Americas

Fightbackis launching a campaign to hire its fourth full-time organizer. Our aim is to unite revolutionary youth in the struggle for free education, student-worker solidarity, and for a socialist alternative to austerity. This initiative comes after important successes over the past several years, including the hiring of our first full-time organizer in Quebec and the opening of our first office in Toronto.

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has been in a militant struggle with the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois for several years. Starting with the Republicans’ “No Child Left Behind” legislation, relentless attacks on students and teachers have followed in the past decade and a half.

The impeachment of Dilma was approved on Sunday by a united front of bourgeois parties in order to establish a government of Temer [current vice-president] and Cunha [Parliamentary speaker], with support from the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democratic Party), DEM (Democrats) and other parties.

Dramatic events unfolded in Brazil last night as the Congress [Parliament] voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. The whole country was following the process, divided into two camps, the reactionary pro-impeachment bourgeois and petit bourgeois, and the anti-impeachment workers and youth.

A new protest movement has started, in an explosive manner, at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico City. On April 14th, three demonstrations were held totaling about fifteen thousand students and workers.

The following is the draft US perspectives document which will be discussed at the National Congress of the US section of the International Marxist Tendency. The document aims to outline the main economic, social, and political developments in the United States over the past period and lay out perspectives for the class struggle in the coming period.

Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair suffered an historic defeat as 52% of the 1800 delegates who attended the April 8-10 convention voted for a new leadership. It is the first time any major party leader in Canada failed to win the confidence of the membership in a leadership vote and actually lost a leadership review. As the CBC pointed out, “To put this into context the last time a major federal party leader lost a leadership review was Joe Clark in 1983. Joe Clark got 67 per cent support.” This is a solid defeat for the bureaucracy, visited upon them by a rank-and-file revolt against the failed rightward turn of the party.

As delegates gather for the 2016 Federal NDP Convention in Edmonton, everybody is discussing whether party leader Tom Mulcair will survive a leadership review. As important as this question is, what is far more important is what direction the party as a whole takes in the coming years.

On Saturday, February 27th, members of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party elected a new leader. Standing MLA and favourite Dave Wilson and MLA Lenore Zann were defeated by Gary Burrill. Burrill ran a left-wing, anti-austerity campaign which echoed with party members.

ْْْْْْThe 2016 presidential election is not like most recent US elections—it is actually interesting and exciting! For the first time in US history, a mainstream candidate who calls himself a socialist and says we need a “political revolution against the billionaire class” is having a major impact.

On March 11, the workers of Chicago, with the youth leading the charge, gave Donald Trump a very rude awakening, which was celebrated by activists and revolutionaries around the world. Trump, who had spoken earlier that day at a rally in St. Louis which featured physical violence and death threats against protesters, must have expected his visit to Chicago to proceed similarly. After hearing about St. Louis, however, it quickly became apparent that ordinary Chicagoans had different plans for Trump and his rally.

This is a call to all national and international organizations, to the workers and the youth of the world, to send the following resolution to the Mexican authorities in solidarity with comrade Stephanie Arriaga (Fanny) and her family, who are currently victims of extortion and death threats. Comrade Fanny is an outstanding fighter for the rights of students and workers at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional(National Polytechnic Institute)and is an activist in the Mexican section of the International Marxist Tendency.

American politics has been fundamentally transformed. For decades, anyone who would have described themselves as a “socialist” would have been viewed as some sort of extra-terrestrial. Today, Bernie Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist” draws massive crowds and is posing a threat to Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Party nomination for upcoming presidential election this fall.

Federal Police arrived at the home of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at 6am on Friday, March 4th, executing a bench warrant, commanding him to appear before the authorities to give testimony. Lula was released 3 hours later and has not yet been indicted.

Mass enthusiasm and interest in the Bernie Sanders campaign has swept the entire planet. As his viability as an electable candidate gathered momentum, a chain reaction of support was unleashed throughout the country.

America is going through the biggest political upset in living memory, perhaps longer. Never has the American Establishment, having lost control over the situation, been in such a state of confusion.

Although it had been widely predicted, the landslide victory of Bernie sanders in the New Hampshire primary produced shock waves. After narrowly losing in Iowa (and it is quite likely the result was rigged), Sanders beat Clinton by a margin of more than 20 last Tuesday.  This result has produced bewilderment among the commentators. That was something that was not supposed to happen.

On January 20, the Bank of Canada downgraded its 2016 growth forecast for Canada from an already meagre 2 per cent to 1.4 per cent. “Highly uncertain” were the words chosen by the usually optimistic bank to describe the economic environment.

The Iowa Caucus results are in. Bernie Sanders, who identifies himself a socialist and calls for a “political revolution against the billionaire class,” was defeated by Hillary Clinton by a mere 0.3%—far less than the statistical margin of error. One year ago, Clinton was set to cruise unopposed to the Democratic Party nomination. Sanders was portrayed as an irrelevant protest candidate and trailed her by 50 points.

These days, it would seem that nearly everyone is a socialist of some sort or another. That was certainly not the case back when Socialist Appeal was founded fifteen years ago. To be sure, what most people understand as “socialism” at the moment is far from the fully revolutionary conception defended in the program at the back of our paper. But this marks a dramatic change in consciousness nonetheless.

Whether you live in the United States or somewhere else in the world, if you share our vision of a world organized around raising the living standards of humanity and establishing abundance for all rather than accumulating profits for “the billionaire class,” there are many ways you can support the work of the US section of the IMT as we launch our campaign to strengthen our national center by acquiring an office space in New York City!

With a population larger than Canada and over 70 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants each, California is the largest and by many measures one of the most important states in the US. Home to Hollywood, Silicon Valley, a number of the country’s busiest seaports, the biggest agricultural center, and with 54 of the Fortune 500 companies, California will be key for the socialist revolution and thus for building the forces of Marxism today.

After increasing outrage around statements made by billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump, many on the left, academics, and sections of the capitalist media have begun to raise the question, “Is Trump a fascist?”

The decade long rule of the Harper regime has come to an end. The Trudeau Liberals have formed a majority government, sweeping through eastern Canada and making large advances in Quebec and Ontario. Many Canadians heaved a sigh of relief as the election results came in. The perception is that the days of Harper’s right-wing reactionary policies are at an end.

On Wednesday December 9th, over 400,000 public sector workers organized in the Common Front staged a massive 24-hour strike. All over the province, public buildings were shut down by picketers and mass demonstrations were held. Jacques Letourneau, the president of the CSN called this the biggest public sector strike since the revolutionary general strike of 1972. He stated that “There were 210,000 on strike at the same time then and today there are more than 400,000.” The working class is flexing its muscles in Quebec, posing a real challenge to the austerity agenda of the Couillard government.

The President [Speaker] of the Brazilian parliament, Eduardo Cunha is manoeuvring in an attempt to save his own skin. [Cunha has been charged with taking millions in bribes in connection with a kickbacks scheme that has embroiled state-run oil company Petrobras.] What does his acceptance of the request to initiate impeachment against Dilma mean? And what position should the working class adopt?

The “Great Recession” may have “technically” ended in June 2009, but what really matters are full employment and a steadily increasing quality of life. Capitalism’s inability to provide this is not due to individual malice or indifference— though there are plenty of sociopaths on Wall Street—but because under capitalism, creating jobs and paying workers are mere afterthoughts to the real reason for the system’s existence: profits. This is the inner contradiction and absurdity of a socio-economic form that can exist only through the exploitation of workers, and yet is unable exploit all the able, willing, and available workers, millions of

...

On November 15, Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man, was handcuffed by police and murdered execution-style. There must be justice! There has been no justice for Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, or Mike Brown. Terrance Franklin didn’t get justice when he was murdered in 2013 in the same neighborhood as Jamar Clark. How can we expect any justice from a system that systematically excludes and terrorizes whole layers of the population?

Canadians have voted for change and rejected the austerity of the Harper Conservatives. After a decade in office and a historically long campaign, the Conservative era of cuts and division is over. However, Canada’s labour party, the New Democrats, did not capitalize on this anti-austerity mood.

Both the internal and external debt of Brazil are skyrocketing. The internal debt has reached R$3.6trn and the external debt is now US$555bn. International capital is becoming worried about default.

Today, the capitalist class is nothing more than a parasite. It has nothing to offer those suffering from disease and illness but elaborate marketing scams and patent speculation.

This Fall we are launching a subscription campaign for Socialist Appeal [US]. As we have grown and expanded our work around the country, the quality of our writing and production has improved as well. From the #BlackLivesMatter movement to the crisis in the Middle East; from the convulsions of the EU to the state of the US labor movement; from historical analysis to key aspects of Marxist theory, we aim to provide the most insightful analysis of US and world events. And we hope to broaden the scope of our work through this year’s subscription campaign by

...

Millions of workers and youth are looking for a way to overthrow the Harper Conservatives. After almost 10 years in power, the Tories are being dragged down by corruption, secrecy, vindictiveness and now they are presiding over a new recession. The key question is: how can we get rid of this capitalist government?

On August 26, after the end of the demonstration for the 43 Ayotzinapa students disappeared by the state 11 months ago, the Mexico City police attacked a group of activists on their way home, injuring several of them. Amongst them were mothers of the Ayotzinapa students as well as leading members of La Izquierda Socialista (IMT) and the CLEP (Polytechnic Students Struggle Committee).

After years of monotonous two-party ping-pong, American politics has started to get interesting. Without a mass political party of our own, US workers are forced to abstain, cast a protest vote, or choose between one capitalist party or another. So far, these are still the only options for 2016. But although the current contest is being played out within the narrow constraints of the two-party system, the limits of the current set up are increasingly apparent. Just a few months ago, it was shaping up to be a snoozefest between yet another Bush and another Clinton. However, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—and above all, the American electorate—had other ideas.

“New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed . . . a race for rent.”—Frank Lloyd Wright

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has reacted with deafening silence to the release of the summary report and findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) on June 2, which called the Indian residential school system an act of “cultural genocide.” Appearing at a closing ceremony in Rideau Hall, Harper did not utter a word about the commission or its 94 recommendations, and since then has only continued to distance himself from the report. His indifference to the catastrophic impact of residential schools reflects the real priorities of the federal government and its continued unwillingness to address the suffering of indigenous peoples.

In this epoch of capitalist crisis, it is only a short step from an amorphous striving for basic rights and modest reforms to drawing fully revolutionary conclusions. The rising interest in socialism is a worldwide phenomenon, with different versions flowing from each country’s traditions and history. Here in the US we are experiencing our own variant, distorted through the prism of a country with an anticommunist past and without a traditional mass workers’ party.

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States, has attracted huge crowds and generated enormous enthusiasm at campaign stops around the country. He calls himself a socialist and urges a “political revolution against the billionaire class.” What does Sanders’ campaign reflect and represent? How should revolutionary Marxists approach it?