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(The following articles are from
the March 1-15, 2016, issue of People's
By Johan Boyden
In April 2015, Raymonde Saint-Germain
was visiting detention cells in northern
Billions of dollars flow out of
As Indigenous activists and allies across the country celebrate the promised inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, this reality of genocide will continue to come forward.
Located north of the 55th parallel, bordered by Labrador in the east and
Saint-Germain’s report describes a Nunavik judicial system which does not respect the fundamental rights of the accused – particularly their right to dignity. Cells are dirty and overcrowded with limited access to water, clean laundry, janitorial services and even fresh air. Seven to twenty-five detainees are often held in cells intended for two. In Puvirnituq police station, the stench can be smelt when you walk in, with traces of blood and excrement on the walls.
Saint-Germain said it reminded her of jails she had
The justice system shuttles Inuit from Nunavik
detention centers down to
Another crisis is the incarceration of indigenous women. Overall, while indigenous people represent less than 4 per cent of the Canadian population, 36 per cent of female inmates are indigenous – up 109 per cent in recent years.
These numbers are just part of the context of the gendered colonial legacy of oppression against indigenous peoples which the events at Val-d’Or have again exposed.
Last fall, a group of indigenous women told Radio-Canada's investigative program Enquête that provincial police officers in Val-d'Or routinely picked up women who appeared to be intoxicated, drove them out of town and left them to walk home in the cold. Some allege they were physically and sexually assaulted.
Quebec First Nations leaders have rallied behind the women who have come
forward, and support demonstrations were held in Val-d’Or as well as
An open letter to the Premier signed by the
As the inquiry comes into shape, it will no doubt be an immensely painful yet important development, worthy of close attention by all democratic-minded Canadians, indigenous and non-indigenous, women and men alike.
IWD 2016 greetings from the Communist Party of Canada
This March 8, International Women’s Day, is time to celebrate our history of struggle for equality, and to unite in action for a better and more just world.
In Canada we celebrate the defeat of the anti-women Harper Tories, who shut down virtually every federal agency or service which supported women's equality, closed Status of Women Canada offices, eliminated funding of women's organizations which engage in advocacy, passed Bill C-36 (which endangers the lives of sex workers) and blocked legal avenues to fight for pay equity.
The unequal status of women has been condemned by virtually every United Nations body that reviews Canada's human rights performance, including the CEDAW Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Human Rights Committee, and the Human Rights Council. The new Liberal government must be pressed to take real action for full equality.
The Liberals have promised to implement the Call to Action recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, most notably an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed a gender-equality cabinet, including Indigenous lawyer Jody Wilson-Raybould as Justice Minister.
However, this government has also signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12 nation corporate rights deal which will be a disaster for the working class, in particular women. Resistance is building against this anti-democratic, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-farmer agreement. We join with all those working to block ratification of the TPP.
The Liberals have promised changes to the police state Bill C-51, which imposes sweeping new powers to criminalize dissent. Raising the spectre of Islamic terrorism, C-51 in reality targets the critics of austerity, environmental destruction and imperialist war. The Harper Government’s Islamophobia disproportionately impacted women. This legislation directly impacts women, who play leading roles in labour, Aboriginal, environmental, and student movements. This dangerous bill must be scrapped – just as the Liberals withdrew Harper’s anti-labour Bills C-377 and C-525.
Millions of women in
Women remain oppressed by the double burden of exploitation in the workplace and the major share of domestic labour. As real wages drop, work becomes more precarious, and social assistance rates remain stagnant, and there is still a huge pay gap, particularly for non-unionized women. Women are disproportionately poor – especially those who are Aboriginal, racialized, immigrant, disabled, queer and single mothers.
In the last few years, awareness has grown of “rape culture” - the societal normalization of sexualized violence, found in images, language, and laws. While the Ghomeshi trial has magnified this issue, we need to organize against all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, and violence faced by sex workers – particularly women who are Aboriginal, racialized and transgender. Funding of campus women’s centres must be increased, and effective anti-oppression education regarding rape culture is urgently needed.
The trial has also publicized the need for justice reform (including the introduction of trauma informed practice in policing and the courts), and improved access to legal aid for victims of sexual violence. Police must also face democratic and independent reviews. From shootings of young Aboriginal, Black and mentally ill men, to the documented rape of Aboriginal women by RCMP and Surete du Quebec officers, police must face real justice.
Women are disproportionately affected by reduced access to EI benefits. The
War vs. women’ s rights
While the Liberals have announced an end to participation in bombing in
“Fighting to defend the rights of women” is a frequent rationale for military
intervention. But while the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIL are deeply reactionary,
such movements are largely a product of the imperialist drive for resources and
profits. Prior to western interventions, the status of women in the secular
War has caused a massive world-wide increase in refugees. In
We express full solidarity with the women of
A united fightback can win
Recent years have seen important struggles by women's and pro-equality
movements. The Fédération des femmes du Québec and
the Canadian Labour Congress women's conferences have
helped keep the equality fight alive. The fight continues to defend and improve
The re-establishment of an organization to bring together women from labour, youth and students, and Aboriginal and racialized women, and from organizations that fight for legal rights, reproductive rights, disability rights, and child care, would be an important advance.
Working people of all genders and backgrounds need a genuine alternative to corporate greed. Led by the labour movement and its allies, such a People's Coalition could fight to win sustainable jobs, universal day care, improved social services, and an end to poverty and income disparity.
The Communist Party of
- Restore funding for women’s equality programs.
- Close the wage gap – legislate full pay and employment equity.
- No to the TPP and all corporate austerity attacks
- Guarantee accessible and publicly funded abortion and reproductive rights services in every province and territory.
- Establish universal, quality, affordable childcare with Canada-wide standards and union wages for child care workers.
- Protect women’s right to EI maternity coverage; expand parental benefits to 52 weeks.
- Fund equality-seeking women’s groups.
- End all forms of violence against women and provide adequate funding for crisis centres and transition houses.
- Repeal Bill C-36.
But while capitalism survives, it will always generate poverty, inequality, exploitation, environmental degradation and war. These outrages are inherent in a system based on maximizing profit in private hands. Only socialism, based on democratic, collective ownership and working class power, can liberate the enormous creative and productive potential of the people for human needs.
The real alternative for gender equality and human survival is socialism. As
Since IWD was adopted by a Socialist women's conference in
By Helen Kennedy
The issue of violence against women has been amplified recently by the Ghomeshi trial. There is a renewed call for reforms to the judicial system which re-victimizes women who testify against their abusers. We also need to focus on shifting our societal norms and expectations about violence against women and building on the role labour unions and the broader labour movement can play in educating and preventing violence against women.
Just before December 6, 2014, the anniversary of the
The Women’s Committee at the
Some of the highlights of the Labour Council checklist:
* Ensure every local union has a Women’s Committee and that this committee is developed as a safe place for sisters to go to discuss any issues related to violence against women;
* Develop and/or implement a program like Unifor’s Women’s Advocate Program that educates local members about issues like domestic violence and workplace harassment, and develops referral contacts to whom to refer sisters facing difficulties;
* Develop an ongoing and meaningful relationship with a local women’s shelter. This could include donating money, fundraising, and/or developing programs for women from the local to implement at the shelter;
* Have our brothers take the pledge to end violence against women, join and publicize the White Ribbon Campaign and become advocates that speak out about violence against women;
* Encourage active reporting about harassment in the workplace; institute a zero tolerance policy - don’t turn a blind eye – eliminating workplace harassment is everybody’s responsibility;
* Encourage our affiliates to develop and implement feminist education courses for the sisters and brothers in our unions.
In addition, the labour movement must ensure that its leadership reflects its membership. If a sister doesn’t see herself reflected in the makeup of the steward body or leadership in the local, they are less likely to feel comfortable enough to come forward to seek assistance. The same is true for national or international union affiliates. At one time, CUPE, for example, was seen as a feminist union and champion for women’s issues. With 12 years of brothers in the two key leadership positions at the National level, this is no longer the case.
The Toronto and York Region Labour Council has successfully organized community specific networks over the past few years – including the Chinese, Filipino and Tamil Workers Networks. It will be important for these organizations to also provide leadership on issues of domestic violence and its impact in the workplace.
Over the past several years, the Canadian Labour Congress has undertaken research on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. According to a recent cross-Canada survey conducted by the CLC and researchers at the University of Western Ontario, one in three workers has experienced domestic violence, and this violence follows them to work. Over 80 percent of victims reported that their performance was negatively impacted, and more than half said the abuse occurred at or near their workplace. The research is summarized in the report “Can Work be Safe When Home Isn’t?”
Most recently, the CLC has developed a Domestic Violence at Work Resource Centre (at www.canadianlabour.ca). The online resources include warning signs, model collective agreement language (including setting up a Women’s Advocate Program), how to talk to a member who is a victim of domestic violence and a member who might be a perpetrator.
Labour unions can do much more in addressing the issue of violence against women in the workplace, in society and in the union itself. We must begin by building more representative unions, taking our responsibilities to prevent domestic violence seriously, and providing concrete collective agreement language to assist women in the workplace. The tragic death of our Sister Zahra, trying to fight off her narrow-minded employer’s attempts to fire her for attendance issues as she dealt with an abusive partner, reminds us that change cannot come soon enough.
Communist Party of BC statement on the February 16 provincial budget
On the crucial economic issues of the minimum wage, social assistance and disability rates, MSP premiums, and housing costs, the Feb. 16 budget introduced by Christy Clark’s BC Liberals fails to address the needs of working people. The Communist Party of BC condemns this budget as nothing more than the latest in a long series of gifts to the wealthy and the corporations, and we urge the labour and people’s movements to mobilize against it.
While pretending to defend the interests of BC families, the Premier continues the longstanding Liberal strategy of billion-dollar giveaways for the wealthy and the corporations, a few boutique tax credits for middle-income earners, and nothing for unemployed and low-income British Columbians. The rich are still riding the endless BC Liberal gravy train, while the poor are condemned to hunger and homelessness.
Soon after Gordon Campbell was elected, the BC Liberals went on a rampage,
slashing social programs, illegally ripping up public sector collective
agreements, and freezing social assistance and disability rates at the abysmal
levels set by the previous NDP government. At the same time,
The Liberals are also helping increase corporate profits with their minimum
wage policy. After a small increase when
Some economists propose a “one time” boost of another 20 to 30 cents per hour
to bring BC’s minimum wage to the middle of the range. For full-time minimum
wage workers who pay over half of their $1600 monthly wages on rent, such an
increase of $30-40 per month would soon be eaten up by rising rents, food, and
other costs. The Communist Party of BC gives full support to the campaign by
the labour movement for an immediate increase to $15
per hour, and we demand a $20/hour minimum wage as the best way to ensure that
Typical of the BC Liberals, the 2016-17 budget adds to
the huge increases in Medical Service Plan premiums imposed on working people
in recent years. This regressive flat taxis a blatant violation of the
principles of affordability and universality contained in the
We also condemn the government’s strategy of offering a few breaks to
first-time home buyers. As welcome as these reductions will be for families
facing inflated million-dollar prices to purchase a detached home, this policy
does nothing to provide housing for renters priced out of the market. Rents in
Perhaps most appalling, this budget contains no increase for people on social assistance, and a miserly $11-25 per month for those in the disability category.
Mass action is needed to defeat the new Liberal budget, and to demand urgent progressive changes: a $20/hour minimum wage; an immediate 50% increase in social assistance and disability rates; scrap the MSP premiums; launch an emergency plan to build 100,000 social and low-income housing units. Such a People’s Alternative economic policy should be paid for by restoring the pre-Liberal tax rates on upper-income earners and corporations. Waiting and hoping for an NDP victory in 2017 will do nothing for working people and the poor, especially since the NDP has given little indication of running on a platform of significant progressive change. The Communist Party of BC urges the trade union movement to launch a Common Front to campaign for these pro-working class reforms!
People’s Voice Editorial, March 1-15, 2016
Congratulations to courageous students at McGill University, who voted by a margin of 512 to 357 on Feb. 22 to support a motion in favour of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel’s apartheid policies. But on the same day, Parliament took the opposite position, voting 229-51 for a Conservative motion to condemn Canadians who promote the BDS movement.
This movement began in 2005, when about 100 Palestinian civil society
organizations issued a call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against
The fact that most Liberal MPs supported this Tory motion (about a dozen abstained and one was opposed) proves that the new government cannot be judged on the basis of progressive campaign promises. The Liberals must be held to account as they “govern from the right,” including on international issues such as the expanding war in Iraq and Syria, the sale of weaponized vehicles to Saudi Arabia, and support for regimes in Ukraine and Israel which trample on human rights.
Finally, we welcome the fact that the NDP and Bloc Quebecois caucuses, and
Green MP Elizabeth May voted against the Conservative motion because it
violates the rights to free speech and expression. However, NDP MPs also
attacked the BDS movement during the debate in the Commons, yet again exposing
their party’s shameful racist position against criticism of apartheid
People’s Voice Editorial
History will be made this month, when President Barack Obama visits
The Cuban people and their government deserve full credit for achieving this
breakthrough, against the bitter opposition of far-right forces inside the
But this process is far from complete. The Republican-dominated Congress is
still resisting the normalization of relations, including steps to lift the
embargo, although President Obama has considerable powers to accomplish much of
this goal (see page 9). The illegal
We are confident that the Cuban government will continue to defend its
sovereignty and the interests of the Cuban people despite such imperialist
pressures. If President Obama tries to play the “human rights” card during his
The countdown has started for the 38th Central Convention of the Communist
The Communist Party of
One of the key features of the Communist Party is its strong commitment to democratic principles. The Party’s membership has full power to determine policies and elect leadership at conventions, combined with a voluntary commitment to carry out those policies.
Unlike some organizations, the full membership of the CPC is engaged in this democratic process, starting with an intensive three-month discussion of the Draft Political Resolution which will be the centrepiece of the 38th Convention. Party clubs across the country have begun to debate the Resolution, which was issued by the January 30-31 meeting of the Central Committee, the party’s highest body between conventions.
Members and party clubs will submit written contributions for a Discussion
Bulletin published regularly this spring. Clubs will also prepare amendments to
the Resolution, for discussion at provincial meetings to elect delegates to
Over our next several issues, People’s Voice will reprint brief excerpts from the Draft Political Resolution, to give readers a better understanding of the CPC’s analysis and its democratic process. We invite readers to read the full Draft online, at www.communist-party.ca, and to share your own views. In this issue, we print parts of Section One of the Draft Resolution on the international situation:
For international working class unity against imperialism
38th Central Convention meets at a moment of escalating danger, from increasing
war, environmental crisis and economic decay. As the systemic crisis of
capitalism continues to deepen, and the effects of the 2008 economic meltdown
continue to be felt, imperialist states and organizations are becoming
increasingly aggressive. The standoff between nuclear armed states in
But this is also a moment of rising working class and popular resistance. In all countries, albeit unevenly and with different characteristics, we see increased unity and mobilization. From mass demonstrations to general strikes to online campaigns, people are using many different vehicles to advance these struggles...
the most immediate danger and challenge facing the working class and peoples of
the world is imperialism’s escalating militarism and drive to war. From the
state of “permanent war” since 2001, to the coup in
Since the overthrow of the
This growth is directly linked with the eastward expansion of the EU, a dynamic that has provoked one of the most serious political crises in decades – the US-orchestrated fascist coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014.
new illegitimate, puppet government of Petro Poroshenko
includes several neo-Nazi followers of Stepan
Bandera, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and infamous
war criminal who colluded with the Nazis during their bloody occupation of
Ukraine. The regime moved quickly to attack and repress communists and
...Popular resistance against the
The other key arena of imperialist aggression is the crisis in
Imperialism suffered a serious setback when it was unable to overthrow the
elected government of Bashar al-Assad. This despite recruiting, arming and training thousands of foreign
mercenaries who have continued to terrorize the Syrian people. Since
this defeat, imperialist forces have identified yet another pretext for direct
the US, EU and their allies continue to impose their “New Middle East” plan –
to produce a patchwork of weak and fragmented Arab states who cannot challenge
Israeli expansion or imperialist domination – they have produced a breeding
ground for reactionary religious forces that they have, in turn, armed and
financed. Despite distress – real or feigned – over brutal methods and
reactionary politics, groups like ISIS (Daesh) and
al-Nusrah are valuable assets to imperialism and
their activities have provided the pretext for direct military intervention in
The immediate situation in
Despite the grave danger presented by the international confrontations in
In June 2015, the Central Committee noted the dangers of the renewed Cold War: “Already, it is being used to justify increased military spending, expanded arms trade, new and larger imperialist military alliances, and outright intervention and war. It has become a large part of the ideological barrage that justifies and promotes the expansion of imperialist institutions like NATO and the EU. Part of the New Cold War is the ideological poison that depicts communism and fascism as identical totalitarian ideologies.”
our 37th Central Convention in 2013, global military spending has remained at
its highest levels in history – nearly $1.8 trillion USD in 2014. The
Notably, military spending by NATO member states accounts for $920 billion USD, or 51% of the global figure. While military spending receded very slightly in the main imperialist centres at NATO’s core – Western Europe, the US and Canada – there were large increases throughout the current key theatres of NATO aggression: the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
NATO member states, including Canada, have faced
increased pressure in the recent period to increase their military spending.
Under the Harper Conservative government,
Justin Trudeau stated during the 2015 federal election campaign that he would
cancel the F-35 purchase, he also pledged to maintain current military spending
levels and the planned increases. Trudeau has also stated that he will proceed
with the $15 billion arms deal with
An urgent task for all peace and progressive organizations in Canada is to build mass pressure that can force the Liberals to reduce military spending and trade, allow war resisters to remain in Canada, and completely withdraw Canada from the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. These are initial, but concrete, steps toward a new foreign policy of peace, and toward building the international working class unity that can defeat war, reaction and imperialism.
According to a recent story in the Huffington
She quotes research from Catalyst
“The global pay gap was about $4,000 on average between men and women, and the
Canadian pay gap was just over $8,000,” says Alex
Johnston, executive director of Catalyst
Although many reports have attributed the gap between men’s and women’s salaries to mothers taking time off for childcare in their career-building years, Catalyst notes that even just one year out of university, there’s still a 6.6 per cent gap between what women and men earn.
By Darrell Rankin
Canadians know from bitter experience that heating bills are expensive. There is a remarkable growth of First Nations' opposition to oil pipelines and extraction.
But how do the labour and other
democratic movements in the rest of
Developing a broadly based peoples' energy program requires the support of these movements. When asked in a 2005 Leger poll, Canadians with a view wanted to nationalize the oil and gas industry by a margin of 59% - place it in public ownership. (1)
Canadians are in solidarity or aligned with the demands of First Nations to curb the oil industry's threat to nature and future generations. (2)
Last fall, people voted in large numbers for the Liberals who promised a 'new nation to nation process', implying it would be equal.
These are promising conditions for a broad public discussion, facilitated by
popular movements in
Agreement between First Nations, Inuit, Métis and popular movements for a popular energy program would create a firm and viable alternative to the failing, profit-driven form of development, a model that excludes First Nations and treats workers, including those in the oil patch, as second class, disposable citizens.
In recent years, heavy job losses and climate change helped to shine a
spotlight on the industry. It is clear to millions of people that the
over-reliance on resource extraction has driven
Some unions have argued the need for jobs trumps any other consideration, no
matter how dire. This was the case in the
What is needed is the political unity of popular movements in
Environmental concerns or the need to address resource and land claims have not yet budged unions who openly support pipelines and the heedless development of the oil and gas industry, especially those in the oil patch itself. But the oil patch from coast to coast is in shambles, and no one knows how long the crisis will last.
The low price of oil has forced the large oil corporations to lay off tens of thousands of workers.
Pundits mistakenly joke about
Such crises lead to mergers. That means
A people's energy program can put all nations and workers ahead of private profit.
It must be a program that challenges the present model of heavily subsidized, profit-oriented extraction of oil and gas. Such a program needs to recognize the interests of all the parties, so that none shall lose and all shall gain:
- Creation of jobs in sustainable energy industries by shifting state subsidies from oil and gas, and the painless, planned conversion of remaining oil and gas jobs to greener forms of energy, with no loss in pay.
- Immediate settlement of Aboriginal land and resource claims.
- All nation or multi-national approval of a new development
- Work with other countries to reduce their reliance on oil, coal and gas with the aim of ending exports and exporting expertise in alternative energy sources.
These points are a possible framework for discussion at local and regional meetings of any kind. It is a framework that could be useful for a peoples’ workshop or summit at any level. Any framework for talks needs to be aligned with the demands or approaches of Aboriginal nations and unions. (3)
1. Discounting the 17% with no view, only 41% were opposed to public ownership of the industry. http://leger360.com/admin/upload/publi_pdf/050906eng.pdf
2. For example, Fewer Canadians back plans for new oil pipelines to West Coast ports, Globe and Mail, May 30, 2013
3. Delegates to the Canadian Labour Congress affirmed their support for the Aboriginal nations' right of self-determination three times, from 1980 to 1996. The CLC is on record six times at convention for “expediting … land claims” between 1978 and 1996.
Statement by the Central
Executive Committee, Communist Party of
Following the Liberal government's announced changes to
The statement that
The Trudeau government must withdraw from and renounce the imperialist strategy
for a New
In the case of the Iraq/Syria mission which began after advances in 2014 by
ISIL/Daesh, western military
intervention cannot resolve this crisis. In fact, the regional situation has
worsened with the Saudi/Gulf state war in
It is shocking that
In our view, the changes to
The Communist Party of
the Morning Star (
As the dust settles on the Prime Minister’s much-vaunted “renegotiation” of the terms on which he hopes Britain will remain a member of the European Union, the media have quickly moved on to the soap opera of which leading Tories will end up on which side.
Pundits can hardly be blamed for not focusing on the detail of the supposed
concessions David Cameron has snatched from
The “emergency brake” on in-work benefits for migrants who are working and paying tax in Britain is not only a demonstration of the Nasty Party’s nastiness, but is also of a piece with the Tory war on all workers, whether born here or abroad: the Institute for Fiscal Studies says 2.6 million families will be an average £1,600 worse off each year as they are moved from tax credits to universal credit.
As for the celebrated treaty amendment, stating that the commitment to “ever
closer union” does not apply to
Provisions in the Stability and Growth Pact preventing governments from borrowing to invest in their country’s economic future, clauses in the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties prohibiting state aid for industry and demanding the privatisation of public monopolies — such rules have political repercussions.
Membership of the EU severely curtails the choices available to the electorates of individual countries. Socialism and even Keynesian social democracy cease to be options available to voters, either because the levers of economic control have been handed to unaccountable institutions such as the European Commission and European Central Bank or because socialist measures themselves such as renationalising industries or intervening directly in the economy are illegal.
Support for the European Union on the left has taken a battering in recent
years. The brutal and pitiless immiseration of
So too does its enthusiastic, if secretive, pursuit of the TTIP trade deal with the United States, over the heads of national governments and in the face of massive public opposition.
When challenged by War on Want director John Hilary, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem did not even make a pretence of caring. “I do not take my mandate from the European people,” she sneered.
But many on the left continue to defend membership.
Some argue that, rather than leave, we should campaign for a better EU — a more democratic union which protects working people’s rights rather than corporate profits. This is the position of Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, and apparently also of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
They must be challenged on how they intend to achieve this. The EU’s anti-democratic structures and legal commitments to neoliberalism are embedded in a succession of binding treaties which cannot be changed without the consent of every single member state. This makes reforming the bloc virtually impossible.
Others point to particular provisions of EU law which protect maternity rights or holiday pay, and argue that the Conservatives would try to unpick these if we left.
Of course they would. But it is not just the Conservatives who have it in for workers’ rights. The EU itself has demanded an end to collective bargaining agreements, the imposition of “flexible” contracts and the deregulation of entire industries.
Staying in is no guarantee that our rights will be protected, especially once treaties like TTIP further subordinate governments to transnational corporations. The labour movement must regain the confidence to fight for a better future, rather than trusting in an anti-democratic institution to shield it from the government’s blows.
Still others claim that since the loudest voices calling for an exit are on the
political right, we have to vote to remain to avoid associating with them. But
the big guns of the In campaign — the Prime Minister,
Sir Stuart Rose, Goldman Sachs, the
The British Establishment is more or less united in its determination to stay in the EU. The status quo suits it down to the ground.
But supporters of radical political change should vote to leave on June 23.
By Vinnie Molina, The Guardian (weekly
paper of the Communist Party of
“The whole world is just one country. In this world country, the principle of
loving others as one-self is an essential guide to harmonious relations between
neighbouring states.” These were the words Ana Belen
Montes used during her trial for conspiracy to commit espionage for the
She was sentenced in October 2002 to 25 years in prison. Ana Belen Montes, aged
59, was born in
She had many assignments on
Unfortunately, Ana Belen Montes is another victim of the failed
None of her actions endangered
Ana was arrested by the FBI on September 21, 2001 and charged with spying for
President Obama and Raul Castro say they are now both open to new relations of the type Ana Belen hoped for. This opportunity opened up on December 17, 2014 beginning with the release of three other unjustly held political prisoners, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino & Gerardo Hernandez, and the reopening of embassies in both countries.
Ana Belen Montes is due for release in 2027. An international campaign for her release is calling on President Obama to pardon her. To learn more about her case and to add your name to the on-line petition, see: petitions.moveon.org/sign/buried-alive.
Beyoncé's Super Bowl spectacle
By now everyone must know that hip-hop superstar Beyoncé invoked Black Panther and Black Lives Matter
symbols during her February 7th halftime show at the Super Bowl in
Roger Waters defends mural at
Roger Waters, the English rock star and pro-Palestinian
activist, published an open letter last month criticizing Toronto film industry
executive Paul Bronfman. The businessman withdrew his support to York
University's cinema & media arts program because of a mural at the York University
Graduate Students Association (YUGSA) that depicts a Palestinian holding a rock
behind his back as he gazes at a bulldozer about to destroy an olive tree.
Bronfman characterizes "Palestinian Roots", the mural by artist Ahmad
Al Abid, as "anti-Israel". Waters,
co-founder of the band Pink Floyd, told Bronfman that he's wrong to try to
force the removal of the mural, and applauded students and faculty at the
university for standing up to his "bullying tactics". The Palestinian
man depicted in the mural, wrote Waters, has the right under the
Dialogue on racism in T.O. music scene
Bruce Cockburn's "Moral Imperatives"
Mark Dunn, in a recent Canadian
Dimension (Winter 2016) profile of Bruce Cockburn (“The Moral Imperatives
of a Modern Troubadour”) lets the artist off the hook when
Cockburn characterizes the extremists of ISIS as “human shit” and
muses aloud about “exterminating them”, while never once acknowledging
that the imperial adventures of the United States and its allies create the
very conditions which breed religious extremism and terrorism. Nor does
Dunn question Cockburn when the singer mentions
(Letter sent to Canadian Dimension, February 13th).
With this issue, People’s Voice
launches our annual
That puts us in a difficult position. As costs for mailing and printing go up,
our subscription prices cover only a shrinking portion of the overall cost of
publishing twenty issues a year. But raising subscription rates inevitably
means that some readers would no longer be able to afford the paper. The most
important part of the solution is to dramatically increase our total subscriber
base, reaching out to thousands of people across
The other way to cover our costs, of course, is through a variety of fundraising strategies. Every year, PV supporters host special events in cities and towns across the country, and some bring in revenue through street sales and other tactics. Every dollar raised through these activities is highly appreciated! In coming issues, we will highlight such local initiatives. The value of the May Day greetings in our May 1 issue also counts towards our target - by getting your union local or solidarity group to place a greeting, you can make a big contribution to a successful 2016 Press Fund drive.
The biggest single source for the $50,000 we need to continue publishing
remains the direct mail appeal, which goes out to current and recently lapsed
subscribers in the last week of February. When the appeal arrives in your
mailbox, please try to respond quickly. Since our main fundraising takes place
during the first half of each year, our bank account is always low by the time
This year, to encourage generous early returns on the mail appeal, we are offering a special incentive. Readers who contribute a minimum of $300 by March 31 will receive a mix CD of revolutionary songs selected by members of our Editorial Board. Those who donate $500 or more by March 31 will get the CD, plus their choice of two posters. In honour of this year’s 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, the first poster features Dolores Ibarruri, the famed “La Pasionaria” who rallied the Republican forces against Franco’s fascists. The second is Karl Marx, whose career as a crusading newspaper editor of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung began on October 15, 1842.
As always, readers who contribute $1000 to the
This year People’s Voice also faces
new political challenges. For the past decade, we worked tirelessly to educate
and mobilize working people against the most far-right, anti-equality
government in recent Canadian history. Now that the Harper Conservatives are in
the dumpster, hopefully never to return, the political terrain has shifted. The
new Liberal government in
From our point of view, however, the new government does not represent a
fundamental change on basic economic questions. Despite a shift towards some
stimulus spending, the Liberals remain a government of big business, dedicated
to protecting the ability of the corporations to squeeze maximum profits from
the exploitation of workers. The Liberals have already signed the Trans-Pacific
Partnership, the latest deal to strengthen corporate powers at the expense of
trade unions, farmers, indigenous peoples, and national sovereignty. On foreign
policy, the Liberals have halted
In the coming issues, People’s Voice
will use our pages to raise awareness around the struggles for working class
rights, indigenous sovereignty, women’s equality, environmental justice, and
world peace. Uniquely among the alternative media in
We hope you agree that the working class needs a print publication to campaign for these causes. In our next issue, we will also report on efforts to expand the PV presence on the internet, a crucial arena in the clash of politics in the 21st century.