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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
300. January 28, 2010 Derrick O'Keefe The London Conference on Afghanistan: Rebranding an Unpopular War
Lawrence Cannon, Canada's foreign minister, is on his way to London for a major international conference on the future of Afghanistan, January 28. Hilary Clinton and other high level representatives from the NATO countries will be present, as will embattled Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
299. January 23, 2010 Sungur Savran Turkey: The Working Class (literally) Takes the Stage
After at least a decade and a half of stagnation, the working class movement of Turkey is making a great stride forward, thanks to the militant action of the workers of a now privatised former state economic enterprise, Tekel, the state monopoly of tobacco and alcoholic beverages.
298. January 19, 2010 Julia Barnett & Carlo Fanelli Lessons Learned: Assessing the 2009 City of Toronto Strike
When word came that the 39-day strike by CUPE Locals 79 and 416 had come to an end, the immediate question on most members’ minds was “Did we win?” The information gap between rank and file members and the union executive was so large that many strikers were unaware of why exactly they were on strike in the first place and were dependent on media reports to find out where both sides stood during collective bargaining.
297. January 17, 2010 Dan Freeman-Maloy Relief Efforts in the Shadow of Past "Help"
Over the course of the past decade, Canada's leading officials and most prestigious commentators have learned how to approach Haiti in the spirit of cynical power politics and racist condescension (or worse) while maintaining a posture of national self-flattery.
296. January 15, 2010 Peter Hallward Our Role in Haiti's Plight
Any large city in the world would have suffered extensive damage from an earthquake on the scale of the one that ravaged Haiti's capital city on Tuesday afternoon, but it's no accident that so much of Port-au-Prince now looks like a war zone.
295. January 14, 2010 Roger Annis Vancouver Winter Olympics: A Festival of Corporate Greed
On February 12, the corporate sporting behemoth known as the 21st Winter Olympic Games will open to great fanfare in Vancouver. In a time of economic hardship and government cuts to social programs across Canada, huge sums of public money have been spent to stage this uber spectacle.
294. January 3, 2010 Matt Fodor The Dexter NDP: Old Wine, New Bottle?
On June 9, 2009 the New Democratic Party (NDP), led by the self-proclaimed “conservative progressive” Darrell Dexter, swept to power in Nova Scotia, forming the first-ever NDP government in Atlantic Canada. The NDP won 45 percent of the popular vote and 31 of 52 seats.
293. December 30, 2009 Daniel Bensaïd Notes on Recent Developments in the European Radical Left
The recent elections in Germany and Portugal have confirmed the emergence of a new radical Left in a number of countries across Europe. In Germany, Die Linke won 11.9 percent of the vote and 76 seats in the Bundestag. In Portugal, the Left Bloc received 9.86 percent of the vote and doubled its number of seats to 16.
292. December 27, 2009 Patrick Bond How to Cure the Post-Copenhagen Hangover
In Copenhagen, the world’s richest leaders continued their fiery fossil fuel party last Friday night, December 18, ignoring requests of global village neighbours to please chill out. Instead of halting the hedonism, U.S. President Barack Obama and the Euro elites cracked open the mansion door to add a few nouveau riche guests.
291. December 23, 2009 Ron Lare UAW Rank-and-File Organize to Fight For Union Principles
For decades United Auto Workers (UAW) members at the Detroit Three – GM, Ford and Chrysler – were alleged to be narrowing their goals. Workers were said to be maintaining their living standards by 'selling out their children' – the new-hires in the plants. Votes on ratification of contracts backed by the UAW leadership were too 'rigged' so as to permit a 'No' vote.
290. December 22, 2009 Tyler Shipley Honduras: The Coup That Never Happened
What strikes a visitor to the Honduran capital most immediately in this moment is the degree to which the social and political conflict that has erupted since the golpe de estado (coup d’etat) on June 28th is actually written on the walls, the fences, the rockfaces, bridges, errant bits of siding, abandoned buildings, and even the concrete upon which one walks.
289. December 21, 2009 Greg Albo Shambles in Copenhagen
The United Nations conference to address climate change in Copenhagen over the last week has illustrated several crucial features about the contemporary political setting, as Obama completes a year in power in the United States, NATO plots a military surge into the war setting spanning Palestine to Afghanistan and an economic recovery staggers along.
288. December 16, 2009 Anthony Fenton CANADA: “Cheek by Jowl” with U.S. on COIN in Afghanistan
July 2011 and beyond, no country will have been more closely integrated with U.S. President Barack Obama and Gen. Stanley McChrystal's counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan than the Canadians.
287. December 15, 2009 Hepzibah Muñoz-Martínez Crisis, Populist Neoliberalism and the Limits to Democracy in Mexico
Forbes magazine recently placed two Mexicans, Carlos Slim and Joaquín Guzmán, high on their list of the most powerful people in the world. Carlos Slim is the world’s third-richest man and CEO of a telecommunications company and Joaquín Guzmán is the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
286. December 11, 2009 Roger Rashi Québec solidaire: A Left-of-the-Left Formation?
The first decade of the 21st century has seen the rise of new ‘left of the left’ formations in several Western countries. The best known cases are the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) in France and Die Linke (The Left) in Germany.
285. December 8, 2009 John Riddell Ottawa Citizen Smears Progressive Activists
It's not every day that the Ottawa Citizen mentions Socialist Voice, but on November 30 the pillar of the Canwest media empire broke its silence – and misquoted us as part of a smear attack on all progressive activists in Canada.
284. December 7, 2009 Richard Fidler Quebec Left Debates Independence Strategy
Québec solidaire, the left-wing party founded almost four years ago, held its fifth convention in this Montréal suburb on November 20-22. About 300 elected delegates debated and adopted resolutions on the Quebec national question, electoral reform, immigration policy and secularism.
283. December 4, 2009 Patrick Bond A lesson from Seattle for Copenhagen: Vigorous Activism Can Defeat the Denialists
Preparations for the December 7-18 Copenhagen climate summit are going as expected, including a rare sighting of the African elites' stiffened spines. That's a great development - maybe decisive.
282. December 3, 2009 Malalai Joya Canada Must Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan Immediately
The Canadian government's war effort in Afghanistan has been shaken by new accusations that Afghans detained by Canadian forces were tortured and abused.
281. December 2, 2009 Roger Annis Canadian Government Rocked by Accusations of Abuse, Torture of Afghan Prisoners
The Canadian government's war effort in Afghanistan has been shaken by new accusations that Afghans detained by Canadian forces were tortured and abused.
280. November 26, 2009 Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui Mexico: The Murder of a Union and the Rebirth of Class Struggle (part 2)
The government’s blitzkrieg attack on the SME has failed to destroy the resistance. Rather, the Mexican regime faces the broadest, deepest, and most unified resistance movement in decades.
279. November 25, 2009 Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui Mexico: The Murder of a Union and the Rebirth of Class Struggle (part 1)
The neoliberal war on the working people of Mexico reached a new intensity with the government's lightning assault on the power workers union, the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME – Mexican Electrical Workers Union), and on Mexico's energy resources on October 10.
278. November 24, 2009 Priscillia Lefebvre Museum Workers at War: Precarious Employment and the Public Sector Squeeze
The casualization of labour has placed many workers in a position of precariousness forcing them into a state of perpetual insecurity characteristic of the ‘new economy’ neoliberal nightmare. In an effort to reduce production costs and maximize profitability, many employers have adopted a neoliberal approach to employment, which is achieved through the temporary and discretional use of labour, major layoffs, the retrenchment of wages, workplace intensification and the denial of benefits.
277. November 23, 2009 Anthony Fenton Realities Collide at Halifax “War Conference”
While the world's top military elites gather inside a fortified hotel to discuss NATO's future, protesters question the organisation's legitimacy, secrecy, and the lack of democratic debate about the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan.
276. November 20, 2009 Colin Leys Morbid Symptoms: Current Healthcare Struggles
Leo Panitch and Colin Leys have just brought out the 2010 annual volume of the Socialist Register, Morbid Symptoms: Health Under Capitalism. The book provides a path-breaking assessment of health under capitalism.
275. November 18, 2009 Roger Annis Escalation of Afghanistan War: Canada Faces a Fateful Decision
The United States and its imperialist partners are losing their war of conquest in Afghanistan and a further escalation is required. Canada’s Conservative Party government now faces the thorny problem of bringing its policy into line with U.S. plans.
274. November 16, 2009 Andrew Jackson Public Sector Workers: The Recession’s Next Victims?
I fear that Tom Walkom of the Toronto Star is bang on when he argues that the next victims of the recession will be public sector workers. As he writes: “The federal government has already signalled plans to get tough with its workers. In Ontario, Premier Dalton McGuinty gave notice this week that the province’s public sector – including nurses, doctors, teachers, police officers and judges – will no longer be ‘sheltered’ from recession.”
273. November 11, 2009 Marc Bonhomme Strike at World's Largest Nickel Mine
In France's south Pacific colony of New Caledonia, a small delegation of Vale Inco strikers from Sudbury, in Northeastern Ontario, most of them Franco-Ontarians, met in October with the union at the island’s Vale Inco nickel mine, due to open in 2010 although it threatens a UNESCO nature reserve.
272. November 10, 2009 Hilary Wainwright and Andy Bowman A Real Green Deal
Thirty-five years ago, workers at the Lucas Aerospace company formulated an “alternative corporate plan” to convert military production to socially useful and environmentally desirable purposes. Hilary Wainwright and Andy Bowman consider what lessons it holds for the greening of the world economy today.
271. November 9, 2009 Pierre Rousset The World Social Forum, A Sustainable Model?
After a period of remarkable expansion, the process of the World Social Forum (WSF) has stalled. The balance sheet of the most recent big assemblies turns out to be very contrasting – we can say, simplifying a lot, politically negative in the case of Nairobi (Kenya) in 2007 and positive in the case of Belem (Brazil) two years later.
270. November 5, 2009 Joanne Naiman Combating Anti-Semitism or Shielding Israel?
I am writing this submission as a sociologist, a Jew, and a long-time opponent of all forms of oppression. As a person of Jewish descent, I obviously have a personal interest in seeing anti-Semitism addressed wherever it appears. However, as a social scientist I feel the term is currently being used without much precision.
269. November 4, 2009 John Clarke November 5 Day of Action Called at Critical Time
The November 5 day of action for a 'poverty free Ontario,' that has been called by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), is taking place against a backdrop of major attacks on working class living standards and social gains.
268. November 2, 2009 Rick Wolff Economic Crisis Hits States and Municipalities
Crises expose the system's irrationalities and wasteful resource allocations. For example, Madoff and his many, smaller imitators reveal the tips of corruption icebergs. More important, the crisis-induced fiscal emergencies looming in most of the 50 states demonstrate several absurdities in our economic system.
267. October 29, 2009 Shourideh Molavi Zionist Claims of Solidarity with the Iranian Protesters are Absurd
On October 27, the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC) held a conference titled “Democracy in Action: The Protests in Iran” in Ottawa. The purpose, according to the CIC website, was to “mobilize political action against the human rights abuses of the Iranian regime and its nuclear agenda.” To meet this goal the conference showcased a lineup of Israeli and Zionist politicians, legal figures, advocates, and military and diplomatic experts.
266. October 26, 2009 Greg Albo and Bryan Evans Ontario's Budgetary Dilemmas: Exit Strategies and Neoliberalism
The financial panic that consumed U.S. mortgage markets two years ago quickly became a global economic crisis of alarming breadth and depth. No country or sector has been able to insulate itself from the turmoil. For the first time since the Great Depression, the world market as a whole is expected to register a contraction.
265. October 25, 2009 Patrick Bond When the Climate Change Center Cannot Hold
On a day that 350.org and thousands of allies are valiantly trying to raise global consciousness about impending catastrophe, we can ask some tough questions about what to do after people depart and the props are packed up. No matter today's activism, global climate governance is grid-locked and it seems clear that no meaningful deal can be sealed in Copenhagen on December 18.
264. October 21, 2009 Sam Gindin Challenges for Public Sector Unions: Thinking Big to Win
It’s common to point the finger at greedy bankers, irresponsible speculators and regulators who let the financial system spiral out of control. Each of them certainly deserves blame but we need to look deeper. The crisis wasn’t just about the excesses of our economic system; it was rooted in what had become the normal, everyday functioning of our economic system.
263. October 20, 2009 Melanie Newton The Caribbean and Latin America at the Rendezvous of History
In 2004 two events sent shock waves across the Caribbean Sea, presenting us with two radically different blueprints for future hemispheric relations. In February a combined force of American, Canadian and French troops slipped into Haiti in the dead of night, ‘convinced’ President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resign, and spirited him out of the country into exile.
262. October 19, 2009 Herman Rosenfeld; Euan Gibb Ford Canada Concessions: Could it Signal the End of an Era?
While the CAW and Ford enter into another round of concessions bargaining – in the wake of concessions in the UAW – there is an argument to be made that the time for trading concessions for promises of investment and jobs should be ending.
261. October 16, 2009 Tanner Mirrlees The Canadian Media Oligopoly Against Media Democracy
To observe that the North American media is dominated by corporate monopolies serving capitalist interests and squeezing out critical voices is to state the obvious. The state media in Canada – nationally the CBC and provincially organizations like TV-Ontario (TVO) – provide only the slightest respite from pro-business reportage;
260. October 14, 2009 Natalie Mehra What's Wrong with Ontario's Health Ministry and How to Fix It
Health Minister David Caplan's resignation is the right thing in the wake of scathing Provincial Auditor's reports and repeated exorbitant salary revelations at the Ministry of Health (MOH). Undoubtedly in upcoming days the McGuinty government will scramble to contain the damage.
259. October 12, 2009 Yves Engler Is Canada More pro-Israel than the U.S.?
In June, Israel began barring some North Americans with Palestinian-sounding names entry through Ben Gurion Airport. Forced to reroute through a land-border crossing that connects the West Bank with Jordan, their passports were stamped "Palestinian Authority only," which prevents them from entering Israel proper.
258. October 7, 2009 NOII; CCR Growing Concerns, Coming Battles: Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Policies
The Canadian government has recently been signalling that it is going to introduce changes to Canada's refugee determination system. For some time the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, and in particular Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney – probably the most right-wing member of the Cabinet, has been campaigning about a crisis in Canada’s refugee system.
257. October 6, 2009 Steven Kennedy Hand-Washing Is Not Enough: Fighting the Spread of H1N1
With the worldwide emergence of H1N1 influenza and the World Health Organization’s declaration of a flu pandemic on June 11th, 2009 there is great concern regarding the issue of infection control. Yet, much of what we see and hear is narrowly focused on the ability of hand-washing to prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus that threatens the lives of young and old alike.
256. October 2, 2009 Lindsay Hinshelwood Against Concessions: CAW - UAW Rank and File Solidarity
In the spring of 2008, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, opened contract talks early to negotiate a concessionary contract in order to give the Detroit Three auto makers (Chrysler, Ford and General Motors) a cost savings advantage they claimed they needed as the economy slid downwards, and also to avoid reopening the contract before its September 2011 expiry date.
255. October 1, 2009 Ingo Schmidt The German Federal Elections: Centre-Right Wins Majority, Social Democracy Suffers Crushing Defeat, The Left Receives a Boost
Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was leading a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) since 2005, will also lead Germany’s next government; this time with support from the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). In an election that saw voter turn out at a record low of 70.8%, Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), won 33.8% of the vote.
254. September 14, 2009 Andrew Jackson What's in Play at Pittsburgh?
The London G-20 summit last fall may go down in history as the meeting that saved the world. That's a huge exaggeration of course, but leaders did agree to a program of co-ordinated monetary and fiscal stimulus which may have arrested an economic free-fall.
253. September 13, 2009 Petra Veltri Down in the Vale: Sudbury Steelworkers Strike at Vale Inco
For a valley so used to being torn up, spit out, and poisoned daily, everything is eerily quiet in and around Sudbury, Ontario these days. Beginning June 1st with a Vale Inco plant shutdown, that was then followed by a strike on July 13 when 3300 members of United Steelworkers of Canada (USW) Local 6500 rejected the concessionary demands of the Brazilian multinational subsidiary.
252. September 11, 2009 Global Balkans Network Anti-Privatization Protests in Serbia
The IMF recently concluded a one-week mission to Serbia, during which it extended the second-tranche of a EUR 4.3-billion loan package to Serbia. However, it gave the government until late October to reign in public sector spending as a condition for disbursing the third-tranche of the agreement (worth EUR 1.4-billion) by the end of the year.
251. September 7, 2009 Leo Panitch Workers of the World Unite! A New Message for Labour Day 2009?
What is the significance of the way not only Keynes but even Marx has been brought back into fashion amidst the global economic crisis? This is a question well worth pondering on the day that is officially designated to celebrate the class that Marx saw as carrying the promise – and the responsibility – of creating a better world.
250. August 29, 2009 John Greyson Artist Takes Up BDS Campaign - Pulls Out of TIFF in Protest
John Greyson withdraws his film Covered from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to protest the festival's promotion of Israeli government's strategy for cultural export.
249. August 16, 2009 Ali Mustafa The ROM Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit
Even before the highly anticipated six-month, $3-million collaboration between the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) showcasing the Dead Sea Scrolls was officially launched in late June, the exhibit was already the subject of growing controversy.
248. August 13, 2009 Sam Gindin The End of Retirement?
The attack on private sector pensions is not new; while the process has been uneven across time and sectors, private pensions in the U.S. and Canada have been eroding for over a quarter of a century.
247. August 11, 2009 Federico Fuentes Venezuela: Socialist Party Prepares for “Transition to Socialism”
On August 1, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) members across the country participated in 1556 local assemblies to discuss the reorganisation of the party’s base into local patrols.
246. August 9, 2009 Robert McChesney interviewed by Tanner Mirrlees Media Capitalism, the State and 21st Century Media Democracy Struggles
Robert McChesney, eminent historian and political-economist of the media, founder of the Free Press, leading U.S. and international media activist, spoke with Tanner Mirrlees about contemporary media capitalism and 21st century media democracy struggles to understand and change it.
245. August 6, 2009 National Executive Committee of FRSO/OSCL FRSO Statement on Iran: Our Strategy, Theory, and Vision
It is no easier for Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO/OSCL) to understand and respond to the dramatic events now shaking Iran than anyone else. The situation there is confused and fluid, shifting daily. The basic assumptions of Shi’ite society under the Islamic Revolution differ in important ways from our own.
244. August 5, 2009 Don Franks UNITE Union Minimum Wage Campaign in New Zealand: Strengthening the Working Class
One bright star above the gloom of recession in New Zealand is the Unite union’s campaign for a living wage. This campaign takes the form of a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum (CIR) on raising workers pay. In New Zealand, a CIR requires Parliament’s clerk approving wording for a petition that would be voted on nationwide if supported by ten percent of enrolled voters – 300,000 people.
243. August 4, 2009 Vancouver Socialist Forum Statement of Purpose
Vancouver Socialist Forum was founded in 2007 to promote the ideas of socialism and facilitate the political activity of its members. It organizes educational discussions and regular public forums.
242. July 28, 2009 Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin Transcending Pessimism: Rekindling Socialist Imagination
“We're free... we're free.” The last words of Arthur Miller's masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, are uttered, sobbing, by Linda Loman over her husband Willy's grave. Weary and penniless after a life of selling “a smile and a shoeshine,” overwhelmed by feelings of emptiness and failure, yet mesmerized by the thought that his life insurance will provide his estranged son with the stake that might induce him to compete and ‘succeed,’ Willy Loman's suicide famously symbolises the tragic dimension of the relentless competitiveness at the heart of the American capitalist dream.
241. July 27, 2009 Matthew Flisfeder The Toronto ‘Garbage Strike’ and the Critique of Ideology
After six months of contract negotiations with the City of Toronto, union members of CUPE locals 79 (representing inside workers) and 416 (representing outside workers) went on strike on June 22nd, 2009. Twenty-four thousand city workers walked off the job to fight demands from ‘cash-strapped’ city management, which is asking city workers to make concessions in their new contract.
240. July 24, 2009 Sam Gindin; Steven Burdick The Toronto Municipal Strike: Who Do We Get Mad At?
Public sector strikes are frustrating to both the public and the strikers. The public is upset with losing daily services they have come to depend on, while the strikers are upset with the apparent lack of respect for the work they do.
239. July 13, 2009 J. F. Conway Wall Declares War on Organized Labour in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has had a cake walk since defeating Lorne Calvert and the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the November 2007 provincial elections. After Calvert’s resignation and as the NDP went through a leadership contest, Wall enjoyed a period of easy living.
238. July 11, 2009 Phil Stuart Cournoyer The Mass Resistance in Honduras: Its Own Voice
Most of the coverage of the military coup in Honduras from bourgeois and liberal circles, and from many “Western” foreign ministers and departments, has focused on what various governments are doing to influence or force the outcome of this struggle.
237. July 10, 2009 Carlo Fanelli Managing the Crisis in Toronto: Class Power and Striking City Workers
After six months of negotiations without a contract and little movement during collective bargaining, City of Toronto workers in CUPE Locals 79 and 416 went on strike on June 22. Local 79 is the largest municipal local in Canada, with a membership of 18,000 although various contingent, seasonal and part-time workers push estimates of membership upwards to 24,000, while Local 416 has approximately 6,200 members.
236. July 9, 2009 Jeff Noonan The Windsor CUPE Strike: Implications for the Labour Movement and the Left
Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Thursday, July 9th, between Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 82 (outside workers) and Local 543 (inside workers) and the City of Windsor. Local 82 has been on strike since April 15th. Local 543 joined the picket lines one week later.
235. July 8, 2009 Roger Annis Air Canada Workers Reject Wage, Pension Concessions
Members of the largest union at Air Canada have narrowly voted to reject an extraordinary agreement that would have frozen their wages for the next 21 months and allowed the company to suspend payments into the employee pension plan.
234. July 7, 2009 Yves Engler Canada and Honduras
Hostility to the military coup in Honduras is increasing. So is the Harper government's isolation on the issue.
233. July 4, 2009 Socialist Project; OCAP Support CUPE 79 and 416 Toronto City Workers on Strike
CUPE workers at the City of Toronto are now into their second week of a strike. They are holding the line against the drive by government and business employers demanding concessions and wage rollbacks.
232. July 2, 2009 Greg Albo and Herman Rosenfeld Toronto City Workers on Strike: Battling Neoliberal Urbanism
On June 22nd, City of Toronto workers walked off the job leaving garbage uncollected, parks and recreation programmes shutdown, daycares shuttered and a range of services critical to city living suspended.
231. June 30, 2009 Todd Gordon Acceptable Versus Unacceptable Repression: A Lesson in Canadian Imperial Hypocrisy
June has been a difficult month for progressive activists around the world. Mass protests in Iran and indigenous blockades in Peru were met with heavy repression, while a left-of-centre President in Honduras was ousted in a military coup.
230. June 29, 2009 Art Young Pro-Israel Lobby Alarmed by Growth of Boycott, Divestment Movement
The movement to call Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people is growing. It is “invading the mainstream discourse, becoming part of the constant and unrelenting drumbeat against Israel.”
229. June 26, 2009 Sam Gindin Lessons from the Humbling of General Motors
Of all 20th century industries, it was the auto sector that best captured the sway of capitalism and the rise of American dominance. The assembly line showed off capitalism’s remarkable productive potential and the automobile flaunted capitalism’s consumerist possibilities.
228. June 24, 2009 Stephanie Ross and Ron Drouillard Renewing Workers’ Struggles in the Crisis: The Windsor Workers' Action Centre
In 1946, Windsor’s working class was at the epicentre of dramatic changes to Canadian workers’ lives, organizations, and relationships to employers. The settlement of the UAW’s 1945 Ford strike established a key element in the post-war labour-management relationship: the automatic dues check-off, the closed shop, and a basis for unions’ financial security and collective bargaining strength.
227. June 16, 2009 Shourideh Molavi Protests in Iran: Not Just About Stolen Votes
Since the June 12 elections declaring incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner, large scale violence not seen for a decade has erupted in cities throughout Iran. Running against former Prime Minister and opposition candidate Mir Hussein Musavi, news of Ahmadinejad's election victory from the Interior Ministry came less than an hour of the closing of the polls with astonishing statistics.
226. June 15, 2009 Patrick Bond South African Political Power Balance Shifts Left - Though Not Yet Enough to Quell Grassroots Anger
With high-volume class strife heard in the rumbling of wage demands and the friction of township ‘service delivery protests,’ rhetorical and real conflicts are bursting open in every nook and cranny of South Africa.
225. June 11, 2009 Maquila Solidarity Network Are Mexican Workers ‘stealing our jobs’? The Crisis in the Mexican Auto Sector
When the last truck rolled off the assembly line at the General Motors (GM) plant in Oshawa, Ontario on May 14, some workers arrived at the “closure ceremony” wearing sombreros to protest the loss of 1,500 Canadian jobs and the announcement of the opening of new GM plants in Mexico.
224. June 6, 2009 Gilbert Achcar Obama's Cairo Speech
Barack Obama's speech in Cairo on the 4th of June 2009 definitely lived up to expectations – provided we agree on what could have been expected.
223. June 4, 2009 David Mandel The Struggle Has Its Own Dynamic: The Professors' Strike at the Université du Québec à Montréal
The seven-week strike of professors at the Université du Québec in Montréal (UQAM) ended on April 24, 2009 in a significant, if partial, victory. It is, unfortunately, a rare event in contemporary Quebec, and, for that matter, in North-America. It is therefore worth looking into this conflict to see what lessons it might offer of use to other unions.
222. May 30, 2009 Derek Rosin Against All Odds: Revolution in Nepal Moving Forward
Right now, communists are on the verge of what could potentially be the first successful revolution in over a generation. They're internationalists, who boldly proclaim that either we all get to communism, or none of us do.
221. May 25, 2009 Roger Annis NDP, and Working People, Lose Out In BC Election
The May 12 provincial election in British Columbia has left a lot of working people shaking their heads in dismay. A right-wing, anti-environment, and anti-working class government was able to win a third successive term in office, by a comfortable margin no less.
220. May 20, 2009 Noaman Ali and Fathima Cader The War in Sri Lanka and the Left
Since the initial drafting of this piece, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran allegedly has been killed by the Sri Lankan forces and the Tigers have surrendered. According to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa this victory in his military campaign against the LTTE has ushered in an era of peace on the island.
219. May 19, 2009 Rafeef Ziadah Freedom of Expression and Palestine Advocacy
Enormous resources have been marshaled by conservative and Zionist organizations in an attempt to silence criticism of the Canadian government’s unwavering support for Israel. The first few months of 2009 have seen a concerted campaign to shut down Palestine advocacy in Canada.
218. May 18, 2009 Malalai Joya MP for Farah Province Condemns NATO Bombings
Malalai Joya, an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga (Afghan National Assembly), is well known for her criticism of the international occupation of Afghanistan and the warlords who are kept in positions of political and economic power thanks to the Western military forces.
217. May 17, 2009 S.K. Hussan The Tamil Protests: Resistance in the Face of Genocide
On Friday, 15 May 2009, the Sri Lankan army began a sea, air and tri-directional land assault on a single mile of island still believed to be held by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) and considered a “no-fire” zone. Over 80,000 civilians are unaccounted for and believed to be trapped in the sandy region. The army has stated that it attempts to ‘wipe out’ all inhabitants in the “no-fire” zone.
216. May 13, 2009 Roger Annis Unite Union Wins Gains for Vulnerable Workers in New Zealand
The Unite union in New Zealand is the country's newest, and among its most dynamic, trade unions. It is at the forefront of a revitalization of a section of the labour movement in New Zealand that has resulted in thousands of young and marginalized workers gaining union representation for the first time and winning significant wage raises, including to the national minimum wage.
215. May 10, 2009 Tyler Shipley Demanding the Impossible: Struggles for the Future of Post-Secondary Education
There is growing acknowledgement emerging from student and faculty associations across Canada that there is a crisis in post-secondary education and a need for real change in the structure of university funding. This has manifested as a proliferation of student and worker unrest across the country and, indeed, the world;
214. May 8, 2009 Sid Shniad The Smearjob On the UN World Conference Against Racism
In 2001, the United Nations convened the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa, to deal with a range of issues related to racism and its legacies, including the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the appropriation of the land and resources of the world's indigenous peoples, and the human rights of the Palestinians.
213. May 1, 2009 Greg Albo Unions and the Crisis: Ways Forward?
This May Day, the day of celebration of the international working class movement, arrives in the midst of an international crisis of capitalism. For the first time since the 1930s, the world economy is expected to shrink. As a result, some 50 million workers are being added to the numbers of unemployed;
212. Apr 30, 2009 Roger Annis Forum in Vancouver Discusses BC Provincial Election
A few days ago, Vancouver Socialist Forum held a public forum on “The BC Election and Movements for Social Change.” The goal of the forum was to inject some discussion and debate into what is an election campaign nearly devoid of solutions to the concerns of working class people. Voters go to the polls on May 12.
211. Apr 28, 2009 Justin Podur For Free Expression on Palestine
On April 15, 2009, a number of organizations launched a campaign in Toronto to demand the right to free expression on the Israel/Palestine conflict with an event on the University of Toronto campus. Some 100-150 people attended. Speakers addressed several recent cases of suppression of free expression on the issue of Israel/Palestine.
210. Apr 27, 2009 Roger Rashi Canada's Big Five: Banking on the Crisis?
On the eve of the G-20 summit in London, Prime Minister Harper sang the praises of Canada's big banks to the UK financial press: “[we have] the most free-enterprise financial sector in the world. We’re the only one not nationalising or partially nationalising or de facto nationalising [the banks].”
209. Apr 25, 2009 Michael Skinner Reframing the War in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a Class War
The fact that the Taliban is a party of the peasant classes, but certainly not the only one, is not news in Afghanistan or Pakistan. It is thus interesting that The New York Times (“Taliban Exploit Class Rifts to Gain Ground in Pakistan,” 16 April 2009) is now exploiting the fact the Taliban do represent significant groups of peasants as if this is news.
208. Apr 24, 2009 Ananya Mukherjee Reed “How is India?”
“How is India?” asked an erudite friend of mine from North America soon after I reached India last December. How indeed? I write this piece this week as India goes to the polls: a mammoth process involving 714 million voters is about to unfold over the next one month.
207. Apr 22, 2009 S.K. Hussan and Mac Scott Jason Kenney's Doublespeak Exposed: Tories Unleash Canada Border Services on Migrants
It is hard to write an article about Conservative Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's attacks on Canadian racialized communities. As soon as one draft is complete, Kenney is at it again, spinning new lies and venting hateful rhetoric. In a federal cabinet chock-a-block with unsavory characters, Kenney stands first in line. Kenney has expanded his use of arbitrary power and has moved with stealth to significantly reduce the number of family-class immigrants applying from countries of the Global South.
206. Apr 21, 2009 Documents The Economic Model Is in Need of Change
That the Latin American Left has been leading the struggle against neoliberalism and beginning the process to define a 21st century socialism is by now hardly a discovery. This last week two more remarkable documents in this political process were released. Both serve as an important counterpoint to the 5th Summit of the Americas over the last weekend, where President Obama of the U.S. and Prime Minister Harper of Canada did their best to sustain North American hegemony over the region and the neoliberal project for the hemisphere.
205. Apr 19, 2009 Todd Gordon Colonialism and the Economic Crisis in Canada
The Left in Canada has been quick to point out the shortcomings of the Conservative government's official response to the recession. Not surprisingly, the response doesn't mark a departure from their knee-jerk pro-capital and anti-worker reflexes.
204. Apr 17, 2009 Gregg Shotwell When We Are Led to Believe a Lie
If you believe the Motley Fool and other “stock advisors” in the business press, 90% of General Motor's (GM) losses can be attributed to the United Auto Workers (UAW) which accounts for 10% of a vehicle's cost.
203. Apr 16, 2009 Jim Reid Complicit, Complacent or Committed? Proposals to Build Pension Security for All Workers
Last summer, Buzz Hargrove, the soon to be former President of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), insisted – along with General Motors (GM) executives – that pension fears were unwarranted. Asked about the possibility of a worst case scenario that included GM pensions being reduced, Hargrove responded that this would be “so remote a possibility it's not worth speculating on” (Toronto Star, August 8, 2008).
202. Apr 11, 2009 Rosa Luxemburg Foundation The Crisis of Finance Capitalism: Challenges For The Left
The brave new world of neoliberalism lies in ruins. Its wealth turned out to be based on robbery, sham and deceit. The Left is in a new situation. Without its self-transformation and development of a capacity to act that is adequate for these times, it will squander for a long time any possibility of becoming a force of social, ecological, democratic and peace-promoting social transformation beyond capitalism.
201. Apr 10, 2009 Ivan Drury United Europe Represses the Right to Protest Against NATO
On April 4th the leaders of the NATO member countries met on the French-German border in Strasbourg France for the 60th anniversary of NATO. At this meeting the U.S. was to propose an escalation of the war in Afghanistan and ask for greater troop commitment from NATO countries.
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