Category: Party Voices
Picket tomorrow against Harper’s so-called anti-terror bill
Communist Party of Canada – Manitoba
387 Selkirk Ave. Winnipeg MB R2W 2M3
(204) 586-7824 – cpc-mb@changetheworldmb.ca


February 25, 2015

Picket tomorrow against Harper’s so-called anti-terror bill

A picket has been organized against the Conservative Party’s misnamed anti-terror bill:

Shelly Glover, MP’s office
Thursday, Feb. 26, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
213 St. Mary’s Road (near Traverse)

All groups are welcome, including to speak and co-sponsor.

* * * * *
Harper’s legislation will enable the RCMP and CSIS to crack down on all resistance in Canada, against democratic and workers’ struggles.

There is no “balance” in the bill. It gives free reign to the government’s security apparatus at the same time it attacks Canadians’ rights and freedoms.

There is no evidence that the government needs to give such power to secret, actually political police. Historically, such legislation has always been used once passed:  to outlaw socialist parties (1918), crush the Winnipeg General Strike (1919), outlaw the Communist Party (1931, two years before Germany and Japan, and 1939), and imprison hundreds of innocent people during the FLQ crisis.

As found by the Royal Commission on Certain Activities of the RCMP (1977), even without such laws the police carried out serious criminal activities against progressive organizations, including the Communist Party, many of which remain unpublished and secret to this day.

So it can safely be said, the bill is unnecessary and is intended to create fear and conformity among Canadians with the Conservative Party’s definition of terrorism.

The Communist Party is wholly opposed to terrorism as a tactic in the mass struggles for democracy and socialism, but the Conservative government is using this bill to instill fear in the general public and to draw attention away from its own pro-terror policies such as bombing Yugoslavia and Libya, helping Ukraine’s pro-Nazi regime which is terrorizing its population and banning the Communist Party there, and deporting U.S. military veterans who are opposed to war crimes to serve lengthy sentences in U.S. military prisons – pursuing a pro-war crime agenda.

The Communist Party completely rejects the idea that this bill is needed to counter so-called “eco-terrorism” or the serious, false charge against Aboriginal rights activists that they are terrorists. The proven use of agents provocateurs in anti-globalization protests by police shows who are the real criminals.

The bill targets the resistance to corporate control of Canada.

The bill’s first target is the international unity of working people, Arab and non-Arab, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, Russian and non-Russian.

Who are the Conservative party’s targets-of-choice, the targets of RCMP wrongdoing, jailings and outright banning since the beginning of mercantile and settler colonialism, the Red River Resistance and the Winnipeg General Strike?

Politically, it is socialist parties, especially the Communist Party which supports the resistance against corporate influence and domination and works to build the international unity of working people and oppressed nations (outlawed 3 times).

In terms of the people’s resistance, it is the trade union movement and oppressed nations, Aboriginal peoples and Quebec’s movement for self-determination and equality.

The anti-terror legislation is certain to broaden the dirty tricks, secret police wrongdoing and repression.

That is why the Communist Party in Winnipeg will hold a picket to protest the new bill this week.

Everyone is invited to bring their signs and messages of resistance.

Vive la resistance,
Penner-Bethune Club, Communist Party of Canada

Information: Darrell Rankin (204) 792-3371

US Trains Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

http://mltoday.com/us-trains-ukrainain-neo-nazis?utm

Feb. 14, 2015

Translated by Mark Burton

This spring the United States will begin training and arming the Ukrainian National Guard: this was officially confirmed by the European Command of the United States that stated that the program is part of the initiative of the Department of State to assist Ukraine in implementing “internal defense.”

The funding, already authorized by Congress, comes from a special fund from the Pentagon and the State Department to “provide training and equipment to foreign security forces,” so that “the partner countries may confront important challenges to the national  security of the United States.”

The training mission in Ukraine serves to “demonstrate US commitment to the security of the Black Sea and the value of the US forces deployed in forward positions.”

The units of the National Guard of Ukraine, according to rough estimates, number 45-50 thousand including volunteers, will be trained by US military instructors in Yavoriv near Lviv, about 50 km from the Polish border.

The National Guard, established by the government in Kiev in March 2014 with an initial funding of US $ 19 million, has incorporated Neo-Nazi military formations, already trained by NATO instructors for the putsch of Kiev (as shown in a photographic documentation of militant Neo-Nazis trained in Estonia in 2006 [1]). The Donbass, Azov, Aidar, Dnepr1, Dnepr2 and other battalions, that are the shock forces of the National Guard, are made up of both Neo-Nazi Ukrainians, and Neo-Nazis from other European countries.

The atrocities they have committed against civilians of Russian nationality are widely documented by video and eyewitness testimony (just type in Google “atrocities of Neo-Nazis in Ukraine”). But, despite the fact that Amnesty International has accused the government of Kiev of  being responsible for war crimes committed by these battalions, the US continues to support this regime, even giving it armored vehicles. The United States government now empowers Kiev with a  training program and more armaments.

These actions fall within the ”Operation Atlantic Resolve “, launched by the European Command of the United States military to “reassure our allies, in face of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, and as a deterrent to prevent Russia gaining regional hegemony. In the framework of the growing deployment of US forces in Eastern Europe, the Pentagon sent “military experts to enhance the defensive capacity of Ukraine” and pledged an additional $ 46 million to provide “military equipment, including vehicles and night vision goggles.”

Washington is therefore already arming the forces of Kiev, even though Kiev is not actually receiving heavy weapons from the US, it may obtain them in any case from  the millions of dollars given to the Kiev regime. All this while Germany, France and Italy say they support a diplomatic solution and therefore are against the provision of arms to Kiev.

But at the same time at a summit in Brussels, these countries committed, along with Britain, Spain and Poland, to take on more responsibility in the formation of a NATO “Strike Force”, in the framework of a “Response Force”, made up of 13 to 30 thousand men and equipped by six centers of command and control in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. While the US, in preparation for the summit in Minsk on Ukraine (which deliberately did not participate), stated, though the Secretary of State,  that among the allies “there are no divisions, we all agree that there can be no military solution. ”

But at the same time, training and arming the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis, the US fans the flames of war in the heart of Europe.

Source:  Il Manifesto (Italy)

On the Situation in Ukraine

http://mltoday.com/on-the-situation-in-ukraine?utm

Working Group of International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties

January 30-31, 2015

On the occasion of the meeting of the Working Group of the International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties, in Istanbul on January 31-February 1, 2015, the participant parties signed the following statement:

Following a coup d’état in February 2014, state power in Ukraine was seized by openly fascist and bourgeois nationalistic forces, which kindled a civil conflict that turned into a bloody civil war. A war which results in the death of civilians including women, the elderly, and children. A war which led to a human catastrophe in Donbass. Thousands are dead, tens of thousands are wounded, more than a million are seeking asylum. Schools and kindergartens are destroyed.

The ruling oligarchic regime which relies on the financial and political support of the United States, the European Union and NATO, has unleashed a social genocide of the Ukrainian people.

The ruling regime in the Ukraine has established a severe censorship of the media, restricting access to objective information, propagating blatant lies and disinformation by the government structures at all levels.

The Communist Party of Ukraine harshly criticizes the oligarchic fascists which seized power in Ukraine, and demands an immediate ceasing of the fratricidal war. Because of this principled position, the Communist Party of Ukraine is being prosecuted and repressed.

The government is using all its might to destroy the Communist Party, to suppress the people’s will, to ban the Communist ideology as such – an attribute of all fascist and dictatorial regimes.

We call upon all Communist and workers’ parties to help and support the Communists and the working people of Ukraine in their fight against fascism and the oligarchy, in the struggle against international reaction and the regime in Kiev which does nothing to stop the fratricidal war and does not even follow the relevant international treaties which it signed.

Only the combined efforts of all progressive forces can prevent the horrors of war which the US and its allies have unleashed on the territory of Ukraine.

Workers’ Party of Belgium
Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB)
Communist Party of Cuba
The Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL)
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
Communist Party of Greece
Communist Party of India
Tudeh Party of Iran
Lebanese Communist Party
Portuguese Communist Party
Communist Party of Russian Federation
Russian Workers’ Communist Party
Communist Party, Turkey
Communist Party of Ukraine

Thur, Feb 26: Winnipeg picket against Harper’s so-called anti-terror bill

Dear Friends, Comrades, Sisters and Brothers,

It’s vitally important to have a quick and sharp protest against the Conservative Party’s misnamed anti-terror bill. At times, numbers don’t matter as much as the resistance actions such as this can spark. Help be a spark.

You are invited to a picket at Shelly Glover, MP’s office. Bring your signs and messages of resistance and solidarity. All groups are welcome, including to speak and co-sponsor.

Thursday, Feb. 26, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
213 St. Mary’s Road (near Traverse)

There’s an event page that you can share on your timeline and where you can invite friends. Please do so; it would be great if we had a larger crowd for rush hour traffic:
https://www.facebook.com/events/436876659795959/

* * * * * *
Harper’s legislation will enable the RCMP and CSIS to crack down on all resistance in Canada, against democratic and workers’ struggles.

It targets the resistance to corporate control of Canada.

Its first target is the international unity of working people, Arab and non-Arab, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, Russian and non-Russian.

Who are the Conservative party’s targets-of-choice, the targets of RCMP wrongdoing, jailings and outright banning since the beginning of mercantile and settler colonialism, the Red River Resistance and the Winnipeg General Strike?

Politically, it is socialist parties, especially the Communist Party which supports the resistance against corporate influence and domination and works to build the international unity of working people and oppressed nations (outlawed 3 times).

In terms of the people’s resistance, it is the trade union movement and oppressed nations, Aboriginal peoples and Quebec’s movement for self-determination and equality.

The anti-terror legislation is certain to broaden the dirty tricks, secret police wrongdoing and repression.*

That is why the Communist Party in Winnipeg will hold a picket to protest the new bill this week.

Everyone is invited to bring their signs and messages of resistance.

Vive la resistance,
Penner-Bethune Club, Communist Party of Canada

*Even before this new bill, things were so bad that at one point PM Trudeau was forced to call a Royal Commission into Certain Activities of the RCMP (1977). Some findings remain secret to this day.

A Book that was Missing

Havana, February 13, 2015
Remarks at the presentation of the book ¿Quién mató al Che?
Cómo la CIA logró salir impune del asesinato by Michael Ratner
and Michael Steven Smith, Social Sciences Publishing House, Cuba.
[Spanish translation of Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away With Murder]

Unofficial translation by Susana Hurlich, Havana
================================================
A Book that was Missing
Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada

Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith, in addition to being eminent lawyers, are active participants in the most important battles of the North American people for justice and freedom. Their book, dedicated to Leonard Weinglass – who, up to his last breath, devoted his life to the liberation of the Five Cuban anti-terrorists who served long years of unjust and cruel imprisonment in the United States – pays well-deserved tribute to our mutual friend when our heroes have now returned free to the Homeland.

To fight for justice in that country means, above all, to seek the truth and make it known in the most difficult of circumstances, confronting the concealment and manipulation of a powerful machinery determined to impose nothing else but ignorance on millions of people. This is a task that Lenny as well as Ratner and Smith have known how to carry out assiduously and consistently.

To prove that Ernesto Guevara was assassinated by the CIA, that his death was a war crime – a crime that never perishes – and that this deed was entirely the responsibility of the U.S. government called for an unremitting search.

After many years of demanding that the authorities comply with their own laws with respect to public access to information, today we can read documents that, despite the crossings-out and deletions that still seek to conceal numerous facts, allow the reader to discover that the official versions about Ernesto Guevara’s final combat were deliberately distorted.

It’s all about trying to make us believe that Washington preferred that Che, defeated and taken prisoner, would continue to live and that the crime was the result of unilateral decisions made by soldiers of the Bolivian Army who were then a docile instrument of the Empire.

Much has been written about Che and his epic Bolivian campaign and there are many authors who echoed the interpretation fabricated by the exponents of “plausible deniability.” At this stage, when both selective and massive assassination and the practice of torture and extrajudicial executions have become a generalized practice of a new way of making war, the book by Ratner and Smith is an opportune reminder that such treatment has a long trajectory.

It is as old as that of using servile armies and assassins – uniformed or not – as simple tools causing countless suffering to the peoples of Latin America under military dictatorships that the United States equipped, trained and managed.

In an earlier book, published in 1997 and the result of an equally relentless pursuit, the authors had revealed how the FBI tracked Ernesto Guevara’s activities in Guatemala and Mexico when he was not yet Che. In this book that they offer us now it can be confirmed that during his Bolivian campaign he was obsessively followed at the highest levels in Washington.

The U.S. Government’s Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of a wounded and unarmed young prisoner by the name of Ernesto Guervara. The actual perpetrators of the cowardly act were soldiers who acted under the control of the CIA and obeyed their orders without batting an eye.

Some are still walking, however, on the streets of Miami or are in their offices at Langley, mulling over their frustration. Because they could not kill Che. Che continued to live and his message returned victorious in a new Bolivia and in a Latin America that confidently moves ahead towards complete emancipation.

Because Che fought all his life leading the list of those named as essential by Bertolt Brecht. Essential are those who are never missing when they are most needed, those who are present, always on the front line, when the struggle is harder and more complex.

That is why Che lives. Because we need him now more than ever.

The Cuban edition of this book appears in a new juncture in which we greatly need the Guevarian light. Now we are entering a stage that poses new challenges that we must face with wisdom and firmness. The historic enemy of our people has not changed its nature or its strategy of domination, only its tactics. Because its crude and violent policy – and it is recognized as such – of half a century failed, now it will test methods that intend to be more subtle to achieve the same ends.

We must accept the challenge and advance down that path without ever abandoning our principles. And always remembering Che’s visionary warning. Do not trust the imperialists “not even a little bit, not in anything.”

Unemployment: A Report Card for Capitalism
  – from Zoltan Zigedy is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/
Marx suggests in his articles for the Neue Rheinische Zeitung collected as Class Struggles in France, 1848-1850 that the first order of business for the working class is to secure jobs, “but behind the right to work stands the power over capital; behind the power over capital, the appropriation of the means of production, their subjection to the associated working class and, therefore, the abolition of wage labour, of capital and of their mutual relations.” It is through the struggle for a place in the capitalist system– however lowly– that the means for survival are won and the conditions are met for further challenges to the dominance of capital and even the very system of capitalism. But in a system of private appropriation and with labor as a commodity, life for those without capital begins with securing employment.
Because labor is a commodity, because labor must be a commodity in order for an economic formation to be capitalist, the right to a job cannot be enshrined in a capitalist constitution. Only socialist countries have or can endow everyone with the right to a job. That is why the right to a job is not included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A weak “right to work” (participate in the labor market), a right to “free choice of employment” (compete in the labor market), and a right “to protection against unemployment” (vague, nonspecific prophylaxes or amelioration) are there instead (Article 23). Without recognizing the right to a job, the Universal Declaration effectively turns a blind eye to the ravages of unemployment and the indignities and injustices of the buying and selling of human productive effort.
That is one reason that the USSR and other socialist countries abstained from ratifying the Declaration in 1948.
Without unemployment, the capitalist system would suffer persistent pressure on the rate of profit. When the commodity– labor power– becomes scarce, capitalists must pay more to secure it, as they would for any other commodity. And since labor remains the largest cost component of most productive capitalist enterprises, labor-cost inflation erodes capitalist profits. Capitalism and the system’s beneficiaries will not, therefore, tolerate full employment. This is the nasty little truth that apologists and media windbags dare not speak.
Economists hide this truth by euphemistically coining terms like “marginal” or “frictional” unemployment or inventing obscurantist concepts like the “Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment” that set an increasingly low standard for “full” employment. By linguistic sleight-of-hand, the economics establishment offers cover for capitalist accumulation by ordaining an “acceptable” level of unemployment.
At the same time, this same establishment understands that unemployment is the greatest challenge to the stability of the capitalist system. The frequent sharp rises in unemployment brought on by dislocations, the business cycle, or systemic crisis dramatically increase the levels of social discontent and raise voices that question the system. For those who hold the reins of power, for those whose job is to contain dissatisfaction with capitalism, managing unemployment is essential.
From that perspective, the unemployment rate is arguably the best barometer of the health and viability of the capitalist system. Consequently reports of unemployment rates and trends are politically charged and subject to great differences in interpretation.
The official unemployment rate… amounts to a Big Lie.”
Recently, the political manipulation of the unemployment rate came under attack from an unlikely source. Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, the polling organization, challenged the notion that the “official” rate of unemployment bore any relation to the realities of unemployment. Indeed, he called the rate a “Big Lie.” It’s worth examining his argument closely:
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.
There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.
Though Clifton invokes the always suspect “Great American Dream” in his polemic, he fully appreciates the challenge unemployment mounts to the system’s legitimacy:
And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.
We owe Clifton a thanks for speaking a rare and uncomfortable truth. And we must admire his bitter remonstrations against those who hide, distort, or slant capitalism’s bad performance:
When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real – then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives.
Capitalism’s Report Card
Many liberal economists would agree with Clifton that the official rate understates unemployment. Like Clifton, some will concede that those marginally attached to the work force or discouraged from the work force should be counted along with those who have looked for work in the four weeks prior to the survey. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) extends the survey period to the prior twelve months to capture those unemployment figures. Using those numbers and the numbers of those working part-time for economic reasons, the unemployment rate rises to over 11%.
But it is worth questioning how the BLS defines the labor force. They simply count those as employed who work at some time in their survey period and count as unemployed those who show in their records as looking for work. They add the two up to constitute the labor force. They make no effort in this survey to determine the relationship to employment of the tens of millions of people in the US population not counted as in the labor force because they are neither somewhat employed nor present in the unemployment roles.
Have those left aside given up looking because they could find no job in the years prior to the last twelve months? Are they forced out because they can no longer afford child care or must care for relatives? Does neglected health due to lack of insurance preclude working? Are they victims of racial, gender, or age discrimination?
BLS does not ask and we do not know.
We do know, however, that the labor participation rate, relatively stable for two decades, has dropped precipitously since the 2007-2008 crisis. Roughly five to six million fewer people now count as engaged in the work force at any given time today than did eight years ago. Such a sharp drop in such a short time cannot be explained simply by changes in retirement patterns or work-force entry. Thus, it is not unreasonable to view this shift away from gainful employment negatively in our score card for capitalism.
If we were to count this loss in the labor force with the other sources of unemployment, US unemployment (and underemployment) would move to the vicinity of 15%.
But we can take a longer, deeper view. We can ask pointed questions about those engaged in certain categories of socially useless, even destructive forms of employment as well as those completely isolated from the conventional labor force.
For example, the million-and-a-half military personnel and the three-quarters of a million Defense Department employees constitute unproductive workers whose absorption would present a hurdle to the private sector. High youth unemployment and the expense of education have driven thousands of less advantaged youth to the military as an alternative to unemployment, thus serving as a safety valve to the social volatility of idleness.
Homeland Security and other security agencies have enjoyed bursts of employment thanks to the bogus war on terror. These agencies, too, constitute unneeded public-sector job creation that masks potential unemployment.
And of course there is the weapons industry, a massive private-profit-generating behemoth that engorges itself on public funds, stands apart from market forces and risks, and belches death-dealing instruments. Spawned by a desperate, but post-war fear of economic depression, US ruling elites embraced this perverse form of public-sector Keynesian demand-creation as a companion to Cold War hysteria. Military production drives and is driven by US jingoism. US imperialism and the military-industrial complex constitute a dialectical unity. While millions are employed by this juggernaut, capitalism would struggle to find work for them in a peace-friendly economy.
Undoubtedly the most insidious technique of hiding unemployment is the unfettered, soulless operation of the criminal justice system. Even the English workhouse answer to unemployment in the early eighteenth century was arguably more humane than the US judicial-penal complex,  complex. Inmates in state and federal punitive facilities (not including county and local jails) grew from 329,821 to 1,406,519 from 1980 to 2001! In the same period, the crime rate was relatively stable or declining. In 2010 the number of adults warehoused in so-called correctional facilities totaled almost 2,300,000.
The 2013 incarceration rate was six times the rate of 1925. Given the absence of virtually any social services or welfare, the high incidence of poverty, and the squalor of US urban areas in 1925, it is difficult to explain the explosion of incarceration in our era of relatively tame criminality without searching for political expediencies.
Half a million guards and administrators shepherd this population; another half a million churn the gears of questionable justice; and a million police harvest the inmates from the streets. Like the military-industrial complex, the police-judicial-prison industry removes millions from productive activity and warehouses hundreds of thousands of those potentially counted as unemployed. Whether the inmates turn to crime because they have no jobs or not, they effectively are dropped from the labor force. Moreover, nearly 5,000,000 US citizens are on parole or probation, a circumstance that lowers the prospect for employment dramatically. Certainly thousands, if not millions, of these people fall into that statistically ignored area beyond the BLS labor-force boundary. They, too, must be counted as part of the hidden unemployed.
Understanding that unemployment is the Achilles’s heel of the capitalist system, it is not surprising that the official rate is so highly politicized. But it is misleading to accept the official rate or even the useful corrections without also exposing the concealed institutional places where employment is linked to destructive, anti-social activities or where potential workers are forcibly excluded from the work force.
When carefully studied, capitalism’s score on providing jobs is abysmal. Reformers who envision a capitalism divorced from militarism and its institutions, but robust with useful jobs, are naïve. The struggle against militarism, in the end, must take the road of a struggle against imperialism and its parent, capitalism — a revolutionary and not reformist path. Only with socialism will alternative jobs be guaranteed.
Similarly, caging those who have been ill-equipped to fit into a savagely competitive employment scramble only foretells a similar fate for those who pose other challenges to the system. Liberals and reformers miss this point entirely. Nor do they have a plan to incorporate those warehoused by the judicial-penal system into the private capitalist economy.
As Marx anticipated, the quest for a decent job marks the first step in the journey to socialism.
Zoltan Zigedy
Salt of the Earth – movie
| February 22, 2015 | 8:34 pm | Labor, National, Party Voices, political struggle | No comments