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Canada

Canada

After a miserable Canadian election campaign, everyone can be seen as losers. The Liberals now have a tarnished image and hold the record of forming a minority government with the weakest mandate ever. Despite Liberal weakness, Conservative austerity policies were unpopular and did not allow them to make the gains they expected. The New Democratic Party lost almost half its seats and the Greens failed to make a breakthrough. The only party that can be happy is the nationalist Bloc Quebecois. But above all it is the working class that has lost in this election. There is no enthusiasm for any of the political options currently facing Canadians.

On Wednesday, 25 September, Ryerson students organised a historic mass meeting. This general assembly, the first organised in English Canada in decades, marks an enormous step forward in the struggle against Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cuts to higher education. In this mass meeting of more than 200 students, the proposal for a one-day student strike on 6 November was put forward and passed with an overwhelming majority.

People around the world have once again been shocked by a wave of shootings perpetrated by far-right extremists. The shootings in Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas, were carried out by individuals who shared fascist manifestos, detailing their beliefs prior to the attacks, which claimed the lives of 25 people. You would have to

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On the weekend of June 29-30, Fightback held its first-ever Marxist Summer School in Edmonton, Alberta. Mirroring our annual Marxist Winter School in Montreal, close to 60 people attended the school, making this the largest Marxist gathering in Alberta in recent memory. People attended not just from Alberta, but many came all the way from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and the United States. The resounding success of this inaugural Marxist school proves that there’s a genuine thirst for revolutionary ideas in Alberta.

More than 160 revolutionaries gathered in Toronto, May 18-20 for the 19th congress of Fightback and La Riposte Socialiste, the supporters of the International Marxist Tendency in Canada. The three-day congress brought attendees from Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Victoria, Waterloo, Hamilton, Ottawa, Oshawa, as well as international guests from Britain, Sweden and the United States.

In the past week, two separate attempts were made to shut down events by the IMT in Canada, Fightback, using violence and intimidation. The first incident, involving a group of about five individuals, occurred at a Fightback event at Carleton University, in which our activists and attendees were harassed, our materials were thrown to the floor and stamped on, and an attempt was made to destroy our banner.

Thousands of Ontario post-secondary students walked out of their classes Wednesday, 20 March in protest against Premier Doug Ford’s cuts to student funding. The walkout, called for by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), involved 17 campuses, including in Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, and London. The action was also joined by hundreds of high school students, who staged spontaneous protests in support of university and

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The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

A Marxist student comrade of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Rawal Asad, remains in jail on the charge of sedition, having had his bail hearing rejected. In addition to continued protest in Pakistan against this injustice, messages and photographs have been pouring in all week from all over the world demanding our comrade's release.

The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

An international solidarity campaign has been launched to demand the release of comrade Rawal Asad, who was arrested in Multan for the 'crime' of attending a protest. He faces a scandalous charge of sedition, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and a judge has now officially denied his application for bail. In addition to demonstrations in Pakistan, comrades from all over the world have been protesting outside of Pakistani embassies, and sending pictures and messages of support calling

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Once again this year, the Montreal Marxist Winter School was a smashing success. We had a record 235 registrations, the largest number ever to attend! Participants came not just from Quebec and Ontario, but also from Western Canada, the United States, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Haiti and Algeria.

The victory of the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec, or Coalition for the Future of Quebec) in the 1 October elections in Quebec marked the end of an epoch in the province. The Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois (PQ) who had held power interchangeably for nearly half a century were pummeled at the polls, receiving their worst electoral results in history. The political landscape in Quebec is increasingly polarised on the left with Québec solidaire and on the right with the CAQ, while the establishment parties in the “centre” have been punished.

On Monday, 26 November 2018 Canada’s post-war social contract finally died, after a long period of ill health. At her bedside were two who were present at her birth, Oshawa auto workers and striking postal workers. Her passing was due to systematic abuse and abandonment by corporations and government. She is survived by a labour relations regime of naked class war. In lieu of flowers, bring picket signs and burn barrels.

Late on the night of Sunday, 25 November, rumours began to trickle out about the impending closure of the Oshawa General Motors plant. The following morning the terrible news was confirmed to be true. In response, workers of Unifor Local 222 staged a spontaneous wildcat walkout. The closure is a massive blow to the working class of the city and the province which cannot be allowed to stand. The capitalists have shown themselves to be incapable of providing decent employment. It is up to the workers to take action to defend their jobs and union.

50,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have been on rotating strike since 22 October. The Trudeau Liberal government has tabled so-called “back-to-work” legislation, that will make this work stoppage illegal. Increasingly, the right to strike in Canada is not worth the paper it is written on. As soon as a strike becomes effective, it is declared illegal. However, the postal workers are angry and there is a real opportunity that they will defy the legislation. Solidarity is urgently needed to let the CUPW workers know they are not alone, and that workers in Canada and internationally support their fight.

On 27 October, Robert Gregory Bowers, a far-right activist, gunned down 11 people at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh while yelling "All Jews must die!" This was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. A few days before the Pittsburgh attack, pipe bombs were mailed to prominent critics of US president Donald Trump, including Hillary Clinton, George Soros and members of CNN’s New York bureau. While these events are shocking, they should not surprise anyone. This is just the most recent on a growing list of atrocities committed by the far-right

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This autumn, the forces of Marxism have spread across Canadian campuses as never before. In the face of economic crisis, youth are questioning capitalism and are searching for answers that only revolutionary Marxism can provide. Since the start of September, Socialist Fightback Students (SFS) has collected well over a thousand emails, sold hundreds of papers, and started dozens of revolutionary reading groups across Canada, thus enrolling a new wave of youth in the fight against capitalism.

 On 30 August, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced he would be forcing universities to adopt an Orwellian “free speech” policy. Under these new rules, student clubs may be dissolved and individual students may face expulsion for simply protesting far-right speakers on campus.

On 7 October, thousands of people gathered in downtown Montréal to march against racism and the newly elected CAQ government. The demonstration brought out a large number of immigrant families, grandparents and children included, all of whom were shocked by the election of the anti-immigrant government. La Riposte socialiste organised the socialist contingent of over 60 activists on the march.

The Quebec election this past Monday marked the end of an era. Support for the establishment parties, the PQ and the Liberals, collapsed to its lowest point on record. The main benefactor is the right-wing CAQ, which swept a dozens ridings and will now form a majority government. But the vote was also polarised to the left, with Quebec solidaire more than doubling their vote share and going from three seats to 10. This unprecedented situation opens up a new period of class struggle against the CAQ government.

The Doug Ford Conservatives have won the 2018 Ontario election. This represents a victory for right-wing populist reaction in Canada’s largest province. It also represents class polarization and the collapse of the “middle”. The Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government has been demolished, and has lost official party status. On the left, the New Democratic party, historically based on the trade unions, won its second best result in history. A period of intense class struggle opens up and there is no time for complacency.

Three months of strike by lecturers and teaching assistants at York University has created a deep crisis at the institution. Most classes during the winter term were not in session, and now the summer term has been shortened and course offerings heavily cut down. This is no surprise as most of the teaching at the university is done by striking members of CUPE 3903.

With less than a week to go in the Ontario election, the Liberals have collapsed. On June 2, Premier Kathleen Wynne even made an announcement conceding that she would not win the election, and appealed to voters to leave the Liberals with enough seats to prevent the formation of a majority government. After 15 years of Liberal rule in the province, voters are tired of a party they see as disingenuous, corrupt, and part of the elite establishment.

On 23 May, more than 70 students and workers gathered at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada for Fightback’s event on the Sexual Revolution in the Soviet Union. Presenting on the topic was Fred Weston, editor of the In Defense of Marxism website and author of a recent series of articles on sexuality in the USSR. While over 100 years later the social advances made by the Russian Revolution of 1917 are still widely misunderstood, if not entirely erased by mainstream and pro-capitalist versions of history, Fred’s presentation cut through all the misinformation and laid bare both the real gains and limitations of the revolution. He explained that to learn the real lessons for the struggle

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More than 140 revolutionaries gathered in Toronto, Canada on the May long weekend for the 18th annual congress of Fightback/La Riposte Socialiste, the supporters of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) in Canada and Quebec. Fifty years since the May 1968 revolution in France, workers and youth from Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, London, Waterloo, and Oshawa discussed the possibilities for a new revolution. The record turnout, up from 110 in 2017, marked yet another advance for the forces of Marxism. The rapid growth of Fightback in the last period was highlighted by the fact that when we asked which of our attendees had joined the movement in the past two years, more than half the

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At 1:30 in the afternoon of Monday, April 23, a man deliberately drove a rental van into pedestrians in the Yonge and Finch area of Toronto. At the time of writing 10 people are dead, while 15 are in hospital, some in serious condition. The injured and dead are men, women, possibly children, out walking in what is known as Toronto’s “north downtown”, a busy retail area. How can we understand such violence and hate?

In Canada, the revolutionary socialists of Fightback and the International Marxist Tendency are leading the way and giving a Marxist perspective on current politics. More and more youth and workers are adopting a Marxist analysis of the capitalist crisis. We present Fightback's 2018 Perspectives: the need for a militant workers’ movement as a discussion document for all those who aim to link revolutionary theory with the real life movement of workers, youth, and the oppressed.

There has been a four-week long strike by teaching assistants and sessional lecturers at York University. This strike by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 3903, which is made up primarily of graduate students as well as sessional lecturers, had the effect of inspiring a movement among undergraduate students. The strike is going through a challenging period, and now a witch-hunt by secrtarian elements, aimed against our comrades at York, threatens the entire movement.

On 28 March, a decision was made at a Special General Members Meeting of CUPE 3903 (TAs and sessional lecturers at York University) to ban Fightback from picket lines and all spaces associated with CUPE 3903. We are shocked by this decision which was based on misinformation and innuendo. We publish here, Fightback's response to this decision.

The Montreal Marxist Winter School has become the biggest Marxist meeting in Canada, but this year's event was something special. There was record attendance at the school, with close to 230 people participating. People were present from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, Mexico, France, Britain and Switzerland. Two hundred years after Karl Marx’s birth, the 2018 Marxist Winter School has shown that Marxist ideas are advancing across the board.

Recent independence movements, most notably those in Scotland and Catalonia, have caused many people to draw parallels between them and Quebec. This, combined with the identitarian turn that the mainstream Québécois nationalist parties have taken recently, forces us to return to the basics and re-evaluate the Marxist approach to this question.

We publish here a collected series of articles on the 1837-1838 Rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada (original available at Fightback). It is important that Marxists understand the place of these important events in the history of the class struggle in Canada and Quebec.

Join the International Marxist Tendency for the 8th annual Montreal Marxist Winter School. 2018 will be the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth, therefore this year we will be focusing on Marx's revolutionary ideas.

On Friday 23rd June, the Canadian Marxist Journal Fightback’s, editorial board sat down to discuss with 2017 NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton. The transcript of that interview can be found here. Based upon that interview, and Ashton’s statements since the start of the campaign, Fightback has decided to support Ashton’s candidacy and encourage all socialists to do the same. A victory for Ashton would represent a victory for the left in Canada and opens up the possibility of the development of a movement analogous to those sparked by Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders.

Il y a 45 ans avait lieu le plus grand mouvement de grève de l’histoire du Québec. Lors de cet épisode historique, les travailleur-euses de la province ont investi massivement la scène politique pour lutter contre la classe bourgeoise. Au paroxysme du mouvement, les travailleur-euses occupèrent les usines et les mines et la grève générale paralysa l’économie de la province. Aujourd’hui, les événements du printemps 1972 demeurent dans l’angle mort de l’histoire québécoise officielle, laquelle retient généralement la crise d’octobre 1970 comme moment phare des turbulences politiques et sociales de cette période. À l’heure où la crise du capitalisme s’éternise, la lutte des classes refait

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Forty-five years ago, the largest and most important strike movement in the history of Quebec took place. During this historic episode, the workers of the province stormed onto the political arena to fight against the bourgeoisie. At its peak, workers occupied the factories and mines, and the general strike movement brought the economy of the province to a halt.

When Justin Trudeau stated that, “Canada is back,” it could have been interpreted as just another one of those hollow phrases which he is so good at. With the unveiling of Canada’s new defence policy on June 7th, we now understand better what he meant.

L’atmosphère au pays commence à changer, et sous la surface, elle a effectivement changé au cours de la dernière période. Au Québec et en Alberta, la situation politique se caractérise déjà par un antagonisme tranché et des tournants rapides vers la gauche et la droite. Les premiers contours d’une polarisation politique peuvent être décelés au sein des courses à la chefferie des partis fédéraux conservateur et néo-démocrate. Parallèlement, la popularité dont Trudeau jouissait après les élections commence à s’estomper.

Over 110 revolutionaries gathered in Toronto May 20-22 for the 17th congress of Fightback and La Riposte Socialiste, the supporters of the International Marxist Tendency in Canada. The three-day congress brought attendees from Montreal, Waterloo, Hamilton, Ottawa, Oshawa and Edmonton, plus international guests from Sweden and Britain. The level of enthusiasm was incredibly high as the congress marked significant advances for the Marxist movement in Canada and Quebec.

An update on the Economic and Political Situation in Canada 2017

Relative calm and stability have seemed to define Canadian politics in a world marked by crisis, instability, abrupt shocks and sharp polarization. International commentators have highlighted the strength of the political “centre” in Canada. The Economist even ran an article titled “Canada: The last Liberals” after the victory of Donald Trump in the American elections last fall. Will Canada continue to be an “island of stability” surrounded by a storm affecting world politics, economy and international relations?

The student movement in Canada is going through an important development that has been prepared over the last six years. Beginning in 2011, revolutionaries organized with Fightback/La Riposte socialiste magazines have been engaging in systematic organizing on university and college campuses across the country. These efforts have resulted in the establishment of active groups on over 15 campuses, with plans to expand further.

April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Fought as part of the larger British-led Battle of Arras during the First World War, the battle was the first instance in which all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) fought together. The success of the unified Canadian Corps in capturing the ridge from German troops, after failed efforts to do so by British and French forces, has steadily grown in significance in recent decades to attain the status of a founding myth, in which Vimy represented Canada’s birth as a nation. This mythologized narrative obscures the true nature of an imperialist war that led to the death of millions, while furthering

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