February 1, 2013

Rebel Youth launches petition against Kevin O'Leary

Rebel Youth magazine has launched a campaign as our next issue goes to print. Each issue we publish features someone we think stands out as self-appointed spokesperson for the 1%, the big guys or perhaps most accurately, the ruling class. With a smile, we call it the class enemy of the month. In association with this story, we are running a campaign at change.org to Fire Kevin from the CBC. The petition statement is below. We encourage people to check it out and online. We will be posting more updates over the next weeks.

Sign the petition here.

Kevin O'Leary is a multi‑millionaire and owner of the asset management company O'Leary Funds. He has appeared with Amanda Lang on CBC's The Lang and O'Leary Exchange since 2009, and stars on the shows Dragons Den and its US counterpart, Shark Tank on ABC.

"Fire Kevin O'Leary" is urging the CBC to dismiss this notorious venture capitalist "dragon." Mr. O'Leary is abusing his position at the CBC to explicitly promote his own for‑profit businesses. He is hijacking the public broadcaster with a socially destructive message of corporate greed, privatization, selfishness, and austerity.

These shows are really about catering to the Harper Tory government and its "slash-and-burn economic action plan". It is ironic that the CBC seems to have become a bastion of right‑wing commentators like Rex Murphy and Don Cherry. In this group, Mr. O'Leary stands out as a chief spokesperson for the vicious agenda of "money‑over‑everything" and "greed is good," which is being used as an ideological battering ram against young workers and all people in Canada.

Thus he is the face of the poverty‑creators, the job‑destroyers, the union‑busters ‑ basically, of the austerity agenda.

Researching for the campaign, Rebel Youth magazine found a series of cases where Mr. O'Leary called unions a "parasite" on business.

"Elect me as Prime Minister for 15 minutes," Mr. O'Leary said on a show. "I will make unions illegal. Anybody who remains a union member will be thrown in jail." He adds that "Unions are sheer evil [...] Unions themselves are born out of evil. They must be destroyed with evil", and "no one could contain unions in hell. They were so evil they came out of hell and they came upon earth."

These remarks, which could have come out of the mouth of a fascist dictator, prompted several complaints. The National Union of Public and Government Employees wrote that "Trade unionists are beaten and murdered in many countries around the world, simply because they believe in workers acting collectively to improve workplace conditions such as pay, hours of work, health and safety, and job security. [...] Mr. O'Leary's wilful promotion of contempt and hatred towards unions reflects a viewpoint that has often ended in violence perpetrated against union members and leaders."

The CBC Ombudsperson, however, refused to intervene.

Its time to restore and increase funding to the CBC so they don't have to cater to the O'Learys of the world to win adverstizing revenue.  Sign our petiton today and send CBC, Mr. O'Leary and his supporters a clear message: its time for Kevin to move on and get a new job.

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