TML Monthly

No. 10

October 10, 2021


Results of the 44th General Election

Wasteful Pandemic Election Solves
No Problem Whatsoever

- Dougal MacDonald -

Trudeau's "Gamble"

- Pauline Easton -

Show of Contempt for the Polity

- Margaret Villamizar -

Dangerous War Preparations

• Oppose Attempts to Embroil Canada in U.S.
Ballistic Missile Defence

- K.C. Adams -

Calls for U.S. Homeland Security to Help Curb
Gun Violence in Quebec

Using Fire to Fight Fire Could Backfire

- Geneviève Royer -

United States

International Tribunal on U.S. Human Rights Violations

Nationwide Actions Stand as One for Women's Rights

U.S. Supreme Court Undermines Its Own Rules

Opposition to Illegal and Cruel Treatment of Haitian Refugees

- Diane Johnston -

• Fraud of the Debt Ceiling Debate

- Kathleen Chandler -

No to U.S. Terrorism and Aggression Against Cuba! Celebrate Cuba's Contributions to Humanity's Well-Being!

People's Peace Prize Awarded to Cuba's
International Medical Brigade

Cuban Independence Day, October 10

45th Anniversary of U.S.-Backed Terrorist Attack on Air Cubana Flight 455, October 6, 1976

Building Unity in the Diversity of Our America

• Successful 6th Summit of Community of Latin American
and Caribbean States

Solidarity with the People of the Philippines

Vigil Honours Victims and Survivors of Marcos Dictatorship by Calling for Ouster of Duterte Regime

End Canada's Support for Duterte Regime and
Abuses of Human Rights

- Steve Rutchinski -

Results of the 44th General Election

Wasteful Pandemic Election Solves
No Problem Whatsoever

Confirming the majority consensus of the people of Canada, the $610 million 44th federal election was an expensive waste of time that changed nothing. The Liberal government called the election during the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far killed 28,000 Canadians (after promising not to), hoping to change their minority government into a majority. But their campaign backfired. The representation of the different parties in Parliament remains essentially the same following the election and many are angry that the election was held.

There are 338 seats in Parliament. Prior to the election the Liberals occupied 155 seats, Conservatives 119, Bloc Québécois 32, NDP 24, Green Party 2, and Independents 5, with one seat vacant. Results of the 2021 election as of October 8, with recounts still underway in two ridings, reveal that the Liberals won 160 seats, Conservatives 119, Bloc Québécois 32, NDP 25, Green Party 2, and Independents 0. In other words, another minority Liberal government and a distribution of seats very similar to the previous election. One wit called the election a $610 million cabinet shuffle.

The election reinforced that democratic renewal is a critical need. The lack of democracy was shameful. For example, as has been the case for many years, an arbitrary "official" decision was enforced that treated the political parties who participated in the election as either "major" or "fringe." This meant that although 22 registered political parties ran candidates in the election, only five were invited to take part in "official" debates and forums organized by the "Leaders' Debate Commission" that Trudeau created in 2018. The other 17 small parties were ignored or belittled. All this goes totally against the notion of an informed public participating in a fair election.

The 44th general election also continued the "first-past-the-post" election system where voters cast their vote for a candidate of their choice, and the candidate receiving the most votes wins the seat. But the percentage of the popular vote that any Party gets is not reflected in the percentage of seats it gets. In addition, those who do not support the winning candidate are not represented in government.

In June 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau vowed that the 2015 federal election would be the last conducted under the first-past-the-post system, implying that a new system of proportional representation (PR) would replace it. PR means that seats are allocated to parties based on the proportion of votes received, which would be an improvement. In February 2017, Trudeau walked away from his June 2015 commitment.

During the recent election, the working people were as usual treated as spectators and voting cattle. Their only role was to "pick a side." So "democracy" means that everyone makes their one vote once every few years and then exercises no control whatsoever over what the cartel parties do, say or decide.

Even the members of the cartel parties are thoroughly disenfranchised and have no say whatsoever as concerns candidate selection or decision-making. Their candidates and MPs are similarly powerless. Disinformation pervades the media. The sum total is that the people concerned have no say whatsoever over what is happening.

Some of the nonsense which the cartel party leaders have spoken "on the campaign trail" is mind-boggling. They concoct "issues" according to what their campaign handlers think will get them votes and declare the huge sums of money they will spend "fixing" things, as if the real world and real people do not exist. They launch personal attacks on opponents which accomplish nothing. Meanwhile self-appointed pundits and pollsters tell everybody what to think, both before and after the election. All this underscores once again the importance of the working people speaking in their own name to make sure things are turned around in their favour in the coming period.

Alberta premier Jason Kenney played a negative role throughout the election. His negligence in handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed it to overwhelm Alberta's health care system undermined the Conservative campaign. Support for the Conservatives in Alberta was down about 14 per cent. The Liberals regained a seat in Calgary and one in Edmonton, and the NDP won a second seat in Edmonton. It is very likely that Kenney, who literally disappeared during the campaign, will be the target of pointing fingers as the Conservatives look for someone to blame for their lack of political gains. Not only is Kenney Canada's least popular premier but the knives are out for him within his own party. 

The idea that working people have a real choice between one party and another through elections has been repeatedly debunked. Many have pointed out that since Confederation only two parties have ever formed the government and that their policies serve and are bankrolled by private corporate interests. The people want the power to solve real problems, not to just keep electing governments that pay the rich.

It is important that post-election we do not become passive but constantly affirm the right to speak in our own name, empowering ourselves at every step by taking stands which are to our advantage within the situation. This is how we can fight for our right to actively participate in making the important decisions affecting our lives.

Now that the election is over and the Liberals remain in a minority position, stepping up our own work in our own collectives such as our workplaces, educational institutions, and seniors' residences is a very good place to start turning things around.

During the phony insolvency proceedings at Stelco from 2003 to 2006, and for many years following, the workers of United Steelworkers Local 1005 in Hamilton held two-to-three-hour weekly "Thursday meetings" where they informed themselves and then discussed the issues facing them and what to do about them. That is the kind of democracy where people can speak in their own names, participate in arriving at decisions and exercise control over their implementation and the results achieved. The workers were able to stand as one and feel confident in the bold path they had chosen.

Another example of democracy worthy of the name is for citizens and residents, not political parties, to choose their candidates from among those who are already actively solving the people's problems.

In sum, our overall aim now must be to actively participate in building a new Canada that is run by the working people and their allies and serves the people's interests. It can be done. It must be done.

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Trudeau's "Gamble"

The prediction of Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party strategists that he could win a majority government by holding the election in September, and his own opportunism and arrogance in agreeing to call the pandemic election, causes many to question the Liberals' narcissism and lack of good judgement.

The fact is that the ruling class's powers of prediction are zero and have been zero for some time. Polls are more often than not wrong and many people wonder why. They have been wrong so often that in this election pollsters often included the caveat that "if the poll results are accurate," then this or that can be expected.

A caveat is a proviso, as in "there are a number of caveats which concern the validity of the assessment results." In other words, don't hold us to anything we say.

The reason predictions escape the ruling class, including its intelligence agencies, is because the rules and standards which determined how a two-party system of government would function no longer exist. Since 1993, the equilibrium in the Parliament is a thing of the past. No longer can it be claimed that Canadians are represented by either the party in power or the party in opposition and that by electing one or removing another they can hold these parties to account.

When the Liberals and Conservatives, supported by other parties, embroiled Canada in "free trade" on the basis of making Canadian monopolies number one on the world market, nation-wrecking and the anti-social agenda became the order of the day. Canada's neo-liberal economy is such that workers no longer even know who owns the companies they work for, where decisions are made or who is paying the piper and calling the tune.

The parliamentary equilibrium was lost following the 1993 federal election when the Conservative Party, despite receiving many votes, won only two seats and the Bloc Québécois became the Official Opposition. After that, the Reform Party staged a coup and took over the Conservative Party setting it on a new virulently anti-national, anti-social path integrated into the U.S. war machine and rivalries south of the border. At the same time, the factional fighting within the Liberal Party increased along with its desperation to cling to power. Since the sponsorship scandal where the Liberals were caught handing over brown bags of money to cheat election spending rules, scandal follows scandal involving money, corruption and schemes to pay the rich. The politicization of private interests took over -- this refers to handing over basic functions of the state and decision-making to narrow private interests such as Deloitte and Touche, KPMG, UBS (which the Stelco steelworkers referred to as You'll be Sorry when they had the misfortune to cross paths), SNC-Lavalin and many others.

When the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan started handing over their prisoners of war directly to the United States to be sent to black sites and tortured without even the Prime Minister of Canada being informed, it became clear that the Canadian Department of National Defence was now under the command of U.S. Special Forces. When Jean Chrétien was Prime Minister he famously gave a definition of sovereignty according to which a sellout is an expression of sovereignty if it is we who have decided to sell out. Even that claim is no longer made. Selling out is just par for the course.

All of this meant that the predictability based on the rules which governed how the democratic institutions functioned became a thing of the past. No longer could one count on ministers to take responsibility for misdeeds in their departments or which took place on their watch by resigning. No longer could one count on a Prime Minister to abide by the recommendations of a parliamentary committee such as on electoral reform. No longer would conflict of interest rules mean that those in government and the civil service would not be corrupt.

Once private interests take over decision-making and government, then their striving for control means anything goes so long as they have the power to get away with it. Everyone and everything become disposable.

Trudeau's "gamble" in calling the election was all about putting the narrow private greenwashing interests in command of the public purse. These are the interests which seek financing for the infrastructure projects which serve them and their need to modernize strategic industries involved in production, communications, transportation and resource extraction linked in one way or the other with U.S. imperialist war.

These narrow private interests are organized as oligopolies -- behemoth companies that form cartels and coalitions to influence the decisions taken at every level and which strike while the iron is hot to make a killing. They do not give a damn about people or nations, or nation-building or the social and natural environment. It is all about controlling the new technologies and space.

There can be no predictability when this is the case because everything is carried out by narrow private interests and their handmaidens in government. The rules are declared by them and broken by them as they see fit.

Only the people's forces have an interest in bringing new forms into being which empower them. Only then can predictability once again become a feature of life which people require to have stability and security for themselves and their families. To participate in arriving at the decisions which affect our lives is a human right because only then can one control a situation by monitoring the results of decisions, taking corrective measures when problems arise in their implementation or if wrong decisions are taken and so on.

According to the pundits, Trudeau's "gamble" in calling this pandemic election did not pan out but he retained power so it is not all bad. It is far more than that. The failure to predict outcomes is one feature of the crisis of what are called the democratic institutions which reveals the need for democratic renewal which empowers the people.

(Reprinted from Renewal Update, September 22, 2021)

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Show of Contempt for the Polity

At the end of the 44th General Election campaign, a reporter asked Justin Trudeau whether, if elected, he would re-look at the question of electoral reform. Trudeau said he remains open to getting rid of the first-past-the-post method of counting votes, even though it's not a priority since there's no consensus on the issue, and no one had even raised it with him in the campaign until then.

He made clear though that he considered a "ranked ballot," which the Liberal Party has long favoured, as the only alternative, claiming it makes elections less divisive. He continues to oppose proportional representation (PR), he said, because it gives more weight to smaller parties "that are perhaps fringe parties."

This is the same argument he gave in 2017 when he tried to justify refusing to implement recommendations of the All-Party Special Committee on Electoral Reform for making the way votes are counted more representative in the allotment of seats in the House of Commons. At the time he claimed "extremist voices" who do not join one of the three "big tent" parties posed the greatest threat to Canada's democracy.

"If we were to make a change or risk a change that would augment individual voices -- that would augment extremist voices and activist voices that don't get to sit within a party that figures out what's best for the whole future of the country, like the three existing parties do -- I think we would be entering a period of instability and uncertainty." He added that would "be putting at risk the very thing that makes us luckier than anyone on the planet."

He did not explain who is the "us" he was referring to, but it was clear it could only mean the privileged minority that come to power through the party system and operate like a cartel to ensure the people and their concerns are kept out.

He raised the alarm about "extremist" voices ending up holding the balance of power under PR if they manage to get 10, 15, 20 seats. He said "the strength of our democracy is we have to pull people together into big parties that have all the diversity of Canada, and who learn to get along ... And that's why we have a system that works so well."

Some former members of his own cabinet and party, who are no longer there, in view of events that took place in previous parliaments, have plenty of experience about how "the big tent" failed to listen to their views. They were defamed, isolated and even thrown out because diverse views are only tolerated so long as they do not conflict with those of the Prime Minister and his entourage. In fact, membership in the entourage is not at all inclusive but exclusive to the extreme.

In the last week of the 2021 campaign CBC Windsor ran a story on what they called "fringe and splinter" party candidates. Ostensibly about candidates of the Christian Heritage, Marxist-Leninist and Green parties in area ridings, it pushed a variation of the same line. The story was heavy on commentary from a local political science professor who is CBC's local go-to "expert" when it comes to elections. She also happens to be a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and has authored papers arguing against the adoption of PR when that was under consideration in BC. In her writings the professor warns that "smaller or even fringe parties in PR systems are able to wield a disproportionate amount of power at the expense of the preferences of the majority of voters who did not cast a vote for such parties." For good measure she adds that moving to PR would likely increase both government spending and deficits.

In the CBC story this commentator raised what was made out to be an observation of a voter trend. In reality, it seemed more like advice she was offering. She said while people may gravitate ideologically to a fringe party, when it comes time to vote they may stick with one of the mainstreams "so as not to split the vote."

That "news" story, variations of which are heard at every election, is one of the methods aimed at convincing the electorate not to vote for small party or independent candidates. They are endlessly repeated so as to be accepted without question as conventional wisdom. In fact its aim is to ensure that what are called major parties -- already favoured with every manner of privilege through state funding, patently unfair electoral laws and free promotion in the media -- can continue functioning unimpeded as a cartel that blocks the people from coming to power, or even being elected so their voices are heard and their concerns raised in Parliament.

No threat to the unrepresentative party system called a representative government is to be permitted. Discussion of the direction of Canada's foreign policy, its integration into the U.S. war machine and support for U.S. wars, its membership in NATO and NORAD, the billions spent on war preparations and paying the rich in a myriad of ways, how any of this benefits the Canadian people and, more importantly, who decides, are all considered taboos which must not be broken.

The fight for renewal of the political process to empower Canadians directly, instead of bringing parties to power, is an important one that must continue to go forward. Political forums which bring people together to exchange experiences and discuss how to make an advance are very necessary.

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Dangerous War Preparations

Oppose Attempts to Embroil Canada in U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence

Concern is mounting in Canada that the cartel parties in Parliament will once again conspire to participate in the U.S. ballistic missile defence program (BMD). The Liberals and their cartel party partners are pushing to destroy Canadian public opinion that has been opposed to participation in the U.S. BMD. For instance, The Trudeau Liberal government before the pandemic election announced plans to spend more than $553 billion on war preparations over the next 20 years. Much of this funding will go into the U.S. war economy to purchase fighter jets, armed drones and other war production.

This increased spending was confirmed the day before the election call when Canada's Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a joint statement agreeing to "modernize" NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defence Command, and outlining "priority areas for new investments."

The August 14 joint statement says: "Canada and the United States share a desire to coordinate in fielding new capabilities to complement and eventually replace the North Warning System with more advanced technological solutions as soon as possible. Ensuring effective awareness ultimately requires a system-of-systems approach including a network of Canadian and U.S. sensors from the sea floor to outer space."

"System-of-systems" is Pentagon jargon for Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD). NORAD modernization includes the positioning of U.S. missiles in Canada and weaponization of outer space as part of the U.S. ballistic missile shield. When BMD is declared operational, the U.S. and its war allies including the Canadian government believe and will then declare that "a U.S. nuclear war is winnable" and a pre-emptive nuclear strike could be used. The U.S. war economy since 2014 has conducted 17 BMD tests of its "system-of-systems" to "destroy incoming ballistic missiles."

The cartel parties have jumped on the "winnable war" bandwagon. In 2014, the year the U.S. began testing its "system-of-systems," a parliamentary committee gave its support for the government to join in the development of the U.S.-led missile shield. The Canadian Senate Committee on National Security and Defence soon agreed and announced it was "unanimous in recommending that the government of Canada enter into an agreement with the United States to participate as a partner in ballistic missile defence."

In 2017, the Conservative Party's then foreign affairs critic and now leader Erin O'Toole said that Canada must join BMD.

The defence committees in both the House of Commons and the Senate joined the pro-war chorus in 2019, advocating for BMD. Christian Leuprecht, a professor at the Royal Military College, gave urgency to the demand to join BMD, telling CTV News earlier this year that the integrated U.S./Canada power grids could be targets of Russia and/or China's intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"You can hit a component in Canada and have a dramatic impact on the entire North American continent, and the entire North American system and how it functions," Leuprecht said.

In the U.S., anti-war public opinion is always under attack as pointed out by Mark Muhich writing in Counterpunch this September. "Despite fantastical cost overruns, persistent test failures, cynicism from the scientific community, warnings that Ballistic Missile Defense can be easily defeated with chaff and camouflage technologies, bi-partisan opposition, and credible charges that Missile Defense has renewed a nuclear arms race, BMD finds its place in the Defense Authorization Act year after year. One prime reason is the vast lobbying power of defense contractors, especially Missile Defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Defense contractors spent $58 million in the first six months of 2021 lobbying Congress to fund defense and missile defense contracts."

The program of the federal NDP during the pandemic election states under the heading, "Defence at home and abroad:" "Unfortunately, after decades of Liberal and Conservative cuts and mismanagement, our military has been left with outdated equipment, inadequate support and an unclear strategic mandate. In contracting for new military equipment, including ships and fighter jets, New Democrats will ensure maximum industrial benefits and jobs. This will help ensure the survival of healthy shipbuilding and aerospace industries all across Canada."

In this way, the NDP uses high sounding phrases of economic benefit and jobs as a smokescreen to shield it from criticism for being warmongers by calling for integration into the U.S. war economy and war preparations and participating in the U.S.-instigated anti-China and anti-Russian propaganda campaigns. It is tantamount to saying that war preparations and pouring money into the U.S.-dominated military cartels are not destructive to the social and natural environment but necessary for the economy to grow.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) has a principled anti-war program with no equivocation. It calls on all Canadians to join the movement to establish an anti-war Government and build a self-reliant economy that forms the material basis to meet the needs of all and humanize the social and natural environment.

Get Canada out of NATO and NORAD!
Oppose Integration into U.S. Homeland Security,
War Machine and Wars of Aggression!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!


President George W. Bush withdrew the U.S. from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001. Since then the U.S. government has poured $100 billion into building a ballistic missile shield. This money has gone to Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and others in the war economy. Those war companies are hungry to have Canadian public money as well and have dispatched lobbyists to make it so.

(With files from "War hawks quietly positioning Canada to participate in US-led Ballistic Missile Defence program," Joyce Nelson, The Canada Files)

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Calls for U.S. Homeland Security to Help Curb Gun Violence in Quebec

Using Fire to Fight Fire Could Backfire

Demonstration in Montreal June 7, 2020, against police impunity and in solidarity with protests in the U.S. against police brutality and impunity.

On September 24, Quebec Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security Geneviève Guilbault held a press conference to announce Operation Centaur, the Quebec government's strategy to combat gun violence. A $90 million budget is being allocated to projects in four areas targeted for intervention: 

1. "Rapid intervention with individuals who use or are at risk of using firearms;"

2. "Support for intervention and knowledge development;"

3. "Increased pressure and destabilization of criminal networks across Quebec;" and

4. "Prevent crime using community outreach initiatives."

Only later in the press conference did Minister Guilbault mention the "collaboration" of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in a program "under the coordination of the Quebec Police (SQ)," in which "all police forces in Quebec [and] the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Ontario Provincial Police, the City of Montreal Police (SPVM), the Quebec City Police (SPVQ), the Laval and Longueuil police services as well as the Aboriginal police forces under the direction of the Association of First Nations and Inuit Police Directors of Quebec" will be participating.

The Quebec government does not even bother to hide how little it opposes Canada's ever-increasing integration with the brutal police powers of the United States. The U.S. itself, "compared to 22 other high-income nations" has "the highest rate of gun-related murders ... 25 times higher than the average."[1]

The peoples of the world witness every day the crimes committed by the U.S. imperialists both at home and in the countries where they impose their presence. The people of Quebec, who want to hold the police powers accountable for their violence against youth, Indigenous people and people of national minority backgrounds, can only be insulted that their safety at home is to be placed in the hands of the same powers that brutalize them with impunity.

Moreover, to claim that Homeland Security Investigations will submit to the "coordination of the Quebec Police" is a morbid farce as everyone knows that the U.S. submits only to its own rules.

The people of Quebec aspire to live in safety and to end all forms of violence. They, their organizations and collectives, based on their broad experience, know that it is not weapons per se that cause violence. Rather, the use of weapons is a result of the chaos that results from an anti-social agenda that leaves everyone fending for themselves. There is an effort to create public opinion that every aspect of violence should be studied and proposals to humanize society be given prominence.

By calling on the police powers here and in the United States, the Quebec government is revealing the extent to which the Quebec people lack control over all decisions that affect our security.

To see the press release from the Office of the Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security, click here.


1. "Violences par arme à feu aux États-Unis," Wikipedia.

(Translated from original French by TML.)

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United States

International Tribunal on
U.S. Human Rights Violations

Friday, October 22: Cultural event 6:00-9:00 pm
Saturday, October 23: Tribunal 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Sunday, October 24: Tribunal 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Monday, October 25: Presentation of Findings at the UN

For information click here 

An important International Tribunal is taking place October 22-24 in New York City. Organized and hosted by the Spirit of Mandela Coalition it aims to bring international attention to U.S. violations of human and civil rights of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples, spotlighting the inhumane and violating treatment of political prisoners. As an example, the U.S. is violating international law in its deliberate refusal to provide adequate medical care to U.S. political prisoners and all prisoners. Another example is the use of extended solitary confinement. Leonard Peltier, still unjustly in jail after more than 45 years, was repeatedly kept in solitary for long periods, as were many others, especially Black and Puerto Rican political prisoners. In the case of Albert Woodfox he was forced into solitary for 40 years![1]

It will be charging the United States government, its states, and specific agencies with human and civil rights violations against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. The Tribunal will be charging human and civil rights violations for:

1. Racist police killings of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.
2. Hyper incarcerations of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.
3. Political incarceration of Civil Rights/National Liberation era revolutionaries and activists, as well as present day activists.
4. Environmental racism and its impact on Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.
5. Public Health racism and disparities and its impact on Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.
6. Genocide of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples, as a result of the historic and systemic charges of all the above.

The legal aspects of the Tribunal will be led by Attorney Nkechi Taifa along with a powerful team of seasoned attorneys from all the above fields. Nine jurists, some with international stature, will preside over two days of testimonies. The jurists include six women and come from South Africa, Eritrea, India, France, Puerto Rico and the U.S. (see for more). Testimonies will be elicited from impacted victims, expert witnesses, and attorneys with firsthand knowledge of specific incidents raised in the charges/indictment.

The 2021 International Tribunal has a unique set of outcomes and an opportunity to organize on a mass level across many social justice arenas. Upon the verdict, the Tribunal will:

- Codify and publish the content and results of the Tribunal to be offered in High Schools and University curricula.

- Provide organized, accurate information for reparation initiatives and community and human rights work.

- Present a stronger case, building upon previous and respected human rights initiatives, on the international stage.

- Establish a healthy and viable massive national network of community organizations, activists, clergy, academics, and lawyers concerned with challenging human rights abuses on all levels and enhancing the quality of life for all people.

- Strengthen the demand to free all Political Prisoners and establish a Truth & Reconciliation Commission mechanism to lead to their freedom.

- Establish the foundation to build a "Peoples' Senate" that is representative of all 50 states, Indigenous Tribes, and major religions.

- Provide the foundation for civil action in federal and state courts across the United States.

Due to capacity limits, in person attendance is now closed. You can, however, participate via Zoom. Please register at

Once all the speakers and performers are lined up you will receive the program. 

Coordinating Committee,

Dr. A'isha Mohammad
Sekou Odinga
Matt Meyer
Jihad Abdulmumit
Eileen Weitzman
Jalil Muntaqim
Emok Concepcion


1. See wikipedia here.

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Nationwide Actions Stand as One
for Women's Rights

Texas contingent at march in Washington, DC, October 2, 2021

October 2 was a day of broad united action in the United States to affirm women's rights, especially their right to health care. Recent months have seen numerous actions, including pickets and strikes by health care workers, demanding safe working conditions for all, including increased staffing and COVID-19 protections, testing and sick days.

The October 2 actions focused on current attacks on abortion rights, established as a legal constitutional right through repeated and determined struggle which culminated with the1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. The date was chosen to signal both the Supreme Court (which reconvened October 4) and Congress (which is debating a bill putting the right to abortion into law) that women firmly reject these brutal attacks on their rights. In large numbers, hundreds of thousands nationwide, women stood up to demand their right to health care and their specific women's rights as the human beings responsible for giving birth and nurturing children. Many mothers and daughters participated as did people from all walks of life.

Actions took place in no less than 660 cities large and small. As the call for the actions put it, demonstrators were fighting "for our human rights" and that "we'll never let go of our vision of reproductive justice; for unfettered abortion access and everything we need to support and grow our families to thrive and live healthy lives." 

The Women's March organization was joined by 90 others in initiating the call for demonstrations. There were rallies, pickets, banner drops, virtual meetings, marches and other events in every state. One of the largest demonstrations was in Washington, DC and huge rallies were also held in Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California, just to name a few. Health care workers, the majority of them women, played a significant role.

Among the demands raised were to declare a recent Texas law unjust, illegal and an example of the dark reaction being imposed on the people. As signs put it, "Keep Your Laws Off My Body." The Texas law imposes an almost complete ban on abortions. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest and makes abortions illegal when a heartbeat can be detected -- at about six weeks, when many women do not even know they are pregnant. Providers have made clear that 85-90 per cent of abortions occur after six weeks.

A similar Mississippi law, which comes before the Supreme Court in December, makes abortions illegal after 15 weeks. Other states, especially in the South and Midwest have also limited abortion access. Current Supreme Court precedents, including Roe v. Wade and others since, prohibit states from banning abortion before the point fetuses can sustain life outside the womb, or about 24 to 28 weeks into a pregnancy.

The Texas and Mississippi laws are part of broad government attacks on women and children and their health care rights, including those against the many forced into detention camps at the border and elsewhere, unsafe conditions in schools, lack of child care and more. There is also concern that given the increasing government attacks on rights, the Supreme Court will overturn its previous rulings.

At the heart of the ongoing fight is the human right to health care for all, with meeting the needs of women and children central to providing that care. As the October 2  and many other actions show, women across the country are making clear that they are affirming their rights by making their claims on government to meet them. They are speaking out in their own name for their rights, as the many speakers and participants October 2, nurses on strike, and teachers rejecting unsafe schools, continue to do.


Seattle, WA

Bellingham, WA

Los Angeles, CA



Fargo, ND

Austin, TX

Houston, TX

Dallas, TX

St. Louis, MO

Chicago, IL

Woodstock, IL

Columbus, OH

Nashville, TN

Savannah. GA

Charlotte, NC

Acton, MA

North Hampton, MA

Albany, NY

New York City, NY

Washington, DC

Voice of Revolution is the newspaper of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization.

(Photos: Womens March, Stand Up Alaska, Nank H, Refuse Fascism, Indivisible Bellingham, Indivisible Massachusetts, Athiests United, devinx, pp Rocky mountion, IV Words, Rev. Angela W, cmc, M, Fraker, tinney-r, D. Adank, Clinic Vest Project, Janes Due Process, R. Steffen, N. Nique)

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U.S. Supreme Court Undermines Its Own Rules

Rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, October 2, 2021

On September 1, the same day the Texas law banning any abortions after six weeks came into effect, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it would not act to block the law. It did not rule as to whether the law is Constitutional, which is now being litigated in the lower courts. Many lawsuits have been filed against the Texas law, but this one was brought by President Biden and the U.S. Justice Department. Biden's action is an indication that, while commonly the Supreme Court acts as an arm of the Executive, defending its powers, the conflict among the ruling circles and dysfunction of existing institutions is such that the Court at times is also acting in favour of ruling factions not in power. It also shows the increasing conflict between state and federal government.

The decision by the Supreme Court was done through what is known as its "shadow docket." This is the practice of undermining its own rules. In this case it meant deciding important issues in a rushed decision without full briefing or oral argument, including guidance from lower court rulings, that had not yet occurred. As Justice Elena Kagan, in dissenting put it, "Today's ruling illustrates just how far the court's 'shadow-docket' decisions may depart from the usual principles of appellate process." She added such a ruling "is of great consequence." She said the decision was taken hastily and only with the "most cursory" review of the submissions by the parties involved. The conclusion not to act on an "obviously unconstitutional abortion regulation backed by a wholly unprecedented enforcement scheme," was not explained or justified by the majority ruling. She concluded, "In all these ways the majority's decision is emblematic of too much of this court's shadow-docket decision making -- which every day becomes more unreasoned, inconsistent and impossible to defend."

Clearly the justices themselves are concerned that the Court is undermining its own rules and setting precedent to make such "cursory" and "unreasoned" decisions the norm. Many people already consider that the Court has become so politicized that, like Congress and the Presidency, it has lost credibility in the eyes of the public. It is not a defender of rule of law but of undermining it, including undermining its own rules and norms.

Additional comments by the dissenting justices further confirm this. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, "Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand." She said, "The court should not be so content to ignore its constitutional obligations to protect not only the rights of women, but also the sanctity of its precedents and of the rule of law."

Chief Justice Roberts wrote that he would have blocked the law while appeals moved forward. He said the Texas "legislature has imposed a prohibition on abortions after roughly six weeks, and then essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large. The desired consequence appears to be to insulate the state from responsibility for implementing and enforcing the regulatory regime."

The Texas law is designed to inflame passions and pit people against each other while letting the state off the hook. The law bars state officials from enforcing it and instead deputizes private individuals to sue anyone who performs the procedure or "aids and abets" it. The patient may not be sued, but doctors, staff members at clinics, counselors, people or organizations who help pay for the procedure, and even the driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic can all be sued. Individuals bringing such lawsuits do not need to live in Texas, or have any connection to the abortion or show any injury from it. In this way the state has no responsibility and those instigating the lawsuits have a free hand to more broadly and arbitrarily attack women and health care workers.

On October 6, a federal judge ruled that the Texas law (S.B. 8) was unconstitutional and blocked state court judges and court clerks from accepting any lawsuits stemming from it. Judge Pitman also ordered the state to publish his order on all "public-facing court websites with a visible, easy-to-understand instruction to the public that S.B. 8 lawsuits will not be accepted by Texas courts." He ruled the state and "any other persons or entities acting on its behalf" were blocked from enforcing the statute, saying "this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right."

Texas immediately appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, known for its reactionary rulings. As the many demonstrating and fighting state and federal attacks on the right to health care bring out, the fight for rights will carry on and is far from over. What is also coming to the fore is that existing Supreme Court rulings and its own norms and rules are being undermined. There is not a rule of law or a rules-based order when rules and laws are so readily violated.

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Opposition to Illegal and Cruel Treatment
of Haitian Refugees

Haitian refugees encampment under a bridge in Del Rio Texas in September 2021.

In an internal memo dated October 2, Harold Koh, a U.S. State Department legal advisor, called the use of the "public health authority" -- known as Title 42 -- "illegal" and "inhumane" and hence, is abandoning his role in the Biden Administration.

Koh explained that when the Trump Administration first issued its Title 42 order in March 2020 during the growing COVID-19 pandemic, "it was the first time that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had invoked its authority under this statute. The extraordinarily broad order "suspended the right to introduce certain persons into the United States from countries where a quarantinable communicable disease exists" but limited that suspension to persons travelling from Canada or Mexico." Through Title 42, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was made responsible for the implementation of the order at the border. "But the breadth and subsequent implementation of the Title 42 authority," Koh continued, "now raises significant concerns about whether the United States is living up to its binding obligations under international law."

Koh also noted that he has spent much of his legal career seeking to ensure that the U.S. abides by its non-refoulement obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Protocol), which modifies and incorporates the terms of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention). CAT, he pointed out, prohibits State Parties from expelling, returning, or extraditing anyone to any State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture. He added that the Refugee Convention, subject to certain exceptions, prohibits State Parties from expelling or returning refugees to "the frontiers of territories" where their life or freedom would be threatened on one of its designated grounds.

Koh noted that the Biden Administration's current implementation of the Title 42 authority "continues to violate our legal obligation not to expel or return ("refouler") individuals who fear persecution, death, or torture, especially migrants fleeing from Haiti" and said that his concerns "have only been heightened by recent tragic events" in that country.

Title 42 expulsions, he said, "are currently being executed to return Mexican, Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran families and single adults to their countries of origin, and more recently, Haitians to Haiti."

Citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics, Koh revealed that nearly 700,000 people have been expelled under Title 42 since February of this year, and that this past August alone, 91,147 people were forcibly removed from the U.S.

The former legal advisor also drew attention to the existence of "disturbing reports that some migrants were not even told where they were being taken when placed on deportation flights, learning only when they landed that they had been returned to their home country or place of possible persecution or torture, i.e. the exact act of refoulement that is forbidden by the CAT and the Refugee Convention!"

There is also no basis, he noted, for defending Title 42 expulsions on the ground that the "danger to security" exception in the Refugee Convention applies or allows the U.S. Government to exclude individuals on a public health basis. Even the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), he added, "explained in its March 2020 legal guidance on the COVID-19 response that state entry measures should not prevent people from seeking asylum from persecution and that states may not deny entry to people at risk of refoulement."

Mistreatment of Haitian refugees in Del Rio, Texas, September 2021.

Koh also informed that on September 17, 71 civil society organizations in the U.S. sent a joint letter to President Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas and Attorney General Garland on Title 42, calling on the administration "to immediately end its embrace, defence, and advancement of illegal and cruel Trump administration policies that harm families and people seeking protection and bolster xenophobic rhetoric by treating people seeking protection as threats."

Continuation of Title 42 flights to Haiti, he said, is particularly unjustifiable, because of the "extraordinary and temporary conditions" that "prevent its nationals from returning safely." Temporary Protected Status (TPS) presently applies to Haitians already present in the United States as of July 30, regardless of their immigration status. The Haitian TPS designation, announced in May, cited "serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic." He noted, "And that was before the assassination of President Moïse thrust the country into even greater political instability and a devastating earthquake on August 14, 2021 and Tropical Depression Grace on August 16, 2021" he noted.

Koh also cited the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which notes that "Haiti is still reeling from the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and still facing an escalation in gang violence since June that has affected 1.5 million people, with at least 19,000 displaced in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince." It also said: "Some 4.4 million people, or nearly 46 per cent of the population, face acute food insecurity, including 1.2 million who are in emergency levels ... and 3.2 million people at crisis levels .... An estimated 217,000 children suffer from moderate-to-severe acute malnutrition."

Amongst other things, Koh proposed that the Biden administration immediately suspend all Title 42 flights to Haiti "based on the dire humanitarian conditions there."

Demonstration in Boston, September 24, 2021 against deportation of Haitians.

(Politico. Photos: N. Conway, ajplus, redfishstream, L. Rouijeune)

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Fraud of the Debt Ceiling Debate

The monopoly media has had almost daily reports about the current conflict in the U.S. Congress over the debt ceiling, including whether to raise it or suspend it or abolish it altogether. The debt ceiling is said to be distinct from the federal budget, but the debate consistently occurs when the budget is being debated and government shutdown is threatened. Indeed in 2013, the No Budget, No Pay Act was passed which suspended the ceiling for the first time, allowing unlimited debt for that period. Suspension occurred regularly after that from 2013 to 2017. Now agreement has been reached to raise the limit by $480 billion, which is only enough to fund debt payments until December 3, the same date a government shutdown could occur if the budget is not passed.

The claim that the debt ceiling serves to regulate spending and prevent too much debt from being incurred is a myth and part of the fraud. In reality, the debt ceiling has consistently been raised. In the 1980s it was several trillion dollars and today it is about $28.5 trillion. Another part of the fraud is the fear generated that failure to raise the debt ceiling means the U.S. will default on its debts. It is used as a form of blackmail against those who do not submit to the plans of the administration. The debts, mostly in the form of government bonds and notes, all paying interest, are largely owned by the giant private financiers. The financiers are also the ones that determine the U.S. credit rating. This means that the promotion of potential default makes it possible for the financiers to lower the U.S. credit rating, making government borrowing even more expensive. At the same time, the fear of catastrophe which is generated diverts all eyes to the debt ceiling and this, in turn, pressures people to line up behind one or the other of the ruling factions and the private interests they represent.

The fraud also serves to steer attention away from the military funding with bills passed by the Senate and House (316-113) with no fuss, no muss. The bills are currently being reconciled to be sent for the president to sign.  Meanwhile, the rest of the federal budget, which includes funding for social programs like education, health care and housing, has again been left in limbo until December.

The military budget provides the Pentagon with $768 billion, more than $24 billion above what Biden asked for, and includes $28 billion to modernize nuclear weapons. It also calls for women turning 18 to now register for a military draft alongside men of that age. Currently registration for the draft is not being enforced but the fact that women are now to be added is an indication that the U.S. is preparing for yet more wars and positioning itself to impose a draft. The funding increase was mostly defended as needed for potential war with China.

In the name of modernizing infrastructure and "green" energy the debt ceiling debate has also become a weapon used by the contending factions within the U.S. ruling class to determine which private vehicle manufacturers, construction companies, energy providers and other oligopolies will get the biggest slice of the budget. It is also part of the contention between the executive, in this case the Secretary of the Treasury, and Congress, which, constitutionally, controls the purse strings but in reality commonly concedes that to the Office of the President.

A default by the U.S. would mainly be a problem for the private financiers and oligopolies, who use public funds to serve their own narrow interests. These funds are not used to benefit the people or the society they depend on. As far as the people go, they would be far better off if the government stopped making debt payments, including interest, to these private interests and instead established a public banking structure.

It is also the case that in all kinds of ways the people consistently demand that the government stop funding war and use the funds allotted for war to guarantee the people's right to health care, housing, education and a livelihood. Currently the budget for funding social programs is far below what is required to meet the just claims of the people. Increasingly people are speaking out with their own voice to express their own demands. This voice can be heard in the many demonstrations, strikes and actions held nationwide.

This underscores that the biggest fraud of the debt ceiling debate is to hide the fact that the people do not decide any aspect of the federal budget, which comes largely from taxes on working people. The ruling elite hope that the people's demands to stop paying the Pentagon and rich and increase funding for social programs will get lost in the fog of the repeated threats of catastrophe and government shutdown. It is a vain hope because the more people take stands for what is right, the more they empower themselves and the frauds get revealed for what they are. In this regard, the people know that government shutdowns harm the people who work in government service and depend on these services, not the rich. The debt ceiling debate is a hydra which requires a herculean effort to defeat.

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No to U.S. Terrorism and Aggression Against Cuba!
Celebrate Cuba's Contributions to Humanity's Well-Being!

People's Peace Prize Awarded to Cuba's International Medical Brigade

On October 8, Cuba's Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics received the People's Peace Prize, awarded by U.S. members of the campaign to award it this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

"During this COVID-19 pandemic, we were very inspired to see how the medical personnel of a small island under a criminal blockade risked their own lives to save others in different countries throughout the world," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war organization Code Pink.

She expressed regret that the medical brigade was not recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee, explaining that this is why they were given the People's Peace Prize, to highlight "the incredible solidarity, humanism and values that they demonstrated for so many years."

The Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics was created on September 19, 2005 in Havana, at the initiative of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, to show how to respond to tragedies around the world. Its name honours a youth from the U.S. who fought for Cuba in its First War of Independence from Spain.

"We will show that human beings can and should be better. We demonstrate the value of conscience and ethics. We offer life," said Fidel.

The first emergency it faced a few days after its creation was in Guatemala, where it assisted the population affected by the floods that occurred there in October 2005 and also during the earthquake in Pakistan. Cuba also offered to aid people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the massive flooding in September 2005, but the U.S. rejected the aid.

Among its many other missions, in 2010, the brigade assisted those affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Cuba was one of the first countries in the world to respond to the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations to confront the Ebola epidemic in Africa in 2014.

More recently, the health care professionals of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade have provided assistance to more than 40 countries to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The brigade has received many awards, including the Dr. Lee Jong-wook award from the WHO in 2017.

Since the triumph of its revolution, Cuba has had a long history of providing internationalist medical assistance to other countries, beginning in May 1960, when it sent its first international emergency medical brigade to Chile after it was hit by the massive Valdivia earthquake.

All those who participated in the campaign to nominate the Henry Reeve's Brigade for a Nobel Peace Prize deserve hearty congratulations. A message of congratulations issued by the Embassy of Cuba in Ireland points out:

"The campaign had a goal that went far beyond the award itself. It was about facing a brutal hostile propaganda maneuver undertaken by the Donald Trump government against Cuban medical cooperation, which even attempted to intimidate the governments that received such cooperation.

"It was about mobilizing international public opinion in favour of the recognition of Cuban health professionals, who left to help other peoples when the COVID-19 pandemic took thousands of lives a day and health systems collapsed.

"While Trump hid bodies in refrigerated trucks and suggested the use of bleach as an effective remedy against the pandemic, Cuban doctors went anywhere on the planet where it was necessary to save lives.

"A total of 57 brigades worked in more than 40 countries.

"We do not know how many candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize received the support of statesmen, heads of government, parliamentarians, international personalities and countless organizations that from dozens of countries recognized the work of Henry Reeve. [...] Henry Reeve has the best of all possible awards: the recognition and sincere gratitude of the peoples."

(Prensa Latina, Cubaminex)

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Cuban Independence Day, October 10

 Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and his followers at the Grito de Yara. Today, Yara is celebrated for its important historical contributions to Cuban independence.

October 10 is Cuban Independence Day. It marks the beginning of Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain in 1868 when Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and his followers proclaimed independence in what came to be known as El Grito de Yara (The Yara Proclamation). The event marked the start of the Ten Years' War known as Cuba's First War of Independence. Though this First War of Independence ended with surrender to the Spanish in May 1878, in the longer term it proved to be a key event in Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain. These events also directly contributed to the abolition of slavery in Cuba in 1886.

Spain was finally forced to withdraw from the island when representatives of Spain and the United States signed a peace treaty ending the Spanish-American War in Paris on December 10, 1898. The Treaty established the independence of Cuba, ceded Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States, and allowed the United States to purchase the Philippines Islands from Spain for $20 million. This was followed by three-and-a-half years of U.S. military rule, after which Cuba gained formal independence in 1902.

Today the anniversary is celebrated as a national holiday, a day of cultural events and gatherings which celebrate what it means to be Cuban and what Cuba has achieved as an independent nation.

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45th Anniversary of U.S.-Backed Terrorist Attack on Air Cubana Flight 455, October 6, 1976

This October 6 marked the 45th anniversary of the bombing of Air Cubana Flight 455 by U.S.-backed anti-Cuba terrorists. This heinous act of terrorism was one of many carried out against Cuba with U.S. backing from the 1960s to the 1990s. In 2010, Cuba began to commemorate this date as the "Victims of State Terrorism Day." On this day, Cuba commemorates its 3,478 citizens who have died and 2,099 who have been permanently disabled by acts of terrorism, a total of 5,577 victims. These figures do not include victims from other countries, including Canada, killed or injured during terrorist attacks aimed at Cuba.

On this solemn occasion, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends deepest condolences to the Cuban people and all victims of these attacks. It stands with the Cuban people and their revolution in opposing terrorism, the use of force as well as "coercive diplomacy" to sort out differences and problems between nations and peoples. It pledges to continue working to support  friendly relations between all countries based on mutual respect and benefit and the upholding of the rule of international law as established by the UN Charter.

On this occasion, CPC(M-L) reiterates its condemnation of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, which is both illegal and internationally condemned. The blockade profoundly violates the human rights of the Cuban people and is carried out with the same vicious aim of causing death and destruction as the bombing of Air Cubana Flight 455. CPC(M-L) also condemns the U.S. government for putting Cuba back on its spurious "state sponsors of terrorism" list in January 2021, citing Cuba's support for the Venezuelan people and their affirmation of their right to be through the Bolivarian Revolution as support for "terrorism." It condemns the act of terrorism against the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC on April 30, 2020 when a Cuban expatriate living in the U.S. sprayed the front of the embassy building with over 30 rounds using an AK-47 assault rifle. Luckily none of those inside at the time were injured. To this day the U.S. government has never condemned that attack, which could well have resulted in deaths, as the perpetrator admitted to law enforcement was his intention.

Today, having failed in their mission of achieving regime change, more frenetic attempts are being made to stir counterrevolutionary rebellion within Cuba and against Cuba abroad, using the difficulties the people face as a result of the U.S. blockade to incite opposition to the government. The allegedly peaceful protestors are incited, funded and used by the U.S. and the disturbances have nothing to do with a political movement against the government. In this vein, in the early morning hours of July 27, this year, three incendiary devices were thrown at the Cuban Embassy in Paris. Two of the "Molotov cocktails" hit the facade and entrance of the building. Embassy personnel were able to put out a fire that had started and there were no injuries. Families with children were inside the building at the time of the attack.

CPC(M-L) calls on Canadians to hold the U.S. government responsible for all these acts of counterrevolution and terrorism. Canadians should also call on Canada to disassociate itself with the acts of hooliganism, terrorism and violence against Cuba. Canada should stop condoning these attacks by claiming they are political when nothing but filthy trash talk comes out of the mouths of the allegedly peaceful protestors. It should stop accusing the government of Cuba of being totalitarian to divert attention away from who is responsible for the violence in Cuba. Canada should also take action against the use of Canadian territory for purposes of enforcing the illegal blockade.

For the U.S. to take advantage of the impact the pandemic is having on Cuba at this time as a result of the blockade, to intensify its economic, commercial and financial blockade and campaign of putting maximum pressure on the Cuban government and people, encouraging violence and disorder to justify a military intervention is ample proof of what the U.S. democracy and human rights stand for.

CPC(M-L) denounces the Biden administration for spreading lies and disinformation for the purpose of demonizing Cuba's leadership and the supporters of revolutionary Cuba and inciting counterrevolutionary elements to engage in violent acts like those that took place on July 11. It calls on the Canadian government to take no part of this vile activity and instead demand that the U.S. end its criminal economic war against Cuba. The Cuban people must be allowed to solve their problems on their own without outside interference or threats, something they are more than capable of doing.

The anniversary of the bombing of Air Cubana Flight 455 is a timely reminder to Canadians and Quebeckers of the need to end Canada's appeasement of U.S. imperialism and state terrorism and ensure that Canada is a zone of peace, with its own independent foreign policy that upholds the rule of international law. This includes standing up for Cuba's right to be, free from outside interference, terrorism and all forms of aggression, including the unjust U.S. blockade.

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Building Unity in the Diversity of Our America

Successful 6th Summit of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

On September 18 the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) successfully held its Sixth Summit of Heads of State and Government in Mexico City. The last summit was held in January 2017 in the Dominican Republic.

CELAC is an inter-governmental organization for dialogue and political coordination to foster the political, economic, social and cultural integration of Latin America and the Caribbean and the well-being of all the peoples of the region. Comprised of all countries of the Americas except for the U.S. and Canada, which were deliberately excluded, CELAC was founded in February 2010 as an initiative to promote unity in diversity and overcome divisions arising out of constant efforts of the U.S. to assert its hegemony in its "backyard" through its instrument for that purpose, the Organization of American States (OAS).

CELAC's founding declaration issued in 2011 at its first summit expressed a commitment to respect for international law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the prohibition of the use and threat of the use of force, respect for the self-determination, sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries and non-interference in their internal affairs, and the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy. At the second summit held in Havana in 2014 CELAC members unanimously proclaimed Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace in observance of the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and international law.

Over the last four years, governments in the service of U.S. efforts to destabilize and impose regime change in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia and promote divisions of all kinds in the region, worked to obstruct CELAC's ability to hold any summits or even carry out work. However since assuming the pro-tempore presidency of the organization in January 2020, the government of Mexico has worked to get CELAC and its regional integration project back on track.

Setting the Stage for the Sixth Summit

The stage for the September 18 summit was set with a meeting of CELAC foreign ministers held in July as part of celebrations in Mexico of the 238th Anniversary of the Birth of the Liberator Simón Bolívar. In a speech for the occasion Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said Bolívar was an example and inspiration for today. He then put forward for consideration replacing the OAS with "a truly autonomous organization that would be no one's lackey," arguing that "The policy of the last two centuries, characterized by invasions to install or remove rulers at the whim of the superpower, is already unacceptable. Let's say goodbye to impositions, interference, sanctions, exclusions and blockades."

The Sixth summit was itself held on the heels of another auspicious event: the September 15 celebration of the Bicentennial of the independence of Mexico and Central America from Spain and the 211th anniversary of the beginning of that struggle in Mexico known as the Grito de Dolores. The Mexican government honoured Cuba's President Miguel Díaz-Canel with an invitation to speak at that celebration -- an acknowledgement not only of the historic ties between Mexico and Cuba going back centuries, but of "the special case" of Cuba, as the Mexican president called it, for having asserted its independence by politically confronting the United States for over half a century. In his speech Díaz-Canel recognized the important work done by Mexico to defend CELAC's purpose of building "unity in the diversity in Our America" in the face of attempts to impose a neoliberal re-colonization project on the region.

Bolivarianism vs. Monroeism

These events set the tone for the sixth summit, held three days later at the historic Palacio Nacional in Mexico City, to deliberate on the way forward for Latin America and the Caribbean -- whether it should be guided by the principles associated with Bolívar's liberating project for the Americas or the hegemonic Monroe Doctrine of the U.S. The practical expression of this was the agenda item proposed in advance by Mexico and seconded by Argentina, for consideration of the need for "in-depth reform of the Organization of American States (OAS) or the creation of a new organization to replace it." Other topics on the agenda included discussion of urgent matters such as the need to confront the pandemic and for everyone to acquire the needed vaccines and medications, the problem of climate change, of the punishing unilateral coercive measures applied to certain countries and the lack of fairness and transparency in the way the international financial institutions do business.

The meeting was attended by 17 heads of state, two vice presidents and other high level representatives of CELAC's 32 members. (Brazil suspended its participation as of 2020 by decision of President Jair Bolsonaro.) Also in attendance were Charles Michel, president of the European Council and Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Chinese president Xi Jinping addressed the summit as well by video link.

Virtually all members of CELAC intervened at the plenary session, expressing a commitment to regional integration, despite their different views on what that should involve, to tackling common problems like the health emergency and climate change together, and to strengthening CELAC, regardless of their stand on the OAS and whether it should be replaced or reformed. A notable exception was Colombia that did not send a high level representative, and instead issued a spurious statement "rejecting" the presence of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. It was similar in tone and content to the many declarations churned out by the U.S. and Canada's failed Lima Group before it descended into irrelevance and fell silent some eight or nine months ago.

The presidents of Uruguay and Paraguay were the only other ones who openly countered the spirit of the summit, doing the bidding of the U.S. by singling out Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua for criticism. (The U.S. had already issued an uncouth public reminder as President Maduro was en route to Mexico that a $15 million "reward" for him to be captured and turned over to them was still on offer.) The two presidents were quickly put in their place by the presidents of Cuba and Venezuela. President Maduro commented after the summit ended that Venezuela had not gone there to throw stones or to get provoked only to play into the hands of those hoping to destroy CELAC by getting its members to fight one another. Instead he called for revitalizing CELAC with a "new institutionality" and an international policy in the service of all humanity and of international law, and not to be a battleground of differing ideologies.

The Cuban and Venezuelan presidents also made a point of expressing appreciation to Mexico for hosting the dialogue taking place at the time aimed at achieving agreements between the Venezuelan government and the country's opposition forces.

A number of countries made special mention of Cuba, thanking it for its assistance in fighting COVID-19. During his intervention President Díaz-Canel offered further help in the form of Cuban-produced vaccines. There were calls from others for lifting of the U.S. blockade of Cuba and an end to its attacks on Venezuela and Nicaragua. The role of the OAS and its Secretary General in instigating the 2019 coup in Bolivia that had repercussions for CELAC was also denounced. Peru's newly elected president Pedro Castillo made a point of saying he brought greetings from the country's many Indigenous peoples whose voices had always been excluded from the country's official discourse and expressed support for concrete action to advance the region's integration.

Future Prospects

The successful sixth summit concluded with the issuing of the 44-point Declaration of Mexico as well as five other special declarations — on the need to put an end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba, in support of Argentina's claim to the Malvinas Islands, on bringing a common position to the upcoming COP26 Conference on Climate Change and other matters of mutual concern. Many of the leaders used the platform of the General Debate and other high level meetings held during the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, including the meeting of the Group of Friends of the UN Charter, which took place immediately following the Mexico summit, to reiterate important stands of CELAC. In those venues they called for an end to unilateral coercive measures, including the U.S. blockades of Cuba and Venezuela; they called for equitable access to COVID vaccines and treatments, more action against climate change and an end to other injustices that go against the spirit of one humanity, one struggle that has emerged as the clarion call at this time.

While the thorny question of what to do about the OAS remains for future discussions, there are favourable prospects for tackling this burning issue for the peoples of Our America and CELAC in the coming period. An impetus for this will be the continued failure of the U.S. to impose regime change in countries it has targeted, as well as the defeat in 2022 of the deeply unpopular, reactionary governments of Duque in Colombia and Bolsonaro in Brazil and possibly others, which the peoples' forces in those countries are working towards by building united fronts for that purpose.

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Solidarity with the People of the Philippines

Vigil Honours Victims and Survivors of Marcos Dictatorship by Calling for Ouster of
Duterte Regime

September 21 marked the 49th anniversary of the infamous Declaration of Martial Law by the U.S.-sponsored Ferdinand Marcos regime in the Philippines. On September 19, a vigil was held in Toronto to remember and pay tribute to the 3,257 people killed, more than 34,000 tortured, and 70,000 jailed during the time of Marcos. More than 60 people, including some survivors of the Marcos dictatorship, participated in the vigil organized by BAYAN-Canada, the alliance of progressive Filipino organizations in Canada and their allies.

Speeches, poetry and music were featured which focused on the necessity to step up support for the Filipino people's resistance to state violence and terror of the U.S.-sponsored Rodrigo Duterte regime. Speakers pointed out that since coming to power, the Duterte government has been responsible for the extrajudicial killings of more than 30,000 people under the pretext of his "War on Drugs" as well as 400 other people including human rights defenders, Indigenous leaders, members of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, which has been engaged in peace talks with the Philippine government, and members of the New People's Army.

Duterte's Anti-Terrorism Act 2020 and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict made up of members of the military and police constabulary were also condemned for carrying out a campaign of anti-communist terror against the people. It was pointed out that tens of millions of dollars earmarked for COVID pandemic relief have been diverted into counter-insurgency efforts by the Philippine state under Duterte.

Canada's pretense of being a human rights defender was denounced in light of Canada's support for the Duterte government despite the latter's human rights record. Speakers also denounced Canada's racist and arbitrary treatment of migrant workers in Canada, many of whom have been forced to leave the Philippines as Overseas Foreign Workers.

The youth who made up the main force at the vigil highlighted "the importance of remembering Martial Law victims and their sacrifices to fight the Marcos dictatorship, as well as the importance to today fight the tyranny and the de facto Martial Law of the Duterte administration."

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End Canada's Support for Duterte Regime and Abuses of Human Rights

Canadians stand opposed to the Canadian government's continued support for Canadian mining companies' crimes against the people of the Philippines and the continuing sales of military equipment and training of police and armed forces. Canadian mining companies make up close to 20 per cent of all mining operations in the Philippines where they have forcibly displaced Indigenous peoples from their hereditary lands and collaborate in the Rodrigo Duterte regime's violent attacks on land defenders. The Canadian government also supports the regime with military funding and cooperation, in the amount of $37.9 million in 2018-2019, as well as providing training for Philippine military and police.

A recent report on human rights violations shows the need for Canadians to step up their work to hold the Canadian government to account and demand an end to the criminal activities of Canadian mining companies and an end to government support for the Duterte regime.

On September 13, the Independent Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations in the Philippines (INVESTIGATE PH) tabled the third and final report of its investigation into widespread and worsening human rights abuses by the Rodrigo Duterte regime since it came to power in July 2016.

INVESTIGATE PH was established by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) in response to the tepid Resolution 45/33 adopted by the Office of the UN Human Rights Council which whitewashed the gross human rights violations which the UN Human Rights Office itself had documented. More than 250 extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders, legal professionals, trades unionists, Indigenous peoples and peasant activists were documented between 2015 and 2019.

INVESTIGATE PH was led by 17 eminent personalities and human rights defenders from around the world serving as Commissioners. They were assisted by a large number of legal workers, researchers and others who carried out extensive interviews with victims and their families as well as human rights activists. The report is a tribute to the fighting people of the Philippines as well as a call to action to end these crimes against humanity and war crimes by the regime.

The first report, released in March 2021, documented intensifying political repression immediately following the June 2020 report (A/HRC/44/22) of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It showed how the July 2020 Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) are used by the government to terrorize, criminalize and eliminate opposition to the Duterte regime by progressive and democratic forces.

The second report released in July 2021 probed deeper into state abuse and impunity as well as the lack of redress mechanisms for victims of state terror and violence. The third report focuses on the violations of collective human rights to development, self-determination and peace in the Philippines, as well as violations of civil and political rights.

Of significance is the Report's conclusion about the key role played by the U.S. which has dominated the island nation and the conditions that have led to poverty, landlessness and exploitation which have worsened under the Duterte government.

The Report calls for the UN and the international community to do their duty to the people of the Philippines by supporting their struggle for their rights; it calls for the immediate resumption of the stalled peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Philippine state. It supports the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms put forward by the NDFP as the basis of ensuring the rights of the people of the Philippines, among other proposals.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) congratulates INVESTIGATE PH for this historic document tabled before the world. This work brings into sharp focus the state of human rights in the Philippines under the U.S.-backed Duterte regime and calls on the people of Canada and the world to stand with the heroic people of the Philippines who are asserting their right to be under the most brutal conditions imposed by U.S. imperialism and its local collaborators.

No to Human Rights Abuse and Impunity in the Philippines!
One Humanity, One Struggle!

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