Tag Archive: fightback


Guest Blog also posted in the Huffington Post.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s recent white paper, “Flexible Labour Markets,” has been the centre of much controversy and debate.

Hudak trumps up a lot of nonsense and feigned concern about union democracy and transparency, but in the end offers little more than selfish individualism in opposition. That his hostility towards the union principles of social cooperation and compromise for the greater good puts him at odds with the basis of Canadian democracy — from elections to tax collection — appears to be lost on him.

However, the depth of his hypocrisy is perhaps best illustrated by his total lack of concern for fairness and transparency when it comes to his corporate backers. According to a recent study of Ontario elections, between 2004 and 2011, over 40 per cent of Progressive Conservatives’ funds ($26 million) came from corporations.

By contrast, the New Democratic Party received a paltry $666,000 from corporations. Overall, corporate contributions comprised nearly 40 per cent of all election financing while union contributions made up a mere five per cent. And in a testament to the extent of internal democracy within the labour movement, it is worth noting that unions donated money to parties of all political stripes, including a handful who pitched in to the Progressive Conservatives.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Make a Difference in Your Purchase!

Did you know that what you buy can make a difference in our Country and our community’s now!! We are part of six billion people on the planet; the onus is on us North American’s – the upper 20% that consumes 80% of the world’s resources. Driving hybrid cars and limiting industrial emissions is great, but they are band-aid solutions if we don’t address the core problem: we have to consume less, to fix the environmental and ethical consequences of overconsumption. We can help by not purchasing products that contain lots of empty packaging. By leaving our packaging behind at the counter and telling the business you shop at the you didn’t need this packaging they would be responsible for disposing of the waste in extra packaging, in turn they might contact there suppliers to tell them that their customers don’t want extra packaging. By reduce the waste we create we can keep landfills from filling with harmful waste products that contain chemicals and non- bio-degradable materials that harm our environment. We also have the purchasing power to make a difference in our ethical shopping of non-sweatshop garments by insisting that the clothes we ware are made in North America or by companies that have not violated international human rights with child labour. Supporting Local farmers just makes sense. It’s fresher, safer then harmful chemicals used during transportation and best of all supports our local communities. Buying Canadian made products helps keep Canadians working. By just taking these few extra minutes to check where your spending your money can help slow globalization from driving down the cost to our communities. We are the consumers we have the power!!! I realize that not all products are going to be made in Canada… but if it means spending a bit more on a product that is made by my fellow Canadians then it might also be better material and better built. We have to hold business accountable for the products and services they sell. A recent report named the substance PERC (Perchloroethylene) a chemical used in the dry cleaning process to be hazards to our health and can lead to cancer or Liver failure, yet some dry cleaners say they would not stop using PERC. Perhaps a letter advising people that liver failure might occur by using their service is not as important as turning a profit at your customers loss.

Think Globally Act Locally

Think Globally Act Locally

In the Harvey article in (“Freedom’s Just Another World”, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 2005) the question of why we have acquiesced in this state of affairs, I find it hard not to comment on the education of economics classes still being taught in Universities across the world and our over indulgence of material goods as reasons that most of us have done nothing to stop this.

At first, these conversations leave me disheartened. Here we are, in full planetary emergency, a time when we need new young graduates with a realistic understanding of what is wrong with the world, with skills that will help humanity chart a new course. And what do economics departments in big universities aspire to churn out? Individuals trained to not recognize symptoms of impending collapse, trained to ignore appalling inequality, trained to celebrate waste, trained to be closed-minded and unwilling to engage with different disciplines. We need to leave these teachings of the theory out of classrooms. A growing body of research into happiness, much of it by economists, shows that following many of the policies promoted by neoliberalist economists is a pretty good recipe for minimizing happiness in all corners of the universe.

Another reason Continue reading

(This appeared as a comment by Ritch on my last post. It deserves to be highlighted as a guest post.)

The events at the G20 demonstration on Saturday have provoked a series of responses already. This article is not meant to review the events of the day itself but to look at the questions raised by the demonstrations.

Suffice to say the reaction of the police in arresting, detaining, and brutalizing nearly 1,000 people in the largest mass arrests in Canadian history exposes the serious attacks on civil liberties we face.

On Friday before the demonstration I was having a beer with a comrade in Halifax and of course discussion turned to the G20, we both agreed that this would be the perfect demonstration to go off without any property damage. If at the end of the day tens of thousands marched, thousands did sit-ins by the fence but the tactic of smashing windows was not employed then the summit would be a defeat for Harper.

We drew this analysis based on the fact that every where you went there was anger at the billion dollar price tag for security. At a time when thousands are struggling to make ends meet and see the cost of the Summits as exorbitant. Many, consciously or not, recognize that this money is being spent to the architects of the crisis; protecting those who gave billions to the bank while leaving workers and the poor to pay for it. Furthermore, in the lead-up, there was a growing polarisation with many being angry or frustrated with Harper’s attacks on civil liberties, on women’s rights, on the climate, on the economy, and more.

To have had a day of mass demonstrations and militant but non- violent action would have left Harper with egg on his face and given more confidence to those want to find ways to challenge Harper and the market.

Instead, the day went just like clock work—much like other summits. There’s a mass demonstration. A layer of people do a split from that march and then some engage in expressing their rage against the system by smashing windows and other acts. Given the world we live in, it is surprising that more of this doesn’t happen more often.

In response, the police hold back until the main march disperses. They wait for some damage to be done, and then they go on the offensive. They round-up and brutalize everyone left on the streets, including passers-by, peaceful protesters and those engaged in property damage. In Seattle, Quebec, Genoa, etc. this script has played out over and over again. The police wait until the mass organisations leave, then go after the rest. This strategy suggests that the police and the state are keenly aware of who they want—and don’t want—to provoke.

Within this the “black bloc” and their supporters utilise the larger rally and split marches to launch attacks on property and the police. Usually the police wait long enough for damage to be created before they respond. In these situations it is one of the few times the police wait to crack down. Continue reading

Is this What Democracy looks like?

  Queen And Spadina in Toronto on Sunday June27th. We have no where to go and aggressively attacked.