Currency wars_ more layoffs_ environmental crisis - and global

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					                                                                                                          1 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

Prolétaires de tous les pays, unissez-vous! Otatoskewak ota kitaskinahk mamawentotan   Workers of all lands, unite!


  VOL. 19
                            people's                                                                                     lockout
                                                                                                                               See page 2

                 VOICE                                                                                                Printed in Canada by union labour
                                                                                                                            on recycled paper
                                                                                                                      Publications Mail Agreement #40011632

          What's ahead for

     Currency wars, more layoffs,
   environmental crisis - and global
  working class resistance: see page 7

                                                                                                                              The Climate
                                                                                                                               Summit in
                                                                                                                              weighing up
                                                                                                                              the outcome

                                                                                                                                Reports on
                                                                                                                                 page 12

               3                                           INSIDE                                                           10
       B.C. in the news                                                                                               Inequality parade
   There was no leadership election
                                                                                                                    Linda McQuaig's new book, The
   at the B.C. Federation of Labour                             Striking back...                                   Trouble with Billionaires, updates
    convention last month, but just                    The year 2010 saw no less than eight of                        her vivid image of economic
     days later, divisions within the                  the largest working class general strikes                   inequity: a parade of dwarfs, and a
   NDP set the stage for a contest to                   in history, including a walkout by three                   handful of wealthy giants towering
       lead that party to the polls.                   million workers in Portugal on Nov. 24.                    over the vast majority of Canadians.
2 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

   G20 report: “massive compromise of civil liberties”
By Liz Rowley, leader of the             beaten and detained without                                                                                                 provincial election next October,
Communist Party of                       access to phones, legal counsel,                                                                                            there is fear the Act could be used
Canada (Ontario)                         food or bathrooms for long periods.                                                                                         again by a very right-wing Tory
                                         Many were subjected to strip                                                                                                government if the Liberals don’t
   Ontario Ombudsman Andre               searches and body cavity searches                                                                                           scrap it now.
Marin has concluded that police          intended to frighten, humiliate and                                                                                            In a strange twist, the Tories are
and government action that led to        intimidate. Most were young, and                                                                                            casting themselves as defenders
the arrest, detention and beatings       police appeared to target                                                                                                   of democracy as they respond to
of 1105 people last June 26/27 in        demonstrators from Québec,                                                                                                  the Marin Report and attack the
Toronto constitute “the most             pulling buses over on the highway                                                                                           Liberals. This is more of the
massive compromise of civil              and making mass arrests.                                                                                                    dangerous right-wing populism
liberties in Canadian history”.             Until Marin’s report hit the                                                                                             that snookered Toronto in the civic
   It’s a clear statement that the       Legislature, none of the various                                                                                            elections.
violence at the G20 protests, and        public bodies looking into the                                                                                                 The Communist Party of Canada
before, was caused by police and         police attacks was able to hold the                                                                                         (Ontario) is calling for a full public
directed at protestors and               cops or governments responsible.                                                                                            inquiry, and for scrapping the
passersby.                               Thousands of photos showed                                                                                                  Public Works Protection Act. The
   Marin’s report to the Ontario         police beating demonstrators, but                                                                                           threat to democracy and civil
Legislature on the G8/G20 Summits        hidden faces and badge numbers                                                                                              liberties is serious, even more so as
holds Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair    prevented individual officers from                                                                                          civilian oversight bodies
responsible for much of the              being identified. Civilian police         This unidentified cop was photographed beating protesters on two                  responsible for holding police to
violence. The Ontario Liberal            overseers like the Special                separate occasions during the G20 protests last June.                             account have proven incapable
Cabinet is responsible for giving        Investigations Unit (SIU) claimed                                                                                           and powerless.
police extraordinary powers, with        their hands were tied.                    choked with criminal charges              Marin: the implementation of               Establishing strong civilian
a regulatory change to the Public           The Toronto Star called on the         against cops who assaulted                martial law in Toronto, the             controls over police, and
Works Protection Act which               public to send in photos and videos       peaceful protesters. Many of those        arbitrary mass arrest and               democratic controls over
effectively allowed police to            showing the vicious police attack         assaulted have signed onto a class        detention of 1105 people, and the       Legislatures and Parliaments, is
implement martial law in Toronto.        on Adam Nobody, whose case has            action suit against all the police        suspension of civil liberties and       vital. This will be a crucial part of
   The Public Works Protection Act       come to symbolize the brutality           forces involved (from across              democratic rights.                      the struggle to curb corporate
is World War II legislation, intended    and the lies and cover-ups that           Canada), provincial, federal, and           The McGuinty government is            power in Canada, says the CPC
for use in a war situation. Police and   followed. The response was huge,          municipal governments, plus               now in damage control, debating         (Ontario). The fight for democracy
parliaments used it to declare war on    including new photos identifying          named individuals. The issue in           whether to amend or kill the Public     is at the centre of almost every
more than 40,000 Canadians               the police who beat Nobody within         this class action is nailed by Andre      Works Protection Act. With a            struggle today. ●
exercising their civil and               an inch of his life. Still, Chief Blair
constitutional rights to legally         has resisted arresting the identified
assemble, demonstrate, and speak
out against the Summits, and the
                                         officers, claiming internal
                                         procedures trump criminal charges             Unite in solidarity with
                                                                                      Steelworkers in Hamilton!
austerity policies being imposed         against the officers.
across the globe, including in Canada.      In fact, police brutality was so
   Many of those arrested were           widespread the courts would be

                                                                                   Excerpt from a resolution                 requires fleet footwork and heavy       to achieve victory over U.S. Steel.
                                                                                                                             counter-punching, and this is the          The Communist Party of Canada
   People’s Voice Builders #4                                                      adopted by the Central
                                                                                   Committee, Communist                      part of Ontario where the battlefield
                                                                                                                             favours the workers. Everything
                                                                                                                                                                     urges full support for Local 1005 in its
                                                                                                                                                                     fight to end the lockout, and to defend
                                                                                   Party of Canada, Nov. 28,
                                                                                   2010                                      needed to fight is here, including      workers’ pensions and their
                                                                                                                             working class traditions and a local    community. The future of Canada’s
                                                                                       The lockout of 900 Steelworkers       political environment which             industrial economic base and
                                                                                   in Hamilton, which began on Nov. 7,       opposes U.S. Steel’s destructive        sovereignty also make it urgent to
                                                                                   is much more than a local struggle.       attacks. What is left of the Ontario    fight for public ownership and dem-
                                                                                   U.S. Steel wants to shut down             industrial heartland cradles            ocratic control of the steel industry.
                                                                                   production in Hamilton, and seeks         Hamilton. Most of the CAW                  We call on the Ontario trade
                                                                                   to force USW Local 1005 members           membership is within 100 kilo-          union movement to close ranks
                                                                                   and 9,000 retirees to switch to a         metres. Thousands of industrial         and join this fight, and to rally the
                                                                                   market-based defined contribution         workers can reach the picket lines      labour movement across Canada.
                                                                                   pension plan rather than the              within hours. The catalyst, the         With unity and more unity, this
                                                                                   established defined benefit plan. But     muscle, the heart and soul are here     crucial struggle can be won! ●
                                                                                   the stakes are high for all workers,
                                                                                   and for the future of Canada.
                                                                                       This attack is the latest
                                                                                   expression of a global offensive by
                                                                                                                              Billboard campaign for
                                                                                   big capital against the working
                                                                                   conditions, wages, pensions and
                                                                                                                             locked-out Steelworkers
Ed Bil enjoys a rare moment of relaxation at a park in Toronto.                    quality of life won over generations          Locked out workers at Hamilton’s US Steel plant are wasting no
                                                                                   by the working class...                   time getting their message out: the issue with US Steel is about
   In recent issues, we have written about some of the People’s Voice                  The attacks on public sector          Canadian control of the economy, a Canadian steel industry, and the
volunteers whose efforts make it possible to publish twice a month.                workers by the provincial                 rights and dignity of labour to decent living standards and quality of
   One such volunteer is Toronto’s Ed Bil, a longtime supporter of the             governments, the theft of their           life for workers and retirees.
Canadian Tribune, which folded in 1991. When People’s Voice began                  wages and benefits, and the transfer          USW Local 1005 is embarking on a campaign to buy billboards in
publication early in 1993, Ed stepped forward to offer his assistance.             of public wealth into corporate           Hamilton that would put the union’s position in bright lights, one
Having retired from his working career as a taxi driver, Ed was looking            coffers through tax breaks, is part of    loonie at a time. Involving the whole community in raising the
for creative ways to help build our newspaper.                                     this stage of the offensive. So were      approximately $700 per billboard is a way of building unity and
   With his interest in photography, it was an easy choice. Ed began taking        the recent attacks on autoworkers         solidarity, and pushing back against local media that are not much
photos at picket lines and demonstrations, and his contributions quickly           and on Vale-Inco workers. Cheered         more than company mouthpieces, say the locked out workers.
became a regular feature in our pages. He took some courses, learning to           by the Harper government’s reward             In solidarity, the Ontario Bureau of People’s Voice is contributing
develop black and white pictures in his home darkroom to cut down costs.           to Vale in the form of a billion dollar   $100 to the union’s billboard campaign. “Getting the truth out about
   Ed’s skills became invaluable when the so-called “Common Sense                  loan, U.S. Steel has launched its         US Steel and its attempts to fleece 900 workers and 9,000 retirees by
Revolution” of the Harris Tories hit Ontario. In response to devastating           attack on USW Local 1005, eagerly         threatening to close up shop in Canada is pretty important,” said PV
cuts to social programs, public education, and health care, the people of          choosing the lockout tactic to get        Editor Kimball Cariou. “We’re sending $100 to help the union get the
Ontario were soon in the streets, marching against the far right agenda            the action started sooner. U.S. Steel     story out, and to show our solidarity with the union and the people
at Queen’s Park. Grassroots resistance blossomed into the famous                   wears the arrogance of privilege like                                     of Hamilton in their struggle for jobs,
“Days of Action,” a rolling series of one-day walkouts which shut down             armour which gives it immunity from                                       pensions and a future.”
cities across the province.                                                        its violation of the conditions of its                                           The union is planning a Day of
   At every major Day of Action, Ed Bil was there with his camera. His             purchase of Stelco, conditions                                            Action on January 29 at the Hamilton
photos could form the basis of a powerful pictorial documentary of this            which the Harper government                                               Convention Centre, endorsed by the
upsurge of working class political action, which lasted some two years.            refuses to enforce. This must not be                                      OFL and CLC. Solidarity actions include
   A few years ago, Ed reluctantly joined a different “revolution”,                allowed!                                                                  a call for motions of support from local
purchasing his first digital camera. Going digital has made it easier to               The Hamilton Steelworkers, as                                         unions and Labour Councils across the
send photos directly by email to our editorial office.                             they have done since their historic                                       country. Check out the website at
   We also note that Ed has another crucial responsibility, as the                 strike of 1946, have thrown down                                 for updates.
volunteer in charge of mailing to our subscribers in eastern Canada.               the gauntlet. This cannot become                                                 Contributions and messages of
Without him (and his counterpart, Ed Pedersen in Vancouver), we would              another Sudbury - a tactic of “who        Steelworkers in Hamilton support to USW Local 1005 can be sent
be forced to pay much more to get the paper to our readers.                        will last longer” will not bring          are raising funds for to: 350 Kenilworth Avenue North,
   Many thanks to Ed from the PV Editorial Board! We look forward to               victory against another giant             billboards "one loonie at Hamilton, ON, L8H 4T3, or by email
printing your photos for many years to come! ●                                     transnational. This struggle              a time"                         to <>. ●
                                                                                                                                 3 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

         BC Federation moves to biennial conventions
By Sam Hammond                          militant stance against the                                                                                               Ontario Federation of Labour and
                                        corporate-government agenda.                                                                                              the Ontario Labour Councils. The
    The British Columbia                    The Executive Report was a                                                                                            withdrawal of NUPGE will have
Federation of Labour Convention         blistering analysis of the corporate                                                                                      serious political and economic
from Nov. 29-Dec. 3 was the swan        attack on the working class in BC,                                                                                        vibrations in Labour from coast to
song of the annual conventions          although not placed in exactly                                                                                            coast. Suffice it to say at this time
that have been traditional in BC.       those words. It covered the ground                                                                                        that the “business trade unionism”
    The BC Fed changed its              thoroughly and made the important                                                                                         which creates these antagonisms
constitution to move to a               connections internationally and                                                                                           between competing (raiding)
convention every two years. This        Canada wide - the globalization of                                                                                        unions is the exact opposite of the
was done with the passing of a          capital, the spread of recessions,                                                                                        kind of unity and singleness of
composite resolution that also          etc. The report highlighted “hard                                                                                         purpose that the entire working
added provisions for at least two       times and hard bargaining”, the                                                                                           class deserves from Labour.
regional conferences outside the        looming pension crisis, the attack                                                                                            The Executive report correctly
lower mainland between                  on        public        education,                                                                                        said “things will get worse before
conventions, and beginning in           apprenticeships, health care,                                                                                             they get better”. The battle plan of
2011 a provincial conference every      social services, women, human                                                                                             capitalism is available from the
two years focusing on                   rights and the “nightmare in the                                                                                          World Bank and the International
strengthening and building the          woods” violations of safety, labour                                                                                       Monetary Fund, and it is simple.
union movement. Also contained          code and human rights. The list is                                                                                        We must go without so they can
in the resolution was the proviso       longer than can be dealt with here,                                                                                       continue to plunder us and our
that the time, place and delegate       but it is a damning indictment of                                                                                         habitat. The weakness of labour,
entitlement for these activities be     the Liberal corporate agenda. It is                                                                                       with all due respect to the spirit of
determined by the Executive             a comprehensive, well researched       There was a sea of 250 empty chairs vacated by CUPE delegates                      resistance that is rippling through
Council.                                and valuable document, warning         as CLC President Ken Georgetti addressed the BC Fed                                the ranks, is the perception that
    There had been in the resolution    that “things will get worse before     Convention. (Photo: K. Cariou)                                                     things will get better, that this
books a resolution from CUPE that       they get better”.                                                                                                         offensive of capital is one of the
called for a Constitutional                 The Political Action Report        floor model presented labour and         Although NUPGE declared its               cyclical phenomena where the
Convention every year. However,         illustrated the conundrums and         its agenda as more of an NDP farm        intent to remain in Provincial            downturn will inevitably bottom out
CUPE had pulled its 250 delegates       contradictions of political action     team than a broader and more             Federations and Labour Councils,          and start its way upward again. It is
from the meeting and their              as it is understood - or not           potent social movement. The              Ken Georgetti has called in the           questionable that this was ever quite
resolution never made it to the         understood - in the labour             report was heavily slanted towards       letter of the constitution to declare     accurate except with blinders on,
floor. The resolution on the two-       movement. Contained in the main        providing money and cadre to the         them out federally, provincially and      but it is definitely not the case in
year conventions passed with an         delegate package with the              NDP, while avoiding meticulously         locally after a cooling off or last       today’s world. The economic,
easy majority of those present.         resolutions and other reports, the     the political meltdown within the        negotiating period ending                 constitutional and policing means
Although the procedure was quite        Political Action Report was more       NDP, its lack of working class           December 31. The BCGEU                    underway are methods to control
legal, many delegates were              comprehensive than the shortened       alternatives, and its continuous         delegates were seated at the              us and make our present conditions
surprised that such an important        version given on the floor. The        courtship of labour’s corporate          convention because they are not           the beginning of a new world order;
issue was decided in the absence                                               enemies. There was no mention of         officially out till Dec. 31, and there    check out the Lisbon Agreement in
of the CUPE delegates.                                                         the need for the kind of street level    is still time to search for a solution.   Europe again. These are not in
    Jim Sinclair was re-elected as                                             political action that so many of the     But CUPE-BC did a very strange            anticipation of a return to prosperity.
President, but one change did come                                             militant youth and social activists      thing, removing their delegates               The BC Fed is a good working
at the leadership level, when long-                                            demonstrated this past year,             from the convention in protest of         class organization, but the time we
time secretary-treasurer Angela                                                throughout the Olympics and              BCGEU’s presence, leaving a huge          have to analyze what is needed for
Schira declined to stand for re-                                               around a myriad of issues. The           block of empty seats right in the         the protection of working people is
election. This avoided an election                                             HST initiative was dealt with            middle of the convention floor.           constricting. The struggle is on,
contest against Irene Lanzinger,                                               obliquely, reflecting different          This unfortunate development              and our youth cannot wait out
former president of the BC                                                     approaches to this issue within the      robbed the convention of one of           their lives while trade union leaders
Teachers’ Federation, which                                                    labour movement.                         the most important public unions          squabble over territory. The
joined the BC Fed a few years ago.                                                 A couple of well reasoned            in BC. However, the Hospital              concept expressed in the Political
The BCTF’s reputation as one of                                                speeches critical of the report were     Employees Union, a CUPE affiliate,        Action Report, that working people
the province’s more militant unions                                            well received by the delegates. The      stayed on the floor.                      will agree to pay more taxes if they
was bolstered by their two-week                                                other speeches were the usual knee           This issue deserves a separate        get value, is a dangerous social
strike in 2005, a struggle in which                                            jerk plaudits to social democracy.       analysis in an upcoming issue. The        democratic falsehood. People
the teachers won broad public                                                      A few days earlier, NUPGE            CLC has made rulings on raiding,          cannot pay more. The wealth of the
support and fought the Campbell         In one of her first speeches as        announced its withdrawal from the        affiliations and dispute settlement       country must be liberated and put
Liberals to a draw over the issues      BC Federation of Labour                CLC because of its discontent over       over the years that are quite frankly     at the disposal of social need. Any
of teaching and learning                secretary-treasurer, Irene             several years of the CLC’s failure       all over the map. There is a dispute      other approach will drive the
conditions. In her new position,        Lanzinger spoke to a Dec. 11           to effectively deal with the problem     brewing in Ontario with the               people into the arms of the populist
Lanzinger is expected to strengthen     rally for global climate justice in    of raiding. This caused a major          Elementary Teachers that could            right wing and their anti-tax
the forces which advocate a more        Vancouver.                             problem in the BC Fed convention.        have serious repercussions for the        disguise. ●

   B.C. NDP: what’s behind the divisions?
PV Vancouver Bureau                     CCF “radicals” might challenge         during his three years in office.        corporations that they had nothing        political spectrum.
Commentary                              their lucrative control over British   Inconveniently for the “class war”       to fear. Even at BC Federation of            Premier Campbell immediately
                                        Columbia’s vast resource wealth,       narrative spread by the right wing,      Labour conventions, James spent           handed the NDP a gift, ramming
   Internal strife is nothing new for   closed ranks to fend off electoral     Barrett also passed back-to-work         more time placating the business          through the HST over howls of
the New Democratic Party in B.C.        threats.                               legislation against striking workers.    sector than addressing urgent             anger from British Columbians. But
The sudden resignation of Carole           One example was in Vancouver,           By the time Mike Harcourt won        labour issues.                            the NDP leadership refused to state
James on Dec. 6 opens the door for      where the so-called “Non-Partisan      the 1991 election, the traditional          Voters upset by the destructive        that this massive giveaway to the
an NDP leadership convention            Association” united developers         “left” within the NDP had lost           policies of the Campbell Liberals         business sector should be
early in 2011. Some pundits have        and other capitalist interests to      strength. The NDP governments            nearly gave James an unexpected           cancelled, or to demand reversal of
declared that the next election is      prevent CCFers, Communists and         of that decade did little to challenge   victory in 2005, when the NDP             the huge tax cuts to the wealthy
already over, awarding the B.C.         other progressives from winning        the domination of big capital. But       jumped from two seats to 33.              and the corporations. The anti-
Liberals victory in advance. But        control of City Hall. The Social       despite this reality and the NDP’s          This return to historic levels         HST campaign was largely taken
the complex situation defies easy       Credit party was essentially a         success in “balancing the books”,        of support encouraged the NDP             over by right-wing “anti-tax”
analysis or safe predictions.           coalition of Liberals and              they were still portrayed by the         leadership to repeat the same             forces.
   The same pundits are screaming       Conservatives, blocking the CCF        corporate media as wild-spending         strategy in 2009. But by this time,          Even so, divisions on the right
about “class warriors” trying to        (later the NDP) from winning a         kooks and radicals, under the            the Liberals had made a tactical          seemed to point to an easy NDP
take over the party. Considering        majority.                              thumb of “big unions.” Glen Clark,       shift, trying to appear less              victory in 2013. But the arithmetic
the brutal attacks by the Campbell         Such electoral strategies were      who rose from an east Vancouver          confrontational. Many voters              changed dramatically with
Liberals against health care            backed up by propaganda                labour organizer to NDP Premier,         were disappointed when the NDP            Campbell’s resignation. Suddenly
workers, poor people, teachers,         condemning the labour movement,        was a frequent target of such            refused to make a strong                  the possibility emerged that a less
students, the disabled, Aboriginal      where the Communist Party had a        attacks for his progressive rhetoric.    commitment to restore spending            unpopular Liberal leader might call
peoples and other targets, the real     strong influence in many trade             When Carole James was elected        for public education and health           an early election and defeat the
“class warriors” are the right-wing     unions, labour councils, and locals    leader in 2003, the NDP back-room        care. The result was a huge drop          NDP.
politicians who have terrorised the     across the province.                   clique reverted to a social              in voter turnout, and minimal                Meanwhile, the NDP caucus
province for the past decade.              In 1972, Dave Barrett led the       democratic formula which has             gains for the NDP. Clearly, the           was warned last summer that the
   But this bizarre accusation goes     NDP to victory, adopting reforms       usually failed: appeal to big            party had alienated many                  provincial coffers were supposedly
back to the 1930s, when the west        such as public auto insurance and      business, and shift policies to the      traditional supporters, without
coast ruling class, terrified that      the Agricultural Land Reserve          right. The new leader “reassured”        attracting the centre-right of the               see B/C. NDP, page 11
4 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

 New attacks on free speech
    The furious attack against free speech in Canada escalated again
 in early December, with outrageous slanders in the Ontario
 Legislature against a university student. On Dec. 7, MPPs Steve
 Clark and Eric Hoskins spoke to condemn Jenny Peto, a University
 of Toronto student whose 100-page MA thesis examines pro-
 Zionist Holocaust remembrance programs. Peto is a Jewish
 descendant of Holocaust survivors, but this did not prevent these
 politicians from making wild statements that her scholarship is
 “astoundingly anti-Semitic.”
    Not surprisingly, Clark and Hoskins, along with corporate media
 pundits who jumped in to attack Peto, have never read her thesis. They
 can’t be bothered to check out the facts, such as the reality that the
 Palestine solidarity movements unite powerful contingents of people
 from Jewish, Muslim, Arab and many other backgrounds and beliefs.
 Yes, there are vile expressions of anti-Semitism in Canada, but almost
 entirely by white supremacist gangs, not human rights activists.
    Just before the outbursts against Jenny Peto, pro-Zionist forces
 tried to disrupt the November speaking tour by George Galloway.
 Once again, the claim was that Galloway is an “anti-Semite,” a lie
 which fell flat when thousands heard the former British MP speak
 about the tragic Israeli occupation of Palestine.
    These cases are part of a vicious campaign led by the Harper
 Tories and other anti-Palestinian forces to criminalize any criticism
 of Israel’s apartheid-style policies. Sadly, some public figures who
 should know better cave in whenever this anti-free speech lobby
 comes knocking. And kudos to those who courageously resist
 these pressures, like Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, and U of T
 administrators who have defended Jenny Seto’s right to engage in
 scholarly research.                                                                                    Letters to the Editor
 Remember the prisoners
    As we prepare to celebrate New Year 2011, it’s appropriate to         Revolution in                           of Port-au-Prince quickly developed
                                                                                                                  into a warzone; on one side the
                                                                                                                                                               relationship with many of Haiti’s
                                                                                                                                                               more despised leaders, such as
 remember the victims of reactionary regimes who remain imprisoned.
 There are countless such prisoners around the globe; here are just
                                                                          streets of Haiti                        people of Haiti, armed with anything         Rene Preval. Though he is against
                                                                                                                                                               an American presence in Haiti and
                                                                                                                  and everything they could find, on
 a few of the sisters and brothers whose freedom must be a high               It has been almost a year now       the other the Haitian police and             is extremely active in fighting HIV-
 priority for the people’s movements.                                     since the violent earthquake that       military. The riots are still ongoing,       AIDS in his country, he was born
 * The Five Cuban Heroes - Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero,           shook the Haitian nation in January,    as the populist Michel Martelly has          into and has lived his whole life
 Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez - convicted             and yet despite the billions in         declared he will fight the corrupted         among Haiti’s ruling elite - he even
 for the “crime” of exposing the plans by CIA-backed exile gangs to       “humanitarian aid” that was             election and contest Celestin after          once ran a night club frequented
 commit further terrorist attacks against the Island of Freedom.          poured into Haiti at a rate unheard     the declaration of the election’s            by the country’s military leaders,
 * Liliany Obando, trade union activist on trial in Colombia as part      of, the country remains in              preliminary results.                         and is the son of a higher-up in a
 of the “Farc-politica” frame-up by the regime against those who          shambles. Cholera runs ramped               Yet why is it, that with a period        petroleum plant - and remains very
 stand up for labour rights and democracy.                                throughout Port-au-Prince, and          of a month between the election              much its representative, despite
 * American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier, convicted 34          millions of the city’s population       date and the declaration of the              his philanthropy to Haiti’s poor.
 years ago on a phony murder charge, and Indigenous activist John         still live in ad hoc refugee camps      election’s preliminary results, the              What will come of the Haitian
 Graham, recently found guilty of murder on the flimsiest of evidence     and millions more live in               people of Haiti rioted continuously          revolution? Obviously, a political
 in a South Dakota trial.                                                 substandard housing. Clean              for that entire period of time, despite      cataclysm is occurring right before
 * Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Black Panther journalist in Philadelphia          drinking water has become a luxury,     several deaths among the rioters?            our eyes in the battered Caribbean
 whose courageous Death Row struggle for freedom continues 28             as has decent food to eat and a             This is because what’s                   nation of Haiti. But as to whether the
 years after his original legal lynching in 1982.                         paying job. With all this suffering,    happening in Haiti is more than              people will triumph in this struggle,
 * Mordechai Vanunu, the scientist jailed repeatedly since exposing       the flames of discontent among          just a riot, it’s a full blown revolution.   it is hard to tell. For one, they are
 the “secrets” of Israel’s massive nuclear weapons program.               the Haitian people have already         The people of Haiti have made a              being represented by someone who
 * Marwan Barghouti, the popular Palestinian leader serving five life     been lit. What’s now fanned the         conscious decision that the                  doesn’t actually represent their true
 sentences after trials conducted by the occupation authorities,          flames was the most recent travesty     system the live under doesn’t work.          interests. Secondly, they are faced
 which he rightly considers illegal.                                      that Haiti has suffered - the death     This system of corrupted elections,          with some of the best armed men in
 * Mansour Osamloo, leader of the Tehran bus drivers union,               of democracy.                           a massive income gap between                 all of Haiti, when things break down
 repeatedly jailed by the Iranian regime since 2005.                          Last month, the Haitian national    rich and poor and cruise ships               to directly insurrectionary level. For
 * Alex Hundert, anti-G20 activist arrested before the Summit last        elections were on. During that,         sailing by while people starve on            now, we can but watch on as the
 June, and repeatedly imprisoned since then. (Messages to Hundert         thousands upon thousands of             the streets, they recognize that it is       news images of fire and smoke in the
 can be sent c/o Toronto West Detention Centre, 111 Disco Rd, PO          legitimate registered voters were       not right. And so, they have                 streets of Port-au-Prince flash, and
 Box 4950, Rexdale ON M9W 5L6.)                                           prevented from reaching the voting      chosen to fight it, and fight for            hope for the best for the seemingly
                                                                          stations once they declared their       someone they trust, the anti-                perpetually troubled Haitian people.
                                                                          support for anyone but the hand-        American populist Martelly.                         Michael Oosting, Ontario
           PEOPLE'S VOICE                                                 picked successor to former president
                                                                          Rene Preval - Jude Celestin. The
                                                                                                                      However, Martelly may not be
                                                                                                                  the best candidate himself. He is
       ISSN number 1198-8657        Published by New Labour Press Ltd.
       Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement #40011632       people were outraged, and the streets   known to have openly fostered a
   Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Circulation Dept.,
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         Tel: 604.255.2041 Email:                        Harper’s “tribute”                                                                          today!
       Volunteers and contributors for this issue:                            As reported in the Globe and Mail of Oct. 26, 2010, Canadian Prime                   Check your label
   Dave Arland, Ed Bil, Johan Boyden, Wally Brooker,                      Minister Stephen Harper is the latest Canadian politician to pay tribute
   Miguel Figueroa, Sam Hammond, Michael Oosting,                         to victims of a supposedly Russian induced famine of 1933 that starved
       B. Prasant, Liz Rowley, and our mailers in                                                                                                                     Please check the
                                                                          to death ten million Ukrainians (actual Soviet citizens).
                 Vancouver & Toronto.                                                                                                                               address label on the
                                                                              Meanwhile the Saskatchewan party is using the Saskatchewan
   Editor: Kimball Cariou Business Manager: Sam Hammond                   Legislature to pay tribute to the same phony famine. But, repeating                      front page to see if it’s
      Editorial Board: Kimball Cariou, Miguel Figueroa,                   eighty year old Nazi propaganda is proof of nothing.                                         time to renew.
   Doug Meggison, Naomi Rankin, Liz Rowley, Jim Sacouman                      Why do I have a problem with this particular famine of 1933? Because                 Subscribers who find
                                                                          all the population demographics that can be dredged up for the Ukraine of                 "2011/01/01" on their
                                                                          1933 show an increase in population, not a ten million population decrease.                label, for example,
                             LETTERS                                          This deliberate slandering of the Russian people goes back to the time                    will have their
    People's Voice welcomes your letters. We reserve the                  the Russians overthrew the Czars and established a socialist style                        subscriptions expire
  right to edit for length and clarity, and to refuse to print            government for themselves. (A style of government much hated by
                                                                          capitalists). The Russian people have been vilified and attacked ever                        with this issue,
  letters which may be libellous or which contain personal                                                                                                            Jan. 1-15, 2011.
    attacks. Send your views to: "Letters to the Editor"                  since by Capitalist Governments.
        706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1 or                            Perhaps Mr. Harper could take some time out from paying tribute to
                                                                          victims of a phoney famine and explain why Canada along with some                            Don’t miss a
                                                                          other capitalist countries sent troops to Russia to make war on the new                      single copy -
   People's Voice articles may be reprinted without                       Russian government. For what compelling reason did Canada do that?                           renew today!
     permission provided the source is credited.                                                         Henry Neufeld, Waldeck, Saskatchewan
                                                                                                                                         5 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

                           Marxist                                          Time for a global anti-imperialist
                         Theory Today                                         front, says Miguel Figueroa
Presentation to the 12th                    related question of alliances, and                                                  spoken of the necessity for such a        taking some limited but valuable
International Meeting of                    their critical importance in our work.                                              global democratic and anti-imperialist    initiatives between meetings, such
Communist & Workers’                        Some might be inclined to think that                                                front of struggle, to defend national     as drafting and issuing joint party
Parties, Dec. 3-5, 2010, in                 conducting a persistent ideological                                                 sovereignty, to maintain regional and     statements on critical regional and
South Africa, by Miguel                     struggle against reformism and                                                      world peace, and to counter               international issues.
Figueroa, leader of the                     opportunism is incompatible with                                                    imperialism’s economic and military           The Communist Party of Canada
Communist Party of Canada                   our efforts to build and strengthen                                                 aggression around the world. But          has been a strong proponent of
                                            alliances with other social, class                                                  what have we Communists concretely        this process from the very
    Esteemed Delegates, dear                and political forces within and                                                     done to breathe life into this idea? Is   beginning, and we continue to
Comrades,                                   among the labour and popular                                                        it not time, comrades, for our parties    support its work today and into the
    Our Party joins with all others in      forces. On the contrary, both unity                                                 to jointly consider this matter in a      future. That said, it is our view that
expressing our gratitude to its             and struggle are absolutely                                                         serious way, and to come forward          this process is rapidly approaching
organizers and especially our hosts,        essential and dialectically inter-                                                  with some proposals to give a political   a crossroad in its development.
the South African Communist Party           connected. The struggle will never                                                  and organizational expression to the      Like any other social or natural
for convening this important                advance without the highest level                                                   formation of such a front?                process, our process must either
meeting of our international                of unity in action within the ranks of                                                  Allow me to conclude with some        grow and develop, or else it will
                                                                                     Communist Party of Canada
movement. And we pay tribute to             labour, and together with its closest                                               brief comments about our own              wither and die...
                                                                                     leader Miguel Figueroa
this beautiful land and its resolute        social allies. And yet the                                                          process - the International                 Comrades, we realize that as a
people, and especially to its many          achievement of such unity requires       2009 at an international gathering in      Meetings of Communist & Workers           small Communist Party, we are not
revolutionary leaders and martyrs -         an unremitting “battle of ideas”         Caracas, President Hugo Chavez             Parties. Over the past twelve years,      in the position to contribute many
past and present - who have helped          against those forces and currents        came forward with an interesting, if       this process has developed both           new resources to our collective
to forge a pathway to a brighter            which fear militancy and seek instead    also somewhat bewildering                  politically and organizationally. The     efforts to deepen our process, but
future, to a socialist future.              accommodation and outright               proposal for a “New International”.        agreement to establish a Working          we urge all parties to seriously
    Comrades, our party shares the          collusion with the class enemy. So       Our Party decided to publicly              Group several years ago was an            reflect on this question over the
analysis of the current global              we must battle on both of these          withhold comment on this proposal,         important step forward. The               coming period, and leading up to
economic crisis that has been               fronts simultaneously in our political   as did most other parties around the       Working Group has played a                our next meeting. Let us grow and
expressed repeatedly over the               work.                                    world. We felt that it was first           decisive role not only in preparing       develop, comrades; it is far better
course of this any other exchanges             How should we approach the            necessary to learn more about the          for our annual meetings but also in       than the alternative. ●
since its onset in 2008: that it did not    struggle for alliances? Our Party        thinking behind this idea, what its
arise as a result of errors,                considers it quite wrong to pay          proposed programmatic basis
mismanagement or inadequate                 ‘lip-service’ to alliance-building,      would be, its structure and
mechanisms of regulation, but rather        and then to proceed as if we are the     membership rules, and so on, before
as an inevitable consequence of             ‘only game in town’, so to speak -       taking a formal position. It is now
the dynamics of this rotten,                to believe that we alone are privy to    obvious that the idea was not fully
exploitative system itself, that            the truth, and to behave in a narrow     thought through, and has been
monopoly capital is using this crisis       or sectarian manner, as President        quietly shelved or abandoned. If
not only to protect its interests, but      Zuma reminded us yesterday.              the intention was to form an
to squeeze even more advantage                 It is equally if not more             International in the spirit of the First
out of this situation at the expense        impermissible however for the            International led by Marx and
of the working class and the people;        Communists to enter into alliances       Engels, or of the 3rd Communist
that the struggle of the workers and        in a self-effacing way, making           International, then the proposal was
their allies to defend their jobs, living   unprincipled political and               grossly premature and hopelessly
standards and social/political rights       ideological concessions for the sake     muddled. But what if President
from the impact of the crisis               of maintaining unity, and jettisoning    Chavez had something else in mind?
objectively constitutes a challenge         the independent role of the              What if he was thinking about the
to the capitalist system as a whole,        Communist Party in the process.          need to build a structural vehicle for
even if they are not always or              This is the route to tailism in the      an international democratic and anti-
completely conscious of that fact;          short run, and to liquidationism over    imperialist front instead? What
and finally, that therefore the             the longer term. We go down that         would have been our attitude in that
revolutionary leadership role of the        road at our peril, comrades.             case?
Communist parties in each country              A few words about anti-                   This begs a larger question,
is absolutely consequential and             imperialist solidarity at the            comrades. Our Party, and many others
decisive.                                   international level. In September of     sitting in this hall today, have long
    It is true, as the comrade
president of COSATU said
yesterday, that in general the
working class response has not
been sufficiently united, militant
                                                  IMF, ECB and EU are sacrificing
and purposeful to seize the
initiative, and as a result the ruling
classes have so far been able to
                                                 the Irish people to save the euro
recover and steer developments to           Statement by the                         on the people. There is no other
serve their interests.                      Communist Party of                       solution than to repudiate this
    But the crisis is far from over,        Ireland, Nov. 29, 2010                   unpayable debt.
comrades. Rather, it has entered its                                                    It is clear that the Irish
second stage of maturation, one                The imposed “solution” to             establishment put up little if any
likely to be far more protracted and        the Irish state’s growing and            resistance to the demands being
painful than its opening round. If          deepening crisis is to make every        imposed by our so-called “partners”
this assessment is accurate, then it        person an indentured servant to          in the European Union. These are
follows that it is still possible to        the needs and interests of EU            the same people who negotiated
change the outcome of this crisis,          finance houses, in particular to         the Lisbon Treaty while admitting
to shift the balance of class forces        German banks. The National               that they had not even read it.
against international finance               Pension Fund is now to be                   The dependent relationship
capital and in favour of the working        squandered to bail out banks             with the EU that all three main
class and working people on both            that should have been allowed            parties have pushed our
the national and international              to go to the wall from the               country into over the last four
levels. But for working class               beginning.                               decades is now being laid bare.
resistance and fightback to grow,              The punitive interest rate of 5.8     They have now put the interests
and for fresh advances and                  per cent is unpayable without            of saving the euro and German
victories to be achieved, this will in      enormous hardship being inflicted        bond-holders before those of
turn require a most unremitting                                                                                                            Irish Communists at rally against the EU/IMF "bailout"
struggle against all shades of                                                                                                  the Irish people.                         either here in Ireland or in the
reformism, opportunism and class
collaborationism which still                    REDS ON THE WEB                                                                     Working people will pay a very
                                                                                                                                heavy price over the coming
                                                                                                                                                                          members-states in general, need to
                                                                                                                                                                          think again.
dominate within the leadership of
the trade union movement in most                                                                decades for the deal being imposed
                                                                                                                                by the EU and ECB and the IMF.
                                                                                                                                                                             It is the first duty of the state to
                                                                                                                                                                          protect all its citizens. We need to
of our countries, and certainly                                                                                                 Thousands of jobs will be lost,           break whatever EU rules and
within the leading imperialist states                                                              hospitals will close, class sizes will    treaties are necessary in order to
themselves. This is the most
important and urgent task facing
                                                                                                        grow even worse.
                                                                                                                                    Those who still harbour the
                                                                                                                                                                          protect the interests of the Irish
                                                                                                                                                                          people, and to set about a
the Communists today, in our view.
    Allow me now to turn to the
                                                                                                      illusion that the European Union is       fundamental change in economic
                                                                                                                                somehow good for working people,          policy and direction. ●
6 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

                                                          Youth Festival delegates
                                                          welcomed with fireworks,
                                                          friendship and solidarity
By Johan Boyden                            youth, about fifteen, appear from             The rain has ended and back out          marched behind a banner                  occupation and the fight for peace.
                                           around the corner of the building          on the street a bus has stopped.            demanding that a better Canada is        They are U.S. delegates who
DECEMBER 13 - The opening                  in a quick-step run. Their fists are       Suddenly Latin American music               possible, and with flags from            denounce their country’s foreign
ceremonies of the World Festival of        in the air and their voices fill the       blares as the delegates get off and a       Québec, Aboriginal nations               policy. They are from Nepal and
Youth and Students wrapped up              space with a powerful yet beautiful        dance party appears in the street,          including the red Mohawk Unity           talking about the struggle to
with a bang, as fireworks exploded         struggle song in one of South              joined by a crowd of small South            Flag, and the Canadian flag.             defeat the monarchy and now win
over a large sports stadium in a           Africa’s many national languages.          African children dancing with the              We are learning that the young        democracy and for socialism.
township outside Pretoria.                     The delegation gets larger and         delegates. As the music fades the           people all over the world do not            People’s Voice will feature
Delegates had just heard President         their chants echo off the big festival     scene seems to almost blur in the heat,     accept the miserable future offered      interviews from the festival in
Zuma welcome them to South Africa,         hall buildings. Young people join in       but the diversity and energy of this        them by capitalism and                   subsequent issues. Already young
and the leader of the African              and follow them. Then another              tremendous event, the largest anti-         imperialism. They yearn for a new        socialists and communists from
National Congress Youth League             delegation appears with a giant banner     imperialist gathering of youth and          world and a different social order,      diverse countries such as Palestine,
called for free public education and       - Our country will never again be a        students in the world, becomes clear.       that puts people first. They are         Western Sahara, the United Arab
putting the economy under the              colony, it proclaims. The chanting            The delegations from Africa are          from Spain, talking about the            Emirates, Hungry, Paraguay and
people’s control.                          and singing grows. In the background       the largest. There are big groups from      strikes and protests. Iraqi Kurds,       Vietnam have been interviewed
   Some delegations are still in           are giant Vietnamese flags.                Angola, Zimbabwe, Libya, Algeria,           talking about ending the                 about struggles in their country. ●
arrival. The opening gates and                 The South African sunshine is          and South Africa, but also smaller
registration are a flurry of activity as   slipping away and bold                     delegations from countries like
youth people from all over Africa,         thunderstorms appear on a horizon          Senegal, Mozambique, and Egypt.
but also Asia, Europe, Latin America       of small rolling hills with a beige        There are also sizable delegations
and North America enter the                dried grass. The rain falls and            from Sri Lanka, India, the Democratic
Festival looking tired but excited.        people rush indoors. Turning into          Republic of Korea, Spain, France,
   At the Festival grounds, around         a large hall, young people are seated      Brazil, Cuba, and Venezuela.
the Tshwane University of                  behind a main podium discussing               Forty young delegates are
Technology and the Tshwane Fair            peace, sovereignty and social              attending from Canada, including
grounds, there are some logistical         transformation in their respective         youth activists from the Canadian
challenges, but a great mood of            countries. The current speaker from        Federation of Students, the Québec
friendship and solidarity as young         Bahrain is declaring the need to           solidaire political party, numerous
people from diverse backgrounds            break with US imperialism in the           local student organizations,
and different ideologies gather.           Middle East with a series of lengthy       several locals of the Canadian
   A word picture for readers is not       but powerful slogans.                      Union of Public Employees and
adequate. Picture a street closed              There are problems with                the Canadian Union of Postal
from traffic flowing with young            translation and the delegates are          Workers, Palestine solidarity
people of all nationalities and            hungry because the food has not            activists, queer youth, young
peoples, some draped with national         yet arrived, but people are excited.       Métis and First Nations delegates,
flags, others wearing sports jackets       Everyone has stories of new                Québequoise youth and the Young
in their country’s colours, or just        countries they have just met, what         Communist League of Canada.
casual shorts and t-shirts.                they have told them, gifts                    In the opening ceremonies the            Delegate from Bangladesh at the WFYS opening ceremony in
Suddenly a group of South African          exchanged.                                 All-Canada delegation proudly               South Africa on Dec. 13.

   International Communist meeting in South Africa
Special to PV                              Party, who welcomed the delegates          only system best capable of                 economic transformation of the           attended a 25th anniversary
                                           to this “first ever meeting of             destroying all the vestiges of capitalist   post-apartheid South Africa, to          celebration of the creation of
   Over 100 delegates representing         communist and workers’ parties             exploitation, gender oppression and         address the deepening inequality         COSATU. Following the
51 parties from around the world           on the African continent”. He              the national oppression of the              and poverty.”                            conference, delegates were taken
came together in early December in         thanked the parties for their              people of our country.                          He also spoke of South Africa’s      on tours of the Soweto and
the municipality of Tshwane                decades-long solidarity with the              “In other words, the completion          unshakeable solidarity with              Mamelodi Townships, and visited
(which includes the city of Pretoria),     cause of national liberation, anti-        of the tasks of the national                socialist Cuba, with the just            Freedom Park, Mandela House, and
South Africa for the 12th annual           colonial and anti-imperialist              democratic revolution can only be           struggle of the Palestinian people,      various monuments to the
International Meeting of                   struggles.                                 achieved under a socialist                  and with the struggles of the            struggles and sacrifices of the
Communist and Workers’ Parties                 Nzimande centred his remarks           dispensation.”                              people of Western Sahara.                people, culminating in an emotional
(IMCWP).                                   on the current situation in South             Another highlight of the                     He even joked with the delegates     visit to the world-renowned
   This meeting chose as its theme         Africa, noting that the “first             opening session was the greeting            about a chance encounter with            Apartheid Museum.
the deepening systemic crisis of           democratic election in 1994 was a          brought by South Africa’s                   Mikhail Gorbachev. Zuma said he             The International Meeting
capitalism and the tasks of                democratic breakthrough... [but] it        President Jacob Zuma. In a frank            was tempted to ask how Gorbachev         marked the beginning of a hectic
Communists in defence of                   was not a final defeat of the totality     and thoughtful 45-minute address,           had the temerity to single-              month of political activity in South
sovereignty, deepening social              of reactionary forces, thus signalling     Zuma began by welcoming the                 handedly destroy socialism in the        Africa, which included the 3rd
alliances, strengthening the anti-         that the struggle for the total            Communist delegates to South                USSR, but decided instead to pose        National Congress of the Young
imperialist front in the struggle for      emancipation of the oppressed              Arica, noting that “your presence           a more diplomatic question: “How         Communist League, and the 17th
peace, progress and socialism.             majority was far from over.”               confirms our movement’s                     did you find the wisdom to single-       World Festival of Youth and
Miguel Figueroa participated on                He added that for South African        internationalist and anti-imperialist       handedly end the Cold War?” His          Students, organized by the World
behalf of the Communist Party of           communists, “the total liberation of       character.”                                 unscripted remarks were greeted          Federation of Democratic Youth. ●
Canada.                                    the black people of our country,              Zuma spoke candidly about the            by thunderous laughter.
   The IMCWP was opened by                 whose majority is still the working        challenges facing the ANC-led                   Over the balance of the three-day
Blade Nzimande, General Secretary          class, will not be fully realized unless   government in “grappling with how           meeting, representatives from most
of the South African Communist             there is a transition to socialism - the   to quickly translate the freedom            of the parties addressed the assembly,
                                                                                      attained in 1994 to accelerated             following which they turned their
                                                                                      access to a better life for our people.     consideration to the Tshwane
                                                                                      The national democratic                     Declaration (see page 7) drafted by
                                                                                      revolution enjoins us to work               the IMCWP Working Group. All
                                                                                      together to ensure that the workers         delegates had the opportunity to
                                                                                      and the poor have access to basic           propose amendments, and following
                                                                                      needs such as water, education,             a final round of discussion the
                                                                                      health services, social security,           Declaration was further amended and
                                                                                      electricity, roads and other basic          adopted unanimously, making it the
                                                                                      necessities.”                               centrepiece           and        main
                                                                                         He said that the Tripartite              accomplishment of the meeting.
                                                                                      Alliance - the ANC, the Communist               Despite this heavy agenda,
                                                                                      Party and the trade union central           delegates also joined a public rally
                                                                                      COSATU - accepts as its “key                in Johannesburg in solidarity with
Some of the IMCWP delegates visiting Mandela House.                                   responsibility to shape the                 the Cuban Five, and many later           SACP leader Blade Nzimande
                                                                                                                                      7 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

     The Tshwane Declaration:
     Capitalism’s trajectory threatens human civilization
The 12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers‘ Parties took place
in Tshwane, South Africa from Dec. 3-5, on the theme “The deepening sys-
temic crisis of capitalism. The tasks of Communists in defence of sovereignty,
deepening social alliances, strengthening the anti-imperialist front in the
struggle for peace, progress and Socialism”. 102 delegates representing 51
participating Parties from 43 countries and from all continents came together
to take forward the work of previous meetings, and to promote and develop
common and convergent action around a shared perspective. The “Tshwane
Declaration” was adopted by the parties present at the International Meeting.
Deepening capitalist                    character as an imperialist block           democratic and civil liberties,
crisis                                  led by its main capitalist powers; a        especially trade union rights. The
                                        distinct sharpening of the inter-           retrenchments, including major
    The international situation         imperialist struggle for markets and        spending cuts in the public sector
continues to be dominated by the        access to raw materials; expanding          are having a devastating impact on
persisting and deepening crisis of      militarism, including the                   workers, especially women                Young South African communists at a recent political rally.
capitalism. This reality confirms       strengthening of aggressive                 workers. There are also attempts to
the analyses outlined in the            alliances (for example, the NATO            divert popular distress and                                                           In the face of the intensified
declarations of our 2008 Sao Paulo      Lisbon Summit with its “new”                insecurity into reactionary              Resistance struggles                      aggression of transnational capital,
and 2009 New Delhi 10th and 11th        dangerous strategic concept), the           demagogy,          racism         and    of the working class                      the struggle against imperialist
International Meetings. The             profusion of regional points of             xenophobia, as well as to legitimise     and popular forces                        occupation of countries, against
current global crisis of capitalism     tension and aggression (notably             fascist forces. These are                                                          economic          and      political
underlines its historical limitations   in the Middle East, Asia and Africa),       expressions of anti-democratic and          Across the world, capital‘s            dependency and to defend popular
and the need for its revolutionary      coups in Latin America, the                 authoritarian tendencies also            attempts to load the burden of the        sovereignty         has      become
overthrow. It shows the                 intensification of neo-imperialist          marked by the escalation of anti-        crisis onto workers and the poor is       increasingly salient. In these
intensification of the basic            tendencies of fanning ethnic                communist attacks and campaigns          being met by working class and            struggles it is important for
contradiction of capitalism             conflicts and the increasing                in many parts of the world. In Africa,   popular resistance.                       communists to integrate these
between the social character of         militarization of Africa through,           Asia and Latin America we are               Over the past year the anti-           struggles with the struggle for
production and the private              amongst other things, AFRICOM.              witnessing the imposition on our         people assault on labour rights,          social and class emancipation.
capitalist appropriation.                   At the same time it has become          peoples of new mechanisms of             social-security rights and wages             Communists, fighting against
    The crisis is systemic - despite    clear that capitalism‘s trajectory          national and class oppression,           provoked an escalation of popular         imperialism, struggle for equitable
pre-2008 capitalist illusions to the    with its profit-maximising,                 including economic, financial,           struggles notably in Europe.              international relations between
contrary, capitalism cannot escape      headlong destruction of natural             political and military means as well     Imperialist aggression in the             states and peoples on the basis of
its in-built, systemic tendency to      resources, and of the environment           as the deployment of an array of         Middle East, Asia and Latin               mutual benefit.
go through cycles of boom and           in general poses a grave threat to          pro-imperialist NGOs.                    America continues to meet resolute           The defence, consolidation and
bust. The current global crisis is a    the sustainability of human                    However, for the mass of              popular resistance.                       advance of popular sovereignty is
particularly severe manifestation       civilization itself. The political elites   peoples, in particular in Africa, Asia      In Africa and Latin America, anti-     of particular importance in Africa
of a capitalist downturn occasioned     in the dominant capitalist states           and Latin America, it is important       imperialist forces, trade unions, and     and for other peoples that have
by capitalist over-production.          with their various proposals for            to remember that, even before the        social movements have escalated           experienced decades and even
Now, as in the past, there is no        “green technologies” and carbon             current global economic crisis, life     their struggles for the rights of the     centuries of colonial and semi-
answer, within the logic of             trading at best represent                   under capitalism was a continuing        people and against the plunder by         colonial oppression. 2010 marks the
capitalism, to these periodic crises    adjustments which increase the              crisis, a daily struggle for bare        the multinational corporations.           50th anniversary of the
other than crisis itself, marked by     profitability of capital while              survival. Even before the current        These struggles have, in some cases,      commencement of the formal de-
the massive and socially irrational     deepening the commodification of            global crisis, one billion people        led to the emergence of progressive,      colonisation of Africa. Yet
destruction of assets - including       nature, and the transfer of climate         were living in squalid slums, and        popular national governments that         everywhere, including in the African
mass job lay-offs, factory closures,    change crises onto less developed           half of the world‘s population was       declare programmatically for national     diaspora, the grim legacy of the slave-
and the wholesale attack on wages,      countries. The crisis of the capitalist     surviving on less than $2 a day.         sovereignty, social rights,               trade, of colonial dispossession and
pensions, social security and           system that we face as humankind            With the crisis these realities have     development and for the protection        plunder persist. Notwithstanding 50
erosion of people‘s livelihoods.        is directly linked to capitalism‘s          been massively aggravated.               of their natural resources and            years of formal de-colonisation,
This is why, at our previous two        inability to reproduce itself except           Most of these urban and rural         biodiversity, giving renewed              everywhere imperialist interventions
meetings, we correctly asserted         through a voracious pursuit of              poor, along with family members          impetus to the anti-imperialist           are reinforced, the dominance of the
that the current crisis was not         compound growth. It is a crisis that        working as vulnerable migrants in        struggle.                                 monopolies is being strengthened
merely attributable to subjective       can only be overcome through the            foreign countries, are the displaced        In the current reality, it is an       with the aid of domestic capital. The
failings, to the greed of bankers or    abolition of capitalism itself.             victims of the accelerated capitalist    historic imperative that as               struggle against them requires the
financial speculators. It remains a         Faced with these realities,             agrarian development under-way           Communist and Workers‘ Parties            active protagonism and unity of the
crisis embedded in the systemic         everywhere capital fights back,             in Africa, Asia and Latin America.       we participate, to strengthen and         popular masses, and the broadening
features of capitalism itself.          seeking to preserve profits and to          Global capitalism, spear-headed by       transform these popular defensive         of popular democratic rights.
    The persisting crisis is            transfer the burden of its crisis           the major corporates in the agro-        battles into offensive struggles for
compounded by significant shifts        onto the working class by                   industrial sector, has declared war      the acquisition of broader workers‘       Deepening social
in the international balance of         intensifying exploitation based on          on nearly one-half of humanity -         and people rights and for the
forces. In particular, there is the     gender and age, the urban and               the three billion remaining rural        abolition of capitalism.
on-going relative decline of US         rural poor, and a wide range of             people in Africa, Asia and Latin            In advancing this strategic               The ongoing crisis of capitalism
economic global hegemony,               middle strata. Exploitation is              America.                                 agenda, communists stress the             and its anti-civilisation fight-back
general productive stagnation in        intensified, the state is used to              At the same time inhuman              significance that the organisation        are creating the conditions to build
most advanced capitalist                rescue private bankers and                  barriers are being set up against        of the working class, and the             broad social, anti-monopolistic and
economies, and the emergence of         financial houses while exposing             immigrants and refugees. There is        development of the struggles of the       anti-imperialist alliances capable
new global economic powers,             future         generations             to   an ever-increasing mushrooming           labour movement in a class-oriented       of gaining power and promoting
notably China. The crisis has           unsustainable levels of debt, and           of urban and semi-urban slums            direction, have in the struggle for       deep, progressive, radical, and
intensified the competition             there are intensified efforts to roll       populated         by      desperate      the acquisition of political power by     revolutionary changes.
between the imperialist centres and     back social gains.                          marginalised masses typically            the working class and its allies.            Working class unity is a
also between the established and            In the entire capitalist world,         involved in a variety of activities         Within the framework of this           fundamental factor in ensuring the
emerging powers. This includes          labour, social, economic, political         for survival. The accelerated            struggle we attach particular             construction of effective social
the US-led currency war; the            and social security rights are being        capitalist agrarian transformation       importance to:                            alliances with the peasantry, the
concentration and centralization        abolished. At the same time the             in countries with a lower level of       * The defence, consolidation and          mass of urban and rural poor, the
of economic and political power         political systems are being made            capitalist development has               advance of popular national               urban middle class strata and
within the EU deepening its             more reactionary , restricting              genocidal implications.                  sovereignty                               intellectuals. Particular attention
                                                                                                                             * The deepening of social alliances       needs to be paid to the aspirations
                                                                                                                             * Strengthening the anti-imperialist      of, and challenges confronting
                                                                                                                             front for peace, for the right to full-   youth.
                                                                                                                             time stable work, labour rights and          The land question, agrarian
                                                                                                                             social rights such as free health         reform and rural development are
                                                                                                                             and education.                            important issues for the
                                                                                                                                                                       development of popular struggle
                                                                                                                             The defence, consoli-                     in lesser developed countries.
                                                                                                                             dation and advance of                     These are inextricably linked to
                                                                                                                             popular sovereignty
                                                                                                                                                                            see TSHWANE, page 11
8 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

                                                Global class struggle
                                         June. Shahabi was to be released        country, decided not to strike this     predicts that unemployment will              and working-time accords with
Minimum wage                             on October 11 after his family          year for the second consecutive         rise to 14.5% in 2011, the third             their own staff.
cuts in Ireland                          posted bail of 60 million tomans        year. But temporary workers want        consecutive year of recession. The
                                         ($57,103). The family said it further   job security which employers            Dec. 15 strike was to demand that
   Workers on Ireland’s existing         agreed to pay a surety of 100 million   refuse to deliver so as to cut costs    the government protect jobs and
                                                                                                                                                                      Indonesian migrant
minimum wage can be sacked and           tomans, but that Shahabi remains        and raise flexibility. The strikers     give back pension benefits                   workers face abuse
replaced by staff on the new lower       in prison.                              came under mounting pressure from       scrapped under an EU and IMF
rate. Finance Minister Brian                 “They say he is not going to be     management, as Hyundai filed a          bailout plan.                                   In its 48-page report “Rights on
Lenihan insists the new hourly           released for certain reasons,” but      combined 16.2 billion won ($14              During 2010, under pressure              the Line: Human Rights Watch
rate of 7.65 euros would only affect     no one has disclosed those              million Cdn) in damage suits            from PAME, the All-Workers                   Work on Abuses against Migrants
new workers, and anyone on the           reasons, Shahabi’s brother Hassan       against them.                           Militant Front, the GSEE and the             in 2010,” Human Rights Watch
existing rate of 8.65 euros would be     told Radio Farda on Dec. 9. “He is                                              public sector union federation               highlights the abuse and
protected. But Michael Noonan of         just a labor activist and his only                                              ADEDY staged six joint general               exploitation suffered by
the Fine Gael party says that in the     activity is to support labor rights.
                                                                                 Police attack                           strikes.                                     Indonesian migrant workers in
“real world”, workers on the higher      If the demand for labor rights and      demonstrators in                            The GSEE also called a 24-hour           Malaysia and Middle Eastern
rate can be “let go” because they        support of the labor is a crime, they                                           strike at all retail sales outlets in        countries.
were costing employers 40 euros          ought to say so.”                       Bangladesh                              Athens on December 12. The GSEE                 “We see the same type of abuse
more per week. Rather than making            Two other members of the                                                    objected to a decision to allow              happen over and over again,”
Ireland more competitive, the            Tehran Bus Workers’ Union,                 At least four people were killed     shops in Athens to open on the               Nisha Varia, the senior women’s
savings from cutting the rate will       Ebrahim Madadi, and Mansur              and dozens injured in the               second Sunday of December,                   rights researcher for HRW, told
go into the pockets of employers,        Osanlu, are serving prison terms of     Bangladesh port city of Chittagong      calling it illegal and abusive. The          the Jakarta Globe on Dec. 11. She
opposition parties warn.                 three and five years respectively       on Dec. 12 after police attacked a      labour body urged employees to               also said the lack of sanctions
   The cuts to the minimum wage          on charges of endangering               crowd of garment workers                send a strong message to those               against abusive employers have
were rushed through on Dec. 10,          security.                               protesting for higher wages. The        “trying to abolish the Sunday                caused cases to persist.
with the Government winning with                                                 Korean-owned Youngone Ltd. in           holiday during the time of                      The report says local authorities
a comfortable majority. Both Fine                                                the Chittagong Export Processing        economic crisis and recession,               have been slow to investigate or
Gael and Labour claimed that those                                               Zone (CEPZ) shut all its 11 units for   alongside with the slashing of               prosecute abusers. The case of
on the minimum wage were not on                                                  an indefinite period on Dec. 11.        wages, further deterioration of              Keni binti Carda - an Indonesian
“rock solid contracts” and had very                                              Around 10,000 workers at the            work conditions and complete                 domestic worker who was burned
“loose arrangements” with their                                                  factories, unaware of the               disruption of labour relations.”             with an iron by her Saudi Arabian
employers.                                                                       shutdown, went to work the next             The Greek government plans to            employers in September 2008 - was
   David Begg, general secretary                                                 morning and found the factory           push through changes to labour               only investigated following
of the Irish Congress of Trade                                                   closed. They attacked the main          contracts and wage cuts at state             international pressure. The report
Unions, described the vote to cut                                                gate of the factory and damaged         enterprises, stepping up the attacks         also includes testimony from
the minimum wage as Ireland’s                                                    gates and windows of other              to meet conditions of the 110                Saminem, an Indonesian maid who
“day of shame”.                                                                  factories, where workers joined         billion-euro ($146 billion) European         told HRW in Kuala Lumpur of her
                                                                                 their protest.                          Union-led bailout. The law will be           exploitation by her employers.
                                                                                    Police fired around 600 rounds       discussed in Parliament under fast-             “I was mistreated by my
COSATU seeks                                                                     of rubber bullets, lobbed 150           track rules, to take effect on Jan. 1.       employers. I woke up at 5 am and
                                                                                 teargas canisters, and charged with
action on wages                                                                  batons to disperse the workers.
                                                                                                                         Workers at state companies                   went to sleep at 2 or 3 am. I never
                                                                                                                         including Hellenic Railways and              get a day off. I had no rest. The
   The Congress of South African             Meanwhile, Iran has sentenced       The protesters retaliated with          other public-transport companies             door was always locked. I could
Trade Unions (COSATU) has                a prominent journalist to 16 months     brickbats, stones and sticks, and       will have wages reduced 10 percent           never go out, only when employers
asked the government to act              in jail on charges of insulting         then burned tires and furniture to      if monthly salaries exceed 1,800             go out with me. I slept in the dining
against poor wages and the               President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad           block traffic at the CEPZ, which        euros. This will affect about 89             room. I never slept in a room ever,”
exploitation of workers. Born in         and undermining the Islamic             houses about 70 foreign                 percent of all employees of state            she said.
1985 at the height of apartheid,         regime. Mashallah Shamsolvaezin         companies that employ about             enterprises. Gross wages will be                The rights group also called on
COSATU has been a major force in         heads the Journalists’ Association      150,000 workers.                        capped at 4,000 euros a month. The           governments to strengthen
the post-apartheid workplace and         of Iran and was the editor of several      At least five vehicles were          Cabinet has also approved                    migrant protection in 2011 and to
political arena. The federation          reformist dailies closed in a           burned and 90 others vandalised,        changes that will allow employers            ratify the International Covenant
celebrated its 25th anniversary in       crackdown on the press between          while the demonstrators ransacked       to sidestep industry-wide wage               on the Rights of All Migrant
Johannesburg in December.                1998 and 2000.                          11 factories and 20 roadside            agreements, by establishing wage             Workers and Their Families.
   Speaking at the event, President          “I was sentenced to one year in     buildings. Traffic movement on
Jacob Zuma stressed the                  prison on the charge of                 Chittagong Airport Road and
importance of unity among the            undermining the establishment for       Dhaka Airport Road and Dhaka-                 Many items in our "Global Class
ruling alliance partners - the African   giving interviews to foreign TV         Sylhet Highway remained halted
                                                                                 for hours. The clashes forced
                                                                                                                               Struggle" column are from the
National Congress, COSATU, and           networks and news agencies,”
the South African Communist              Shamsolvaezin said on Dec. 11. “I       closure of the entire Zone. Two of                Labour Start website,
Party. But in its role as defender of    was also given a four-month             the deceased were identified as          
workers’ rights, COSATU has              sentence for calling Ahmadinejad        rickshaw puller Ariful Islam, 35,
often been at odds with the ANC          a megalomaniac in an interview          and worker Ruhi Das, 45, of CM
leadership, especially considering       with Al-Arabiya TV which the            Superior Garments.
the big increase in unemployment.        prosecutors misinterpreted as              Workers were demanding a new                 Send me information on the
   COSATU Secretary general              crazy and so insulting the              minimum wage that was promised
Zwelinzima Vavi says the country         president.”                             to be implemented in November.                  Communist Party of Canada
cannot afford to have a neutral                                                  The same issue sparked similar
                                                                                                                            The Communist Party of Canada, formed in 1921, has a proud history of
                                                                                 protests in and around the capital,
government under such conditions
for workers. He has called on the
                                         Hyundai strike over                     Dhaka, where around 8,000 workers
                                                                                                                            fighting for jobs, equality, peace, Canadian independence, and socialism.
                                                                                                                            The CPC does much more than run candidates in elections. We think the fight
ANC to take part in COSATU’s                                                     at Kimia Garments, Sunseed                 against big business and its parties is a year-round job, so our members are
                                             Temporary workers at Hyundai
public campaigns.                                                                Apparels and Eden Apparels                 active across the country, to build our party and to help strengthen people’s
                                         Motor agreed on Dec. 9 to end a
   Zuma told the 25th anniversary                                                gathered to demand higher wages.           movements on a wide range of issues. All our policies and leadership are set
                                         one-month sit-in. Since November
celebration that the government’s                                                   In the first increase since 2006,       democratically by our members. To find out more about Canada’s party of
                                         15, subcontracted employees had
new growth plan seeks to create 5                                                the government raised the official         socialism, contact the nearest CPC office.
                                         occupied a factory in the South
million jobs over the next 10 years,                                             minimum wage to 3,000 takas ($45
                                         Korean carmaker’s largest                                                                                  Central Committee CPC
and called on the unions to support                                              Cdn) a month from 1,662 takas ($25
                                         domestic production base, hitting                                                            290A Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON, M4K 1N6
the growth plan. COSATU will                                                     Cdn). Garment workers in                     416-469-2446 <>
                                         output of subcompact cars such
campaign for the ANC in upcoming                                                 Bangladesh are among the lowest-
                                         as the Verna and the new Accent.
local elections, but has also warned                                             paid in the world.
                                         The strike cost Hyundai $277                                                      Parti Communiste du Quebec (section du     Ottawa CPC
that inept and corrupt candidates                                                                                          Parti communiste du Canada)                Tel: 613-232-7108
                                         million in lost production, causing
will not be supported.                   it to report the worst November         New strikes in                            5359 Ave Du Parc, Suite "C"
                                                                                                                           Montreal, QC, H2V 4G9
                                                                                                                                                                      Manitoba Committee CPC
                                                                                                                                                                      387 Selkirk Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2W 2M3
                                         sales among Korean automakers.                                                    Email:                      Tel/fax: 204-586-7824
More crackdowns                              “We have agreed to end a strike     Greece                                    B.C. Committee CPC
                                                                                                                                                                      Ontario Ctee. CPC
                                         today and start talks with                                                        706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1
                                                                                                                                                                      290A Danforth Ave., Toronto, M4K 1N6
                                                                                     A general strike called for Dec.      Tel: 604-254-9836 E-mail:
on Iranian unions                        management,” said Kim Sang-min,
                                                                                 15 by Greece’s largest private sector     Edmonton CPC
                                                                                                                                                                      Tel: 416-469-2446
                                         a spokesperson for the Korean                                                     Box 68112, 70 Bonnie Doon PO               Hamilton Ctee. CPC
   The family of a jailed Iranian                                                labour federation, the GSEE Union,                                                   265 Melvin Ave., Apt. 815
                                         Metal Workers’ Union, a umbrella                                                  Edmonton, AB, T6C 4N6
trade union activist says                                                        is the latest sign of protest against     Tel: 780-465-7893 Fax: 780-463-0209        Hamilton, ON,
                                         union of Hyundai contract                                                                                                    Tel: 905-548-9586
authorities continue to hold him                                                 austerity measures adopted by the         Calgary CPC
                                         workers.                                                                                                                     Atlantic Region CPC
after bail was posted, Radio Farda                                               “socialist” PASOK government.             Unit #1, 19 Radcliffe Close SE,
                                             Labor unrest has often caused                                                 Calgary, AB, T2A 6B2 Tel: 403-248-6489     Box 70, Grand Pré, NS, B0P 1M0
reported recently. Reza Shahabi,                                                 Unemployment has already jumped                                                      Tel/fax: 902-542-7981
                                         disruptions in Asia’s fourth-                                                     Saskatchewan CPC
the treasurer of the Tehran Bus                                                  to 12% since the measures were
                                         largest economy. Hyundai’s                                                        Email: <>
Workers’ Union, was arrested in                                                  adopted, and the government
                                         union, the most powerful in the
                                                                                                                                    9 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

   General strike in Portugal against austerity measures
By Emile Schepers,                      European Union and share the Euro
People’s World                          currency. The others are Ireland,
                                        Italy, Greece and Spain. All of these
   A massive one-day general            countries have been hit by debt
strike paralysed Portugal on            crises, with budget deficits far
November 24, as major labour            beyond what the European Union
federations united to denounce          rules allow, as well as national debt
austerity measures being imposed        close to or exceeding the annual
by the Socialist Party (social          Gross Domestic Product (in
democrat) Prime Minister, Jose          Portugal, more than 80 percent).
Socrates.                                   This is leading to sharp increases
   The unions claim the strike was      in the cost of borrowing. In spite of
80 percent effective. Media reported    differences in the political
complete shutdowns in many areas        composition of their current
of airlines, public transportation,     governments, they have all
government administrative offices,      responded by imposing austerity
schools and health care facilities,     measures, designed to reassure the
throughout Portugal and in the          financial markets, that hit workers
autonomous island territories of the    and the poor especially hard.
Azores and Madeira. Although the            Several of the countries have
backbone of the strike consisted of     been negotiating bailouts with the
government workers, there were          Council of Europe, the European
reports of bank and factory closings    Central Bank and even the
as well. Between a million and a half   International Monetary Fund. PM
and three million workers may have      Socrates says that Portugal will
stayed home in this country of barely   not need such a bailout, though
10 million.                             this is what the Irish government        protests against the austerity            and social democrat-led unions is        worsening of the cost of living.
   Portugal is the “P” in the “PIIGS”   was saying just before it went hat       program back in May. Now the              a first in 22 years, and is especially   [These are] workers for whom a
group of poorer Western European        in hand to seek just such help.          government, still faced with large        significant because the Prime            one day strike implies a loss of a
nations that are members of the             Portugal already saw massive         budget deficits, has decided to           Minister is from the Socialist Party.    day’s wages.”
                                                                                 impose a new austerity program,           So a large proportion of his social          Meanwhile in Ireland, Prime
                                                                                 including a one percentage point          base is in fact repudiating his          Minister Brian Cowan of the Fianna
 Support a peaceful solution to                                                  rise in the regressive value added tax
                                                                                 (from 20 percent to 21 percent), a hike
                                                                                                                               The PCP and labour see the
                                                                                                                                                                    Fail party is seeing his house of
                                                                                                                                                                    cards nearer to collapse. His
 the Korean Peninsula dispute                                                    in income taxes, cuts in pensions         government as trying to resolve          coalition partner, the Green Party,
                                                                                 and the pay (of up to 5 percent           the crisis on the backs of workers,      has pulled out of the governing
                                                                                 annually) of civil servants, and          small farmers and the poor. They         coalition and there is a rebellion in
Statement by the Central Executive Committee,                                    cutbacks in public services in general.   demand that the government               the ranks of Fianna Fail in the Dail
Communist Party of Canada, Dec. 3, 2010                                             The two major union federations        rather impose a sharp increase in        (the lower house of the Irish
    The Communist Party of Canada condemns the Canadian                          in Portugal united to oppose and          taxes on the rich, who they              parliament). Also, while swearing
government’s role in helping to fan the flames of war in the Korean              protest the cuts through the              consider to have caused the              that there would be no need to ask
peninsula, and urges instead a policy of supporting broad international          general strike. They are the General      problem in the first place.              for a bailout from the European
efforts to seek peaceful, negotiated resolutions to the historic disputes        Confederation of Portuguese                   In a statement on its website,       Union, Cowan is now forced to
in this region.                                                                  Workers (CGTP), which is the              the Communist Party of Portugal          negotiate for just such help.
    The main source of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula has               largest union federation in the           hailed the striking workers for their        Now all eyes are on Spain, with
been the increasingly hawkish stand of the new South Korean                      country and which is close to the         courage in adversity: This was “a        35 million people the second largest
government of President Lee Myung-bak, with the encouragement of                 Portuguese Communist Party                success all the more outstanding         of the PIIGS countries after Italy. If
U.S. and Japanese imperialism. The recent exchange of artillery fire took        (PCP), and the General Union of           given how many hundreds of               Spain should catch the Greek-Irish-
place in disputed coastal territories off the western South Korea/               Workers, UGT, which is close to           thousands of workers are                 Portuguese disease, the survival
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) frontier. In this same              the governing Socialist Party.            confronted by situations of              of the Euro currency will be severely
area, 70,000 South Korean troops and U.S. nuclear warships have been                This unity between communist           indebtedness and with the                threatened. ●
carrying out mock invasion manoeuvres, which are a dangerous
provocation against the DPRK.
    The huge U.S. military presence in the peninsula and its massive
support for the South Korean government are part of a strategy going
back over half a century. to maintain the division of Korea and to
“contain” countries which oppose U.S. hegemony in the region. As long
                                                                                  Is there a “global strike wave”?
as U.S. imperialism maintains this policy, the danger of a renewed war in            Data compiled by independent          three largest national strike actions    research is hindered by
the Korean peninsula will remain, with the potential for deadly                   labour researchers indicates that        across the planet over the past          conflicting or missing estimates
consequences affecting the entire world.                                          there may be a significant increase      century took place during one            of the number of participants,
    We warn once again that attempts to isolate and threaten North                in the numbers of workers                calendar year.                           and varying definitions. The huge
Korea, such as blockades, sanctions or unilateral military aggression,            involved in mass strikes across             Other countries which have            strike by immigrant workers and
pose grave dangers. Such moves amount to a declaration of war                     the globe. One interesting list          witnessed large numbers of               their supporters in the USA on
against the DPRK, with unforeseeable results. Renewed hostilities                 was circulated recently by Peter         strikers in recent years include the     May 1, 2006, for example, was
against the DPRK, as part of a hypocritical U.S. stance which allows              Hall-Jones of the New Unionism           USA, Britain, China, Nigeria, Egypt,     strictly speaking a mass political
its allies such as Israel to build up nuclear weapons, would harm global          Network. Hall-Jones points out           Colombia,             Bangladesh,        action rather than a strike against
efforts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to achieve               that a huge strike wave involving        Madagascar, Nepal and Cambodia.          a government or employers.
universal and comprehensive disarmament.                                          up to 100,000,000 workers across         Hall-Jones calculates that two-             Others might argue that an
    Instead of supporting U.S. imperialism in its anti-Korean                     India last September 7 was ignored       thirds of the largest strikes in         increase in industrial action is
provocations,                                                                     by western media, in favour of           history have occurred in the last        only to be expected, since the
Canada should               Selected US military
                                                                                  reporting on “a Gainesville              decade.                                  international working class has
respect          the facilities in South Korea                                    preacher who had threatened to              These include the USA (4 million      grown considerably as more
sovereignty of the                                                                burn a Koran.”                           in 2006) India (50 million in both       countries industrialize.
DPRK, and call on                                                                    The action in India was notable       2003 and 2005, and 10 million in            But Hall-Jones argues that the
the United States                                                                 for bringing together most of that       2002), Italy (10 million in 2002),       figures reveal that while union
to sign a peace                                                                   country’s unions, which are              South Africa (2 million in 2008, and     numbers have fallen in some
treaty with the                                                                   divided along cultural, sectoral,        1 million in 2006), France (2 million    countries, “the dominant narrative
DPRK to finally                                                                   religious and political lines, to        in 2003, and 1 million in 2009),         of union decline is false. It is an
end the Korean                                                                    resist the growing attack on the         Nigeria (2 million in both 2007 and      ideological position - a portrait of
War. We also                                                                      rights of working people.                2004), Britain (1 million in 2006),      the world the way some would
renew our de-                                                                        The year 2010 also saw huge           and Madagascar (1 million in 2002).      wish it to be. The facts tell a
mand that Canada                                                                  strikes in seven other countries,           For Canadians, one gap in Hall-       different story, and so the facts
call for the removal                                                              including an estimated 2.5 million       Jones’ research is quickly evident.      are being ignored or distorted to
of all U.S. military                                                              in France, 10 million in Spain           There is no mention of the 1976          suit.”
forces from South                                                                 (involving about 70% of the              Day of Protest against wage                 He also points out that the
Korea and the                                                                     workforce!), 3 million in Portugal,      controls, organized by the               New Unionism Network has
Asia-Pacific                                                                      2 million each in Greece and             Canadian Labour Congress and             gathered comparable data on
region, and that it                                                               Turkey, 1.3 million in South Africa,     other labour federations. On             union membership post-2000 for
support talks for a                                                               and 1 million in Italy. According        October 14, 1976, one million            81 countries, showing that 52
regional nuclear                                                                  to the figures compiled by Hall-         workers walked out, the biggest          countries have experienced union
weapons-free                                                                      Jones (who admits that his               single labour action in Canadian         growth over the last decade, while
zone and the abo-                                                                 research remains incomplete),            history.                                 just 23 have experienced union
lition of all nuclear                                                             this means that eight of the thirty-        Hall-Jones also warns that his        decline. ●
weapons. ●
10 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

                                            How enormous wealth
                                             generates inequality
                                          so high up that it’s hard to see           My only quibbles are with the
The Trouble with
                                          them. Way up there, for instance,       final chapter, “Reshaping the
Billionaires, by Linda
McQuaig and Neil Brooks,
                                          is Siegfried Wolf, CEO of Magna
                                          International, with an income of
                                                                                  Ovarian Lottery,” which presents
                                                                                  important recommendations such
                                                                                                                                                          By Wally Brooker
2010, Toronto, Viking Canada,
                                          $13 million, standing 2,054 feet tall   as ways to establish a more
272 pages. Available by mail
from People’s Co-op Books,
                                          - more than nine times as tall as       progressive taxation system. Given      Sounds Like a Revolution
                                          John Armstrong, the tallest person      the huge deficit and budget
1391 Commercial Drive,                                                                                                    Sounds Like a Revolution, a documentary on contemporary protest
                                          in the 1978 parade. Indeed, Wolf is     numbers tossed around by Tory
Vancouver, tel. 604-253-6442.                                                                                             music by Canadian filmmakers Summer Love and Jane Michener,
                                          so immense, he is actually taller       finance ministers, it would have
                                          than the CN Tower... Then finally,      been useful if the authors had          highlighted the opening of the 15th Annual Amnesty International Film
Review by Kimball Cariou                                                                                                  Festival in Vancouver on November 18. The film, which received its world
                                          at the very end of the parade, is the   provided some calculations of the
    Although she usually steers away      tallest man in Canada, Michael          revenues which could be                 premier at Toronto’s NXNE music festival last summer, features
from the terms “capitalism” and           Lazaridis, another CEO of Research      generated by making the rich pay        performances and interviews with notable activist musicians including
“socialism”, author Linda McCuaig         in Motion, with a take-home pay of      a higher share of the tax burden.       The Dixie Chicks, Steve Earle, Michael Franti, Ani DiFranco & David
is rightfully renowned for her exposés    $51 million, standing 8,058 feet tall      The final recommendation is to       Crosby. Director Summer Love was inspired to make the film after her
of the injustices and inequalities of     - more than a mile and a half high.     enact an inheritance tax which          “hippie” mother suggested that protest music does not exist in any
the system we live under.                 From the viewing deck at the top of     would be used to introduce a new        meaningful way today. The musicians discuss the role of artists in society,
    Starting in 1987 with Behind          the CN Tower, we donÆt even             “education trust” for every             freedom of expression and democratic participation in the contemporary
Closed Doors: How the Rich Won            come up to his knees.                   Canadian child. This would make         world. To see the trailer visit:
Control of Canada’s Tax System ...            “Most Canadians probably            higher education more freely
And Ended Up Richer, McQuaig              regard extreme inequality as a thing    available, removing a key barrier to    Say It Ain’t So, Arlo!
has now published ten books               of the past. But while kings and        economic equality. That may well
skewering corporate greed and the         nobles of pre-industrial times          be, but it seems a limited approach     Woody Guthrie wrote his celebrated anthem “This Land is Your Land”
right-wing policies which have            enjoyed a standard of living that       to wind up a very powerful book.        in 1940, in response to the flag-waving Irving Berlin song “God Bless
devastated working people in recent       was wildly lavish and grand                These minor shortcomings             America.” It’s disappointing to learn that the troubador’s son Arlo
decades. She also churns out              compared to the poor in their day,      aside, The Trouble With                 performed a sanitized version of the song aboard a float in New York
newspaper columns which present           that gap was not as extreme as the      Billionaires should be required         City’s annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Unlike his friend
valuable information to counter the       one that separates Canadian             reading for every supporter of social   Pete Seeger, who sang the unexpurgated version at President Obama’s
mainstream media propaganda flood.        billionaires from the homeless          justice and equality. ●                 inauguration in January 2009, Arlo skipped the most hard-hitting
    One of McQuaig’s specialties is       living in Toronto, Calgary, and                                                 verses, including this one: “As I went walking I saw a sign there/And
her ability to create images which        Vancouver today.”                                                               on the sign it said “No Trespassing/But on the other side it didn’t say
leap off the page. One early book             The       Trouble         With                                              nothing/That side was made for you and me.” The younger Guthrie,
presented a startling view of             Billionaires tears apart the lame                                               famous for his 1967 anti-war classic “Alice’s Restaurant” is now a
economic equality: a long parade in       excuses bandied about by the                                                    registered Republican and supporter of libertarian congressman and
which the poor and working people         corporate media for such vast                                                   2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul. Say it ain’t so!
are dwarfed by the final few rich and     inequalities. In clear, powerful
powerful giants.                          prose, McQuaig and Brooks                                                       Hip-hop artists release Peltier benefit CD
    That image returns in McQuaig’s       shred the ideas that the super-
latest book, The Trouble With             rich have “earned” their vast                                                   A new hip-hop compilation album, Free Leonard Peltier: Hip Hop’s
Billionaires, co-written with Osgoode     wealth, or that low taxes on high                                               Contribution to the Freedom Campaign, has just been released.
Hall law professor Neil Brooks.           incomes “improve” the economy.                                                  Proceeds will go to Peltier’s legal defence fund. The album contains new
    But this time, the parade is even     Marxists could justifiably note                                                 tracks by the likes of Dilated Peoples, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Immortal
more dramatic: “In today’s parade,        that the authors do not present a                                               Technique & 2Mex. Peltier, an activist with the American Indian
they [the real giants] aren’t just very   full analysis of the inherent                                                   Movement, was wrongly convicted in 1977 for the murder of two FBI
tall, they’re truly gigantic. We can      contradictions of capitalism, but                                               agents on the Oglala-Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. He’s universally
recognize some prominent CEOs in          the book is well worth the price                                                recognised as a political prisoner. Amnesty International calls for his
the crowd - except that the faces are     for these brilliant chapters.                                                   release, as do Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and a host
                                                                                                                          of politicians world-wide including 50 Canadian MPs. In spite of the
                                                                                                                          blatant vindictiveness of the FBI and U.S. courts Peltier’s struggle
      People's Voice 2011 Calendar:                                                                                       continues. For info about the album visit

                                                                                                                          Boycotters confront Cape Town Opera
 "Working Class Heroes"                                                                                                   On October 27, South Africa’s Cape Town Opera rejected a call from
                                                                                                                          Palestinian and Israeli activists to cancel its Nov. 12 performance of
                                                                                                                          Porgy and Bess at the Tel Aviv Opera House. The company defied the
                                                                                                                          pleas of Desmond Tutu and 56 mass-based civil society organizations
                                                                                                                          in South Africa. Patrons arriving at the one-night show were met with
                                                                                                                          a troupe of singing and dancing activists performing parodies of
                                                                                                                          songs from the Gershwin opera. After the show the boycotters
                                                                                                                          confronted members of the company directly, reprising their satirical
                                                                                                                          songs and distributing a letter explaining their actions. Watch the
                                                                                                                          YouTube video of the action and learn more at
                                                                                                                          Composer Ann Southam: 1937-2010
                                                                                                                          Ann Southam, a pioneering composer of electroaccoustic and minimalist
                                                                                                                          music, died on Nov. 23. The Winnipeg native had worked for years as
                                                                                                                          an instructor at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Southam was
                                                                                                                          first recognized for the soundscapes that she created for Canadian
                                                                                                                          dance troupes such as Toronto Dance Theatre and the Danny Grossman
                                                                                                                          Company. An avowed feminist, Southam co-founded the Association
                                                                                                                          of Canadian Women Composers in 1981 and served as its first chair.
                                                                                                                          She’ll be remembered for her considerable achievements on the cutting
                                                                                                                          edge of late-20th century music. Recordings of her later minimalist
                                                                                                                          works by pianist Christina Petrowska-Quilico can be heard on YouTube.
                                                                                                                          Look for Ann Southam’s music at your local library.

                                                                                                                          Connolly on revolutionary music
   The 2011 People’s Voice Calendar is now available. This year’s theme is “Working Class
Heroes”, paying tribute to fourteen Canadian labour activists who played important roles                                  The Irish are known for songs that commemorate their struggle for
in the struggle against the bosses and the capitalist state. The 14-month Calendar (January                               independence and social justice. Their great working class leader,
                                                                                                                          James Connolly (1868-1916), a songwriter himself, made a significant
2011-February 2012) includes a wide variety of memorable dates for the working class                                      contribution to this tradition. It’s said that he always sought to begin
movements, from birthdays of prominent revolutionaries to the anniversaries of watershed                                  and end meetings with a rousing song. In 1907 Connolly published
struggles for peace, social justice, equality and socialism. The above photo from the Calendar                            Songs of Freedom by Irish Authors. In the preface he wrote: “No
shows demonstrators in Regina's Market Square during the On to Ottawa Trek of 1935.                                       revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression.
   For your copy, send $5 plus $3 to cover postage to People’s Voice, 706 Clark Drive,                                    If such a movement has caught hold of the imagination of the masses,
Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1. The Calendar is also on sale at the Ontario Bureau of People’s                                    they will seek a vent in song for the aspirations, the fears and hopes,
Voice (290A Danforth Ave., Toronto, M4K 1N6) and our Manitoba Bureau (387 Selkirk Ave.,                                   the loves and hatreds engendered by the struggle. Until the movement
Winnipeg, R2W 2M3). Rates for bulk orders are available on request.                                                       is marked by the joyous, defiant, singing of revolutionary songs, it
   British Columbia readers can pick up the Calendar at People’s Co-op Books, 1391                                        lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary
Commercial Drive, Vancouver. ●                                                                                            movement; it is the dogma of a few, and not the faith of the multitude.”
                                                                                                                                11 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

 Communist leadership meets in Toronto                                                                                         What's Left
    The Central Committee of the        wing and even social democratic          during 2011, the report says. The
Communist Party of Canada met           governments are pushing ahead            Communist Party’s participation           Surrey, BC                            since previous issue.)
over the Nov. 27-28 weekend in          with cuts in public services,            in the campaign will include                                                    Sponsored by People’s Voice
                                                                                                                          Indo Canadian Workers’
Toronto.                                privatization, and increased user        nominating 20-25 candidates                                                     and People’s Co-op Bookstore,
                                                                                                                          Association will release its 2011
    The Political Report adopted by     fees for essential services.             across the country, aimed at                                                    ph. 604-255-2041 for more info.
                                                                                                                          calendar in partnership with
the meeting is now online at               But at the same time, “the            defeating the Harper Tories,             Radio India, dedicated to              Left Film Night, “The Cradle The             organized sections of the working        blocking a majority for the big          Comrade Darshan Singh                  Will Rock,” Tim Robbins film on
report stresses “the continuing         class in a number of countries are       business parties, and building           Canadian, shot dead by                 1930s cultural upheavals in New
global capitalist crisis which, now     mounting heroic resistance... most       support for the "People's                terrorists in Punjab in 1986. The      York, Sun., Jan. 30, Centre for
into its third year, shows no signs     notably in Greece, France, Portugal,     Alternative" advanced by the             unveiling ceremony of the              Socialist Education, 706 Clark
of abating. The impact of the crisis,   and now in Ireland.”                     Communist Party.                         calendar will be 1-5 pm, Sunday,       Drive. Admission free, donations
the measures taken by the ruling           The report looks at important            The CC adopted a number of            Dec. 19, Strawberry Hill Public        welcome, call 604-255-2041 for
class to overcome the crisis on         struggles during 2010, such as the       special resolutions, calling for         Library, 7399-122 St.                  details.
their terms and in their interests,     massive rally last June against the      solidarity with the locked-out
and the developing fightback of         G20 Summit in Toronto. But the           steelworkers in Hamilton;                 Vancouver, BC                           Winnipeg, MB
the working class and its allies        fightback movement, it notes, is         immediate withdrawal of the              Haiti’s Humanitarian Crisis            Marxism course, classes begin
together constitute the primary         hampered by the positions of some        Canadian military mission in             One Year Later, Friday, Jan.           early 2011. Pre-register with the
dynamic driving social and political    sections of the trade union              Afghanistan; real action on climate      14, 7 pm, SFU Harbour Centre,          Communist Party, 586-7824 or
developments at every level across      leadership: “This is starkly             change; and defeat of Bill C-49, the     515 W. Hastings, panel       
Canada and internationally...”          apparent when unprincipled               Tory legislation which criminalizes      discussion and video, featuring
    Presented by CPC leader             retreats and concessionary               refugees.                                Dr. Luma Maxo (Partners In               Toronto, ON
Miguel Figueroa, the report says        agreements are signed, leaving the           Another resolution outlined          Health), Kaye Kerlande (Hearts,        Annual Jose Marti Dinner and
the “second stage” of the               workers feeling betrayed and             steps to celebrate the 90th              Hands & Minds for Haiti), David        Dance, Jan. 29, 2011, 7 pm,
economic crisis is “likely to be far    abandoned by leadership, or when         anniversary of the Communist             Putt (Water for the World), Fatou      Bloor Street United, 300 Bloor
more protracted and painful than        right-wing elements attempt to           Party of Canada throughout 2011.         Jah (UBC Help Hear Haiti).             St. West. Enjoy the live Cuban
its opening round.” The deepening       sabotage fightbacks either at the        Details of these activities will be      Organized by Haiti Solidarity          band “Los Clave Kings”. Advance
capitalist offensive includes more      workplace or in political action.”       reported in upcoming issues of PV.       BC, 778-858-5179.                      prepaid tickets $30, or $40 at
mass layoffs, wage cuts, the               The growing and dangerous                CC members took part in a
                                                                                                                          “Seeing Red,” public forum on          the door. Sponsored by
expansion of “two-tier” wage            phenomenon of right-wing                 Saturday evening social, held
                                                                                                                          past and present state                 Canadian-Cuban Friendship
structures to increase exploitation,    populism in several provinces is         together with the Young
                                                                                                                          repression in Canada, with             Association Toronto.
the gutting of pension plans, and       examined in the report, such as the      Communist League, which raised
the overall decline of working class    recent election of Rob Ford as           funds to help send delegates to the      author Daniel Francis and
                                                                                                                          Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil           Montreal, QC
incomes. Across the capitalist          mayor of Toronto.                        World Festival of Youth and
world, including in Canada, right-         A federal election is very likely     Students in South Africa. ●              Liberties Association, intro by        Palestinians And Jews
                                                                                                                          PV Editor Kimball Cariou, Thur,        United, vigil against the
                                                                                                                          Jan. 20, 7:30 pm, Room 1800,           occupation, every Friday at
                                                                                                                          SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W.
Tshwane Declaration....                                                                                                   Hastings (note date change
                                                                                                                                                                 noon, Sainte-Catherine and
                                                                                                                                                                 Union (near Metro McGill).

                                        which reject the class struggle,         1. With the capitalist crisis
      continued from page 7
food sovereignty and security,
                                        and combat the role of social
                                        democratic forces that defend and
                                                                                 deepening, we will focus on the
                                                                                 development of workers‘ and
                                                                                                                              People's Voice deadlines:
sustainable livelihoods, the            implement anti-people and pro-           peoples‘ struggles for labour and
defence of bio-diversity, the           imperialist policies by supporting       social rights, the strengthening of             JANUARY 16-31 issue: Thursday, Jan. 6
protection of national resources,       the strategy of capital. We have a       the trade-union movement and its               FEBRUARY 1-14 issue: Thursday, Jan. 20
and the struggle against agro-          key role to play in drawing the          class orientation; the promotion of           Send submissions to PV Editorial Office,
industrial monopolies and their         critical links in theory and above all   the social alliance with peasants
local agents. In these struggles,       in practice between different            and the other popular strata.                  706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, V5L 3J1,
the legitimate and progressive          arenas of popular struggle in the        Particular attention will be given to                  <>
aspirations of indigenous peoples       development of internationalist          the problems of women and youth
in defence of their cultures,           class solidarity.                        who are among the first victims of
languages and environments have            We are living in an historic          the capitalist crisis.                                       Rebel Youth #11
an important role.                      epoch in which the transition from       2. In the face of the all-round             The latest issue of Rebel Youth magazine is now
                                        capitalism to socialism has become       imperialist aggression and the            available at offices of the Communist Party & Young
Communists in the                       a civilisational imperative. The all-    sharpening of the inter-imperialist
                                        round crisis of capitalism once more     rivalries, we will intensify the anti-
                                                                                                                           Communist League. See our next issue for a review.
anti-imperialist front for              underlines the inseparable nature        imperialist struggle for peace,
peace, environmental
sustainability, progress
                                        of the tasks of national liberation
                                        and social, national and class
                                                                                 against imperialist wars and
                                                                                 occupation, against the dangerous
                                                                                 “new” NATO strategy and foreign
                                                                                                                          B.C. NDP divisions....
and socialism                              In the face of deepening              military bases, and for the abolition                                           1,000 delegates stood to applaud.
                                                                                                                                continued from page 3
   Imperialism‘s crisis and counter-    capitalist crisis, the experiences of    of all nuclear weapons. We will                                                 The next day, Vancouver-Mount
offensive are leading to the            socialist construction demonstrate       extend active internationalist           empty, so the party would make no      Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan issued
broadening and diversification of       the conditions of the superiority of     solidarity with all people and           promises to restore public services.   her call for a leadership convention.
the forces that objectively assume      socialism.                               movements facing and resisting           It appears that some MLAs began           Still, there is no simple “left-
a patriotic and anti-imperialist           The strengthening of the              oppression, imperialist threats and      to wonder how they could               right” split in the NDP. The “baker’s
stand. Everywhere, in our diverse       cooperation among Communist              aggression.                              encourage their own members to         dozen” of MLAs who called for
national realities, Communists have     and Workers‘ Parties and the             3. We will resolutely fight              remain active.                         James to step down include some
a responsibility to broaden and         strengthening of the anti-               anticommunism, anti-communist                The speech by Carole James at      who want a more progressive set
strengthen the anti-imperialist         imperialist front, should march side     laws, measures and persecution; to       the BC Fed on Nov. 30 highlighted      of policies, but also others with a
political and social front, the         by side.                                 demand the legalisation of CPs           the NDP’s problem. The leader’s        more conservative philosophy.
struggles for peace, environmental         We, the Communist and                 where outlawed. We will defend the       entrance was heavily orchestrated,        The treatment of former peace
sustainability, progress, and           Workers‘ parties meeting in              history of the communist movement,       a popular Black Eyed Peas tune         activist Mable Elmore may hint at
integrate them in the fight for         Tshwane, in a situation marked by        the contribution of socialism in         blaring to get delegates on their      another problem. When Elmore won
socialism. The independent role of      a massive onslaught against              advancing human civilisation.            feet. But her speech was a flop.       the NDP nomination in Vancouver
Communists and the strengthening        workers and popular forces, but          4. We affirm our solidarity with the     After stressing the burdens            Kensington early in 2009, she was
of the Communist and Workers‘           also with many possibilities for the     forces and peoples engaged in and        imposed by the Liberals on poor        ordered by the party brass to issue
parties is of vital importance to       development of the struggle,             striving for socialist construction.     people and workers, James              a public apology for her role in
ensure a consistent anti-imperialist    express our profound solidarity          We reaffirm our solidarity with the      promised that a new NDP                campaigns to oppose the Israeli
perspective of broader movements        with workers and peoples and their       Cuban people and their socialist         government would raise the             oppression of the Palestinian
and fronts.                             intense struggles, reiterating our       revolution, and we will continue         minimum wage to $10/hour. That         people. This episode is widely seen
   Special attention must be given      determination to act and struggle        vigorously to oppose the blockade        got a round of applause, although      as one example of rigid control over
to the existing relation between        side by side with working masses,        and to support the international         some Liberals are floating similar     NDP candidates and MLAs.
various resistance struggles and        youth, women, and all popular            campaign for the release of the          promises. From there, she offered         Will the B.C. NDP elect a new
the necessary ideological               sectors that are victims of capitalist   Cuban Five.                              minor promises to address              leader who can give voice to the
offensive for the visibility of the     exploitation and oppression.             5. We will contribute, within the        problems such as enforcement of        demands by working people for real
alternative of socialism and to the        We reaffirm our appeal to the         specific context of our national         Labour Standards.                      progressive change? That remains
defence and development of              widest range of popular forces to        realities, to the reinforcement of           But James made no promise to       to be seen, but the party’s historic
scientific socialism. The ideological   join us in a common struggle for         international anti-imperialist mass      restore the funding cuts, or to        trajectory has usually been a drift to
struggle of the communist               socialism which is the only              organizations like WFTU, WPC,            reverse the tax cuts to the rich.      the centre-right. So far, the only party
movement is of vital importance in      alternative for the future of            WFDY, WIDF. We particularly              There was no criticism of big          which can be counted on to fight for
order to repulse contemporary           humankind.                               welcome and salute the 17th World        business - just a pledge that labour   such policies is the Communist Party
anti-communism, to confront                We point to the following main        Festival of Youth and Students to        and business would both be             of BC, which will consider its electoral
bourgeois ideology, anti-scientific     axes for the development of our          be held in South Africa from 13th-       invited to the table. By the time      strategy at a provincial committee
theories and opportunist currents       joint and convergent actions:            21st December 2010. ●                    James finished, barely half of the     meeting in January. ●
12 • PEOPLE’S VOICE • JANUARY 1-15, 2011

     Strange outcome of Cancun climate conference
                                        introduced new disciplines for           sacrifices in Cancun, while the          property rights (IPR), which have      lodged an objection...
By Martin Khor                                                                                                                                                      The importation of WTO-style
                                        developing countries. They are now       developed countries managed to           an influence over developing
   The United Nations’ Cancun           obliged to put forward their plans       have their obligations reduced or        countries’ access to and cost of       methods may in the immediate
climate conference, which adopted       and targets for climate mitigation,      downgraded.                              technology. The United States had      period lead to the “efficiency” of
a text early on 11 December had a       which are to be compiled with in a          Cancun may be remembered in           insisted that there be no mention      producing an outcome, but also
strange outcome. It was acclaimed       document and later in registries.        future as the place where the            whatsoever of the IPR issue, and it    carries the risk of conferences
by many for reviving the spirit of                                               UNFCCC’s climate regime was              got its way in Cancun.                 collapsing in disarray (as has
multilateralism in the climate change                                            changed significantly, with                 The Cancun conference was also      happened in several WTO
system, because another collapse                                                 developed countries being treated        marked by a questionable method        ministerial meetings) and in biases
after the disastrous failure of the                                              more and more leniently, reaching        of work, quite similar to the WTO      in the text, that usually have been
Copenhagen talks a year ago would                                                a level like that developing             but not used in the United Nations,    in favour of developed countries.
have knocked another hole into                                                   countries, while the developing          in which the host country, Mexico,        When the dust settles after the
the reputation of the UN Framework                                               countries are asked to increase          organised meetings in small groups     Cancun conference, a careful
Convention on Climate Convention                                                 their obligations to be more and         led by itself and a few Ministers      analysis will find that its text may
(UNFCCC).                                                                        more like developed countries.           which it selected, who discussed       have given the multilateral climate
   Most                 delegations                                                 The ground is being prepared          texts on the various issues.           system a shot in the arm and
congratulated one another, for                                                   for such a new system, which could          The final document was              positive feelings among most
agreeing to a document in Cancun.                                                then replace the Kyoto Protocol.         produced not through the usual         participants because there was
But this Cancun text has also been         It is a first step in a plan by       Cancun was a milestone in                process of negotiations among          something to take home, but that it
accused of falling far short, or even   developed countries... to get            facilitating this.                       delegations, but compiled by the       also failed to save the planet from
going backwards, in controlling         developing countries to put their           The Cancun conference also            Mexicans as the Chair of the           climate change and helped pass
the Greenhouse Gas emissions that       mitigation targets as commitments        agreed on establishing a new global      meeting, and given to the delegates    the burden onto developing
cause climate change.                   in national schedules, similar to        climate fund to help finance the         for only a few hours to consider, on   countries.
   The Cancun conference                the tariff schedules in the World        mitigation and adaptation. A             a take it or leave it basis (no           From this low base level, much
suffered an early blow from Japan’s     Trade Organisation... Many               committee will be set up to design       amendments are allowed).               work needs to be done in 2011 to
announcement that it would never        developing-country officials were        various aspects of the fund. No             At the final plenary, Bolivia       save the world from climate change,
agree to making another                 increasingly worried in Cancun           decision was taken on how much           rejected the text, and its             and to re-orientate the international
commitment under the Kyoto              about how they are going to              money the fund will get.                 Ambassador, Pablo Solon, made a        system of cooperation to address
Protocol (the first commitment          implement these new obligations,            A technology mechanism was            statement giving detailed reasons      the climate crisis.
period for emission reductions ends     as a lot of people, skills and money     also set up under the UNFCCC,            why. Despite there not being              (Khor is the Executive Director
in 2012 and the deadline for the        will be needed.                          with a policy-making committee, and      consensus on the text, the Mexican     of the South Centre. This article
second commitment period to be             In fact the developing countries      a centre. However, the Cancun text       foreign minister declared the text     was first published in The Star,
agreed was 2009 in Copenhagen).         made a lot of concessions and            avoided any mention of intellectual      was adopted, to which Bolivia          Malaysia on Dec. 13, 2010) ●
   The conference never
recovered from that blow. The final
text failed to ensure the survival of
the protocol, though it sets some
                                              “We are not here to turn nature into a commodity”
terms of reference for continuing       Selected quotes from the                 no production, and without
the talks on the second                                                          production we lack food. It may be
commitment period next year.
                                        Dec. 9 speech and news
                                        conference by Bolivian                   easy for us here in an air-conditioned
   The Cancun meeting in fact                                                    room to continue with the policies
made it more likely for the             President Morales at the                 of destruction of Mother Earth. We
developed countries to shift from       COP16 UN Climate                         need instead to put ourselves in the
the Kyoto Protocol and its binding      Change negotiations in                   shoes of families in Bolivia and
regime of emission reduction            Cancun, Mexico:                          worldwide that lack water and food
commitments, to a voluntary                                                      and suffer misery and hunger. I feel
system in which each country only       “Our aim here is to look at how to       that many delegates here have no
makes pledges on how much it will       cool down planet Earth. Our planet       idea what it is like to be a victim of
reduce its emissions.                   has a high temperature, it is            climate change.”
   The Cancun text also recognised      wounded, and we are witnessing
the emission reduction targets that     the convulsions of planet Earth.         Tackle the causes
developed countries listed under        We have an enormous
the Copenhagen Accord. But these        responsibility toward life and “We talk about the effects and not
are overall such poor targets that                                     the causes of the multiple crises we
                                        humanity.... I call on leaders to take
many scientific reports warn that                                      face: the climate crisis, the food Evo Morales at the climate change talks in Cancun.
                                        responsibility, and make history
the developed countries by 2020         by responding to the demands ofcrisis, the energy crisis. The climate
may decrease their emissions by         the people.”                   crisis is one of the crises of responsible for ecocide and A global referendum?
only a little or even increase their                                   capitalism. If we address these genocide because we will be send-
level. The world is on track for The Bolivian experi-                  crises, we are being responsible to ing many people to their deaths.” “I am convinced that if presidents
                                                                       our children, grandchildren and                                               take on their responsibility, not to
temperature rise of 3 to 5 degrees,
                                 ence of climate change future generations.”                                                                         certain powers such as
which would lead to a catastrophe.                                                                            Imagine what our
                                                                                                                                                     multinational companies, but
   But even as it prepared the   “It causes me a lot of a pain as                                             planet would look like
ground for the developed countries’
                                 President to listen to my brothers    On the Kyoto Protocol                                                         instead to peoples and social
“great escape” from their        and sisters talking about permanent “If, from here, we send the Kyoto        “According to the proposals from movements, we can advance. Why
                                                                                                                                                     don’t states here go to the
commitments, the Cancun text     droughts... Without water, there is Protocol to the rubbish bin we are some powers, they are happy to Peoples’ Summit in Cancun, and
                                                                                                              put forward measures that would
                                                                                                              lead to an increase of 2 degrees listen to the concrete proposals of
                                                                                                              Celsius and some think even of social movements who come here
               NEWS FOR PEOPLE,                                                                               increases to 4 degrees. Imagine in representation of the victims of
                                                                                                              what our planet would look like global warming? Why don’t we
                                                                                                              with an increase in temperature of agree to a global referendum; take
               N OT F O R P R O F I T S !
                 OT                                                                                           2 degrees or 4 degrees, given that the historic decision of practising
                                                                                                              at 0.8 degrees we already have global democracy, submitting
                                                                                                              serious problems in the world.”        ourselves to the demands of the
   Every issue of PEOPLE’S VOICE                                                                                                                     people struggling against climate
   gives you the latest on the                                           people’s                             On the rights of nature change and for life? If

                                                      V OIC E
   fightback from coast to coast.                                                                                                                    governments don’t act, it will be
   Whether it’s the struggle to defeat                                                                        “In past decades, the United the people who will force their
                                                                                                              Nations approved human rights, governments to act.
   the HarperTories, resistance to                                                                            then civil rights, economic and
   social cuts, solidarity with Cuba                                                                          political rights, and finally a few "Planet or Death"
   or workers’ struggles around the                   $30 for 1 year    $50 for 2 years                       years ago indigenous rights. In
   world, we’ve got the news the                                                                              this new century, it is time to debate “We are familiar with the slogan
                                                      Low income special rate: $15 for 1 year                 and discuss rights of Mother Earth. `Country or Death,’ but it is better
   corporate media won’t print.
                                                      Outside Canada: $45 US or $50 Cnd for 1 year            These include the right to now to talk about `Planet or Death.’
                                                                                                              regenerate biocapacity, the right To try and look for an intermediary
   And we do more than that–we                    Name _________________________________                      to life without contamination.”        solution is to trick people. It is the
   report and analyze events from a                                                                                                                  major powers here that need to
   revolutionary perspective, helping             Address _______________________________                     “Carbon markets”                       abandon their arrogance in the face
   to build the movements for justice                                                                                                                of the peoples of the world. My
                                                  __________________ Postal Code__________                    “We came to Cancun to save experience as a social movement
   and equality, and eventually for a                                                                         nature, forests, planet Earth. We leader has been one of frequent
   socialist Canada. Read the paper                            Send to: People’s Voice,                       are not here to convert nature into attempts to isolate me by the major
   that fights for working people–on               706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1                    a commodity. We have not come powers - something I am proud to
   every page—in every issue!                                                                          11/01
                                                                                                              here to revitalize capitalism with do - but I will never isolate myself
                                                                                                              carbon markets.”                       from the peoples.” ●