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July 6, 2015

Ecuador: between "The Matrix" and "Utopia"

Diego Bastidas

“The Matrix is a prison for your mind”
(Morpheus, The Matrix I)

“[…]From Cairo to Quito a new world is forming[…]”
(“Multiviral”, Calle 13)

“Utopia lies at the horizon.
When I draw nearer by two steps,
it retreats two steps.
If I proceed ten steps forward, it
swiftly slips ten steps ahead.
No matter how far I go, I can never reach it.
What, then, is the purpose of utopia?
It is to cause us to advance.”
(About Utopia, Eduardo Galeano)

Over the last two weeks we have been observing how the political situation in Ecuador has been changing as a consequence of the proposal of two Acts (click here for an accurate brief overview). The first Act is called the “Act for the Distribution of Wealth”, which aims to widen wealth distribution through a progressive tax aimed at the biggest fortunes in the country. Serious analysis shows that this is Act only going to affect  2% percent of the population, in other words, those with net worths over 2 million dollars. The working class will not be affected. The second Act aims to stop speculation on land prices, especially when the increase in price is caused by any kind of state action. For example, if the government builds a highway the owners of the land cannot obtain any profit from this decision, because that would be an unjustified enrichment at the public’s expense. The leaders of the opposition have kicked off a strong campaign against these two government initiatives, which have combined protest on the street, a  mass media strategy, threats from  corporations to divest and leave the country, violent acts against supporters of President Correa’s government, blockades of airports on Galapagos Island, and finally, the intention to  blockade Quito´s airport when President Correa arrived home from Europe last month.

July 2, 2015

80 years since the "On to Ottawa Trek"

Special to Rebel Youth

This spring and summer marked the 80th anniversary of the On to Ottawa Trek. Rebel Youth celebrates this militant struggle and ongoing struggles for work and wages. 80 years later capitalist crisis has again been used by a Tory government to attack the working class. Youth unemployment is reaching almost 20% in several major Canadian cities, and the majority of workers (a larger majority for youth and women) are not covered by Employment Insurance. With this in mind, we look back to past victories for inspiration today!

June 29, 2015

Action Alert! Canadians Kevin Neish and Robert Lovelace kidnapped by the Israeli Navy

Freedom Flotilla III participants on the way to Gaza before
the Israeli Navy's piracy
Special to Rebel Youth

Robert Lovelace and Kevin Neish are two Canadians among at least 16 other participants of the "Freedom Flotilla III" who were kidnapped in international waters this morning. The boat they were on, the Swedish "MV Marianne" was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, including solar panels and medical equipment.

Robert Lovelace is a retired chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and an adjunct lecturer at Queen's University. Kevin Neish is a retired marine biologist from Victoria, BC, whose lifelong solidarity work has taken him to Cuba, Colombia, Central America and Palestine. According to his blog which has detailed the journey so far, his motivation is that "In a nutshell, I just don’t like bullies, regardless of their colour,  religion, size, nationality or race." Lovelace has described the situations for Palestinians living in Gaza as living “in the world’s largest Indian reservation”.

June 15, 2015

The Ecuadorian people mobilize against latest coup attempt in South America

Rally welcoming Correa on June 15th
Drew Garvie


On June 15th, thousands of supporters of Ecuador’s “Citizens’ Revolution” convened outside the Plaza Grande in Quito to welcome Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa back to the country. The night before right-wing opponents of the Ecuadorian government made some attempts to block traffic from the airport to prevent Correa’s arrival in Quito. The President was returning from CELAC-EU meetings in Belgium.

Last week, a series of demonstrations occurred, spurred on by support from opposition politicians with ties to Ecuador’s old neo-liberal regime friendly to US interests. The initial pretenses for the protests, was a newly tabled “Wealth Redistribution Law”. The corporate media in the country claimed that the new taxes would negatively impact working class families and small businesses, however the new inheritance taxes being introduced will only have an effect on the wealthiest 2 percent of the population. Telesur has reported on the details of the proposed laws:

June 12, 2015

Work set to end the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba and to strengthen Canada-Cuba relations

Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five
 heroes addresses audience in Toronto
Republished from the Canadian Network on Cuba

The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) held a very successful 7th Biennial Convention in Toronto from May 30 -31, 2015.  Delegates and alternate delegates from 19 member organizations were joined by observers and invited guests including His Excellency Julio Garmendía Peña, Ambassador of Cuba to Canada, Javier Domokos Ruiz, Toronto Consul General of Cuba and other Cuban diplomats.

The Convention had the distinct honour and privilege of hosting Fernando González Llort, one of the Five Cuban Heroes who had  been imprisoned unjustly in the United States for defending Cuba from terrorist attacks launched from the United States and/or by U.S. citizens and covert agencies and for defending Cuba's right to independence and self-determination.

May 29, 2015

The Fight Against C-51 Continues: Day of Action Saturday, May 30th

Special to RY


As the Senate in Ottawa gets set to vote on Bill C-51, democratic forces in Canada are organizing for a third cross-Canada day of action to take place Saturday, May 30th. The Senate will resume Third Reading proceedings on Tuesday, June 2nd.


The rallies and marches are demanding the government withdraw/repeal C-51, affirm and uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, honour the treaties with First Nations and the Rights of Indigenous People, honour First Nations’ right to be consulted (section 35), and that the government stop racist legislation and fear mongering.


C-51 has rightly been identified as the most serious attack on democratic rights and civil liberties in Canada since the War Measures Act. The Bill would give sweeping new powers to CSIS, effectively legalizing its role as a secret political police.

May 22, 2015

Communist Youth of Chile demand justice for murdered students

Special to RY

On Thursday, May 14th, two Chilean students were shot dead in the city of Valparaiso. The two students, Exequiel Borbaran, 18, and Diego Guzman, 24, were participating along with 160 000 others in mobilizations across the country. Students were demanding the fulfillment of the government of Chile's promise to deliver free, quality, accessible public education at all levels.

Exequiel and Diego were shot by a store owner after attempting to hang a banner at the end of the march. Diego was a member and activist of the Communist Youth of Chile (JJCC), which has a long and proud history of resisting fascism and violence and fighting for a socialist Chile.

May 20, 2015

New Ontario Tory leader fuels campaign of ignorance

Liz Rowley

Originally published in Peoples' Voice newspaper

On May 4th and 5th, 35,000 elementary students – almost 90% - were kept out of school in Brampton and Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood to protest the new sex education curriculum being introduced in health and phys ed classes in September by the provincial government. 

As far as protest organizers are concerned, no sex education is the best education for their kids – and yours too.

The protests are the result of a massive disinformation campaign carried out by Campaign Life, the Christian fundamentalist Rev. Charles McVety, fundamentalists in the South Asian community who are the main targets of this campaign, and organizers for the new leader of the Ontario Conservatives and several of his Queen’s Park caucus.

May 19, 2015

Fighting Chevron in Washington DC

Drew Garvie & Peter Miller

In late April, we, along with three other members of the Young Communist League of Canada, had the honour of attending a historic event in Washington DC. We were part of a caravan of buses leaving from Ontario to attend a rally and conference in solidarity with indigenous peoples in Ecuador fighting the oil giant Chevron.

The place and time of the solidarity events were chosen by Chevron. The corporation has been trying to avoid paying for one of the worst environmental disasters in history, that it created by dumping billions of gallons of toxic sludge in the Ecuadorean Amazon. In 2011, it was ordered to pay $9.5 billion dollars to clean up the mess. Chevron has yet to pay up. There is an ongoing case in Canada where the indigenous plaintiffs could receive justice through assets in Canada. What brought us to Washington, the heart of the leading imperialist power, was the result one of Chevron’s latest dirty tricks it is using to avoid cleaning up its mess. It has decided to take Ecuador to court through the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

May 12, 2015

Brigadistas return home to Canada from Cuba

Brigade & Ailí Labañino after a morning of volunteer work
photo: Denise M.
 Drew Garvie

The 38 participants who traveled to Cuba this month as members of the 23rd Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade have returned home to Canada. The annual Brigade, a two-week solidarity tour of the island, is organized by the Canadian Network on Cuba. It’s purpose: to build Canada-Cuba friendship and solidarity, and celebrate the gains of the Revolution, now in its 56th year. This year was especially significant in the broader political context; the hard-won freedom of the five Cuban heroes, and the groundbreaking negotiations taking place between the United States and Cuba.

The Brigade members were a diverse group of activists of all ages, joined together in solidarity with the Cuban people. Members participated from cities across Canada, including Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. Some members came as individuals and others as members of organizations involved in Cuba solidarity work across Canada. Several members of the Communist Party of Canada and the Young Communist League attended the tour.

This year, larger international delegations with over 1000 members were present in Cuba to attend the May Day celebrations. Because of this, this year’s Che Brigade was joined by other participants from a variety of countries. A large delegation from Peru and smaller delegations from Chile, Costa Rica, New Zealand, joined the group from Canada. This added to the internationalist flavor of the Brigade and friendships were made with a shared respect of Cuba’s revolution as the foundation.

April 23, 2015

Interview with Marianne Breton Fontaine on Quebec's Anti-Austerity movement




Jane Bouey of "Media Mornings" in Vancouver interviews Marianne Breton Fontaine on the 2015 Quebec student strike and the movement against austerity. Interview is from April 8th, 2015.

Marianne Breton Fontaine is a writer for Jeunesse Militant and Rebel Youth magazines, a longtime member of the YCL-LJC, a leader of the Ligue de la jeunesse communiste du Quebec and a student at UQAM in Montreal.

April 14, 2015

The Union-Pearson Express: Public Transit For The Rich?

David G.

Metrolinx, the Ontario provincial transit agency, has recently unveiled the new Union-Pearson Express (UPE) train which will run from Pearson International Airport to Union Station in Toronto starting in May. This will start a month before the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games open which have already caused some controversy for its outlandish overspending problems, fast-tracked development projects leading to gentrification, and the lack of proper infrastructure. The Pan-Am games will cause traffic jams across Toronto which will affect the city's ageing infrastructure. Recently, the capitalist CEOs in charge of the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am games have been caught overspending their budgets, which consists of public money from taxpayers. Money went to paying for expensive limousine rides and purchasing luxuries such as designer shirts. This is one of many controversies that the TO2015 committee has got itself into in recent months.

April 12, 2015

Quebec Anti-Austerity Battle Heating Up

Johan Boyden

Reprinted from People's Voice Newspaper

Mobilizations to stop the austerity measures of Philippe Couillard’s Quebec Liberal government got a boost in late March, after a meeting of the Front Commun, the Common Front of Quebec public sector trade unions. Then the student movement brought over 70,000 protesters into the streets on April 2, its largest mobilization since the 2012 strike.

In late March, the Liberal budget presented by Couillard’s finance minister Carlos Leitao ended any illusions that negotiations could lead to a victory for public sector unions. Calling the budget “austerity at light speed,” and a gift to big business, the labour movement condemned the proposals including a two-year wage freeze. On March 31 the Front Commun concluded further negotiations would be a dead-end and began mobilizing for a strike.

April 10, 2015

Venezuelan Ambassador visits Six Nations

Edward Lovo

I witnessed an historic exchange between the peoples of Six Nations and the Venezuelan ambassador to Canada Wilmer Barrientos. We were warmly welcomed into the longhouse, which few outsiders have set foot in. There was some controversy about this as someone had earlier made the quip who will we invite next—the Israeli ambassador? Thankfully, we had enough of their trust. To keep their trust it was enough to exclude media, the RCMP, OPP, and CSIS, and we had the vote of confidence of a trusted community member

As one of the Six Nations spokespersons explained a profound pain of oppression breeds mistrust of outsiders. The speaker then acknowledged that the ambassador paid a visit to the Six Nations before approaching Ottawa, an unprecedented first in recognition of their land. The speaker shared some history of Six Nations with the ambassador, explaining to him the Two Row Wampum which few Canadians are familiar with.


March 26, 2015

"Precarious and poor" on strike at UofT and York U

Sam Hammond

Reprinted from People's Voice Newspaper

At the end of February and beginning the first week of March, approximately 10,000 academic workers went on strike at two of Canada’s largest universities. They are represented by two CUPE Locals, 3902 and 3903, who represent Units of Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants and Contract Faculty at the University of Toronto and York University respectively. Nine thousand are still on strike.        

The issues and responses at both universities, York with about 4000 strikers and U of T with about 6000, are so close that they can be detailed in the same general overview.  A good place to start is with the words of Erin Black, Union Chair at U of T, “We are poor and precarious and need improvement in our standard of living”.  This is by no means an overstatement but what analyses will show is probably an understatement of the precarious existence of Teaching Assistants (TAs), Graduate Assistants (GAs) and Contract Faculty (CFs) at most universities.

March 24, 2015

Young Communists of Venezuela condemn US aggression

Against the imperialist aggression - Unity, solidarity and struggle

Statement of the Communist Youth of Venezuela (JCV) – National Executive Committee of the Central Council

The Communist Youth of Venezuela (JCV) expresses its strongest condemnation to the executive order signed by the president Barack Obama, last March 9th, when he declared a “National Emergency” after describing Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the National Security and Foreign Policy of the United States”.

The interventionist policy of the US and European imperialist poles against Venezuela has intensified during the last months: unilateral sanctions against the state of Venezuela and recurrent statements by senior US officials and European Parliament have highlighted the development of an international conspiracy against the Bolivarian Process.

March 16, 2015

The Attack on Muslim Women

Mariam Ahmad

As we have witnessed, Islamophobia is on the rise. Following the events of Charlie Hebdo, we’ve seen that attacks on Muslims, and especially Muslim women, have gotten worse. In Canada we have seen bills like C-51 (the “Anti-Terrorism Act”), and Bill S-7 (“Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices”) tabled with shockingly large support from the Canadian population, even though they clearly target minorities, specifically Muslims. This is after an intense campaign of Islamophobia by the corporate media and pro-war politicians that goes back decades. This ideological offensive has gotten hotter in the last six months as Canada joined the latest invasion of Iraq. More and more, Muslim women are put in danger just because they choose to observe their religious rites.

In Quebec, a Muslim woman named Hanady Saad was walking along René-Lévesque Boulevard in Montreal with her friends, when a stranger yelled at her. “...Terrorist, go back home, we don’t want to see your hijab. You have to take it off,’” Afterwards Saad said. “I’m a human, you know? I have the right to wear the veil. I have the right, like everybody, to be who I am”.  Why aren’t governments taking steps to address such a hostile environment for its citizens? Why are there no proactive steps taken to curb hate crimes against Muslim people?

March 11, 2015

Momentum builds for cross-Canada actions against Bill C-51

Special to Rebel Youth

Right across Canada, momentum is building against Bill C-51. People are discovering what this bill really means. Contrary to the stated purpose of the bill; “fighting terrorism”, the legislation creates new police state laws, attacks the civil liberties and democratic rights of everyone in Canada, and elevates CSIS to a police force with sweeping new powers that can and will be directed against environmentalists, Indigenous communities, trade unionists, and other people’s movements. C-51 opens the door to a suspension of Habeas Corpus and to the collective punishment of communities based on racism or political ideology.

Rebel Youth helped to sound the alarm early on. Now resistance has grown to include unions, civil liberties organizations, Indigenous groups, anti-Tar Sands activists, most political parties besides the Conservatives and the Liberals, and even some sections of the corporate owned media.

This Saturday, March 14th, major actions are planned in more than 40 cities across Canada. This cross-Canada day of action was initiated by Lead Now, Open Media, the BC Government Employees Union as well as the BC Civil Liberties Association, but the list of participants and endorsing organizations keeps growing! The Communist Party of Canada and the Young Communist League of Canada support the call to action and will be taking part in demonstrations across the country.

March 8, 2015

¡REVOLUCIONARIAS!

Róisín Lyder

Rebel Youth presents 10 biographies of revolutionary women!

Angela Davis

“The idea of freedom is inspiring. But what does it mean? If you are free in a political sense but have no food, what’s that? The freedom to starve?”

Angela Davis first became involved in the black liberation and communist movements in the late 1960s as a professor at the University of California Los Angeles. As an outspoken critic of US imperialism and white supremacy, Davis was targeted for persecution and was imprisoned in 1970 on charges of murder and kidnapping. After a massive mobilization across the world demanded her freedom, Davis was acquitted in 1972. She has continued her political work to this day, as well as pioneering theoretical work on the relationship between race, class, and gender and on incarceration. Lefties today are sometimes still spotted sporting a nostalgic ‘Free Angela!’ button.

March 7, 2015

Women's History in the Soviet Union

IWD 1932: "A day of rebellion by working
women against kitchen slavery!"
Elizabeth Rowley Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) Leader
Transcribed by Jenna Amirault and Justin Ferguson
From a lecture at the 2013 YCL-LJC Women’s School

Well comrades, let me say a few words about women in the Soviet Union. The first thing to say about the Soviet Union is that it was the first socialist country in the world. Before the Soviet Union the ideas of socialism, of a working class state and country that was ruled by the working class in their own class interest and where big corporations and so on didn’t exist and where there was no monarchy and where feudalism was abolished and so on, it was all theoretical before 1917. When the Great October Socialist Revolution actually happened it had a huge impact, not only, obviously, in the Soviet Union but worldwide because it was the first time there was a little piece of territory that socialists around the world could point to and say ‘there, that’s what socialism looks like, that’s the experience, that’s what’s happening to people in that country and that’s what’s happening to women in that country!’

March 3, 2015

A quick reminder why Feminism is necessary

Marianne Breton Fontaine

Not a day passes without reminding me of the necessity of feminism, despite the surreal campaign “Women against feminism,” a US initiative where women post photos of themselves explaining why feminism is not needed by them. “I do not need feminism because if I wear a top like this, it’s for you to look at,” said one of them. “I do not need feminism because I like to cook for my boyfriend,” says another. It’s funny, because for me, these arguments convince me of the need to continue the struggle...

This morning’s daily reminder was made when I learned that the Couillard government will cut the “Chapeau les filles!” program, this program that was promoting education for women in areas still reserved for men, such as science and engineering. However, this cut will only save tiny crumbs for the public treasury. The icing on the cake was that earlier yesterday the same government announced that it would fly to the rescue of Bombardier if the company requested, because the company is currently experiencing some declines in profits. Is there anyone who still doubts that the State is at the service of a specific class?

March 1, 2015

International Women’s Day: Reinvigorating Marxist-Feminist Struggles in Canada

 Jenna Amirault

This March, the Young Communist League and the Communist Party of Canada will celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) by expressing solidarity with the ongoing and past struggles of women. While IWD is widely celebrated in civil society today, often little is known about the holiday’s socialist roots. IWD would not have been possible without the struggles of socialist women. The political activism of Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) and Luise Zietz (1865-1922) was particularly influential. Zetkin and Zietz were committed communists dedicated to organizing working class women and educating their male comrades on the importance of women’s struggles. They understood that the success of socialism depended on proletariat women and men “fight[ing] hand in hand…against capitalist society.”1   In August 1910 at a general meeting of the Second International, Zietz suggested holding an International Women’s Day to bring attention to equal rights, the suffrage and the struggles of working class women. Zetkin seconded the motion and over a hundred women from seventeen different countries voted in support of creating IWD. The next year on March 18 (chosen to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Paris Commune) the first IWD demonstrations were held in Europe. It was a tremendous success with an estimated 300 demonstrations being held across the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1922, with the help of Zetkin, Lenin would name International Women’s Day an official communist holiday.

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:

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