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Will May Day revitalize the Occupy movement?

Last year the Occupy Wall Street movement took Canadian and American society by storm. However, the movement has seen a number of setbacks over the past few months. By marking the official date of “re-occupation” as May 1st, the Occupy movements in Toronto, New York, and other cities around the continent have chosen a symbolically significant date. In deciding to symbolically identify their call for re-occupation with May Day, perhaps the Occupy movement has learned that their struggle against the “1%” is the same struggle that the working class has been fighting against the bourgeoisie for more than a hundred years.

Fightback stands in solidarity with York University academic workers

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 3903, which represents teaching assistants, contract faculty, graduate assistants, and research assistants at York University, is once again being cornered into a strike position by the pro-business administration at the university. For years, the administration has been taking York University in a direction which has seen underpaid and overworked contract faculty and teaching assistants handling increased course loads and larger class sizes. These individuals now handle more than 50 percent of courses taught at the university.  Aside from attacking the working and living standards of academic workers, this also depreciates the education of all students at York.  Fightback fully supports the struggle of CUPE 3903 workers to fight for better working conditions, as well as the struggle for improved education for all.

Keys to spreading the Quebec student strike

As of 1st March, there are over 100,000 students across Quebec on an all-out unlimited strike against tuition increases.  Over the course of March, there will be many days where new student associations join, or vote to join, this movement.  So far, however, this demonstration of force and solidarity among students and against the policies of the provincial government has been ignored by the Quebec government; Education minister Line Beauchamp is urging schools to ignore the empty classrooms and picketing students.  It is clear that the student movement must spread and become larger and more resounding.  How it can do this, and be most effective, is an important question.

Academic workers at UofT deserve a fair deal: Decent jobs, free education for all!

The University of Toronto has often prided itself on its prestigious status as a leading academic institution. Unfortunately, this does not mean that it has been willing to give its employees job security, decent pay, or healthy work conditions at the university. Teaching assistants, lab instructors, and a number of other academic staff are challenging these conditions of work, a struggle that we, as Fightback, wholeheartedly support.

Housing crisis at Attawapiskat: The issues of Northern development and exclusion of indigenous communities

In October of last year, the Cree community of Attawapiskat (as well as two other nations) declared a state of emergency. The village had once been relocated and supplied with cheap, overcrowded housing arrangements by the federal Canadian government.  Despite claims by the government that Attawapiskat had received millions of dollars from the government to aid the community, today, these dwellings continue to be overcrowded and are quickly deteriorating.

As 2012 dawns -- Once more on optimism and pessimism

Twelve months ago, we contrasted the attitude of the bourgeoisie and the working class as the effects of the capitalist crisis played out.  The bourgeois have no confidence in their own system, only seeing a dead end.  The working class, on the other hand, are beginning to realize their own strength.  In the past year, the working masses around the world have risen up and begun to challenge the status-quo.  What can revolutionaries look forward to in 2012?

The legacy of Occupy Toronto: Fightback debates right-wing radio host

Even following the removal of the Occupy Toronto camp at St. James Park, the bourgeois media continues to attack the #Occupy movement.  In December, Fightback activists Farshad Azadian and Matt Gardner, both of whom actively participated at Occupy Toronto, appeared on CFRB NewsTalk 1010, a popular Toronto talk-radio station.  They debate right-wing host Jerry Agar and discuss why movements like #Occupy have arisen.

The dictatorship of the bankers

Europe’s economic crisis is being transformed by the day into a deep political crisis. Italy and Greece both have new governments – governments of “national unity”, pledged to solve the economic and financial crisis that has rocked Europe to its foundations. What are these so-called technocratic governments and what do they represent?

A balance sheet of Occupy Toronto: Lessons moving forward

The global Occupy Movement swept across Toronto on the weekend of 15th October. For five weeks, protesters engaged in daily protests, coordinated around the St. James Park encampment, until the police-enforced eviction on 23rd November 2011. Over this period, thousands of youth have, for the first time, entered into political activity. The supposedly apathetic and disinterested young generation erupted into a mass youth movement from almost nowhere. The movement has been able to resonate beyond the youth, and attracted support from working people and trade unionists.

Over 200,000 students strike against Quebec tuition increases

Over 200,000 Quebec students went on strike on Thursday (10th November) against the tuition increases being imposed on them by the Quebec Liberal government. Premier Jean Charest's proposes to increase post-secondary tuition fees by a total of $1,625 over the next five years, the biggest tuition increase in the province’s history.  Combined with a previous $500 increase by the Liberal government, this amounts to a 125% increase in the amount that Quebec students must pay for post-secondary education.  The indignation that has swept throughout society against this is astounding and clearly manifested itself throughout the strike.