February 20, 2015

Film Review: "Pride" (2014)

by Róisín Lyder

Pride is a dramatized version of a series of events that took place in England and Wales during the 1983-5 miner’s strike, which was brutally crushed by Margaret Thatcher and her Tory government as part of their efforts to break the British trade union movement. The movie opens with the song ‘Solidarity Forever’ playing overtop of historical images of the strike and the song punctuates the rest of the film. Indeed solidarity is the real theme of Pride, a film that is a light-hearted meditation on the possibilities created when members of the working class overcome what may seem like insurmountable differences.

At the 1984 gay pride march in London we are introduced to Mark Ashton as he begins taking up a collection for the striking miners. It is at this march that the group Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) is formed. Ashton persuades the others to join by asking: “Who hates miners? Thatcher, the police, the public and the tabloids. Sound familiar?” The young queer people see the parallels; one suggests that the usual police harassers have been absent from the gay nightclubs lately because they have been too busy harassing the miners. The group sets about fundraising and eventually finds a mining town reluctantly willing to accept the cash. Following the usual practice of thanking solidarity groups, the LGSM are invited to the small Welsh town of Onllwyn where they meet an assorted cast of characters ranging from those who effortlessly lack prejudice, to the mildly uncomfortable, to the outright and staunchly homophobic. A series of predictable yet entertaining moments of bigotry and acceptance ensue.

February 2, 2015

Harper’s “anti-terrorism” legislation promises to increase repression

by Brendan Campisi

  On Friday, the Harper government announced a wave of “anti-terrorism” legislation which will dramatically increase the power of the country's repressive forces. Supposedly justified by the shootings on Parliament Hill last year, the new laws will give CSIS the power to “intervene and disrupt threats to national security at home and abroad”, restrict the movements of suspected 'terrorists', stop them from boarding a flight, disrupt money transfers or electronic communications, allow government agencies to share information like passport applications with intelligence agencies, increase the amount of time suspected 'terrorists' can be detained without charge, and allow courts to order the removal of material deemed “terrorist propaganda” from websites registered in Canada. It will also create a new offence, 'promoting terrorism', which will not require the advocacy of any particular act.

January 21, 2015

Afghanistan war is far from over

By T.J. Petrowski

 After 13 years, the U.S. and NATO are announcing the end to combat missions in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of troops. But despite the symbolic flag lowering ceremony, the U.S. led war is in fact not ending, and the brutal war is set to continue through 2015. NATO is set to "transition" to a non combat, "Resolute Support" mission to assist the Afghan National Army in its operations, with 4,000 NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan into 2015.

 President Obama has authorized 10,800 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan in 2015 (an increase of 1,000 from his May 2014 pledge to reduce troop levels), to resume combat operations against Afghan militants (including night raids by Special Operation soldiers, previously banned by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai), and aerial strikes. A senior American military officer was quoted saying that "the Air Force expects to use F 16 fighters, B 1B bombers and Predator and Reaper drones to go after the Taliban in 2015."

January 16, 2015

Dentist Misogyny at Dalhousie

By Nicole Hattie, Halifax

A widespread public outcry has been heard across Nova Scotia following news that 13 male Dalhousie Dentistry students were members of a self‑described "gentlemen's facebook page" used to discuss chauvinistic and misogynistic messages. The men engaged in a poll, which asked who they would like to "hate fuck," and discussed using chloroform to rape women. The results of the poll were posted on Dec. 6 - the 25th anniversary of the Montreal massacre.

The response by some people, like the Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente, has been to say that this was a "joke" and should not be taken as a direct attack on women. But many labour, community and women's groups sharply disagree. A protest of approximately 300 students, faculty and other people on Dalhousie's campus rallied against all forms of sexism and harassment, denouncing the university's approach as unacceptable.

Bowing somewhat to public pressure, Dalhousie president Richard Florizone later suspended the men from clinical duties at the Dalhousie clinic, saying the school is looking at many options and is not ruling out expulsions. Despite this, many continue to be outraged.

These violent sexualized acts of hate speech had reportedly been taking place months prior and the university was well aware. However, nothing was done about the issue until it went "viral" in the media. There had also been reports of a male professor showing sexualized videos in class that objectified women as a way in which to "wake the male students up."

It appears the dentistry programme at Dal is basically a sexist "old boys club" for the sons of Nova Scotia's well‑heeled elite.

January 15, 2015

After Charlie Hebdo: Real unity against violence means unity against imperialism

Photo from the January 11th National Unity march in Paris
By Adrien Welsh

Adrien Welsh is a member of the Young Communist League of Canada and chair of the YCL-LJC International Commission. He is currently living in Paris, France.

On Wednesday, January 8th, 12 people were killed - among them, two police officers - and 11 others were wounded after the offices of the weekly satirical Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo was the target of an armed attack at around 11 AM. The famous satirical cartoonists Jean Cabut, “Cabu”; Georges Wolinsky and Stéphane Charbonnier, who collaborated with the newspaper L’Humanité (historically linked to the French Communist Party) were also victims.

The assailants managed to leave the headquarters of the newspaper and struck again by murdering a police officer in the south-west suburb of Montrouge the next morning. Three days later, members of the Jewish community were held hostage in a Kosher supermarket in Vincennes near Paris  as well as in Dammartin-en-Goëlle. After a three-day man-hunt, the three suspected murderers, Said and Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly, were killed. In a video, the latter claimed to have been working together with the Kourachi brother but separated for a “greater impact”. He also claimed the original attack was meant to be a revenge for the people France had killed in the Islamic State of Syria.

This is the deadliest attack in France since 1961, when a bomb placed by the Secret Army Organization (OAS) - an ultra-right and colonialist paramilitary group fighting to maintain French colonialism in Algeria - exploded under a train, killing 28 people.

January 2, 2015

Greek young communists ‘combatively marching for a socialist tomorrow’

Delegates and observers at the Communist Youth of Greece's
11th Congress, December 2014
By Adrien Welsh

From the 19th to the 21st of December, the Young Communist League of Canada attended the 11th Congress of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), held under the slogan “Pioneer youth of KKE (Communist Party of Greece), combatively marching for a socialist tomorrow, without crises, wars or exploitation.” It was an occasion to reinforce the ties between our organizations and increase collaboration based on the principles of proletarian internationalism.

Among European countries, Greece is certainly the most ravaged by the current crisis of capitalism. After two memorandums imposed by the Troika (European Union - IMF - World Bank), the unemployment rate totals 60% among youth, and yet, this has not been enough. In 2014, a restructuring plan forced the loss of almost 500 000 jobs in the public sector. Hospitals and schools are closing and the population now relies on help from the Red Cross and other humanitarian associations to provide them with the medical care they need. As for education, with the quality of the public system declining, parents are turning towards private schools, with Greece having the highest enrolment in private schools of any country in the EU.

In these conditions, a new political alignment is developing with the rise of two forces aimed at safeguarding the system.

December 17, 2014

Major victory for Cuba: All the Cuban 5 are now free!

by Drew Garvie

Socialist Cuba has won some major victories today. It has been announced that the last three of the “Cuban five”, which remained until today in US prisons, have been freed in exchange for American USAID spy Alan Gross.

The three Cuban heroes; Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero will join their families for the holidays after more than 15 years in jail. They will also join Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez who were released in 2013 and early 2014. These five men had infiltrated a group of anti-Cuban terrorists in Florida in the late 1990s. The US government proceeded to jail them for espionage, despite their work in uncovering plans for attacks against civilians in Cuba, and their willingness to share this information with US authorities. Attacks against Cuba, largely planned by groups operating on US soil with the complicity of the US, have led to the deaths of around 3,500 Cubans since 1959.

In an address delivered at noon, Cuban President Raul Castro gave more details about this victory and ongoing negotiations with the US government. He started his speech with the acknowledgement that Cuba has been “loyal in defending all the principles of our independence war” since the revolution of 1959. Raul mentioned that in 2001 Fidel Castro had promised the return of the Cuban 5 to Cuba, and that today was a realization of the goals of this long struggle. Raul expressed gratitude to the “hundreds of committees and solidarity groups, governments, institutions and personalities” that had struggled in their “efforts for liberation” of the Cuban 5 heroes. Millions of people around the world have participated in demonstrations, conferences, petitions, letter writing and more to demand the release of the Cuban 5.

November 23, 2014

From Ayotzinapa to Montreal: Overview of the Global Student Struggle

Special to RY

Student struggle week of action underway

Every November 17th, International Students’ Day, is commemorated by remembering the important role of students in fighting for a better world. In honour of this day, the World Federation of Democratic Youth’s Commission on Europe and North America has called for a student week of action against the current attacks on our education system taking place across the region. The week of action runs from November 17th-23rd.

In Canada, students are facing skyrocketing tuition fees, mounting debt, the privatization of education, cuts to student services, attacks on the living and working conditions of campus workers, the elimination of programs and classes, and the corporatization of research. More and more students now graduate without a future: either unemployment, or work in precarious, part-time, low-paid, non-unionized jobs. Students in Canada are fighting for free, accessible, quality and emancipatory education. They are fighting for a future!

Canada is not alone in this fight. The attack from governments and corporations is being resisted, at home and internationally. In recognition of this week of action, Rebel Youth Magazine takes a look at ongoing international student struggles:

November 6, 2014

The world denounces the US's illegal blockade against Cuba... once again

The Cuban people on the march in Havana - May 1st, 2014
By Adrien Welsh, Chair of the YCL-LJC International Commission

"Cuba no está sola, todo el mundo está con Cuba socialista, Cuba vencerá"

Last Wednesday, for the 23rd time, the world rejected the criminal blockade imposed on Cuba in 1962. The outcome of the vote during the session of the United Nations on this topic couldnt have been more clear: out of the 193 member countries of the United Nations, 188 voted in favour of the abolition of the blockade, and only 2 voted against the motion (not surprisingly the US and Israel). Since the first vote in 1992, a majority of the member countries have supported this motion. The change is that the support has become increasingly unanimous: in 1992, while only 3 countries voted against the end of the embargo, there were still 46 countries that abstained.

Despite all this, this criminal blockade keeps being imposed on the Cuban people, causing a loss of over 3.9 billion dollars this year, and 1.1 trillion since the beginning of the blockade. As a consequence, not only can Cuba not trade with the US, but also it cannot use US dollars in its international financial transactions, nor can it access bank credits from US institutions or their subsidiaries. Moreover, since 2004, fines to both US-based and foreign entities who have traded with Cuba, total over 11 billion dollars.

October 31, 2014

Attacks on young communists in France, Serbia and Venezuela are the latest violent examples of growing fascist threat

Communist Youth of Venezuela respond to attack
targeting their office and activists
By Drew Garvie
General Secretary, YCL-LJC of Canada

In late October, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, a global anti-imperialist federation of youth organizations founded after the fascist defeat in Europe in 1945, issued two statements condemning fascist violence in both Venezuela and Yugoslavia. These attacks had occurred in the preceding weeks.

In the early morning hours of October 21st in Caracas, members of the Communist Youth of Venezuela (JCV) were finishing their work at their central offices. Several firebombs were launched at the building and a fire was started in their meeting room. Fortunately no comrades were injured in the attack and the fire was extinguished.

The JCV Executive Committee released a statement contextualizing the attack against them: "This deed occurs within the framework of violence imposed by fascism since February of this year carried out by mercenaries and paramilitaries serving the extreme, pro-imperialist right." This references an upsurge in right-wing protests that took place from February through June, which led to the deaths of 43 people. Most recently, Robert Serra, the youngest parliamentarian elected in Venezuelan history, and a member of Venezuela’s Socialist Party (PSUV), was murdered with Colombian paramilitaries being implicated.

October 27, 2014

Anti-Chevron campaign wins key victory in lead up to Supreme Court appeal case

After Protests Canadian Bar Association Withdraws Intervention in Chevron Case

All pictures from Oct 9th protest outside Ontario Bar Association (Toronto):
Rebel Youth
From: Telesur English

Activists point to mobilizations as the reason why CBA choose to reverse course.

Facing a large backlash, resignations, and protests, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has decided that it will not make an intervention at the Canadian Supreme Court in the case involving Chevron Corporation's contamination of the Ecuadorian rainforest.

In a letter sent to members, CBA president Michele Hollins stated “The [Legislation and Law Reform] Committee concluded that while the factum was well-drafted and of a high standard of quality, it did not meet the specific requirements of CBA’s Intervention Policy. Consequently, under the terms of the Intervention Policy, the CBA came to the conclusion that without the certification of the factum, the Intervention could not move forward and would be withdrawn.”

Although the previous letter to members made mention of opposition to the CBA intervention, this second letter did not. Santiago Escobar, a member of the Anti Chevron Committee of Canada, in an interview with teleSUR stated "The CBA won't admit this but they withdrew because of the protests they were facing, they knew that they couldn't be seen supporting a corporation that has negatively affected the lives of so many Indigenous people in Ecuador."

October 9, 2014

The Newest Iraq War

People's Voice Editorial

A month after Canada entered the latest war in Iraq for thirty days, the Conservative government made it official: the term of this military mission will be six months. But despite the media manipulation to claim that this war is widely supported by Canadians, the public mood is dubious, and rightly so. One interesting test was an Oct. 4 street poll conducted by Vancouver's StopWar coalition, which found that over 90% of respondents were opposed to Canadian military intervention in Iraq.

The U.S. and its usual "allies", including Canada, argue that they were compelled to begin bombing Iraq and Syria because of the barbaric acts of Islamic State/IS. Yet one of the "allies" in this war is Saudi Arabia, which has publicly beheaded 79 prisoners so far this year alone. The key NATO ringleader, the U.S. itself, has initiated coups and invasions in dozens of countries over the last century, killing millions along the way. Human rights abuses? Just look at the apartheid imposed on Palestinians by PM Harper's best friends, the Israeli government. Little wonder that many Canadians understand the real motive for going to war again; this is another chapter in a long-term conflict to dominate the energy resources of the Middle East and nearby regions by western-based transnational oil corporations.

October 8, 2014

Motherland amidst Imperialism: A Story of Indigenous Resistance and Settler Mutiny

Occupation site in August - J-l Fournier
By Siegfried Barazov

"In our opinion, the foundation for national liberation rests in the inalienable right of every people to have their own history…. It may be seen that if imperialist domination has the vital need to practice cultural oppression, national liberation is necessarily an act of culture." —Amilcar Cabral, Syracuse University speech, 1970

There are times when the power of a culture can make time stand still.  The elder of the Cree nation spoke to me of the sanctity of fire, and I, a settler on stolen land, had to struggle to find an adequate response to stories and traditions that seemed in that moment to be as old as the Ottawa river itself: born countless thousands of years before European imperialism’s chosen killers came bearing their guns, germs, and steel.  However, in meeting with this old man at the site of the occupation where the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers combine, I am happy to say that I had the knowledge and the memory to reply with the example of Beltane, the ancient Celtic fire festival from the days long before this monstrous colonial enforcement agency, referring to itself as the ‘white race’, was ever invented to stain the moral fabric of the European peoples and set them against the rest of the world.

The elder was one member of small group consisting of people from several Indigenous American nations, coming from as far away as the Yukon and the southern United States to stand in solidarity with the local Anishnabe, and Mohawk peoples who were struggling to protect a sliver of their ancient heritage from destruction.

September 26, 2014

How Israel became Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on Decolonization

By Adrien Welsh

What did Big Brother say in 1984? "War is peace", right? Well, today we can say "decolonization is colonization"...

It happened in secret, with little noise on June 18th. During the election of the six committees of the General Assembly of the United Nations, a wild political oxymoron emerged: Israel, an occupying power, was elected vice-chair of a committee for the rights of the Palestinian people and the occupied territories. The corresponding document, a statement to the UN, states that, "despite the strong opposition of the Group of Arab States, Mr. Mordechai Amohai, of Israel, was today elected Vice Chairman of the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly on Special Political and Decolonization”.

This move was tasteless joke in the face of the Israeli criminal operation "Protective Edge" which has left over 2,000 dead and over 10,000 wounded (08/19/14) and has brought Gaza farther towards its full destruction.

September 17, 2014

Pictou’s Trials and Tribulations: The Tragedy of Boat Harbour

Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul
 (second from Right) - Photo: Pictou Advocate
By Peter Bazarov

In Northern Nova Scotia, tucked away between the forests and the sea, sits the small community of Pictou—home to 3000 people, and tragically, one of Nova Scotia’s most shameful secrets.  Though it is located in the beautiful Nova Scotia highlands, with beaches facing the warm lapping waters of the Northumberland Strait, Pictou is nevertheless avoided by most tourists, and is best known instead for its legendary ill health. Cancer, heart disease, lung disease, rates of miscarriage and infant death; in all of these Pictou is either the worst county in the province or among the worst.  The waters of Pictou Harbour test positive for a variety of toxic heavy metals, and the air tests positive for pollutant rates thousands of percent above Federal limitations.

The source of all this? A dammed off poisonous stew, a toilet for the toxic excretions of the local pulp and paper mill—Boat Harbour.

September 15, 2014

Ontario’s Austerity Hurts Students With Disabilities

By Sarah Jama

We all know what it feels like to sit in class with an uncontrollable urge to pee. Most of us would raise a hand, get granted a hall pass, and go relieve ourselves in the nearest bathroom or tree. For others, the process is more complicated. Picture wearing a catheter, or needing help to transfer from a wheelchair to a toilet. Not so simple in a school setting.

Educational assistants (EAs) are individuals who help students with disabilities gain access to the accommodations required in order for them to benefit from receiving an education. Simply put, EAs are meant to assist students with disabilities in closing the gap between able-bodied individuals and themselves, or to ‘even the playing field’. They scribe notes for students who can’t move their fingers, or assist in monitoring students with severe anxiety in testing situations. Yes, they even help students in the bathroom.

September 12, 2014

The Lego People Unite and Defeat Lord Business! (Review)

By Peter Miller

My crusty side tells me “The Lego Movie” is just a 100 minute long commercial. My crusty side is right. It is a very successful commercial for LEGO that grossed $468,009,556 worldwide.

But The Lego Movie isn’t just a commercial. It's also a movie leftists can enjoy. I sat in the movie theatre with friends laughing, excited, and high on life when I watched the movie in theatres. I was the opposite of crusty.

The villain in the film is “Lord Business”, played by Will Ferrell. He’s a capitalist dictator who wants total control. He doesn’t want the ruled to be creative at all.

Fox News took note that a capitalist was the villain for this film. Business host Charles Payne said the film attacked big business, and Lord Business “looks a little bit like Mitt Romney.” Fox’s Monica Crowly even said “Hollywood has long been dominated by the far left, which is very anti-capitalist.” Payne worried the film was indoctrinating young children.

September 8, 2014

Harper Vs. Women

by Marianne Breton Fontaine

Rape culture, discrimination, poverty, violence, etc.; the list of evils of patriarchy is long. One might think that every year, the status of women is improving in Canada. But it’s not, and it's not just women's groups and the left that say so. According to the World Economic Forum, Canada’s place on the international gender equality index has steadily declined from 7th place in 2004, to 25th in 2009. This is not a coincidence; it is the result of clear policies enacted against the advancement of women's equality. Yes, Harper is anti-women!

Funding for women's groups

Since Stephen Harper took power in 2006, the Conservative government gradually eliminated funding for groups that promote women's rights. For example, he has closed 12 of the 16 regional offices of Status of Women Canada. The Conservatives have made significant changes to the funding criteria of women's organizations, saying that they will only fund groups that are “directly involved” with women. In other words, groups that were doing research on issues affecting women, defending feminist positions or lobbying on women’s issues are no longer considered eligible for funding. Harper did not stop there. He also removed the word "equality" from the ministry’s objectives. Thus, groups such as the Victoria Status of Women Action Group (SWAG) and the Coalition for Pay Equity in New Brunswick saw their funding cut drastically, and in some cases these groups have had to close their doors permanently.

August 6, 2014

Cyprus: Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Island’s partition

WFDY poster commemorating 40th anniversary of partition
 By Adrien Welsh - Chair of the International Commission of the YCL-LJC

During the 27th Pancyprian Festival of Youth and Students organized by EDON, the Communist youth of Cyprus, the World Federation of Democratic Youth organized an international solidarity event for freedom and unification in the divided capital of the Country, Larnaka on July, 4th. This action was the occasion to condemn the continuous occupation of the northern part of the country by Turkish troops and to demand their withdrawal.

This July commemorates the 40th anniversary of the double crime of NATO on the Mediterranean island.

On the 15th of July, 1974, EOKA 2, the fascist junta ruling Cyprus by that time, led among others by the notorious anti-communist Grivas - who had served against the National Liberation Army (ELAS) during Greek Civil War - perpetrated a coup d’État in order to achieve the annexation of Cyprus to Greece (“Enosi”), an idea long defended by the nationalist right. As a consequence, Turkey invaded the northern part of the country five days later legitimated by the defense of Turkish Cypriots’ interests, enacting the partition of the island.

Today, 40 years later, a “Green Line” still separates the country, affecting 250 000 people, that is, more than 20% of the population; 38% of the island is occupied by armed forces defending Turkey’s colonization enterprise.

July 29, 2014

Harper to Canadians: “Some citizens matter, some don’t”

By Zidane Mohamed

Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian, remains in prison  
On June 23rd, the Egyptian high court sentenced three reporters for Al-Jazeera to 7 years in prison, advancing the ongoing campaign of censorship of journalists and activists by the current military dictatorship, which has the support of the United States and Israel. One of them is a Canadian-Egyptian journalist, Mohamed Fahmy, who was arrested in December in Cairo as he was covering the aftermath of the army's removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency in July 2013.

The Canadian government, which prides itself as a champion of human rights, should do its best to intervene in aiding its citizens from the crimes of military dictatorships. But after the Omar Khadr fiasco, and a decade of “war on terror” jingoism, they passed a pernicious bill that would legally absolve the Canadian government of any responsibility to intervene. Bill C-24 reiterates the Harper government’s commitment in continuing institutionalized racism, which discriminates against migrant peoples, who are often racialized. Bill C-24 gives the immigration minister expanded powers over citizenship rights, which include revoking the citizenship of dual-citizens who have “engaged in certain actions contrary to the national interest of Canada”.

July 21, 2014

Register Now for People's Social Forum! On to Ottawa!

A very important meeting for labour and social movements is taking place from August 21-24th in Ottawa. The People’s Social Forum (PSF) expects to attract 10,000 activists from across the country and will host hundreds of workshops over a four day period. As the Forum itself says, “the PSF is an inclusive space that must be occupied by all people and activist organizations convinced that another Canada is not only possible, but above all, necessary”.

With the economic and environmental crisis raging across Canada, and Federal elections taking place next year, there is no better time for a mass meeting like this. The recent mass mobilizations of social movements (namely the Occupy movement in 2011, the Quebec Student Strike in 2012 and Idle No more in 2012-2013) the decisive drift right of the principle party of social democracy in Canada, and a renewed interest in labour militancy (as seen in the recent elections at the CLC) will no doubt be discussed in depth at the conference. 

The caucus structure of PSF organizing is designed to encourage the democratic participation of Original Peoples, youth, labour, people of colour, people with disabilities and women. The local organizing committees are working to ensure the broadest possible mobilization for the Forum in communities across Canada.

July 15, 2014

We must force Harper to reject war crimes in Gaza (Upcoming protests)

by Drew Garvie

July 11th Protest in Toronto
As Palestinian casualties approach 200 deaths from one week of the intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza, actions and protests across the globe are demanding an end to the Zionist murder of civilians.

The Young Communist League of Canada - Ligue de la jeunesse communiste du Canada released a statement yesterday condemning condemning "Operation Protective Edge" and calling for a just peace in Palestine.

In the statement it points out that the Conservative government has fully endorsed the ongoing war crimes being committed in Gaza: "as an imperialist country, member of the criminal alliance of NATO and colonizer of Indigenous territories, Canada seized this occasion to reiterate its unconditional support of Israel - more and more vocal under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. Its diplomacy has been only focused on one side of this conflict, emphasizing the launching of rockets by Hamas, while supporting all the deaths and illegal operations by Israel’s occupation army".

July 7, 2014

C-24 Expands Tory Attack on Human Rights

By Kimball Cariou - Reposted from People's Voice Newspaper

Anti-C24 rally in early July 2014, Vancouver
Passed in June by the House of Commons, Bill C24, the new "Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (SCCA)," imposes new requirements to obtain citizenship, and makes it easier for the government to revoke it.

            Human rights groups are planning a legal challenge to the SCCA, which effectively creates two classes of Canadian citizens, each with very different sets of rights. The Bill allows the federal government to strip the Canadian citizenship from dual nationals convicted of some offences. The law could apply in cases where Canadians are convicted in foreign courts, and even to people born in Canada if they also have citizenship elsewhere, such as through their parents.

            Amnesty International, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association say that giving the government the power to revoke people's citizenship is the same as banishing them into exile. They argue the legislation does not include enough safeguards to protect Canadians. Opposition MPs and other advocacy groups, including the Canadian Bar Association, have also objected to the bill.

            The new revocation provisions are "divisive and buy into and promote false and xenophobic narratives about `true' Canadians and others, which equate foreignness with terrorism," says an analysis released by Amnesty International Canada.

June 26, 2014

The Human Cost of FIFA

By TJ Petrowski - Manitoba

As the world watches the 2014 FIFA World Cup over one million people are protesting the cost and the human rights violations being committed by police and security forces to protect this corporate investment.

Working people in Brazil are understandably frustrated with the public cost of the World Cup, an estimated $14 billion. When compared to spending on social services, the cost of the World Cup is the equivalent of 61% of funding for education, or 30% of the funding for healthcare. Private companies, including those in the services and construction industries, will be the main beneficiaries of this public money. Adding to this cost is the forced evictions of the poor living in the favelas (slums) and the dispossession of indigenous people from their lands to build stadiums and parking lots.

June 19, 2014

YCL Vancouver: Complete Solidarity With BC Teachers!

Statement from the Young Communist League-Vancouver, June 5, 2014

 There has been a troubling current in the student movement's response to the current labour dispute between the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) and the BC Liberal government, most obvious in the June 4th "BC Student Walkout for Students." Many students view themselves as caught in middle of a battle between equally powerful and dangerous camps, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth! In every set of collective bargaining talks between the BCTF and the government since the Liberals took power in 2001, the government has been the aggressor and has made it their explicit mission to curtail and even destroy teachers' bargaining rights.

            Earlier this year their actions were ruled unconstitutional by the BC Supreme Court (and not only in the case of teachers: the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against BC legislation restricting the collective bargaining rights of health care workers in 2007!), and the government is at it again this time around. The fundamental goal of the government and its right wing agenda is to privatize the education system and to privatize health care. In Coquitlam alone, 632 teachers are getting layoff notices. One of the intentions of this act is to initiate bigger classroom sizes with fewer resources.

            Additionally, nearly 200 schools have been shut down as a result of government cuts in education. Therefore, students have fewer schools in their neighbourhood, fewer teachers and fewer resources to help with their education. Students that require more needs and more resources for learning are especially hurt by the cuts because there are fewer resources for them to use and fewer educators in departments for students who require more assistance. BC has been targeted more than any other province in Canada.

June 18, 2014

Why Canadians should support the movement for a Republic in Spain

By Adrien Welsh

Poster from Young Communists in Spain:
"Monarchy & Capital: two sides of the same coin"
As the march organised on June 19th against the inauguration as King of Felipe V has been declared illegal by Spanish authorities, it is very important that progressive and democratic forces in Canada stand with Spanish communists and with all the thousands of people who took to the streets just after the former King Juan Carlos II abdicated on June 2nd.

A Republican State would be far from socialism, just like the American, French or German examples show. However, as Canada’s Head of State officially remains the representation of the British Crown, Canadians understand that Juan Carlos II and now his son’s role is more than a symbolic one. We also know that a popular and massive struggle to defeat this representative of Spanish imperialism is an important first step towards a new constitutional process in which communists and progressive people could, through a common struggle, strengthen their forces and overcome the anti-democratic political system, gather a massive movement that would be strong enough to nationalize key sectors of the economy such as banks, and to demand the withdraw from imperialist institutions such as NATO and European Union of Capital.

The fact that the June 19th rally has been declared illegal is a sign that Spanish oligarchy still counts on this rotten institution, led by a billionaire elephant-hunting fanatic, to maintain its hegemony.

Salute to the YCL-LJC Convention

People's Voice Editorial
Issue: May 16-31, 2014

Presidium at 26th Convention of YCL-LJC
The May 24‑25 weekend will see a unique gathering in Toronto - the 26th Central Convention of the Young Communist League/Ligue de la jeunesses communiste du Canada. The editorial Board of People's Voice sends warmest greetings to YCL/LJC delegates from across Canada, who represent the revolutionary potential of youth to challenge the domination of big capital.

            The Young Communist League has never had an easy path in Canada. Yet the organization has played a critical, even leading role in many historic struggles. During the Thirties, YCLers were prominent in the On to Ottawa Trek and the Mackenzie‑Papineau Battalion which fought fascism in Spain. After WW2, Young Communists helped to organize workers in basic industries across the country, and to resist the integration of Canada into US imperialism's war machine. They played important roles in solidarity campaigns with the people of Vietnam, Cuba, southern Africa, Nicaragua and Palestine. YCL members were key activists in the progressive student movement, from the formation of the Canadian Federation of Students to the anti-tuition uprising of 2012 in Quebec. The YCL takes a principled stand against racism, sexism, homophobia, big nation chauvinism and other divisive ruling class ideologies.

May 1, 2014

Our struggle for the future

May Day Greetings
Central Executive Committee
Communist Party of Canada

            This May Day 2014, more than five years have passed since the US housing bubble burst and quickly spread to a global financial crisis, the most acute and dangerous since the 1930s. The neo‑liberal agenda of the main imperialist powers had exported a global movement of unregulated and unrestrained capital, free trade agreements, a gluttony of super exploitation, theft of public property and privatization of public services, provoking a crisis so acute in its scale and breadth that it threatened collapse.

            The managers of imperialism could not repair their own damage so they bought themselves a temporary reprieve by plundering public property, expropriating public funds to rebuild bankrupted enterprises, transferring funding for social programs and superstructure from the public purse into their investment houses. They richly rewarded themselves, increasing military budgets, and corrupting markets to the extent that it has created a world unemployment crisis, terrible privation, hunger, disease and war.

            Imperialism, the last stage of capitalism, is in an incurable stagnancy marked by declining rates of profit which in turn brought on the crisis, a crisis which is not just cyclical but also structural in nature. If the rate of profit has declined, the absolute volume of profit has not.

Overthrow the system responsible for the misery of the workers!

Maki and Hadash's May 1st event in Nazareth. Photo by M. Adivi
By the World Federation of Democratic Youth,

On the First on May, the Workers Day. The day that resembles the righteous of the peoples in a prosperous developed world. In a world, that reaches their presence as individuals with a right to produce, a developed society. Being the ones that benefit from their own production, taking this advantage of their qualities for a better life.

On this great day, history strikes its events, that shouldn’t be forgettable, in the necessity of overthrowing the system responsible of the misery of the workers for decades. The exploitation of the workers’ capability, so that the minority can rule, on the flesh of the majority.  The attack of the workers’ trade union, to deprive the workers from organizing their strength. The measures of the liberal economy, privatization and open market, turning the workers into slaves of the monopolies. Working in the lowest conditions, for the benefits of these monopolies.

On this great day, history also strikes with the struggle of the workers that forced their rights, and forced the resemblance of their right on this day. The struggles of the workers, that rejected the exploitation of the capitalist system, the privatization of their national wealth, the long working hours, the monopolization of the product and means of production by the capitalist system. The wars, invasions, and intervention done by their name, only benefiting the monopolies and capitalist system.

From the struggles of the workers, to the peoples, forces, and systems that supported, fought, and struggled to obtain the legitimate right of the peoples and workers through the history. Into the measures and character of imperialism depriving this right.

The World federation of Democratic Youth salutes the workers and youth of the world in the First of May.

As well as, confirms its position among the workers’ struggles, against their exploitation. Besides the progressive forces fighting against imperialism, its measures and aggressions. Into a world that insures the workers’ right.

Long live workers’ struggle!

Mothers and May day

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