November 24, 2018 - No. 41

Matters of Concern to the Polity

Self-Serving Amendments to Canada Elections Act
Liberal Government's Defiance of Public Authority
and Right to Privacy

- Anna Di Carlo -

For Your Information
Excerpts from Testimony of Privacy Commissioner to the Standing Commission on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

42nd Session of Quebec National Assembly
Workers Must Issue a Stern Warning to the Government Against Making Quebec "Open for Business"
-  Pierre Chénier -
Bombardier Debacle Shows What It Means for
Quebec to Be "Open for Business"

- K.C. Adams -

BC Referendum on Electoral Reform
All Out to Get Out the Pro Rep Vote!
- Barbara Biley -
Youth Organizing to Support Proportional Representation
- Peter Ewart -

Trudeau Government's Continued Falsification of History
A Continuation of Harper's Campaign to Support Ukrainian Fascists
- Dougal MacDonald -

Discussion on U.S. Mid-Term Elections
The Pressing Need for People's Empowerment

Opposition to Imperialist War Preparations
Global Campaign to Close All U.S./NATO Bases
Unity Statement of Global Campaign
Women's March on the Pentagon

Cuba -- A Beacon of Dignity and Justice
Fidel Castro -- People's  Hero
Declaration from Cuban Public Health Ministry on
Medical Cooperation with Brazil

Centenary of End of World War I
Measures Against "Enemy Aliens" and "Subversives" in Canada
- Diane Johnston -

Self-Serving Amendments to Canada Elections Act

Liberal Government's Defiance of
Public Authority and Right to Privacy

Registered political parties in Canada are in a most privileged and unique situation. They are the only organizations authorized by law to receive a list of the names and addresses of almost every citizen 18 years of age or older in the country. The stipulation is that the information be used for fundraising and "electoral purposes" only -- a euphemism for micro-targeting electors to get their vote. It has nothing to do with raising the level of politics, enhancing democracy or empowering the people in any way.

The violation of the privacy of Canadians by the so-called major political parties as a result of their use of micro-targeting to influence electors to vote in a manner which favours them is extensive. Ever since the Robocall Scandal of the 2011 Federal Election, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and Elections Canada have been calling for political parties to be subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). In September 2018, privacy commissioners of every province and territory, along with the national commissioner, issued a statement calling for the same. According to Canada's Privacy Commissioner, Daniel Therrien, the most recent survey conducted by his office shows that 92 per cent of Canadians believe political parties should be subject to PIPEDA.

In 2014, when the Harper Conservative government was amending the Canada Elections Act, it rejected the recommendations of Elections Canada and the Privacy Commissioner. It did so even though its Constituent Information Management System (CIMS) database on electors was found to be the source of information which enabled the 2011 vote-suppressing robocalls. The Conservative Party claimed innocence on the matter, but it was only through access to CIMS and its identification of electors as non-Conservatives that they could be targeted with calls directing them to wrong or non-existent polling locations.

Despite this history, and the strong recommendations of the Privacy Commissioners at the provincial and federal levels, the Liberal government is standing firm in exempting political parties from privacy legislation. They pay no heed to the Privacy Commissioner, whose mandate is "to protect and promote privacy rights." The Commissioner is authorized and entrusted to report directly to Parliament and provide it with advice. In his Annual Report to Parliament for 2017-2018, tabled in September, Therrien particularly highlighted the unregulated use of personal data for political purposes. Referring to the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica matter which his office has investigated, Therrien says that it was "widely seen as a serious wake-up call that highlighted a growing crisis for privacy rights."

Therrien's report states: "With the Facebook matter, individuals must now confront the idea that personal information may be analyzed for far more insidious purposes than marketing. In this instance, the allegations are that our information was used to influence political opinions. What next? How else are we being manipulated?"

In September, as Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act, was still making its way through Parliament, Therrien's report once again informed Parliament that his office has drawn the Government's attention to the "lack of standards and oversight over personal information handling practices of political parties," and he criticized the Government's failure to address the problem. He stated that Bill C-76 "adds nothing of substance in terms of privacy protection. Rather than impose internationally recognized standards, the bill leaves it to parties to define the rules they want to apply. It does not impose independent oversight. On this and many other fronts, Canada's privacy legislation is sadly falling behind what is the norm in other countries."

Since his report in September, Therrien has continued to press for political parties to be brought under the privacy regulation regime and called for further strengthening of his powers. In his most recent appearance before the Senate on Bill C-76, Therrien conceded that it was too late to put further privacy regulations in place in time for the 2019 Federal Election. He nevertheless rejected the claims of the Liberal government that making political parties subject to PIPEDA would impede their ability to communicate with electors.

The Liberal government has come under considerable pressure to do more to protect the privacy of electors but refused. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould has even suggested that the ability of political parties to engage Canadians in political affairs -- which they in fact do not do in any case -- would be hampered if they were subject to PIPEDA. Why this would be the case, she has not said.

Evading the issue altogether she told the House of Commons Committee on Procedure and House Affairs: "I think that political parties do play an essential role in terms of engaging Canadians in the political process, and I think it would be worthwhile to understand how we could apply a privacy framework in a way that enables parties to continue to do that work and engage with Canadians, but also to ensure that we're doing more with regard to privacy." She said, "I would like to see a broader study of privacy in political parties. I think it's really important," and added that it requires a "deeper dive."

Meanwhile, the Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has been conducting a study into the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica privacy breach and has already issued a preliminary report which calls for political parties to be subject to privacy legislation.

The only thing Bill C-76 does in this regard is introduce a new requirement for federal political parties to publish their "policy for the protection of personal information," on their websites to acquire or maintain their official registration status with Elections Canada. Bill C-76 spells out the requirements for the policy. It must indicate:

- the types of personal information that the party collects and how it collects that information;

- how the party protects personal information under its control;

- how the party uses personal information under its control and under what circumstances that personal information may be sold to any person or entity;

- the training concerning the collection and use of personal information to be given to any employee of the party who could have access to personal information under the party's control;

- the party's practices concerning the collection and use of personal information created from online activity and its use of cookies, and

- the name and contact information of a person to whom concerns about "the protection of personal information can be addressed."

The law contains no provision for Elections Canada to approve or disapprove the content of the policy; the only requirement is that it be submitted to Elections Canada and address the issues listed.[1]

The Liberals are so adamantly against subjecting registered political parties to PIPEDA one really has to wonder why. The reasons are sure to be revealed sooner or later and they are sure to be both self-serving with respect to their hopes for re-election and serve private interests in the name of high ideals, not those of the polity.


1. Currently registered political parties must comply with the law on the day it comes into force which, depending on when Bill C-76 receives Royal Assent, will be in late May or early June. Any party that is in the process of applying for registration will have three months additional time. Political parties will be deregistered or not allowed to register if they fail to comply.

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For Your Information

Excerpts from Testimony of Privacy Commissioner
to the Standing Commission on Access
to Information, Privacy and Ethics

On November 1, Canada's Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien appeared before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics which is studying the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica Breach. His office is also investigating the matter and a preliminary report is expected to be released shortly. He told the Committee that "it is absolutely imperative for privacy laws to be applied to Canadian political parties."

The Committee issued its own preliminary report on the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica Breach in June of this year, entitled "Addressing Digital Privacy Vulnerabilities and Potential Threats to Canada's Democratic Electoral Process."

The report recommended that "the Government of Canada take measures to ensure that privacy legislation applies to political activities in Canada either by amending existing legislation or by enacting new legislation." Even though the majority of members on the Committee are Liberals, the Trudeau Government is not listening to it.

Below are excerpts from the Privacy Commissioner's prepared statement to the Committee.


Last week I attended the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Brussels. The conference confirmed what I explained in my last annual report: there is a crisis in the collection and processing of personal information online.

Even tech giants, attending the conference in person or through video, are recognizing that the status quo cannot continue. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook spoke of a "data industrial complex" and warned that: "Our own information, from the everyday to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency." He added: "This is surveillance."

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg admitted his company committed a "serious breach of trust" in the Cambridge Analytica matter. Both companies expressed support for a new U.S. law, similar to Europe's General Data Protection Regulation.

When the tech giants have become outspoken supporters of serious regulation, then you know that the ground has shifted and that we have reached a crisis point. Your committee clearly senses this ground shift and has supported our recommendations for legislative change.

The government, however, has been slow to act, putting at continued risk the trust Canadians have in the digital economy, in our democratic processes and other fundamental values.

Let's examine, for a moment, the impact of online platforms on privacy and the integrity of elections. As Canadian artificial intelligence researcher Yoshua Bengio recently said in Le Monde:

Our data fuels systems that learn how to make us press buttons to buy products or choose a candidate. Organizations that master these systems can influence people against their own interest, with grave consequences for democracy and humanity.

The only way to restore balance is to ensure that individuals are not left alone when interacting with businesses. What is the role of governments if not to protect individuals. Nothing prevents regulating against excess and the concentration of power in certain sectors. [...]

Recent investigations in various countries have demonstrated that political parties are harvesting significant amounts of personal information on voters and adopting new and intrusive targeting techniques. [...] Significantly, the UK office found that political parties are at the centre of these data collection and micro-targeting activities.

None of this is encouraging for voters; when we last polled Canadians on this issue, 92 per cent wanted political parties to be subject to privacy law. That's as close to unanimity that one can get in such polling.

In September, privacy commissioners from across Canada put forward a resolution calling on governments to ensure that political parties are subject to privacy law.

Academic experts, civil society and the Canadian public all agreed with this position; and so does the Chief Electoral Officer.

The government, on the other hand, maintains that while the application of privacy laws to political parties is an issue that deserves study, the next federal elections can take place without them.

Canadian political parties' lack of oversight is unfortunately becoming an exception compared to other countries, and it leaves Canadian elections open to the misuse of personal information and manipulation.

The bottom line is that without proper data regulation, there are important risks to a fair electoral process; and this applies to the next federal election in Canada.

[... ]

The time for industry and political party self-regulation is over. The government can delay no longer. Absent comprehensive reform, Parliament should ensure the application of meaningful privacy laws to political parties. It should also give my Office the same inspection and enforcement powers that most of Canada's trading partners enjoy. Individual privacy is not a right we simply trade-off for innovation, efficiency or commercial gain. No one has freely consented to having their personal information weaponized against them.

Similarly, we cannot allow Canadian democracy to be disrupted, nor can we permit our institutions to be undermined in a race to digitize everything and everyone, simply because technology makes this possible.

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42nd Session of Quebec National Assembly

Workers Must Issue a Stern Warning to the Government Against Making Quebec
"Open for Business"

The Quebec National Assembly elected at the October 1 general election opens on November 27. This first sitting will mark the beginning of the 1st Session of the 42nd Legislature of Quebec. It will deliberate for two weeks and then adjourn for the holidays.

The governing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) led by businessman François Legault says it is "the party of the economy," the party of a Quebec which is "open for business." A statement made by Minister of the Economy and Innovation Pierre Fitzgibbon after Bombardier's announcement of massive layoffs clearly indicates what this means. Despite the massive layoff of workers and the overall wrecking announced by Bombardier, that come on top of the scandal that company executives used public funds for themselves, he said the government is ready to inject new public funds into Bombardier. Without even bothering to investigate the reasons for the turmoil at Bombardier he is offering more funds.

There are indications that  the first sitting of the National Assembly may well be monopolized by the crisis at Bombardier. Furthermore, the National Assembly resumes its work in an atmosphere of scandal as Ethics Commissioner Ariane Mignolet has announced a possible conflict of interest involving the Minister of the Economy, who until recently was a director at Héroux-Devtek, a subcontractor of Bombardier. The Minister owns a block of Héroux-Devtek shares. The other parties with seats in the National Assembly are using the occasion to claim that the main issue facing the National Assembly is the lack of ethics and transparency.

The demand that the government act ethically and transparently diverts attention from the reality that governments pay the rich in every way possible and that the crucial decisions which affect the polity are always made secretly in the boardrooms of the monopolies. It works to divide the polity behind this or that political party, all of which form a cartel to keep the people out of power. If workers, out of disgust for all political parties, choose not to line up behind a party, they are invited to remain aloof. The alternative is for the working people to unite in action behind their own interests. On this basis, the crisis in which the economy and democracy are mired could be sorted out in a manner that favours the people, not the rich.

Quebec being "open for business" also means the destruction of social programs and public services through privatization and the environment through pay-the-rich schemes.

The workers are already in action against a Quebec which is "open for business," as can be seen by the struggle of the workers at the ABI aluminum smelter. The Alcoa/Rio Tinto cartel has kept them locked out for 11 months and refuses to negotiate a collective agreement acceptable to them and is doing everything to impose its dictate. Recently, Premier Legault travelled to Boston to negotiate export contracts for "surplus hydro power" with various New England states. Why does the government not renegotiate the hydroelectric contracts between itself, Hydro-Québec and Alcoa/Rio Tinto. Instead, under the current contract, the cartel is financing the lockout by declaring it a "force majeure," thereby freeing it of its obligation to pay for the block of hydroelectricity reserved for it. Why would ABI owners even want to negotiate with workers when it has government protection?

The working people must issue a stern warning to the government against making Quebec "open for business." Quebec requires a self-reliant economy, based on upholding the well-being and rights of all and on trade with others on the basis of mutual benefit.

Workers are entitled to demand that their rights and the rights of all be recognized, not the dictate of supranational private interests imposed on them by government executives, while the parties in the National Assembly seek to entangle them in the fraud of ethics and transparency.

(Chantier politique)

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Bombardier Debacle Shows What It Means
for Quebec to Be "Open for Business"

The U.S. warmongers of Boeing and the Pentagon have crushed Bombardier's Canadian commercial jet production. While doing so, they also seized Brazil's Embraer commercial jet production this past July. The anti-social pro-U.S. coup government of Brazil appears to have approved the Boeing takeover of Embraer. The former Brazilian governments of Presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff opposed the U.S. war profiteers gaining control of Embraer. However Rousseff was removed from office via a parliamentary coup in 2016 and Lula was unjustly imprisoned and blocked from running again for office this year. The foreign seizure of both Embraer and Bombardier's commercial jet sectors leaves Boeing and the Pentagon in face-to-face open combat for dominance with Airbus and its European backers.

The billions of dollars of Quebec and Canadian state money paid to Bombardier to keep commercial jet production afloat in Canada have been lost to the executives at the company and the U.S. and European warmongers who have seized control not only of production and markets but the advanced technology involved in design and materials.

In response to the debacle, the Montreal Gazette says Quebec politicians have declared once again with utmost cynicism that Quebec is "open for business" to the very forces that destroyed Bombardier. With no shame, they do "not rule out" paying more state money to those in control.

The Gazette reports that what is left of the "aerospace cluster in Quebec is of paramount importance, the [Quebec] economy minister says, and the government wants to 'avoid surprises.' The provincial government would be open to investing more in Bombardier, Quebec's economy minister said following a meeting with the company's president and CEO, Alain Bellemare," on November 16. Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation in the Coalition Avenir Québec government, according to the Gazette, went on to say, "I made it clear to Bellemare 'that would there be a requirement, would there be an opportunity, we would be open for business.'"

"Open for business" is neo-liberal code for pay-the-rich schemes and open season for oligopolies to do whatever suits their narrow private interests without regard for social responsibility.

Minister Fitzgibbon, in a pathetic response to the crisis of unemployment for thousands of threatened and laid-off aerospace workers, is quoted as saying, "'I'm as -- if not more -- confident' after meeting CEO Bellemare that 'workers will be able to find new jobs in the aerospace industry.'"

Confident of what exactly, Minister? More disasters, insecurity and running off with state money while destroying means of production. Are the people to believe that Bellemare is suddenly going to find new jobs when in the past few years all he has done is cut thousands? In the face of the U.S. and European oligarchs and the competition within the war industry, the aerospace industry requires CEOs and local politicians who are quite willing to compromise their conscience by not even demanding accountability of themselves. The destruction of Canada's commercial airline sector is not unexpected, nor is what happened to billions of dollars in state pay-the-rich schemes for Bombardier, and the scandalous personal amounts certain company executives have seized for themselves. The workers cannot expect cures from such gods of plague.

Adding fuel to the fire of reports that these same Bombardier executives have been cashing in their holdings in company stock since August 15, Quebec's securities regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers, is said to be "reviewing" a Bombardier program that allows certain senior executives to sell shares in the company -- which they essentially gave to themselves -- if they provided instructions in advance during periods when otherwise they would not be allowed to sell those shares.

It would be reasonable for the Bombardier workers to demand the government immediately seize those shares while it conducts a criminal investigation into this sordid affair.

The political representatives of the oligarchs in Quebec, Ontario and federally have proven themselves incapable of providing any direction for the economy in the face of this crisis. They refuse even to analyze why Bombardier's perfectly good commercial jet operation has been destroyed or investigate the role of the warmongers at Boeing, the Pentagon and Airbus in this nation-wrecking.

Quebeckers and Canadians across the land are sick and tired of oligarchs who profit from betrayal and wrecking and their representatives in government who never hold them or themselves to account. One expects parties with seats in the National Assembly and MLAs who claim to represent the people to raise concrete demands that those who have been paying the rich in this sordid affair answer for the direction they have set for the economy. The working people and their organizations must demand a new direction for the economy away from the dominance of U.S. imperialism and its war economy of violent global competition and destruction of anything that stands in the way of its fight for hegemony.

The working class has the clear outlook that governments are duty-bound to serve the well-being and security of the actual producers as a first priority. Such an economy must have the political authority, the backbone of which is the working people, to enforce social responsibility and deprive the global oligarchs of their power to wreck the people's nation-building projects, which has imposed on the entire world a war economy that threatens humanity's existence.

The elaboration of a new direction begins with holding to account all those who have been responsible for the Bombardier wrecking and other crimes.

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BC Referendum on Electoral Reform

All Out to Get Out the Pro Rep Vote!

Victoria, BC banner drop

Volunteers throughout BC are using the rest of the month to make the rounds of craft fairs, trade shows, street corners and seasonal events attended by large numbers of people to encourage voters to mail in their referendum ballots. The vast majority of volunteers are campaigning for a change to a form of proportional representation as a step in the direction of empowering voters to have a more meaningful say in the election process.

The forces leading the No side are campaigning to keep the current first-past-the-post system, and are found mainly online and through various media spokespersons and media reports on the claims of the No side. These focus on wild warnings of neo-Nazis coming to power and other mayhem ensuing if BC votes for proportional representation, a method of counting ballots and apportioning seats in the legislature which is used in most developed countries. What they are not discussing is the myriad of ways that first-past-the-post favours those with power and privilege and encourages corruption and greater and greater marginalization of the electorate. One of the most glaring features of this became apparent during recent federal elections.

The Harper Conservatives made no secret of the fact that in order to win power they did not need to win the support or the votes of the majority of the electors. No, what they needed was to target certain ridings and win a plurality in those ridings and voila, a "majority government," regardless of what percentage of the popular vote they received. It is hard to imagine a more cynical and contemptuous attitude towards the people.

In this era, the mainstream political parties are all part of a cartel system, vying with one another for power and copying and one-upping each other with micro-targeting and various other marketing methods to win selected ridings, not on the basis of winning support for a political plan and vision but on the basis of slick salesmanship. Proportional representation is not favoured by the cartel parties as it interferes with such schemes. Defeating the forces of the establishment by breaking the status quo will be an excellent first step on the road to democratic reform of our electoral system. Those who have worked so hard to achieve such a break will keep on discussing and working for further change.

What we have found in talking to neighbours, co-workers, friends and hundreds of people at big events is that reminding those who have not sent in their ballots to do so was appreciated, as was the information on the voting systems for those who still had questions. As time is running short there is also a need to inform people of what to do if they have not received a ballot or their ballot has been lost or destroyed, or if they are concerned about putting it in the mail too late to meet the deadline -- Elections BC must receive the ballot by 4:30 pm on November 30. Ballots can be dropped off in person at a Service BC or Referendum Service Office until November 30 (see list of offices here). Anyone can drop off ballots for others who are housebound or gather up the ballots for their coworkers or family members and drop them off.

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Youth Organizing to Support
Proportional Representation

Youth at Selkirk College in Nelson
promote PR.

One of the striking features of the current referendum in British Columbia on Proportional Representation (PR) has been the support among youth. For example, according to a November 20 poll, 53 per cent of youth between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely to vote for PR while only 22 per cent say they will likely vote for the existing first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system.

Indeed, many youth, along with planning to vote for PR, have also taken up organizing support for the new voting system on social media, as well as organizing numerous meetings, door-to-door and phone canvasses, leaflet distribution and other activities in communities. In this last week (the deadline for Elections BC to receive ballots is November 30), a special effort is being made by PR youth organizers to reach out to students at colleges and universities around the province, many of whom live away from home and may not have received their mail-in ballots.

To its great discredit, the No side and the monopoly media have engaged in a campaign of disinformation, fearmongering and outright lies with the aim of dissuading youth and other sectors of the population from supporting PR. Indeed, the main activity of the No side has been to utilize the monopoly media which, with very few exceptions, has been a bulwark of backwardness and disinformation. Instead of helping open up a path for youth, they have stood together to block it.

This is in stark contrast to the PR campaign which has featured a huge amount of grass roots organizing and mobilizing, with youth playing a prominent role. This buzz of activity reflects the striving of youth and other sectors of the population for empowerment and their desire to exercise more control over their lives and not be encumbered by antiquated voting structures like FPTP.

There are currently 3,246,647 registered voters in British Columbia. Of these, approximately 800,000 are voters 18 to 34 years of age, which represents a substantial cohort. This demographic has traditionally had the lowest election turn out. However, in the 2017 provincial election, the youth vote jumped to almost 52 per cent from the 45.1 per cent recorded in the previous election in 2013.

As of November 23, 980,000 mail-in ballots have been returned to Elections BC -- about 30 per cent of registered voters. This does not include ballots that have been received by Canada Post (where rotating strikes have been taking place) but not yet transferred to Elections BC. So, the number is expected to increase significantly as the deadline nears.

Whatever the final outcome of the PR referendum, younger voters will play a key role, laying the groundwork for further work to empower British Columbians. As Simka Marshall, Vote PR BC Field Director for the "Pro Rep is Lit" youth campaign, explains, "Our generation is not represented at the decision-making table -- and we want in. It's time to make our votes count."

(With files from Research Co. and The Nelson Daily.)

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Trudeau Government's Continued Falsification of History

A Continuation of Harper's Campaign to
Support Ukrainian Fascists

Celebration in Toronto, May 6, 2017, of the victory over fascism in Europe refutes anti-communist lies and recognizes the role of the Soviet Union in leading the world's people to victory.

Since its election in 2015, the Trudeau government has each November 25 issued an announcement regarding the so-called "man-made" Ukrainian Famine known as the "Holodomor." Every year the announcements repeat the same lies: that it was a systemic genocide committed by the Soviet government, that it killed millions through forced starvation, that it was an attempt to destroy the Ukrainian people, and that it is just one more example of suffering under communism. Also emphasized is that Ukrainians have contributed to Canada and that Canada supports the people of Ukraine and their government.

On November 16, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta held its own annual commemoration of the Holodomor. Then on November 19, a ceremony was held in the Legislature Rotunda to mark Alberta's Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day, which was legislated by the Conservative government in 2008 through Bill 37. The bill proclaimed the fourth Saturday of November each year Alberta's Day of Holodomor Remembrance. Other provinces have passed similar bills and now hold similar annual events.

The Holodomor, said to have taken place in Ukraine in 1932-33, is actually a fictitious "man-made famine." It was a myth concocted by the Hitlerite Nazis to discredit the Soviet Union and the great prestige the Soviet Union had amongst the world's peoples, and to justify aggression against it. The fact is that while there were difficult times in Ukraine, mainly due to the long imperialist invasion of Soviet Russia from 1918-22, which included Canadian troops, no "man-made famine" ever occurred.

The myth of the Holodomor has been deliberately revived and promoted in this period of retreat of revolution to cover up the crimes which the U.S. imperialists are committing in their striving to dominate the world, along with the Israeli Zionists and their backers in Europe and North America, which includes the government of Canada. The Harper government was the first in the world to "officially recognize" the "Holodomor" in 2008 and to falsely declare it to be an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

The Trudeau government has never withdrawn Harper's official recognition. The only other parliaments to have legislated "official recognition" of the Holodomor are Argentina, Austria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States. Estonia, Lithuania and Hungary, along with Ukraine itself, are states which are at the forefront of the neo-Nazi revival in Europe. In Poland's 2015 election, the far-right Law and Justice Party (PiS) won a parliamentary majority. Since taking office they have introduced a raft of laws that restrict human rights, while clamping down on institutions that speak against the party. The current Ukraine government includes a number of declared neo-Nazis. In July, an exhibition inside the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, glorified the leading Ukrainian Nazi collaborators of World War II.

National Propaganda Tour

The campaign to promote the Holodomor myth has accelerated over the years. Almost four years ago, on January 13, 2015, Stephen Harper announced that his government's Citizenship and Immigration Department, then run by Alberta's United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney, would give the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) and its allies almost $1.5 million to conduct a "Holodomor National Awareness Tour."

The "Holodomor National Awareness Tour" is a joint project of four reactionary organizations: the CUF, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre (UCRDC) and the Holodomor Research and Educational Consortium (HREC). One of the directors of CUF is Andrew Robinson, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine from 2001 to 2005, the period which included the U.S.-financed Orange "Revolution."

On February 22, Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament (Parkdale-High Park), announced on behalf of then Minister Mélanie Joly that the Trudeau government is providing more than $1.4 million to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation in support of the 2017-2020 Holodomor National Awareness Tour.

A customized forty-foot RV, with an interactive audio-visual technology centre on board, is now touring Canada, visiting schools, universities, government buildings and Ukrainian community and Canadian mainstream events, festivals and gatherings across the country. The campaign, which should be called the "Big Lie Tour" rather than an awareness tour, uses the technique perfected by the Nazis: repeating the lie of the Holodomor over and over again in hope Canadians will rally behind the resurgence of fascist forces in Ukraine and join the war propaganda against Russia.

Fabrication of the Anti-Communist Myth

Chicago American, part of the Hearst chain, promoting lie of the Ukrainian famine,
March 3, 1935. Click to enlarge.

It was the Hitlerite Nazis who created the famine myth in 1933 to discredit the Soviet Union, the enemy they most feared. The Nazis wrote front page stories in German newspapers, which were then taken up by the reactionary British press. One enthusiastic promoter of the story was Lord Rothermere, the owner of the London Daily Mail monopoly press. He was anti-Soviet, anti-communist, and anti-labour. A friend of Hitler and Mussolini and sympathetic to Oswald Mosley's British fascist party, Rothermere sent a number of congratulatory telegrams to Hitler before the invasion of Poland. On June 27, 1939, he wrote: "My Dear Fuhrer, I have watched with understanding and interest the progress of your great and superhuman work in regenerating your country."

In September 1934, multi-millionaire William Randolph Hearst, leading U.S. publisher of the "yellow press" and an open supporter of Nazism, met with Hitler and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in Berlin and signed a cash deal to promote a positive image of the Nazis in the U.S. The Hearst papers soon carried columns paid for by Adolf Hitler, Herman Goering and Benito Mussolini, and Hearst attended the huge 1934 Nazi Party Nuremberg rally, featured in Leni Riefenstahl's notorious Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will.

Hearst was virulently anti-Soviet, anti-communist, anti-labour and racist to the core. He hated minorities, particularly Mexicans, whom he portrayed as lazy, degenerate and violent. The Hearst "yellow press" sensationalized, exaggerated and even fabricated news stories, to try to push its reactionary agenda and to sell more newspapers. Egged on by the Hitlerites, Hearst's papers became the biggest propagandists for the Ukrainian famine myth, using fake photographs and printing lies that have been refuted by solid evidence over and over again.

Hearst's fraudulent famine campaign began on February 8, 1935 with a fabricated front-page headline in his Chicago American: "6 million people die of hunger in the Soviet Union." Using material supplied by Nazi Germany, Hearst began to publish lies about a genocide which was supposedly deliberately perpetrated by the Soviet leadership, causing several million to die of starvation in the Ukraine. What actually took place in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1930s was a major class struggle in which poor landless peasants rose up against the rich landowners, the kulaks, and began a struggle for collectivization of agriculture.

Soviet posters circa 1930. Left: “In our collective farm there is no room for priests and kulaks;”
Right: "We will keep out the kulaks."

The Hearst press articles falsely asserting that millions died of a man-made famine in the Ukraine were the origin of the larger myth alleging millions died in the Soviet Union. These myths were taken up by the CIA and Britain's MI5 and, in the post-war period, by the McCarthyite witch hunters, and by paid propagandists such as Stanford Professor Robert Conquest, a former MI5 agent. For decades, such slanders have spread a negative view of socialism in the Soviet Union.

In Canada, former Nazi collaborators and their spawn have long led the phony Holodomor campaign. After the Second World War, Canada became a haven for Ukrainians who had collaborated with the Nazis and killed their fellow citizens to serve Nazi aims. Once in Canada, and with the help of the Canadian state, these war criminals built reactionary domestic organizations (e.g., the Ukrainian Canadian Congress) which persist to this day. These organizations displaced already-established progressive Ukrainian organizations. Some collaborators achieved high positions, for example, Waffen SS member Petro Savaryn served as VP of the national PC Party and was Chancellor of the University of Alberta for four years.

Prime Minister Trudeau, and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland with Paul Grod (centre), President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Trudeau Government's Aim in Supporting Ukrainian Fascists

Nazis carry out mass killings in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, 1942.

Just like the Harperites, the Trudeau government is more and more revealing that it openly supports the most reactionary forces. The Holodomor Big Lie Campaign is just one example. Recent revelations exposed Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland's blatant cover-up of her grandfather's role as a Nazi collaborator in wartime Poland and Austria. This, in turn, has led both government ministers and many media pundits to expose themselves as apologists for the Nazi-fascist occupation of Europe during World War II and its collaborators.

In their eagerness to exonerate the foreign affairs minister for lying about her family history and presenting her Nazi-collaborator grandfather Michael Chomiak as a "victim of communism" and Russian aggression, some have gone as far as to justify Chomiak's actions and those of other participants in the genocide of the European Jews and other myriad atrocities as morally acceptable or even as making the best of a bad situation. Others say that from the relative peace today, no judgment can be cast on those who decided, for one reason or another, to aid the fascist enslavement of Europe.

To give more examples, during its burgeoning love affair with the Ukrainian reactionaries, the Trudeau government has never once officially denounced the fact that the Nazis exterminated over three million people in Ukraine. These horrendous crimes have disappeared into thin air. It is as if the Nazis were Canada's war-time ally, not the Soviet Union. In addition, no Canadian government has made official government announcements or created any memorial days or launched any national campaigns to honour those slaughtered by the Nazis in Ukraine and to denounce their murderers.

The Trudeau government has also remained silent about how the Canadian state allowed known Nazi war criminals, including those from the Ukraine, into Canada after the Second World War and then protected them from prosecution. This includes, for example, the 2,000 members of the Ukrainian-based Galicia Division -- denounced as a criminal organization at the Nuremberg Trials -- who came to Canada after the Second World War, even though they were members of the Nazi SS and fought for the Nazis against the Soviet Union and its allies, including Canada.

Heinrich Himmler inspecting Waffen-SS Galicia Division, June 3, 1944.

The Trudeau government is also continuing the Harperite project of funding a private, pro-Nazi, anti-communist monument to be built in downtown Ottawa, based on one already built in the U.S. This is totally in keeping with its systematic perpetuation of Nazi myths, such as the Holodomor. Instead of opposing Nazism, Trudeau and his ministers have made the Government of Canada an official supporter of it. The anti-communist monument project, which was supposed to be realized through private fundraising by the group Tribute to Liberty, has virtually no support, and would not have been able to proceed without the Harper government providing it with $1.5 million in public funds. Later, Tribute to Liberty also received funding from extremist anti-communist foreign governments and sources.[1]

Similarly, attempts to create a buzz with a design contest for the monument created the opposite reaction, with many decrying the proposed designs from an aesthetic and political point of view. Most recently, on November 9, Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, was joined by Ludwik Klimkowski, Chair of Tribute to Liberty, in a sod-turning ceremony at the planned site of the monument on the west side of the Garden of Provinces and Territories at the corner of Wellington and Bay Streets in Ottawa. Canadian Heritage reports, "Throughout fall 2018 and winter 2019, the project will move forward by completing plans and securing the permits and approvals required for site remediation, constructing the base for the memorial, and landscaping. In addition, Paul Raff Studio will begin preparations for the construction of the 'Arc of Memory,' the main sculptural piece of the memorial. The memorial is scheduled to be inaugurated in fall 2019."

Finally, while 131 countries voted in favour of the November 21, 2017, anti-Nazi resolution at the United Nations, Canada's UN representative shamefully abstained (in 2014, Canada even voted against the resolution). The U.S. and Ukraine (and Palau) were the only countries to oppose the 2017 resolution. This in itself speaks volumes about the fact that apologetics for the crimes the Nazis carried out before and during the Second World War are an integral part of the defence of liberal democracy by the Trudeau Liberals and all those who declare that any country which does not adhere to the liberal democratic values of a multi-party system, a free-market economy and imperialist conception of human rights is a rogue nation not fit to exist.

All these facts make it clear that the Trudeau government's support for the anti-communist, pro-Nazi Holodomor myth and Big Lie circus now travelling through Canada is no accident. The Trudeau government's promotion of the Holodomor myth is another attempt to rewrite history in order to peddle its self-serving imperialist conception of freedom, democracy, human rights and government of police powers. The aim of this, which must be vigorously opposed, is to join the U.S. imperialist chorus which has declared Russia an enemy and to disorient Canadians so that they cannot organize themselves to wage an effective defence of their right to conscience and lay the claims which they must to defend the rights of all.


1. "Trudeau Government's Support for Foreign Interference in Canadian Politics: Foreign Financing for the Anti-Communist Monument -- A Matter of Great Concern," TML Weekly, November 11, 2017.

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Discussion on U.S. Mid-Term Elections

The Pressing Need for People's Empowerment

There has been a lot of media coverage in Canada on the mid-term elections in the United States. Canadians, along with people in the U.S., have been inundated with data and materials focused on the vote -- how various sectors voted, "red" and "blue" waves, and so forth. All of it is used to divert from the pro-social and anti-war concerns of the people and, especially, their struggle for empowerment. This is done in part through efforts that deny the people form the majority and instead impose the notion that the role of the people is limited to voting. Problems like the need for the people to decide who the candidates will be and set the agenda on matters which relate to war and peace, inequality, poverty and the environment, are not to be examined.

Diversions are also created using the vote to divide the polity and focus discussion on the divisions rather than on empowerment and how to advance that fight. Further, the fact that the majority do not vote and that candidates are often elected with 25-30 per cent of those that do -- both indicators of the undemocratic nature of the current set-up -- is not to be examined. In this election, an estimated 49 per cent of eligible voters voted, about 116 million people. What about the other 51 per cent? Why is the system designed to ignore the majority of the people?

The problem facing the polity is its lack of political power and how to achieve it. The anachronistic undemocratic institutions, such as the Congress and the electoral process, are designed to exclude and marginalize the majority of the people. Both Democrats and Republicans are pro-war and anti-people. But the promotion of the "blue" Democrat wave is designed to convince people that this is not the case and there is reason to hope the Democrats will bring change. This pressure of the Old is especially significant at this time when working people across the United States are seriously questioning the direction in which the U.S. is headed. The slogans Not My President, Not My Democracy; Not in My Name, Not in My Community; No Crimes Against Humanity in My Community, are ringing forth nationwide. The people are fighting for the affirmation of rights and for relations based on peace and mutual benefit with the peoples of the world.

All the promotion about "red" and "blue" waves is designed to divert from this reality and undermine this consciousness. Similarly, the emphasis on the fact that more women were elected is being used to make sure no discussion takes place on what they stand for. The women elected include: two Native Americans for districts in New Mexico and Kansas; two Muslim women for districts in Minnesota and Michigan; a Puerto Rican in the Bronx in New York City; an African American in Massachusetts -- all elected to Congress; nineteen African American women elected as judges in Texas; and a Latina woman elected Governor of New Mexico, replacing another Latina woman.

No doubt among those elected are women who take stands, like Puerto Rican Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx, who issued a call to Abolish ICE -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and went to the border to confront Customs and Border Protection agents. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, a Palestinian, draped herself in a Palestinian flag at her victory speech and stood firm in defence of Palestine and the Right of Return during her campaign. She also supports Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage and abolishing ICE.

Exit Polling Used to Divide the People

Exit polling is commonly used to reinforce the notion that the only role for the people is voting. Thus the main issue to analyze after an election is how various voting "blocs" -- as the media refer to them -- voted. These "blocs" are divided into various categories, such as various minorities, men and women, college educated or not, and combinations of these. This data is increasingly used both to divide and blame particular segments of the population for election results. Supposedly white workers are to blame for Trump's election, while African American and white college-educated women are the reason for gains by Democrats in this election. The role of Latins has also been highlighted.

This very limited polling data is used to make broad generalizations about the population -- college educated white women and white workers vote in a particular way -- and how they vote is supposed to represent their overall stands and concerns as human beings. And, of course, the largest single voting bloc -- those who do not vote -- are not counted at all. Nor are those who vote for parties and candidates other than the Democrats and Republicans, who apparently do not exist!

The exit polling is done by the National Election Pool (NEP), a consortium of monopoly news organizations (CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox and AP). It was formed in 2003, replacing the Voter News Service which failed disastrously in predicting the 2002 election results. The poll surveys only a small sample of voters across the country and is regularly found to be inaccurate and unrepresentative (such as in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, etc.). About 50 to 60 per cent of those asked refuse to participate. This is especially true of the most oppressed sections of the people and the younger generation. In addition, absentee voting, early voting, and all-mail elections in a few states (Oregon, Washington and Colorado) impact the data. In 2016, only 60 per cent of voters reported voting in person on Election Day, according to the Census Bureau; 21 per cent said they had cast ballots by mail, and 19 per cent said they had voted early in person.

Certainly the data reported is not designed to assist the polity to unite and work together to solve the problems the country faces. Far from it, it is used to promote false divisions and false conclusions about what various collectives of the people stand for. Everyone is to accept the perspective of the rulers that a vote represents the individual, or the "blocs" named, when this is not the case. Rather than look at the common stands of the large majority -- which are anti-war and pro-social -- and whether those stands are in any way represented in governance, the people are to accept these false divisions and debate them.

The entire effort ensures that the actual electoral set up, which deprives the people of power, is ignored. So too with polling and its promotion which is a mechanism to disinform the polity. The aim is to undermine the struggle for a modern democracy where the people are able to take the decisions which affect their lives. Despite this, all over the United States, the people are fighting for their rights and the rights of all. The end result of this fight will be the creation of institutions which represent the people and what they stand for.

(With files from Voice of Revolution.)

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Opposition to Imperialist War Preparations

Global Campaign to Close All U.S./NATO Bases

Protest organized at Dublin Post Office, November 16, 2018, as part of first International Conference against U.S./NATO Military Bases.

The first International Conference against U.S./NATO Military Bases was held November 16-18 at the Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland. The conference was attended by close to 300 participants from over 35 countries around the world. Speakers representing countries from all continents, including Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, Palestine, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Japan and Australia, made presentations at the conference.

This conference was the first organized effort by the newly formed Global Campaign Against U.S./NATO Military Bases, created by over 35 peace, justice and environmental organizations and endorsed by over 700 other organizations and activists from around the world. What brought all of us together in this International Conference was our agreement with the principles outlined in the Global Campaign's Unity Statement, which was endorsed by the Conference participants (see below).

The participants in the Conference heard from and shared with representatives of organizations and movements struggling for the abolition of foreign military bases around the world about the aggressions, interventions, death, destruction, and the health and environmental damages that the military bases have been causing for all of humanity, along with the threats and violation of the sovereignty of the "host" countries.

Opening session of International Conference, November 16, 2018, in Dublin.

The participants and organizers of the conference agreed as a matter of principle that while they oppose all foreign military bases, they consider the close to 1,000 U.S./NATO military bases established throughout the world, which constitute the main pillars of global imperialist domination by the U.S., NATO and European Union (EU) states, as the main threat to peace and humanity, which must all be closed. The NATO states' military bases are the military expression of imperialist intervention in the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant, financial, political, and military interests, for the control of energy resources, transport roads, markets and spheres of influence, in clear violation of international law and the United Nations Charter.

The participants in the Conference call upon the organizations and movements who agree on the above to work closely with each other in a coordinated manner as a part of the Global Campaign to organize and mobilize the public around the world against U.S./NATO military bases.

While we call for the closure of all U.S./NATO military bases, we consider the closure of bases and military installations in certain countries and areas as needing special attention by the international movement. These, for example, include the U.S. Guantánamo base in Cuba, the U.S. bases in Okinawa and South Korea, the U.S. Base in Rammstein/Germany, Serbia, the old and new U.S./NATO bases in Greece and Cyprus, the establishment of the new U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) with its affiliated military bases in Africa, the numerous NATO bases in Italy and Scandinavia, the Shannon airport in Ireland, which is being used as a military base by the U.S. and NATO, and the bases newly established by the United States, France and their allies on and around Syrian soil.

In order to continue our joint Global Campaign in solidarity with the just causes of the peoples in their struggle against foreign military aggression, occupation and interference in their internal affairs, and the devastating environmental and health impacts of these bases, the participants agreed to recommend and to support coordinated actions and initiatives in the coming year (2019) that shall strengthen the global movement and expand the actions and cooperation as it moves forward. As a step toward this goal, the conference supports the global mass mobilizations against NATO's 70th anniversary Summit in Washington DC, on April 4, 2019 and respective protests in the NATO member states and worldwide.

We declare our solidarity with the Cuban people's decades-long efforts to take back their Guantánamo territory, illegally occupied by the United States, and declare our support for the Sixth International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, organized by MOVPAZ for May 4-6, 2019, in Guantánamo, Cuba.

The participants express their most sincere thanks and gratitude to the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) Ireland, for their generous hospitality and support in hosting this historic Conference.

(Dublin, Ireland, November 18, 2018)

(Photos: E. Davison, A.O. Snodaigh, L. Wirl)

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Unity Statement of Global Campaign

We, the undersigned peace, justice and environmental organizations and individuals from around the world, endorse the following Statement of Unity and commit ourselves to working together in a broad-based international campaign to organize an International Conference Against all U.S./NATO Military Bases, with the goal of raising public awareness and organizing non-violent mass resistance throughout the world against all U.S., North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU) military bases, and their military missions around the world.

While we may have our differences on other issues, we all agree that U.S./NATO military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and primary causes of devastating environmental and health impacts through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of the U.S./NATO military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Our belief in the urgency of this necessary step is based on the following facts:

- While we are opposed to all foreign military bases, we do recognize that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1,000 (95 per cent of all foreign military bases in the world). Presently, there are U.S. military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran.

- In addition, the United States alone has 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft -- each of which can be considered a floating military base.

- These bases are centres of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation.

- The annual cost of these bases to U.S. taxpayers alone is approximately $156 billion. The cost of these military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our countries to provide necessary services for the people.

- NATO, as the armed wing of the United Sates and the European Union, is expanding further to the east to safeguard its control of energy resources and pipelines, spheres of influence and markets for the sake of big capital and the transnational corporations. The European Union, in particular, is advancing alone and/or with NATO to further its militarization with the Permanent Structural Cooperation (PESCO) and its powerful EU army.

- All governments of the member states of NATO bear direct individual responsibility for NATO's aggressive policies, and the increase of their military budgets to two per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while their people are suffering under severe austerity measures and the economic crisis caused by their militaristic policies.

- All of this has pushed the world toward ever-increasing militarization, and to ever-deepening antagonism between the U.S. and its NATO allies, on the one hand, and the rest of the world, on the other. Stationed throughout the world, almost 1,000 in number, U.S./NATO military bases are symbols of the ability of the United States to intrude in the lives of sovereign nations and peoples.

- Many individual national movements -- for example, in Okinawa, Italy, Jeju Island Korea, Diego Garcia, Cyprus, Greece, Serbia, Spain, Ghana, Czech Republic and Germany -- are demanding closure of the U.S./NATO bases on their territory. The base that the U.S. has illegally occupied the longest, for over a century, is Guantánamo Bay, whose existence constitutes a violation of International Law and the Cuban people's right to sovereignty. Since 1959 the government and people of Cuba have demanded that the government of the United States return the Guantánamo territory to Cuba.

The NATO states' military bases in other countries are NOT in defence of their national, or global security. They are the military expression of imperialist intrusion in the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite. Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to those of their peoples.

We express our solidarity with the just causes of the peoples in their struggle against foreign military aggression, occupation and interference in their internal affairs, and their devastating environmental and health impacts, and for a world of real peace and social and environmental justice.

We must all unite to actively oppose the existence of all U.S./NATO military bases on foreign soil and call for their immediate closure. We invite all forces of peace, social and environmental justice to join us in our renewed global effort to achieve this shared goal.

(Photos: Nation of Change, H. Otake)

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Women's March on the Pentagon

The Women's March on the Pentagon brought together more than 1,000 women from across the U.S. to demand an end to U.S. wars and to defend rights abroad and at home. The two-day event included workshops on Saturday, October 20 and a march on the Pentagon on Sunday, October 21. Workshops were held on organizing independent media and what is necessary for that; songs of resistance -- present and past -- and working together to further develop the cultural front; and on women's self-defence and organizing in communities to defend rights.

The U.S. war against Yemen, using Saudi Arabia as its agent, was also addressed. Discussion brought out that the main reasons for attacking a small country like Yemen are its determined history of resistance, organizing to chart its own path alongside its firm support for Palestine. Dozens of people participated, including some veterans of the 1967 March on the Pentagon.

Also on October 21, a diverse crowd of mainly women, including many youth and veterans and organizations active on various fronts, gathered to march and rally. The march started from a nearby metro train stop and continued for more than an hour to the Pentagon.

The spirit was militant, with chants and songs demanding Troops Home Now! Not Tomorrow! Participants were united in their demands to end U.S. wars and to not rely on politicians of the rich, who sustain a war government and fund a war economy. The action served to put the issue of war and peace on the mid-term election agenda, while bringing to the fore the interest of the broad majority in standing against the war machine and developing a democracy where their anti-war stand is implemented.

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Cuba -- A Beacon of Dignity and Justice

Fidel Castro -- People's Hero

This November 25 marks two years since the death of Fidel Castro, the legendary leader of the revolutionary Cuban people, a hero to and collaborator with peoples the world over striving to affirm human rights and dignity. Across Cuba and around the world, activities are being held to commemorate the life of Comrade Fidel.

On this occasion, TML Weekly sends its warmest greetings to the Cuban people and their leadership, with unconditional support for Cuba's defence of its sovereignty and right to be and with full confidence in the striving of the Cuban people to renew their Revolution according to the needs of the times.

The unconquerable spirit that Fidel epitomized lives on today in the Cuban people, who have declared Somos Fidel! (We Are Fidel!). Cuba has weathered the great loss of Fidel amidst increasing hostility from the U.S. The generations born into the Cuban Revolution are defending and carrying forward Cuba's socialist nation-building project. Cuba's dignity and steadfast fulfilment of its social responsibility to the peoples of the region and the world through its outstanding internationalism and as a force for peace and progress are undiminished. Cuba's defence of principle ensures that it cannot be isolated, for example this year where Cuba's just stand once again prevailed in the 27th consecutive vote at the UN against the U.S. blockade. Meanwhile the U.S., and its hegemony and dictate of might makes right, is more isolated than ever.

Fidel's outstanding leadership of the Cuban people has enabled them to collectively realize the all-sided flourishing of the human person and continues to unleash great resourcefulness and creativity for this aim, both at home and abroad. In this way, Fidel, who refused to be memorialized with grand tributes or monuments, will live on in the people's hearts, minds and deeds to realize the new human-centred society.

On February 24, 2008, when Fidel completed his final term as Cuban President, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz noted in his keynote address to close the Constituent Session of the 7th Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power:

"Fidel is Fidel; we all know it very well. Fidel is irreplaceable and the people shall continue his work when he is no longer physically with us; his ideas will always be with us, the same ideas that have made it possible to build the beacon of dignity and justice our country represents."

¡Hasta la Victoria Siempre, Comandante!

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Declaration from Cuban Public Health Ministry
on Medical Cooperation with Brazil

Jair Bolsonaro, president-elect of Brazil, who has made direct, contemptuous and threatening comments against the presence of our doctors, has declared and reiterated that he will modify the terms and conditions of the More Doctors program, disregarding the Pan-American Health Organization and the agreement reached by that organization with Cuba.

The Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, committed to the solidarity and humanist principles that have guided Cuba's medical cooperation for 55 years, has been participating in Brazil's More Doctors program since its inception in August of 2013. This initiative launched by Dilma Rousseff, who was at that time the president of the Federal Republic of Brazil, pursued the noble purpose of guaranteeing medical assistance to the majority of the Brazilian people, following the principle of universal health coverage promoted by the World Health Organization.

Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff marks the second anniversary of the More Doctors program with Cuban doctors, August 2015. 

The program planned the inclusion of Brazilian and foreign doctors who worked in poor and remote areas of the country.

Cuba's participation in this program was arranged through the Pan-American Health Organization with one distinctive feature: it was intended to fill the vacancies left by doctors from Brazil and other foreign nations.

During these five years of work, some 20,000 Cuban collaborators have assisted 113,359,000 patients in more than 3,600 municipalities. They were able to provide health coverage to a vast 60 million Brazilians, when they accounted for 80 per cent of all the doctors who were taking part in the program. More than 700 municipalities were able to have a doctor for the first time ever.

The work of Cuban doctors in areas of extreme poverty, in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia, and the 34 Special Indigenous Districts, particularly in Amazonia, was widely recognized by federal, state, and municipal governments of that country and its population, 95 per cent of which expressed their acceptance, according to a survey carried out by the Federal University of Minas Gerais at the request of the Ministry of Health of Brazil.

On September 27, 2016, the Ministry of Public Health, in an official statement issued close to the expiration date of the agreement and amidst the events associated with the legislative and judicial coup d'état against President Dilma Rousseff, announced that Cuba "would continue to honour its agreement with the Pan-American Health Organization for the implementation of the More Doctors program, provided that the guarantees offered by local authorities were maintained," something that has been so far respected.

President-elect of Brazil Bolsonaro, has questioned the qualification of our doctors and has made their remaining in the program conditional on validating their credentials and has established that contracts will only be signed on an individual basis.

"Less Doctors with Bolsonaro!"

The announced modifications impose conditions that are unacceptable and fail to ensure the guarantees previously agreed upon since the beginning of the program, which were ratified in 2016 with the re-negotiation of the Terms of Cooperation between the Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Brazil and the Cooperation Agreement between the Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba. These unacceptable conditions make it impossible to maintain the presence of Cuban professionals in the program.

Consequently, in light of this unfortunate reality, Cuba's Ministry of Public Health has decided to discontinue its participation in the More Doctors program and has so informed the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization and the political leaders of Brazil who founded and defended this initiative.

The decision to bring into question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of Cuban cooperation workers who, with the support of their families, are currently offering their services in 67 countries is unacceptable. During the last 55 years, a total of 600,000 internationalist missions have been accomplished in 164 nations, with the participation of 400,000 health workers who, in quite a few cases, have fulfilled this honorable task more than once. Their feats in the struggle against the Ebola virus in Africa, blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean, and cholera in Haiti as well as the participation of 26 brigades of the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Great Epidemics in Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela, among other countries, are worthy of praise.

In the overwhelming majority of the missions that have been accomplished, all expenses have been covered by the Cuban government.

Likewise, 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained in Cuba at absolutely no cost as an expression of our solidarity and internationalist vocation.

All Cuban cooperation workers have maintained their posts and their full salary in Cuba, together with all due labour and social benefits, just like the rest of the workers in the National Health System.

The experience of the More Doctors program for Brazil and Cuba's participation in it show that it is indeed possible to structure a South-South Cooperation Program under the auspices of the Pan-American Health Organization in order to promote the achievement of its goals in our region. The United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization have described it as the main example of good practices in triangular cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The peoples from Our America and from all over the world know that they will always be able to count on the solidarity and humanistic vocation of our professionals.

The Brazilian people, who turned the More Doctors program into a social achievement and, from the very beginning, have trusted Cuban doctors, recognized their virtues and appreciated the respect, sensitivity and professionalism with which they have assisted them, will understand who are to be held responsible for our doctors not being able to continue offering their fraternal contribution in that country.

Havana, November 14, 2018.

(Granma. Edited slightly for style and clarity by TML.)

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Centenary of End of World War I

Measures Against "Enemy Aliens" and
"Subversives" in Canada

Christmas 1916 at internment camp for "enemy aliens."

The First World War took place at a time Canada was still under the direct rule of the Imperial Parliament. Citizenship had not yet been defined but anything in conformity with Victorian values of empire-building was considered patriotic and anything socialist or in favour of the rights of the working class was considered unpatriotic, nay more, treasonous.

With the outbreak of the First World War on August 2, 1914, the Borden government began developing a set of national security guidelines, a process that involved British experts associated with the Committee on Imperial Defence. On August 7, 1914, it issued a proclamation declaring that a state of war existed and that any persons who were assisting the enemy -- "enemy aliens" -- would be apprehended and incarcerated. On August 15, at the behest of the British government, another Cabinet proclamation prohibited the exit from Canada of German and Austro-Hungarian military reservists, while guaranteeing the so-called civilian enemy alien population freedom from unwarranted arrest and harassment. "Enemy aliens" in the country included 393,320 persons of German origin, 129,103 from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 3,880 from the Turkish Empire, and several thousand from Bulgaria.

The definition of "enemy aliens" was entirely based on criteria favourable to the British empire against its imperialist rivals with no quarter given to anyone who was not from an English background and British imperialist culture. This was also a time when people of Indigenous origin were considered to be non-persons, people hailing from India, Japan and China were still categorized as "undesirables" and those of southern European and Slav origin were treated with contempt, along with all those who spoke Yiddish. Communists were to be interned and deported whether they were born in this country or not.

Canada's national security programs against "enemy aliens" were first outlined in the War Measures Act, that received royal assent on August 22, 1914. This sweeping legislation established a number of regulations concerning the internment of "potential subversives," some of whom were citizens.

Aspects of the War Measures Act involving "enemy aliens" included orders-in-council of August and September 1914. These prohibited enemy aliens from possessing firearms, communicating information that could aid the enemy, along with the warning that any hostile act in contravention of the War Measures Act could result in arrest and internment. On October 28, 1914, a system of police and military registration was established under the auspices of the Department of Justice, with the actual administration of the system being entrusted to the Dominion Police and the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. In addition, plans were made to deal with the alleged threat that German-American communities of several U.S. cities might launch cross-border attacks, because of the steady flow of migrant labourers across a virtually un-patrolled border. Many of these workers were viewed as potential enemy saboteurs, or members of radical trade unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World, the U.S. based syndicalist organization which had been involved in a number of bitter railway and mining strikes in western Canada between 1910 and 1914.

Throughout the war, Ottawa also attempted to establish a censorship system over newspapers, international cables and wireless transmissions, and even the evolving motion picture industry.

On June 10, 1915 the Press Censorship Branch was created for the monitoring of approximately 1,490 publications in Canada. There was limited tolerance of enemy alien newspapers, particularly those serving immigrant communities in western Canada and northern Ontario. By the end of the war, the Chief Censor's Branch had closed down or excluded 126 foreign-language papers: fifty-six German, twenty-seven Russian, twenty Ukrainian, sixteen Finnish, and eight Yiddish.

Internment infrastructure was established in October 1914. While dependent upon the Department of Militia for prison guards and logistical support, administratively the internment directorate operated under the Department of Justice, which supervised the actual registration of enemy aliens.

By 1917, the actual numbers of incarcerated enemy aliens were reduced by 75 per cent through camp consolidation, and the work parole system.

By the fall of 1918, with the decision to send Canadian troops to Siberia to invade Soviet Russia, the Borden government also decided to commission its own internal security investigation. During the course of the inquiry, information was solicited from businessmen, "respectable" labour leaders, police officials in both Canada and the U.S., as well as from various members of the anti-socialist immigrant community in Canada.

Hands Off Russia meeting in Victoria in 1918, opposed sending Canadian troops to Russia.

The Commission's report was submitted to Cabinet in September 1918 and was the basis for a series of coercive measures: the foreign-language press was suppressed, and fourteen socialist and anarchist organizations were outlawed. Penalties for possession of prohibited literature, and continued membership in any of these outlawed organizations included fines of up to $5,000 or a maximum prison term of five years.

At the end of the war, all but three of Canada's 24 internment camps had closed. Amherst (Nova Scotia), Kapuskasing (northern Ontario) and Vernon (British Columbia) were still in operation. Many of the 2,000 "hard core" internees were scheduled for deportation, being so-called Bolshevik aliens who had been arrested because of their involvement with industrial conflicts.

In February 1919, federal officials endorsed the Manitoba government's decision to establish the Alien Investigation Board, with powers to detain and deport dangerous foreigners, despite its constitutional illegality.

Scene from Winnipeg General Strike, June 6, 1919.

The Winnipeg General Strike (May 15-June 28, 1919) resulted in close cooperation between security forces and the local political elite, and attempts to use immigration legislation to deport not only alien agitators but also British-born radicals. Section 41 of the Immigration Act was amended in June 1919, to greatly expand the definition of seditious behaviour to include those who advocate "the unlawful destruction of property ... or attempt to create a riot or public disorder in Canada, or who are a member of or affiliated with any organization entertaining or teaching disbelief in or opposition to organized government." A violent confrontation broke out on June 21, between the strikers and the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, in which scores were injured and two killed. On July 1, a series of raids was carried out across the country at the homes of known "alien" agitators and the offices of radical organizations. Many of those arrested were denied the formal deportation proceedings specified by section 41; instead they were sent to the internment camp at Kapuskasing for "safe keeping," and were subsequently deported in secret, despite any credible evidence that they were guilty of subversion or illegal activities of any kind.

In its attempts to remove the approximately 200 "anarchists and revolutionaries" rounded up in 1919, the Immigration Branch worked very closely with U.S. immigration authorities, who were busy planning their own expulsion of "Reds" after the Palmer Raids, a series of raids conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson to capture and arrest suspected radicals, mostly Italian and Eastern European immigrants -- especially anarchists and communists -- and deport them from the United States. This cooperation was indicative of the links being forged between Canadian, American and British security agencies towards the formation of organized communist parties in all three countries. An essential component of this tripartite system was the lists of undesirable immigrants and known Communists that were regularly transmitted between Ottawa, London and Washington.

(Donald H. Avery, Internment (Canada), 1914-1918 International Encyclopedia of the First World War;  IWW History Project, IWW Strikes, 1905-1920; Wikipedia, Palmer Raids)

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