September 2, 2017 - No. 26
Labour Day 2017
Take a Bold Step
Rights of All!
Stop Paying the Rich;
Increase Investments in
Social Programs! Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
• The Work to
Organize the Working Class Is the Work
to Build Groups of Writers
- Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L) -
• Confessions of a Lumber
- K.C. Adams -
• Dismantle All Imperialist Free Trade
- Communist Party of
Canada (Marxist-Leninist) -
• Farmers' Organizations in Canada,
and Mexico Denounce NAFTA
• Demonstrations Denounce NAFTA
Demand a Change in the Direction of the
• Diversion -- Twin Brother of U.S.
Policy of Divide and Rule
- Pauline Easton -
• Trump Unable to Unite Military
Growing Conflicts Among Rulers Increase Civil War
- Voice of Revolution -
• Thousands Rally in Vancouver
Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Islam Hysteria
- Brian Sproule -
For Your Information
• NAFTA Renegotiations
Labour Day 2017
Take a Bold Step in Defence of the Rights of All!
Increase Investments in Social Programs!
Make Canada a
Zone for Peace!
On the occasion of Labour Day 2017, the Workers' Centre
the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends militant
greetings to all workers fighting for their rights and for a
Canada which defends the rights of all.
This is a day when
workers and their supporters
participating in events to honour their work and contributions to
our collective life, and to support the just struggles workers are
waging to defend their rights. A militant salute goes out to
those engaged in sharp battles, such as Toronto and Winnipeg
airport workers; the forestry workers whose lives are regularly
turned upside down by oligarchs who take the social wealth
workers produce out of their communities; to the miners, oil
workers, construction and manufacturing workers and all public
sector workers in all the provinces and Quebec who are fighting
to defend their rights. A special greeting goes out to the MANA
Stelco steelworkers in Hamilton whom German imperialists have
locked out from their work for over four years; to the
steelworkers in Hamilton and Algoma and in Quebec who
have refused to permit the ugly face of the theft of their
pensions and jobs to be prettified. And to all others
engaged in difficult struggles, including the injured workers
fighting for fair compensation.
The particular situation for
many workers is fraught
insecurity, while in general, the arrangements of civil society
lie in ruin and the ruling imperialist elite threaten the entire
world with "fire and fury," as police powers take over all fields
of life and the airwaves are filled with news of assassinations, terror
attacks, invasions and threats of nuclear warfare against those
fighting for sovereignty and peace. The prerogative powers
exercised by ministers, judges, administrators and executives at
all levels are police powers, not subject to accountability of any
kind. The powers exercised directly by police and spy agencies
and hired guns are also exercised outside the rule of law and lie
beyond its purview. Meanwhile, the theft of Indigenous lands
continues under cover of a new ministry and the aim of
committing genocide against the Indigenous peoples remains
At the same time, NAFTA renegotiations are used to
Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into a Fortress North America where
trade, energy, communications and transportation corridors are
further integrated to serve the U.S. imperialist "national
A new direction forward is necessary to humanize the
and social environments.
Let us unite in action to demand that governments Stop
the Rich and Increase Funding for Social Programs and Make Canada a Zone for
The Work to Organize the Working Class
Is the Work to Build
Writers and Disseminators
The call to establish Groups of Writers and
(GWDs) comprised of workers in specific sectors of the economy
was issued by CPC(M-L) on May 1, 1994. The problem CPC(M-L) took up
for solution was to implement the task based on the analysis of
CPC(M-L) that the workers must be organized on the basis of their
own agenda, not one set by anybody else. The agenda of the workers
is the one which they work out themselves and the call to
establish GWDs was issued so as to assist the workers in setting
their own agenda. The Party pointed out that by organizing the workers
into GWDs and building the GWDs, this problem facing the working
class can be solved.
Another aim of this work was to end the attempts of the
ruling class and its agents and news media to marginalize
CPC(M-L). The Party pointed out that unless GWDs are built, the working
class will remain vulnerable in the face of the
vicious anti-social offensive, and so long as CPC(M-L) is
marginalized by the bourgeoisie and its political process, the
workers and all the collectives of the people will also be
CPC(M-L) pointed out that in order to end the
of the workers and to win the struggle for the recognition of
their rights, the tendency to let others set the agenda for the
workers must be smashed. Their agenda gets set in the form of the
views or programs of a political party or government and
non-government organizations over which they exercise no control.
They are called on to agree with these views or support them,
instead of working out where their own interests lie.
We see this clearly with
the NAFTA renegotiations, where
none of the positions workers are called on to support favour their
interests. So long as the workers are reduced to the
role of spectators and called on to agree with the views which
come to them from the outside, this will remain a block to the
working class becoming an organized political force in its own
The attempt to reduce the workers to a role where
merely to agree or disagree with the views of the government of
this or that political party or agency is precisely what
depoliticizes the workers by keeping them out of the
decision-making process. Everything is done to make sure the
political movement for people's empowerment not only makes no
headway, but is smashed, and this is what leaves the people
vulnerable to the disasters that lie ahead so long as this
problem is not tackled.
The starting point when establishing and building the
to recognize that the problem in the workers' movement is to
organize the workers to defend the rights of all under all
conditions and circumstances. It is not to "raise their
awareness" of the problems which they live every day, nor to
describe the problems for them since they can describe them
better than everyone else. The only mark of raising the
consciousness of the workers that CPC(M-L) recognizes is if they
join the GWDs. That is what indicates the extent to which the
workers are participating in politics and affirming their right
to have a say in the affairs which concern them. The integration
of the workers into the GWDs is the proof that they are setting
their own agenda.
Through their Thursday Meetings workers and pensioners from Local 1005
USW are able to
discuss how to solve the problems they face and set their own agenda.
Instead of encouraging the workers to discuss the
which concern them and to set their own agenda, which is what it
means to be political, a notion of politics is presented
according to which politics have to be brought to the workers
from outside, in the form of x
number of positions which the
workers are called upon to support. CPC(M-L) does not adhere to
this conception. This method is consistent with those who have a
hidden agenda. First the agenda is decided elsewhere and then it
is brought to the workers who are called upon to agree with it.
This is the method used in the workers' movement by those whose main
aim is to get the
workers to elect them to office -- either in a trade union or in
government. Dealing with the concerns of the workers is incidental in
equation because they are not interested to involve the workers
in discussing the program which favours the workers. Their only
is to get the workers to agree with their program to get themselves
into office. Once in office, their main aim is to stay there.
The problem which CPC(M-L) has taken up for solution is
entirely different character. It is to make sure the working class is
organized as a class of itself and for itself to constitute the nation
and vest sovereignty in the people. This requires that the working
class takes up its own aims itself. It is not a matter of
supporting some party or political force that is going to do it
for the working class.
Those involved in the work to build the GWDs must take
work to build the profile of their GWD as their starting point.
They must discuss the need for their GWD within the context of
what takes place at their particular workplace and then they must
make it possible for the workers to join them. CPC(M-L) points out
that as long as building the profile of the GWDs is not taken up
as the first step to organizing the working class as a class of
itself and for itself, the task of organizing the working class
will not be taken up.
Confessions of a Lumber Baron
Meetings take place in forestry communities across Central and Northern
BC in March 2017 to discuss solutions to the problems they face.
Photo shows Prince George meeting.
Ted Seraphim, CEO of Vancouver-based forestry empire
Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., confessed to the Financial Post
that the U.S.-imposed punitive softwood lumber tariffs are a scam
to force higher prices on the U.S. and Canadian construction
sector. With 43 per cent of its total lumber production coming
from the mills West Fraser controls in the U.S., the company is
directly pocketing the large price increases for its lumber sold
in the United States. The tariffs imposed on any needed lumber
imported from its Canadian mills are simply added to the purchase
price. Lumber prices have also increased dramatically in
Evidence shows that the softwood lumber tariff fraud
higher prices benefit the forestry empires that have operations
in both the U.S. and Canada such as West Fraser and Canfor and
also those like the giant Weyerhaeuser with most operations in
West Fraser reports a
record gross income for the
quarter of this year, coming after the imposition of the U.S.
tariffs. Its quarterly income jumped to $174 million, a 49 per
cent increase compared with its second quarter in 2016.
The Financial Post quotes CEO Seraphim saying,
had duties put on us and we just reported record earnings in the
second quarter." After bragging about the record gross income,
calling it "an encouraging sign for our company," Seraphim
implied the big forestry companies are pleased with the U.S.
softwood lumber duties, telling the Post, "We are under
no pressure to settle [the softwood lumber dispute with the
Equity ownership in West Fraser as measured in its
price on the Toronto Stock Exchange has increased 34 per cent to
over $5 billion since the beginning of the year and the
imposition of the tariffs. The Post says the Ketcham
family empire retains the majority of West Fraser shares, and
former CEO Hank Ketcham is Chairman of the Board.
This past July, West Fraser announced an expansion of
empire within the U.S. with the $538 million purchase of the
Gilman companies and its six sawmills in Florida and Georgia. The
West Fraser Empire now buys and exploits the capacity to work of
approximately 3,900 forestry workers in the U.S. and 5,100 in
Forestry workers and their allies throughout Canada are
discussing the current situation in the sector. They raise the
necessity for a new direction for the industry in opposition to
the empire-building of West Fraser, Canfor and others.
Empire-building and its concentration of social wealth in fewer
hands stands in contradiction with nation-building. West Fraser's
use of $538 million of added-value, either directly from what
forestry workers have produced or from credit backed by forestry
fixed social wealth, to expand its empire with the purchase of
mills in the U.S., must stop. Forestry communities cannot develop
as long as the added-value forestry workers produce is ripped out
of their local communities and the working people have no say or
control of what directly affects their lives.
Sustainable forestry rally in Victoria, March 20, 2017 demands an end
to export of raw logs for
processing in mills in the U.S. and elsewhere. (K. Wu)
Empire-building also extends to the use of added-value
workers produce to mechanize and eliminate employment without
consideration of the consequences or taking social responsibility
for what happens to unemployed forestry workers and their
communities. On top of spending millions of added-value to buy
U.S. mills in the last five years alone, West Fraser has spent
around $2 billion mechanizing its mills in Alberta and BC. The
dramatic decrease in the number of workers required to produce
the same amount of lumber for all the forestry empires during the
last twenty years has had a devastating effect on the forestry
communities throughout Canada.
Workers realize that the only new value they produce
stays in their communities is mostly reproduced-value, the wages
and benefits they claim on new value from the sale of their
capacity to work to their employers. The reduction in the number
of forestry workers means a corresponding reduction of new value,
as reproduced-value, circulating in the local communities
regardless if the same amount of lumber is produced, or the higher
share prices of the empires or their gross incomes.
To suggest that the added-value invested in heavy
to harvest and mill local timber is a direct benefit to the
forestry communities because it increases their competitiveness
is a misconception. Competition is an element of the nature of
empire-building, and besides, almost all that new machinery is
produced and purchased from outside their communities and even
outside Canada. The value to realize the purchase of machinery
must leave Canada. Also, the new machinery then displaces workers
and replaces their reproduced-value with transferred-value from
the purchased machines, which is not circulated within their
communities. The extensive introduction of heavy machinery into
the forestry sector along with the purchase of mills in the U.S.
have been done without any regard for what happens to displaced
workers and their forestry communities, and without the say and
control of the working people who live and work in those
communities and produce the value in the first place.
Williams Lake meeting, March 16, 2017, part of series organized by the
Stand Up for the North Committee and other organizations to discuss
the situation facing their industry and communities.
Join the discussion about what to do about this
contacting the Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L) and setting up a
discussion group. Workers cannot allow the empire builders to
wreck their lives and communities with impunity. CEO Seraphim
cannot be allowed to brag about his empire's social wealth
without being exposed and made to render account to forestry
workers and their communities for the existing problems. All is
not right in the world even though he boasts of record profits
and share prices. His indifference to the very real problems in
the forestry communities and unconcern with the consequences of
the current higher lumber prices in the broader economy is a
serious matter because he and his representatives in government
are in control.
The last crisis in the U.S.
housing market was in 2008
Canadian and U.S. forestry and construction workers suffered
greatly. The construction industry in both Canada and the U.S.
cannot sustain prices for lumber that are artificially inflated
to fatten the pockets of the lumber barons. It can only mean
another crisis is brewing and will soon erupt. That is a serious
concern for the working class and a fundamental flaw in the
current direction of the economy. Seraphim is gravely mistaken if
he thinks the housing industry, which he calls his "customer," is
going to absorb the spike in the price of lumber with no
consequence. The CEO and others of his social class put their
narrow private interests before the greater good yet they control
the social economy and politics of the country. The working class
must challenge this control with a nation-building project of its
own making that vests sovereignty in the people and fashions a
new pro-social direction for the economy.
The 2008 crisis and collapse of the housing market, in
from the subprime mortgage scam, are still fresh in people's
minds. That scam and housing bubble were also accompanied with a
softwood lumber tariff fraud to boost prices preceding the
collapse. Some experts are already predicting another crash or
"market correction." Then what, Mr. Seraphim? Shut down mills,
slash jobs and incomes, engage in wrecking as the lumber barons
always do in the face of a crisis?
Through organizing discussion groups under the auspices
Groups of Writers and Disseminators (GWDs) and expanding the work
of the Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L), workers can find a way
forward to gain the collective power and experience necessary to
deprive the empire-builders of their power to deprive the working
class of its right to take the economy in a new direction towards
a stable economy that favours the broad interests of the working
people, unleashes the full power of the modern productive forces
without crises, and builds the new.
Dismantle All Imperialist Free Trade Agreements!
As the ruling elites from Canada, Mexico and the United
engage in secret renegotiation of the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA), once again the
people are raising their voices that all imperialist free trade
agreements must be abolished!
The Canadian economy and
working people have suffered enormously
under NAFTA. Proposed and pushed under the banner of globalization and
prosperity, NAFTA is a scheme to
strengthen the domination of the North American monopolies and destroy
the three national economies involved.
From the beginning, NAFTA was organized to subordinate
economies and peoples to international finance capital. It provides
every amenity for the big corporations to control
the people, economies and politics of North America and use that base
to strengthen the U.S. military as a global force to dominate the world.
Canadian working people have consistently opposed all
free trade agreements as being contrary to the interests of Canadians
and the world's peoples. They spoke out against
the first Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. in 1987, against NAFTA and
against all subsequent ones including the Comprehensive Economic and
Trade Agreement between Canada and
the European Union (CETA).
To suggest that within this NAFTA scheme a better deal
begs the question: a better deal for whom? Certainly not for the
Canadian, Mexican and U.S. working people. It can
only mean a better deal for certain sections of the ruling imperialist
elite. Unless this consideration is the starting point of deliberations
on the issue, no warranted conclusion about NAFTA
renegotiations can be reached.
But even with this consideration in mind, to find out
what is being
renegotiated amongst the ruling elites requires clearing away the reams
of disinformation issued by the negotiators
and mass media. To understand what is being prepared through the
renegotiation of NAFTA, the people have to keep in mind the deep
integration of the economies, militaries, regulations
and decision-making of the three countries that has evolved out of the
process since it was first begun in 1987 as a Canada/U.S. Free Trade
and then NAFTA in 1992.
Withdraw from NAFTA!
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls
people from Canada, Quebec and throughout North America to demand and
fight for the dismantling of NAFTA
and all imperialist economic blocs and free trade agreements erected by
the financial oligarchy and their political representatives. Canada
must withdraw from NAFTA, not renegotiate
Trade union officials are said to
be included in the consultations
regarding NAFTA renegotiations, as if somehow the mechanisms that have
been carefully designed to serve the most
economically powerful can be turned into mechanisms to also serve the
working class and people. This dangerous illusion and diversion disarms
the working people from having their own
perspective on what is really going on in terms of the current phase in
the integration of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into Fortress North
America. The reality is integrated militaries, and
trade, energy, security and communications corridors in the name of
homeland security and its striving for global hegemony.
Just as the small farmers in the three countries are
in defence of food sovereignty, the workers should be on guard and
speak out on their own behalf. They can lead the
way forward by inspiring the working people all over the world with
their own independent voice. The demand to withdraw Canada from NAFTA
and all imperialist economic trade blocs
and agreements gives expression to what the working people want
throughout the world.
The renegotiations present Canadians with an
opportunity to discuss
the concrete conditions starting with a rejection of the disinformation
and illusion that NAFTA can somehow serve
the interests of an independent Canadian economy with its own
nation-building project. The U.S.-led global monopolies and financial
oligarchy have destroyed any semblance of an
independent Canada resulting in integration into what the U.S.
imperialists define as their national interest.
What Happened in 1993?
In 1993, when the Chrétien Liberals won the federal
election, defeating Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives
who had brought in NAFTA, they vowed to reopen NAFTA and to replace the
GST, neither of which they ever did. A TML Daily
article at the time, "What Are the Liberals Going to Do?" pointed out:
"[W]hen the North American Free Trade Agreement is
is also an opportunity to have discussion. All the nationalists are
giving the view that we should do what is
beneficial for Canada. But what is beneficial for Canada? For instance,
there are some big monopolies in the resource section. Should Canadians
stand behind these monopolies and say that
they should be given favourable treatment in the North American Free
"Either there should be an agreement which favours the
the three countries, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, or there should be no
Free Trade Agreement. It is our policy -- and
it is a matter of principle for the Marxist-Leninists -- that trade
should be mutually beneficial. There is no need to even have an
agreement unless trade is carried out for mutual benefit.
Many groups are going to speak about protecting our jobs and so on, as
a means of not clarifying what issues are involved. It is very
important to awaken people that the same propaganda
is carried in the U.S. and in Mexico. These are the kinds of things
which go from trade wars to actual wars. We do not want this. We want
to have the unity of the people of North
America for their mutual benefit."
In October 1994, TML
Daily published an article, "Hardial Bains Accuses Liberals of
Destroying the Canadian Nation State." Referring to the way NAFTA was
being promoted under the slogan of the necessity for “competing in the
international economy,” CPC(M-L) leader Hardial Bains said that the
time of national
sovereignty and national economies is a thing of the
past in the new international economy based on the destruction of the
nation states, in the sense of destroying their positive achievements.
Nation states are civilized to the extent that they
assume responsibility for general health, hygiene, sanitation,
education, public works and so on, Hardial Bains said. Instead of
looking at these issues related to the state and its responsibility to
society, he said, a debate is being promoted on the validity of two
bankrupt theories: Keynesian economics and Reaganite
or Thatcherite economics. The key point skirted around is that both
these economic theories could not defend the nation state and its
responsibilities. The social-welfare state policies did not
deal with the question of moving society forward from the achievements
already accomplished by the modern nation state. The Reaganite policies
followed by Mulroney, and now by the
Liberals, advocate privatization and the state's complete abdication of
Today, the main role of the government in destroying
state and its responsibilities is to integrate the economies of Canada,
the U.S. and Mexico by establishing common
trade, energy, security and communications corridors, for which
regulations and standards must be "harmonized," meaning dictated by the
Governments negotiate or rather conspire on behalf of
the biggest financial interests and corporations, and the oligopolies
whose private interests have been politicized to achieve what those
private interests want outside the rule of law and norms that have been
established. To achieve this, they engage in diversionary propaganda so
that the people line up behind this or that faction of the imperialist
bourgeoisie rather than have their own independent view and reach
warranted conclusions about what is going on.
Governments and the media also promote state-organized
attacks to divide and rule the people and divert their attention from
the all-sided crisis with economic crisis at the base
in which their countries are mired. The aim of these attacks and
disinformation is to deprive the working class of its own outlook with
which it can formulate its own demands to resolve
the deep all-sided crisis in which the U.S. economy and state are mired
along with Canada and Mexico and open a path forward.
The future is grim unless
the working class leads the people to
forge a new direction for the economy and politics that serves the
people and society, guarantees the rights of all and
opens a path to humanize both the social and natural environments
leading to the emancipation of all human persons from the oppression of
A good start is to speak out against these
renegotiations of NAFTA
by rejecting them and demanding instead that all imperialist free trade
blocs be dismantled.
No to NAFTA!
No to the Integration of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico
into U.S. Homeland Security and Fortress North America!
Change the Direction of the Economy!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace and Mutual Benefit and Development
for the Peoples of the World!
1. "What Are the Liberals Going to Do?," TML Daily,
2. "Hardial Bains Accuses Liberals of Destroying the
Canadian Nation State," TML Daily, Vol. 24 No. 243, October
Farmers' Organizations in Canada,
the U.S. and Mexico
When the formal talks to renegotiate NAFTA began in
Washington, DC on August 15, family farm organizations from
Canada, the United States and Mexico denounced the direction of
the talks, the National Farmers Union reports. "Despite repeated
demands by civil society organizations in all three countries,
the governments have refused to open the talks to the public or
to publish proposed negotiating texts. All signs point to
negotiations designed to increase agribusiness exports and
corporate control over the food system rather than to support
fair and sustainable trade and farming systems," the NFU
According to the NFU, the Trump administration is using
same blueprint that shaped the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) "to continue its trend of putting multinational
corporations' narrow interests first." The NFU
says, "A review of submissions
on the talks includes proposals to dismantle Canada's successful
dairy supply management program and eliminate restrictions on
trade in GMOs and other agricultural biotechnology."
The statement continues: "Under NAFTA and its
forerunner, the Canada-US FTA,
input costs have gone up and inflation-adjusted commodity prices
have dropped, yet the farmer's share of the grocery dollar is
smaller. We export more, but imports have increased faster, which
means our share of our own domestic market is actually
shrinking," said Jan Slomp, President of Canada's National
Farmers Union. "NAFTA and the FTA have not helped farmers. Since
1988 we have seen one in every five of our farms disappear and
we've lost over 70% of our young farmers, even though Canada's
population has increased."
"The USA cannot solve its dairy crisis by taking over
Canadian dairy market and putting our farmers out of business,"
said Slomp. "We need Canada to stand firm against any temptation
to negotiate away supply management. Our system ensures farmers
are paid the cost of production, processing plants are able to
run at full capacity and consumers have a reliable, wholesome and
affordable supply of dairy, poultry and eggs -- all without any
Jim Goodman, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and member of the
National Family Farm Coalition, agreed. "Federal and State
Governments and Land Grant Universities, at the behest of the
dairy industry, have done all they can to encourage U.S. dairy
farmers to produce more milk, never questioning how much milk
might be too much or how the subsequent cheap prices affect
farmers. We cannot expect Canada, at the expense of their dairy
farmers, to bail us out. Farmers -- whether U.S. or Canadian -- are
nothing more than parts of the machine to the industry and NAFTA.
That's the way free trade works.'
Ben Burkett, National Family Farm Coalition board
and Mississippi farmer, noted that simply increasing exports will
not replace the need for fair prices. "U.S. family farmers and
ranchers have demanded that the administration restores Country
of Origin Labeling (COOL) for meat, which would provide more
accurate information to consumers while improving our access to
Mexican family farmers have been devastated by NAFTA's
existing provisions that flooded their markets with cheap grains.
On agriculture, they insist, "Mexico must guarantee food
sovereignty and security and exclude basic grains, especially
corn. Transgenic crops should be excluded and the ability of
national states to promote sustainable agriculture [left] intact.
Likewise, Mexico must maintain its adhesion to the UPOV
[International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of
Plants] Act of 1978 and to reject the commitment to accede to the
UPOV Act 1991, as intended in the [failed Trans-Pacific Partnership]."
Victor Suarez, Executive Director of the Mexican
Association of Rural Producers (ANEC) added, "This whole
process should begin with a thorough, independent evaluation of
NAFTA's economic, social, environmental and governance impacts.
The goal should be to restore national sovereignty over food and
farm policy, and to support local farming communities."
"For many years, Rural Coalition has advocated for a
'people-to-peoples NAFTA,' linking rural communities in all three
countries to collaborate to improve their local economies and
food sovereignty. A renegotiation of NAFTA that further helps
transnational corporations while diminishing community
self-determination will only hasten rural economic collapse
-- exactly the wrong way to go," said John Zippert, Rural
Coalition Chairperson and longtime Federation of Southern
Cooperatives staff member in Alabama.
"NAFTA has woven our economies together in ways that
family farmers, workers and our environments," said Karen
Hansen-Kuhn, Director of International Strategies at the
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). "We need a new
approach to trade that promotes local and regional food systems,
including providing for mechanisms in all three countries to
shelter food crops from volatile markets and dumping. Simplistic
calls to expand exports won't get us to the fair and sustainable
food and farm system we need."
As an ongoing tool for understanding NAFTA, IATP has
a primer paper, NAFTA Renegotiation:
What's at stake for food,
farmers and the land? as well as collecting 25 years' worth of
research in a NAFTA portal, accessible here. For your
Weekly is publishing the IATP primer in the supplement to this
1. National Farmers Union, August 15,
Demonstrations Denounce NAFTA Renegotiations and Demand
Change in the Direction of the Economies
Thousands of Mexican farmers joined thousands of
environmental and other activists in Mexico City on August 16 to
denounce the NAFTA talks and demand a completely
different approach, based on complementarity and cooperation.
Diversion -- Twin Brother of U.S. Policy
of Divide and Rule
Washington, DC, August 13, 2017
A state-organized racist attack took place in
Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 as elements calling
themselves Nazis and KKK held a rally that ended with the brutal
killing of a young woman and injuring of many more. More than 700
demonstrations subsequently took place across the U.S. in support
of resistance in Charlottesville, as well as several in Canada.
On all occasions, those calling themselves Nazis and KKK have
been outnumbered, often 50 to 5,000, or a few hundred to many
hundreds, or 50 to 40,000 as occurred in Boston on August 19.
Charlottesville, August 22, 2017
In Charlottesville, the few hundred people brought in
around the country were met by many hundreds of demonstrators
opposing racism and the impunity of the state. The actions of the
police made the involvement of the state more than clear. The
more those calling themselves Nazis and KKK provoked fistfights
and the more violent they became, the more the police withdrew. The
police barricades and police lines that are commonly present at
anti-war and anti-KKK rallies were nowhere to be seen in
Charlottesville when the car roared into the anti-Nazi and anti-KKK
demonstrators, killing the young woman and injuring many others.
In the wake of Charlottesville, a massive
campaign has been launched to deprive the American and world's
people of an outlook on the basis of which they can take up for
problems they and their societies face.
State-organized racism does not merely seek to divide and rule.
Divide and rule seeks to divert the people from dealing with the
main problems they and their society face. To achieve this
diversion requires smashing any political movement of the people
that is based on their own independent politics. The political movement
of the people is smashed when so-called identity politics are pushed.
First, the blame for racism is put on individuals so as to hide the
role of the state in organizing such racist attacks, and then people
are to divide pro and con freedom of speech, and other diversions
raised to justify increased use of police powers in the name of
defending the Constitution. This is why every effort has been made to
portray Trump as a rogue element who has Nazi sympathies while
portraying the U.S. government itself as anti-racist, as if the roots
and causes of racism in the U.S. were not embedded in the country's
political and economic structure.
This vein of disinformation focuses on Trump's
though he alone is the racist and the rest of the state machinery
is not. While during the presidential election campaign former
military officials intervened in favour of either
Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump, this time military officials on
active duty publicly came forward to proclaim their opposition to
Trump despite the fact that he is their Commander-in-Chief.
Numerous politicians also intervened as did both former Republican
presidents, Bush senior and junior. Everything is done
to hide that those who comprise the racist formations that call
themselves Nazis and KKK are state-organized. It is known that
in the U.S. both those calling themselves Nazis and KKK are
organized by the FBI. A mystery is created about the roots and
causes of state racism and terror for purposes of enacting more
draconian laws, restricting human rights and justifying the takeover
of civil society by police powers.
Boston, August 20, 2017
A second aspect of the disinformation campaign is
diversion. All over the world terrorist provocations are part of
the diversionary policy of "divide and rule." The main policy of
the state, along with the policy of divide and rule, has
always been diversion. Without the policy of diversion,
which has the aim of depriving people of
outlook from which to view and intervene in a situation, the
policy of divide and rule would amount to nothing.
Far from the assertion in the U.S. Constitution, people
not born equal. The natural abilities of one differ from the
natural abilities of another. And there are divisions amongst
them due to economic, religious, linguistic, ethnic, cultural and
physical differences. This is why they need arrangements which
permit one and all to thrive by virtue of being human and live
peacefully. Instead, the state exploits the divisions amongst the
people for their own ends. It is the policy of diversion
which is the lynch pin; it is essential for the success of the
policy of divide and rule. When political and economic
difficulties come up in any country, as in the U.S. today, the
state wants to divert attention from them instead of solving
them. There is no dearth of ways in this world by which people
can be divided. It is the policy of diversion that is obstructing the
unity of the people and
stopping them from dealing with their problems.
New York City, August 13, 2017
Governments highlight divisions among the people and
provoke them to act against one another by creating violent
situations through the state agencies. Terrorism, anarchy,
violence and assassinations have been developed as forms of
diversionary politics all over the world since the time of the
Paris Commune in 1871 and then during the Russian Revolution by
the czarist secret police. These were the stock in trade of the
covert agencies of imperialism during the Cold War and have
become the overt official policy since George W. Bush launched
the "War on Terror" following the attacks in New York City on September
2001. For many years now, diversions of various types have been used to
give governments the opportunity to suppress people's protests,
agitations, and demands that governments address their
problems. Instead of dealing with economic and other
difficulties, these governments have criminalized politics. They
tolerate only those activities which help them protect their
so-called national interest. The state at both central and state
levels is also prone to use murders and other criminal methods
to sort out the conflicts in their own ranks. It is what the
criminalization of politics is all about.
The criminalization of politics in the U.S., as is also
case in Canada and other countries, is the symptom of an economic
and political system that has turned against the peaceful
solution of problems. Whether within one country or on the world
scale, no government of the big powers has solved a single
problem in a peaceful manner during the present period. On the
contrary, governments have handed over the administration of
their duties to hired agents, powerful financial interests and
oligopolies -- who they then have trouble controlling -- to do their
bidding both at home and abroad.
Chicago, August 13, 2017
In the wake of Charlottesville, not only is the role of
state in organizing such racist attacks and provocations hidden, so is
the fact that these racist attacks and provocations are organized as
as a block to the political movement of the people that undertakes to
solve the economic, social, cultural and other
problems in which their society is mired. While the anarchy and
violence which ensue as a result of the refusal to provide the
problems with solution are independent of anyone's will, the fact
that the state pursues the policy of divide and rule to divert
the people from uniting in action to build the New is a matter of
state policy. No matter the cost, the reactionary state must
itself by averting civil war within its own ranks and by keeping
the people in check.
According to the U.S. government and the monopoly-owned
it is not the state that is the instigator and
promoter of white supremacy -- a concept initiated by the U.S.
ruling class to justify slavery and divide the people. It claims
racist individuals are responsible for racist violence because
they have extremist values, while those who oppose them are also
responsible for violence because they too have extremist values.
Indeed the terminology, white supremacy, is designed to target
individuals who are white, especially the so-called white working
class, while keeping the role of the state hidden. So too the
racist rallies organized under the slogan Freedom of Speech
deliberately confound the role of speech in the development of
human society. It is called a civil right to divert attention
from the fact that freedom of speech is a human right, independent of
whether or not civil rights are withdrawn. The criminalization of
speech in the name of high ideals is far more than an indication
that the rights recognized by the Constitution that created the
civil society are finished. It is a re-enactment of the law of
slavery whereby human beings are to be defamed and outlawed,
declared outside the law.
San Francisco, August 12, 2017
Meanwhile, the attacks of the state against entire
the U.S. population are increasing. The state is racist. Its
attacks include segregated housing, job discrimination, unequal
schools, mass incarceration, broad social inequality and police
agencies to enforce this state racism. All this is to be ignored
but, most importantly, what is to be ignored is the role of the
state to deprive people of an outlook on the basis of which they
can tackle the all-sided crisis with economic crisis at the base
and the fact that the old forms of civil society rule no longer
function, while new ones have yet to be brought into being.
The need to build the resistance movement of the
class and people of our countries must be predicated on the
people's movement for empowerment. This includes drafting new
constitutions and creating institutions which vest
decision-making power in the people, not those who have usurped
power by force.
Minneapolis, August 14, 2017
Philadelphia, August 13, 2017
Trump Unable to Unite Military Bureaucracy --
Conflicts Among Rulers
Increase Civil War Danger
One of the jobs of the presidency is to preserve the
union, which requires uniting the military bureaucracy. This
bureaucracy, which has grown to massive proportions, is part of
the state machinery that exists from one president to the next.
It is the state and its monopoly on use of force that ensures
continuity and rule by the rich, while government changes from
one election to the next. In current conditions, where the
existing institutions for governance -- for example, Congress,
parties, elections -- are dysfunctional and no longer
serve to resolve conflicts, this problem of preserving the
union and uniting the bureaucracy becomes increasingly
This was evident during the 2016 presidential election,
various generals and military officials, mostly retired,
campaigned for Trump or Clinton. This is contrary to military
standards requiring military officials to remain neutral, so as
to ensure their commitment to whoever becomes Commander-in-Chief.
More recently, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- the top
commanders of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force -- made
public statements about racism, in response to those made by
Trump about demonstrations and violence by Nazis and the KKK in
Charlottesville. The statements by military commanders were seen
as an open rebuke of Trump. News reports emphasized that the
statements "indicated deep unease in the Pentagon" and a
"dramatic break with precedent" of no public statements by the
military that contradict the president.
"The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred
our ranks," General Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army,
tweeted August 16. "It's against our values and everything we've
stood for since 1775." Marine Commandant General Robert B. Neller
tweeted August 15 that there is "no place for racial hatred or
extremism in the Marine Corps."
Admiral John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations,
August 13 posted a statement on Twitter and Facebook that called
the events in Charlottesville "shameful" and "unacceptable." He
said, "The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and
hatred." General David L. Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air
Force, tweeted August 16 that he stood "together with my fellow
service chiefs in saying that we're always stronger
Military Racist to the Core
The military is notorious for its brutal racism, within
ranks and towards the peoples of the world. Soldiers are
routinely trained to view peoples subjected to U.S. aggression as
less than human, with various racist names used as part of this.
Whipping up intolerance and hatred so as to convince soldiers
to slaughter "the enemy" is also a necessary part of military
training. So the aim of the comments is hardly to stand against
the racism that has imbued the U.S. state and its military "since
1775," and has been and remains integral to its genocide against
Native peoples, enslaved Africans and now African Americans, and
peoples targeted abroad, like those of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their comments against racism, like similar ones by Trump and
numerous other politicians, are meant to hide this reality, to
divert attention from the fact that the U.S. ruling class is imbued
racism and organizes racist attacks and funds and arms Nazis and
the KKK so as to maintain their rule and preserve their union.
The violence in Charlottesville was a state-organized
provocation, to set the people fighting amongst themselves while
letting the state off the hook.
At the same time, the statements
officials and politicians reveal the deep disunity and conflicts
within the ruling circles, which are being openly displayed by
the military. This also indicates the grave danger of civil war
and potentially broader imperialist war.
Aggressive war is one means past presidents have used
unite the bureaucracy. The war against Iraq, for example, was
launched in part for this purpose. But there is little evidence
that open invasion of Syria, or the Democratic People's Republic
of Korea, or Iran, will solve the current problems the rulers
For the U.S., the issue of uniting the military
particularly important, as there is not a single, unified
military. Rather, there are contending branches that both collude
and compete for resources and power. There are also the many
armed agencies within the country, like those at the border, the FBI,
DEA, and many others, as well as the highly militarized police
forces. These all must be kept in check and united behind the
presidency, something in which Trump is not succeeding.
Organize for a Democracy of Our Own Making
It is this issue of preserving the union and uniting
military that is behind the various statements now being made
about removing Trump and possibilities of civil war. Various
politicians are talking about impeachment. One of the president's
former top advisors warned that the result of Trump's removal
would be an "armed" and violent "insurrection." Roger Stone, a
Republican operative and top advisor during last year's
presidential campaign, when asked about impeachment said, "You
will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection
like you've never seen." He also warned that anyone who voted for
impeachment "would be endangering their own life."
The rulers are contending with
conditions where they
predict the outcome -- the outcome of removing Trump through some
means, the outcome of invading another country, the outcome of
the growing and broad resistance, demanding a different direction
for the country. Every effort is being made by the rulers to
preserve the union and its constitutional form, while imposing a
government of police powers, concentrated in the presidency. The
façade of democracy and civilian rule is to remain, but the
governing institutions for that are being eliminated, making the
ability to sustain the rule increasingly difficult and
For the people this poses the necessity to organize for
new, for a new direction for political affairs. The problem is
not choosing sides among the rulers or defending an outdated
Constitution that enshrines slavery and protects property rights,
not human rights. It is organizing today for a democracy of our
own making, where we decide! New institutions of government, a
new constitution, can be developed in the course of struggle for
political empowerment of the people.
Thousands Rally in Vancouver Against
and Anti-Islam Hysteria
On August 19, an estimated 4,000 people participated in
rally outside Vancouver City Hall to oppose fomenting of anti-immigrant
and anti-Islam hysteria. The rally was called after a
so-called Worldwide Coalition against Islam announced that they
were holding a rally there the same day. People began
arriving at City Hall some two hours before the scheduled start
of the racist rally determined to prevent it from taking place.
The plaza in front of City Hall was soon packed so the crowd
spilled over onto a nearby street shutting down one of the main
east-west corridors through the city.
Prominent amongst the banners and
flags were those of
Government and Service Employees' Union and other unions.
Community, church and student groups were also present. People of
all ages and backgrounds participated and there was a large
turnout from various national minority communities. Many people
carried homemade signs stating their opposition to attempts to
divide the people, affirming the unity of the people against
bigotry and hate as well as denouncing racism and fascism, including
"Love Not Hate" and "No Platform for Racists." There were signs
reading "Never Again" referring to the judgement at the Nuremberg
Trials of Nazi leaders charged with war crimes and genocide which
declared that fascism must never again be allowed to gain a
foothold anywhere. The banners "For a Modern Canada that Defends
the Rights of All -- All Out to Build the New" and "Our Security
Lies in the Fight For the Rights of All" were warmly welcomed and
many photos were taken of them. When a man tried to distribute
anti-immigrant leaflets he was immediately surrounded by people
chanting "No Hate. No Fear. Immigrants are Welcome Here." His
leaflets were torn up and he was forced to leave.
About two hours into the rally a handful of bigots
on the opposite side of City Hall for their rally but were
immediately confronted by hundreds of people shouting slogans
such as "No Hate. No Fear. Nazis Are Not Welcome Here" and "Go Home!"
Instead of holding their anti-social rally, the cowardly
bigots ended up hiding behind a line of police.
The massive rally was a
repudiation of the Trump
administration in the United States which is trying to sow
divisions amongst the people, fomenting violence and creating
chaos. The people of Vancouver and Canada have learned the
lessons of history and are warning the Canadian government that
they will not tolerate any appeasement of racists and fascists
under the guise of "free speech."
Calgary, August 16
Edmonton, August 26
Saskatoon, August 14
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