Building a labour movement to take on the billionaire class
Joe Burns’ new book, Class Struggle Unionism, reads like pamphlet, with a clear call to transform the union movement. The model for change is one that has deep roots in the radical socialist and anarchist traditions of working class movements from early in the 20th century that has continuously raised it head over the past 120 years.
A first post-pandemic political victory—hardly a ‘general strike that could have been’
Moments of struggle always provide openings to build and move forward, and for workers who are participating, to learn key lessons and develop deeper consciousness and understanding. But every struggle and every moment aren’t necessarily similar. As a socialist, one has to look at the particularities of the experience and the potentials, and build on them.
Shaking up the status quo in the NDP
Assessing Avi Lewis’s run for a parliamentary seat and possible longer term ambitions must be put into context if it has any meaning for the left other than to shake things up a bit. The real question is whether this can be seen as part of a larger effort to radically transform Canadian politics and the New Democratic Party, and whether such a project has any real prospects.
US election: What could it mean for Canada and the Canadian left?
One can go on ad infinitum to list the issues with Trump, his coterie and hangers-on in the Republican Party, and his supporters. But while Trump’s administration and domination of one of the two major political parties in the US is horrible enough for the American people—especially working class folks—his power, ideology, policies and social base threaten people in other countries, particularly Canada.
Challenges and openings for the free transit movement in Toronto
The survival of public transit is at stake, given the changes that the pandemic period has brought about in transit usage, work and commuting patterns, the need to protect against a relapse in the virus, and the culture of transit. Both the relief line and the expanded version of the LRT network are possible and necessary.
Reform and transform: Police abolitionism and sloppy thinking
Wilt’s basic argument—that the cumulative effects of social inequality, racism, colonialism, gender inequality make the Winnipeg Police Department (and possibly, the criminal justice system it is attached to) so hopelessly repressive and authoritarian, that they need to be abolished, rather than replaced, transformed or reformed—is simply wrong.
Ford Unifor Agreement Ratified: Voted Down at Oakville Unit, Local 707
The germs of organization developing in Oshawa – all point in the direction of possible, new life for a collective resistance to the current regime in auto. Learning about the legacy of resistance, struggle, internal battles inside the union and the role of socialists–going back to the 1930s–is a key component of building on the real frustration and anger of today’s young workers.
The NDP and the election
Whatever the outcome of the election, we have to move beyond acceptance of social democracy as the face of the ‘left’ in Canada. We have to contribute to the eventual creation of a socialist political presence, in the larger working class, and eventually as a participant and reference point in the electoral and larger political system.
Ambitious effort to map future of Canadian progressive movements falls short
Alan Sears’s Next New Left presents a unique analysis of the past, current and possible future Left, post social democracy. There are thoughtful and constructive components here, but there are also profound weaknesses. It comes out of a post-Trotskyist political milieu centred on organizing on campuses, set apart from unions, mainstream political parties and engaging with the state.
Toronto Labour Council Organizes Stewards’ Assembly
In an environment where working people in Ontario have suffered major setbacks, organized labour’s response has so far been disappointing. The May 7 coming together of over 1,600 stewards, staff, and other union reps in Toronto around the necessity of fighting against attacks by employers and governments was an unprecedented and impressive exception that brought some hope for forward motion.