Author: john-riddell

John Riddell is a Toronto-based activist and maintains a blog at

  • Fifty Years Ago: The Birth of Black Power in Canada

    January 29, 1969: Montreal students occupy computer lab to protest campus racism. Keep reading »

  • How Did Socialists Respond to the Advent of Fascism?

    The following talk was given on 21 July 2018 to a two-day seminar at York University entitled “Historical perspectives on united fronts against fascism and the far right.” The framework for our panel this morning is “Unity against the Right: A historical approach.” There are in fact many histories of such united resistance, each with … Keep reading »

  • UN Office Calls for Probe Into Human Rights in Kashmir

    A conference in Mississauga July 7, convened by the Kashmir Welfare Society, marked the first organized response in Canada to a United Nations report calling for an investigation of human rights violations in this divided South Asian territory. More than 200 participants adopted a resolution calling on the government of India to withdraw troops from … Keep reading »

  • The Communist International: Its Relevance Today

    Thirty-five years ago I undertook to translate and publish the record of the Communist International in Lenin’s lifetime, covering the preparatory years from 1907 to its foundation in 1919 and through 1923. Ten books totalling 7,000 pages are published or in preparation. This has been a team effort of more than 100 collaborators in several … Keep reading »

  • Thirty-Five Years of Comintern Publishing: A Balancesheet

    In June 1983, after returning home from my shift in a machine shop in Brampton, Ontario, I received a visit from two leaders of the New York-based socialist publisher Pathfinder Press, Mary-Alice Waters and Barry Sheppard. They asked me to head up a full-time project to translate, edit, and publish the record of world revolutionary … Keep reading »

  • Trudeau Climate Plan Challenged at Toronto ‘Town Halls’

    The first two public consultations on climate action organized by Canada’s national government in Toronto, gave strong support to the demands of the People’s Climate Plan (PCP), an alternative to federal climate-related proposals. The PCP’s proposals are listed below. The two concepts most frequently voiced at the gatherings, held June 17 and June 24, were … Keep reading »

  • Toronto Teach-In Poses Climate Justice Alternative

    The People’s Climate Plan Teach-in, held in Toronto June 4, took great strides forward in presenting a forceful alternative to the inadequate and deceptive climate action proposals of Canada’s federal government. In the opening session, five leading climate activists presented a coherent, unified climate justice strategy, proposing effective action to save the world from climate … Keep reading »

  • Dissecting the Failure of Soviet ‘Socialism’

    Review of The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted, by Michael A. Lebowitz, New York: Monthly Review (2012). Excerpt from Lebowitz’s book, see Bullet No. 665: “Overture: The Conductor and the Conducted.” In current discussions of twenty-first century socialism, the work of Michael Lebowitz has a unique merit: it is rooted in … Keep reading »

  • Responding to Capitalist Global Disaster: 1914 and Today

    On June 28th, one hundred years ago, a Bosnian nationalist assassinated the crown prince of Austria-Hungary, setting in motion a chain of events that led a month later to the outbreak of the First World War. The war shattered the world socialist movement and unleashed an overwhelming social catastrophe in Europe, killing seventeen million soldiers … Keep reading »

  • Luxemburg, Lenin, Levi: Rethinking Revolutionary History

    Toronto — 14 December 2013. Moderated by Jackie Esmonde. Presentations by: John Riddell, editor of Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International. Paul Kellogg, author of “The Only Hope of the Revolution is the Crowd: The Limits of Žižek’s Leninism,” International Journal of Žižek Studies. Sponsored by Education Committee … Watch video »

  • Agreement Signed for Democratic Rights in Honduras

    On May 22, Honduran president Porfirio Lobo Sosa and former president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales signed an agreement “For National Reconciliation and the Consolidation of the Democratic System in the Republic of Honduras.” Lobo was elected in November 2009 in a rigged vote organized by the regime installed through the June 28, 2009 military coup … Keep reading »

  • 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. Have the Bolivian masses been able to score significant gains under the government of President Evo Morales, first elected in December 2005? Or has the Morales … Keep reading »