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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

South Africa, a Dream Betrayed:
Understanding the Political Crisis in South Africa

Toronto – 20 April 2017.


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Since 1994, the political leaders of South Africa have attempted to solve the national question through the ‘de-racialization’ of the economy and society. How to remake the state without addressing the benefits and misfortunes of capitalism and racism in South Africa? The ANC-led governments linked the struggle against racism to the national task of creating and strengthening a black capitalist class. This was an integral part of their attempt at de-racialization within the class and property relations of capitalism. But the misfortunes of capitalism and racism in South Africa continue to take the form of mass poverty for the majority of its people. And in post-apartheid South Africa the wealth and privileges of the beneficiaries of apartheid have been protected even with apartheid's end. Only a tiny minority of blacks have entered into the capitalist class, often through connections to the state and the governing group.

The current government of President Jacob Zuma is witness to major brawls between rival elite factions, amidst growing corruption scandals. The historical alliance between the ANC, the SACP and COSATU is fracturing. Protests and demonstrations calling for Zuma to resign are growing. Out of this ruin, a new South African working class movement may yet emerge.

Eli Kodisang has been involved in South African left politics and struggle for almost thirty years. He was a local and national organizer and educator in various COSATU unions, and then moved to Khanya College, a left NGO that provides support and political education for community and informal worker movements. He is currently organizing informal waste pickers and completing a Masters in Education and Work.



Basic Income: A Way Forward for the Left?

Toronto – 13 April 2017.


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The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an agenda of austerity and privatization? This important debate features two speakers speaking in favour of the left support for Basic Income and two against.

Opening remarks: Kikélola Roach, Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson University. Moderator: Avi Lewis, The Leap.

Hosted in partnership with: OCAP, OPIRG-Toronto, OPSEU Local 586, Ryerson Centre for Policy Innovation and Public Engagement, The Leap, Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy.

Resources:



Allies at Every Stop

Organizing Passengers and Building Power


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The essential training for understanding what is at stake for transit unions, learning how to mobilize their members and riders, and learning how to mount campaigns to save jobs and the transit systems that our communities depend on.

These two videos are sections of a two-part on-line training course, produced by the International ATU, for use by ATU locals in the U.S. and Canada. The goal is to help members to build alliances between transit workers and transit users, to collectively challenge the common agenda of business and its allies to privatize, deregulate and cut needed social services (such as public transit), and attack the rights of those who deliver the service, in the transit unions. It includes one video that identifies the agenda, and features a discussion about who and what is driving it, as well as the commonalities workers across the board are facing. The second video concentrates on the nuts and bolts of how to build a common movement.

Resources:


LS #Date PublishedTitle 
347. 23 April 2017 South Africa, a Dream Betrayed Kodisang, Eli
The current government of President Jacob Zuma is witness to major brawls between rival elite factions, amidst growing corruption scandals. The historical alliance between the ANC, the SACP and COSATU is fracturing. Protests and demonstrations calling for Zuma to resign are growing. Out of this ruin, a new South African working class movement may yet emerge. Forum with Eli Kodisang, recorded in Toronto, 20 April 2017.
346. 16 April 2017 Basic Income: A Way Forward for the Left?
The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an agenda of austerity and privatization? Recorded in Toronto, 13 April 2017.
345. 2 April 2017 Allies at Every Stop: Organizing Passengers and Building Power
These two videos are sections of a two-part on-line training course, produced by the International ATU, for use by ATU locals in the U.S. and Canada. The goal is to help members to build alliances between transit workers and users, to collectively challenge the common agenda of business and its allies to privatize, deregulate and cut needed social services (such as public transit), and attack the rights of those who deliver the service, in the transit unions.
344. 26 March 2017 Refusing Settler Colonialism, From Turtle Island to Palestine
The keynote event of Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 focused on articulating connections between ongoing struggles against settler colonial violence and dispossession across Turtle Island (North America) and in historic Palestine. The panelists reflected on the history and current state of these anti-colonial struggles. Featuring Erica Violet Lee. Recorded in Toronto, 15 March 2017.
343. 19 March 2017 150 Years of Marx's Capital
This is a collection of videos dealing with Karl Marx's Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. It is 150 years since Karl Marx published the first volume of Capital in 1867, with the two subsequent volumes coming out under the editorship of Friedrich Engels over the next decades. As its subtitle suggests, Capital is a masterful appraisal of the ‘vulgar’ defences of capitalism focused on exchange and markets and the more ‘scientific’ accounts of classical political economy highlighting the production of an economic surplus and its distribution between the social classes.
342. 19 February 2017 Global Intern Strike!
On February 20th, young people across the world will come together to push for an end to the exploitative and exclusionary practice of unpaid internships. Decentralised actions will take place in a range of cities, to call on employers and leaders to ensure that quality intern opportunities are paid and accessible to all - regardless of their socioeconomic background.
341. 12 February 2017 If You Don’t Understand the Second Product, You Understand Nothing About Marx's Capital Lebowitz, Michael A.
Unfortunately, for many who have followed Marx in name and others who never pretended to do so, there is only one product - the change in circumstances, the change in the object of labour. The second product - the change in human beings, the change in the subject of labour - is ignored. This presentation by Michael Lebowitz was recorded in Athens, Greece, 14 January 2017.
340. 5 February 2017 What's the Matter with America?
The 2017 Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture presentation by Thomas Frank, on Donald Trump's election and what it means for the USA. Recorded in Toronto, 26 January 2017.
339. 29 January 2017 Launching the Socialist Register 2017: Rethinking Revolution
The main purpose of the 2017 edition of the Socialist Register (SR) - one century after 'Red October' - is to look forward, to what might happen next. Moderated by Greg Albo. Discussion featuring: Joan Sangster, Bryan Palmer, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin. Recorded in Toronto, 12 January 2017.
338. 15 January 2017 Art Manuel: Defender of the Land Manuel, Arthur
Arthur Manuel (1951 - January 11, 2017) was a First Nations political leader in Canada. He was four times elected chief (1995-2003) and three times elected chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (1997-2003). Since 2003, he served as spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET), a network of indigenous nations working on the international level to achieve recognition of Aboriginal title and rights.
337. 8 January 2017 Labour Struggles in Palestine and International Solidarity
The global labour movement has long criticized Israel for human and trade union rights violations and abuse of Palestinian workers, while workers in Palestine are resisting oppression and building a movement we can support. Trade unions and federations of labour in Canada are heeding the call for solidarity made by 170 Palestinian organizations for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Recorded in Toronto, 8 May 2016.
336. 1 January 2017 Unions and Climate Change
How do we build a trade union movement that promotes solutions to the climate crisis and responds to the attacks on workers' rights and protections? The ecological and social implications of climate change have - or should - become a central parameter for all discussions of work and capitalism. The unrelenting build-up of greenhouse gases has led to the jarring conclusion, drawn by climatologists, ecological militants and union activists, that an exit from reliance on fossil fuels for energy needs to occur with some urgency.
335. 25 December 2016 Pray For the Dead
A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny, a new play for and about workers and unions, is now available as a radio show. This 30 minute radio version of the play, with the music, aired on WPFW in Washington, DC and in San Francisco on Bill Fletcher's weekly show Arise! It includes a 10 minute interview about unions and culture.
334. 18 December 2016 The Rise and Fall of Cheap Nature
Finance. Climate. Food. Work. How are the crises of the twenty-first century connected? In Capitalism in the Web of Life, Jason W. Moore argues that the sources of today's global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature. Recorded in Toronto, 13 December 2016.
333. 11 December 2016 No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age McAlevey, Jane
Income inequality has reached levels not seen since the 1920s. Labor unions’ membership is in decline, and popular opinion has turned against them. Author Jane McAlevey discusses her book with Stephanie Ross and Michal Rozworski. Recorded in Toronto, 1 December 2016.
332. 4 December 2016 The Case of Hassan Diab
This is a 3-part podcast series on the case of Hassan Diab, a Lebanese-Canadian sociology professor extradited from Canada and currently in a French jail, accused of a bombing that happened in Paris in 1980. The series was produced by Justin Podur.
331. 27 November 2016 Climate Change and the Struggle Against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline
Thousands have been pouring onto Vancouver streets, as well as protesting across Canada, against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been attempting to square the impossible – expanding oil sands production and building pipelines while addressing climate change. The Liberal governments of BC and Canada have ignored theses issues, as well as wider questions about First Nations consultations and sovereignty claims, already in the cases of the PacificNorthwest LNG, Woodfibre LNG and the Site C Dam in BC.
330. 20 November 2016 Bursting at the Seams
A short video on the crisis of brutal overcrowding in Toronto's homeless shelters and a call to action. This video had it's premiere outside the building where Toronto's Mayor John Tory lives in somewhat better circumstances.
329. 13 November 2016 Chinese Workers' Uprising: Unions, Workers, and Resistance in China Today
Lu Zhang and Eli Friedman have each interviewed dozens of Chinese workers, from the auto sector to the factories producing computers and footwear, documenting the processes of migration, changing employment relations, and worker culture underpinning the new Chinese working class and their forms of resistance today. Recorded in Toronto, 30 October 2016.
328. 30 October 2016 Hearts and Mines (book launch) Mirrlees, Tanner
From Katy Perry training alongside US Marines in a music video, to the global box-office mastery of the US military-supported Transformers franchise, it's clear that the US national security state is a dominant force in global media culture. How and why is this so? This book covers the production, profit and power of US Empire's culture industry -- a nexus between the US state and globalizing media firms and the source of entertainments that promote US Empire as a way of life around the world. Recorded in Toronto, 20 October 2016.
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