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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
500. May 10, 2011 Sam Gindin Unionism, Austerity, and the Left
Clearly these are not very good times for public sector unions, not only in Canada but worldwide. What characterizes the current situation? How does it differ from what unions have faced historically and how they could respond, not only in the 1990s, but during their formation in the 1960s?
499. May 9, 2011 John Riddell Progress in Bolivia: A Reply to Jeff Webber
Six years after Bolivians elected their first Indigenous-led government, their ongoing struggle for national and social liberation remains a subject of debate and disagreement among socialists around the world.
498. May 6, 2011 Colin Leys What Matters Is What Works
After forty years of ideological onslaught the very idea of 'the state' is close to joining others, such as 'collective' (not to mention 'socialist,' and even 'left'), in the depository of Unclean Concepts. 'State bad, private good' may be a crude and simplistic slogan, but it is the very real starting-point of many politicians and most media commentators and BBC interviewers.
497. May 4, 2011 David McNally And They Call This a Recovery?
The strut of confidence is gone and the jitters are back. A flurry of dreadful statistics at the end of April made sure of that. On April 26 came the news that the British economy grew a mere 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2011.
496. April 30, 2011 Anti-Austerity Struggles and the Canadian Election
The economic crisis that whipped across the advanced capitalist countries in 2007-09 has now moved into a phase of unprecedented government austerity. Rather than spelling the end of neoliberalism, the response to the crisis is intensifying its primary distributional and administrative norms.
495. April 25, 2011 John Riddell Montreal Conference Rallies Support for Rights of Nature
Bolivia marked Earth Day (April 22) this year by formulating the Law of Mother Earth, which - when adopted - will establish eleven new rights for nature, including the rights not to be polluted and to continue vital cycles free from human interference.
494. April 21, 2011 Edgardo Lander The Path for Venezuela Cannot Be Neoliberalism or Stalinism
Edgardo Lander is Professor of Social Sciences at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. Lander is one of the leading thinkers and writers on the left in Venezuela, both supportive and constructively critical of the Venezuelan revolution under Chavez.
493. April 20, 2011 Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Hana Al Bayaty, Ian Douglas and Mohammad Ammar Using Libya to Abort the Arab Spring
We said on 18 January in our article "The Arab Spring of Democracy" that all Arab states share the same characteristics, and from this deduction that the same conditions will produce the same results.
492. April 14, 2011 Leo Panitch Rebuilding the Left in a Time of Crisis
Leo Panitch is interviewed by Edward Lewis about the long crisis of the left and his ideas for a reinvigorated anti-capitalist strategy. The discussion focuses on the labour movement, class and identity politics, proposal for a new kind of political party as well as some of the immediate questions faced by the left at the present juncture.
491. April 12, 2011 Richard Fidler 'Beyond capitalism'?: Québec Solidaire Launches Debate On Its Program For Social Transform
At a convention held in Montreal on March 25-27, Québec solidaire concluded the second round in the process of adopting its program. More than 350 delegates from party associations across the province debated and adopted the party's stance on issues in relation to the economy, ecology and labour.
490. April 11, 2011 Art Young The Two Wars in Libya
Two wars are being waged simultaneously in Libya. One has grown out of a revolutionary struggle for democracy; the other is an attempt by imperialism to strengthen its domination of the country. Both wars appear to share the goal of 'regime change' but they stand at opposite ends of the political spectrum.
489. April 9, 2011 Vagia Lysikatou Greece: The Struggle of the 300 Immigrant Hunger Strikers Ends in Victory
The desperate struggle of the 300 immigrant workers, who started a hunger strike on 25 January in Athens and Thessaloniki ended in a victory. The 300 immigrants endangered their lives in order to demand their self-evident right to a life in dignity.
488. April 8, 2011 Hilary Wainwright A New Trade Unionism in the Making?
As the financial crisis has mutated in its latest phase into a crisis of public sector finances and debt, a fundamental attack has been evolving across the advanced capitalist countries on public services and public sector unions.
487. April 7, 2011 Jenny Peto Why the Town of Markham is so Concerned About Israeli Apartheid Week
The battle over Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) has reached 'the 905' as the Town of Markham, a suburb just north of Toronto, has decided to take its own swing at IAW. Councillor Howard Shore introduced a motion calling on the Town of Markham to ban IAW and to pressure York University to do the same. The motion was first debated in March 2011 and will be brought to council again on April 11, 2011.
486. April 6, 2011 Alan Sears Fighting Mayor Ford's Austerity Regime
Workers in Wisconsin have responded to attempts to destroy collective bargaining rights in the public sector with massive protest actions. These actions have galvanized workers in other states to confront their own employers and to support the movement in Wisconsin.
485. April 5, 2011 Marko Kostanic Anti-Government Protests in Croatia: Changing Politics
Anti-government protests have continued for more than a month in a dozen towns across Croatia. The largest have been in the capital, Zagreb, which have gathered more than 10,000 people at a time.
484. April 1, 2011 John Clarke Austerity, Resistance and the Poor
On April 1, the Dalton McGuinty government, will introduce a new version of the Special Diet benefit for those on Social Assistance. This vital benefit, which provides up to $250 a month in additional income to people on assistance, has been accessed by tens of thousands of people over the last five years and has been the only means to alleviate the extreme poverty and ill health caused by grossly inadequate social assistance rates.
483. March 31, 2011 Gilbert Achcar; Kevin Ovenden Two Views on the NATO Military Intervention in Libya
The United Nations-NATO military intervention in the Libyan civil war has posed a challenging question for socialists in Canada -- all the more given the active participation of the Canadian armed forces in the air war.
482. March 28, 2011 Gord Wilson Ontario's Bill 150 and the Right to Strike
One of the first things that right-wing populist Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, did after getting elected in the fall of 2010 was to call for the elimination of the right to strike of Toronto Transit workers -- organized in the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). Ford declared that Toronto public transit be designated an 'essential service.'
481. March 24, 2011 Matt Swagler Tunisia's Ongoing Revolution
An eventful two months have passed since mass protests toppled former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali -- largely out of the media spotlight once the revolution spread to Egypt, but with great importance for the struggle for democracy and justice, in Tunisia and beyond.
480. March 18, 2011 Ali Mustafa No Fare is Fair
A roundtable discussion with members of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly Free and Accessible Transit Committee.
479. March 15, 2011 Jeffery R. Webber From Red October to Evo Morales
The Politics of Rebellion and Reform in Bolivia. Interview with Jeffery R. Webber on his two books on Bolivian politics out this year.
478. March 10, 2011 Chris Dewar and Alex Ramirez Class and Conflict in the University Sector
The Great Recession brought on by the financial crisis of 2007-09 entered a new phase in 2010 with a turn to public sector austerity. The focus has initially been on Greece, Ireland and Britain, as the key countries where financial excesses were shoved into the public sector, and a sovereign debt crisis precipitated.
477. March 7, 2011 Abbie Bakan Israeli Apartheid: A Socialist View
John Greyson -- filmmaker, writer, queer activist and professor at York University in Toronto -- recently produced Vuvuzela. This short video cleverly portrays the growing participation of musicians in the cultural boycott of Israel as a contest of soccer teams on the world stage.
476. March 6, 2011 Matthew Brett Libya and the Danger of Humanitarian Intervention
Events are rapidly unfolding in Libya and the surrounding region, and military intervention appears to be an increasing reality as the hours pass. One look at the principal Western nations deploying their military forces to the Mediterranean says a great deal: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France.
475. March 5, 2011 Mary-Jo Nadeau and Alan Sears This Is What Complicity Looks Like: Palestine and the Silencing Campaign on Campus
The campaign to silence Palestine solidarity reaches its annual crescendo during Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). As IAW 2011 approaches, we need to prepare for another round of silencing. This means assessing the silencing campaign and the experience of standing up for free expression over the last few years.
474. March 3, 2011 Todd Gordon Military Coups are Good for Canadian Business: The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement
Last week Canadian negotiators met with their Honduran counterparts in Tegucigalpa to discuss a free trade agreement (FTA). Negotiators from the two countries last met in Ottawa in December. According to the Honduran press, an agreement is close to being completed.
473. March 2, 2011 Sean Smith The United Left Alliance and the Rise of Working-Class Politics in Ireland
On Friday February 25th, the Irish people voted in what Fine Gael's leader Enda Kenny proclaimed a 'democratic revolution.' The results of this election are transformative with the unparalleled decimation of the once dominate Fianna Fail.
472. March 1, 2011 John Riddell How Can We Aid Libya's Freedom Movement?
The brutal massacres of civilians in Libya at the order of the country's dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, have shocked the world. His air force has carried out air strikes against unarmed civilians. On February 25, Gaddafi followers aimed murderous fire on anti-government protests in his last stronghold, Tripoli.
471. February 26, 2011 Alan Sears 30 Years On: The Toronto Bathhouse Raids and Sexual and Gender Liberation
On February 5, 1981 150 Toronto cops busted into four gay bathhouses and arrested 306 people on charges of being found-ins or keepers of common bawdyhouses. These arrests were deliberately conducted so as to humiliate and terrify the men who were charged.
470. February 25, 2011 Vishwas Satgar The World Social Forum and the Battle for COP17
In a world plunged ever deeper into an uncivilized global capitalist condition, the World Social Forum (WSF) is a crucial beacon of hope. At its recent gathering in Dakar, Senegal the news of the unfolding democratic revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt electrified the spirit of optimism pervading the multiple axes of deliberation.
469. February 24, 2011 Ali Kadri A Period of Revolutionary Fervour
Just a week after the Tunisian revolution, at a conference in Beirut, an astute Egyptian social scientist was asked, would the Tunisian contagion spread to Egypt? And his answer was a categorical, 'it is not likely, Egyptians are religious, conservative...'
468. February 23, 2011 Roger Annis Failed Reconstruction in Haiti Debated in Canada
The first anniversary of Haiti's devastating earthquake was marked in Canada by widespread media disclosures concerning the failure of the international relief effort. Reports showed that considerable barriers exist to delivering the aid and reconstruction so desperately needed one year later.
467. February 22, 2011 Ali Mustafa Tahrir Square: This is What Democracy Looks Like!
Since the Egyptian revolution's first mass protests exploded throughout the country on January 25th, many so-called pundits and analysts have frantically struggled to find a suitable historical parallel in order to make sense of the situation to the outside world.
466. February 21, 2011 Dan La Botz A New American Workers' Movement Has Begun
Thousands of workers demonstrated at the state capital in Madison, Wisconsin on February 15 and 16 to protest plans by that state's Republican Governor Scott Walker to take away the state workers' union rights.
465. February 18, 2011 Nada Matta The Egyptian Uprising and Workers' Grievances
It is too early to give an explanation for the Egyptian revolt. Much still needs to be understood about the character and the driving forces behind this sustained mass mobilization, as well as its dynamic and development. Some initial thoughts could still be entertained, however, especially with regards to the nature of the protestors' demands.
464. February 16, 2011 Patrick Bond From Cairo to Dakar to Durban, Another World Actually Is Possible!
Last week's World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, ended up riotously happy thanks to the eviction of a universally-hated Egyptian Pharoah, after near-debilitating logistical disasters at the event's outset. Each year, in order to oppose the corporate agenda of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, tens of thousands of social activists gather to define why Another World is Possible!
463. February 15, 2011 Hossam el-Hamalawy The Workers, Middle Class, Military Junta and the Permanent Revolution
Since yesterday (11 February), and actually earlier, middle-class activists have been urging Egyptians to suspend the protests and return to work, in the name of patriotism, singing some of the most ridiculous lullabies about "let's build new Egypt," "Let's work harder than even before," etc.
462. February 14, 2011 Adam Hanieh Egypt's Uprising: Not Just a Question of 'Transition'
The events of the last weeks are one of those historical moments where the lessons of many decades can be telescoped into a few brief moments and seemingly minor occurrences can take on immense significance.
461. February 12, 2011 Saladdin Ahmed Dead Hope: The Capitalist West Cannot Afford a Free Middle East
On Feb 1, 2011 in a remark on the riots of the Egyptians Obama stated, "Now, it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt's leaders. Only the Egyptian people can do that."
460. February 11, 2011 David McNally Mubarak's Folly: The Rising of Egypt's Workers
Rarely do our rulers look more absurd than when faced with a popular upheaval. As fear and apathy are broken, ordinary people -- housewives, students, sanitation workers, the unemployed -- remake themselves. Having been objects of history, they become its agents.
459. February 7, 2011 Gilbert Achcar Whither Egypt?
To help explain the thrilling developments in Egypt, Farooq Sulehria interviewed leading Arab scholar-activist Gilbert Achcar on February 4, 2011.
458. February 3, 2011 Paddy Quick The Great Recession and the Deficit
The Great Recession will take a long time to come to an end. Even the most optimistic forecasters expect the official unemployment rate in the U.S. to stay above 9 per cent through 2011, and it may be 4 or even more years before we get back to the same level of employment we had before the recession began.
457. February 1, 2011 Hicham Safieddine Tomorrow's Tunis and Egypt: Reform or Revolution?
Arab uprisings are taking place with the historical speed of light. I began writing this piece following the downfall of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali and closed with the imminent downfall of the Egyptian one Hosni Mubarak. The Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings are not, as some armchair pundits called the Tunisian one, Jasmine Revolutions.
456. January 31, 2011 Mark LeVine Interview with Hossam el-Hamalawy
Mark LeVine, professor of History at UC Irvine, managed to catch up with blogger Hossam el-Hamalawy via Skype to get a first-hand account of events unfolding in Egypt.
455. January 19, 2011 David McNally Night in Tunisia: Riots, Strikes and a Spreading Insurgency
Popular upheavals always carry a distinct sonic resonance. The cascading chants that reverberate through the streets, the roar of the crowd as it drives back the riot police and seizes the city square - all this and more produces an unmistakable acoustic effect.
454. January 14, 2011 David McNally Like We Said, It's a Global Slump
I have never accepted the postmodernist contention that contemporary capitalism is all about smoke and mirrors. The notion that ideology and illusion make the system go round strikes me as another mode of reductionism - this one based on culture rather than, say, economics.
453. January 12, 2011 Brian Tierney Will U.S. Labour Challenge Austerity?
Across the U.S., working-class people are struggling, scraping together meager sums in order to get by. In state and local governments throughout the country, workers are watching public services slashed in the name of balanced budgets.
452. January 10, 2011 Michel Husson A European Strategy for the Left
The global effects of the crisis have been made even worse by what is happening in Europe. For thirty years the contradictions of capitalism have been overcome with the help of an enormous accumulation of phantom rights to surplus value.
451. January 6, 2011 Jim Stanford Halo Came Off Canadian Recovery as 2010 Drew to Close
Canada's recovery from the 2008-09 recession ground to a painful halt during the second half of 2010. The economy created no net new jobs from the summer onward, economic growth slowed to a crawl, and the nation's current account deficit reached a record size.
450. January 5, 2011 Carlo Fanelli and James Meades Opening Ontario and Constraining Collective Bargaining
As austerity measures intensify around the world, the axe has come down particularly hard on post-secondary education. So-called education 'reform' has shown itself to be a lightning rod for confrontation.
449. January 4, 2011 The LeftBanker Portugal: The Prospect of a Full Bailout and More Austerity Looms in 2011
A full financial bailout of Portugal involving the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund looks set to happen in the first half of 2011. This will involve severe austerity conditions being imposed on the Portuguese people by the ECB and IMF.
448. January 3, 2011 Martin Hart-Landsberg What's Happening On The Korean Peninsula?
What's happening on the Korean peninsula? If you read the press or listen to the talking heads, your best guess would be that an insane North Korean regime is willing to risk war to manage its own internal political tensions.
447. December 29, 2010 David Mandel Working-Class Solidarity or Colonial Complicity? Quebec Unions and Asbestos
The struggle for workplace health and safety is undoubtedly one of the most noble aspects of the labour movement. It is a struggle for human dignity, the refusal of workers to sacrifice their health and years of their lives in order to earn a living and support their families.
446. December 27, 2010 Jordy Cummings and Patrick D. LeGay Public Sector Unions and the Consultations for Austerity
Nearly six months have gone since the G20 Summit in Toronto when we supposedly entered what some have referred to as "permanent austerity" -- the "new normal" of capitalist social relations. Whilst using the significant resources of the state to inject liquidity into markets and ensure corporate and banking profits, ruling classes simultaneously are cutting public services across the board...
445. December 24, 2010 Michael Skinner Bottom of the 4th Inning of the Great Game: Afghanistan is Now Open for Business
Many of the Canadian military, police, and civilian personnel who risk their lives in Afghanistan truly believe they are fighting a just war of good against evil. But America's and Britain's claims that the unsanctioned unilateral invasion of Afghanistan, which began the Global War on Terror, was justified by the terrorist attacks of 9/11 are as credible as claims the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian terrorist justified Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia to begin WWI.
444. December 23, 2010 Paul Kellogg Message to the U.S. - Blame the Wars, not China
There is a growing chorus of voices in the media and the academy singling out the actions of the Chinese state as central to the dilemmas of the world economy. This focus finds its most articulate presentations, not in the xenophobia of the right, but in the polite analysis of many left-liberals.
443. December 21, 2010 Ingo Schmidt European Monetary Union: Muddling Through, Falling Apart, Going Where?
Springtime in Athens, Dublin in the fall. Lisbon next time or Madrid? The sparks of public deficits, foreign debt, and soaring risk premiums have lit a fire of fiscal and debt crises in the European periphery that have even inflamed the corridors of Euro-power -- the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the capitals of the European Union heavyweights of France and Germany.
442. December 18, 2010 Oliver Huitson Student Protests and the Emerging Discontent of Youth
The 'iPod generation' have long been written off as apathetic, pampered wasters; a collection of illiterate Nathan Barleys draining their parents resources. Yet, from the storming of Tory HQ to campus occupations across the country, it is those same youth now leading public resistance to the Coalition's cuts.
441. December 17, 2010 Murray Smith France: Not Victorious, But Not Defeated
It is now possible to begin to draw a tentative balance sheet of the vast movement against the reform (or more exactly, counter-reform) of the pension system in France over the last few months. We need to look at the depth and breadth of the movement, the forms that it took and the positions adopted by its various components.
440. December 16, 2010 John Riddell 'Ask Afghans what would help them, don't ask Karzai'
Mike Skinner, co-founder of the Afghanistan-Canadian Research Group and a researcher at the York Centre for International and Security Studies in Toronto, believes a simple question is being left out of the debate about Canada's continued military involvement in Afghanistan: "Why are we there?" It is a no-brainer to ask this but there are no easy answers it appears.
439. December 15, 2010 Patrick Bond 'Climate Capitalism' Won At Cancun - Everyone Else Loses
The December 11 closure of the 16th Conference of the Parties - the global climate summit - in balmy Cancun was portrayed by most participants and mainstream journalists as a victory, a 'step forward.' Bragged U.S. State Department lead negotiator Todd Stern, "Ideas that were first of all, skeletal last year, and not approved, are now approved and elaborated."
438. December 10, 2010 Rebecca Schein Free Transit and Movement Building
The demonstrations surrounding the G20 summit in Toronto unfolded more or less as scripted. The state spent obscene amounts of public money to install security cameras in Toronto's streets, build an enormous fence, and augment the capacities of the local, provincial, and national police forces, both logistically and legally.
437. December 6, 2010 Camila Pi?eiro Harnecker Risks in Expanding Non-state Enterprises in the Cuban Economy
This article is intended to call attention to the most important negative consequences that the recently announced decision to permit free hiring of salaried labour could generate in Cuban society. It also attempts to suggest some measures to increase the possibilities that the new non-state enterprises may contribute to the development of the Cuban economy in consolidating our socialist development.
436. December 5, 2010 Leo Panitch Thousands Protest Irish Nightmare Economy
Last weekend in Ireland, thousands of people demonstrated against austerity measures and against bearing the burden of the Irish crisis. Just how did the Irish miracle turn into the Irish nightmare? Paul Jay of The Real News Network recently interviewed Leo Panitch.
435. December 3, 2010 Chris Williams Climate Inaction Conference
"If Cancun delivers nothing, or not much, then the UN process is in danger." So said Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action, ahead of the UN-sponsored climate change summit taking place in Mexico through December 10. The negotiations are known as COP-16...
434. December 1, 2010 Tim Kennelly and Roger Annis Extension of Afghan Military Deployment Stirs Debate and Protests in Canada
On November 11, Remembrance Day, Canada's prime minister Stephen Harper announced that his government has unilaterally decided, without even a debate or vote in Parliament, to extend Canada's military 'mission' in Afghanistan for three more years, until 2014.
433. November 29, 2010 Todd Gordon Canadian Imperalism Stumbles Onward
Imperialism is obviously not always conducted with the frightening roar and unmistakeable destruction of shock and awe. In such moments does the power and horror of imperialism become crystal clear. More often than not, though, imperialist power is projected less dramatically.
432. November 26, 2010 John Clarke OCAP Marks its First Twenty Years
Twenty years ago this month, the founding conference of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) took place. In the two decades that have followed, OCAP has organized and mobilized communities under attack in the context of an advancing agenda of neoliberalism.
431. November 25, 2010 Rick Rozoff Timetable Abandoned: U.S. And NATO To Wage Endless War In Afghanistan
The mainstream news media and alternative sources alike have seized on a recent revelation -- though it is hardly such -- that "The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to remove emphasis from Barack Obama's pledge that he would begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011."
430. November 23, 2010 Jordy Cummings Austerity, Disabilities and Union Rights: Opposing Bill 83
On the twenty-eighth of October, a bill passed Second Reading in the Ontario Legislature, a bill that is a clear danger to the labour movement's ability to win fair contracts and defend public services. Bill 83 which essentially outlaws picketing outside of group homes housing people with intellectual and other disabilities that require home-care.
429. November 16, 2010 Patrick Bond Returning to the Gold Standard is Not a Good Idea
Should we take seriously the idea, promoted by World Bank president Robert Zoellick, to partially root the global monetary system in gold? Is gold, as he claims, an "elephant in the room" because it might play a constructive role in reducing speculative turbulence and structural imbalances...
428. November 11, 2010 Trevor Ngwane South Africa in 2010: A History That Must Happen
South Africa is a country on a roller coaster to disaster. A recent paper written by the leadership of COSATU attests to this. While the paper argues that the country is at a crossroads, a close reading reveals a deep anxiety and even panic among union leaders who are very worried and suggest that the country is heading toward crisis.
427. November 8, 2010 Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui 1810, 1910, 2010 and Mexican Labour
In the midst of a deep depression, an ongoing crisis of legitimacy and a brutal internal war amongst the different fractions of the drug cartel/state complex, Mexico is celebrating its two great revolutions, the Revolution of Independence (1810) and the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).
426. November 3, 2010 Paul Kellogg Ecuador and Venezuela: Danger South of the Border
It is not difficult to see that the events of September 30, in the Latin American country of Ecuador, amounted to an attempted right-wing coup d'état. Mass mobilizations in the streets and plazas of Quito and other cities - in conjunction with action by sections of the armed forces which stayed loyal to the government - stopped the coup before the day was out.
425. November 2, 2010 Rick Wolff Economic Crisis and Tax Injustice
The Associated Press's Robin Hindery reported on October 29, 2010 that the AP had found a remarkable fact: communities across the U.S. have been raising their local property taxes. The AP surveyed 39 states and studied 2,387 revenue measures that came before town, city, and county voters. In most of those elections, voters favored measures that raised their own property tax rates.
424. October 27, 2010 Linda Averill Drivers and Riders Unite!
Fare hikes, layoffs, and service cuts decimate public transit - In 2008, when gas prices spiked, so did transit ridership, reaching 10.7 billion trips in the United States. Hard times make this service even more essential to millions of people.
423. October 25, 2010 Interview with Charles-Andre Udry The Revolt Shaking France
Strikes and protests have spread to every corner of France as President Nicolas Sarkozy pushes for a final vote in parliament on his proposal to 'reform' the country's national pension system. Every day last week has seen strikes, blockades and demonstrations.
422. October 20, 2010 Ritch Whyman Rob Ford and the Rise of the Municipal Right
For years, mayoral candidate Rob Ford has presented himself as the champion of the 'little guy' and a tax fighter. The reality is that he inherited a printing business from his father -- a member of the Harris Government -- and has used the wealth from that business to pay for his office and supplies -- something very few 'little guys' can do.
421. October 19, 2010 Karen Wirsig Workers Without Status in France Emerge as a Social Force
At the end of the afternoon of May 27, a mass demonstration marched into the Place de la Bastille in Paris. The march itself represented what can now be viewed as a low point in the national union mobilizations to challenge the proposed weakening of France's public pension regime and other reactionary responses of Nicholas Sarkozy's government to the world economic crisis.
420. October 17, 2010 Heather McLean Competitive Creativity? Arts and Culture in Toronto's Mayoral Debates
On September 29th at the Toronto mayoral debate on arts and culture at the Art Gallery of Ontario, variations of business-friendly urban policies were presented to Toronto's arts community. Surrounded by Frank Gehry's architectural design in one of Toronto's 'world class' culture institutions, a diverse crowd came to hear the leading candidate's thoughts about the role of culture in Toronto.
419. October 13, 2010 Stefan Kipfer The Hordes at the Gate? Hard-Right Populism Defines Toronto Mayoral Election
For months, Toronto has been enthralled by mayoral candidate, smallish capitalist, and friend of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Rob Ford. Much to the surprise of commentators in the 'respectable' bourgeois press of the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, the city councillor from Northern Etobicoke has been leading the mayoral race from his position at the hard right fringe of Toronto politics.
418. October 8, 2010 Andrew Jackson Mark Carney on the 'Natural Rate' of Unemployment
I was disturbed to read this comment on the current state of the U.S. economy in Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney's speech last week: "The natural rate of (U.S.) unemployment may be increasing sharply..." Why is this disturbing?
417. October 3, 2010 Scott Neigh Striking in a Time of Austerity: The NOSM Strike in Northern Ontario
The 150 members of Unit 2 of OPSEU Local 677 have been on strike since August 16. The office, technical, and administrative workers at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) went on strike after almost a year of negotiations to try and achieve a first collective agreement. At the forefront of the struggle are basic quality-of-work and quality-of-life issues.
416. September 22, 2010 Jeffery R. Webber and Susan Spronk Venezuela: Voices on the Struggle
In mid-June 2010, we caught up with three revolutionary socialist activists, Gonzalo Gomez, Stalin Perez Borges, and Luis Primo in Caracas, Venezuela to discuss their views on the contradictions and prospects of the Bolivarian process.
415. September 20, 2010 Roger Annis Rally Protests Continued Detention of Tamil Asylum Seekers in BC
Seventy-five people staged a noisy rally in Vancouver on September 11 in support of 492 Tamil asylum seekers who landed on Canada's west coast on August 13.
414. September 10, 2010 Michael A. Lebowitz The Spectre of Barbarism and its Alternative
The following two documents are presentations made or prepared for different purposes in Venezuela. The first was presented at a conference of Venezuelan intellectuals organized by Centro Internacional Miranda (CIM) in Caracas on 'The New International Situation and Construction of Socialism in the 21st Century' on 1 October 2009.
413. September 8, 2010 Matthew Brett The Bank of Canada and the Crisis
Central banks are generally perceived as physiotherapists of sorts: squeezing the money supply and interest rates here and engaging in 'quantitative easing' there in order to revive the battered body of capital. But the reality is that central banks are deeply political institutions serving the general interest of a particular economic class.
412. September 6, 2010 Greg Albo and Bryan Evans Labour Day 2010: Austerity, Public Services and the Labour Movement
This Labour Day, like the last two, is dominated by the ongoing global economic crisis. Since 2008 Canada's workers, working families, and the communities in which we make our lives, have endured a period of deep economic insecurity the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression.
411. September 5, 2010 Ali Mustafa; John Riddell and Art Young Weighing Up the G20: From Toronto to Korea to the Left
The G20 meetings in Seoul, Korea are scheduled for November 11-12. It is clear that like the Toronto meetings of June that they will be pre-occupied with the world economy, the ongoing financial crisis, and the push for austerity against concerns of a second sharp fall in economic growth.
410. September 3, 2010 Matt Fodor Fueling the Tax Revolt: What's Wrong with the NDP's Anti-HST Campaign
The NDP has devoted much of its energy in recent months to opposing the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario and British Columbia. The new taxes came into effect on July 1, 2010. Much of the Canadian Left has been supportive of the anti-HST campaign on the grounds that consumption taxes are regressive (i.e. people pay the same rate of tax regardless of income).
409. August 29, 2010 Jordy Cummings The Class Struggle in Vaughan: The Sears Lockout and USW
In the last week of July 2010, workers of United Steelworkers Local 9537, who have been locked out of their workplace and on the picket-lines for nearly five months, found a big pile of shit sitting right smack-dab by their picket-line outside of a warehouse in Vaughan, just north of Toronto.
408. August 26, 2010 Ryan Katz-Rosene Whatever It Takes: Protecting the Tar Sands, Protecting Capitalism
Something is rotten in the province of Alberta! And it's not just the tar sands. It's the way political and corporate elites do whatever it takes to extinguish potential threats to the bituminous megaproject. The attempt to protect the tar sands from criticism can be framed as a part of a broader effort to protect the 'rights' of private interests to profit from bitumen production.
407. August 25, 2010 Tim Kennelly Afghanistan Crisis Deepens: U.S., Canada and NATO Threaten to Extend War
On March 13, 2008, Canada's Parliament voted to extend the country's military 'mission' in Afghanistan to July 2011. The motion by the minority Conservative government was supported by the opposition Liberals. The warmakers correctly estimated that fixing an exit date would deflect mounting opposition to the war among the Canadian public and buy time for Canada's continued participation.
406. August 24, 2010 Roger Rashi After A Highly Successful Year, Quebec Solidaire Starts Debate On Program
In the past year Amir Khadir, Québec Solidaire's first elected MNA, has become one of Quebec's most popular personalities. He has won plaudits from all observers and more importantly, from the public for his performance in and out of the Quebec parliament.
405. August 23, 2010 Patrick Bond South African Public Sector Strike Highlights Society's Contradictions
The two major civil service unions on strike against the South African government vow to intensify pressure in coming days, in a struggle pitting a million members of the middle and lower ranks of society against a confident government leadership fresh from hosting the FIFA World Cup.
404. August 20, 2010 Federico Fuentes; Jeffery R. Webber Two Takes on the Bolivian Uprising in Potosi
The Andean countries in Latin America have been at the centre of attempts to form anti-neoliberal political alliances and put on the agenda a 21st century socialism. Bolivia has formed an important crucible for these struggles.
403. August 19, 2010 France Must Repay Historic Debt to Haiti!
Below is an English translation of an open letter to the French government published in the August 16 French daily Libération, concerning the $21-billion (current dollar equivalent) extorted by France from Haiti from 1825 to 1944. This was the 'independence debt' that France imposed on Haiti as a condition for diplomatic and trade relations, under threat of military intervention.
402. August 17, 2010 Snehal Shingavi Pakistan: From Natural Disaster to Social Catastrophe
The floods which have devastated huge areas of Pakistan may be an act of nature, but the worsening humanitarian crisis that followed is a direct result of the failures of Pakistan's venal leaders -- and the impact of the U.S. 'war on terror.'
401. August 8, 2010 Roger Annis Canada's Failed Aid to Haiti
The six month mark after Haiti's January 12 earthquake saw a flurry of news reports in Canada and around the world. The depictions of the harsh conditions still prevailing for most earthquake victims took many people by surprise.
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