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100 Years since Vancouver’s Anti-Asian Race Riots - Racism and its role in Class Society

Friday September 7th marked the 100 year anniversary of one of the B.C. labour movement’s darkest moments – the anti-Asian riots of 1907. The riots were incited by the Asiatic Exclusion League (AEL) – an organization formed in San Francisco in 1905 and in Vancouver on August 12th, 1907. Shamefully, it was a coalition of 67 labour unions that founded the San Francisco AEL, and by 1908, it reported 231 affiliated organizations, 195 of them trade unions. This mobilization of organized workers against other workers along racial lines highlights the need for a clear understanding of why racism exists and is allowed to exist, the pernicious role it plays under capitalism, and the real road to its abolition.

In Memory of Ted Grant 1913 - 2006

One year ago today the Marxist theoretician Ted Grant died after more than seventy years of political activity. His death marked the end of an era, but not the end of the struggle for the ideas he always defended.

Marx was Right! Statistics show that the harder you work, the less you get.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently released a study showing irrefutably that real wages for Canadian workers, which take inflation into account, have been frozen since the late 1970's. However, over that same time the economy has grown by 72% and Canadian workers have been working harder and smarter and have managed to raise productivity by 51%. These statistics show that the harder Canadian workers work, the less they get, just as Marx predicted.

Film Review: The Wind That Shakes the Barley...

Ken Loach's latest film, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, opens in limited release in Toronto today. Loach famously directed Land and Freedom, an excellent dramatization of the Spanish Civil War. In his latest film, Loach reveals the struggles occurring in Ireland during the formation of the Irish Free State, including the role of the working class. Here, we reproduce a review written by Terry McPartlan, originally published in July 2006.

Remembering International Women's Day 1917: The gains made for women by the Russian Revolution

Today is International Working Women's Day – originally instituted not as a day to celebrate, but as a day for militancy and action. Now many liberal institutions and feminist organizations recognize International Women's Day, but few acknowledge its roots or its historical significance. They have in fact attempted to remove the class content of this day of struggle.

The AIDS Pandemic: A crisis that capitalism is unable to solve

Far from being a “gay man’s” disease, HIV/AIDS now infects 40 million people around the world, 45% of them women and 6% children.  The list of regions and populations most affected by AIDS reads like a list of the poorest and most disadvantaged populations.  How will we do away with HIV and AIDS? This is not an easy question, and there are no easy answers. These days, the pharmaceuticals are far more interested in treating profitable “diseases”.

Capitalism and the Environment

Global warming – the ‘population time bomb’ – nuclear energy – pollution – environmental issues are always in the news. There is even a party – the Green Party – that claims to put the environment at the centre of its concerns. The Green Party claims to be neither right wing nor left wing as, they say, environmental issues transcend the traditional issues of class and the division between rich and poor that define conventional political discussions and divisions.

Moscow to Peking -- the real differences

This article, written in May 1965 by Ted Grant, shows how genuine Marxism was able to see the real processes going on in China and not be fooled by the words of the Chinese leaders. Then as now Marxism was a tool that allowed one to see through the fog of seemingly contradictory and incomprehensible events.

It's good to be a capitalist -- or is it?

An astonishing article appeared in the Financial Times on Saturday 29th July. Written by Philip Coggan, a senior staff writer on the newspaper, it opened with brutal honesty by saying "it has been a great time to be a capitalist. All around the world, profits have been rising as a percentage of GDP". The author goes on to give examples showing how in Europe, the United States, and also now in Japan, profits are at record levels.

Ginger Goodwin: Canadian labour martyr

On 27 July, 1918 Albert (Ginger) Goodwin stared into the barrel of Dan Campbell's shot gun and in a second, it was all over. The bullet passed first through Ginger's wrist, then through his neck, killing him with a single shot. Ginger lay on the forest floor, choking on his own blood. This was the end of the life of Ginger Goodwin, but the beginning of his legend. Ginger Goodwin's murder sparked the first general strike in Canadian history and he remains a source of inspiration for revolutionaries and labour activists to this day.
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