state government opposes any regional self-determination referendum, maintaining that the Spanish Constitution does not allow for a vote on the independence of any Spanish region. The referendum on independence for Catalonia scheduled for October 1, 2017 comes five years after the beginning of the independence process marked by the gigantic demonstration of September 11, 2012.
1471. August 21, 2017 David Bush British Columbia NDP’s Crawl to $15
Last Tuesday the new British Columbia NDP government announced it was raising the province’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. The new government had already announced it would raise the minimum wage by 50 cents on September 15, bringing it to $11.35 an hour. In fact, this 50 cent raise had been planned by the previous Liberal government. The announcement makes BC the third province to bring in a $15 minimum wage. This is undoubtedly a win for the larger Fight for $15 movement in Canada and the United States.
1470. August 18, 2017 Vincent DeCesare How New York Subways Got Broke, On Purpose
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for a tax on the rich to fund desperately needed improvements to the crumbling subway system run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). De Blasio's plan would raise city income taxes on individuals making over $500,000 a year and couples making over $1-million by about half of a per cent, which would raise over $700-million for subway and bus upgrades as well as half-price Metro Cards for the almost 800,000 city residents who are at or below the federal poverty level.
1469. August 16, 2017 CUPE, DSA, IWW, ISO An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
Four statements on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week. -- Hate crawled up from the sewers of Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday and flooded the streets with thousands of white men baring torches and chanting unbelievable hatred. Many thought we were past such horrors, that the days of torches and pitch forks held high by angry white men screaming hate were gone for good. We might have hoped that the racist haters that still exist understand that this kind of venom just won’t be tolerated by most people in our society.
1468. August 15, 2017 Korean Unions Call for a Just Energy Transition
In a series of landmark statements following the May 2017 election of the pro-reform President Moon Jae-in, Korean energy, transport and public service workers have called for 'a just energy transition' allowing the sector to 'function as a public asset under public control.' Unions support the new government’s decision to close the country’s aging coal-fired and nuclear power stations, and its planned reconsideration of two new nuclear facilities - Kori 5 and Kori 6.
1467. August 13, 2017 Jonathan Rosenblum An Injury to One is an Injury to All? U.S. Labour’s Divergent Reactions to Trump
Arshiya Chime is a union member helping to rescue the world from climate change. Once she gets her doctorate degree later this year from the University of Washington, she will become a highly prized mechanical engineer, helping economies become less dependent on oil while protecting the environment and creating jobs. But Chime, a leader in her graduate student employees union, United Auto Workers Local 4121, is not welcome in Donald Trump’s vision of America.
1466. August 11, 2017 David Gray-Donald Six Glaring Issues with the Supreme Court Line 9 Decision
On 26 July, the Supreme Court of Canada announced its decision regarding Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, located near London, Ontario, had argued that due process had not been followed in the government approving significant changes to the existing pipeline. The Supreme Court ruled against the Chippewas of the Thames, and in favour of the National Energy Board and, in effect, Enbridge.
1465. August 9, 2017 Dan La Botz Successful Convention Moves DSA to Left
The socialist movement in the United States took a big step forward this past weekend as almost 700 delegates representing over 25,000 members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) met at the organization's biennial national convention in Chicago (Aug. 3-6, 2017). This convention, the first since DSA more than tripled in size following last year's election, brought together delegates from all of the country's major cities and many towns, large and small.
1464. August 8, 2017 Elmar Altvater A Gap in Marx? Value, Nature and Society
So many accusations have been levelled against Karl Marx and, to an even greater extent, his friend and co-author Friedrich Engels in the 150 years since Capital was first published (in German in 1867) that the charges are almost too many to list. Unlike the political economists that came before him, Marx was supposedly unable to explain price formation.
1463. August 7, 2017 J. F. Conway Whatever Became of the CCF’s Dream?
A dramatic shift in electoral politics is currently disrupting leading capitalist democracies, challenging the ideological hegemony and legitimacy of the global neoliberalism of late capitalism. In the U.S., Bernie Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, almost won the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. At the outset of the primaries, the nomination was widely viewed as a slam-dunk for Hilary Clinton. Some polls since the election report that Sanders may well have defeated Donald Trump... Such events lead to an obvious question for Canadians: whatever became of the CCF’s dream?
1462. August 4, 2017 Jane McAlevey Reviving the Strike
Barb Tiller is a mother of four boys, a wife, and a highly skilled operating-room nurse who has been working at Tufts Medical Center in Boston for 27 years. On July 12, for the first time in her life, she walked off the job along with 1,200 other nurses - almost all women - in the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts’s history, and the first in Boston for 31 years. 'Nurses don’t stand up for ourselves,' says Tiller. 'We stand up for our patients; we stand up for our families when we go home. We stand up for everyone else.'
1461. August 3, 2017 Harry Glasbeek The Duplicity of Law and the Cowardice of Capitalists
Capitalism is ugly. The major villains at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, AIG, were not impelled by any desperate need they had to meet, or by their lack of education and opportunities, the circumstances that lead the poor to commit crimes. They were acting as self-seeking, greedy, venal individuals who do not care for anyone but themselves. They were acting as capitalism expects capitalists to act. Their manipulations of financial markets led to the evictions and impoverishment of millions and ravaged sovereign states. None of the most heinous miscreants have been prosecuted for their crimes.
1460. August 2, 2017 Natalia Tylim The Summer of Fear for New York Subway Riders
After months of increasing delays at all times of the day and night, a series of incidents have now raised an even more urgent question: about the daily safety for those who ride and work on New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). On July 17, the Monday morning commute ground to a halt for anyone in need of the A, B, C or D lines when a track fire trapped two trains full of people underground and disrupted service for tens of thousands trying to get to work. Four days later, the derailment of a Q train at Brighton Beach - the fourth derailment on an MTA subway this year - shut down service for five hours, with passengers forced to evacuate.
1459. August 1, 2017 Stephen Maher GE’s Switch
The resignation of General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt last month is the latest sign of the broad restructuring of political and economic power currently underway in the United States. His departure, and John Flannery’s arrival, reveals a lot about the new phase of financialization that has emerged from the Great Financial Crisis. As financial markets and institutions became a more important part of the economy in recent decades, so too did they take on a larger role within corporations themselves, even ostensibly nonfinancial enterprises.
1458. July 29, 2017 The Crisis in Venezuela
Two articles on the crisis in Venezuela: The Left and Venezuela by Claudio Katz; The Venezuelan Dilemma: Progressives and the 'Plague on Both Your Houses' Position by Steve Ellner. During the last two months Venezuela has been faced with a terrible wave of violence. It has already resulted in more than 60 deaths along with looted schools, burned public buildings, destroyed public transportation and emptied hospitals.
1457. July 28, 2017 Autoworkers Caravan Against NAFTA: Resolution to Support Workers in Canada, Mexico and the USA
The following resolution calling for the repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is the work of the Autoworkers Caravan. It is an organizing, educating and mobilizing group of current and former autoworkers, largely located in the USA, but with some Canadian Unifor members as well. The resolution, in the words of one of the Caravan activists, Scott Houldieson, 'will be broadcast to as many local and international unions as possible. One of the goals will be to rally opposition to another corporate trade deal that sacrifices our environment and our standard of living.
1456. July 27, 2017 Pierre Rousset Questions and Implications of the French Elections: Mélenchon, La France Insoumise, Populism
Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s presidential and legislative campaign this year was different from the previous ones. There was a huge change in the relationship to political parties in general and to his former Left Front allies in particular. It’s important to understand the reasons for this change, as well as the implications and the specific context in which it took place. First, let’s take a quick look at who Mélenchon is. He called on voters to 'get rid of' traditional politicians, successfully skirting over the fact that he himself is a rather caricatural example of such figures.
1455. July 26, 2017 Brad Hornick Militant Particularism and Ecosocialism: Harvey, Klein, Smith, Foster
In 'Militant Particularism and Global Ambition,' David Harvey discusses the challenges presented by moving from place out across time. In the midst of his involvement in a participatory research project within a high-stakes local struggle against the closure of an automotive plant, he was accused of being a 'free-floating Marxist intellectual,' an outsider, and he was given the 'evil eye' and asked to explain 'where his loyalties lay.' This is in an environment where people were losing jobs, and families and communities were being destroyed.
1454. July 24, 2017 Lars T. Lih 'All Power to the Soviets!' Biography of a Slogan
'All power to the Soviets!' is surely one of the most famous slogans in revolutionary history. It is right up there with 'Egalité, liberté, fraternité' as a symbol of an entire revolutionary epoch. In this essay and others to follow, I would like to examine the origin of this slogan in its original context of Russia in 1917. When, why and how did the Bolsheviks come to adopt this slogan in the spring of 1917? The usual answer to these questions asserts that in order for the party to arrive at the slogan, it had to be rearmed by Lenin's April Theses.
1453. July 22, 2017 Solidarity With Protest Movement in Morocco
Several civil society organizations have voiced their support for protests in Morocco and other North African countries facing growing state repression, resource theft and imperialist expansion. They call for respect for people’s rights and just development. On 26 June, the first day of Eid celebrations, a popular march that was organized in the town of Hoceima, northern Morocco, was brutally repressed. The people of the Rif region decided to organize the 'Eid March' in order to demand the release of their sons and daughters imprisoned in the previous few weeks.
1452. July 21, 2017 Doug Allan Privatizing Healthcare: More Private Funding of Hospitals
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports that total expenditures on Ontario hospitals increased to $23.7-billion in 2016. This is an increase of 2.4% since 2015 and 6.1% since 2012. While provincial government expenditures increased 4.7% over the four years between 2012 and 2016, private sector expenditures on hospitals increased at a much faster rate - 15.8%. That is more than three times the percentage increase of the provincial government increases.
1451. July 20, 2017 Socialist Project Trumping NAFTA: Free Trade versus Democratic Planning
Opposition to ‘free trade’ is in the air again, though not in the way most of us expected or hoped. Three decades ago, the move to guarantee, extend and deepen Canada’s economic integration with the United States by way of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two states mobilized an impressive though ultimately unsuccessful opposition. This opposition continued, though with less intensity, when that agreement was later extended to include Mexico via the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
1450. July 18, 2017 Judith Deutsch The Ordeal of Hassan Diab
In December 2014, Hassan Diab, the former Carleton University sociology professor, husband to Rania, father of a lovely toddler daughter and one month before the birth of their delightful baby son, was whisked from his home by Canadian officials and extradited to France. The reason: suspicion that he was involved in the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980. It did not seem to matter to Canadian and French authorities that he was in Beirut at the time of the bombing, that his fingerprints did not match the proffered evidence and that the handwriting analysis was flawed.
1449. July 17, 2017 Canadian Union of Public Employees Public Transit, Privatization and the Canada Infrastructure Bank
The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will create a pipeline of privatization for our public transit systems. Corporations will be able to extract long-term profit from public transit fares and public subsidies. Our governments subsidize public transit because it’s critical infrastructure for our communities: to get us from place to place, to reduce traffic congestion, and to green our environment. When we allow corporations to plan, finance, operate, maintain and own public transit, we funnel ridership fares and government funding into corporate coffers.
1448. July 14, 2017 Ingo Schmidt Reading Capital: Changing Historical Contexts and Different Political Projects
One hundred and fifty years after the first volume of Marx’s Capital was published in 1867, Marx remains a common point of reference but his magnum opus is by no means widely read. Once he was thrown off pedestals across the former Soviet Union, Western business media adopted Marx as a principal witness for the capitalist cause. In 1998, 150 years after the publication of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels were hailed as prophets of globalization.
1447. July 12, 2017 Barry Eidlin Labor’s Legitimacy Crisis Under Trump
As nativist right-wing populism surges across the Global North amidst the exhaustion of social democracy and 'Third Way' liberalism, the United States finds itself at the forefront. Elsewhere, right populist parties have led in the polls, as with the Front National in France and the PVV in the Netherlands, or played key roles in seismic political events, as with UKIP and Brexit. But so far, only in the U.S. has the right populist wave captured a major political party and ridden it to power.
1446. July 10, 2017 John Bellamy Foster interviewed by Juan Cruz Ferre A Resistance Movement for the Planet
We are in an emergency situation in the Anthropocene epoch in which the disruption of the Earth system, particularly the climate, is threatening the planet as a place of human habitation. However, our political-economic system, capitalism, is geared primarily to the accumulation of capital, which prevents us from addressing this enormous challenge and accelerates the destruction.
1445. July 7, 2017 Ethan Earle Trump Is Trying to Make NAFTA Even Worse
Many on the Left have been deeply critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) since before it was fast-tracked into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1994. Now, President Donald Trump’s current plan to renegotiate NAFTA is poised to make the massive trade deal even worse. In late May, a loose coalition of civil society groups gathered in Mexico City to discuss this upcoming renegotiation. Participants included the AFL-CIO, Canadian Labour Congress and over one hundred other labour, environmental, and immigrant rights organizations from across Mexico, the United States and Canada.
1444. July 5, 2017 Global Summit Calls for ‘World Without Walls’
Social movements and citizens from around the world, meeting in Tiquipaya, Bolivia, on June 20 and 21, 2017, after hearing the testimonies of migrants and refugees and collectively debating on the basis of our historic memory and the plurality of our identities, approve the following declaration, with the aim of manifesting our vision and proposals regarding the so-called migrant crisis to states and the international community.
1443. July 3, 2017 Adam Hanieh The Qatar Crisis
The June 5 decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt to suspend diplomatic ties with Qatar has sent shockwaves through the Middle East. The ensuing blockade shut down much of the Gulf’s maritime and land trade with Qatar, provoking fears that the tiny state would soon face food shortages. Major air carriers, including Emirates, Gulf Air, flydubai, and Etihad Airways, canceled flights, and Qatari citizens living in the participating nations had just two weeks to return home. Even immigrants with Qatari residency permits would be caught up in the expulsion.
1442. June 30, 2017 Nicole Hill, Angele Alook, Ian Hussey Indigenous People and Resource Extraction
In February, the government of Alberta signed a ten-year framework agreement with the Métis Nation of Alberta, emphasizing a relationship based on recognition, respect, and cooperation. In March, Alberta and the Blackfoot Confederacy signed a protocol agreement on how they will work together on economic development and other areas of concern to both parties. These agreements, of course, are only two of many instances of Indigenous people in the mainstream media recently.
1441. June 29, 2017 Stefan Kipfer Macronism: Neoliberal Triumph or Next Stage in France's Political Crisis?
'I really hope Macron can reform France, which is not doing well, you know.' These were the words of a young and stylish corporate lawyer, who started chatting with me during lunch in the cafeteria of the French national library. Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche had just won the Parliamentary elections. The lawyer tried to convince me of the benefits of liberalism but also expressed anxiety about whether Macron would manage to do what previous Presidents have not: overcome all the various social and institutional obstacles in the way of a full-fledged neoliberalism.
1440. June 28, 2017 J. F. Conway Populism in the 21st Century
The term 'populism' has returned to the daily vocabulary of political pundits and analysts trying to make sense of the recent seismic shifts in the politics of many capitalist democracies. For the most part the term is used loosely, with no definition to guide the reader. There was the 'populism' behind the unexpected surges in support for Bernie Sanders in the U.S. primaries and for Jeremy Corbyn in the UK election.
1439. June 27, 2017 Socialist Project Working Classes and the Rise of the New Right: Socialist Politics in the Era of Trump
The success of xenophobic right-wing political forces today calls for the development of a socialist praxis fit for this perilous political moment. Taking this seriously requires that we address the inroads of the far right into working class constituencies that were bastions of trade unionism for much of the 20th century, and traditionally voted heavily not only for New Deal Democrats, or Labour and Social Democratic parties on the centre-left but even, as in France, for Communist parties.
1438. June 26, 2017 John Clarke The Neoliberal Writing on the Wall: Ontario's Basic Income Experiment
Since 2010, the UK has endured a political regime that can be considered a cutting edge of the austerity agenda. Through the film, I, Daniel Blake, people around the world have become familiar with the institutionalized cruelty of the Country’s warped system of providing social benefits to those in need. To those who endure sub-poverty misery, the humiliating intrusion of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and the ever present threat of the sanctions regime, the conclusion that anything must be better than the present set up is an easy one to arrive at.
1437. June 23, 2017 Christoph Scherrer Trump's Trade Policy Agenda: More Liberalization
President Donald Trump has been portrayed as a protectionist. His immediate cancellation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) upon assuming the presidency, as well as his support for the border adjustment tax proposed by the Republican leadership in Congress, seems to confirm this portrayal of his foreign economic policy leanings. However, a different conclusion emerges from a closer reading of Donald Trump's business interests, of his trade agenda as published in the 2016 Annual Report on the Trade Agreements Program by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and of American trade negotiation history.
1436. June 21, 2017 Canadian Union of Public Employees Banking on Privatization: the Canada Infrastructure Bank
The Liberal government is promoting the Canada Infrastructure Bank as a new way to provide financing for public infrastructure. But it’s really a new and dangerous way for corporations to profit from public infrastructure and services. The bank will allow corporations and private lenders unprecedented access to - and power over - the infrastructure that keeps our communities safe and makes them great places to live. The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will support projects that generate revenue for private lenders and corporations, including water and wastewater systems, public transit, roads and electrical utilities.
1435. June 20, 2017 Nikki Williams We Need Free Speech to Fight the Right
'Free Speech or die, Portland. You got no safe space. This is America. Get out if you don't like free speech.' Those were the chilling words of anti-Muslim terrorist Jeremy Christian at his arraignment for stabbing three people who tried to stand up to his harassment of two women of color, one of them wearing a hijab, on a light rail train in Portland, Oregon. Christian was responding to the far right's current cynical campaign in defense of what it calls 'free speech' - which to the bigots means the freedom to harass, intimidate and assault oppressed people with no opposition.
1434. June 19, 2017 Canadian Union of Postal Workers Time to Revitalize the Anti-War Movement
Justin Trudeau certainly did not run on a military-strength platform. Nowhere on the campaign trail did Liberals talk about increasing military spending or using 'hard power' abroad. The recent speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, alongside the announced 70 per cent increase in military spending should ring alarm bells. Stephen Harper wouldn't have dared such an announcement. Canadians wouldn't have accepted it. Not with our hospitals, schools and infrastructure in such sorry shape.
1433. June 16, 2017 Benjamin Selwyn Labour’s Permanent Reformation
The 2017 British general election has generated the beginnings of a qualitative-change in the relationship between the Labour Party, much of British society, and parliament. That transformation can be understood as the emergence of a permanent reformation. Labour’s much better-than expected support raises the distinct possibility of its victory in the next election. Against all the odds - the polls, the hostile right-wing press, expectations within the Labour party itself - Jeremy Corbyn led the party through a brilliantly coordinated campaign, presided over the biggest swing to Labour since the earth-shaking 1945 general election, and placed socialist ideas firmly back on the political agenda.
1432. June 15, 2017 Natalie Mehra Private Billing and Health Clinics: Rebuild Capacity in Public Hospitals
In the Globe and Mail this weekend, physicians who are extra-billing patients for services at private clinics justified themselves by complaining that they cannot get operating room time and waits are too long in the public system. Let's be honest, these problems do exist. But these problems do not justify double-billing - charging the public healthcare system and patients as well for healthcare. They do not justify breaking Canadian laws that are meant to provide equity and protect patients from user fees when they are sick, elderly and least able to pay.
1431. June 13, 2017 Marty Hart-Landsberg The Need For A New U.S. Foreign Policy Toward North Korea
USA-North Korean relations remain very tense, although the threat of a new Korean War has thankfully receded. Still the U.S. government remains determined to tighten economic sanctions on North Korea and continues to plan for a military strike aimed at destroying the country's nuclear infrastructure. And the North for its part has made it clear that it would respond to any attack with its own strikes against U.S. bases in the region and even the U.S. itself.
1430. June 10, 2017 Gregor Gall UK Election: Labour Surge Gives Unions a Chance
For the vast majority of unions in Britain, the idea of the Labour Party fighting a general election with a dream leadership team of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell was manna from heaven after the era of New Labour. From 1997 to 2010, many unions believed Labour governments were a case of 'power without principles.' The unions did manage to get Ed Miliband elected as leader in 2010, rather than his more centrist brother David, but that did little to shift the balance in the equation between power and principles come the 2015 general election.
1429. June 9, 2017 Richard Greeman Sunday’s French Election
The good news this May was that French voters rejected far-right Marine Le Pen by a two-to-one margin in the second round of the Presidential election. 'At least the French are not schmucks as the Americans!' were the first words that passed the sweet lips of my Provençal partner Elyane when the radio announced Le Pen's defeat. As the Borowitz Report headlined: 'French Annoyingly Retain Right to Claim Intellectual Superiority over Americans.' Aside from this moral victory, the French people have little to be happy about.
1428. June 8, 2017 David Bush $15 and Fairness Shakes Up Ontario
The Fight for $15 and Fairness scored a big victory on May 30 when the Ontario Liberals announced they would raise the minimum wage to $15 by January 1, 2019. The Liberals also announced a slew of other legislative changes they will introduce as part of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, such as two paid personal emergency leave days, equal pay for equal work for part-time workers, requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours, an additional week of paid vacation for employees who have been with a business for at least five years.
1427. June 7, 2017 Climate Vandalism and North American Capitalism
North America has been witness to two distinct forms of climate vandalism over the last year. In the case of the United States, it came from President Donald Trump's decision last week to formally withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord of December 2015, an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change set for 2020 to address greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, and adaptation, as well as proposals for financial assistance. In the case of Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has proclaimed Canada's commitment to the Paris Accord wide and far, and introduced the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
1426. June 5, 2017 Richard Fidler Quebec Sovereigntists Debate Fallout from Québec Solidaire’s Decisions on Alliances
As I explained in my previous report on the Québec solidaire (QS) 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.
1425. June 3, 2017 James P. Hare Paris is Burning
With U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement, he has put an end to months of apparent indecision. This withdrawal does not dissolve the agreement, which still includes nearly every country on the planet, but it is hard to imagine how an already weak agreement can be expected to slow - not to mention reverse - greenhouse gas emissions without the participation of the United States. Seeing this decision as anything other than a nail in the coffin of the global climate regime is nothing but wishful thinking.
1424. June 1, 2017 Tithi Bhattacharya Ragpicking Through History: Class Memory, Class Struggle and its Archivists
In 1990, I watched the Polish film maker Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blind Chance (1981/1987) without registering the paralyzing potential of a particular scene. The protagonist, Witek, meets an old Communist by chance on a train. As a result of that meeting Witek decides to join the Communist Party. Later, again by sheer chance, he runs into an ex-partner, also his first love. A beautiful, tender and fierce sex scene follows. In the calm of the after, Witek, almost absentmindedly, whistles the Internationale.
1423. May 30, 2017 Zwelinzima Vavi Let’s Rebuild a Democratic Global Trade Union Movement
Greetings to my brother and comrade, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Rev. Terrence L. Melvin. Revolutionary salutes to my big brother Bill William Lucy, the former President of CBTU and leading member of the AFL-CIO and AFSCME now trying to enjoy his well deserved retirement. Reporting back provides an opportunity to assess whether the beliefs we held dear when we were younger are still relevant today, and are still capable of guiding our actions for the project to liberate the working class and the whole of society from the yoke of oppression.
1422. May 29, 2017 Richard Fidler Quebec Solidaire Congress: United Front Against Austerity and For Independence
As expected, the 500 delegates to the congress of Québec solidaire (QS), held in Montréal on 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. Most of these achievements, however, were overshadowed by the debate on a proposal by some of the outgoing leadership that the party attempt to negotiate an 'electoral pact' with the Parti québécois.
1421. May 26, 2017 Manuel Larrabure Brazil in Crisis and the Challenges for the Left
On Thursday, May 18, an incriminating audio recording surfaced containing the voice of current Brazilian president Michel Temer of the historically centrist, but recently turned right wing, Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party). In this recording, Temer can be heard engaging in discussions of bribery with former House speaker and fellow party member Eduardo Cunha, jailed in 2016 on corruption charges. The recording was acquired by billionaire corporate executive, Joesley Batista.
1420. May 25, 2017 Palestinian BDS National Committee Urgent Call On Day 40 of Palestinian Hunger Strike
Hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners are now approaching their critical sixth week on hunger strike, and they have made an urgent appeal for international solidarity. As they hit Day 40 of their courageous Dignity Strike on May 26, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) calls for intensifying global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns to amplify the prisoners’ legitimate and just demands.
1419. May 24, 2017 Alfredo Saad-Filho Brazil’s Political Rupture and the Left’s Opportunity
'Out with Temer - direct elections now!' Amid meltdown in Brazil, the left calls for democracy, while the right must find ways to deny the people a voice. The Brazilian Workers’ Party won the country's presidential elections four times in a row; first with Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, then with his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff. During its 13 years in office, the PT changed Brazil in many ways; four are principally worth mentioning, as they would come to play key roles in the elite conspiracy to impeach Dilma Rousseff and destroy her party.
1418. May 23, 2017 Tyler Shipley interviewed by Tanner Mirrlees The New (Canadian) Imperialism, in Honduras: Ideology, the News Media, Pedagogy and Pop Culture
I was in Guatemala in 2009 when the coup took place, and it was headline news in Central America for months, so it was impossible to miss the gravity of the situation. My first trips to Honduras that year were not research trips at all but, rather, were to participate in the larger solidarity efforts by progressives across the hemisphere. I went to Honduras to try to help the peaceful resistance movement in whatever way I could. I joined marches and demonstrations and documented the violence of the military government that had taken over.
1417. May 19, 2017 Dianne Feeley Regulation -- Who Needs It?
Surrounded by CEOs and autoworkers bused in for the event, Donald Trump made it clear during his March 14th appearance in the Detroit area that he was going to get rid of a federal regulation in order to free up the industry so it could 'make thousands and thousands and thousands of additional cars.' For him it was a simple decision: 'If the standards threatened auto jobs, then common-sense changes could have and should have been made.'
1416. May 17, 2017 Richard Fidler Major Decisions Face Québec Solidaire at its Forthcoming Congress
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.
1415. May 16, 2017 Tanner Mirrlees Canada’s Role in the World
Stories about Canada's role in the world define 'who Canadians are' and 'who they are not.' The story that gets told most is a positive one. Canada, benign and benevolent, promotes free markets, democracy and multiculturalism while protecting peace, stability and human rights in each country it engages in or does business with. Optimistic and confident, this glowing story about Canada in the world is packaged and sold, over and over again, year after year.
1414. May 15, 2017 Mostafa Henaway Migration and Capitalism, in the Age of Trump
This past May 1st, across the United States and here in Quebec, the spirit of May Day was alive and well. Immigrant workers have given International Workers’ Day a new breath of fresh air since the historic mobilizations of a 'day without an immigrant' in the United States in 2006. This year in the U.S., broad coalitions of migrant communities and trade unions took to the streets in solidarity with immigrant workers to resist Donald Trump's racist and xenophobic policies.
1413. May 11, 2017 Oupa Lehulere The Corruption of a Dream
The SASSA scandal currently unfolding is probably the most dramatic expression of how far the African National Congress (ANC) has traveled since its days of opposition to apartheid. Under apartheid, ANC activists were associated with laying down their lives in defending and advancing the interests of the mass of the people - in particular the black working class. Today, the cadre of the ANC is associated with stealing from the mass of people they used to die for.
1412. May 10, 2017 Shellie Bird, Candace Rennick, Michael Hurley Childcare Now! The Struggle for Quality, Universal Childcare
In 1991, 20 per cent of childcare workers belonged to a union. This stands at 21 per cent today. Despite their stated commitment to organize women in the wage ghetto of childcare, unions have essentially forsaken one of the most vulnerable, underpaid and undervalued female dominated workforces in this country. Universal, quality, accessible, free, not-for-profit, childcare is the goal.
1411. May 9, 2017 André Binette Canada’s 150th: A Québécois View
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.
1410. May 8, 2017 Michael A. Lebowitz Hats and Men: Marx's Faulty Symmetry
It is 150 years since Karl Marx published the first volume of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy in 1867, with the two subsequent volumes coming out under the editorship of Friedrich Engels over the next decades. Capital is a masterful appraisal of the ‘vulgar’ defences of capitalism focused on exchange and markets and the more ‘scientific’ accounts of classical political economy highlighting the distribution of the new value produced between the social classes.
1409. May 6, 2017 Bruno Góis Anti-Austerity Geringonça in Portugal
A new word has arisen in the European political debate: Geringonça. This new Portuguese political term geringonça (contraption), refers to the current minority government of the Socialist Party (center-left) supported in the parliament by radical left parties. The name Geringonça was coined by its conservative critics but became popular and is also used by supporters. Between 2012 and 2013, Portugal had massive popular demonstrations, the biggest since the revolutionary period of 1974/75. Half a million people in the streets in a country of 10 million inhabitants is quite a lot.
1408. May 4, 2017 Tikva Honig-Parnass Zionist Colonization is Not ‘Exceptional’: A Marxist Viewpoint
This article aims to challenge the rather widely accepted claim that the nature of Zionist settler colonization is exceptional and even 'defies appeal to any precedent that can usefully be invoked as to its evolution and eventual revolution.' My challenge will focus on Moshé Machover's 2016 article, 'The decolonization of Palestine' which is the third of a series of three articles published in Weekly Worker. It deals with the typology of colonial projects and its implication upon identifying Zionist colonization and the struggle for its downfall.
1407. May 3, 2017 Judith Deutsch Convenient Untruths About 'Human Nature'
At this most critical of times, do current erroneous assumptions about human nature play a role at a deep level in the prevalent responses to catastrophes? Apropos, Raymond Williams summarized Antonio Gramsci's view of hegemony as a 'central system of practices, meanings and values saturating the consciousness of a society at a much deeper level than ordinary notions of ideology.' There are new and old normals and it is hard to know where public knowledge is on this. Movies from similar times evoked normal, even beautiful scenes from daily life, of intimacy and love, but with ordinary life shadowed by foreboding threats.
1406. May 2, 2017 Stefan Kipfer 'Things are serious': Update on the French Presidential Election
'C'est grave,' (things are serious) said the monsieur who sells me the papers every morning. A resident of Mantes-la-Jolie (a working class town at the western edge of the Paris region), he laments a lack of clarity on the dangers of the Front National (FN) not only among colleagues and neighbours but also parties and politicians. The situation in France is indeed serious. A week before the second-round vote, Marine Le Pen has made progress in the polls but still trails Emmanuel Macron by a margin of about 18 per cent.
1405. May 1, 2017 Labor for Our Revolution A Day Without Immigrants
Millions of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, who lead hard working and productive lives, are also union members. Donald Trump launched his political campaign in 2015 with a racist attack on Mexican immigrants, painting them as rapists and murderers. He made attacks on our Muslim sisters and brothers his political trademark - even going so far as to propose a religious test for immigration.
1404. April 28, 2017 Ernie Tate NAFTA Redux
The new Trump administration has made the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 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 telling Canada and Mexico the new administration is prepared to bully its way to a new and more favourable arrangement for itself.
1403. April 27, 2017 Climate Struggles and Ecosocialism
The hard right U.S. administration of Donald Trump has widened the terrain of struggle over climate change and, indeed, the entire array of environmental issues facing the ecology of North America and the working class movement. Climate change deniers, big oil executives, and finance capitalists now occupy pivotal positions in an array of state agencies and apparatuses directly impacting these portfolios. Some of the first decisions of the new administration have been to expand pipeline development, further open spaces for fossil fuel extraction, and gut the Environmental Protection Agency.
1402. April 26, 2017 David Bush Basic Income and the Left: The Political and Economic Problems
Should the Left and labour support a demand for a Basic Income (BI)? This simple question has provoked a fervent and confusing debate. The discussion over BI touches on real political and economic anxieties. The attack on the social welfare state, the depreciating power of organized labour and an economy producing increasingly low-wage precarious jobs have led many to search for alternative mechanisms and policies to address these problems.
1401. April 25, 2017 SAFTU – This Is What We Stand For
The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has been born. We have passed a milestone in the history of the South African trade union movement at this Launching Congress held in Boksburg from 21-23 April 2017. 700,000 workers represented by 1,384 voting delegates from 24 unions and other non-voting unions have taken the first decisive step to building a new, vibrant, independent, and democratic workers’ federation, leading the struggle against exploitation, mass unemployment, poverty, inequality and corruption and taking up the struggle for the total emancipation of the working class from the chains of its capitalist oppressors.
1400. April 24, 2017 Ingo Schmidt In the Shadow of Social Democracy: Right-Wing Challenges and Left Alternatives
We live in a paradoxical world. Much debate on the radical left revolves around multitudes of discontented groups - sometimes lumped together as the 99%, sometimes rebranded as precariat - struggling against an abstract empire and its 1% rulers. Capitalism and class - once serving as a compass to navigate left politics through the apparently chaotic sees of everyday life - have turned into subjects of theoretical debate with little to no connection to political praxis.
1399. April 21, 2017 AJ Withers and John Clarke What Basic Income Means for Disabled People
Disabled people in Ontario are much more likely to experience poverty than non-disabled people. Many have to live on sub-poverty payments under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or the even more wretched income provided by Ontario Works (OW). Those that are in this situation are confronted by an ongoing process of surveillance, invasion of their privacy and moral policing. Those disabled people who are working, because of systemic discrimination, are less likely to be receiving living wages and are far more likely to be precariously employed.
1398. April 19, 2017 An Economic Policy for France
Despite the fact that France is not yet out of the economic stagnation that followed the 2007-08 crisis, Emmanuel Macron and François Fillon want to continue and to intensify the policies of cuts to public expenditure, dismantling the social and State labour-rights, that were applied without pause by the previous governments. These policies have only served the richest in society. They only lead to immerse the country in the vicious circle of unemployment and precariousnes.
1397. April 18, 2017 Christoph Scherrer and Anil Shah The Return of Commercial Prison Labour
Prisons are seldom mentioned under the rubric of labour market institutions such as temporary work contracts or collective bargaining agreements. Yet, prisons not only employ labour but also cast a shadow on the labour force in or out of work. The early labour movement considered the then prevalent use of prison labour for commercial purposes as unfair competition. By the 1930s, the U.S. labour movement was strong enough to have work for commercial purposes prohibited in prisons.
1396. April 12, 2017 Michael Brie and Mario Candeias The Return of Hope: For an Offensive Double Strategy
The future has gone astray. The neoliberal utopia is exhausted just as are left alternatives. The decades of an initially conservative-orthodox neoliberalism from Margaret Thatcher to Helmut Kohl; its generalization under the governments from Tony Blair to Gerhard Schröder; and, finally, its authoritarian deepening and anchoring in the years of the crisis have caused social inequalities and dynamics, which are hardly under control. The structural crisis is not resolved and cannot be solved in the old framework.
1395. April 11, 2017 Ernie Tate Review: I Am Not Your Negro
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,' directed 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.
1394. April 9, 2017 Chris Nineham Trump's Strike has Prolonged the Syrian Tragedy
Trump's attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria has received plaudits from western politicians and commentators across the board. Liberal pundits, who had nothing but contempt for Trump days ago, are suddenly more respectful after this show of lethal force, even though most would probably accept The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland's caveat that despite this virtuous show of violence, Trump is still not to be wholly trusted.
1393. April 4, 2017 Rania Khalek interviewed by Justin Podur The Much-Maligned Views of Rania Khalek on Syria
When journalist Rania Khalek's lecture was cancelled on February 27, the group that invited her, Students for Justice in Palestine - University of North Carolina (SJP-UNC) issued a statement saying that the cancellation was because of Rania's 'views' on Syria, and that they believed 'her invitation would mistakenly imply SJP to hold such views.' They also added that they 'do not endorse nor reject her views on the Syrian civil war as they remain relatively unclear according to our members’ diverse opinions of Rania's analyses.'
1392. April 3, 2017 Marty Hart-Landsberg Monopolization and Labour Exploitation
Those who advocate 'freeing the market' claim that doing so will encourage competition and thereby increase majority well-being. These advocates have certainly had their way shaping economic policies. And the results? According to several leading economists, the results include the growing monopolization of product markets and steady decline in labour's share of national income. Neither outcome desirable.
1391. March 31, 2017 Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o interviewed by Mahdi Ganjavi Returning to the Home that is No More There
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a Kenyan writer, is one of the most prominent African anti-colonial authors. He lived during the British colonial rule in Kenya, and was very young when he experienced the destruction of the village in which he was born, destroyed by the British colonizers. The post independent Kenya, however, was not a safe place for him as well. He was put in jail and faced violence for his criticisms toward the national bourgeoisie that came to power after the independence in 1963.
1390. March 29, 2017 Niko Block Toronto's Buried History: The Dark Story of How Mining Built a City
On Sunday March 5th, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) hosted its 85th annual conference in downtown Toronto. With more than 20,000 attendees and 900 exhibitors, the conference is the largest of its kind in the world. During those four days, delegates take over 20 of Toronto's downtown hotels and spend millions of dollars in its restaurants and bars. By day, they meet in the caverns of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre - an underground pavilion larger than 10 football fields - to make deals.
1389. March 28, 2017 Charles W. Smith and Andrew Stevens Building the 'Saskatchewan Advantage': Saskatchewan's 2017 Austerity Budget
Saskatchewan's 2017 budget landed with an unenthusiastic thud last week. Riddled with cuts, job losses, public sector wage reductions, and tax increases, the Saskatchewan Party's austerity budget has garnered few friends, with critics ranging from organized labour movement to small businesses. The government's budget has several fiscal goals: aggressively tackle its $1.3-billion deficit in three short years, overhaul the tax structure away from progressive forms of taxation to consumption taxes, and dismantle key aspects of the social welfare state.
1388. March 27, 2017 BDS National Committee BNC Statement on Israel’s Ongoing Campaign to Silence Omar Barghouti and Repress BDS
On the morning of Sunday, March 19, Israeli tax authorities barged into the home of Omar Barghouti, the prominent Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for the freedom, justice and equality of the Palestinian people. They detained and interrogated Omar and his wife Safa for 16 hours that first day. Omar is currently enduring a fourth day of interrogation.
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