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The life and times of Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

We lost a spirited voice of the oppressed and exploited on January 27, as Pete Seeger drew his last breath. Pete Seeger came of age at a time when popular music was gaining influence in a commodified form, as recording companies began to assert their dominance over popular culture. He played a central role in assuring that the experiences, hopes, and dreams of generations of working-class people were preserved and spread through the new mass media.

The possibilities of organizing at the high schools

To the casual observer, it may seem that organizing high school students is too difficult of a task. High school students are often portrayed as being apathetic and unaware of broader social issues. However, the experience of the author, a high school student in Toronto, shows that this is not the case. Just because high school students have yet to organize themselves does not mean that they are incapable of doing so.

Factory closures in Central Canada: Capitalism is a failed system

Another wave of factory closures across Ontario and Quebec reveal how capitalism is ultimately a failed system.  Despite millions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies from government, ultimately paid by working-class people through their taxes, companies are pocketing all of this free money and still putting more people out of work, all for the benefit of making greater profit. Capitalism is a dead end; both governments and the leadership of the labour movement need to stop propping it up.

Unpaid internships: A modern form of slavery

As a generation of young students and workers look to enter an uncertain labour market, many are promised that internships are the answer to securing employment after graduation. Thousands of young people are pushed into accepting unpaid internships, convinced that this is the only way to gain the valuable work experience they need to advance in their field. However, the reality is that many of them are forced into long hours of doing menial tasks of little value to their education. In some cases this amounts to unpaid internships being used by employers to gain free labour with the promise of future careers that fail to materialize.

Support the New Brunswick Mi’kmaq anti-fracking protests

On Oct. 17 near Rexton, New Brunswick, over 75 RCMP officers clad in paramilitary regalia and armed with sniper rifles and canine units moved in to enforce a court injunction against the blockade erected by anti-shale gas protesters. The protesters were mainly indigenous peoples, primarily the Mi’kmaq of Elsipogtog, but also include the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Acadian francophones, and anglophones, all united against SWN Resources Canada, which was conducting tests in the area. A standoff between the protesters and the police resulted in six torched RCMP vehicles and over 40 arrests.

Genetically-modified food: For human need or corporate greed?

The development of genetically-modified organisms (GMO) has opened up whole new possibilities for improving the nutrition of humanity. However, under capitalism, GMOs are being abused by large agro-corporations, such as Monsanto, to maximize shareholders’ profits at the expense of ordinary people around the world.  Instead, GMOs have reduced the safety and security of the food system for billions of people. What is a working-class approach to confronting the problems of GMOs and food security?

Carbon Taxes: A solution to the environmental crisis?

The question of climate change and the environment is one of the burning issues for today’s youth.  It is becoming increasingly evident that unsustainable exploitation of the environment cannot continue unabated.  One measure that is championed by the bosses and the ruling class, and is supposed to relieve the pressures on the environment, is a carbon tax, such as the one implemented in British Columbia in 2008. Five years later, can we say that carbon taxes genuinely work in protecting the environment, or are they simply one more tool in the bosses‘ arsenal in order to transfer more money into the bank accounts of corporations?

Slavoj Zizek: Apologist for the social democratic turn of SYRIZA

Slavoj Zizek has built up a reputation as a respected “Marxist” academic and is seen as somewhat of a “rock star” on the left. However, his recent attempts to translate his theories into concrete policies for a possible future SYRIZA government in Greece reveal that there is nothing revolutionary in his thinking. He is in fact providing academic credibility to a modern reformist current and has become an apologist for the shift to the right on the part of the leadership of SYRIZA.

Youth under attack — Join the fight against capitalism!

As the 2013-2014 school year begins, youth across Canada will once again have to face the crisis facing them under capitalism. Tuition fees continue to rise across the country, making post-secondary education increasingly inaccessible to a growing number of youth. Moreover, the lack of stable well-paying jobs means that students are graduating with a record level of debt that makes a decent future seem like a pipe dream.

Nationalize the Canadian wireless industry; No support for Verizon or the Big Three

For the past few months, the question of how to reform the mobile phone sector in Canada has come to the fore. Currently, most mobile service in Canada is provided by just three telecommunications giants — Bell, Rogers, and TELUS.  Because of this, Canadians pay some of the highest mobile rates in the entire industrialized world.  Now that US behemoth Verizon is looking to enter the Canadian market, a debate is raging about what should be done about the mobile sector, and what would be most beneficial to Canadian workers and consumers.

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