February 24, 2018 - No. 7

Successful Challenge to Federal Candidate Nomination Process

Thousand Dollar Registration Deposit
Struck Down


Ruling Without the Consent of the Governed
- Interview, Anna Di Carlo, National Leader,
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada -

Trudeau Government’s Electoral Reform Agenda

Liberals Make Cyber Security the New Aim of Reforms
Expanding Police Powers to Criminalize Conscience and Speech
- Pauline Easton -
Conspiracy Theories of the Ruling Elite
- Enver Villamizar -

Trans Mountain Pipeline Dispute Between BC and Alberta
Splitting the Polity in the Service of Contending Private Interests

150th Anniversary of Birth of W.E.B. Du Bois
The Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois -- Paul Robeson

Talk About Cyber Attacks and "Weaponization" of Social Media

Successful Challenge to Federal Candidate Nomination Process

Thousand Dollar Registration Deposit Struck Down

Canadians will no longer have to pay a $1,000 registration fee when they stand as candidates in federal elections. The requirement was struck down as unconstitutional by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in October 2017 in a Charter Challenge filed by Kieran Szuchewycz after he unsuccessfully attempted to register as an independent candidate in Calgary-Heritage in the 2015 Federal Election. Section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: "Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of the members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein." Presiding Justice A.B. Inglis ruled that the deposit requirement violates Section 3  and declared the related Canada Elections Act provisions "of no force and effect."

The Attorney General of Canada (the government) argued in Court that the long-standing requirements for a deposit and nomination signatures serve the purpose of deterring "frivolous" candidates. In her judgment, Justice Inglis argued the $1,000 deposit has "the potential to prevent a serious and impressive candidate from running in an election," agreeing with Szuchewycz, who represented himself in the court proceedings. Justice Inglis concluded that "many non-frivolous candidates might be prevented from participating due to limited financial means, and a frivolous candidate might easily be able to meet the deposit requirement." She stated: "I find that [the deposit] constitutes a measurably significant restriction on the right to play a meaningful role in the electoral process and as such breaches s. 3 of the Charter."

To bolster her argument, Justice Inglis suggested that the collection of 100 nomination signatures (50 in less populated ridings) is sufficient to prove the seriousness of a candidate. Szuchewycz had also challenged the nomination signature requirement, as well as the requirement for the person witnessing the signatures to appear at the time of formal nomination. Szuchewycz actually provided $1,000 when he attempted to register; he failed because he was unable to bring the witness to the signatures to Calgary from his hometown Edmonton. The returning officer for Calgary-Heritage failed to advise him that he could have filed the papers by fax, and had his forms notarized instead of having the witness appear in person. In any case, Justice Inglis upheld the requirement for nomination signatures and related provisions.

In a letter sent to the political parties without representation in the House of Commons, Szuchewycz communicated his views on the Court's decision:

... [T]his wealth test, first introduced in the Dominions Elections Act of 1874, is now a thing of the past. No longer will candidates need to prove they have $1,000 dollars hanging around to exercise their Charter right to stand for election.

While serious administrative restrictions remain on smaller parties and independent candidates, not to mention a practical mainstream media blackout, I hope this decision will give your parties the ability to stand a greater number of candidates across Canada and provide the diversity of choice and vision our country desperately needs.

In a time when democracy appears to be receding, and we feel we have no say in the direction of this country, small parties and small people must stand up for what they believe in and offer a fresh alternative to the well connected careerists, dishonest politicians, and the wealthy elite who dominate the political establishment. I think you will agree that it is only through the increased political participation of ordinary Canadians that our political system can be reclaimed.

In the wake of the Alberta Court's ruling, Elections Canada announced that it would immediately comply and no longer enforce the invalidated sections of the Canada Elections Act unless the government successfully appealed it. Candidates in the December 11, 2017 federal by-elections were not required to pay the deposit. On November 27, 2017, Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould announced her government would not appeal.

Elections Canada Recommendations on Candidate Registration

In the report of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to the House of Commons following the 2015 Federal Election, the CEO proposed eliminating the requirement for 100 signatures in the candidate nomination process.

The report, entitled An Electoral Framework for the 21st Century, stated: "The benefit of requiring prospective candidates to collect 100 signatures is marginal at best. The signatures do not represent support for the candidate. All that is required to sign the nomination paper is that the person reside in the candidate's electoral district. In fact, candidates can obtain signatures by going to public locations such as malls or community centres, and the signatures obtained do not necessarily equate to votes at the polls. As well, verifying the names and addresses of 100 electors to confirm that they reside in the electoral district is a time-consuming task for [Returning Officers] and delays the confirmation of the candidate's nomination. [...] The requirement for a witness to file the document suggests that the candidate is only reluctantly accepting the nomination. Moreover, the obligation to obtain signatures from electors acts as a barrier to people exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to be a candidate."

The House of Commons Committee on Procedures and House Affairs, in its review of the CEO's recommendations, rejected dropping the nomination signature requirement. "After reviewing the recommendation," it reported to the House of Commons: "The Committee ... remains convinced that the signature requirement serves its purpose as a disincentive that reduces the number of frivolous candidates."

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Ruling Without the Consent of the Governed

TML Weekly asked Anna Di Carlo, National Leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC), her opinion on the elimination of the $1,000 deposit for candidate nomination.


Anna Di Carlo: It is welcome. The MLPC appreciates the efforts of Kieran Szuchewycz to have it struck down. What the story of Kieran's experience with the nomination process reveals and is the most worrisome, in my opinion, is the failure of the Returning Officer in his riding to notify him of measures he could have taken to validate his nomination. It is quite possible the Returning Officer did not even know about them, but the fact there is no redress for Kieran is particularly egregious. It is an example of the kinds of problems Canadians face when trying to get nominated. The process in no way resembles an affirmation of the right to elect and be elected. On the contrary, it is designed to make sure the polity is kept out of power.

MLPC candidates face all kinds of obstacles. Generally, the MLPC has candidates who know the law better than the Returning Officers so they are able to prevail. The MLPC is also well versed and deals with whatever problems are encountered in a manner which does not force individual candidates to hire their own lawyers to interpret the electoral act for them. On one occasion, one of our candidates had to go in front of a judge to get his ruling on a most minor matter and the judge had never even read the electoral act. The candidate had to explain it to him and inform him of what he was being called upon to do.

TMLW: What are some of the issues surrounding the nomination of candidates?

ADC: There are many. They go to the core of the aim of the electoral act which is kept hidden. In fact, participating as a candidate in an election on a conscious basis is a very rich learning experience in how the electoral system called a representative democracy actually works. Far from enabling citizens to elect and be elected, it disenfranchises the electorate and disempowers the polity. The MLPC encourages Canadians to participate as candidates as part of building a movement for people's empowerment.

TMLW: Can you please elaborate this further.

ADC: The Alberta Court's ruling striking down the $1,000 candidate registration deposit, the recommendation of Elections Canada to eliminate the nomination signature requirement, and the cartel parties' recommendation that the signature requirement remain in place, all reflect the patchwork approach to electoral reform in ways that do not address its fundamental flaw: it does not give rise to a system that puts the decision-making power in the hands of the citizens as members of a body politic.

In a body politic which recognizes the citizens as the source of power, membership in that body politic confers equality. In Canada, however, the body politic is recognized in name only. The system inherently distinguishes between those who rule and those who are ruled, those who govern and those who are governed, the sovereign and those who are subjects of the sovereign. The representatives appear to be of the people but are, in fact, of the sovereign. There is no equality because you are either a member of one lot or the other. Trudeau repeatedly makes the point that he is part of the privileged class which has no idea what it is like to belong to the side that has no access to privileges.

This shows that references to citizens as equal members of the body politic are only to fool the gullible because the "sovereign" makes the rules, defines the rights enshrined in the Constitution and the limitations on rights exercised in the name of a higher purpose of some kind. Today this higher purpose is more often than not "national security." National security is made synonymous with what are called Canadian values, and limitations are imposed to curtail the activities and speech of those who do not conform to the values determined for them. The aim of elections is to get these "citizens" to consent to "the sovereign" acting in their name. They mark the ballot with an X to hand over their proxy to someone who they are led to believe represents them when in fact the person is a representative of the "sovereign" which represents the state -- itself an instrument of force.

As in the rest of the party-dominated system called a representative democracy, the process of candidate selection in fact negates the fundamental democratic rights of citizens to select candidates who stand for election and to set the agenda of the discussion during an election and establish the mandate they want applied by a government they elect. Through the electoral process they are not even able to render a serious verdict on the tenure of the out-going government.

The example of how the Trudeau government conducts its affairs illustrates the point very well. The Prime Minister issues what are called mandate letters to all the ministers, setting agendas and aims that he says he received a mandate during the election to implement. They may have no bearing whatsoever on what Canadians would like to see happen and are, in any case, not under their control. Then the Prime Minister claims  that consultations, and townhalls, take place -- even if these are seen to be phony. And then the government commissions the Privy Council to set up a website to "track" its performance and render the verdict! It is not only pathetic but truly ridiculous. But the monopoly media and those who call themselves pundits and experts discuss it as if it has democratic merit. The emperor is able to strut around naked saying he is wearing a gorgeous suit of clothes not only because he has a retinue of sycophantic courtiers describing the non-existent suit of clothes and declaring it is gorgeous but, most importantly, because the people are naked -- they are stripped of power to defy the rule. They have no means of collectively expressing what they, as a polity, think. The "best" they are offered is to appeal to the rulers to be more fair or more magnanimous, less arrogant, etc.

In all of this, the rulers clearly have no interest in guaranteeing the right to an informed vote. The participation of the people in elections is to give the rule of those who have usurped power by force the appearance of having the consent of the governed. The process was established to defend powerful private interests and today these interests operate on a global basis, not a national basis. To speak of sovereignty today has become anathema.

The removal of the $1,000 deposit is a welcome development because it removes one obstacle to citizens being able to stand as candidates regardless of their financial ability. It does not change the exercise of privilege by those with economic and political power to curtail and limit the exercise of the right to elect and be elected of all citizens. It is considered "common wisdom" that only candidates selected by the political parties of the establishment stand a reasonable chance of getting elected, based on all kinds of things outside the control of the electorate.

TMLW: Can you explain what the candidate nomination requirements are about?

ADC: Candidate nomination requirements are supposed to give some sort of legitimacy to how candidates have been selected, but it certainly isn't working today. In addition, the candidate requirements are said to establish an "even playing field" because they apply equally to all. They are said to make sure "frivolous" candidates are discouraged. Who decides what constitutes a "frivolous" candidate and the criteria used to render judgment are yet another matter which goes to the core of a system that is corrupt.

The criteria have their origins in the era when only white men of property were enfranchised. Both the nomination signatures and the nomination fee made sense to these men of property whose democracy was designed to keep out the hoi polloi -- which comes from the Greek for "the many." Getting 200 signatures from among the limited body of men entitled to vote at a time the size of a constituency could be as small as 3,000 was seen to be "representative" of this constituency. Nowadays 100 signatures are required to apply to be nominated in constituencies comprised of 85,000 to 145,000 people. The "parties" at that time were oligarchic. The representatives of the propertied classes with seats in the Parliament formed the "parliamentary bench." So too in the past, the nomination fee was linked with ensuring that men of property were the only ones who could stand as candidates and the fees were actually used to pay for the election itself; the cost of self-governance.

As time passed, the workers' movement for empowerment led first to universal manhood suffrage and then to universal suffrage. "Mass parties" were created to represent non-oligarchic interests and their membership comprised what was called  "extra-parliamentary" pressure. The role of the mass party was to lobby the parties with seats in the parliament to succumb to their pressure. So long as there was a connection between those seeking election and their constituents, they might succumb to the influence of the constituents. But nowadays the lobbying and influence which is effective is that exerted by private interests.

It was only much later, well into the sixties, that the concept of "frivolous" candidates emerged as part of official political vocabulary to marginalize the people challenging the rule of the propertied classes. The problem which people who try to democratize the process face is that eliminating these requirements, such as by eliminating/increasing/lowering the quantity of money or signatures required, does not change the aim of the process which is to claim that the rulers have the consent of the governed. Today, even the appearance of ruling with the consent of the governed no longer exists. More and more, the slogan, "Not In My Name!" is raised at protest meetings. You can note also that because of this, arguments are beginning to abound about the need to protect national security by means of military rule.

As the party system came to dominate the system of representative democracy, political parties took over the function of nominating candidates. Today, candidate selection and nomination are listed as one of the most important roles of political parties. This is repeated over and again even as the system is falling to pieces. Fake or phony party membership lists have become endemic in nomination races where the party elites line up what are called star candidates. In the party leadership campaigns major battles are breaking out about legitimate and non-legitimate memberships. The more the crisis of party membership deepens, with less than one per cent of the Canadian population being members of political parties, the more the political parties introduce schemes to cover up the failure of their system called a liberal democracy. Instead of making sure the polity can participate in decision-making, democracy is equated with "choice" -- choosing a candidate for election is akin to choosing a product to consume in the market. This is why the Liberal Party replaced the quality of a "Liberal Party Member" with that of a "Registered Liberal," mining registration from anyone who has visited their website and signed to receive a newsletter or registered a "like" on a promo item.

Mechanisms are required that enable the people to select candidates from amongst their own peers on the basis of working out their own social, cultural and economic programs to move the society forward. By nominating those who genuinely represent the interests their collective has worked out, a new quality is born.


Trudeau Government's Electoral Reform Agenda

Liberals Make Cyber Security the
New Aim of Reforms

Since coming to power in 2015, the Trudeau government has taken measures that seriously further undermine what is called the democratic process. A contributing factor has been the series of governments that have pushed through the neo-liberal anti-social offensive and claim they have a mandate to do so, a claim the people do not believe to be true. This has time and again raised questions about the system of representative democracy, which is not seen to represent the people's interests but only those of the rich.

After Stephen Harper's heavy-handed rule, Justin Trudeau made electoral reform a central plank of his mandate. He led the polity to believe his government would introduce a system that would make votes cast in elections translate more accurately into seats in the House of Commons. This did not address the underlying problem that governments wield political power on behalf of private interests, however, it did give the impression that his government would address a major concern of the polity which is that his government would be accountable to the people. But the Trudeau government has quickly become known for posturing. It has behaved in a way that is intended to impress or mislead others.

Following the election when, try as it might, the government could not get the polity to agree to the preferential or ranked ballot method of assigning votes that Trudeau wanted, and the official parliamentary committee recommended a referendum be held with one option being a "proportional electoral system" to modify the current first-past-the-post system, the government rejected the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee said to be what the representatives of the people said the people wanted.

The government proceeded to hold phony consultations in contrived town hall meetings across the country. When this didn't work for it, it hired a company to conduct more phony consultations via a website, hoping for a different result. This too fell flat. All of this provides convincing examples that public opinion is not established through marketing and public relations campaigns. This experience has deepened the credibility and legitimacy crises in which the democracy is mired. The government's highly anti-democratic behaviour on its electoral reform agenda culminated in a change of Minister and the government declaring it would no longer pursue its reform of the voting system.

Instead it announced another priority for its electoral reform agenda: to deal with "cyber security" and threats it claims are posed to Canada's democratic institutions by foreign influence. The term "foreign influence" is often used interchangeably with "foreign interference," by which is meant Russian, not U.S., interference. U.S. interference is not recognized as a problem.

This too contributes to the credibility crisis in which the democratic process is mired. Among other things, people simply do not see themselves as having provided the mandates governments claim. In this case, having failed to implement the mandate for democratic reform the government claimed it got from the people, it does not even claim its pursuit of this new priority is one that came from the people, but admits it came from the U.S. intelligence agencies and those of NATO, and the allies which comprise the "Five Eyes" of the intelligence community.[1] The government says the current changes are required to protect what it calls national security during elections. It would seem the government believes its logic is unassailable based on the fact that information about threats to national security is, by definition, kept "secret" and therefore not subject to public scrutiny. End of discussion.

The result is that the Trudeau Government's revised democratic reform agenda now puts decision-making power about the legitimacy of opinion and speech in its various forms under the jurisdiction of Canada's spy agencies, which work as one with their U.S. and other counterparts in the Five Eyes, and as part of the U.S.-led aggressive NATO military and political alliance that is bringing its members' cyber security activities under its own cyber commands, just as it does their military hardware. Social media marketing agencies like Facebook and Google have already been recruited to censor whatever speech is seen to harm the national interest. Other changes and their ramifications are what the polity has yet to see.

Will the spectre of "foreign influence" and "foreign interference" in elections be used to justify the expanded exercise of police powers in the conduct and coordination of elections? All of this goes hand in hand with the increasing integration of Canada's economy into the U.S. war economy and the deployment of human and material resources into U.S. war zones based on geo-political interests that are determined by the executive power, not the people.

A danger to the polity posed by talk about foreign interference in elections and to the democratic institutions is that it serves to create a framework that permits the criminalization of any Canadian citizen or resident and their organizations that affirm their conscience in a manner which the intelligence agencies consider harms the national interest. Defamation can be used to categorize them as agents of a foreign power who endanger the security of Canada. It is a re-creation of the Cold War declaration that nuclear secrets were being shared or sold by agents of a foreign power, endangering national security.

During the Cold War, the allegations that nuclear secrets were being traded was used to promote counter-revolution so as to end the striving for empowerment of the people, who were on the march worldwide following the Second World War. The spectre of an enemy was used to define patriotism on a chauvinist basis and rally the polity behind Anglo-American Cold War aims. The polity was thus divided on the basis of whether a person or organization stood with the enemy or with their country.

Such spectres serve to divert attention from the need to empower the people, who are kept as spectators to the decisions taken by ruling elites within the confines of an electoral process called a representative democracy. Today, this system no longer even gives the appearance of getting the consent of the governed for the governments that rule in their name. The anti-democratic security measures which are imposed instigate debates about the need to defend the definition of rights contained in the Constitution, as if the Constitution and its Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees rights in any way favourable to the people. This is not the case. Its "reasonable limits" clause means rights are treated as privileges which are given and taken away based on decisions made by the rulers. By juxtaposing the danger to rights -- said to come from a foreign power or extremism of one sort or another -- and the Constitution, the people are supposed to rise up in defence of the Constitution, oblivious of the fact that the government of laws has in fact been supplanted by a government of police powers. The people are kept running from pillar to post and it is not self-evident how they can pursue their striving for empowerment on their own terms.

Unacceptable limitations on speech during elections that contradict people's understanding of political discourse amongst members of the polity will only deepen the crisis in which the system of representation is mired. CPC(M-L) upholds the principle that the right to speech is not merely a civil right that can be suspended but a human right. It must be affirmed in order to humanize the social and natural environment. Affirming the right to speak as a human right empowers the people and makes sure they cannot be dispensed with at the whim of an arbitrary power.

This issue of TML Weekly provides information on the Trudeau government's revised program for electoral reform which sheds light on the disinformation about cyber security. Future issues will further elaborate this discussion.


1. "Dangerous Expansion of NATO Powers and Authority," TML Weekly, December 2, 2017.


Expanding Police Powers to Criminalize
Conscience and Speech

One year ago, Justin Trudeau replaced Minister of Democratic Institutions Myriam Monsef with Karina Gould and provided the newly appointed minister with a revised Mandate Letter which said, amongst other things: "Changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate."[1]

Gould was instructed that her new key project would be defending Canada's democratic process from cyber threats. "In collaboration with the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, [you will] lead the Government of Canada's efforts to defend the Canadian electoral process from cyber threats. This should include asking the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to analyze risks to Canada's political and electoral activities from hackers, and to release this assessment publicly. As well, ask CSE to offer advice to Canada's political parties and Elections Canada on best practices when it comes to cyber security."

The instructions are oblivious to the glaring contradiction: cancelling the Liberals' campaign promise to end the first-past-the-post method of counting votes on the grounds that there was no consensus or preference among Canadians and supplanting this with another directive not even mentioned during the election campaign. More importantly, the Liberals seem to be oblivious to the obvious contradiction between claiming they are defending democracy, which is rule of law, by assigning the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE) and other spy agencies a key role in seeking out and taking action against what they perceive to be "threats" to Canada's electoral processes by foreign actors, which established rule of police powers.

A February 12 interview by the National Observer, titled "Bad actors may use Canada's democratic tools against us," elaborated the work Gould has done on the issue of "electoral cyber security" since her appointment to the ministry last year.[2]

The National Observer asked Gould to explain how the Ministry of Democratic Institutions "fits in with all of the pieces in national defence and public safety that are working on [cyber security]." Gould answered that the Minister of Heritage and the Minister of Information Science and Economic Development are also involved. These departments, she said, are "thinking about what we need to be doing more broadly with regards to cyber security, our elections, and democracy." Her role, she said, has been primarily "working on coordinating the efforts, understanding what resources we already have at our disposal and making sure that we're choreographed and aligned in terms of providing those supports and resources."

These vague answers did not mention Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters, currently before Committee in the House of Commons. Bill C-59 expands the operational sphere of the CSE, giving it authority to conduct both defensive and offensive operations against perceived threats to Canada's democratic process. Nor did Gould mention the government's collaboration with Facebook, Google and other digital advertising giants to monitor political advertising and discourse on the internet to detect "bad actors."

"Foreign influence in elections is not a new issue," Gould said in the interview. Apparently unable to reference this with any examples from the past, she merely added: "But the way that it's being done is a new issue. It's a new tool to do the same kind of old things, in a way that connects directly with Canadians, and voters particularly, than it ever has in the past."

"[My understanding of the issue] continues to evolve as new things come to light that have happened in other countries, and really engaging our counterparts abroad as well to see what their best practices are, learn from their experience and make sure that we're bringing those in as we're developing our plan here in Canada," Gould said.

Giving the impression that this is all just a personal learning curve, Gould did not inform who these "counterparts" are or what "best practices" are emerging. The Australian government, for instance, has tabled a bill which requires citizens with relationships to "foreigners" to report these links and register with the electoral commission if they engage in political campaigning.

Gould was asked if, "with the cyber security knowledge you're privy to, [have you] learned anything that has shocked you?" She responded with a difficult to comprehend answer: "Well I think the thing that kind of stays with me the most is the fact that the very tools, values and principles that have made our democracy so strong are the same ones that adversaries try to use to undermine it, and to create a crisis of trust and confidence in the institutions that we need to rely on to have successful elections and a strong democracy... The fact that adversaries are trying to use those very channels to shake that confidence and that trust is what we need to be alive and alert to, and what we need to be preparing Canadians for, for the next election."

To blame the lack of confidence of the citizens in the electoral process on "foreigners" is, to be generous, a stretch. Are Gould and the Trudeau government telling us that Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin, Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau -- all of whom contributed a great deal to doing things the electorate did not approve of -- are foreigners? In fact in the 2015 election the Trudeau Liberals made a big issue about trust in government being at an all time low which they pinned on the Harper government. "This Conservative government has broken Canadians' trust," their platform said. "After a decade of Stephen Harper, Canadians' faith in government has never been lower. The reason is simple: Canadians do not trust their government, because it does not trust them. [...]

"Our plan is a sweeping agenda for change. It is an agenda that will allow us to modernize how the Canadian government works, so that it better reflects the values and expectations of Canadians.

"At its heart is a simple idea: transparent government is good government. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians."

From Harper being the cause of mistrust and the need for government to trust people, to putting spies and police in charge of monitoring citizens' political discourse because anyone could be a dupe or cut-out of "the Russians" is quite the reversal indeed. It is little wonder Gould has trouble speaking with conviction!

Perspective of Canadian Security Establishment on Protecting Elections

Gould said the CSE June 2017 assessment entitled "Cyber Threats to Canada's Democratic Process" is "the first publicly available cyber security threat assessment for democratic institutions and elections released in the world." She described it as "a pretty big deal" and "a great first step."

This too is not factually correct. The CSE report took its cue from the report issued in January 2017 by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence entitled Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections. Jointly drafted by the CIA, FBI and NSA, it said that Russia had ordered an "influence campaign" in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. "Russia's goals," the report said, "were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." In addition, the CIA, FBI, and NSA reported: "We assess Moscow will apply the lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes."

The CSE assessment, released on June 16, 2017, was in lockstep saying that an attack in the 2019 federal election is "highly probable." It warned that elections, political parties, politicians and the media are all in jeopardy. This verdict has been widely promoted by an acquiescent media since then, and now Bill C-59 is being pushed through a Committee of the House of Commons.

Even school children could come up with a more accurate definition of Canada than the CSE which defined Canada as "a G7 country, a NATO member, and an influential member of the international community." This definition segues into why the CSE says the country's electoral process might be targeted. The "choices that the Canadian federal government makes about military deployment, trade and investment agreements, diplomatic statements, foreign aid, or immigration are influential and impactful," the Report said. Government decisions affect "Canada's allies, and the core interests of other countries, foreign groups, and individuals," it added.

An obvious question might be who decides these "choices that the federal government makes" and if, perhaps, adopting anti-war positions to guide all these fronts, is not a more favourable way to remove the dangers?

The Report also notes that governments at all levels determine spending and make laws that "affect tens of millions of Canadians, and in some cases [e.g., regarding resource extraction] affect foreign interests as well." It said one of the goals of foreign cyber intervention is to "push policy in preferred directions; disrupt international alliances that pose a threat; weaken leaders that pose a threat."

Through sleight of hand, the CSE manages to connect current government policies, membership in NATO, and foreign cyber intervention with political discourse during an election which targets government policies or membership in NATO which it is claimed undermines public trust. The aim of elections is supposed to be to give expression to the will of the people. If policies such as integration of Canada into the U.S. war machine and membership in NATO are now to be considered matters of national security, what political discourse, debate or contention will the CSE permit?

The system of representative democracy claims that people are able to bring about changes through protests, petitions and elections. The government has surely created a quandary for itself. To believe it can control the will of the people by imposing police powers and limitations on speech they decide in the name of high ideals, is not rational, let alone likely.

The CSE is said to be a civilian agency even though it is an intelligence agency which falls into the domain of prerogative (police) powers which necessarily operate outside the rule of law. Its conception of protecting elections and the democratic institutions is anchored in a perceived duty that it must defend Canada's current military and economic alliances. This leads to the conclusion that the CSE has given itself the mandate to detect campaigns that it says work against Canada's membership in NATO, for example, and declare they are foreign-inspired and therefore illegal.

In her interview with the National Observer, Gould also spoke of the CSE protecting political parties and her responsibility for educating the public. "The other thing that Canadians can rest assured about and know about," Gould said, "is that we also empowered the CSE to work directly with political parties to provide advice and guidance in terms how they can best protect themselves. We're continuing to have those conversations and think about what things we need to be doing, whether it's with regards to social media platforms, education campaigns, me talking to the media and the role of the media as well, because the media plays a big role in how people consume information. And so, how they're reporting on disinformation campaigns is really important as well."

Talk about hijacking the discussion Canadians are holding about the problems they face as a result of the current electoral and political process and its need for renewal! Is this discussion a "threat" posed by "bad actors?" Should the anti-war movement of the Canadian people "be on guard" to "detect" malicious intervention in the 2019 federal election every time a program is put forward which opposes NATO, or U.S. and Canadian warmongering in Ukraine, in terms of the encirclement of Russia and all other matters which affect the geo-political conniving of the U.S. and its NATO-led war alliance?

Gould said that she would be updating the Canada Elections Act so that everything, including cyber security, is in place for the 2019 federal election. "It's important that we get that [cyber security] right. That's a tough one because, you know, threats are outside of our control. All we can do is prepare ourselves as best as possible, and I think that I have a mandate to work with colleagues to make public institutions open and transparent and to build trust amongst Canadians," Gould concluded.

It is apparent that changes are on their way to alter how federal elections are regulated and monitored by the police. National security and defence regulations may very well not even be incorporated into the Canada Elections Act but passed through other acts such as Bill C-59. Elections Canada is being increasingly by-passed as the publicly authorized electoral regulatory body, while the police and private corporations are brought in. At this time, for instance, Elections Canada has a policy of not regulating or monitoring non-paid material on the internet. The U.S.-based Facebook giant, however, has been given a green light by the Liberal government to do so through the Facebook's "Canadian Election Integrity Initiative."

Gould echoes the CSE report which states that citizens need to "trust that the [electoral] process is fair, that politicians are not beholden to foreign or criminal interests, and that the media is not influenced by foreign or criminal interests attempting to sway voters and the outcome of the democratic process."

Good and Bad Actors

But the description of who is a "foreign criminal interest" is purely subjective and cynical. All the cartel political parties in Canada hire foreign companies which specialize in running election campaigns all over the world with the aim of politicizing private interests. These marketing strategists and operatives function as an army of mercenaries, moving from country to country, in many cases connected with the same financial oligarchs represented by the political parties they work to put into power.

In the 2015 Federal Election the Conservatives brought in Australian campaign adviser Lynton Crosby, described as "the master of wedge politics -- where parties exploit social issues such as crime or race or immigration to split public opinion in their favour." He has been described as the "Wizard of Oz" because of his "skill at political messaging, which relies on targeting particular groups of voters and using polls to fine-tune the effort."[3]

In the lead-up to the 2015 election, it was reported that Justin Trudeau's Liberals "have quietly been getting regular advice from Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, Barack Obama's deputy campaign manager in the last U.S. presidential campaign." Thomas Mulcair's New Democratic campaigners were "receiving guidance from Jeremy Bird, who was Mr. Obama's national field director."[4]

Following the election, Campaigns & Elections, a U.S.-based on-line journal "focusing on the tools, tactics, and techniques of the political consulting profession" ran an item reporting on Justin Trudeau's victory under the headline "Consultants forgo Canadian Victory Lap." It reported that normally consultants "aren't shy about touting their involvement in a winning race, but client sensitivity over perceived cozying up to the Americans and non-disclosure agreements (NDA) are keeping the bragging to a minimum -- even for those involved with incoming-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party."

U.S.-based Precision Strategies was one of the companies used by the Liberals. It was involved in Barack Obama's campaigns and boasts that it "pioneered the politics of precision" and has "created new data-driven tools to reach the right audiences with the right messages -- then move them to action." NGP VAN, who developed Obama's campaign voter data bases was also hired by the Liberals.

Wedge politics, capturing "niche voter markets" are precisely the same tactics "bad actors" are accused of using, as in the case of the U.S where it is said that foreign influencers tried to "sow discord" and "divisions" among the people. When Gould talks about "adversaries" using "the very tools, values and principles" that the self-proclaimed protagonists use, is she telling us there are "good foreign actors" who we are not worried about versus her "bad foreign actor" category?

The Need to Vest Sovereignty in the People

All of it completely detracts from the singular fact that today bourgeois nation-building is a thing of the past. State power is no longer wielded by nation states in relation to their own polities and in relations with other countries based on how the national interest was defined in the past. Notions of national sovereignty are meaningless when decision-making is in the hands of private interests that operate on a supranational basis. Private interests come together as oligopolies which intervene and maraud as coalitions and cartels. This is something they have done in one form or another ever since these nation-states came into being but, today, the conception of national sovereignty simply does not exist in material terms, except within the countries that have forms which vest sovereignty in the people, who wield the decision-making powers in their favour within the confines of their own territory.

To speak of "foreign" influence or interference begs the question of identifying where sovereignty lies. If it lies in foreign hands, then what "foreign influence" or "interference" are we talking about?

It would be better for Canadians to keep their feet firmly planted on their own soil and take up a nation-building project of their own which vests sovereignty in the people, not foreign private interests which define other foreign private interests as the enemy. At the end of the day, the bad foreign interests will turn out to be you and I.

What the CSE and the Trudeau government are saying is so crude, it is hard to believe they really think Canadians believe a word they are saying. But then thinking is not the strong suit of those whose bread is buttered by repeating self-serving arguments of the U.S. imperialists.


1. The letter said, "A clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, has not emerged. Furthermore, without a clear preference or a clear question, a referendum would not be in Canada's interest."

2. "Bad actors may use Canada's democratic tools against us, says Gould prior to mat leave," by Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer, February 12, 2018.

3. "Controversial Australian strategist to help with Tories' campaign," Globe and Mail, September 10, 2015, updated March 25, 2017.

4. "Former Obama aides advising NDP, Liberals on campaign strategy," Globe and Mail, December 27, 2014, updated March 25, 2017.


Conspiracy Theories of the Ruling Elite

Police powers are being brought forward to openly monitor political discourse. The Canadian Security Establishment (CSE) suggests Canadians should rest assured because the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects "the right to freedom of expression and belief -- including allowing citizens to freely engage, challenge and propagate ideas in public." However, both the Minister of Democratic Institutions and the CSE link freedom of expression with the need for police powers to establish "trust" about elections and politicians not being subjected to foreign influence. They say rights must be balanced with security. How is this to be achieved? By having the CSE use its spy powers to flag what it deems to be suspect speech and use disruption tactics against it.

All of it shows that conspiracy theories have become the new normal. The irony is that this is done in the name of opposing foreign disruption and conspiracy theories. In the words of a group of former U.S. national security, foreign policy and intelligence officials who have intervened in the on-going investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election, Russia is conducting a "multidirectional brush-fire-information-warfare campaign" all over the world. The campaign includes "written or spoken disinformation, the spreading of conspiracy theories, efforts to control the media, the use of forgeries, political influence campaigns, the funding of extremist and opposition groups, and cyber attacks." The objective, they say, has remained constant "across history." In the current conditions, the emergence of social media platforms have "unleashed a new, virulent strain of these influence campaigns."[1]

The group of former U.S. national security, foreign policy and intelligence officials admits the "geopolitical landscape has shifted" over the years, but they claim the overarching objectives largely have been the same (as they were during the Cold War) -- "to undermine confidence in democratic leaders and institutions; sow discord between the United States and its allies; discredit candidates for office perceived as hostile to the Kremlin; influence public opinion against U.S. military, economic and political programs; and create distrust or confusion over sources of information."

Does this mean that the criteria for judging whether or not you are a hostile element is if you speak against NATO, the G7, the encirclement of Russia, against the neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine and the Baltic republics and Poland, and in favour of peace in Syria or on the Korean Peninsula, in favour of non-interference in Venezuelan affairs, etc.? Towards this end, those who call themselves intelligence experts write that a hallmark of the Russian campaign is "reliance on intermediaries or 'cut outs' inside a country." These "cut-outs" include "political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists, militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen. They range from the unwitting accomplice who is manipulated to act in what he believes is his best interest, to the ideological or economic ally who broadly shares Russian interests, to the knowing agent of influence who is recruited or coerced to directly advance Russian operations and objectives." These local actors, which include "nationalists and populists, political activists and Russian sympathizers," are used by Russia "to corrode democratic institutions from within."

They warn that "the threat posed to our democracy by Russian active measures campaigns is serious, ongoing and will require vigilance on the part of the U.S. government and people. Part of that vigilance involves raising awareness across the U.S. legislative, executive and judicial branches, as well as the media and civil society about how Russia engages in sophisticated influence campaigns -- ones that are willfully designed to obfuscate and hide from view -- so that these governmental and nongovernmental actors can make decisions with a full appreciation of the nature and scope of these activities, and the threats they pose."

This is the conclusion now being imposed on Canada as well by the Trudeau government. Canadians should stand ready to oppose any attempts to permit conspiracy theories of the ruling elite to divide their ranks.


1. "Brief of Former National Security Officials as Amici Curiae in Support of Neither Party," submitted December 8, 2017 to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by 14 former members of U.S. intelligence, military and Department of State as part of the lawsuit brought by three private citizens against President Donald Trump's campaign and his adviser Roger Stone.



Trans Mountain Pipeline Dispute Between BC and Alberta

Splitting the Polity in the Service of
Contending Private Interests

Demonstration in Vancouver, November 29, 2016, after Trudeau government gave go-ahead to
Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The NDP governments of Alberta and BC are locked in a battle over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, BC, where bitumen would be loaded onto tankers for export to Asian markets. According to the main actors, the dispute pits those who defend the interests of the workers against those who defend the interests of the environment. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley claims that the BC government is acting illegally and its actions are an attack on Canadian workers. BC maintains it is acting within its authority to protect the environment, especially the coastal waters.

The fight is said to have heated up when British Columbia Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman announced on January 30, that he would hold consultations about new regulations requiring more study of the consequences of a bitumen spill and more certainty around spill response time, clean-up and mitigation. Heyman stated that restrictions on increased transport of bitumen would apply until studies were completed. BC Premier John Horgan has since stated that it was never BC's intention to stop bitumen shipments before the study has been completed.

In response to Heyman's announcement, the Alberta government withdrew from talks on the purchase of electricity from BC's new Site C Dam, and announced a ban on the import of BC wines. Premier Notley declared BC's proposal illegal and unconstitutional, and demanded that the federal government intervene. She has appointed a 19-member panel, which includes representatives from government and the oil and financial monopolies, to consider further retaliatory action.[1]

BC NDP government is proceeding with construction despite large-scale opposition to Site "C" Dam on the Peace River.

What is of interest, however, is that apart from comments from the BC Minister of the Environment, nothing has actually taken place to merit all of Notley's retaliatory measures. Her desperation is such that she is making declarations fit for Athena pontificating about Canada's "national interest."

"This project was approved in the national interest and it must be built in the national interest. We are not going to stand down until that happens," Notley said. "This is not a fight between Alberta and BC. This is BC trying to usurp the authority of the federal government and undermine the basis of our Confederation."

The Alberta NDP government has also started a petition with the message "Tell Premier Horgan and the BC government to stop standing in the way of working Canadians."

The use of threats and counter-threats, retaliatory measures and power plays has become common place in a world based on money relations. One of the members of the 19-member panel appointed by Notley is Peter Hogg of the law firm Blakes. Blakes has published an opinion piece by Hogg on its website which argues that the actions of the BC government risk a breach of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The NWPTA is an accord between the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba that "creates Canada's largest barrier-free interprovincial market." It expressly says, "Article 3: No Obstacles -- Each Party shall ensure its measures do not operate to restrict or impair trade between, among or through the territory of the Parties" and contains an enforceable dispute resolution mechanism.

The article suggests that if BC were to pass a law restricting movement of bitumen, producers and shippers could seek an injunction to delay implementation of the law until a constitutional challenge is heard. The article does not mention that the Alberta government has violated the NWPTA with its ban on wines from BC. Neither BC nor Alberta has mentioned the existence of this agreement. Instead Alberta has demanded that the Trudeau government intervene and on February 19, the BC government announced that it will be formally challenging the ban through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement's dispute settlement process.

Commentators are suggesting that the Alberta NDP government is acting to derail Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party and present the NDP as the "defenders of Alberta." This ignores that it is Kinder Morgan, builder of the Trans Mountain pipelines, and other oil monopolies who are calling the shots and demanding regulatory changes to allow them to do as they please. It indicates that contention between the oil monopolies is heating up at the expense of Canada and Canadians which has nothing to do with protecting either workers' interests or those of the environment.

All of this is taking place as the Trudeau government has announced it will replace the National Energy Board with a whole new regulatory regime. Is the real aim of this Alberta-BC dispute to put the spotlight on the Trudeau government to bring about regulatory changes demanded by the monopolies, who are threatening to take their investments elsewhere?

Despite National Energy Board and federal approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, Kinder Morgan still requires permits from municipalities and the provincial government.[2] As well, Kinder Morgan faces legal challenges from the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, the Squamish Nation, the Coldwater Indian Band, the Musqueam Indian Band, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Living Oceans Society who have all requested judicial review of the National Energy Board decision approving the pipeline.

There is also a serious question about whether the BC government has fulfilled its duty to consult with the Indigenous nations. The 2017 BC Supreme Court decision Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment) upheld the stand of the Gitga'at First Nation and Coastal First Nations that the provincial government was required to make its own decision about whether to issue a provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, and to consult with First Nations before doing so. The court also stated that BC could impose additional conditions.

Kinder Morgan claims that the permitting process is being used to delay and obstruct construction. Its position is that nothing should delay its construction schedule. In December 2017, Kinder Morgan was successful in getting the National Energy Board to rule that it could begin construction in the City of Burnaby without complying with several bylaws. The City of Burnaby argued that Kinder Morgan was responsible for the delays because it had not complied with the requirements to obtain permits.

It should also be noted that, in 2007, the Kinder Morgan pipeline in Burnaby was breached by a third party causing extensive damage to nearby homes and causing 78,000 litres of crude oil to spill into Burrard Inlet poisoning 15,000 metres of shoreline. Kinder Morgan was fined $150,000.

There is certainly evidence that Kinder Morgan has been allowed to ignore National Energy Board conditions with impunity. Another example of contempt for existing law and regulations was Trans Mountain's placement of anti-spawning mats in rivers without permission, which it was ordered to remove. In addition, various experts have charged that Kinder Morgan has a record of "skimping on safety measures."

Equating National Interest with Demands of the Monopolies

A constant theme from the federal and Alberta governments is that the Trans Mountain pipeline is in the "national interest." The National Energy Board's mandate is to regulate in the public interest, but governments no longer refer to the public interest, and speak instead of the "national interest." National interest is then equated with the narrow interests of the monopolies who make all the decisions concerning what is produced and how it is produced. Having declared that a project is in the "national interest," nothing can be permitted to stand in its way. It would seem to de facto render the affirmation of the right of the Indigenous nations to prior consent regarding projects which are carried out on their traditional lands and unceded territory a danger to the national interest. So too the affirmation of what are deemed to be regional or local interests, for example local bylaws or provincial regulations, would also be seen to endanger the "national interest."

In its complaint to the National Energy Board in December 2017, Kinder Morgan stated that it was experiencing delays related to the permitting process. It stated that it must have "a clear line of sight on the timely conclusion of the permitting and approvals processes before it will commit to full construction spending" and that it had set its 2018 budget accordingly.

In this way, it seems that Kinder Morgan is demanding that permits be provided irrespective of whether it has itself fulfilled its obligations and, where it is blocked by local or provincial governments, it will turn to regulatory bodies to use their police powers within the context that the "national interest" is at stake. All of it is presented as a matter of rule of law, defence of the Canadian Constitution and the like. What the facts reveal however is the extent to which the oligopolies have directly taken over and rule through police powers. The existing constitutional arrangements in fact permit rule through police powers but in the past this has been kept in check because disputes were more likely to be resolved using dispute-resolution mechanisms. These are now flouted in the most self-serving manner. For the Notley government to be appealing to the Constitution is a sign of impotency, while the NDP government in BC waffles because it too is impotent.

The claim that building the Trans Mountain pipeline is going to fix the economy does not hold water either. It would be laughable if it were not a matter of the real turmoil and hardship faced by the workers, farmers, small businesses, Indigenous peoples and the degradation of the environment. For the working people, whose years of resistance brought the NDP government to power so as to deal with things differently, it's deja vu all over again. They have long-since discarded the fiction that more shipping of raw resources is a "solution" to anything.

The interests of the working people, Indigenous peoples and the environment of Alberta and BC lie in rejecting the old conscience of society which claims we have a civil society that upholds the public interest. The working class must set a new direction for the economy with the aim of solving the problems in a manner that favours the people. This is what nation-building is all about at this time.


1. The non-government members of the panel are: Frank McKenna (TD Bank Group, former New Brunswick premier), Anne McLellan (former deputy prime minister and federal minister of natural resources), Jim Carter (ATB Financial and former Syncrude president), Peter Hogg (law firm Blakes' scholar in residence), Peter Tertzakian (Arc Financial), Trevor Tombe (University of Calgary economist), Ginny Flood (Suncor) and Janet Annesley (Husky).

2. DeSmog Canada reports that Kinder Morgan may be in violation of a condition laid out by the National Energy Board requiring it to file a quality management plan at least four months prior to manufacturing any pipe or major components for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. National Energy Board notices stated that the documentation Trans Mountain filed in February 2017 was incomplete. "The quality management plan requires Trans Mountain to supply documentation regarding the qualifications of pipeline contractors, vendors and suppliers, quality auditing of manufactured pipe and the preservation of pipe during shipping and storage," DeSmog Canada points out. Documents submitted to the National Energy Board by Trans Mountain confirmed that pipeline manufacturing contracts were awarded between May and July of 2017 and pipe manufacturing began in October 2017, despite the fact that the requested documentation has not been submitted.

(With files from CBC, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, National Observer)



150th Anniversary of Birth of W.E.B. Du Bois

The Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois -- Paul Robeson

W.E.B. Du Bois in 1946

William Edward Burghardt "W.E.B." Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. His stands as a political activist, human being, author, editor, sociologist, historian and Pan-Africanist earned him a place of great honour as an American leader second to none. W.E.B. Du Bois did his studies at Humboldt University of Berlin, Harvard University, Harvard College, Fisk University and the school of life. He died at the age of 95 in Accra, Ghana, on August 27, 1963.

On this occasion, TML Weekly is posting the tribute to Du Bois of Paul Robeson, another great American leader, second to none.


W.E.B. Du Bois in 1909 in his office at University of Atlanta.

Casting my mind back, my first clear memory of Dr. Du Bois was my pride in his recognized scholarship and authority in his many fields of work and writing. In high school and at college our teachers often referred us to standard reference works on sociology, race relations, Africa and world affairs. I remember feeling great pride when the books and articles proved to be by our Dr. Du Bois, and often loaned these to my fellow-students, who were properly impressed by his universally respected and acknowledged authority.

Robeson's article on Du Bois appeared in the Winter 1965 issue of Freedomways. Click to enlarge.

The Negro students joined the [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)] which Dr. Du Bois helped to organize and build; we read religiously The Crisis of which he was editor for so many years, and in which he wrote clearly, constructively and militantly on the complex problems of the American scene, on the Negro question, on Africa, and on world affairs. He called upon the American people, and particularly upon the whole labor movement, to understand the need for unity in the struggle of the working masses, including the Negro, for a decent standard of living.

We spoke of Dr. Du Bois as Our Professor, The Doctor, The Dean, with great respect, paid close attention to his pronouncements, and many of us followed him proudly marching down New York's Fifth Avenue in a protest parade led by the NAACP for civil rights. Dr. Du Bois talked and wrote and marched for civil rights. He insisted upon first-class citizenship for all Americans, upon full equality of opportunity, dignity, legal rights for us all. And he directed universal interest and attention to our Negro history and our rich African ancestry, to give us solid background for our struggle. All this way back many, many years ago, long before I graduated from college in 1919. Our good doctor, this great man, understood our situation, and our world, and was often a lone but clarion voice pointing out the urgent need for change.

Dr. Du Bois was a distinguished historian as well as a social scientist. We often talked about the wealth and beauty of our folk heritage, particularly about Negro music which he loved and found deeply moving. He often stressed the importance of this special contribution to American culture. We had interesting discussions about the likeness of our Negro folk music to many other folk musics throughout the world.

Du Bois (front row, sixth from right) at 20th annual session of NAACP, Cleveland, Ohio, 1929.

Our professor was not only a great and recognized scholar, he was also our most distinguished statesman. His knowledge of world affairs, his founding of the Pan African Congress, his continuing work in many capitols of the world for African independence, made him widely known and respected abroad, and beloved in Africa. His book The World and Africa was one of the first important books on modern post-war Africa, and helped to point out and focus attention on the continuing exploitation of Africa by the "free world." We of the Council On African Affairs were very fortunate and proud when Dr. Du Bois joined our organization as Chairman in 1949. His knowledge, experience and wisdom, together with our very able and devoted Executive Secretary, Dr. Alphaeus Hunton, helped us to make some meaningful contribution to the struggle of the African people, particularly in South Africa.

W.E.B. Du Bois (second from right) at the Pan Africanist Congress in Brussels, 1921.

Fifteen years ago, when we built the Negro newspaper Freedom, under the very fine editorship of our friend and colleague, the late Louis Burnham, Dr. Du Bois was one of our very frequent and most brilliant contributors. His clear, forthright, informative article on Africa, on the Negro in America, on the changing world situation added stature to our publication.

Association, discussion and work with this great man were always richly rewarding.

Probably as a result of his research and work in sociology, his close scientific observance of American history and social scene, his keen and continuing interest in Africa and in international affairs, Dr. Du Bois became a strong supporter of Socialism as a way-of-life. He followed the rise of the Soviet Union with understanding and appreciation, and made friends with the whole socialist world. He welcomed not only their rejection of racism, but also, as a social scientist, he appreciated their constructive and practical interest in, and effective governmental activity for the welfare of the vast majority of the people. Dr. Du Bois said many times that he believed the 1917 Russian Revolution was the turning-point in modern history, and was of first importance in the shaping of a new world with the emergence of many other socialist lands.

So that it was logical, and deeply moving when, in 1961 -- having the whole world picture in focus, Dr. Du Bois became a member of the Communist Party of the United States, and still later became a welcome and honored citizen of Ghana, in his beloved Africa. He followed with deep concern the independence struggles in various parts of Africa, and knew that these struggles must be won, so that Africa and the African people could develop their great potential. With his brilliant mind, his far-reaching education, his scholarly academic background, Dr. Du Bois was nevertheless a very much down-to-earth human being, with a delightful and ready wit, a keen and mischievous sense of humor, and enjoyed life to the full. I especially remember his gay spontaneous laughter.

2011 photo of centre named in honour of Dr. Du Bois in Accra, Ghana.

And I remember particularly a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at his home in Grace Court in Brooklyn about ten years ago. He had invited some guests from the United Nations, because he knew they had heard and read about Thanksgiving, but had no personal experience and understanding of this special American holiday. So this was as typical a Thanksgiving dinner and evening as he and his wife Shirley could make it, with the good Doctor a gay and witty host, explaining everything step by step -- from turkey and cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie and early American history. After the delicious dinner, over coffee and brandy before the log fire burning in the spacious living room fireplace, he spoke of Frederick Douglass, whose portrait hung over the mantel, and of his place in American history. That day is a happy and cherished memory.

I also remember so well the political campaigning of Dr. Du Bois when he was candidate of the American Labor Party of New York for the U .S. Senate. In the usual free-for-all scramble which American political campaigns involve, Dr. Du Bois always remained calm and dignified. He never descended to shrill attack or name-calling, but discussed the real issues with brilliant speeches in which he combined his keen intelligence and trenchant humor. All of us worried about how he, at the age of 82 and seemingly fragile, would withstand the grueling pace of the campaign. But Dr. Du Bois took care of his health as intelligently as he did everything else, and those who planned meetings at which he would speak knew that if he was scheduled for 10 p.m. for half-an-hour, then no matter what the unpredictable state of the meeting, at 10 o'clock precisely Dr. Du Bois would walk onto the platform, speak brilliantly for half-an-hour, rest a while, then go on his way.

The more Dr. Du Bois observed and understood world events, the more he recognized that peace was a prime issue in this nuclear age. And so, typically, he became associated with peace movements all over the world, and worked actively for peace. In 1949 he became Chairman of the Peace Information Center here in our country, and was later indicted, tried and acquitted for his leadership in work for peace.

W.E.B. Du Bois (right) and Paul Robeson (centre) at the World Peace Conference, Paris, 1949.

When Dr. Du Bois and Shirley came to London in 1958, we were living in a flat in Maida Vale. Soon after their arrival, Eslanda and I went to Moscow for a long visit and turned our flat over to the Du Boises. We were very happy when they told us they had enjoyed their stay there, and we had thus helped to make their London visit comfortable. After they left we felt we should put a plate on the door saying "Dr. Du Bois slept here."

Du Bois and Shirley at 1959 May Day parade
in Moscow.

My last memory of Dr. Du Bois is in London, in less happy circumstances, in 1962. The doctor, then 94 years old and very ill, had been brought to London for a very serious operation. He was tired and weak, and we worried about how he could stand the ordeal. I was ill in a London nursing home at the time, and felt very sad and helpless about the Doctor's condition. So that when my wife, who visited him regularly in the hospital, told me that he wanted very much to see me and had asked especially for me, I got up and went to London University Hospital and we spent some time together. Ill as he was, he told me about his work on the Encyclopedia Africana; we talked about the progress of the Negro revolt at home in America, about the power and influence of the Socialist world, about the marvelous coming-of-age of the African people.

I visited him once again in the hospital, and was delighted and greatly relieved to find him miraculously improving. This was in August 1962.

While I remained in the London nursing home, still ill, Dr. Du Bois recovered from his operation, got up and with Shirley traveled to Switzerland where he rested in the sun, went to Peking where they attended the October Celebration, on to Moscow where they attended the November Celebration, and back again to London in late November, where Dr. Du Bois visited me in the nursing home. He gave a fascinating account of his trip and experiences, which he had enjoyed immensely.

That was the last time I saw him. He and Shirley went on to Ghana where a marvelous welcome awaited them.

My cherished memories of Dr. Du Bois are his brilliant and practical mind, his intellectual courage and integrity, his awareness of the world and of our place in it -- which helped to make us all also aware. His fine influence on American thinking, and on Negro thinking will continue to be incalculable. We admired, respected, appreciated and followed him because he was clear and forthright, because he was militant with a fighting strength and courage based upon wide knowledge, great wisdom and experience. I remember too his deep kindness.

Dr. Du Bois was, and is in the truest sense an American leader, a Negro leader, a world leader.

(Originally published in Freedom Ways, 1st Quarter, 1965)

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