October 22, 2016

Student action ramping up for November 2nd

Peter Miller

This November 2nd, students from across Canada will be mobilizing for the Pan-Canadian “Student Day of Action” for free and accessible education initiated by the Canadian Federation of Students. As discussed in the statement from the YCL-LJC on the Day of Action, students are facing attacks across the country but are also fighting back.

October 9, 2016

Che Guevara & the struggle of young Communists in Canada

Today, October 9th, marks the 49th anniversary of Che Guevara's assassination by the CIA. The following is an interview conducted by TeleSur with the Young Communist League of Canada's General Secretary Drew Garvie about what Che's legacy means for young Communists today. The written interview was conducted in June of 2016 and contributed to the article Beyond the T-Shirt: What Che Actually Stood For.

Can you tell me about your experience going to Cuba on the Che Guevara Work Brigade? Why did you decide to go, what did you you there and what did you think of your overall experience?

The Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade has been running annually for 24 years. It is a solidarity Brigade where between 30-50 people of all ages, from across Canada, visit and tour Cuba for a couple weeks.

October 7, 2016

Energy East: Pipeline of discord

Yan Chun-Leduc

This summer in Saskatchewan, the company Husky Energy spilled 250,000 litres of crude oil into the North Saskatchewan River, the source of drinking water for nearly 100,000 people. Water now has to be transported to villages and communities by truck. Husky Energy has paid $5 million to Prince Albert, the largest city affected by the spill, to limit the damage. This heavy oil does not float, it flows and spreads over all seabed surfaces. The consequence of this is that only half of the oil spilled into the river has been cleaned, the other half that has sunk is not cleanable and never will be. Oops.

TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline would allow for 1.1 million barrels of the same type of heavy oil per day to travel over a distance of 700 km in Quebec. This distance includes traversing more than 800 rivers, including the St. Lawrence where sixty percent of the Quebec population, or five million people, draw their drinking water. A spill of 250,000 liters of oil there would be catastrophic. But Energy East is an enormous pipeline project, with incomparably larger potential for harm than the spill in the North Saskatchewan River.

September 20, 2016

Race & Racism: Biology or Systemic?

"You can't have capitalism without racism" - Malcolm X
Kayla Hilstob

The way we come to identify ourselves and others within our society has much to do with our social conditioning. Most of us have been conditioned to believe that because of the colour of our skin, naturally we belong to a certain group. This is the concept of race, the mother of racism.

This creation happened only a few hundred years ago in a deliberate move to justify and enforce the system of slavery for white Southern American plantation owners. Scientists have continuously tried to find a biological basis for race since its inception, to justify racial oppression, conflict, segregation, apartheid and genocide, yet there have been no findings whatsoever. Conclusively, there is no biological difference between people of different complexions, other than the few genes that produce the trait of skin colour. Race is a social construct that was created to impose a hierarchy of oppressed people to make a few powerful plantation owners very, very rich.

September 15, 2016

Young Worker Horror Stories

We often hear that our generation has it worse off than our parents. As the capitalist class continues to deepen their attack on the living and working standards of working people as a whole, the jobs available to young people in particular keep getting worse: part-time, non-union, precarious work, internships, or straight up unemployment are often the ‘choices’ we have.

In a recent, small-scale investigation blitz of employers by the Ministry of Labour in Ontario, it was discovered that 3/4 of employers were breaking already substandard labour laws. But what does this look like at the ground level?

Here are some stories from Rebel Youth readers about their work experiences:

August 23, 2016

Syria: Manipulation for war

Ajit Singh

A couple weeks ago, a Palestinian child was beheaded by the "moderate rebels" in Syria, created, funded, and backed by the United States, Canada, and NATO. Western states and the corporate media tried to minimize and downplay this beheading, going so far as to suggest that he was a member of a Palestinian militia supporting the Syrian government and therefore this was understandable conduct.

Last week, the US and UK funded "non-governmental organization", the “White Helmets”, which was founded by a British military officer, shared images of a Syrian child appearing to be bloodied. In addition to these dubious connections, photos circulating on social media show the photographer posing with the same militant group who captured and beheaded the Palestinian child in Aleppo. However, unlike the beheading where the child’s suffering was swept away, the corporate media is now flooding us with a story, saying: "Look at this poor child! The Syrian and Russian governments are barbaric! We must act!" [1][2][3]

July 27, 2016

Canada’s $15 Billion Saudi Arms Deal: What History Can Tell Us

TJ Petrowski

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is a “matter of principle” that Canada follows through with a $15 billion armaments deal with Saudi Arabia, a totalitarian state which funds international terrorism, stones women to death for the crime of being raped, and that leads the world in public beheadings. This decision has been sharply criticized by journalists, activists, and international organizations. In a public statement Amnesty International said that it has “good reason to fear that light armored vehicles supplied” to Saudi Arabia by Canada “are likely to be used in situations that would violate human rights” in both “neighbouring countries” and for ‘suppressing demonstrations and unrest within Saudi Arabia” [1]. Montreal students and a former Bloc Quebecois MP and law professor have filed a class action lawsuit to block the deal, citing that by selling weapons to countries with poor human rights records Canada is violating its own laws [2].

July 7, 2016

From one terror to another: A view from France on the aftermath of the ISIS attacks in Paris

Movement of Young Communists of France poster:
"The problem is not the refugees, it's the war in Iraq, Syria, etc..."

Louis Souchière

2015 will, without any doubt, be a year French children will be learning about in history classes for decades to come. From the assault on Charlie Hebdo in January, to the aftermath of the attack that took 129 lives in Paris in November, the international media and social networks have been flooded with controversies and messages of support focused on the French people. The so called “war on terror” was once again revitalized as one of the biggest concerns in the West with more and more countries dedicating resources to the bombing of Iraq and Syria. The French government, which quickly passed a bill to conduct more air strikes in Syria, was itself making loud declarations about how France would now be “in a state of war” as “retaliation strikes” on Raqqa were launched no more than two weeks after the attack.

The reinforcement of imperialist policies, with the French military being once again a part of the tip of the spear in efforts that have already destabilised many countries, from Libya to Syria, is not the only effect the attacks of 2015 had on the country. What is less known to the international community is the effect the aftermath of these attacks had for French people themselves, especially racialized minorities and Muslim communities, the latter accounting for around 8% of the country’s population.

June 27, 2016

Cuba: a happy country

2016 May Day march in Havana - photo: M. Ahmad
Haley Bjornsgaard Shaw

Sometimes I have doubts. Society wears me down. I wonder if my ideologies are simply nice stories I tell myself, ones that I know deep down, no matter how much I argue in YouTube comments, could never be possible. That everyone’s right, human nature is greed and nastiness, that socialism can’t and won’t ever happen.

Recently, I learned about bonobos, a type of ape. The species most similar to humans, they live in peaceful, matriarchal societies in the Congo, where all disagreements are settled with sex. Unlike most matriarchal animals, the females are smaller than the males. How this works is that if a male bonobo starts acting out, all the females band together to kick him from their group.

Reading this restored my faith in feminism. Stupid, I know.

This article is about spending May Day in Cuba. Like bonobos, it gives me hope.

June 24, 2016

YCL Hamilton at Pride 2016: "We’re here, we’re Queer, no racist fear!"

RY presents a speech delivered at Hamilton Pride 2016 by Young Communist League – Hamilton representative Sha Ali

There have been some amazing words today, so thank you to everyone who has spoken and everyone who has come out in the wake of the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

It’s the voices you’ve heard today that allow us to stand in true solidarity with the victims of the shooting, and indeed the victims of violence around the world.

It is these voices that are so important right now. They are so important because, as we speak, forces are already mobilizing to use this struggle — our struggle — to cause more violence.

Already, mainstream media has implicated Islam for the Pulse shooting. The comparison between the tragedy and 9/11 has already begun. The attack on refugees and immigrants is intensified. The attack on Muslims, now justified.

June 22, 2016

Freeland confronts anger over TPP in her own riding

Rally against the TPP outside the meeting - Photo: J Watts
Drew Garvie

On Wednesday, June 16, Chrystia Freeland, the Liberal Minister of International Trade visited her own riding of University-Rosedale in downtown Toronto in order to “listen” to the public as part of her promised consultation tour on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The message Freeland heard at the meeting was a clear and resounding “No to the TPP”.

It was a close to capacity crowd with hundreds in attendance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business. A large crowd gathered outside in festival themed rally complete with a 30 foot, red-eyed, inflatable horse, meant to represent the TPP as a Trojan horse.

June 19, 2016

63 years since the Cold War murdered Ethel & Julius Rosenberg

"Save the Rosenbergs" rally in France
Brendan Campisi

Today it will have been sixty-three years since Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed after being convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. While I believe that the actions the Rosenbergs were accused of -- helping the USSR break the US monopoly on nuclear weapons -- were an act of service to humanity, the details of what they did and did not do are, in the final analysis, not that important.

June 10, 2016

Ontario’s Education Minister condemns BDS, supporting apartheid education

Peter Miller

On May 19th, a motion given to the Ontario Legislature titled the “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario Act” was defeated 39 - 18. Bill 202 would have blacklisted supporters of the Palestinian led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by prohibiting public institutions from working with people who support BDS. The Bill also would have specifically prohibited colleges and universities from enacting BDS because of the movement's success in getting students and student unions to support BDS through general meetings and referendums. Not only was the Bill a McCarthyite attack on democratic rights and those fighting for human rights in Palestine, but the Bill also spread misinformation, stating supporters of BDS are “anti-Semitic” and call for the boycott of Jewish businesses, which has never been the case.

May 31, 2016

Silence and Indifference: Indigenous women testify to police violence

Demonstration in solidarity with the women of Val-d'Or
Marianne Breton Fontaine

On Thursday, October 22 2015, a team from Radio-Canada’s show Survey ran a shocking report on multiple cases of rape and the sexual abuse of Indigenous women in Val-d’Or. Originally, the team of journalists was not investigating these cases but rather the disappearance of Indigenous women and particularly that of Sindy Ruperthouse, an Algonquin whose disappearance in the of Spring 2014 demonstrated the shameful indifference of the media and Quebec authorities.

May 27, 2016

The Toronto Raptors and the Right to Sport

 Peter Miller

Raptors regular season tickets and playoff tickets are out of reach for the majority of people in Toronto, with the average resell cost for a single ticket at $258. At the same time, costs for cable, internet, and going out to a bar to watch the game pile up, making access to watching the playoff run in the comfort of one’s own home inaccessible to many.

Everyone deserves the right to democratic culture, sport, and leisure, and this includes the right to watch some of the best basketball players in the world. Under capitalism, short-term partial victories for these rights can be won, but these gains are constantly under attack.

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