More than 90 people packed a room at the University of Toronto on Friday, 14th June to engage in a public discussion and presentation on revolutionary perspectives and first-hand accounts of the mass movement in Turkey. The event was organized by Fightback and the “Canada Student Collective in Solidarity with Protesters in Turkey”. The event was language-friendly, as those feeling comfortable to speak in Turkish had the option of translation offered to them by the organizers present. An open environment was established for people of all political backgrounds and opinions to engage in what would turn out to be a productive, comradely, and ongoing analysis of the mass movement in Turkey.

The political situation across the Canadian state is characterized by subterranean moods of discontent that burst out in sporadic explosions. All of these movements are manifestations of the underlying crisis of the system. To help arm workers and young people in the fights to come, Fightback is publishing our political perspectives for 2013 — "Theses on the Class Struggle in Canada"

A wildcat strike by prison guards shook Alberta, paralyzing the prison system and quickly escalating. The government’s response to the complaints of workers in the prison system only provoked anger; the suspension of two employees for raising safety complaints provoked the incoming evening shift to refuse to turn up. Later, the government’s intention to seek a court-ordered return to work spread the strike to the 10 correctional facilities across the province. Soon after the order was issued, sheriffs at courthouses across Alberta joined the strike, and some crown prosecutors walked out as well.

One of the most disgraceful aspects of Canadian labour policy has come under the spotlight after Canadian banking giant RBC recently sacked 45 workers within their information technology (IT) division, outsourcing those jobs to lower-waged workers from India.  What was supposed to be a minor shuffling of jobs has, instead, become a raging scandal that has exposed how far the capitalist class is willing to go to undermine workers’ wages and rights — and all of it openly supported by the federal government.

With the watering down of the federal NDP constitution the party has taken a step to the right at its Montreal convention. This step mirrors similar developments within the social-democratic labour parties internationally, and is a tragic irony given the ongoing crisis of capitalism. However, disappointing as it is, the removal of a constitutional preamble that nobody had ever read does not fundamentally change the character of the NDP. Because of the crisis, mass movements are inevitable; these in turn will have their reflection in the mass organizations.

The Constitution Committee of the federal NDP has proposed a rewrite of the preamble to the party’s constitution. The new wording is supposedly a compromise, after the right-wing of the party was defeated in 2011 when it tried to remove all references to socialism. However, this new amendment is no compromise at all and marks a significant turn to the right. “Socialism” is relegated to the past in a tokenistic fashion. Most notably, sections on social ownership are removed and replaced with the primacy of the market. This is a bitter irony, precisely when “the market” is showing its abject failure globally, and in Canada. Removal of the defence of social ownership also opens up the party to supporting the privatization of public services. Delegates must reject this rightward shift.

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