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December 21, 2018

2018 Photo Review

Taking Bold Stands in Defence
of the Rights of All and to
Make Canada a Zone for Peace 


TML Daily continues its photo review of the stands taken by the working people of Canada and Quebec and Indigenous peoples in 2018 with May, which began with May Day, the International Day of Working Class Unity and Struggle.

In marches, rallies and meetings to mark May Day, workers from different sectors of the economy used the occasion to raise the banner of their rights and their struggles today. They shows that the workers have their own politics and demands on the society independent from those of the ruling class in Canada, Quebec and worldwide. The actions objectively expressed the fraternal unity of the working people around the world by opposing Canadian involvement in imperialist war and aggression against the working people of other lands. More than ever, the times require working people to use May Day as an active expression of the leadership they must exercise that the society requires, to end their marginalization and create new arrangements and a new direction for the economy that will unleash the flourishing of human potential presently blocked by the current social and political arrangements.

In May, the months of massive public opposition to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion were simply ignored by the Trudeau government. First, the government promised to "indemnify" Kinder Morgan's private investors against the lower than expected profits from the Trans Mountain pipeline. Then on May 29, it simply announced it would purchase the pipeline, declaring the pipeline expansion to be in the "national interest." The scandalous proclamation of this massive pay-the-rich scheme was accompanied by dire threats against activists of stepped up state suppression. Undeterred, actions continued at the Kinder Morgan site on Burnaby Mountain and demonstrations were organized in cities from Victoria to Montreal opposing the bailout and then purchase of the pipeline, reaffirming the stand "No Consent, No Pipeline!" For all the Trudeau government's posturing about "consent" it refused to recognize that "No Means No!" Its declaration to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline underscores the increasing use of police powers by governments to impose agendas on the people that they do not accept, and the need to find the ways to overcome this.

Celebrated this May was the 73rd anniversary of the victory over fascism in Europe in World War II. Activities held on this occasion made clear, that while the Canadian state is mired in the deep crisis of what is called "liberal democracy," it has nothing to offer but the repetition of a stale Cold War anti-communist outlook for warmongering purposes. The heroism and sacrifice of the Soviet peoples and their Red Army and all others who fought to bring an end to the fascist aggression were vividly honoured in activities across the country that included the participation of Red Army veterans and their counterparts from the Allied countries including Canada.

The Ontario provincial election was called on May 9 and a record number of candidates ran. The increase in candidates, parties and independents reflected the dissatisfaction of the electorate with politics-as-usual which block them from participating in decision-making. Across the province working people held town halls, discussions and other events to put their concerns on the agenda, refusing to be marginalized. In Windsor-Tecumseh, teacher Laura Chesnik ran as an independent calling on Ontarians to join her campaign by using this election to make a statement that "we can speak in our own name and represent ourselves." Under the slogan "Empower Yourself Now!" Laura's campaign, though modest in size, represented an important quality that struck a chord with all those who came in contact with it -- that the working people who make society function through all the wealth they create and the services they provide can, and must, be the decision-makers and can organize to do so. This quality of working people recognizing the need to create the new and taking action to do so stood in sharp relief against the self-serving aims of the cartel parties in the Legislature to maintain the status quo where they monopolize power to carry out an anti-social agenda.

Also in May, the Ontario Network of Injured Workers (ONIWG) saw their important "Workers' Comp Is a Right" campaign -- launched in September 2017 to be ready for the election -- realized in a major way through its annual Justice for Injured Workers Bike Ride. This year's ride started out in northern Ontario, where important links were made with injured workers and their collectives, especially those suffering from industrial diseases resulting from lives spent working in resource extraction. The persistence, creativity and dedication of the injured workers' collectives to fight for the rights of all ensured the success of their intervention during the election and the broadening of this important work to smash the silence on the situation facing injured workers.

In Quebec, crane operators in the construction industry mobilized against the assault on their safety and that of the public after the government made unilateral regulatory changes to the training regime for their trade, in the service of the construction monopolies. This was not only an important stand for health and safety, but a bold act to defy all the pressure and disinformation from the employers and government that construction workers' just stands for their rights should be criminalized as acts of intimidation.

May 1 
Across Canada workers from different sectors of the economy participated in actions marking May Day, the international day of working class struggle and unity.









Prince George




May 3
Montreal public transit workers, members of CUPE Local 1983, vote 99 per cent in favour of giving their union a strike mandate. The workers oppose the conversion of day shifts to evening and night shifts, mandatory overtime, the use of employment contract agencies instead of directly hiring workers, and privatization of services and increased outsourcing of work.


May 5
Crane operators drive their rigs through the streets of Montreal to protest new training regulations that undermine the safety of the workers and the public.


May 8
Transit workers rally at Queen's Park to ensure that the demand of working people that transit remain publicly owned is put on the agenda of the Ontario election.

 (Keep Transit Public)

York University education workers, with the support of students and faculty, rally against government attempt to ignore their difficult working conditions and legislate them back to work. The legislature dissolves for the provincial election without passing the bill. The strike lasts until July, when the workers are legislated back to work, after becoming the longest post-secondary strike in Canada.

http://cpcml.ca/OPF2018/OP0702.HTM#4  (@phdefiant)

Compass mineral workers in Goderich, Ontario strike against anti-worker concessions.


May 9
Locked-out aluminum workers from the Bécancour smelter demonstrate outside the ABI shareholders' meeting in Pittsburgh demanding the company negotiate.


In Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal people participate in marches of the Immortal Regiment and other events to mark the 73rd anniversary of Victory in Europe Day when Nazi Germany was defeated and surrendered to the Red Army and the Allied forces.




May 11
Casino workers in Coquitlam strike for a first contract defending their right to an income that affords them a measure of stability, security and dignity in life.

May 12
Vigorous action in Vancouver against Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion affirms:
No Consent, No Pipeline!


May 12-18
The 70th anniversary of Al Nakba -- the massive dispossession of the Palestinian people used to create Zionist Israel -- is commemorated across Canada. These activities take place in concert with commemorations in Palestine and around the world, and in opposition to the inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, yet another U.S. violation of international law in support of Zionism and its crimes.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Montreal, May 13

Montreal, May 14

Toronto, May 12

Toronto, May 18

Windsor, May 15

Edmonton, May 15

Vancouver, May 15

Courtenay, May 15


May 13
Live-in caregivers demonstrate in Toronto on Mothers' Day to put forward their demands for rights and defend their dignity as workers. Like other migrant workers, they face oppressive working conditions that are a form of modern-day slave labour.


May 14
Dump truck drivers surround the Quebec National Assembly and hold actions across Quebec in a Day of Action in defence of their livelihood. They face a situation where the brokerage system that keeps false invoicing, corruption and under-the-table work in check, is increasingly bypassed by construction companies, and truckers without accreditation are increasingly hired. 

Quebec City




http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0519.HTM#1  (ANCAI)

May 15
Laura Chesnik informs workers at Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant that she's running for election in Windsor-Tecumseh. Mass work in the riding lets people know about Laura's website that provides not only a means for people to know what Laura stands for but to know about the concerns of other working people in the area.


May 17
Injured workers speak out in Barrie to put their concerns on the agenda in the context of the Ontario election.


Weekly pickets and petition signings for peace on the Korean Peninsula continue in Vancouver.


May 21-22
On Quebec Patriots' Day marches and other events take place to mark the 1837-1838 Rebellion and to honour the memory of the Patriots who gave their lives or were forced into exile in the struggle to end British colonial rule by establishing a Republic of Quebec.





May 22
Mississauga Town Hall says "Keep Public Services Public!"


May 23
Edmonton environmental activists oppose Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

May 24
Action Against Poverty Town Hall is held in Peterborough, organized by the Youth Political Action Coalition.

May 27
Workers roundtable in Windsor carries on the discussion from their May Day roundtable on the concerns of working people in the provincial election.

May 25-28
Fourth annual Justice for Injured Workers' Bike Ride travels through mining towns and cities in northern Ontario. It starts with a seminar in Elliot Lake on May 26 and concludes in Sudbury on May 28 with meetings to form an injured workers' support group.

Elliot Lake




May 25
A lively discussion takes place in Ottawa on "Election Results in Cuba and Attacks on Democracy in Latin America." The keynote speaker is Her Excellency Josefina Vidal, the new Cuban Ambassador to Canada, taking part in her first public meeting in Canada.


May 26
East Danforth women organize a meeting in the context of the Ontario election and invite candidates to come and listen to and discuss the women's concerns.


May 27
Spirited action in Montreal opposes the bail out of Kinder Morgan and the Trudeau government's decision to push ahead with the pipeline without the required prior
informed consent of the Indigenous peoples.

May 27
Montreal transit maintenance workers hold strike vote.

May 29
Vancouver rally against federal government's buyout of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. 

http://cpcml.ca/Tmlw2018/W48021.HTM#2 (Photos: TML, standearth, A. Stoymenoff)

Jane-Finch Neighbourhood election forum.

Town Hall in Thunder Bay focuses on the crisis in long-term care.

Election Town Hall in Toronto organized by various community organizations and agencies discusses questions of safe and affordable housing and child care, and ending gender-based violence.


May 30
CANSEC Weapons Fair is opposed in Ottawa.

http://cpcml.ca/Tmlw2018/W48021.HTM#2  (Photos: K. Tarasoff)

May 30
Injured workers in London made sure their voices were heard in the days before election day. They picket outside a Progressive Conservative rally to demand justice for injured workers and denounce governments and big political parties for ignoring the plight of injured workers and their families.


May 30
CP Rail Workers end one-day strike action and vote on tentative collective agreement. Below picket line in Revelstoke, BC.


May 31
March and rally in Victoria says No! to Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion and the
Trudeau government's bailout of the company.



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