Source: CP of Canada website
The Communist Party of Canada condemns the escalation of activities by racist and neo-fascist movements across the country, such as the March 4 anti-Muslim rallies in over 60 cities and towns called by the “Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens”. While the CCCC pose as advocates of “fairness”, in reality they play upon the fears of working people who face the impact of capitalist economic crisis, unemployment, and austerity social cuts, to promote their true agenda of white supremacy.
The current wave of violent xenophobia has been fanned by recent events in the US, but it is also true that the Canadian capitalist state was founded on the basis of colonial genocide against indigenous peoples, brutal exploitation of immigrant workers, and the racist goal of creating a “white man’s country.”
Seen in this historical context, the March 4 CCCC rallies pose a serious threat to racialized communities, as seen by the murder of six Muslim men by a white supremacist in Quebec, and by the growing numbers of arsons, bomb threats, physical assaults against women wearing the hijab, xenophobic graffiti and acts of vandalism, etc. Far-right violence also targets other immigrant groups, indigenous peoples and land defenders, the LGBTQ+ community (especially trans people at this time), the organized labour movement, advocates for women’s equality and reproductive rights, the Jewish community, and the political left – not least the Communist Party and the Young Communist League, which have been the most consistent anti-fascist and anti-racist political voices in this country since the 1920s.
Communists stand in solidarity with all those who are under attack at this critical moment. We extend our full support to the counter-protests against the March 4 Islamophobic actions, and we condemn all attempts by far-right elements to use provocations to divide and weaken the anti-racist forces. We will continue to work with others to make this resistance movement a broad-based powerful force, including trade unions and all other democratic and people’s organizations. We also call for greater efforts to expose and counter racist and neo-fascist ideologies, through letters to the editor, participation in social media debates, public meetings, etc.
The Communist Party demands that Parliament take immediate steps to counter the growing menace of organized racist violence, including measures to strengthen and enforce existing anti-hate legislation, and swift passage of M-103 (the private member’s motion calling on the government to recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear, and to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination). The refusal of most Conservative leadership candidates to support M-103 is an ominous signal that this party intends to be the vehicle for imposing a Trump-style racist political agenda in Canada.
But such an outcome is not inevitable. It can, and must, be prevented by building broad anti-racist unity in the streets, in our workplaces and campuses, and in all our communities during the critical weeks and months ahead!
Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada
An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
Source: Communist Party Canada
Pride 2016 Statement from the Communist Party of Canada and the Young Communist League
The massacre in Orlando at the Pulse gay night club makes it clear that the struggle for the rights of LGBTQ2SI people is far from over. (Note: In this statement, the acronym “LGBTQ2SI” and the term “Queer” refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender variant, two-spirited, queer, questioning, intersex and others.) In the Queer community, a gay-bar is often the one place Queer folk feel safe and able to be ourselves. Pride marks the anniversary of a riot of resistance -Stonewall- defending gay-bars from police attacks. Pride marches and events have grown into global movement to assert human rights. Pride’s political significance cannot be forgotten.
The Orlando shootings, the victims of which were mainly Latinx and Black members of the LGBTQ2SI community, must be seen within the context of the well-organized backlash by, in particular fundamentalist Christian, right wing groups against the gains made by the Queer movement. In the USA, reactionary laws are being passed to abolish the civil rights LGBTQ2SI people have won, and in particular attack trans rights.
Presenting the Orlando massacre as another tragedy brought on by the problem of “Islamic extremism” ignores the fact that North America has a history of mass shootings and terrorist acts committed by those that grow up here in a racist, patriarchal, homophobic and transphobic culture that breeds these acts of extreme violence, which are most often committed by non-Muslims. The corporate media’s drive to use this homophobic hate crime to fuel the “War on Terror”, which has already cost between 1-2 million lives, also fails to seriously address the root causes of homophobia and transphobia here at home.
Opposing homophobia and Islamophobia are part of the same struggle. Today, the economic crisis, the “ISIS threat”, and anti-communism are all invoked by the ruling class to justify their assault on workers’ rights and social equality. Among the most poisonous ideologies are homophobia and transphobia. Just like racism, sexism, and national chauvinism, these are intended to divide and undermine resistance to the corporate agenda of “trade deals,” raw materials extraction and exports, and militarism.
Homophobia and transphobia seek to entrench the heterosexual, patriarchal family which is necessary for capitalism to police and maintain the gendered division of labour, and increase the rate of profits. The Communist Party of Canada rejects any argument which aims to restrict the legal definition of family to those based on male-female biological parental relationships.
US and Canadian imperialism back the right wing forces that are intent on reversing the gains made by progressive governments in Latin America – often leaders in the global struggle for Queer Rights.
Prime Minister Trudeau says he is feminist and pro-LGBTQ2SI yet his government, alongside the US, is destabilizing the Middle East, and secular Arab states such as Syria in particular, by supporting and arming reactionary and homophobic forces like the Saudi regime and some of the anti-government militias in Syria.
The defeat of the Federal Conservatives last year, was a victory for the LGBTQ2SI movement, and may finally guarantee legal and human rights protection to trans and gender variant people across Canada – after a decade of Conservatives blocking such legislation.
Bill C-16 would update the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression.” If passed, the legislation would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression. It would also extend hate speech laws to include the two terms. Criminal laws would also be updated to make it a hate crime when someone is targeted because of their gender identity or gender expression, meaning judges would have to consider it as an aggravating factor in deciding what sentence to impose.
There is still much work to be done on this front, as the reactionary Conservative dominated Senate could still block the legislation. With the recent passing of Quebec Solidaire’s bill on trans rights, and the promise of further legislation by the Couillard Liberals, Quebec has joined the other provinces and territories in English-speaking Canada in passing some long overdue protections for trans people.
The new Federal Liberal government, despite its more progressive social agenda, continues with the corporate-driven “austerity” cuts, and the attacks on labour, civil and democratic rights such as the security state laws (Bill C-51), introduced by previous Liberal and Tory governments. The Liberals are a party of big business and are continuing policies (such as the Trans Pacific Partnership) that negatively impact LGBTQ2SI people, women, Aboriginal peoples, and racialized groups, and undercut equality gains. Provincial governments – almost without exception – also continuing to drive the austerity agenda. The most marginalized members of the LGBTQ2SI community, including trans, two-spirited, racialized queers and young people, are those hardest-hit by the social program cutbacks.
We believe that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Adopting full legal and political protections for sexual orientation and gender expression, and gender identity, and respect for the bodily diversity of intersex people, is urgently needed to strengthen working class unity.
This unity is a vital element of the broad labour, democratic and social movement to put people’s needs before corporate greed, austerity and war. Our LGBTQ2SI community must be a key player in a efforts to build a “People’s Coalition” of labour, Aboriginal peoples, youth and students, women, seniors, farmers, immigrant and racialized communities, environmentalists, peace activists and many other allies.
Mass resistance in our communities and workplaces, in the streets and at the ballot box, can defeat the parties of big business and open the door to a “people not profits” government. The goal of the Communist Party is to win genuine people’s power in a socialist Canada, where our economy and resources will be socially owned and democratically controlled.
This historic advance will make it possible to eradicate the interweaving forms of exploitation and oppression which threaten our world today. We urge you to join the Communist Party and the Young Communist League to achieve a liberated society in which, as Karl Marx said, “the freedom of each is the condition for the freedom of all.”
The Communist Party and the Young Communist League demand:
- Strengthen and enforce hate crime legislation, no to all forms of transphobia, homophobia, sexism, Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia;
- Strengthen solidarity with trans people in North Carolina and elsewhere in North America against new transphobic legislation;
- Struggle to expand trans rights including the explicit protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in all Provincial and Territorial laws and human rights codes;
- Make “conversion therapy”, a pseudo-psychiatric or religious practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, illegal in all provinces;
- Expand the rights of LGBTQ2SI youth: end the two-tiered age of consent laws for queer youth and protect Intersex minors from non-consensual surgery respecting bodily diversity;
- End the homophobic and unscientific blood ban for gay men donating blood;
- Increase social services and housing support to meet the needs of the 25-40% of homeless youth that identify as LGBTQ;
- End the Federal and Provincial governments’ drive towards austerity, and big business’ move towards precarious part-time employment, which disproportionately affect LGBTQ2SI peoples who are amongst the hardest hit by social program cutbacks.
- Stop imperialism’s support of reactionary forces around the world. No to the coup in Brazil and interventions in Venezuela. Withdraw Canadian troops from Iraq and end the supply of arms to Saudi Arabia by Canada.
by James Thompson
People of conscience around the world have been horrified by the mass murders committed in Orlando, Florida over the weekend. Many people have questioned how such a horrific event could occur.
News reports have indicated that a lone gunman born in the United States of Afghan dissent slaughtered 49 innocent people at a nightclub and gravely wounded 5 people while wounding at least 53 others.
Some may maintain that the gunman was deranged. This cannot be argued. However, let’s examine the facts as we know them. A working class gunman of Afghan dissent slaughtered 49 mostly Latino and African-American people in a nightclub that serves primarily LGBT clients.
The perversion of thinking lies in the fact that once again the bourgeoisie have pulled a fast one on the working class. In this case, one working class gunman took the lives of at least 49 working-class people.
As the bourgeoisie squeals with glee over this split in which one sector of the working class brutally assaulted another sector of the working class, the bourgeois media pontificates and attempts to exploit this tragedy to further the interests of the bourgeoisie.
This unending splitting of the working class only serves the interests of the bourgeoisie. Until all sectors of the working class are able to recognize their brothers and sisters in other sectors of the working class and thereby unify in the struggle against the bourgeoisie, these tragedies will continue.
The splitting of the working class perpetuates the perversion of thinking among working class people. The splitting renders the working class powerless against the cancerous bourgeoisie. Unity is the only answer to the oppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie.
Clinton and Trump Show Vastly Different Views on Orlando Shooting
Just a day after the largest massacre in the United States since the 1921 Tulsa race riots, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have expressed very different views on the Sunday atrocity at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub.
The shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, brought a pistol and a semi-automatic military assault rifle into a popular gay nightclub frequented by Orlando’s LGBTQ community, killing 49 people and wounding 53.
Mateen, who was born in New York to Afghan parents, had previously been investigated by the FBI for his stated support of Daesh, also known as ISIS/Islamic State. Following the attack, US President Barack Obama said “We see no clear evidence that he was directed externally” by Daesh or any other extremist group, adding that, “As far as we can tell right now, this is certainly an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been so concerned about for a very long time.”
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said that, as president, she would focus on tightening gun restrictions, weeding out Americans like Mateen who sympathize with extremist groups even if there is no direct connection. “I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets,” she said, reasoning that, “if the FBI is watching you for a suspected terrorist link, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked.”
Trump used the shooting to reiterate his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US, in spite of the fact that the shooter was American born. The presumptive Republican presidential candidate said Muslims should not enter the country unless they are screened “properly and perfectly,” and added that, as president, he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there’s a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe and our allies.”
Trump also suggested that he wanted to protect Americans, “wherever they come from, wherever they were born.”
Clinton stated that “Inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric and threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim Americans, as well as millions of Muslim business people and tourists from entering our country, hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror.”
Even though Republicans oppose gay marriage and are notoriously conservative on LGBTQ issues, Trump claimed to be more sensitive to the community than Clinton, stating, “Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American…I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, and Jewish people are the targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.”
Clinton spoke directly to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters saying, “The terrorist in Orlando targeted LGBT Americans out of hatred and bigotry, and an attack on any American is an attack on all Americans…You have millions of allies who will always have your back,” she said. “And I am one of them.”
Mississippi Adopts Discriminatory Law, PayPal Pulls Out of North Carolina
Mississippi’s governor signed a law allowing businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community, despite a backlash North Carolina is facing over similar legislation.
On Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican, signed House Bill 1523 into law, allowing churches, charities, and businesses to refuse service to members of the gay and transgender communities under the guise of “religious freedom.” It also allows government employees to opt out of serving people.
“This is a sad day for the state of Mississippi and for the thousands of Mississippians who can now be turned away from businesses, refused marriage licenses, or denied housing, essential services and needed care based on who they are,” the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a statement. “This bill flies in the face of the basic American principles of fairness, justice and equality and will not protect anyone’s religious liberty. Far from protecting anyone from ‘government discrimination’ as the bill claims, it is an attack on the citizens of our state, and it will serve as the Magnolia State’s badge of shame.”
Meanwhile, the state of North Carolina has lost more future jobs in response to its controversial “bathroom bill,” which prevents cities from creating non-discrimination laws based on gender identity. So far, over 100 companies have joined in a boycott of providing jobs in the state, and PayPal has just joined their ranks.
PayPal had previously intended to open a global operations center in Charlotte, providing the state with 400 new jobs, but that plan has now been scrapped in protest.”Becoming an employer in North Carolina, where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement. “The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”
PayPal has a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, as of their 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a survey that grades workplace equality.
“We will stand firm in our commitment to equality and inclusion and our conviction that we can make a difference by living and acting on our values,” Schulman said. “It’s the right thing to do for our employees, our customers, and our communities.”
Schulman announced Tuesday that the company is seeking an alternative location for their business, and governors across the US are vying for the privilege, including Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont.
“In New York, we believe that all people – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – deserve the same rights and protections under the eyes of the law,” Cuomo said in a press release on Monday.
“From Stonewall to marriage equality, our state has been a beacon of hope and equality for the LGBT community, and we will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past. As long as there is a law in North Carolina that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to that state.”