Toronto – 20 April 2017.
Since 1994, the political leaders of South Africa have attempted to solve the national question through the ‘de-racialization’ of the economy and society. How to remake the state without addressing the benefits and misfortunes of capitalism and racism in South Africa? The ANC-led governments linked the struggle against racism to the national task of creating and strengthening a black capitalist class. This was an integral part of their attempt at de-racialization within the class and property relations of capitalism. But the misfortunes of capitalism and racism in South Africa continue to take the form of mass poverty for the majority of its people. And in post-apartheid South Africa the wealth and privileges of the beneficiaries of apartheid have been protected even with apartheid's end. Only a tiny minority of blacks have entered into the capitalist class, often through connections to the state and the governing group.
The current government of President Jacob Zuma is witness to major brawls between rival elite factions, amidst growing corruption scandals. The historical alliance between the ANC, the SACP and COSATU is fracturing. Protests and demonstrations calling for Zuma to resign are growing. Out of this ruin, a new South African working class movement may yet emerge.
Eli Kodisang has been involved in South African left politics and struggle for almost thirty years. He was a local and national organizer and educator in various COSATU unions, and then moved to Khanya College, a left NGO that provides support and political education for community and informal worker movements. He is currently organizing informal waste pickers and completing a Masters in Education and Work.
Toronto – 13 April 2017.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an agenda of austerity and privatization? This important debate features two speakers speaking in favour of the left support for Basic Income and two against.
Opening remarks: Kikélola Roach, Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson University. Moderator: Avi Lewis, The Leap.
- John Clarke, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) [speaking against]
- Jessica Sikora, OPSEU Local 586 [speaking against]
- Josephine Grey, Low Income Families Together (LIFT) [speaking in favour]
- Guy Caron, MP (NDP) and Federal Leadership Candidate [speaking in favour]
Hosted in partnership with: OCAP, OPIRG-Toronto, OPSEU Local 586, Ryerson Centre for Policy Innovation and Public Engagement, The Leap, Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy.
Organizing Passengers and Building Power
The essential training for understanding what is at stake for transit unions, learning how to mobilize their members and riders, and learning how to mount campaigns to save jobs and the transit systems that our communities depend on.
These two videos are sections of a two-part on-line training course, produced by the International ATU, for use by ATU locals in the U.S. and Canada. The goal is to help members to build alliances between transit workers and transit users, to collectively challenge the common agenda of business and its allies to privatize, deregulate and cut needed social services (such as public transit), and attack the rights of those who deliver the service, in the transit unions. It includes one video that identifies the agenda, and features a discussion about who and what is driving it, as well as the commonalities workers across the board are facing. The second video concentrates on the nuts and bolts of how to build a common movement.
|LS #||Date Published||Title|| |
||8 March 2014
||Poor People's History of East Downtown Toronto
|For close to two centuries East Downtown Toronto has welcomed the unemployed, homeless and working poor. Infrastructures to support the unemployed, some of which date back to the establishment of Toronto first poor house to the 1830s, are now being threatened and dismantled by the city to make room for Toronto's more affluent residents. Where will the unemployed, homeless, and poor residents go?|
||2 March 2014
||The Coup D'État in Haiti: Ten Years Later
|Presentations by Mario Joseph -- a Haitian human rights lawyer; and Dr. Melanie Newton -- a professor at the University of Toronto specializing in the social and cultural history of the Caribbean.|
||16 February 2014
||The Turkish Summer
|Insights and Lessons from the Gezi Park Resistance. This forum features a wide-ranging discussion of insights, lessons and strategizing in terms of both the Turkish and international left. Recorded in Toronto, 31 January 2014.|
||13 February 2014
||History and Crisis of the Left
|Gary Cristall, one of the organizers of the World Peace Forum in Vancouver, Canada, presents a history of the Left movement. He concludes with a series of questions about what to do to revive socialism. Recorded in Vancouver, November 2013.|
||9 February 2014
||Can We Afford FORD More Years?
|This forum was part of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly GMM. A broad-ranging discussion that shifts the focus away from Mayor Ford's personal failings and toward an analysis and critique of austerity policies, as well as the class dynamics that underpin Ford's continuing popularity.|
||2 February 2014
||Building New Parties or Building Direct Democracy?
|This forum was part of the 2013 World Peace Forum in Vancouver. Chaired by Ingo Schmidt. Presentations by: Michael Lebowitz, Roger Rashi and Tara Ehrcke. Recorded in Vancouver, 2 November 2013.|
||26 January 2014
||Book forum: Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan
|This forum was part of the Canadian Peace Alliance convention weekend in Toronto. Chaired by James Clark. Presentations by Greg Albo, Todd Gordon, Angela Joya and Jessica Squires.|
||19 January 2014
||Trade Unions, Pensions, Corporations, and the State
|Given the labour movement's opposition to privatization and positive support for significant public infrastructure renewal, how can labour movement pension activists and trustees support an agenda that actually shrinks the power of private finance in shaping such investments and expands the role of public and democratically accountable institutions to play this role instead?|
||12 January 2014
||The Rise of Finance
|One of the emerging features of the neoliberal landscape has been what many have come to label "financialization." What do the "rise of finance" and financialization mean for trade unions, and especially those that name trustees to represent them on governing boards? Are there alternatives to sending union representatives and trustees to the usual business schools for "training" in how to navigate this new world?|
||5 January 2014
||Burns, Taodhg and Marc Young
|A discussion with Taodhg (AKA Tim) Burns and Marc Young about the politics of Anarcho-Syndicalism, its history, and modern application. Recorded in Toronto, 22 December 2013.|
||29 December 2013
||Luxemburg, Lenin, Levi: Rethinking Revolutionary History
||Riddell, John; Paul Kellogg
|Presentations by John Riddell and Paul Kellogg. Recorded in Toronto, 14 December 2013.|
||22 December 2013
||Global Labour Migration
|A meeting, designed as a dialogue, to build greater solidarity between the labour and migrant justice movements in their shared struggle against workers' exploitation by global capital.|
||8 December 2013
||Launching the Socialist Register 2014: Registering Class
|The 50th volume of the Socialist Register is dedicated to the theme of 'registering class' in light of the spread and deepening of capitalist social relations around the globe. Recorded in Toronto, 24 November 2013.|
||1 December 2013
||Socialism and Feminism
||Bakan, Abbie; Sue Ferguson
|Presentations by Abbie Bakan and Sue Ferguson. Recorded in Toronto, 16 November 2103.|
||24 November 2013
||Pension Funds and Privatization
||Mehra, Natalie; Brian O'Keefe; Graham Cox
|Nearly all of the largest pension funds in Canada have moved aggressively into financing what they call infrastructure, or alternative asset classes that include various kinds of public infrastructure that have been either privatized outright or restructured into a partnership structure which, critics argue, produces guaranteed (and monopolistic) profits for private owners and managers of infrastructure, with many of the risks still borne by government or public sector entities.|
||23 November 2013
||Afghanistan: Perils and Possibilities
|This lecture by Justin Podur is based on a trip he made to Kabul in March 2013 and his chapter in the 2013 University of Toronto Press book, Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan. Recorded in Toronto, 28 October 2013.|
||10 November 2013
||The Hidden History of Workplace Resistance: U.S. Autoworkers Speak Out
||Shotwell, Gregg; Sean Crawford; Scott Houldieson
|Three prominent UAW shop floor activists (Sean Crawford, Scott Houldieson, and Gregg Shotwell) describe current life on American assembly lines and keeping resistance alive. Organized by the Labour Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded in Toronto, 26 October 2013.|
||3 November 2013
||Fiduciary Duty: A legal shield for corporate capitalism?
||Weststar, Johanna; Simon Archer and Murray Gold
|Session 3 of the "Pension Fund" series -- this panel focuses on those situations where trade unions have the power to name trustees to pension trustee boards, and examine more closely what the expectations are of both nominating unions and the trustees themselves.|
||27 October 2013
||Gindin, Sam; David McNally
|Presentations by: Sam Gindin, co-author with Leo Panitch of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire; and David McNally, author of Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance. Recorded in Toronto, 19 October 2013.|
||20 October 2013
||Trade Union and 'Progressive' Strategies
||Soederberg, Susanne; Jim Stanford
|It is noteworthy that as finance has been on the 'rise', some activists began to formalize anti-corporate and targeted activist campaign strategies through pension and personal investment funds. In Canada and the U.S., several faith organizations began to argue that anti-social corporate behaviour should be, in some sense, sanctioned by individual investors and ultimate owners, on the basis of social principle or humanitarian values.|
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