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(The articles below
are from the August 1-31, 2016, issue of People's
Statement from the Central
Executive Committee, Communist Party of
In the lead up to the June 23 Brexit vote, Canadian media reported almost daily on the line-up of right-wing, anti-immigrant, racist and fascist organizations that were campaigning in support of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union: the Brexit referendum.
The message to Canadians was clear: Brexit is dangerous; the European Union is safe. To nail down that assessment with working people, the leader of Britain’s TUC, Frances O’Grady, confirmed that maintaining Britain’s labour rights and standards hinged on enforcement by the European Union - not the British government which she said, would first erode and then eliminate workers’ rights and standards.
The Tories and the EU: divisions in the ruling class
In fact both the British government and the EU have been working for decades to
slash workers’ rights and standards. It was Margaret Thatcher who brought
neo-liberal economics and social and trade policies to
The EU is a supra-national body that represents the interests of the
largest European, German and transnational corporations. Financed by the
privately owned European banks, with the enforcement powers of the European
Commission, it has single-handedly subjugated the national sovereignty and
independence of states across the continent, waged war on the African states
and refugees trying to escape wars in Africa and the Middle East, while also
waging war on the working class and peoples of Europe with the imposition of
austerity, mass impoverishment, joblessness, and harsh restrictions on
labour, democratic, civil and social rights. The EU has also fanned
the flames of racism, xenophobia, and hatred, leading to the growth of fascist
parties and movements in every part of
The division in the ruling class over the EU, was not about content, but about
the pace of capitalist globalization in
Urging governments and corporations to “avoid hysteria” following the Brexit vote, Obama reminded his audience that “NATO and the transatlantic alliance still exist”. To enforce capitalist globalization, exploitation and continuing super-profits.
The EU is an opponent of the working class and working people, and its complete break up would be an important step in curbing the power of the monopolies and the big corporations in Europe, and in creating the conditions for an effective struggle to restore national sovereignty and democracy to the peoples of Europe.
A victory for the working class
And so the decision of the British working class, by a margin of just 2%, to
“leave” the European Union was an important and courageous decision in face of
a massive “remain” campaign led by Tory PM David Cameron. The Communist Party
The Communists argued that the Brexit opened the door for the working class to take on the IMF and the World Bank, and to expand the Lexit to include an exit from all supra-national capitalist blocs and trade deals.
However the immediate job is to prevent the betrayal of the Brexit vote: by
Conservatives bent on transforming the referendum result into “advice” that
Parliament can accept or reject; and by the Labour Party caucus which is attempting
to dump its Leader Jeremy Corbyn for his socialist views and his unwillingness
to campaign to overturn the referendum result. Scottish nationalists, hoping to
re-open the issue of a referendum on Scottish independence, are campaigning to
British Communists are demanding that the government trigger the 2-year exit
negotiations by informing the EU that Britain is leaving the EU, and then call
an election so that new MPs, committed to negotiating Britain’s exit, can be
elected. British Communists are also demanding that the trade union movement
and the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, regain leadership of the anti EU
Pulling Britain out of the EU raises important new questions and possibilities for Canada to also break free of the corporate trade deals and blocs that have cost this country its sovereignty and independence, a million jobs, a large part of its manufacturing base, and transformed its multilateral trade policy into a unilateral trade deal with the US; and a foreign policy made in the USA, putting Canada on a permanent war footing, waist deep in US dirty wars.
The British working class has shown that another way is possible, necessary, and urgent.
Move the TPP to the garbage heap
The Liberals’ commitment to the TPP may well be waning as a result of the Brexit and the US elections, which means that mass independent political action by labour and the democratic movements before November could decisively move the TPP off the government’s agenda, and onto the garbage heap of history where the MAI and FTAA already lie.
For Canadian workers, the most important response to the Brexit would be to
kill the TPP, and knock another block out of the imperialist fortress in
The tide is starting to turn.
Central Executive Committee,
Communist Party of
Since the United States-orchestrated coup d’état in
The Communist Party of
NATO’s military buildup and posturing are part of a comprehensive political and
military campaign – including pressure to increase military spending – in the
lead-up to NATO’s
These objectives relate to the overall increased aggressiveness of imperialist
countries, in the context of the deepening capitalist crisis and the lingering
effects of the 2008 financial meltdown. As the dominant imperialist centres –
particularly the US and the European Union – scramble to preserve and advance
their individual interests at one another’s expense, they are maneuvering to divide
and re-divide the world in a desperate and dangerous rush for profits,
resources and markets. This explains the rapid eastward expansion of the EU,
and the related expansion of NATO, right up to
In order to justify such a costly and dangerous expansion, Western powers have
launched a renewed Cold War as the vehicle to ideologically bombard the people
in their own countries. This propaganda aims to demonize
The narrative from the Canadian government and corporate media talk about
increased Russian military buildup, but this also avoids an unsettling reality:
military spending by NATO states accounted for $920 billion USD in 2014, over
half of the entire world total. The
Clearly, NATO and its member states are the biggest provocateurs, the most dangerous aggressors, and the fundamental problem when it comes to global militarism and war.
But there is an alternative. The people of
The Communist Party of
By Kimball Cariou
With public anger growing against the escalating housing crisis in Metro
On July 9, activists from the Stop Demovictions Burnaby Campaign, the
In recent years, similar struggles have taken place in
Both cities have councils dominated by NDP supporters. Vision Vancouver, and
Next door in
On that logical basis, the BCA has rejected Vision-style interventionist strategies, with one important exception: backing the push by developers to keep rezoning neighbourhoods for condominiums. In both cases, the result has been a faster pace of destruction of existing housing stock rented by working class families, especially indigenous people and racialized communities, and people on social assistance and disability.
Governments at all levels are looking for easy scapegoats for this situation,
with foreign speculators a favourite target. But the provincial government and
municipalities also bring in huge revenues from the boom, making them reluctant
to take action, especially since any decline in the housing price bubble could
have negative impacts on the economy of
Most of the debate in the corporate media has focused on the unaffordability of
homes and condos. Detached houses now sell for an average of nearly $1.3
million in east
But the real crisis is hitting those who could never afford the deposit on a $400,000 condo, let alone a house. Ground zero for this social disaster is now the Metrotown area, where the mega-mall is surrounded by blocks and blocks of relatively affordable walk-up apartments. Many of these decades-old buildings are falling into disrepair, but could easily be upgraded. Instead, the bulldozers are knocking down one after another, with the cranes putting up new high-rises visible in every direction.
On May 16, the Stop Demovictions Burnaby Campaign presented
Three of those buildings are being “demovicted” by corporate developer Amacon in order to build a 30 storey condo tower. The tenants were understandably terrified for their futures, and that fear has been intensified by the subsequent evictions and cut-off of hydro and water services.
The Stop Demovictions Burnaby Campaign presentation was based on a door-to-door survey of households in fifteen buildings being demovicted from the square block north-east of Dunblane and Imperial Streets in Metrotown.
The survey found that about 73% of apartments were one-bedrooms, but 28% of units had three or four occupants. With an average of two people per apartment, nearly five hundred people will lose their homes in the Dunblane demovictions. Currently, in Metrotown, 684 apartment units are scheduled to be demolished, affecting about 1,400 people.
The survey found that 55% of tenants pay more than 30% of their incomes to rent, an indicator of being at-risk of homelessness. About one-quarter of residents have only lived in their apartment for one or two years, and these uprooted tenants tend to come from other demolished or renovicted buildings. One-quarter are long-term residents who have lived in their apartments for five to ten years. Largely seniors or people on pensions or disability, they will be hard-hit by a forced move into a much more expensive housing market.
Those evicted residents who had found a new place in the Metrotown area were going to be paying 25% more for rent (about $250 more per month). But 62% had still not found a place to live, only two or three weeks prior to eviction day. Most planned to crash on friends’ couches, live in a camper, or move in with family or with a partner with who they would otherwise not cohabitate. Some were filing BC Housing applications, despite waitlists as long as ten-years for social housing.
The survey found “not one single person who reported receiving support, a
visit, or any contact from representatives of the City of
The Community Under Attack report made several recommendations: a moratorium on rezoning properties currently used as residential rentals; municipal action to find housing for those displaced by demovictions; use city funds to buy a building for emergency housing; cancel Burnaby Council’s proposed “downtown” Metrotown plan, and begin a community planning process that involves residents most vulnerable to displacement; and dedicate existing City-owned lands for social housing.
In response, Mayor Corrigan said “Thanks for the report, we’ll send it to staff for their consideration, and they will engage Council in a conversation and a report will be issued, which we’ll pass along to you.”
Not surprisingly, such comments by the Mayor and the BCA, and the support for Corrigan coming from NDP MLAs and MPs, have been viewed as dismissive and even hostile by residents facing evictions. Some observers speculate that the BCA simply doesn’t care, since voter turnouts in this neighbourhood are usually low. But by choosing to align with developers, both the BCA and Vision Vancouver risk alienating the NDP’s traditional working class voter base just months before the May 2017 provincial election.
People’s Voice Editorial
Amid the debates over tactics used by Black Lives Matter activists at this
year’s Pride Parade in
To those who may be uncomfortable with the blunt statement that racism is as Canadian as maple syrup or three-down football, here are a few sobering facts, courtesy of the Canadian Labour Congress and other sources.
Half of First Nations children live in poverty compared to 17% for other
Canadians. Indigenous workers earn an average of $19,000, compared to $33,000
for other Canadians. The infant mortality rate is 1.5 times higher for First
Nations than other Canadians. Black males living in
Perhaps unaware of these realities, 55 percent of Canadians are satisfied that
we have ”overcome” racial discrimination. It’s time to get over the smug
People’s Voice Editorial
On July 6, seven years after it was commissioned, the report of the Chilcot
Without stating it directly, the Chilcot Inquiry provides ample evidence that
the Bush and Blair governments were guilty of launching a war of aggression,
which the post-WW2 International Military Tribunal at
Of course, leaders of NATO powers still have a free pass to commit war crimes
against millions of people; even so, the world must grasp the lessons of this
predictable catastrophe, which reverberates today with deadly consequences in
all corners of the planet. The roots of the illegal war against Iraq go back
decades, to the 1970s when US imperialism reached around the world to stoke
internal conflicts in Afghanistan as part of its Cold War attack against
socialism. This strategy produced multiple, cascading effects, including the
provision of massive weapons stockpiles to groups which formed the basis of
By Nino Pagliccia
If you can’t fix it, Brexit. This has been at least in part the sentiment that
led to the success of the Leave campaign on June 23. Contrary to the
nationalist message of the right-wing camp in the
The mainstream media has been reporting that a Leave vote was a vote for
racism, xenophobia and against immigration. There may have been some truth
there from very conservative sectors of the
Suddenly, many Europeans now show a great deal of interest on this issue,
including those who usually don’t pay attention to foreign affairs. And they
should. Had the vote been for the Remain campaign, two outcomes would have gone
unnoticed: the Cameron Conservatives working hand-in-hand with the far-right
sector of Boris Johnson, despite differences; and no possibility of a move
towards more progressive pro-labour policies in the
The replacement of Cameron by a new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has already pushed a recovery of the speculative financial markets after the doom-and-gloom following the Brexit vote. Everything will go back to normal in the financial world, which highlights the fact that the EU is mainly an economic union.
Something appears to be different, though. The following statement from a Tory government would have been unthinkable before Brexit. “[Theresa] May announced several policy proposals that were pure Miliband. As reported overnight, she called for workers to be represented on company boards (going slightly further than Labour did in its 2015 manifesto). She also called for action on excessive executive pay and on cartels.” (The Guardian, July 11). Will the Labour party heal its internal differences and push the much-needed reforms for workers now that the pressure from the EU is out of the way?
However, let’s cross the
Why the obsession about maintaining a EU in spite of its failures, and the
determined intent to destroy any attempt of
The Latin American integration vision is as old as the emergence of sovereign
states following the wars of independence from
The Organization of American States (OAS) was born at the time of the Cold War
in 1948 for the purpose of collective security and reciprocal assistance. The
fact that it includes
In 2011 the Community of Latin American and
In 2011 as well, UNASUR became a legal intergovernmental regional organization comprising 12 South American countries.
But perhaps the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA),
founded initially by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004 and now with a total of eleven
member countries, represents more fully the vision of Simón Bolívar as
suggested by its name. (Member states include
That is quite a different goal from that of the EU, and conceivably the reason
why it must not succeed under the
Margaret Kimberley wrote in her column, “The
The OAS has provided the proper venue for the
The EU, a creation of corporate interests, has been sold as the ultimate peace
In contrast, the long-time dream of a Latin American union has been frustrated, because it has a strong popular will to make it come true, based on sincere partnership and solidarity among the member states without foreign interventions.
In order to undermine the integration attempts, the
It’s only when we start contrasting positions such as the EU and the Latin American aspiration for a union that we have a better understanding of the political forces behind them, and reveal the double standards of neoliberal ideology.
Unions and partnerships are not malicious per se. Only those formed to promote the interests of corporations over the interests of people must be questioned. I will always prefer entities that have blood running through their veins, not cash.
Statement from the Central
Executive Committee, Communist Party of
The best thing about the federal government’s pension reform is its pending decision to restore the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) to 65. It was Harper who raised the age to 67, citing the OECD countries which had re-set the pension age to 67, and in one case to 68. Canadians were living too long, was the argument, and ought to be working - not retiring at 65 – like the Europeans.
These are the same governments that imposed vicious austerity measures right
across Europe, that in
But the CPP reform, touted by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau as an agreement that will make “a real difference in all our children’s future lives and I hope for many of you… It’s a historic day”, won’t make any difference at all for today’s pensioners whose incomes won’t rise by a single nickel.
Nor will it help future retirees who will see a maximum annual benefit rise from $13,110 to $19,900, effective 2065 – that is 49 years from now. And they’ll have to work 40 years before that to qualify, and have an income of $82,700 before retirement to qualify for the maximum $19,900.
And what will be the purchasing power of $19,900 or $14,500 (based on an income of $54,900) in 2065?
Canadians know right now that they can’t live on $19,900 a year in 2016. That’s
$1,658 a month, before taxes – and it’s the maximum payout. What about the
“middle income” pension of $14,500 a year, or $1,208 a month (before taxes)?
You can’t eat and pay the rent in
The federal government is offering current pensioners nothing at all, and future pensioners a rooming house (provided their pre-retirement income is at least $54,000).
What this “reform” is really about is to stall and if possible, prevent a real fight for livable pensions from breaking out across the country. This is a fight the CLC was supposed to lead according to its own statements, though it’s now inexplicably lauding the Liberals for this pension “reform”.
The hard truth is that only about 25% of workers currently have defined benefit pension plans – that is plans that provide any real old age security, and all of these are under pressure from both private and public employers, as witness the current postal negotiations. Less than half of workers have accumulated any retirement savings at all.
The ugly truth is that Canadians aged 45 or younger with incomes between $50,000 and $80,000 are going to arrive at pension age, without a defined benefit pension plan from employment, without adequate savings, and unable to retire. This is the current situation for many low-income retirees who never had the opportunity to work in a unionized workplace, or in a job with benefits or a private pension plan.
The impact on youth will be to substantially increase youth unemployment, and to drive down wages, benefits, and conditions of work, while increasing precarious work everywhere.
The impact on seniors will be to force the great majority to work until they die, and – worn out from overwork - to die at a younger age.
Real pension reform is urgently needed, for this generation of pensioners and for future generations. The Communist Party calls for strengthening of the CPP as a vital universal social program that meets the retirement needs of all Canadians:
* Immediate and substantial increase to pension benefits; CPP benefits must be livable benefits
* reduction of the pension age (CPP, OAS, and GIS) to 60 for access to full benefits
* Pension funds to be non-contributory by workers, and to be fully funded by employers
Regarding private pension plans, the CPC calls for restoration of defined benefits plans in the private and public sector; pension holidays for corporations to be made illegal; and for pensions to be protected in any corporate bankruptcy, closure or sale.
PV Ontario Bureau
Peace activists representing 12 countries across the western hemisphere met in
Participating in the meeting were leading peace activists from the host organization, the Canadian Peace Congress, the Brazilian Peace Council (CEBRAPAZ), the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples (MOVPAZ), the Peace Council of the United States, the Mexican Movement for Peace and Development (MOMPADE), the Peace Movement of El Salvador, the Dominican Union of Journalists for Peace (UDPP), Venezuela's Committee for International Solidarity, the Caribbean Peace and Integration Movement of Barbados, the School of Peace in Colombia, the Jamaican Peace Council and the Committee in Defense of the National Patrimony of Sovereignty and Dignity (CODEPANAL) of Bolivia.
The World Peace Council's President, Socorro Gomes, and Executive Secretary,
Iraklis Tsavdaridis, were present, as was the
The participants noted that the meeting occurred in the context of a complex
political situation, both in the world and in the region, that combines the
general crisis of capitalism and the aggressive military escalation of the
United States, the European Union and NATO in the Middle East, Eastern Europe
and Asia. In its renewed drive for political and economic control over Latin
America and the Caribbean, the
The regional meeting stated its deep concern for the increased political and
military interference by
The meeting identified the recent NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland is an
expression of increasingly aggressive policies vision that are aimed at
surrounding Russia and extending NATO's military arena to all areas of the
world. Participants declared their support for the campaigns of the Canadian
Peace Congress and the
Several participants spoke of the increased imperialist interventions against
the people and governments of
The Regional Meeting expressed its unwavering solidarity with the peace-loving, patriotic and popular forces who are mobilizing in defense of the social gains they have achieved and of their independence and sovereignty. The participants in the meeting also reiterated their support for the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, which was approved by all Heads of State and Government of the region at the Second CELAC Summit held in Havana, Cuba, in January 2014.
The meeting expressed its genuine joy at the recent signing of a peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP guerrilla, which is a strong step toward a definitive and sustainable peace for the people of Colombia and for the opening of a new period of democracy in that country.
The meeting discussed the expansion of foreign military bases, mostly US, throughout the region. They noted that the current trend is toward a smaller overall number of foreign military bases, but with a greater number of host countries. The meeting participants reiterated the WPC's longstanding demand for an end to all foreign bases and military enclaves in the region.
Participants also discussed the struggles Indigenous peoples against genocide and in defence of their sovereignty, and expressed a commitment to build more effective and visible solidarity.
The Regional Meeting ended with a report on preparations for the World Peace
Council Assembly, to be held in
PV Ontario Bureau
Immediately following the WPC Regional Conference in
1 - Prepare a joint statement in the name of the peace movements in the three countries, that exposes the link between current wars and social needs of peoples in all countries; that identifies xenophobia, the militarization of the police, and the widespread and violent repression in Mexico, as components of current war and aggression; and that calls for a joint day of action against war across the three countries.
2) Organize a report-back in all
three countries, from the upcoming peace tour to
3) Prepare a declaration against foreign military bases, including reference to policies and programs like Merida Initiative which allow US military to function through national police, and to seek endorsements from broad range of peace and progressive organizations, and to work toward a joint day of action against foreign military bases.
4) Help mobilize youth in three
countries for the 2017 World Festival of Youth and Students in
5) Issue a letter, in the name of
the Trilateral Peace Conference, to the Canadian government that encourages the
government to endorse and support OPANAL and the Zone of Peace in Latin America
6) To increase our work, in the name of the Trilateral Peace Conference, for nuclear disarmament – including participation in the Keep Space for Peace Week, October 1-8, 2016; building opposition to NATO; helping to build existing campaigns against nuclear arms and promoting an anti-imperialist analysis to the broader peace movement; and building joint actions for days like the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
7) To work together to oppose
colonialism in the
- actively supporting and promoting the struggles of Indigenous peoples against genocide and in defence of their sovereignty;
- exposing and opposing the
reality of state violence and repression of human rights in
- supporting the struggle of the Puerto Rican people for self-determination; and
- helping to mobilize against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in all three countries, in particular for the November 4, 2016 Continental Day of Action for Democracy and Against Neo-liberalism.
During the recent 38th Central Convention of the Communist Party of Canada in Toronto, Marxism-Leninism Today editor Greg Godels interviewed Noor Zaheer Zaheer, a leader of the National Federation of Indian Women and a prominent member of the Communist Party of India. The complete interview is online at mltoday.com.
What is the situation facing the Indian working class today?
The private sector has done away with trade unions and where they are not able
to they have brought in puppet trade unions sponsored by the owners. These
stooge trade unions function to suppress workers movements and their high
handedness has led to violence and rioting in which the workers are at the
receiving end. In the Maruti Udyog, about thirty kilometers from the capital
Though it was a victory the government is now in process of making participation of contract workers in strikes illegal. Since most of the workers are now contract workers, pressurizing the employer and making the government aware of the plight of workers through this process is taken away. the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has been rolled back in the last two years. This Act gave 100 days of work in a year to unskilled labour in rural areas thus uplifting their financial status and increasing their bargaining power for the rest of the 260 days. Taking away this support means forcing migration to urban and industrial region for work.
What is your assessment of the Modi government?
The Modi Government has come to power with the support of the big industrialists of the country. He and his government are thus obliged to pay them back for their support. While land of the small farmers is being confiscated, industrialists are getting millions of dollars of Income Tax exemption, allotment of highly subsidized land for setting up industries, waiver of bills of electricity and other infrastructural costs. This is resulting in a deficit in the national resources which the government is trying to overcome with lowering interests of bank deposit, suspension of pension and Provident Fund, hiking of bank loan interests to small businesses, increase in the number of working hours to boost productivity and most importantly laws that guarantee no workers agitation and protests. In short the government is following a policy of 'support the rich, deprive the poor.'
Modi himself is travelling round the globe, presumably for trade and business deals but so far no beneficial outcome is visible. The condition of agriculture is particularly worrying with all subsidies on seed, fertilizer, irrigation and electricity being withdrawn, declared drought in 12 provinces out of 29 provinces of the country and genetically modified seeds approved for cash crops for example BT Cotton and GM Mustard. Not having any plan for development as they had promised in their election manifesto the government is inciting violence between communities to divert the attention of the masses from the real issues of the failures of the government and focus it on day to day security and safety. Prices of essential commodities are rising every day, corruption is rampant and the government is sure that it is not going to be elected again so is hurriedly pushing through decisions like relaxing of FDI norms in some key sectors.
special problems do Indian women face in capitalist
A process of continuous change if it is undertaken would necessarily bring the masses to a level of questioning the society, norms, economic, industrial decisions of the state and a level of rationality which is detrimental to capitalism. Capitalism is always supportive of right wing politics because it propagates conservatism and a policy of 'no change'. To maintain stagnancy in thinking capitalism promotes male dominance in work places and in decision making. The most glaring example of this is the fall in the percentage of elected women representatives in both the house of the Parliament which is the lowest ever in the present regime. Most decision making bodies have a nominal count of women, which reduces their say in the decision to almost negligible.
As a base for itself capitalism develops religion and gives utmost importance to rituals and traditions. Being patriarchal in its very texture religion [all religions] promotes segregation of women and uphold the patriarchal perception of working women or 'women outside homes'. In the present regime the insecurity of women has grown; there is emphasis on the inherent 'weakness' of the female, the greatness of women who stay at home and look after their husbands and family. In the last two years there has been in a reduction in scholarships and fellowships for women for higher education, fewer women as heads of institutions, promotion of lesser qualified women to important positions so that they can be manipulated by the powers that be. The best example is the HRD Minister Smriti Irani who does not possess even a basic degree yet decides the policy for higher education, research and technical institutions.
Protest is one of the means to initiate change and women have been using it for
several decades to put forward their demands and persuade the Government to
discuss important issues. But since
does the National Federation of Indian Women address the question of women's
equality and freedom in
At the moment NFIW is in the process of preparing the Draft of a Uniform Civil Code that would give equal rights to Muslim and Christian women, who are at the moment covered under the Personal Law of respective religions, depriving them of several benefits of a Common Civil Code. Once this draft is ready we shall circulate it to important lawyers, religious heads, women's groups and initiate a discussion on it. Though several victories have been achieved, the question of equality for women is an ongoing and multi-pronged struggle. In NFIW we base the struggle on discussions on issues, charting out decisions and persuasion of the Government to accept, validate and formalize our recommendations.
From the July 19 statement of the
Central Committee of the Communist
The July 15th coup attempt involved at least two and even more state cliques, which have identical class identities and ideologies. It is not possible that these cliques would be totally unaware of each other’s plans and actions, just as it is impossible to dissociate them. However, the attempt on 15th of July was not a bloody scenario totally planned by Erdoğan as some claimed, but was a real coup attempt.
There are two dimensions of the path leading to the coup. First is the “fight for power” between Erdoğan supporters and the Gülen Community [Ed. a liberal Islamic movement led by Turkish theologian and preacher Fethullah Gülen], which has gained a new dimension after the large purge of Gülen followers. This fight is getting deeper in both the political and economic context, and also has an international dimension and different trends within the imperialist centers supporting those factions.
It is the reality that most of the officers who took part in the coup attempt are
members of the Gülen Community (which) has deep and strong connections in
This support has been reduced recently for various reasons. Some with ties to
Coup plotters having connections abroad does not make Erdoğan a patriot or
anti-imperialist. As a politician, Erdoğan is largely servile to the
The coup attempt, the powers behind it, the methods which were used and the ideological fundamentals, do not hold any point of interest for the people. The opinion that the country would have got out of difficulties if the coup had been successful is groundless. It is obvious what a pro-American, anti-people coup would mean.
It is also nonsense to present the suppression of the coup as a victory for the people and/or celebrate it as a democracy fest. This is approach does not question the legality of the AKP regime and ignores the class fundamentals of events in the country.
The argument that Erdoğan gained more power after this coup attempt is true to a certain extent. Without doubt, Erdoğan got a chance to inflict a heavy blow to the Gülen Community; showed himself as a victim one more time, consolidated his crowds and tested the power of some organisations associated with him. However he ended up with a seriously damaged state apparatus, and he also had to face that there is no safe bureaucracy anymore because of the transitory nature of integral cliques.
Under these circumstances Erdoğan may prefer to stick to his own sources within the critical body of the state apparatus, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Judiciary, and to purge not only the Gülen community members but also some Kemalist constituents who used to be in alliance with him. There are serious difficulties to stick totally to one’s own sources in TSK and the Judiciary, even if it is easier than in other parts of the bureaucracy. Erdoğan cannot make this move – which means to decelerate an Islamic state - without avoiding final and absolute revenge on both political and social levels. On the other hand, Erdoğan doesn’t have any other way out to consolidate his own crowds.
It is possible that Erdoğan will go to great lengths to mend relations
In each situation there is a multi-dimensional crisis regarding the dissolution of the hegemony of capital. It’s not this dissolution, but the unorganised state of the working class, which is actually dangerous.
Another danger is the opinion, which has become popular after the coup attempt,
saying Erdoğan is undefeatable. Scary scenarios are emerging and a panic
environment is being created with speculative news which are not based in
reality. The AKP government has always been dangerous, and they are even more
dangerous now. Additionally, the panic environment which is created makes the
aggression of AKP legitimate. However, neither the AKP and Erdoğan are as
powerful as they claim, nor is
AKP and the fundamentalist threat must not be underrated. The period started with the AKP claim that “secularism is not in danger” carried the country to the edge of an abyss. There is a mission for a better organised and more effective opposition of the people against that considerable threat. This mission can not be performed by creating panic. It is not acceptable that the opposition is creating panic.
Under these conditions, the major power of AKP and Erdoğan continues to be his opponents in the political system. The politics of the system formed its policy based on normalising, transforming, convincing the AKP. The attitude of politicians who claim that they are the “left” wing in the parliament is remarkable and worrying.
Experiences during and after the 15th July exposed how cruel the factions in the government can be. We watched the cruelty of the coup plotters. We saw the barbarism staged by the government. These cannot be handled by the approach of “let them kill each other”. An unknown number of citizens have been killed, and private soldiers who don’t have any idea what is going on have been lynched. People will hold accountable all who perpetrated lawless actions, lynching, torture of suspects and surrendered officers, and how the leaders of the two factions cooperated together for years until now.
It is not correct to describe these cruelties as “strength”. On the contrary there is dissolution, fear and confusion on the side of the government. Spreading fear can only be surpassed by strong, solid and consistent steps, not with unplanned actions. This dissolution can be turn into an opportunity for the people.
Turkey can only get out of woods by the united struggle of the working class
against the class hegemony presented by dark powers, but not through the dance
of dark powers. We refuse all analysis and positioning ignoring this reality.
Communists will not give credit to slogans such as, ‘all come together against
Erdoğan’ – ‘followers of sharia will cut our heads off’ –
‘victory of democratic powers’ – which reveal the many dimensions of
confusion. We would never come together with representatives of the capitalist
...We can say that everybody who are side with humanitarian ideals, a classless society without exploitation, must work together. To fail to do so is to be an enemy of the people, legalising carelessness and laziness. It is necessary to organise, improve, empower class struggle, free from religious sects, fundamentalism, capitalist and imperialist centers. The people don’t need politicised reactions of unorganised masses. Those gathered together, aimless and formless under the slogan of “Gezi pluralism,” surely must have been learned their lesson.
It is the aim of the Communist Party to become an independent revolutionary organisation which can change the balance of power in the country, spoil the game, strangle reactionist lynching campaigns. Our ultimate call is for working people to trust their own power, move together, take the initiative and stop helplessly following this nightmare.
”Working Poverty in Metro Vancouver” is the title of a new report by Iglika Ivanova, a senior economist and the Public Interest Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives–BC. We reprint here the summary of the report, which can be read at https://www.policyalternatives.ca.
In a province as rich as BC, and in an area as economically diverse as Metro Vancouver, the contradiction between massive wealth and rising economic insecurity is particularly stark.
Not only are deep poverty and homelessness highly visible on the streets of
We are often told that the solution to poverty is for the poor to “get a job”
or for various sectors to create more jobs, but the reality is that having a
job is not a guaranteed path out of poverty. Increasingly, the story of poverty
in BC is becoming a story of low-paid and precarious jobs. Many of the new jobs
created since the 2008 recession have been part-time, temporary and low
Canada’s two richest cities, Greater Toronto and Metro Vancouver, have the
highest working poverty rates in the country. They are outliers among other
large urban areas, where working poverty rates are considerably lower. Worse
Though this study focuses on Metro
Who are the working poor? In Metro
• Just over half (54 per cent) of the working poor were married or living common law.
• 42 per cent had dependent children (32 per cent were living in couple families with children and 9 per cent were single parents).
• One in four (24 per cent) was between the ages of 18 and 29.
• The majority (61 per cent) were between the ages of 30 and 54, or what economists consider prime working age.
• 9 per cent received employment insurance (EI) benefits at some point during the year.
These numbers are similar across the entire
Working poverty is not confined to a few municipalities; it is a regional
problem in Metro
Worse still, working poverty has grown in most municipalities since 2006, with
the largest increases occurring in suburban neighbourhoods in
A look at working poverty by neighbourhood further underlines how widespread it
is across Metro
Working poverty can be reduced and eventually eliminated with a combination of labour market reforms, more generous income supports, and better public services. The report makes detailed policy recommendations for how this can be achieved, including action to:
• increase the minimum wage;
• strengthen employment standards;
• make sure all British Columbians have access to safe, affordable housing;
• provide access to high quality, public child care;
• make training and education more accessible to low-income earners;
• reform employment insurance;
• enhance the Working Income Tax Benefit;
• make all levels of government living wage employers.
Every level of government has a role to play, but the provincial government is uniquely positioned to take the lead. In the end, working poverty is only a part of the complex story of poverty in BC. To improve the lives of all poor British Columbians, we need a comprehensive poverty reduction plan with targets and timelines. Reducing poverty will help not just those who are poor. Better public services and income supports enhance quality of life for all British Columbians and build more inclusive, vibrant and healthy communities we can all be proud to LIVE IN.
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"Cubanacán: A Revolution of Forms"
DVDs of the first new Cuban opera
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Four Tenors all-star game fiasco
When The Canadian Tenors, a
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Dave Swarbrick 1941-2016
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