For a week now, Montreal has been boiling with rage. The unprovoked murder of 18-year-old Freddy Villanueva, by agents of the Montreal Police Service, catalyzed an explosion that has been building for years. Police attacks on peaceful demonstrators sparked a riot.

Workers in British Columbia have seen their pulp, paper, and lumber mills closing at an alarming rate, leaving thousands jobless and facing an uncertain future. Whole communities have been devastated as large forestry companies such as Interfor and Canfor pull out operations and ship jobs overseas where labour is cheaper.

Two weeks after a new contract in which GM bosses promised no more layoffs and no more plant closures until 2011, in exchange for a wage freeze and other concessions, they have now announced closure! The profit motive is stronger than any rotten deal the union tops can broker with the bosses and they are prepared to break the law to do so. Workers will be drawing some bitter lessons from this experience.

Yesterday, the Canadian Auto Workers local 222 held a solidarity rally outside the gates of the Oshawa GM truck plant. There was a real sense of anger amongst the workers present, most of whom were from union families, but this was not the normal crowd that attends demonstrations. These are people who either directly or indirectly will be hit hard by the lay offs.

The mood of the workers was very militant and it is quite clear that they are willing to remain on the picket lines for as long as it takes to win. Terry McDonald, a member of the Oshawa Local's bargaining committee, told Fightback, "We're right. We're going to stay as long as it takes for them to realise that."