Which way forward for the University of Toronto General Assembly?

The UofT General Assembly, initiated primarily by a group of left-wing students at the University of Toronto, was launched on January, 2011. The first gathering of the assembly saw a hall packed with some 200 students, workers and community members. Many experienced activists were present. More importantly, however, was the participation of a significant number of youth who were recently politicized and interested in organizing.

2010: A year of police brutality and repression

The use of police terror and violence against protesters, trade unionists, and community activists reached a high point in 2010, incomparable to past years and perhaps the last couple decades in Canada. The routine harassment of working class youth and minorities, particularly in Canada’s working class districts, has also intensified. How do working people defend themselves in the coming period?

PROFUNC Revealed: Canadian state planned arrest of over 66,000

A recent documentary by the CBC’s The Fifth Estate revealed documentary proof about an anti-democratic plot that would have made Senator McCarthy proud. These facts sharply contradict those who believe that the Canadian state rests on a basis of “democracy and the rule of law.” However, as seen at the recent G20 demonstrations, this threat to democratic rights still persists. It is vital that the labour movement educates itself about these plans in order to prepare for future attacks.

The Oscar Grant murder: Organized labour stands up to police violence

October 23, 2010 marked a peculiar day in labour history. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 shut down all the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area ports. The eight-hour strike’s demands were unrelated to increased wages, benefits, or the like. Rather, workers left their posts for one reason: to protest the persistence of police violence against the working class, particularly Black and Latino youth.

Marxism, the HST, and progressive taxation

A recent commentary piece by Matt Fodor, published in The Bullet, the e-paper of the Toronto group Socialist Project, raised an interesting issue that has been much debated within the workers’ movement—the role of taxation. Fodor argues that the manner in which the NDP is opposing the HST in BC and Ontario dovetails with the arguments of the right-wing—that taxes are evil and that this foments an “anti-tax sentiment among the general population.” Fodor argues that we should instead support the HST as a means for paying for more programs and services. Fightback believes that this is a dangerous idea that drives workers into the arms of right-wing populists.

Fight for free quality education now!

Students are under attack, and the situation is only going to get worse. Undergraduate tuition fees have steadily risen over the past two decades, as student debt has rocketed to an average of $28,000. Youth from working class and poor communities have been particularly hard hit by the increasingly inaccessible education system. In the current economic crisis, the reality is that many graduates face the prospect of unemployment and low-pay employment (despite their high skill level), making student debt a nightmare many understandably choose to avoid altogether.

Seventy years after the assassination of Trotsky, yet another attempt

Seventy years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky bourgeois writers and historians are attempting to bury the man again. They are constantly demonizing him and his ideas. That is because they understand that his ideas are not dead, but very alive and have never been so relevant as they are today, in this period of crisis of capitalism.

The G20 Summit: Trying to square the circle

There has been much focus on the assaults on civil liberties in Toronto during the G20 summit.  However, the summit was also a failure within the fences.  The recent G20 summit in Toronto brought to the surface all the contradictions of global capitalism. Every capitalist nation wants to climb out of the crisis at the expense of its competitors. Everyone is calling for demand to be kept up, while at the same time applying cuts in public spending at home. At the heart of this are the mountains of debt that have accumulated everywhere.

A New Stage in the Crisis of Capitalism

After talk of the so called "credit crunch" gave way to optimistic comments about the "green shoots" in the economy, events in Greece caught the bourgeois commentators unaware. Now the world economy has once again been plunged into chaos and uncertainty as the governments of Europe try to contain the fall-out from the near-default of Greece and it is the workers who will be presented with the bill.

Police and working-class communities: The death of Junior Alejandro Manon

On 5th May 2010, Junior Alejandro Manon, a Dominican youth living in Toronto, was pronounced dead after police officers pulled him over near the Keele Campus of York University. The story given by police, and repeated the next day uncritically by the corporate press, was that Manon, having been pulled over and his vehicle being impounded, ran away from the police and suddenly suffered a heart attack.  However, it is clear that Manon is only the latest victim of police brutality against working class people.

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