December 19, 2018
2018 Photo Review
Taking Bold Stands in Defence
of the Rights of All and to
Make Canada a Zone for Peace
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issue of TML Daily's 2018
Photo Review carries the struggles of the working people of Canada and
Quebec and Indigenous peoples in March.
The month opened with
militant stands taken by education workers at York University and
Carleton University for their rights, the dignity of labour and
students' right to education. It has become increasingly clear that
public post-secondary institutions have been geared to meet the needs
of global oligopolies which engage in nation-wrecking and embroil
everyone in their striving for world domination. In this context,
education workers are treated as a mere cost to be cut down. But young
people persist in their fight for an education that helps them
contribute to the humanization of the social and natural environments
at home and abroad.
March also saw spirited
actions to mark International Women's Day across the country and around
the world. Women affirmed their place in the front ranks of the
movements for rights, peace and justice, addressing the broad concerns
of the people. While the Trudeau government continued to dress in
feminist garb and push a deceptive agenda in the name of "gender
equality" to give a progressive veneer to anti-people activities such
as imperialist warmongering, the concrete activities of women and their
collectives made clear that women's security lies in their fight for
the rights of all. Women reiterated the demand for an end to the
violence against Indigenous women, and demanded justice for the
families and communities of missing and murdered Indigenous women and
In British Columbia, the
fight over Kinder Morgan's planned expansion of the Trans Mountain
pipeline sharpened as Indigenous peoples and many others stepped up
their mobilization under the banner "No Consent, No Pipeline!" Some
10,000 people participated in a march and rally to express their
resounding No! Actions were
also taken to block construction at Kinder Morgan's terminal on Burnaby
Mountain, with dozens of people arrested. These events showed in stark
relief that the mechanisms the government claims are in place for
Indigenous peoples to give consent or to assess the impact of such
projects and take part in decision-making are window dressing. The
people's instinct to rely on themselves and exercise their right to say
No! and not fall
prey to government platitudes proved astute when the Trudeau government
simply went ahead and bought the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder
Morgan in May, despite the people's opposition.
The workers at the
Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. entered their third month of lockout. They
did so with conviction in their just cause and based on the work to
marshal the strength of the workers' movement in Quebec and beyond
behind them. This struggle brought out the importance of building the
organization and unity of the workers' movement to ensure no one is
left to fend for themselves. This is needed more than ever as global
conglomerates restructure their empires and attack the workers at will,
and supranational interests dictate the direction of Canada's economy.
All of this is done counter to the well-being of working people and
communities, while governments claim these are private business
decisions or even collaborate in these actions against working people.
Workers at the Iron Ore
Company of Canada plant in Labrador City went on strike to stop the
company from employing a "temporary workforce" side-by-side with
permanent workers doing the same work under drastically inferior and
unsafe working conditions. In doing so, the workers sought to uphold
the dignity of labour, to protect and increase their claim to the value
they produce, and to keep as much value as possible in the region for
well-being of the actual producers and their communities.
On the front of
international relations, the work to build practical and friendly
relations between the Canadian and Cuban peoples took the form of a
cross country tour by a Cuban parliamentarian, organized by the member
groups of the Canadian Network on Cuba. The tour took place in a year
when Cuba's economic reforms were well underway, a new president was
elected and the process to draft a revised constitution began. This was
a good opportunity for people to know more about Cuba and its
democracy and how its people wield decision-making power. Canadians
also welcomed the new Cuban Ambassador to Canada, Her Excellency
Josefina Vidal, known for her role in normalizing Cuba-U.S. relations
during the Obama presidency.
Canadians have always
stood with the Palestinians and their just cause for the right of
return of all refugees to their homeland, and an end to the criminal
Israeli occupation. Activities to commemorate Land Day began in Canada
at the end of March, as the historic mass mobilizations for the "Great
March of Return" got underway in Palestine.
As March drew to a
close, an important meeting was held in Toronto to support the cause of
peace on the Korean Peninsula. Professor Kiyul Chung presented
important insights ahead of the historic Inter-Korea Summit in April
and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea-U.S. summit that
followed. This together with the newspaper coverage of the unfolding
events by TMLW Weekly
contributed greatly to countering the vicious anti-communist propaganda
of Canadian official circles and media. These events also provided an
important opportunity for all those those who had taken part in the
information pickets and petition-signings to take stock of that work.
graduate assistants and part-time faculty at York University begin
strike action after overwhelmingly rejecting university's final offer
that does not address the need for proper wages and working conditions.
University workers say No! to
attacks on defined benefit pensions.
place across Canada to mark International Women's Day, as women affirm
their claims on society. A society is characterized by the extent to
which women can exercise control over all the affairs of the polity and
their indispensable role as leaders is recognized on matters of concern
such as peace, justice and social progress.
families rally at Queen's Park to demand their claims for
compensation for workplace illnesses be recognized.
Workers at Iron Ore
Company of Canada in Sept-Iles,
Quebec give their union a strong strike mandate, to oppose the
use of a temporary workforce which works side by side with permanent
workers under much inferior conditions.
March and rally in
Burnaby, BC against
the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.
guards, members of USW Local 8922, rally with the locked-out ABI
workers and pledge their ongoing financial assistance.
Workers from Rio Tinto's
aluminum smelter in Arvida, members of Unifor Local 1937, send a
delegation to Bécancour to pledge financial support to the locked-out
New Brunswick, organized in the Canadian Union of
Public Employees, hold their "Breaking the Mandate" conference to
organize a united fight in the public sector for wage increases.
As the off-season for
seasonal workers in Quebec continues, workers demand that members of
the government come to their region to see how real life does not
accord with government accounting, that deprives them of dignity and a
Protests continue at
Kinder Morgan site on Burnaby Mountain, BC, including actions to block
the gates to the terminal. A watchhouse has been established by
Indigenous peoples at the site.
with the 800 administrative, technical, and library
staff at Carleton University on strike to defend defined benefit
Ongoing protests in
Burnaby, BC say No! to Kinder
Morgan pipeline expansion.
At a memorial in Quebec
City, members of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society of Quebec commemorate
those killed by the Canadian state 100 years ago during protests
against conscription at the time of World War I. This historic
rejection of conscription remains integral to the anti-war stands taken
en masse by
A cross-Canada speaking
tour on the topic of Cuban democracy is launched in Toronto. It
features Juan Carlos Rodriguez Díaz, Professor of History in Pinar del
Rio and elected member of Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power,
who is accompanied by Yamil Martínez Marrero of the Cuban Institute of
Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). The tour, organized by the Canadian
Network on Cuba, also visits Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
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Weekly picket and
petition signings in Vancouver continue to inform the public and build
support for the historic peace initiatives on the Korean Peninsula.
Contingents from many
union locals across Quebec visit the locked-out metallurgical workers
in Bécancour, bringing their solidarity and financial support.
Youth in Canada
mobilize in solidarity with the mass actions against gun violence
organized by youth in the U.S. under the banner "March for Our Lives."
The stand of the U.S. youth is for control over their lives and an end
to gun violence and mass shootings in schools, workplaces and
elsewhere, which wins broad support. They refuse to scapegoat the youth
for behaviour problems, nor do they accept that violence can and should
be solved by increasing surveillance and armed policing of
Fredericton, New Brunswick
(Photos: J. Lang, C.
Yardley, K. Whetter, K. Darbyson, K. Doyle, K. Pringle)
students, unions and community organizations
calling for raises awarded by the Quebec government to specialists and
general practitioners to instead be spread throughout the public health
care system to mitigate the crisis caused by the anti-social offensive
of government cuts and restructuring.
Josefina Vidal is
accredited as Cuba's new ambassador to Canada in a ceremony at the
Governor General's residence. Ambassador Vidal is well-known for her
role in leading the Cuban side during the process to normalize
Cuba-U.S. relations in
Iron Ore Company of Canada
workers on strike in
Nursing home workers,
members of CUPE Local 1876, picket office of Eddie Orrell,
in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, to demand improved health
and safety for
themselves and residents.
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A delegation of workers
from Iron Ore Company of Canada plant in Sept-Îles visits their
striking counterparts in Labrador City to offer support and financial
USW Local 5795)
contingent from Fermont, Quebec brings
financial support to striking Iron Ore Company workers in Labrador City.
(USW Local 5795)
Land Day supports the just struggle of the Palestinian
people for their land and rights.
Lively meeting in
Toronto with Prof. Kiyul Chung gives insight to the upcoming
Inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK summits and prospects for peace on the
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