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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

1917: The October Revolution


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It is now 100 years since the Great October Revolution of 1917, one of the most remarkable events of the 20th century. An autocratic monarchy governing over an emergent capitalist economy was swept aside, in a series of revolutionary ruptures between February and October, and replaced by a socialist state under the leadership of the Bolsheviks. The trajectory, meaning, strategy and tactics, and, finally, the complete reversal of the Revolution has sparked sharp debate, and division, to this day. Here is only a sample, from Eisenstein to Mieville, to Lenin's classic text, The State and Revolution.

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Insurgent Left, Resurgent Labour?

Corbyn, Sanders and the Labour Movement

Toronto – 5 October 2017


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The relative success of the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn campaigns have put left politics back on the political map. This panel seeks to explore the role that the labour movement played in the Sanders and Corbyn campaigns and consider whether similar political campaigns have the potential to contribute to a renewed and strengthened labour movement.

Moderated by Jordan House. Presentations by:



The Fight for 15 - What Next?

Toronto – 26 September 2017


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For those of us in unions, the Fight for $15 and Fairness means using all of the tools at our disposal to defend what we still have – at the bargaining table, on the shop floor, and in legislative halls – but then go beyond to forge new powerful community alliances to demand civil rights, immigrant justice, healthcare, quality education, food and shelter, and fair wages for all. Indeed, the pinnacle achievements of U.S. unions – think Social Security, minimum wages, safety laws – took place when labour acted not out of narrow self-interest, but as part of a broad social movement; not as a co-dependent of a political party, but as an independent force.

Moderated by Sean Smith. Presentations by:

Sponsored by: The Toronto Labour Committee, Workers’ Action Centre, Global Labour Research Centre (York Univ.), Toronto Airport Workers Council (TAWC).

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LS #Date PublishedTitle 
204. 9 February 2014 Can We Afford FORD More Years?
This forum was part of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly GMM. A broad-ranging discussion that shifts the focus away from Mayor Ford's personal failings and toward an analysis and critique of austerity policies, as well as the class dynamics that underpin Ford's continuing popularity.
203. 2 February 2014 Building New Parties or Building Direct Democracy?
This forum was part of the 2013 World Peace Forum in Vancouver. Chaired by Ingo Schmidt. Presentations by: Michael Lebowitz, Roger Rashi and Tara Ehrcke. Recorded in Vancouver, 2 November 2013.
202. 26 January 2014 Book forum: Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan
This forum was part of the Canadian Peace Alliance convention weekend in Toronto. Chaired by James Clark. Presentations by Greg Albo, Todd Gordon, Angela Joya and Jessica Squires.
201. 19 January 2014 Trade Unions, Pensions, Corporations, and the State
Given the labour movement's opposition to privatization and positive support for significant public infrastructure renewal, how can labour movement pension activists and trustees support an agenda that actually shrinks the power of private finance in shaping such investments and expands the role of public and democratically accountable institutions to play this role instead?
200. 12 January 2014 The Rise of Finance
One of the emerging features of the neoliberal landscape has been what many have come to label "financialization." What do the "rise of finance" and financialization mean for trade unions, and especially those that name trustees to represent them on governing boards? Are there alternatives to sending union representatives and trustees to the usual business schools for "training" in how to navigate this new world?
199. 5 January 2014 Anarcho-Syndicalism Burns, Taodhg and Marc Young
A discussion with Taodhg (AKA Tim) Burns and Marc Young about the politics of Anarcho-Syndicalism, its history, and modern application. Recorded in Toronto, 22 December 2013.
198. 29 December 2013 Luxemburg, Lenin, Levi: Rethinking Revolutionary History Riddell, John; Paul Kellogg
Presentations by John Riddell and Paul Kellogg. Recorded in Toronto, 14 December 2013.
197. 22 December 2013 Global Labour Migration
A meeting, designed as a dialogue, to build greater solidarity between the labour and migrant justice movements in their shared struggle against workers' exploitation by global capital.
196. 8 December 2013 Launching the Socialist Register 2014: Registering Class
The 50th volume of the Socialist Register is dedicated to the theme of 'registering class' in light of the spread and deepening of capitalist social relations around the globe. Recorded in Toronto, 24 November 2013.
195. 1 December 2013 Socialism and Feminism Bakan, Abbie; Sue Ferguson
Presentations by Abbie Bakan and Sue Ferguson. Recorded in Toronto, 16 November 2103.
194. 24 November 2013 Pension Funds and Privatization Mehra, Natalie; Brian O'Keefe; Graham Cox
Nearly all of the largest pension funds in Canada have moved aggressively into financing what they call infrastructure, or alternative asset classes that include various kinds of public infrastructure that have been either privatized outright or restructured into a partnership structure which, critics argue, produces guaranteed (and monopolistic) profits for private owners and managers of infrastructure, with many of the risks still borne by government or public sector entities.
193. 23 November 2013 Afghanistan: Perils and Possibilities Podur, Justin
This lecture by Justin Podur is based on a trip he made to Kabul in March 2013 and his chapter in the 2013 University of Toronto Press book, Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan. Recorded in Toronto, 28 October 2013.
192. 10 November 2013 The Hidden History of Workplace Resistance: U.S. Autoworkers Speak Out Shotwell, Gregg; Sean Crawford; Scott Houldieson
Three prominent UAW shop floor activists (Sean Crawford, Scott Houldieson, and Gregg Shotwell) describe current life on American assembly lines and keeping resistance alive. Organized by the Labour Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded in Toronto, 26 October 2013.
191. 3 November 2013 Fiduciary Duty: A legal shield for corporate capitalism? Weststar, Johanna; Simon Archer and Murray Gold
Session 3 of the "Pension Fund" series -- this panel focuses on those situations where trade unions have the power to name trustees to pension trustee boards, and examine more closely what the expectations are of both nominating unions and the trustees themselves.
190. 27 October 2013 Understanding Globalization Gindin, Sam; David McNally
Presentations by: Sam Gindin, co-author with Leo Panitch of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire; and David McNally, author of Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance. Recorded in Toronto, 19 October 2013.
189. 20 October 2013 Trade Union and 'Progressive' Strategies Soederberg, Susanne; Jim Stanford
It is noteworthy that as finance has been on the 'rise', some activists began to formalize anti-corporate and targeted activist campaign strategies through pension and personal investment funds. In Canada and the U.S., several faith organizations began to argue that anti-social corporate behaviour should be, in some sense, sanctioned by individual investors and ultimate owners, on the basis of social principle or humanitarian values.
188. 6 October 2013 From Pension Fund Socialism to Pension Fund Capitalism?
Peter Drucker's famous 1976 warning that the growth of workers' pension funds was leading to 'socialism' in the United States has not aged well. This conception inspired many trade unionists and some on the left, and led to various experimental proposals for seizing 'worker control' of finance and the economy via the pooled savings of workers, whether in pension funds or in individual savings.
187. 29 September 2013 Tied in a Knot - discussion with the director Kukreja, Reena
This documentary examines the newly emergent phenomenon of bride buying and commoditization of the female body in India, and the attendant gender based violence that the sourced, bought, or trafficked brides undergo in their marital homes. Years of repressive social morés that promoted girl dispreference is now seeing men from these regions breach customary rules and travel to distant poorer regions of India to find wives.
186. 15 September 2013 Prime Your Mind for Resistance to the 'Right to Work' Lie
Bankers get bailed out, corporations get incentives, workers get attacked... and 'right to work' laws threaten to take this much further. A GTWA labour forum with John Cartwright, Sonia Singh, and Sam Gindin. Recorded in Toronto, 12 September 2013.
185. 1 September 2013 How Tar Sands Threaten Our Communities
Concern is growing. Word is getting out about Enbridge Corp.'s plan to convert an aging cross-Toronto pipeline (Line 9) to transport a toxic mixture of bitumen (tar) and chemicals. Hundreds of East End Toronto residents have expressed alarm about the dangers of a spill and the effect on climate change. Recorded in Toronto, 25 August 2013.
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