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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
1522. December 8, 2017 Quinton Ascah Election 2018: a Battle Over #Fightfor15
The 2018 Ontario provincial election will be fought over many issues. Liberal Kathleen Wynne’s unpopularity as Premier, Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown’s flip-flopping on major issues, the election of Donald Trump in the United States and subsequent re-evaluation of NAFTA are all certainly to come up in coverage and debates. However, one of the biggest issues that will be fought next year is a struggle that activists have been working on for years, and one which opponents believe could derail Ontario’s entire economy: Bill 148. The minimum wage hike, and other labour reforms in the Bill, may be the most controversial public policy issue in Ontario right now.
1521. December 6, 2017 Jonathan Rosenblum interviewed by Yuri Lobunov Where to Begin? Lessons from the Fight for $15 Beyond North America
Big ideas sometimes start small. Fast food workers in New York City were the first workers to raise the banner demanding '$15 and a Union.' In late November, 2012, 200 fast-food workers in midtown Manhattan took to the streets for a one-day walkout to demand a $15/hour minimum wage - more than double the national minimum - and union recognition. For a city of 8 million people, it was a small protest, but for low-wage workers around the country, this bold call for $15 and union recognition pressed beyond the limits of their imaginations.
1520. December 5, 2017 Doug Allan Healthcare Funding Falls, Again
Real provincial government healthcare funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row. Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% - $63 per person. Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 - 3.6%. In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).
1519. December 4, 2017 Luis Thielemann interviewed by Brais Fernandez Chile’s Political System Shaken by Rise of New Anti-Neoliberal Left
First, it’s clear that the result, for any observer, was a complete surprise. Although looking at it now we can see that there were many signs pointing to the possibility of a high vote for the FA, the truth is that no one believed it was possible to go into double digits. Polls showed it with about 8% support, and the history of the left in the past three decades in Chile is one in which it has never surpassed this limit.
1518. December 1, 2017 Damien Cahill and Martijn Konings Neoliberalism: A Useful Concept?
It is only over the past decade-and-a-half or so that scholars have begun to explore in greater depth the ideological roots of the neoliberal project. Such contributions tend to focus on the emergence of a distinctly neoliberal critique of ‘collectivism’ (especially as expressed in the post-war welfare state and the state-planned economies like the Soviet Union until the end of the 1980s) during the interwar period, the way this was elaborated through various strands of thinking during the next decades, and how it came to have a crucial influence on political transformations.
1517. November 29, 2017 James Wilt On the Rails: A Case for Renewed Leftist Infatuation with Transport
A few weeks ago, at 3:30 in the morning, the Manitoba government froze public transit funding to Winnipeg, equivalent to a $10-million cut. It was a quiet affair. The bill that it was contained in wasn’t ever brought to committee, meaning the public weren’t able to formally comment on it. But we’ve already started to see the brutal consequences: soon after, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced that the city will have to cut 59 routes, fire 120 bus drivers and increase fares by a considerable 25 cents.
1516. November 27, 2017 Max Shanly Toward a New Model Young Labour
Following decades of neoliberalism, where a massive redistribution of wealth and power has taken place in favour of the rich, the capitalist system now finds itself in serious crisis. The preceding epoch, characterised primarily by a slavish reliance upon the financial sector - itself based on uncontrolled, free-flowing circulation of money - has led to politics in this country being defined by submission to those with financial clout. Austerity measures are as deadly as they are unpopular.
1515. November 24, 2017 André Frappier National Struggle and Class Struggle: Complementary or Contradictory?
The political situation in Quebec and internationally, with the escalation of the Catalan national struggle, impels us to deepen our thinking on these issues. What role can Quebec’s national liberation struggle play in class terms, in the context of the fight for emancipation of the peoples in the Canadian state? The following is an attempt to address these questions. For more than forty years the national question in Quebec has been dominated by the Parti québécois (PQ). But it was not the PQ that invented nationalism, that was the product of the domination that has existed since the British Conquest and which was structurally integrated at the time of the Canadian confederation.
1514. November 21, 2017 Zimbabwe Civil Society Organizations Joint Statement on Military Takeover
We the undersigned civil society organizations guided by the Constitution express our concern over the political developments in Zimbabwe, today Wednesday 15 November 2017. We call for the peaceful and constitutional resolution of the situation and the immediate return of Constitutional order and democracy in Zimbabwe. As civil society we reiterate our position that the political transition in Zimbabwe must be guided by the Constitution.
1513. November 16, 2017 Josep María Antentas interviewed by Dan La Botz Whither Catalonia?
My traditional position is the defense of the right to self-determination, with the idea that when a group rises to exercise this right its position must be made specific. In the current situation and since the independence movement began in 2012, the defense of a 'Yes' vote has a more democratic content than the 'No' vote, which is associated exclusively with the reactionary defense of the Constitution and the political regime.
1512. November 14, 2017 Joseph Mathunjwa A Just Transition From Climate Change and Unemployment
The global economy is facing numerous structural challenges. With the looming fourth economic revolution characterized by even more technological development and mechanization, the future of productive labour is bleak. Most unskilled and semi-skilled workers are likely to lose their jobs. Even some skilled workers are not spared from this emerging catastrophe, as numerous job categories - such as brick-layers - are increasingly becoming redundant.
1511. November 13, 2017 Boaventura de Sousa Santos Reinventing the World Social Forum?
The World Social Forum (WSF) met for the first time in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001. This was an event of extraordinary importance. It signaled an alternative form of globalization to the globalization being promoted by global capitalism, at a time when capitalism was increasingly assuming it is most exclusive and antisocial version: neoliberalism. This was not its first signal, but it was unquestionably its most consistent one.
1510. November 10, 2017 Dick Nichols New Mass Resistance as Spanish State Jails Catalan Ministers
Judge Carmen Lamela of Spain's National High Court – direct descendant of the fascist Franco-era Court of Public Order – took the war of the Spanish state against the Catalan pro-independence government to a new level of judicial violence on November 2. It was not enough that the two leaders of the Catalan mass pro-independence organizations the Catalan National Assembly and Catalan cultural and language association Omnium Cultural, were already in jail.
1509. November 8, 2017 Dan Freeman-Maloy Balfour at 100: A Legacy of Racism and Propaganda
The coming months mark the centennial of Palestine’s forcible incorporation into the British Empire. In November 1917, British foreign secretary Lord Arthur Balfour declared his government’s support for 'the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people'; in December, Jerusalem fell to British troops. One hundred years later, the effects of these events continue to reverberate. This should be a time of sombre reflection about international responsibility for the unfolding tragedy in Palestine.
1508. November 7, 2017 Steven Tufts Unions and the Gig-Economy: The Case of AirBnB
The so-called gig-economy is celebrated, maligned, fetishized, and qualified by analysts. Whether it is called the collaborative, platform, crowd-sourcing, or sharing-economy, the rise of peer-to-peer exchanges does raise important questions for workers. Do emerging ‘sharing-economy’ platforms such as Uber and Airbnb mark a significant shift in production and distribution systems? Are they emancipatory or exploitive?
1507. November 5, 2017 Leo Panitch The Revolution Party
A fresh and compelling new account of the Russian revolution to mark its centenary concludes by paying tribute to the Bolsheviks for acting as history’s switchmen, a term derived from the small booths that dotted the railway tracks across the Russian empire, where local revolutionaries had long gathered for clandestine meetings. Against those so-called ‘legal Marxists’ who in 1917 used the term as an epithet to scorn those who would try to divert the locomotive of history on its route from the feudal to the capitalist political station.
1506. November 3, 2017 Marty Hart-Landsberg Tax Cuts: Its All About Capitalism
Powerful corporations and the rich in the United States continue their winning ways. By narrow margins, both the House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on a budget proposal that calls for an increase in the federal deficit of $1.5-trillion in order to fund a major reform of the U.S. tax system that will make the rich and powerful even more so. Republicans in each house of Congress still need to work out the specifics of their desired tax reform and then negotiate any differences before they can send the budget to President Trump for his signature.
1505. November 1, 2017 Anticapitalistas Communiqué on the Situation in Catalonia
On 27 October, in fulfilment of the mandate of the referendum of 1 October in which despite police repression more than two million people participated, the Catalan Parliament proclaimed the Catalan Republic. In a Spain with a monarchy that is a direct successor of the dictator Franco, a Republic that opens up a constituent process is without doubt a proposal that breaks with the 1978 regime, with its political consensus and with a constitutional order that serves the elites.
1504. October 31, 2017 David Mandel They Dared: The Legacy of the October Revolution
A hundred years later, the question of the historical legacy of the October Revolution is not an easy one for socialists, given that Stalinism took root within less than a decade after that revolution and the restoration of capitalism seventy years later met little popular resistance. One can, of course, point to the central role of the Red Army in the victory over fascism, or to the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the capitalist world that broadened the space for anti-imperialist struggles, or to the moderating effect on capitalist appetites of the existence of a major nationalized, planned economy. Yet, even in these areas, the legacy is far from unambiguous.
1503. October 30, 2017 Richard Fidler; Dick Nichols A New Stage Opens in the Spanish State's War on Catalan Self-Rule
The Spanish government's war on Catalan autonomy and democracy is now in full offensive mode, following the Catalan parliament's October 27 decision to proclaim their nation's independence of the Spanish state. In the following article, Dick Nichols, Barcelona correspondent of Green Left Weekly, reports on the sequence of events in recent days and since October 1, when a majority of Catalans - resisting massive repression by Spanish police - voted or tried to vote for independence.
1502. October 27, 2017 Judith Deutsch The Unimaginable: Canada, Missile Defence and Nuclear War
The Invictus Games, attended by Prince Harry and many celebrities in Toronto last month, overshadowed another big military story: a September 19 report in the Toronto Star that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has 'cracked open the door to joining the U.S. ballistic missile defence program, [and] reversing Canada’s long-standing opposition in the face of North Korea’s new capabilities to strike North America.' In view of past public opposition to missile defence, the 'crack' in the door may just be a feeler to measure public reaction, as the Trudeau government, which has promised additional billions for the military, pursues a 'hard power' foreign policy.
1501. October 26, 2017 Doug Allan Public Sector Unionization Grows
The composition of the labour movement has fundamentally changed over the last twenty years. This article reviews the dramatic changes in public and private sector unionization and some surprising differences that have emerged between Ontario and the rest of Canada. Potential for growth is possible, even in the public sector. Ontario has 1.3 million public sector workers and currently 943,000 of them are covered by a union. That means that 72.2% of public sector employees have union coverage.
1500. October 24, 2017 Herman Rosenfeld CAMI Strike 2017: After Another Setback Can Unifor Move On?
A four-week strike at the CAMI assembly plant, that began on September 17th, ended on October 16th. Members of Unifor Local 88 voted 86% in favour of the tentative agreement bargained with the stand-alone GM plant. Located in Ingersoll, Ontario, close to London, it is a former joint venture between Suzuki and GM. CAMI assembles hot-selling Chevrolet Equinox crossover vehicles. CAMI has an interesting history, and it is reflected in the membership of Local 88. It was originally opened in 1988 as a ‘model’ team concept plant.
1499. October 20, 2017 Ontario Colleges On Strike
More than 12,000 Ontario public college faculty were on the picket line rather than in their classrooms on Monday morning after talks between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employer Council failed to produce a tentative collective agreement. JP Hornick (chair of the union bargaining team) said Council is committed to a 'Walmart model of education' based on reducing the role of full-time faculty and exploiting underpaid contract workers who have no job security beyond one semester.
1498. October 18, 2017 Niko Block Canada’s Ongoing Complicity with Exploitive Extraction Schemes
On June 15, 1841, the newly established Legislative Council of the Province of Canada - a body of twenty-four appointed lawmakers - was gathered in its chamber in Kingston. Its speaker, a businessman and nationalist named Austin Cuvilliers, began the day’s proceedings by reminding his peers of their mandate: 'Many subjects of deep importance to the future welfare of the Province demand your early attention,' he said, but the most important of them 'is the adoption of measures for developing the resources of the Province. The rapid settlement of the country, the value of every man’s property within it, the advancement of his future fortunes are deeply affected by this question.'
1497. October 16, 2017 Richard Fidler; Mexican Network of Mining Affected People Mexicans Denounce Canadian Mega-Mining Projects
As Prime Minister Trudeau makes his first official visit to Mexico, writes Mining Watch Canada, 'the Mexican Network of Mining Affected People' (REMA by its initials in Spanish) has issued a communiqué to call on Trudeau to live up to his commitments and stop the devastation of Indigenous and campesino communities that has enabled Canadian mining companies to make big profits.
1496. October 13, 2017 Thomas Marois Costa Rica’s Banco Popular Shows how Banks can be Democratic, Green – and Financially Sustainable
A decade on from the 2007-08 global financial crisis, the majority of private banks have changed very little. Most remain solely concerned with maximizing their returns, while sustainable or social goals remain subservient to this. For conventional economists, anything else remains an impossible or distant dream. But there is hope for a different kind of bank - one that is run democratically and with sustainable principles at its core. Costa Rica’s cooperative Banco Popular and of Communal Development (or BPDC) illustrates a viable and desirable alternative to the average private bank.
1495. October 11, 2017 Josep Maria Antentas Catalonia's Paradox
October 1 has passed, closing a period of the shared history between Catalonia and the Spanish state and beginning an uncertain future. It was a day when all the tension building over the five-year independence process came to a head. The numbers speak volumes. 2,262,424 votes cast. With an electoral roll of approximately 5.3 million people, that represents 42.5 per cent turnout. We would have to include the votes seized by the police and from citizens who could not vote to calculate a final number.
1494. October 9, 2017 OCAP The Neoliberal Danger of Basic Income
We, the undersigned, are convinced that the emerging model of basic income, reflected in pilot projects and other initiatives in a number of countries and jurisdictions, is one that would intensify the neoliberal agenda. The hope that there is any realistic chance of ensuring a truly adequate, universal payment, that isn’t financed by undermining other vital elements of social provision, is misplaced in our view.
1493. October 5, 2017 Ingo Schmidt German Federal Elections: Chauvinistic Identity Policies Outperform Left Economic Alternatives
'For a Germany in which we live well and happily.' Maybe it was just this less than catchy campaign slogan that cost Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU so dearly at the polls; leaving the party at a record low of 26.8 per cent of the total vote. What is more likely, though, is that the slogan was better at revealing chancellor Merkel’s state of mind - something like: A Germany that should be happy that I govern it so well - than capturing the mood of many of her erstwhile supporters.
1492. October 4, 2017 Hilary Wainwright There is no 'Cult of Corbyn' -- This is a Movement Preparing for Power
Everyone sensed the new energy at Labour Party conference this year. More cynical pundits referred to it as 'giddy with optimism' (the Guardian’s editorial), or 'support bordering on hysteria' (Simon Jenkins), conveying the idea of something irrational. Others referred to it as Corbyn’s 'evangelical church' (Philip Collins) or even ‘the cult of Corbyn’ (the Times, Spectator and Observer all used this phrase). The reality of the conference was something not seen in the UK for a long time: thousands of determined and self-confident members of a Labour Party that boldly stands for what they believe in.
1491. October 3, 2017 John Peters Strike Vote at Laurentian University
In the latest turmoil in the Canadian university sector, faculty at Laurentian University are now on strike. At the core is the longstanding vices of the neoliberal university - underfunding, lack of hiring faculty, commercialization and privatization, and the hiring of a vast bureaucracy of private managers in the ceaseless efforts to benchmark, marketize and monetize ‘assets’. Ontario is the province that has by many measures the most poorly funded university sector in Canada; it has been steadily running its public university system down, and increasing the portion of operating funds coming from student fees (masked by re-packaging aid programs and misleading selling it as free tuition).
1490. September 28, 2017 Asbjørn Wahl Norwegian Elections: Another Right-Wing Victory, and a Serious Labour Defeat
The centre-left failed in getting rid of the so-called ‘blue-blue’ government at the parliamentary elections in Norway on 11 September. The Labour Party was the main loser, while small parties on the centre-left advanced slightly. However, the parliamentary basis of the right-wing government has started to unravel. A deeper political crisis may be looming in the background, while social contradictions are on the raise. Social Democracy followed the general European downward tendency (except Britain).
1489. September 26, 2017 Yogi Acharya and A.J. Withers Intentional Neglect or Callous Oversight?
In the debate around the pros and cons of basic income, the implications for immigrants are seldom discussed. This omission, whether intentional or a product of indifference, is particularly glaring in progressive pro-Basic Income (BI) literature where the term 'citizen’s income' is often used synonymously. Taken together, a troubling picture emerges of what is imagined for basic income and who is to be included within it. While basic income is often promoted in the name of social justice, we will demonstrate that this vision is flawed and excludes migrants - which we argue is both profoundly unjust and works to reinforce the white supremacy and class hierarchies that are foundational to the Canadian state.
1488. September 25, 2017 Quebec in Solidarity with Catalonia
As democrats, we feel an obligation to protest strongly to the government of Mariano Rajoy. After having deployed in 2010 the arsenal of the Constitutional Court to block an agreement that granted further autonomy to Catalonia within Spain, this government is now working to block the electoral process of the Catalan people. Over and above the right of peoples to self-determination, recognized in the United Nations Charter, it is democracy itself that is now being battered. This is intolerable. It is intolerable to turn our heads and leave to their fate the Catalan people, denying them in the eyes of the entire world the right to vote and declare where they stand on their political future.
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.
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