November 27, 2015

UofT’s strike in retrospective: How students and labor pushed for unity

Zach Morgenstern

From February 27 to March 26 of 2015 UofT’s CUPE 3902 Unit 1, a union which represents UofT student-course-instructors (most prominently teaching assistants (TAs)) went on strike. The Union, which bargained with a strike-vote mandate it had held since November, ultimately settled for arbitration. Arbitrator William Kaplan has since ruled in UofT’s favor, allowing for a deal the union had previously voted down, which does not guarantee funding increases for individual graduate students, to be implemented.  Despite this being a far from perfect result for the month long campaign, it has to be said that CUPE 3902’s approach to the strike was commendable, at least when it came to student-TA relations.

November 26, 2015

Reaction from the Communist Youth of Paris' 15th district on attacks in Paris

The following is a statement from the Communist Youth of the 15th district of Paris, republished by RY. You can find the original statement in French here.

After the shock, more than ever, we must fight back against imperialism and its nightmares.

Paris, 14th of November

Young communists from the 15th district, whom gathered with comrades from the province and the public sector unions discussed the events that occurred the night before.

The terrorist attacks claimed by the fascist and Islamist group "Daesh" caused more than 120 casualties with more than 200 injured, and the numbers are still increasing. Our first reaction was shock and a great deal of emotion. Everybody was concerned and affected by these events and many of us were near the actions as they occurred. Others worked close to these areas, as bus drivers and nurses, and lived close to the places where the disturbances occurred throughout the Paris region. Some of us, finally, knew some of the victims of these terrible acts of violence.

November 25, 2015

Lebanese, Turkish and French youth united in the struggle for peace

The following is a joint statement from young Communist organizations from Lebanon, France and Turkey on the recent attacks on civilians in each of their countries and their united struggle against imperialist war.

Ankara, Beirut, and Paris: Same pain, same responsibilities, same struggle

We, communist and progressive youth organization from Turkey, Lebanon and France declare the following:

We are all deeply affected and saddened by the bombing that struck our peoples and our youths. Our first thoughts are with the victims and their families. Terrorism is a deadly ideology that we shall fight against. The acts perpetrated in Ankara, Beirut and Paris has been committed by fascists.

November 12, 2015

Tuition fees: How students are getting it handed to them and what we can learn

Drew Garvie

We hear a lot about skyrocketing tuition fees, but one of the challenges in the student movement is high turnover and a lack of historical memory. Which government did what when? And the most important question, which governments are never truthful about; why did they do it? Here Rebel Youth examines some short histories of tuition fee increases in five provinces in order to help understand the attack we are facing and what we can do about it.

November 11, 2015

YCL-LJC Canada in Havana for the 19th General Assembly of the WFDY

Picture from the 19th General Assembly of WFDY
taking place now in Havana
Special to RY

Despite the historical messaging put forward by the hawkish celebrations of our pro-war and pro-business governments, 2015 does not mark the 70th anniversary of a military victory, but a victory of the people against Nazism and fascism. These were not regular armies who routed the Nazi armies, but largely resistance movements, including communists and the people in general, who fought fascist barbarism which had as its main aim the end of communism.

It is in this vein that several organizations were formed with the aim of ensuring world peace and especially to end the system which, as stated by Jaurès, "carries within it war just as rain clouds carry the storm". This system is capitalism, and more specifically, its highest stage: imperialism. Women united under the banner of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF); workers within the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the peace movement joined the World Peace Council (WPC). Meanwhile, young people, with the slogan "Youth unite! Forward for lasting peace!", formed the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). WFDY’s actions for the liberation of oppressed peoples and for friendship among the people was advanced notably through the World Festival of Youth and Students, which brought together thousands of young people.

Remembering Canadian Imperialism: a brief history

Brendan Campisi

The first major campaign of the Canadian military was crushing Métis and First Nations resistance in 1885.

In the Boer War, Canadian troops fought for Britain's control of the gold and diamonds of South Africa.

In the First World War, Canadians fought and died to keep Britain on top of the imperialist food chain. The people of Quebec resisted conscription for a war they opposed,and four people were killed by troops suppressing protests. BC working class leader Ginger Goodwin was hunted down and murdered while resisting conscription.

November 9, 2015

#IAmAStudent: the student fightback at UBC

Rebel Youth presents an interview with University of British Columbia student activist Kelly Gerlings

Interview by Rozhin Emadi

RY: What sparked the #IAMASTUDENT movement? How did it start?

KG: In early October 2014, the UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) [the student union] leaked a proposed 10% increase to international tuition and a 20% increase to 8-month contracts for on-campus housing. Quickly students began organizing and speaking about the proposals. Just as quickly it was understood that if the students were going to be heard, they would need to organize outside of the AMS. And so within about a week of getting the news, a Teach-In was held for more information to be disseminated, and out of this, the group “I Am A Student” (IAAS) was 'born', in a sense.

November 5, 2015

7 reasons why the Trudeau Government is a Big Business Government

Drew Garvie

The Trudeau government has been elected at a time of economic crisis globally, where capital internationally is on the offensive to drive down wages and living standards, spread imperialist war, and expand environmental destruction. Despite changes in style and rhetoric, there is every reason to believe that the Trudeau Liberals will continue down this path.  Here are seven big reasons…

1) Austerity & Infrastructure Spending
Trudeau’s campaign managed to project itself as Keynesian, a feat made easier due to the NDPs attempt to outflank the Liberals from the neoliberal right. But the Liberal ‘anti-austerity’ rhetoric was tied to running deficits for infrastructure spending, most of which will end up in the hands of capitalists through the usual Liberal strategy of public-private partnerships (P3s). In fact, a year ago, Trudeau declared himself a major supporter of P3s at the annual Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships National Conference.

October 9, 2015

Welcome to the Canadian Police State

Kurt Biray

The draconian Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-51) is a hot topic and election issue for the federal political parties as well as grassroots organizations and activist groups. The notorious and highly criticized Bill C-51 received Royal Assent and became law earlier this year, amending the Criminal Code of Canada and outright violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For the Harper Conservatives and their support base, Bill C-51 is an attempt to strengthen Canada's national security by targeting suspected terrorist activities at home and abroad. For the vast majority of Canadians, this law is a direct and blatant infraction of our democratic, civil and labour rights.

October 7, 2015

Harper’s History Lesson: anti-communism and war

Brendan Campisi

The Harper government's planned 'Memorial to the Victims of Communism', which will take its place in Ottawa between the Supreme Court and Library and Archives Canada, has come under scrutiny lately because of the significant and growing cost of the project. Shirley Blumberg, an architect who was on the jury that selected the design for the 'memorial', said in December that there is no way it will be completed for the government's estimated cost of $5.5 million. A growing chorus of establishment figures have criticized the project for its costs, the aesthetic damage they say it will do to central Ottawa, and the (at least) questionable necessity of such a memorial. The government has committed to paying $3 million of the cost of the project, while the rest is supposed to be paid by Tribute to Liberty, the anti-communist organization formed in 2008 to advocate for the project. However, they have so far had trouble raising the money. In fact there seems to be very little public interest in or support for the memorial, as any glance at the comments under a story on the project will reveal. Even many Canadians with no particular sympathy for communism cannot understand why the Harper government wants to spend several million dollars to put up a memorial to the victims of communism on prime central Ottawa real estate.

September 30, 2015

A closer look at young Communists in the federal election

Special to RY

Rebel Youth takes a closer look at four of the seven young Communists in the federal election, their ridings and why they're running. All are members of the Young Communist League and running for the Communist Party of Canada.

Hochelaga, Marianne Breton Fontaine

Hochelaga is a poor riding in the east of Montreal including the Olympic stadium. Once a working class area home to the famous Quebec folk singer La Bolduc, the area was hit hard by deindustrialization and factory closings. It has been held by the Bloc and, most recently, the NDP and provincially Quebec Solidaire is a serious contender.

September 23, 2015

Harper creates refugees and spreads racism

A rally outside Immigration minister Chris Alexander's
office in Ajax, Ontario.
Here Rebel Youth publishes an interview with Drew Garvie, the Communist candidate in Toronto's University-Rosedale riding and General Secretary of the YCL. The raw interview was with a UofT student publication.

What initiatives do you think U of T students and administration should be taking on the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

Students and the University of Toronto should raise their voices and demand Canada welcome refugees, that we end Canada’s participation in the wars that create these crises, and that we dump the Harper government as a first step towards a country with a democratic immigration policy and a foreign policy of peace and disarmament.

September 18, 2015

RY’s Class Enemy of the Fall: Oily Politicians

From "Class Enemy" series - Rebel Youth Issue 19

There is perhaps no better contemporary example of the confines of democracy under capitalism as demonstrated by the current “debate” over the tar sands and pipelines in Canada. Climate change is a massive crisis that has started to effect people around the world. Scientists are unanimous in proclaiming that greenhouse gas emissions need to be immediately slashed if we are to avoid total devastation to the environment and to people. Why is it then that the major party leaders are unanimous in denying that Canada needs to stop developing the tar sands and the pipeline infrastructure designed to expand this particularly destructive extraction method? Let’s take a quick look at the denial being promoted by Steve, Tommy and Justin:

September 17, 2015

Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism

TJ Petrowski
The widely circulated photo of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was found on a beach in Turkey and whose family was “making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected” by the Harper Government, has caused widespread outrage and forced Western leaders to acknowledge that there is a “refugee crisis”.

In Canada, the leaders of the Liberal and New Democratic parties have used the news of Kurdi’s tragic death, along with the deaths of his five-year-old brother and his mother, to criticize the Harper Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Trudeau and Mulcair have called on Canada to accept more Syrian refugees, while the Harper Government, with its lust for military action, insists on more illegal bombing raids in Syria and Iraq as the solution to the surge of Syrian refugees.
The real tragedy is the refusal of Western leaders to acknowledge the cause of the refugee crisis – Western imperialism’s genocidal and never ending wars on the people of the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.

September 16, 2015

The Dialectical Progression of History

Kurt Biray

History is accumulative. Our history is the most pivotal determinant of our future.  In other words, what happens now is directly interconnected to what will occur in the near and long-term future. The rhetorical concepts of “fate” and “destiny” are simply non-existent in a world that is governed by the principles of science. This applies to the natural sciences but also characterizes the social sciences as the dynamics of political and economic systems throughout the globe are highly dependent on history itself. 

History is integral for understanding our increasingly intricate society. It lays the foundation for explaining certain trends and events that we witness throughout our lives and therefore, can be fully utilized to predict and shape our own future and the future of our planet. When speaking of sociological disturbances and distributions of wealth or even modern-day political and economic systems, history plays an essential role in explaining humanity's societal and economic development and progress.

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