December 21, 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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continues its photo review of the stands taken by the working people of
Canada and Quebec
and Indigenous peoples in 2018 with May, which began with May Day, the
of Working Class Unity and Struggle.
In marches, rallies and
meetings to mark May Day, workers from different sectors of the
economy used the occasion to raise the banner of their rights and their
struggles today. They shows that the workers have their own politics and
demands on the
from those of the ruling class in Canada, Quebec and worldwide. The
actions objectively expressed the
fraternal unity of the working people around the world by opposing
involvement in imperialist war and aggression against the working
people of other lands.
More than ever, the times require working people to use May Day as an
active expression of
the leadership they must exercise that the society requires, to end
their marginalization and
create new arrangements and a new direction for the economy that will
unleash the flourishing
of human potential presently blocked by the current social and
In May, the months of
massive public opposition to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain
pipeline expansion were simply ignored by the Trudeau government.
First, the government promised to "indemnify" Kinder
Morgan's private investors against the lower than expected profits from
the Trans Mountain
pipeline. Then on May 29, it simply announced it would purchase the
pipeline, declaring the
pipeline expansion to be in the "national interest." The scandalous
proclamation of this
massive pay-the-rich scheme was accompanied by dire threats against
activists of stepped up
state suppression. Undeterred, actions continued at the Kinder Morgan
site on Burnaby
Mountain and demonstrations were organized in cities from Victoria to
Montreal opposing the
bailout and then purchase of the pipeline, reaffirming the stand "No
Consent, No Pipeline!"
For all the Trudeau government's posturing about "consent" it refused
to recognize that "No
Means No!" Its declaration to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline
underscores the increasing use
of police powers by governments to impose agendas on the people that
they do not accept,
and the need to find the ways to overcome this.
Celebrated this May was
the 73rd anniversary of the victory over fascism in Europe in World
War II. Activities held on this occasion made clear, that while the
Canadian state is mired in the deep crisis of what is called "liberal
democracy," it has nothing to offer but the repetition of a stale Cold
War anti-communist outlook for warmongering purposes. The heroism and
sacrifice of the Soviet peoples and their Red
Army and all others
who fought to bring an end to the fascist aggression were vividly
honoured in activities
across the country that included the participation of Red Army veterans
and their counterparts
from the Allied countries including Canada.
The Ontario provincial election was
called on May 9 and a record number of candidates ran. The increase in
candidates, parties and independents reflected the
dissatisfaction of the
electorate with politics-as-usual which block them from
participating in decision-making. Across the province working people
held town halls, discussions and other events to put their concerns on
the agenda, refusing to be marginalized. In Windsor-Tecumseh, teacher
Laura Chesnik ran as an independent calling on Ontarians to join her
campaign by using this election to make a statement that "we can speak
in our own name and represent ourselves." Under the slogan "Empower
Yourself Now!" Laura's campaign, though modest in size, represented an
important quality that struck a chord with all those who came in
contact with it -- that the working people who make society function
through all the wealth they create and the services they provide can,
and must, be the decision-makers and can organize to do so. This
quality of working people recognizing the need to create the new and
taking action to do so stood in sharp relief against the self-serving
aims of the cartel parties in the Legislature to maintain the status
quo where they monopolize power to carry out an anti-social agenda.
Also in May, the Ontario
Network of Injured Workers (ONIWG) saw their important
"Workers' Comp Is a Right" campaign -- launched in September 2017 to be
ready for the
election -- realized in a major way through its annual Justice for
Injured Workers Bike
Ride. This year's ride
started out in northern Ontario, where important links were made with
injured workers and
their collectives, especially those suffering from industrial diseases
resulting from lives spent
working in resource extraction. The persistence, creativity and
dedication of the injured
workers' collectives to fight for the rights of all ensured the success
of their intervention
during the election and the broadening of this important work to smash
the silence on the
situation facing injured workers.
In Quebec, crane
operators in the construction industry mobilized against the assault on
safety and that of the public after the government made unilateral
regulatory changes to the
training regime for their trade, in the service of the construction
monopolies. This was not
only an important stand for health and safety, but a bold act to defy
all the pressure and
disinformation from the employers and government that construction
workers' just stands for
their rights should be criminalized as acts of intimidation.
Across Canada workers
from different sectors of the economy participated in actions marking
May Day, the international day of working class struggle and unity.
Montreal public transit
workers, members of CUPE Local 1983, vote 99 per cent in favour of
giving their union a strike mandate. The workers oppose the conversion
of day shifts to evening and night shifts, mandatory overtime, the use
of employment contract agencies instead of directly hiring workers, and
privatization of services and increased outsourcing of work.
Crane operators drive
their rigs through the streets of Montreal to protest new training
regulations that undermine the safety of the workers and the public.
Transit workers rally at
Queen's Park to ensure that the demand of working people that transit
remain publicly owned is put on the agenda of the Ontario election.
(Keep Transit Public)
education workers, with the support of students and faculty, rally
against government attempt to ignore their difficult working conditions
and legislate them back to work. The legislature dissolves for the
provincial election without passing the bill. The strike lasts until
July, when the workers are legislated back to work, after becoming the
longest post-secondary strike in Canada.
mineral workers in Goderich,
Ontario strike against anti-worker concessions.
aluminum workers from the Bécancour
smelter demonstrate outside the ABI shareholders' meeting in Pittsburgh
the company negotiate.
In Toronto, Ottawa and
Montreal people participate in
marches of the
Immortal Regiment and other events to mark the 73rd anniversary of
Victory in Europe Day when Nazi Germany was defeated and
surrendered to the Red Army and the Allied forces.
workers in Coquitlam strike for a first contract defending their right
to an income that affords them a measure of stability, security
and dignity in life.
Vigorous action in
Vancouver against Kinder Morgan pipeline
No Consent, No Pipeline!
The 70th anniversary of
Al Nakba -- the massive dispossession of the Palestinian people used to
create Zionist Israel -- is commemorated across Canada. These
activities take place in concert with commemorations in Palestine and
around the world, and in opposition to the inauguration of the U.S.
embassy in Jerusalem, yet another U.S. violation of international law
in support of Zionism and its crimes.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Montreal, May 13
Montreal, May 14
Toronto, May 12
Toronto, May 18
Windsor, May 15
Edmonton, May 15
Vancouver, May 15
Courtenay, May 15
Live-in caregivers demonstrate in Toronto on Mothers' Day to put
forward their demands for rights and defend their dignity as
workers. Like other migrant workers, they face oppressive working
conditions that are a form of modern-day slave labour.
Dump truck drivers
surround the Quebec National Assembly and hold actions across Quebec in
a Day of Action in defence of their livelihood. They face a situation
where the brokerage system that keeps false invoicing, corruption and
under-the-table work in check, is increasingly bypassed by construction
companies, and truckers without accreditation are increasingly hired.
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informs workers at Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant that she's running for election in
Windsor-Tecumseh. Mass work in the riding lets people know about
website that provides not only a means for people to know what Laura
stands for but to know about the concerns of other working people in
Injured workers speak
out in Barrie to put their concerns on the agenda in the context of the
Weekly pickets and
petition signings for peace on
the Korean Peninsula continue in Vancouver.
On Quebec Patriots' Day marches and other events take
place to mark the 1837-1838 Rebellion and to honour the memory of the
Patriots who gave their lives or were forced into exile in the struggle
to end British colonial rule by establishing a Republic of Quebec.
Hall says "Keep Public Services Public!"
environmental activists oppose Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
Poverty Town Hall is held in Peterborough, organized by the Youth
Political Action Coalition.
Workers roundtable in
Windsor carries on the discussion from their May Day roundtable on the
working people in the provincial election.
Fourth annual Justice
for Injured Workers' Bike Ride travels through mining towns and cities
in northern Ontario. It starts with a seminar in Elliot Lake on May 26
and concludes in Sudbury on May 28 with meetings to form an injured
workers' support group.
A lively discussion
takes place in Ottawa on "Election Results in Cuba and Attacks on
Democracy in Latin America." The keynote speaker is Her Excellency
Josefina Vidal, the new Cuban Ambassador to Canada, taking part in her
first public meeting in Canada.
East Danforth women
organize a meeting in the context of the Ontario election and invite
candidates to come and listen to and discuss the women's concerns.
Spirited action in
Montreal opposes the bail out of Kinder Morgan and the Trudeau
government's decision to push ahead with the pipeline without the
informed consent of the
maintenance workers hold strike
against federal government's buyout of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain
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(Photos: TML, standearth, A. Stoymenoff)
Town Hall in Thunder
Bay focuses on the crisis
in long-term care.
Election Town Hall
in Toronto organized by various community organizations and agencies discusses questions of safe
and affordable housing and child care, and ending gender-based
Fair is opposed in Ottawa.
(Photos: K. Tarasoff)
Injured workers in
London made sure their voices were heard in the days before election
They picket outside a Progressive Conservative rally to demand justice
for injured workers and denounce governments and big political parties
for ignoring the plight of injured workers and their families.
CP Rail Workers end
one-day strike action and vote on tentative collective agreement. Below
picket line in Revelstoke, BC.
March and rally in
Victoria says No! to Kinder
Morgan pipeline expansion and the
bailout of the company.
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