December 20, 2018
2018 Photo Review
Taking Bold Stands in Defence
of the Rights of All and to
Make Canada a Zone for Peace
continues its 2018 month-by-month photo review of the stands taken by
the working people
of Canada and Quebec and Indigenous peoples in April.
April began with Land
Day actions in support of the right of the Palestinian people the world
over to return to their homeland, and in condemnation of the killings
by Israeli soldiers of Palestinians -- including artists, journalists
and medical personnel -- taking part in the ongoing Great March of
Return near Gaza that would culminate in the commemoration of Al Nakba
in May. The stand of peace- and justice-loving Canadians with the
Palestinian people was a sharp contrast to the silence of the Trudeau
government and ruling circles on the crimes committed by the Israeli
With the G7 Summit in La
Malbaie, Quebec just two months away, protests began against the summit
and its aim of imposing a neo-liberal agenda on the peoples of the
world. These actions rejected attempts to create fear and uncertainty
using the measures put in place in the name of "security" but, in
practice, meant to demobilize the people's opposition to the summit and
the anti-social, anti-national neo-liberal policies of the G7 countries
that wreak destruction on the world through economic and military
In mid-April, Canadians
went into action to oppose the missile strike on Damascus, Syria
launched by the U.S., France and Britain on April 13 to punish the
Syrian government for
allegedly using chemical weapons on April 7. The strike was carried out
despite a lack
of evidence and the fact that the inspectors from the Organization for
the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons had not even been able to carry out their
investigation into the matter.
People rejected as fictitious the pretext for the missile strike and
reiterated the key demand that
Canada stay out of Syria. This was yet another example of the dangers
facing the people, and
that the conditions necessary for the rule of law and the associated
mechanisms meant to
resolve international disputes no longer exist because of the
increasing lawlessness of the big
powers, whose actions promise only more destruction on the basis of
continued to take action to defend their rights in the face of the
refusal of their employers to negotiate acceptable agreements. Workers
on strike at the Iron Ore Company of Canada plant in Labrador City
mobilized the community in support of their just stand against two-tier
working conditions. In Quebec, locked-out aluminum workers mobilized
around their call that the Quebec government must defend the public
interest of Quebeckers, not the private interests of company owners
Alcoa/Rio Tinto, by renegotiating Hydro-Québec's contract with ABI to
force it to pay for its allotted block of electricity during any labour
In keeping with the month when Earth Day was marked, a standout feature
of April was the actions in defence of the natural environment. As TML Weekly pointed out on the
occasion of Earth Day, "Measures must be taken to overcome the
destructive effects of climate change and end destructive practices of
the monopolies such as clear cutting, abusive mining practices,
contamination of lakes and oceans, the privatization of water and all
the other abuses which are increasing as a result of neo-liberal
anti-social and anti-national agendas." In this regard, April saw
concrete actions that affirmed the indispensable role of the polity as
decision-makers and the necessity for human beings to take conscious
collective action on matters related to the natural environment and all
of the important issues of the day. Through these actions, Canadians,
alongside the Indigenous peoples, used their voices to elaborate stands
on the natural environment based on defending their interests. They
rejected actions by the Trudeau government, said to be taken in the
"national interest" and allegedly with the consent of the Indigenous
peoples, that in practice are to service the U.S. war machine and
supranational interests to the hilt.
In Ontario, as the
campaign for the June 7 provincial election began to take shape,
working people stepped up the pace of their meetings and discussions to
speak out about their concerns and give themselves an independent frame
of reference that permitted them to assess the election and determine
how to intervene in a manner that favoured them. By empowering
themselves in this way, people avoided simply reacting to the agenda
set by the ruling circles and having their consciousness shattered by
the proclamation of so-called election issues by the monopoly media and
their pundits. To have one’s own frame of reference was essential to
not succumbing to the pressure from the cartel parties to become
embroiled in their campaigns. The aim of these parties is to prevail
over the others in the electoral contest, by hook or by crook. Once
elected, they claim to have a mandate to do whatever they want so as to
champion the neo-liberal agenda of the ruling elites in the name of
high ideals, as life has revealed in Ontario after the election. All of
it is to block the people from having a say.
The month closed on a
solemn note, with workers across the country marking the annual
April 28 Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured or made ill at
work. This was another
way in which workers broke the silence on their living and working
conditions. To take a fighting stand for rights and better conditions
in remembrance of fallen workers is more important than
ever, as working people are forced to bear the brunt of the worsening
Rally in Montreal on the
occasion of Palestine Land Day stands with the Palestinian
people in their just
resistance to Israeli occupation.
March organized in
Quebec City against G7 summit to be held in La Malbaie in June declares
"The G7 Does Not Represent Us!"
March and rally
outside Liberal Party fundraising event in Vancouver attended by
Prime Minister Trudeau
declares "No Consent, No Pipeline!"
condemns Israel’s massacre of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip
and mainstream media's cover up of crimes against the Palestinian
Rally takes place at
Kinder Morgan tank farm on Burnaby Mountain.
Community rally in
Labrador City stands with striking workers at the Iron Ore Company to
demand the company return to negotiations and reach an agreement
acceptable to the workers that puts an end to two-tier working
conditions at the plant.
workers at York University in Toronto hold mass rally at the Ontario
Ministry of Labour and march in support of fair collective bargaining
and quality public post-secondary education. Action coincides with the
end of forced vote on the the university's contract offer.
website publicizes the money lost to Hydro-Québec and the people of
Quebec due to ABI's lockout of its workers, with the aim of putting
pressure on the government to end this arrangement that favours the
company's bottom line during a lockout, at the expense of workers and
Quebeckers, and of forcing the company to return to the negotiation
Picket in Alberta
against construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Picket in Montreal
demands justice for Marielle Franco, a city councillor in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, on the one month anniversary of her assassination.
Progressive Canadians continue to express their concern about the
political retrogression in Brazil following the 2016 coup and the
subsequent anarchy and violence in which Franco was targetted for
taking a stand against the coup, police brutality and extrajudicial
Montreal demands an end to missile strikes on Syria and that the U.S.
imperialists and their allies keep their "Hands Off Syria!"
together with representatives of the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby
hold a news conference to reaffirm their opposition to the expansion of
Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline. Fifty-nine Indigenous groups
affected by the pipeline have made clear that adequate consultations
have not taken place and they cannot give their informed consent.
Community members in
Windsor speak out against plans for a new mega-hospital that will
replace the two existing hospitals with no increase in capacity to
address the existing bed shortage, and be located in a remote area,
away from the majority of people it is supposed to serve.
Hotel and food service
workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, rally outside the Ramada Hotel
in Prince George to fight for increased wages and better working
The NorthEastern Ontario
Rail Network summit in Sault Ste. Marie discusses the need to restore
passenger rail service in Northern Ontario and the social,
environmental and economic benefits that this would bring to the
region. The Crown corporation that provided passenger rail
infrastructure to northern Ontario communities discontinued much of its
passenger service and sold its telecom assets under the McGuinty
government's neo-liberal austerity agenda.
Meetings in Hamilton
continue where workers lead the discussion on the direction they want
for Ontario in the context of the upcoming provincial election, and how
they can intervene. Windsor teacher Laura Chesnik, after taking the
matter to her peers, comes forward as an independent candidate in the
riding of Windsor-Tecumseh.
Ore Company of Canada workers in Sept-Îles organized in USW Local
9344 take to the picket lines following their rejection of a tentative
agreement between the company and the union.
Action in Burnaby
defends right to housing. Development of new housing there is not
taking into account existing residents and their income, meaning that
many will be displaced from an area that already has below-average
vacancy for the region.
Calgary picket demands
Canada stay out of U.S. wars for regime change in Syria, and affirms
that Canada needs an anti-war government.
In Prince George, the
Stand Up for the North Committee holds a second open mic event for
people to express their views on the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.
Across Canada, workers mark the April 28 Day of Mourning for workers
or made ill at work with ceremonies, processions and meetings. In
Toronto (shown below) injured workers and migrant workers meet to discuss how to defend their
rights and the rights of all.
New Westminster, BC
Elliot Lake, Ontario
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Residents of Sudbury
voice their concerns over plan to build ferrochrome refinery.
Discussions such as this event organized by the Coalition for a
Liveable Sudbury are an important step in ensuring that industrial
development has the free, prior and informed consent of those who are
affected by the development.
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