Category: LGBT
Pride 2017: An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Communist Party of Canada
Parti communiste du Canada

06/26/2017

Pride 2017: An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

 

Pride 2017 Statement from the Communist Party of Canada and the Young Communist League

In 2017, Pride events across Canada take place in a much different context than one short year ago. The election of Donald Trump has encouraged fascists and other reactionaries to emerge from their dark corners and to openly promote hatred in the form of homophobia and transphobia, as well as Islamophobia, racism, misogyny and sexism – all of which are intended to roll-back the hard-won rights of oppressed peoples, including the LGBTQ2SIA community. Signs of this appeared last summer, when the shootings at the Pulse gay club in Florida seemed to galvanize the Pride season, and focused attention on the backlash against the gains made by the LGBTQ2SIA  movement in the USA, where reactionary forces have been resisting the extension of civil rights for LGBTQ2SIA people, and actively attempting to roll-back rights already won. In this context, it is necessary to remember that Pride is not only a celebration of the rainbow community, but also a reminder that our gains are the result of a political defense of our community and a political struggle for our rights.

In that spirit, we salute the actions and spirit of Black Lives Matter, and in particular their action during Toronto Pride 2016, which reminded everyone that the commercialization of Pride, the role of corporations, and the institutional presence of police had whitewashed the ongoing marginalization and oppression, even within the rainbow community, of Black LGBTQ2SIA people, other LGBTQ2SIA people of colour, of Indigenous Two-Spirit people, and of LGBTQ2SIA people who suffer from income insecurity and poverty. Black Lives Matter reminded us that Pride was born in activism and struggle. However, that action also elicited a backlash from the corporate media and in some quarters of the LGBTQ2SIA community who wish to deny or dismiss the experience of racism, sexism and misogyny, transphobia, poverty and exploitation, and Islamophobia in our very own community. The reality is that the commercialization of Pride, and the institutional participation of uniformed police, have made Pride less, not more inclusive.

The social and political climate for Pride in 2017 is one of growing polarization based on class, social position and identity. This is reflected in election of Andrew Scheer as leader of the Conservative Party; Scheer represents the continuity of Harperite homophobia and transphobia, racism, sexism, and Islamophobia. Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberals talk a feminist and pro-LGBTQ2SIA position, but have done little or nothing to actually improve the lives of most in our community. After decades of struggle led by trans activists and communities, Bill C-16 was just passed, which updates the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression.” It would also extend hate speech laws to include the two terms. Criminal laws now need to 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.

On the other hand, the Trudeau Liberal government continues to pursue a corporate-driven austerity agenda, most recently with the announcement that it will increase military spending by 70 percent over the next ten years. This, and the continuing refusal to make corporations and the rich pay their share of taxes, means that working class and poor Canadians will face increasing exploitation and oppression, including attacks on labour, civil and democratic rights such as the security state laws (Bill C-51), introduced by previous Liberal and Tory governments. In fact, the Liberals are a party of big business and continue to follow policies (from pipeline expansion to military spending) that negatively impact LGBTQ2SIA people, women, Indigenous peoples, and racialized groups, and undercut equality gains. Similar austerity measures are on the table in every province and territory.

LGBTQ2SIA youth are particularly affected by persistent and resurgent homophobia and transphobia combined with austerity measures, precarious employment, unemployment and growing barriers to education. This is demonstrated by the fact that as many as 25-40% of Canada’s homeless youth are LGBTQ2SIA identified.

The world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place; for the LGBTQ2SIA community, the urgent imperative of the day is to unite against a corporate agenda that has increasingly fascist overtones. Homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of hate only serve to divide people and to undermine resistance to the corporate agenda of “trade deals,” raw materials extraction and exports, and militarism.

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 LGBTQ2SIA community must be a key player in efforts to build a “People’s Coalition” of labour, Indigenous 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. 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 historic advance to socialism 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 fight to:

  •       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 LGBTQ2SIA youth: end the two-tiered age of consent laws for LGBTQ2SIA 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 who identify as LGBTQ2SIA;
  •       End the Federal and Provincial governments’ drive towards austerity, and big business’ move towards precarious part-time employment, which disproportionately affect LGBTQ2SIA peoples who are amongst the hardest hit by social program cutbacks.
  •       Stop imperialism’s pinkwashing in support of reactionary forces around the world. No to the coup in Brazil and interventions in Venezuela, no to the pro-fascist government in Ukraine. Withdraw Canadian troops from Iraq and Syria, support the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli apartheid, end the supply of arms to Saudi Arabia by Canada. Jobs not bombs – cut military spending by 75%.

(Note: In this statement, the acronym “LGBTQA2SI” refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender variant, two-spirited, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and others.)

Central Executive Committee and the Pride Commission of the Communist Party of Canada

Central Executive Committee of the Young Communist League of Canada

Upcoming Actions on March 24, March 25, and May 1
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Houston Communist Party, Houston Socialist Movement, Latinos Inmigrantes Triunfadores, MORENA-Houston SE, Organizacion Latino Americano Pro-Derecho Del Inmigrante, and Party for Socialism and Liberation are organizing three important actions during the next several weeks.
On Friday, March 24, from 11 am until 2 pm, we will be demonstrating against Governor Greg Abbott while he speaks to the Greater Houston Partnership at the Hilton Americas Hotel, 1600 Lamar Street. Greater Houston Democrats are also planning to protest against Abbott, so discussions about developing a unified action are under way.
 
On Saturday, March 25, beginning at 11 am, we will have a counter-protest against the pro-Trump Houston MAGA March scheduled at City Hall, 901 Bagby St. Some Trump supporters may be armed, but this will not stop us from standing up against exploitation, white supremacy, anti-immigrant hysteria, misogyny, anti-LGBT bigotry, and the threat of Fascism.
 
On Monday, May 1, from 5:30 pm until 8 pm, there will be an International Workers Day/Dia Sin Inmigrantes Rally held at a City Park. This action will combine the traditional celebration of May Day by workers of all nationalities with a special focus on solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters. An event page with the location and details for this event will be posted soon.
If your organization would like to support these actions, or if you would like more information, please call 832.692.2306 or 713.447.4106. We look forward to your participation in these events.
In Solidarity,
HSM

 

Mobilize to defeat the racist agenda

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

Not My President! Resist Trump! March and Rally in Houston on Friday, January 20
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Donald Trump is the most openly racist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, and authoritarian candidate to become president of the United States in modern history. He was not democratically elected, and he will never be a legitimate president for scores of millions of us. As this billionaire sociopath moves into the White House and the threat of fascism grows, it is imperative that workers, women, oppressed people, and democratic-minded allies make clear: Not My President! Resist Trump!
The January 20 coalition is organizing a march and rally to protest the inauguration of Trump on Friday, January 20. Our application for a parade permit was denied, but this will not stop us from forcefully opposing Trump from his first day in office. We will assemble on the sidewalk at 900 Smith St., next to Hermann Square, at 1 pm. Beginning at 1:30 pm, we will march on the sidewalks down Smith St. to the Leland Federal Building at 1919 Smith St. Our rally there will include speakers, chants, spoken word artists, and the dramatic smashing of a new Trump piñata.
The January 20 action will be an independent political action by workers and oppressed people, without any ties to organizations led by the Democrats or Republicans. As Trump moves into the White House and the threat of fascism grows, our message will be that only the masses of workers and oppressed people can effectively resist Trump, defeat fascism, and lay the foundation for revolutionary change. And the January 20 action is only the beginning of our resistance.
Together, we will demand: Stop the attacks on immigrants! Stop the attacks on women! Black lives matter! Brown lives matter! Stop racist police terror! Defend the Muslim community! Defend and expand the rights of workers and the 99%! Defend the LGBT communities! Stop the rise of fascism! Stop US imperialist wars! Stop the destruction of Mother Earth!
The January 20 coalition includes Alianza Mexicana, Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha, Houston Communist Party, Houston Socialist Movement, International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran, Latinos Inmigrantes Triunfadores, Organizacion Latino Americana Pro-Derecho Del Inmigrante, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and other organzations (list in formation). If your organization would like to endorse the January 20 action or if you would like more information, please call us at 832.692.2306, 713.447-4106 (se habla espanol), or 713.714.5361. If you would like to help spread the word about the action, please share our “hold the date” event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1755961954728284/.
In Solidarity,
Houston Socialist Movement
An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

 

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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.
The Perversion of Thought in the USA

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
This combination of file photos shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton(R) speaking at New York University in New York on July 24, 2015 and US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump exiting the New York Supreme Court after morning jury duty on August 17, 2015 in New York

Clinton and Trump Show Vastly Different Views on Orlando Shooting

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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.”

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20160614/1041276601/clinton-trump-differ-on-shooting.html#ixzz4BVtrzxhH