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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

South Africa, a Dream Betrayed:
Understanding the Political Crisis in South Africa

Toronto – 20 April 2017.


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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.



Basic Income: A Way Forward for the Left?

Toronto – 13 April 2017.


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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.

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.

Resources:



Allies at Every Stop

Organizing Passengers and Building Power


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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.

Resources:


LS #Date PublishedTitle 
188. 6 October 2013 From Pension Fund Socialism to Pension Fund Capitalism?
Peter Drucker's famous 1976 warning that the growth of workers' pension funds was leading to 'socialism' in the United States has not aged well. This conception inspired many trade unionists and some on the left, and led to various experimental proposals for seizing 'worker control' of finance and the economy via the pooled savings of workers, whether in pension funds or in individual savings.
187. 29 September 2013 Tied in a Knot - discussion with the director Kukreja, Reena
This documentary examines the newly emergent phenomenon of bride buying and commoditization of the female body in India, and the attendant gender based violence that the sourced, bought, or trafficked brides undergo in their marital homes. Years of repressive social morés that promoted girl dispreference is now seeing men from these regions breach customary rules and travel to distant poorer regions of India to find wives.
186. 15 September 2013 Prime Your Mind for Resistance to the 'Right to Work' Lie
Bankers get bailed out, corporations get incentives, workers get attacked... and 'right to work' laws threaten to take this much further. A GTWA labour forum with John Cartwright, Sonia Singh, and Sam Gindin. Recorded in Toronto, 12 September 2013.
185. 1 September 2013 How Tar Sands Threaten Our Communities
Concern is growing. Word is getting out about Enbridge Corp.'s plan to convert an aging cross-Toronto pipeline (Line 9) to transport a toxic mixture of bitumen (tar) and chemicals. Hundreds of East End Toronto residents have expressed alarm about the dangers of a spill and the effect on climate change. Recorded in Toronto, 25 August 2013.
184. 18 August 2013 France: One year after the Sarkozy defeat
François Hollande and his Socialist Party came to power following presidential and legislative elections in May-June 2012. While the defeat of hard-right president Nicolas Sarkozy and his UMP party certainly came as a huge relief, Hollande and his government have essentially pursued the same agenda as the defeated forces of the right and have plummeted in the opinion polls.
183. 4 August 2013 Architecture, Occupation, and Resistance
Justin Podur interviews architectural researcher Suzy Harris-Brandts, who studied and worked with the Decolonizing Architecture group in the West Bank. They discuss the limitations of negotiations, design tactics under occupation, and the responsibility of architects.
182. 14 July 2013 Has the Giant Awoken?
Brazil is currently witnessing the largest mass protests to hit the country in over 20 years. Originally organized by the Free Fare Movement (MPL) in Sao Paulo against a planned 10 cent public transit fare hike, the protests quickly spread to Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and other major cities across the country. At its peak, over 1 million people in over 100 Brazilian cities took to the streets to protest a long list of grievances ranging from political corruption to human rights abuses and World Cup spending.
181. 7 July 2013 Democracy Against Capitalism Roper, Brian
A presentation by Brian Roper, author of The History of Democracy - A Marxist Interpretation. Brian Roper is a long-time activist on the socialist left in New Zealand and an Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Otago. Recorded in Toronto, 24 June 2013.
180. 30 June 2013 Chapuling in Turkey
Occupy Gezi and Reflections from the Turkish Left. Presentations by Baris Karaagac, Ezgi Dogru and Balca Arda. Recorded in Toronto 23 June 2013.
179. 23 June 2013 The State and The Future of Democracy in Turkey Baban, Feyzi; Sabine Dreher; Mustafa Koc
In recent years Turkey has been presented as a "model democracy" for the Middle East. In recent weeks, what started out as a protest against the conversion of a park to a shopping centre in Istanbul, has evolved into a national protest movement about democracy and grievances related to neoliberalism, unfettered urban development, repression of political dissent and free media, state intervention into personal lifestyles, disregard for constitutional rights and freedoms and police brutality.
178. 22 June 2013 Waiting for 2014 in Afghanistan Podur, Justin
A short documentary by Justin Podur about Afghanistan's perils and prospects leading up to the 2014 NATO withdrawal and election. Includes interviews with Afghan MPs: Ramazon Bashardost, famous for his anti-corruption politics, and Shukria Barakzai, famous as a writer of Afghanistan's constitution. Based on a visit to Kabul in March 2013.
177. 16 June 2013 The Crisis and Socialist Strategy Spourdalakis, Michalis
Lessons from the Greek Left with Michalis Spourdalakis. Spourdalakis is a founding member of Syriza and currently serves on its policy planning committee. Professor of Political Science at Athens University and current chair of the Hellenic Political Science Association, he is also on the Secretariat of Nicos Poulantzas Institute, and a corresponding editor of the Socialist Register.
176. 19 May 2013 Reportback from Ecosocialism Conference 2013
Taking place at New York's Barnard College, the Ecosocialist Conference drew some two hundred activists around the slogan "System Change not Climate Change." It was endorsed by numerous progressive organizations and individuals in the U.S. and Canada, and featured speakers from a wide spectrum of organizations and perspectives. Introduced by Abbie Bakan and John Riddell. Moderated by Greg Albo. Recorded in Toronto, 4 May 2013.
175. 12 May 2013 After the Canadian Jewish Congress Freeman-Maloy, Dan
Dan Freeman-Maloy talks about the deterioration of Canadian Jewish politics and implications for leftist strategy. It also outlines the broader politics of Western Zionism and identifies the relationship between the Palestine question and the rise of budgetary authorities within communal leadership structures.
174. 11 May 2013 Fighting Austerity
The panelists discuss the history and scope of the austerity agenda, its effects on the environment, indigenous peoples and working people the world over. Who and what is driving this agenda and how do we conceive of a fight back strategy that might begin to challenge the current hegemony of corporate power.
173. 5 May 2013 The Problem of Labour Imperialism
A forum with Kim Scipes and Marion Pollack to discuss the issues and challenges in building international labour solidarity. Moderated by Farid C. Partovi. Recorded in Toronto, 21 April 2013.
172. 4 May 2013 May Day 2013: Solidarity City
Solidarity City is a unified struggle for: Respect for Indigenous Sovereignty, Status for All, an End to Imperialism and Environmental Destruction, an End to Austerity and Attacks on the Poor and Working-Class, continued resistance against Patriarchy, Racism, Ableism and Homophobia and Transphobia. The march ended with a rally in support of the striking workers at Porter FBO. Recorded in Toronto, 1 May 2013.
171. 28 April 2013 Book Launch: Continental Crucible
The crucible of North American neoliberal transformation is heating up, but its outcome is far from clear. Continental Crucible examines the clash between the corporate offensive and the forces of resistance from both a pan-continental and a class struggle perspective. This book also illustrates the ways in which the capitalist classes in Canada, Mexico and the United States used free trade agreements to consolidate their agendas and organize themselves continentally.
170. 14 April 2013 No Tar Sands in Toronto! Stop Line 9 Bowman, Sabrina; Ron Plain; Ian Angus
Moderated by Bryan Dale and Emma Cane. Presentations by three activists talking about the struggle against tar sands pipeline: Sabrina Bowman, Ron Plain and Ian Angus. Recorded in Toronto, 7 April 2013.
169. 31 March 2013 Queerly Political: Activism, Feminism, Marxism and Queer Politics Black, Johannah May and Alan Sears
How can we build a united movement that respects difference and autonomy, and also advances common struggles against oppression and exploitation? What are the linkages, and tensions, between feminism and queer politics? And how can we understand women's liberation in the context of other movements against oppression? Presentations by Johannah May Black Alan Sears. Recorded in Toronto, 23 March 2013.
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