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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
705. October 2, 2012 Ingar Solty The U.S. Democratic Party and the Left
A conversation with Ingar Solty and Max Bohnel on the labour movement, the Occupy movement and its crisis, and the challenges of history.
704. September 29, 2012 Ali Mustafa The 2012 Toronto Palestine Film Festival: A Preview
The 2012 Toronto Palestine Film Festival is finally set to hit theatres this weekend. Launched in 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of al nakba, TPFF aims to showcase the vibrant cultural heritage, resilience, and collective identity of the Palestinian people through film, art, and other events. In five short years, against all the odds, TPFF has quickly emerged as one of the city's premier film festival experiences.
703. September 28, 2012 Feyzi Ismail Nepal: New Demands Require a New Strategy
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has been in power for just over a year. In leading government again they were hopeful they could complete a constitution-writing process that has consumed Nepal since 2008. They still talk about a socialist future, but the year in power has seen the Maoists disband their People's Liberation Army (PLA), initiate trade deals with India and consolidate alliances with the mainstream parties.
702. September 27, 2012 Sam Gindin Culture of Concessions Has Gutted Organized Labour
At the end of the 1970s, just before the era of concessions began, the U.S. section of the United Auto Workers included some 700,000 members at the Big Three. In each subsequent round of bargaining, the union accepted concessions in exchange for the promise of 'job security.' Today, after three decades of this charade, there are 110,000 UAW members left at these companies, a stunning loss of almost 85 per cent of the jobs.
701. September 26, 2012 Herman Rosenfeld The CAW-CEP Merger: New Union in a Difficult World
Just about everyone in and around the union movement in Canada is talking about the upcoming merger between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers. The new union being formed will be the largest private sector union in Canada. While bigger is not necessarily better -- as numerous other examples of larger mergers have shown -- in this era of general unions, the new union should become a positive force on the Canadian labour scene.
700. September 25, 2012 Matthew Behrens Taking Liberties: Canada's Growing Torture Infrastructure
The ease with which self-described democratic states embroil themselves in torture continues to be illustrated by the manner in which agencies of the Canadian state, from spies to judges, have wedged open a door to legitimize complicity in a practice that both domestic and international law ban outright.
699. September 24, 2012 Richard Fidler Major Victory for Quebec Students, Environmental Activists
Their demonstrations have shaken Quebec in recent months, and yesterday students and environmentalists won major victories. At her first news conference as premier, Pauline Marois announced that her Parti Quebecois government had cancelled the university tuition fees increase imposed by the Charest Liberal government.
698. September 22, 2012 Julian Ammirante and Tyler Shipley Another NHL Lockout: An Alternative View
Sport has always been a matter of deep social significance. In contemporary society there are few individuals who do not, directly or indirectly, encounter elements of sport in their daily social lives. Some may be actively involved as participants in some kind of sporting activity.
697. September 21, 2012 Peter Brogan 7 Days that Shook Chicago: The 2012 Chicago Teachers Strike
On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to suspend their first strike in 25 years, begun on the previous Monday, September 10 at 12:01 am. Many commentators from both left alternative publications and in the corporate press have observed that in an era of austerity when seemingly no unions in the United States - and I would add Canada - are fighting back against layoffs, budget cuts, wage freezes and the like, the CTU has stood up to a city government that was seeking massive concessions.
696. September 19, 2012 Justin Panos 'Class' Warfare: A Primer on the Chicago Teachers Strike
An estimated 30,000 public school teachers in Chicago walked off the job on Monday for the first time since 1987, leaving 350,000 students in limbo. Chicago has the third-largest school district in the United States and it is the city where President Obama launched his presidential bid. There are national stakes involved, like the election a mere 50-odd days away.
695. September 12, 2012 Richard Fidler Quebec's Election -- An Initial Balance Sheet
The results of the September 4 general election in Quebec produce mixed reactions among supporters of all the major parties. The pro-sovereignty Parti Québécois becomes the government, and PQ leader Pauline Marois the first woman premier, but with only a minority of seats (54) in the 125-seat National Assembly and thus vulnerable to parliamentary defeat by the right-wing and federalist Liberals (PLQ) and Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ).
694. September 10, 2012 Steve Ellner The Chavez Election
You pay back a favour with favours," said Joanna Figueroa, a resident of El Vinedo, a barrio in the coastal city of Barcelona in eastern Venezuela. She had pledged to work for the reelection of Hugo Chavez after receiving a house as part of the government's ambitious Great Housing Mission programme. She helped build it, as part of a workers team that included a bricklayer, a plumber and an electrician appointed by her community council.
693. September 5, 2012 Vishwas Satgar The Marikana Massacre and the South African State's Low Intensity War Against the People
The massacre of the Marikana/Lonmin workers has inserted itself within South Africa's national consciousness, not so much through the analysis, commentary and reporting in its wake. Instead, it has been the power of the visual images of police armed with awesome fire power gunning down these workers, together with images of bodies lying defeated and lifeless, that has aroused a national outcry and wave of condemnation.
692. September 4, 2012 Ingar Solty Right-Wing Populism and the Republican Party
The most important contemporary American playwright and socialist Tony Kushner once said about neoliberalism: "What used to be called liberal is now called radical, what used to be called radical is now called insane, what used to be called reactionary is now called moderate, and what used to be called insane is now called solid conservative thinking."
691. September 3, 2012 Marlon Berg Auto Manufacturing Workers at a Crossroads
"The place is hot like hell, especially in the summer time at night, bad ventilation, a lot of humidity and of course machines emitting heat doesn't help," said Iain, a temporary worker at an auto parts plant in the Toronto area.
690. September 2, 2012 Lee Sustar Chicago Teachers Draw a Line
Can the scrappy band of outsiders that now heads the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) lead the kind of high-stakes fight that most labour unions have ducked? That question looms large - not just for the city's teachers, students and their parents, but for the entire labour movement. Because while both private- and public-sector unions are taking a pounding across the U.S. with layoffs, pay cuts and pension rollbacks, the CTU is gearing up for a showdown.
689. August 31, 2012 Martin Legassick The Marikana Massacre: A Turning Point?
The massacre of 34, and almost certainly more, striking mineworkers at Marikana (together with more than 80 injured) on 16 August has sent waves of shock and anger across South Africa, rippling around the world. It could prove a decisive turning-point in our country's post-apartheid history.
688. August 27, 2012 Paul Bocking No Silver Medal: Mexican Farmers Battle Canadian Mine
Civil disobedience has halted production at Mexico's "top grade producer of silver." Farmers of the La Sierrita village, a close knit community of about 50 families, located 40 minutes north of the city of Gomez Palacio, Durango, have shut down the La Platosa mine owned by Canadian firm Excellon Resources for over a month.
687. August 24, 2012 Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber Venezuela: "Open Horizons"
Roland Denis is a leading intellectual and revolutionary in Venezuela. He served as Vice Minister of Planning in the Hugo Chavez government in 2002-03, but resigned after ten months in protest of the lack of grassroots involvement in the planning process. He is the author of many books and articles. We caught up with Denis at the Terrar Park, a popular restaurant frequented by left militants in Caracas.
686. August 23, 2012 Leonard Gentle The Massacre of Our Illusions ... And the Seeds of Something New
The story of Marikana has so far been painted shallowly as an inter-union spat. In the first few days after the fateful Thursday and the shock and horror of watching people being massacred on TV there have correctly been howls of anger and grief. Of course no one wants to take responsibility because to do so would be to acknowledge blame.
685. August 22, 2012 Murray Smith France: The Rise of the Left Front
The Left Front (Front de Gauche) emerged onto the political scene at the beginning of 2009. As the Left Front to Change Europe, it was established by three organizations -- the French Communist Party, the Left Party and the Unitary Left -- with the aim of standing in the European elections of June 2009.
684. August 21, 2012 Chris Webb Echoes of the Past: Marikana, Cheap Labour and the 1946 Miners Strike
On August 4, 1946 over one thousand miners assembled in Market Square in Johannesburg, South Africa. No hall in the town was big enough to hold them, and no one would have rented one to them anyway. The miners were members of the African Mine Worker's Union, a non-European union which was formed five years earlier in order to address the 12 to 1 pay differential between white and black mineworkers.
683. August 20, 2012 Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber "Now is the time!": Struggle for Sexual Diversity in Venezuela
Under Hugo Chavez, there have been many gains in the struggle for liberation, including for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was outlawed in the 1999 Labour Organic Law but anti-discrimination proposals were dropped from the 1999 Constitution due to pressure from the Catholic Church; same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children and several proposals that would have advanced such struggles were defeated in the Constitutional referendum of 2007.
682. August 17, 2012 Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber The Revolution Will Not Be Decreed
In Caracas, we caught up with Gonzalo Gomez, a founder of the radical website aporrea.org and militant in the Trotskyist organization, Marea Socialista. In this interview, Gonzalo describes his own path to militancy, the different phases of the Bolivarian process, and the dangers of bureaucracy, the 'boli-bourgeoisie,' and the stultifying internal life of the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela.
681. August 15, 2012 Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber "This Process Belongs to the People"
Born and bred in one of the most militant inner city barrios of Caracas, 23 de enero, Juan Contreras participated in the urban guerrilla movements that sprang up in Caracas in the mid-1970s and is now a militant in the Bolivarian process. We interviewed Juan in his office -- decorated with sporting trophies and political posters of revolutionary struggles from across Latin America and Palestine -- located at the headquarters of the Coordinadora Simon Bolivar in 23 de enero.
680. August 13, 2012 David Camfield Quebec's 'Red Square' Movement: The Story So Far
In 2012 Quebec has been shaken by the most important social movement in the Canadian state since the 1970s. What began as a strike by students in Quebec's universities and CEGEPs against a major increase in university tuition fees -- part of capital's international austerity drive -- has become a broader popular movement against the government of the Quebec Liberal Party, headed by Premier Jean Charest, and against neoliberalism.
679. August 11, 2012 Jeffery R. Webber and Susan Spronk Fighting for Land and Territory in Urban Caracas
We're here in Caracas, Venezuela, with Hector Madera, one of the founders of the Comites de Tierras Urbanas (Committees of Urban Land, CUTs) and member of Movimiento de Pobladores (Poor Peoples' Movement, MP). As an introduction, can you tell us a little bit about your personal history and political formation?
678. August 9, 2012 Roger Annis Class Struggle in the Philippines
On August 2, Pete Pinlac of the MAKABAYAN labour and political center in the Philippines spoke at a public forum hosted by the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC). It was an extremely informative and inspiring event that reflected years of crucially important solidarity outreach by the Labour Council that began in 2008.
677. August 8, 2012 Hilary Wainwright Greece: Syriza Shines a Light
Like a swan moving forward with relaxed confidence while paddling furiously beneath the surface, Syriza, the radical left coalition that could become the next government of Greece, is facing enormous challenges calmly but with intensified activity.
676. August 7, 2012 Sungur Savran Syria Between Revolution and Counterrevolution
The struggle between the Baath regime of Bashar al-Assad and the popular masses of the city and country in Syria that started on 15 March 2011 seems to have consumed both sides in its ferocity. It is promising imminent victory to a third force that has been carefully engineered, supported and armed by the international forces of counterrevolution.
675. August 6, 2012 Jordy Cummings Cockburn and Vidal: a Dying Breed
In just the last few weeks, the radical left has lost two of its most important, elegant and eccentric voices, Alexander Cockburn and Gore Vidal. Much (virtual) ink has already been spilled about the manifold aspects of their careers. To be an unabashed cliché monger, Cockburn and Vidal were men of the twentieth century to be sure, but in many ways men of the 19th century.
674. August 3, 2012 Jody Betzien; Michael Voss Denmark: Red-Green Alliance Congress Grapples With Increased Influence
Red carpet and champagne marked the start of the first Red-Green Alliance (RGA) congress since the party tripled its mandate at a poll in September 2011. The 385 delegates representing the 8000 members packed a basketball stadium in the migrant and working-class Copenhagen suburb of Norrebro to grapple with the party's new increased influence on Danish politics.
673. August 1, 2012 Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui The New Student Rebellion and the Mexican Left
The 'defeat' of the center-left in the Presidential election of 2012 is a victory for Mexican Big Business and the U.S. in advancing the neoliberal agenda of privatization, cutbacks and attacks on the working-class. The fact that the old ruling party, the PRI, 'won' the presidency in 2012 - rather than the conservative PAN as in 2000 and 2006 - involves an important shift in influence within the neoliberal bloc.
672. July 31, 2012 John W. Warnock Remembering Sask Oil: It Can Be Done!
This past week it was revealed that one of China's state-owned oil corporations has made a bid to take over Nexen, one of the remaining four large oil corporations operating in this country that are deemed to be Canadian owned and controlled. Nexen is based in Calgary, but it is known that around 65 per cent of its stock ownership is foreign.
671. July 27, 2012 Gavin Fridell The Day the Wheat Board Died
On August 1, 2012, the Conservative government will bring an end to a major Canadian institution and one of the world's largest, longest-standing, and most successful "state trading enterprises." After 70 years as the state-mandated monopoly seller of most Western Canadian wheat, the Canadian Wheat Board will officially become "voluntary," meaning the death of anything resembling what it has been.
670. July 25, 2012 Chris Webb Cheap Labour, Cheap Lives
There is a passage from Olive Schreiner's 1883 novel The Story of An African Farm where she describes the isolated existence of the rural Karoo, with its "weird and almost oppressive beauty...the stone walled sheep kraals and kaffer huts." This cursory and derogatory description of farm worker's dwellings is perhaps the only time they feature in the book. Rather, labourers and their homes are considered part of the farm's natural landscape and as such are rendered invisible and silent social actors.
669. July 20, 2012 Steve Early Ed Miliband At the Miners' Gala
Although their histories are quite different, the British Labour Party and the U.S. Democrats have one thing in common: both like to avoid too much public cuddling with workers -- particularly, any sector of the organized working-class whose militant struggles with management might force them to reveal which side they're really on.
668. July 19, 2012 Francois Laforge What Will Change in France?
In the traditional speech to the National Assembly, France's Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of the ruling Socialist Party laid out the political program he shares with the new President François Hollande. Hollande won France's presidential election with a victory in a runoff vote in May over despised conservative ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy.
667. July 18, 2012 Marcelo Vieta Cuba's Coming Co-operative Economy?
Reflections From Two Recent Field Trips. In 2011, I made two trips to Cuba to study the new co-operatives. In June I was kindly invited by Camila Pineiro Harnecker, a professor at the University of Havana and one of the country's leading experts on its co-operative movement, to participate in two conferences.
666. July 17, 2012 Celia Garces and CEDIB Bolivia's Mine Nationalization of South American Silver in Mallku Khota
On July 7th, 2012 the Bolivian police launched a rescue operation to recover hostages that were being detained by some indigenous community members opposed to South American Silver's exploration operations in their territories.
665. July 13, 2012 Michael Lebowitz Overture: The Conductor and the Conducted
Do we need leaders? Certainly, when we work together on a common project, we are more productive than when we are separate and isolated. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts taken individually. But do we need a director in order to work together on a common project?
664. July 12, 2012 The Jackson Plan: A Struggle for Self-Determination, Participatory Democracy, and Economic Justice
A major progressive initiative is underway in Jackson, Mississippi. This initiative demonstrates tremendous promise and potential in making a major contribution toward improving the overall quality of life of the people of Jackson, Mississippi, particularly people of African descent. This initiative is the Jackson Plan and it is being spearheaded by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and the Jackson People's Assembly. The Jackson Plan is an initiative to apply many of the best practices in the promotion of participatory democracy, solidarity economy, and sustainable development and combine them with progressive community organizing and electoral politics.
663. July 11, 2012 Sahra Wagenknecht The Euro Crisis and the European Fiscal Pact
At a late hour on Friday 29 June 2012, the Bundestag took two far-reaching decisions. The so-called European Stability Mechanism (ESM), better known as the bailout fund, as well as the Fiscal Pact, a treaty modelled on the socially regressive German "debt brake" law and a blueprint for social service and public sector cutbacks in Europe, were up for vote. 491 Bundestag members voted for the ESM, 111 voted against it, and 6 members abstained.
662. July 10, 2012 Tamara Pearson Planning the Next Six Years of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution
Planning the detail of the transition and revolution toward a socialist and more just society, from community and worker organization, to consciousness building, to production and distribution systems, to combating state and judicial corruption and bureaucracy, to agriculture, mining, petroleum, infrastructure, and relationships with other countries, is no small task.
661. July 9, 2012 John W. Warnock The Fraser Institute's Global Petroleum Survey
Near the end of June 2012 the Fraser Institute released their latest survey of the oil and gas industry. They reported that 623 managers and executives from 529 oil and gas companies had ranked Manitoba and Saskatchewan near the top of 147 political jurisdictions as good places to invest. In contrast, New Brunswick and Quebec were given fairly low ratings.
660. July 7, 2012 Roger Annis and Kim Ives Haiti's Earthquake Victims Step Up Demands For Housing
The plight of some 400,000 Haitians still living under tarps and tents since the January 12, 2010 earthquake has surged into the streets and headlines in recent weeks, highlighting one of Haiti's most explosive and intractable issues. A new grassroots campaign, an international petition, several new reports, and street demonstrations are underscoring the problem's urgency.
659. July 5, 2012 Solidarity A Brief Sketch of the Politics of Austerity
In view of the 2008-09 economic meltdown, some on the left felt that the global and neoliberal agenda dominant since the 1979-81 economic crisis would be jettisoned in order to stabilize global capitalism. Yet the age of austerity proclaimed as a necessity by the Toronto G20 summit is clearly a continuation of 'there is no alternative' to brutal and restructuring capitalism.
658. July 3, 2012 Zeinab Abul-Magd Egypt: Interpreting the Coup
The newly elected president of Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy, began his national address by thanking God and the families of the revolution's martyrs for granting him such a victory, and immediately proceeded to deeply thank the armed forces. He saluted the Egyptian military and added, "Only God knows how much love I have in my heart [for it]."
657. June 26, 2012 Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber Paraguay's Parliamentary Coup and Ottawa's Imperial Response
A soft-coup has ousted Centre-Leftist Fernando Lugo from the presidency in Paraguay and replaced him with Vice-President, but long-time political enemy, Federico Franco of the inaptly named Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico. Using as pretext a bloody confrontation last week between landless peasants occupying a large-landholding in Curuguaty, near the Brazilian border, and police forces sent to violently dislodge their encampment, a farcical political trial was carried out last Friday.
656. June 21, 2012 The RIO+20 U.N. Conference
Representatives of governments from all the world will be present at the Rio+20 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, June 2012. What can we expect from this so-called "Earth Summit" from a social and ecological perspective? Nothing! Or, to be charitable, very little.
655. June 19, 2012 Alex de Jong One Divides Into Two -- Nepal's Maoists in Crisis
After ten years of Maoist insurgency and a coup d'état by the king in 2005, the Nepali people took to the streets in April 2006, forcing the king to hand power back to the parliament. It was the end of the only Hindu kingdom in the world but only a new step in the country's continuing political crisis. The Maoist party, the UCPN(M) has entered into a crisis itself and a split has become inevitable.
654. June 13, 2012 Samir Sonti Greece and Our Illusions
While it may be premature to speculate on the legacy left by the various social upheavals that have occurred since early-2011, the electoral tide sweeping across Europe offers additional evidence that something fundamental is happening.
653. June 12, 2012 G. Dragasakis The Economic Program of SYRIZA-EKM
Alexis Tsipras, the president of the SYRIZA Parliamentary Group already presented a large part of our economic program and primarily the rationale of the program. That allows me to focus on a few specific points. Listening to Mr. Samaras yesterday, and also on other occasions, reading out long lists of measures, I feel the need to explain what we mean when we talk about a program.
652. June 11, 2012 Luke Stobart and Joel Sans Spain: A Spiral of Crisis, Cuts and Indignacion
In March 2011 several regular Guardian columnists analysed the crisis in the Spanish state and the response to "austerity" by the population. All agreed that young people were "apathetic" and even "docile." Two months later that same youth led tens of thousands to occupy city squares and a million to demonstrate across the country -- the movement of "the outraged" (los indignados in Spanish).
651. June 10, 2012 J. F. Conway Quebec: Making War on Our Children
A society at war with its children is a society in deep crisis. Quebec's student strike mobilization has set world records for duration and size. The organizational ability of the students has been remarkable, and escalating levels of disciplined popular support nothing short of astonishing.
650. June 9, 2012 Richard Fidler Where Next for the Quebec Mobilizations?
Despite massive mobilizations throughout Quebec in opposition to Law 78 and the Jean Charest government, the student struggle is once again at an impasse. At the end of May, the government terminated the latest round of negotiations with the four college and university student associations without offering any concessions on the students' key demands: for repeal of the tuition fee increases and repeal of its 'bludgeon law' aimed at smashing student unionism in the province.
649. June 8, 2012 Tyler Shipley Soccer, Imperialism, and Resistance in Honduras
Never let them tell you it's 'just a game.' Much is on the line, as the Canadian and Honduran national soccer teams prepare for their World Cup Qualifying match on June 12 in Toronto, but the real stories that animate this match are taking place a long way from BMO Field. Just ask Honduras' most famed footballer -- once a local star with Toronto FC -- the aptly named Amado Guevara.
648. June 7, 2012 Panagiotis Sotiris Political Crisis, the Left and the Possibility of a New Historical Bloc
The combination of economic crisis, social devastation and open political crisis in 'weak links' of the European Project such as Greece has raised the possibility of social and political change. In Greece we have witnessed a sequence of social and political developments that are based on an extreme case of economic and consequently social crisis have led to an open political crisis.
647. June 6, 2012 Peter Hallward The Threat of Quebec's Good Example
The extraordinary student mobilization in Quebec has already sustained the longest and largest student strike in the history of North America, and it has already organized the single biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. It is now rapidly growing into one of the most powerful and inventive anti-austerity campaigns anywhere in the world.
646. June 5, 2012 Celia Garces Mallku Khota
The indigenous community of Mallku Khota (in Bolivia) is in a state of emergency for resisting the continued operations of South American Silver Corporation's (SASC) subsidiary, Compania Minera Mallku Khota (CMMK). On May 28th, 2012, the governor of Potosi pleaded to the national government to militarize the zone where mineral exploration is ongoing.
645. June 1, 2012 SYRIZA SYRIZA's Proposals: The Exit From the Crisis Is On the Left
The national debt is first and foremost a product of class relations, and is inhumane in its very essence. It is produced by the tax evasion of the wealthy, the looting of public funds, and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.
644. May 31, 2012 Barry Finger The Bipartisan Assault on Higher Education
Barack Obama and Republican Party Presidential nominee Mitt Romney agree that the Stafford loan program should be maintained at a 3.4 per cent interest rate, rather than being allowed to double by this July. This, somehow, is seen as a great boon to students and evidence of a bipartisan commitment to the upcoming generation.
643. May 30, 2012 Michalis Spourdalakis Syriza's Rise
The rise of Syriza, Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left, in the May elections and in polls since has changed the political landscape of Europe. Michalis Spourdalakis, professor of political science at Athens University, talked to Alex Doherty about Syriza, the reasons for their success and what the prospects are now for the radical left in Greece and beyond.
642. May 29, 2012 Andrew Stevens and Doug Nesbitt Workers at CP Get Railroaded
On May 23, 4800 CP Rail workers went on strike after giving a 72-hour strike notice on May 19. The workers, represented by the Teamsters Rail Conference of Canada, had voted 95 per cent in favour of a strike on April 27. The major issue is pensions, but there are also other areas of dispute such as fatigue management and workplace safety.
641. May 28, 2012 Roger Annis Government Repression of Quebec Student Movement Sparks Massive Protests
Quebec's student movement and the swelling ranks of its popular allies staged a massive rally and march in Montreal on May 22 in favour of the students' fight for free, quality public education and against government repression. Estimates by some mainstream news outlets and by independent observers place the number of participants as high as 400,000.
640. May 24, 2012 Xavier Lafrance and Alan Sears Red Square, Everywhere
The Charest government has turned to repression to try to break the largest and longest student strike in Quebec history. Students had already endured heavy-handed policing, including hundreds of arrests and brutal attacks by riot cops on campuses and in the streets. The new strikebreaking legislation, Bill 78, is a brutal clampdown on the right to organize collectively and on freedom of expression.
639. May 23, 2012 Dan La Botz Mexico: Populist Lopez Obrador Moves Up in Polls
Mexico's voters face an increasingly murky choice in the rapidly approaching July 1 national election between three conservative, pro-business candidates and a populist candidate who until recently offered Keynesian solutions to the country's endemic problems of inadequate economic growth, huge economic and social disparities, and a political establishment dominated by and in the service of a handful of oligopolies.
638. May 20, 2012 Michael Skinner NATO Reality Check: Protestors in Chicago Can Fatally Fracture NATO
The NATO summit in Chicago, on 20-21 May, will be a lightening-rod for protest. This is a historic moment when peace activists have an opportunity to deflect NATO's current trajectory toward expanding and intensifying global warfare. NATO is the most powerful military alliance ever devised in human history. However, the alliance is unstable.
637. May 19, 2012 Roger Annis Quebec Students Mobilize Against Draconian Law Aimed at Breaking Four-Month Strike
The strike of post-secondary students in Quebec has taken a dramatic turn with the provincial government rushing adoption of a special law on May 18 to suspend the school year at strike-bound institutions until August and outlaw protest activity deemed disruptive of institutions not participating in the strike.
636. May 18, 2012 Richard Fidler Quebec Government Bludgeons Student Strikers With Emergency Law
Quebec premier Jean Charest announced May 16 that he will introduce emergency legislation to end the militant student strike, now in its 14th week, that has shut down college and university campuses across the province. The students are protesting the Liberal government's 75 per cent increase in university tuition fees, now slated to take place over the next seven years.
635. May 16, 2012 Thomas Sablowski Impoverishing Europe
The crisis is not relinquishing its grip on Europe. From autumn 2008 to early 2009 the world market experienced the deepest slump in economic output since the Second World War. This is a global crisis. Even in emerging economies like China, Brazil or India economic growth declined and could not compensate for the recession in the North Atlantic region.
634. May 15, 2012 Attac Germany and Attac Europe Network Stop the Neoliberal Crisis Politics
We are experiencing the deepest crisis of capitalism since the great depression of the 1930s -- and the European governments continue to pour oil on the fires! From the very beginning, some governments have prevented a solidarity-based solution to the crisis in Europe and are significantly responsible for its exacerbation.
633. May 14, 2012 Esther Vivas M15: A Look Toward the Future
Untimely and unexpected. That's what the emergence of this movement of collective outrage at the Spanish state was. If we had been told on May 14th, 2011 the next day thousands of people would start taking to the streets week by week and occupy squares, organize meetings, challenge the power with massive civil disobedience while staying in the streets... we would never have imagined it possible.
632. May 12, 2012 Haris Golemis A Triumph of the Radical Left in Greece
The recent electoral results in Greece was a serious blow to the governments of Merkel and Sarkozy, as well as to all those arrogant neoliberal parties, politicians, analysts, EU, ECB and IMF officials who thought that the European people can suffer passively and for an indefinite period the extreme austerity policies of neoliberal orthodoxy, which supposedly aim to an exit from the capitalist crisis in Europe.
631. May 8, 2012 Richard Fidler Defiant Quebec Students Reject Shabby Government Offer
Quebec college and university students are now in the 13th week of their militant province-wide strike while voting by overwhelming majorities to reject a government offer that met none of their key demands. After a 22-hour bargaining session involving ministers of the Charest government, university and college heads, and leaders of the major trade-union centrals, the student leaders agreed on May 6 to put the offer to a vote of their respective membership without recommending acceptance.
630. May 8, 2012 Dan Freeman-Maloy European Politics on Palestine: An interview with David Cronin
DFM: In your book, you describe the determination of Israeli planners to develop closer ties with the European Union. Has Israel's traditional policy of trying to limit European diplomatic involvement in the Middle East changed? David Cronin: Yes and no. In recent years, there has been quite a bit of strategic thinking undertaken by the Israeli foreign ministry.
629. May 7, 2012 Thomas Marois Contesting Finance Capitalism in Turkey
Turkey has been touted as one of the great 'emerging market' success stories. As the advanced capitalisms like the U.S. and UK sunk into the Great Recession, Turkey pulled out of crisis earning the moniker of a key 'growth market' in 2011 by Jim O'Neill, the chair of Goldman Sachs Asset Management who originated the term 'BRIC.'
628. May 4, 2012 Paul Kellogg Alberta Election - Party of Big Oil Defeats Party of Big Oil
There was something absolutely wonderful about the failure of Wildrose to win the recent election in Alberta. The party is made up of a gaggle of mostly former conservatives -- so extreme in their views that their party earned the nickname 'Tea Party North.'
627. May 1, 2012 Ingo Schmidt May Day 2012: Why They Are Waging War On the Workers and What To Do About It
Remember the days when bargaining was a backroom affair, or have heard about those days? When union members would only know that contract negotiations were going on when their bargaining team came out of the room and asked for ratification? This old school approach of representation was really flawed in terms of accountability and membership involvement.
626. April 30, 2012 Raul Burbano Harper Pushing Extractive Industry in Latin America But Communities Are Pushing Back
At the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, Stephen Harper spoke to CEOs from across the Americas and unveiled Canada's plans to expand into Latin America with vigor. Trade and investment, especially in the resource extraction sector, will be the engines driving this expansion.
625. April 27, 2012 CLASSE Toward a Social Strike
The student revolt that has been shaking the Quebec state, has been captivating activists across Canada and the world. Coalition large de l'association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) is the major component of the coalition of student unions leading the strike of some 180,000 students out on strike. It is said to represent about half of the coalition.
624. April 27, 2012 Richard Fidler Government Ends Negotiations With Quebec's Striking Students
On Wednesday, April 25, Education minister Line Beauchamp abruptly ended the negotiations with the student leaders to which she had reluctantly agreed two days earlier -- before they had even got to the key issue of the $1625 fee hike. She refused, once again, to negotiate with the CLASSE, the largest student union in Quebec.
623. April 26, 2012 Raju J. Das The Dirty Picture of Neoliberalism
The Bollywood movie The Dirty Picture (apparently) runs on three things: entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. The dirty picture of neoliberalism runs on three things, as well: class, class, and class. Indeed, neoliberalism must be seen as the restoration and reinforcement of class power (Harvey 2005), class power of large owners of business over the working masses.
622. April 25, 2012 Richard Fidler Massive Student Upsurge Fuels Major Debates in Quebec Society
A crowd estimated at 250,000 people or more wound its way through Montréal April 22 in Quebec's largest ever Earth Day march. They raised many demands: an end to tar sands and shale gas development, opposition to the Quebec government's Plan Nord mining expansion, support for radical measures to protect ecosystems, and other causes.
621. April 24, 2012 Natalia Tylim A "Fair" Protest in New York City?
If you ride the New York City subway system, then you've become accustomed to reading the signs in stations across the city that let riders know about service changes. Most often, there are delays, or you find that you must take a different line to get to where you need to go.
620. April 20, 2012 James Cairns Democracy in the Age of Austerity: Beyond the Robocall Scandal
A lot of people are angry about the robocall scandal. Even by the low standards of the Harper Conservatives, the covert attempt to block thousands of people from voting in the 2011 federal election is pretty disgusting. In a recent poll, 75 per cent of respondents said they want a formal inquiry into the Conservative Party's dirty campaign tricks.
619. April 19, 2012 Matthew Brett The Student Movement: Radical Priorities
The student movement in Quebec is an incredibly important development, with implications that reach well beyond provincial borders. The movement emerged in response to a 75 per cent increase in tuition fees to be implemented over the next five years, but it has quickly evolved into something far more significant.
618. April 17, 2012 Steven Tufts Can Labour Precipitate a 'Useful Crisis' at Air Canada?
Shortly after being appointed Ontario's Minister of Training and Education by Mike Harris in the mid 1990s, John Snobelen stated that it was necessary to create a 'useful crisis' in education to allow for neoliberal reforms. A number of 'useful' crises have been created in Canada over the last three decades.
617. April 16, 2012 Nicole Colson The Unraveling Occupation
The U.S. war and occupation of Afghanistan was supposed to bring stability and democracy. Instead, Afghanistan remains a country on the brink of disaster -- one that has clearly been exacerbated by the U.S. presence.
616. April 13, 2012 Pham Binh Lenin and Occupy
Many socialists have cheered Lars Lih's demolition of the textbook interpretation of Lenin's work in Lenin Rediscovered without examining how many of our own preconceptions on the subject are now part of the same pile of rubble.
615. April 10, 2012 Herman Rosenfeld The Electro-Motive Lockout and Non-Occupation
Along with everything else, the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath created new openings and potentials for working people in the struggle against neoliberalism. A number of struggles initially opened up, including factory occupations, efforts to defend pensions and the rights of younger workers. There were important political struggles, as well, as in Wisconsin, along with newer projects to link labour and communities, in the Occupy movement.
614. April 9, 2012 Adrie Naylor Economic Crisis and Austerity: The Stranglehold on Canada's Families
The claim that economic crises and austerity have an uneven impact on the working-class -- with the greatest effects being felt by women and children -- is one we hear often on the Left. However, with some important exceptions, this claim is all too often just an aside or a footnote.
613. April 6, 2012 Matt Fodor Mulcair's Victory: What Does It Mean?
On March 24, the membership of the Federal New Democratic Party elected Thomas Mulcair to succeed the late Jack Layton as their national leader, who tragically died of cancer in August 2011. With about 65,000 of the party's 130,000 members participating in the leadership election, Mulcair prevailed over runner-up Brian Topp on the fourth ballot.
612. April 4, 2012 Raja Khalidi After the Arab Spring in Palestine
Over the past year, as Arab peoples in surrounding countries erupted in protest against dictators, security regimes, and failed social and economic policies, the Palestinian people living in their occupied homeland have remained quiescent. Neither have mass protests targeted the Palestinian "regime's" policies or negotiating performance, nor has resistance to Israeli occupation escalated or taken more effective forms.
611. April 2, 2012 Richard Fidler Mulcair's Victory: A New Direction for the NDP?
There is a lot of speculation going the rounds about whether or to what degree Thomas Mulcair will change the direction of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP). Mulcair, as everyone who pays attention to Canadian politics knows by now, emerged the winner in the NDP's contest to replace deceased leader Jack Layton.
610. March 29, 2012 Alan Sears Austerity in the Mind Factory
Educational struggles are breaking out all over. In March 2012, over 200,000 Quebec students are waging a general strike against tuition increases and have faced brutal police repression. British Columbia teachers just finished a three-day strike against an austerity budget and are set to engage in further strike action. Teacher collective bargaining seems to be headed toward an impasse in Ontario.
609. March 27, 2012 Nathan Prier and Max Johnson Decolonization Against Austerity
The community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) poses a challenge and opportunity for the left in Turtle Island to (re)think strategic alliances between leftist anti-austerity struggles and indigenous anti-colonial struggles taking place in the area commonly called 'Canada.' KI is a small fly-in Anishaninii community in Northwestern Ontario, about 580 km north of Thunder Bay, and has a long history of survival and resistance in the face of the colonial settler state.
608. March 26, 2012 Hugo Radice The Consequences of the EU Bank Rescue
Through the second half of 2011 there were persistent signs of financial stress in many banks right across Europe -- not only in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy, but in France and even Germany too. The banks were already struggling to meet the higher capital and reserve requirements that have been emanating from the Basel III international regulatory proposals.
607. March 25, 2012 Jeff Noonan Capitalist Life-Crises and The North American Left: Problems and Prospects
The struggles across the Middle East and North Africa and on-going resistance to austerity in Europe catalysed a fightback in North America -- the Occupy Movement -- that no one saw coming. Together, all testify to the pervasive and deepening crisis of capitalism, not just as an economic system, but as a comprehensive way of living and valuing.
606. March 21, 2012 Richard Fidler Massive Demonstrations Support Quebec Students Striking Against Fee Hikes
Tens of thousands of students and their supporters marched in major Quebec cities on March 18, in opposition to the Jean Charest government's promise to impose a 75 per cent increase in post-secondary education fees over the next five years. In Montréal some 30,000 "former, present and future university students" responded to the call.
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