July 21, 2012 - No. 29

No to the Trans-Pacific Partnership!

Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Spell Danger for Canada's Agriculture

No to the Trans-Pacific Partnership!
Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Spell Danger for Canada's Agriculture - Dougal MacDonald
National Farmers' Union Rejects Completely Anti-Supply Management Report - Press Release
The Example of Alberta Milk Supply Management

Takeover of Public Authority by Private Interests
New Privately-Controlled Public Authorities Established Through Windsor-Detroit Crossing Agreement - Enver Villamizar
U.S. Homeland Security Given Joint Authority Over Canadian Airport Management

No to the Hysteria Generated over the Olympic Games! - Workers' Weekly

59th Anniversary of Attack on Moncada Baracks in Cuba

Long Live the Cuban Revolution!
Coming Events

No to the Trans-Pacific Partnership!

Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Spell Danger for Canada's Agriculture

Protest against 13th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, San Diego, California, July 7, 2012.

The Harper dictatorship's campaign to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Asia-Pacific free trade group founded by New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, and Brunei in 2005, has escalated. Harper announced from Mexico on June 19 that all nine TPP member countries -- the other five are the United States, Australia, Peru, Malaysia and Viet Nam -- have agreed that Canada can join the negotiations to be held early this fall, although prior talks will go ahead first without Canada in July. Mexico has also been invited in. To obtain an invitation, Canada's International Trade Minister Ed Fast spent weeks earlier this year jetting to various TPP member countries to secure their required unanimous consent to Canada's participation. The contents of his discussions and deals remain secret.

An important issue for Canada's farmers and their many allies is that countries in the TPP such as the U.S. and New Zealand are insisting that in order to join, Canada must first agree to dismantle its dairy supply management system that governs production and sale of milk, butter and cheese. In referring to the TPP, Harper has been forced to admit that supply management fosters a healthy dairy sector, but he has also stated that everything will be on the table during TPP negotiations. Canada's dairy supply management maintains stable and consistent dairy prices for producers, processors and consumers, eliminates reliance on subsidies, and ensures a constant and certain supply of quality milk and milk products. For example, since February 2001, 100 per cent of Alberta's dairy producer revenues have been derived from the market.

Less than 24 hours after Harper first announced interest in the TPP on December 1, 2011, the Globe and Mail monopoly newspaper published a vicious attack entitled, "It hurts dancing to supply management's tune," in which farmers who support supply management were equated with "political terrorists" and "racketeers." This campaign against supply management has escalated. In mid-December a long-time CBC TV political commentator, who had already attacked supply management in an August 15, 2011 article in Maclean's magazine, publicly referred to supply management as a "rip-off," trying to play the "greedy farmer" card. This same commentator published another article in the monopoly media on June 23, where he claimed, "Virtually every economist or policy analyst of note agrees that supply management is a disgrace." The author's definition of "of note" being, of course, anyone who agrees that supply management should be dismantled!

Just days earlier, on June 20, a business professor from Western University published an op-ed piece in the Globe and Mail which concluded, "Even if Canada were not seeking to sign new free trade deals, supply management should come to an end." On June 22, former Liberal MP Martha Hall-Findlay, now an executive fellow at University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, released a report that attacked supply management as harmful to the Canadian people. In a letter released to the media July 5 titled "Stop lying to Canadians about supply management," Maurice Doyon, professor at Laval University's Department of Agricultural Economics and Consumer Sciences, said Hall-Findlay's report was "not fact-based." He noted, for example, that while Hall-Findlay claims that Canadians pay an average of $9.60 for four litres of milk, government statistics show that the price of milk averages about $5.20 for four litres. He pointed out that Hall-Findlay used the price of more expensive whole milk when 50 per cent of Canadians drink two per cent milk. The National Farmer's Union also published a detailed refutation entitled, "The NFU Rejects Completely Martha Hall-Findlay's Anti-Supply Management Report" (see below).

On July 6, Agriculture Canada then released an internal 2011 study which attacks supply management claiming, "Farms in the heavily protected dairy, poultry and egg sectors, concentrated primarily in Central Canada, are far more likely than those in other sectors to be high-priced operations owned by corporations." Playing on the people's staunch opposition to the monopoly control of agriculture by private corporations that the Harper dictatorship totally supports, the report attempts to mobilize public opinion against supply management. Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) spokeswoman Therese Beaulieu refuted the Agriculture Canada report by pointing out that 99 per cent of dairy farms are family-owned and operated, "even the larger ones." According to DFC figures, the average size of a Canadian dairy farm is 78 milk-producing cows, while just 1.5 per cent of farms have more than 300 cows.

Harper's decision to participate in the TPP and his shock and awe dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) in the face of vehement opposition by farmers, workers, and their allies, indicate that he will have no qualms about dismantling the dairy, poultry, and other agricultural supply management systems, regardless of the many benefits to the people of Canada and regardless of his assurances to the contrary. At the same time, Harper appears to be treading cautiously for now due to the powerful opposition expected from farmers and their allies across Canada, especially with his arbitrary dismantling of the CWB still vivid in their memories. It appears that Harper's strategy will be to use the forthcoming TPP negotiations as a pretext for gradually dismantling supply management in Canada under the guise that he must make concessions to our trading partners. The claimed payoff will be that, in return, domestic agricultural producers will gain better access to foreign marketplaces.

Since the Harper dictatorship refuses to discuss what will happen if supply management is wrecked, what will replace it and whether some alternative will be better for the Canadian people, it is instructive to consider what has happened in New Zealand and Australia since their supply management systems were dismantled. In New Zealand, there is increasing concern over the rising price of domestic milk products. Australia's farms are struggling. Milk exports have increased but the producer-owned farms are fighting with food giants like Coles Supermarkets and Woolworths Supermarkets to be paid a fair price for their milk. Between them, Coles and Woolworths control 75 per cent of the Australian grocery market. The Australian farmers are lobbying the government to intervene in the price dispute. As well, the 11 cent premium put on milk by the Australian government in order to phase out state assistance has had to remain in place due to increasing financial problems faced by the farmers.

The dismantling of the dairy and other agricultural supply management systems poses a grave threat to the well-being of people across Canada. Predictable consequences include elimination of self-employed farmers, loss of many other livelihoods, increased economic insecurity, unstable and rising prices, and a decline in production and quality. Dismantling supply management systems will also mean further opening up the food-producing industry to foreign takeovers. As in the case of the arbitrary wrecking of the CWB, foreign monopolies will be aiming to take control of Canada's dairy and other agricultural industries, as local producer control is destroyed. Already, with the CWB out of the way, Viterra, Canada's leading grain handler, is being taken over by the shady foreign mining monopoly, Glencore, a $6.1 billion dollar sellout deal welcomed by Harper as "expanding Canada's agricultural sector."

Protest against 12th round of TPP negotiations, Addison, Texas, May 12, 2012.

(Photos: CWA, CWB, Z. Embree, K. Katt)

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National Farmers' Union Rejects Completely
Anti-Supply Management Report

"Former Liberal leadership candidate Martha Hall-Findlay has made public both her opposition to, and her lack of understanding of Canada's supply management system for dairy in the report she presented in a press conference yesterday," said Paul Slomp, National Farmers Union (NFU) Youth Vice President. "Her report is full of misinformation, skewed statistics, contradictions, and reprehensible arguments calling to eliminate supply management in order to gain points in behind-closed-doors international trade negotiations."

"Supply management is the system we use here in Canada to make sure that there is always enough for Canadian consumers, and so we don't end up dumping excess production down the drain," said Randall Affleck, NFU Regional Coordinator and PEI dairy farmer. "It is set up to make sure that we farmers are paid a price that covers our cost of production. By controlling imports through tariffs, supply management keeps foreign companies from dumping their surplus in our market. It's a win, win, win situation. The government is right to keep it off the table at trade negotiations. I hope they stick to their guns," he added.

Processors are also provided with stability and predictability of supply and price. Supply managed sectors are distributed across the country, with farms and processing jobs located in each province. Because they operate primarily within Canada, they are not buffeted by price volatility due to wild swings in currency exchange rates or unexpected market disruptions caused by events outside our borders.

"Without supply management, taxpayers would end up paying twice for their poultry and dairy products at the store and through increased government Business Risk Management program costs. With supply management we don't need farm safety net programs that are triggered by market volatility, and which are essential to the survival of non-supply management farms," added Affleck. "In a completely deregulated dairy market, subsidies would be required, or else family farms like mine would struggle to survive when our market gets flooded with cheap imports from US and New Zealand companies trying to get rid of their surplus."

"The farmer's share of the dollar paid for milk in the grocery store is only a small part -- processors and retailers each take a larger cut. Prices to consumers would not drop if farmers were paid less than the cost of production. It would just mean higher profits for the other players in the dairy system. By paying a fair return to farmers, supply management keeps dollars in the rural communities, supporting families and local businesses, instead of exporting money to the shareholders of the big processing companies and retail conglomerates," said Peter Dowling, NFU Ontario council member and a dairy farmer. "Consumers can trust that the products they consume meet Canadian standards for food safety. Canadian dairy farmers don't use genetically modified growth hormones which are commonly used in the USA," he added.

"In the absence of farmers with market power at the negotiating table, large processors and retailers will take as much as they can from both farmers and consumers. Supply management provides farmers with this market power," said Slomp.

Supply management is a system that works, and is a model that the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has recommended to other countries as a way to ensure fairness and food security within and between countries.

For more information:

- Paul Slomp, NFU Youth Vice President: (613) 898-9136
- Randall Affleck, NFU Regional Coordinator (Atlantic): (902) 887-2597 or (902) 432-0930
- Peter Dowling, NFU Ontario Council Member: (613) 546-0869 or (613) 539-3155

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The Example of Alberta Milk Supply Management

In the early 1970s, dairy became the first commodity in Canada to operate a national supply management system, managed by the Canadian Dairy Commission. Farm organizations turned to provincial governments to create the actual marketing boards, such as Alberta Milk. Provincially established in 2002, Alberta Milk represents Alberta's dairy producers. It is funded primarily by producers through mandatory membership assessments, which can only be changed when approved by a majority vote of licensed producers. The transportation pool is operated on a cost-recovery basis, with all producers sharing equally in the cost. Alberta Milk funds research, new initiatives, and nutrition education (e.g., in schools) and strives to provide dairy producers with accurate and timely information and feedback regarding the dairy industry. Other agricultural supply management systems operate in a similar manner.

The agricultural products marketed through supply management systems play an important role in the lives of the people. For example, over 10,000 Albertans rely on milk for their livelihoods, including dairy producers, veterinarians, nutritionists, researchers, professors, consultants, government workers, equipment salesmen, milk truck drivers and many processing and retail workers. Alberta is the fourth largest milk producer in Canada, producing 8.2 per cent of all milk. In Alberta, the dairy industry is estimated to support upwards of $2.5 billion in economic activity. With the value added from all other dairy processing and manufacturing, Alberta's dairy industry contributed a record $1.27 billion to the provincial economy in 2005 (latest available figures), making it the second largest segment of the province's food processing activity.

Alberta Milk and Alberta's other agricultural commissions and marketing boards are producer-controlled organizations that developed to fulfill the needs of Alberta producers, and which render account to the actual producers as to the price that is put on the value they have produced. They oppose the dogma of the ruling circles that some mysterious "free market" can set "fair" prices, even when every sector of the economy is dominated by monopolies that manipulate prices to suit their narrow interests. The destruction of Alberta's dairy and other agricultural supply management systems would be another blow against thinking, social consciousness and progress.

A July 2 letter supporting supply management from a dairy farming couple in central Alberta to the Edmonton Journal is reproduced in its entirety below.

Click to enlarge.

"Dairy Industry Works Well"

Re: "Fresh air in the political barnyard; One Liberal shows leadership over folly of farm protectionism," by Andrew Coyne, June 23.

As dairy farmers, we are interested in supply management. While we respect former Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay's and columnist Andrew Coyne's right to an opinion, we believe that some of the things they present as facts are actually their opinions.

First, Canadian consumers pay more for many things such as books, gasoline and clothing. While dairy products may at times cost more here than in the U.S., we don't believe that the cause is simply supply management.

Second, the fact that dairy products may cost more in Canada does not mean that dairy farmers are profiting unduly. Compared to our non-dairy friends, our income is comparable for the amount of work that we do.

Third, although the number of dairy farms has decreased in recent years, the number of people they support has not. While there are fewer single-family farms, there are still many families working on dairy farms as hired labour and many others employed in businesses that serve the dairy industry.

Finally, there is virtually no taxpayer money paying for government programs that support dairy farmers as there are in the U.S. Supply management works to provide a stable agriculture industry so that government bailouts are not needed in bad economic times. In fact, the dairy industry can be counted on to support construction, farm machinery, suppliers and other businesses when other agricultural sectors struggle.

Supply management works to provide high quality dairy products at a stable price.

Steve and Sherry TenHove, Blackfalds

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Takeover of Public Authority by Private Interests

New Privately-Controlled Public Authorities Established Through Windsor-Detroit Crossing Agreement

Canadians and the people of Michigan are rightfully concerned about what the Harper government and the Governor of Michigan are up to with the Crossing Agreement to build a new Windsor-Detroit Bridge.

The Agreement reveals arrangements made by the executives of Michigan and Canada that seek to ensure the bridge will be built with or without the approval of the Senate or House of Representatives of Michigan. At a time when governments are claiming they have no money for public services, the Agreement also reveals moves to place $2.5 billion of Canadian tax dollars under the control of a Canadian Crossing Authority and an International Authority, each to be overseen by appointed boards. Appointments are to be made by the executives of Canada and Michigan with a mandate to construct the new bridge and related infrastructure through public-private partnerships.

The arrangement is a massive pay-the-rich scheme, rather than a solution to any pressing problem of transportation, especially given the fact that a bridge linking Windsor and Detroit already exists, and congestion on it is not an issue.

For your information, TML Weekly Information Project is providing an overview of how the Crossing Agreement is structured, the new "Authorities" it establishes and the way an end-run was made around the Michigan Legislature to approve the Agreement.

Structure of the Crossing Agreement

On June 15, the Canadian government signed the Crossing Agreement to build a second Windsor-Detroit Bridge. The Parties to the agreement are:

1) Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Transport ("Canada").

2) Crossing Authority ("Crossing Authority"), an entity to be established by Canada pursuant to and subject to the Laws of Canada after the Initial Execution Date.

3) State of Michigan ("Michigan"), in its own right, as represented by its Governor, and by and through, the Michigan Department of Transportation ("MDOT"), a department of Michigan and the Michigan Strategic Fund ("MSF"), a public body corporate and political and public agency of Michigan (individually referred to as a "Michigan Party" and collectively referred to as the "Michigan Parties").

According to the Crossing Agreement, Canada will appoint a new Crossing Authority which will come under the oversight of an International Authority made up of three members appointed by Canada and the Crossing Authority and three members appointed by the Michigan Parties.

This new binational authority will set guidelines for choosing a private contractor, or concessionaire, who will design, finance, build and operate the bridge. Having such a public-private partnership -- i.e., the public pays the private "partner" -- is a requirement written into the Agreement.

The Canadian government has yet to announce who will be appointed to the Crossing Authority or the International Authority. No doubt these will be coveted positions from which private interests can be paid.

End-Run Around Michigan Legislature to
Get Approval for Crossing Agreement

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had originally hoped that the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives would approve the Agreement. However, when it became clear that clashing private interests would not permit a vote to be taken by either body, Snyder announced in May that if he could not get approval from the elected bodies, he would pursue an "interlocal agreement" with the Canadian government through a public-private fund called the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). The MSF has an appointed board which oversees the distribution of tens of millions of dollars in loans to businesses in Michigan.[1]

On June 26, the MSF approved the Crossing Agreement.

Speaking about the use of the interlocal agreement on June 30, Governor Snyder indicated that if there is no taxpayer appropriation for the new bridge, then there is no need for legislative approval. He added that the legislature voted against putting it on their agenda by not bringing it out of committee.

Interlocal Agreements

An "interlocal agreement" is a mechanism which permits local (municipal) governments to enter into agreements with other public agencies locally to "share resources." Through the interlocal agreements municipalities establish joint boards, that they appoint, to oversee the delivery of public services. According to the Constitution of the State of Michigan, the State can enter into an interlocal agreement with a province of Canada or Canada itself. These types of agreements are not subject to legislative approval and in Michigan can be signed by the Governor. In the case of the Crossing Agreement, the MSF has established an International Authority, along with the government of Canada and a Canadian Crossing Authority which will decide how the billions of dollars will be spent through public-private partnerships to build the bridge and related infrastructure.

According to the Urban Cooperation Act of 1967, under the section entitled "Joint exercise of power by contract; interlocal agreement provisions," the entity entering into an interlocal agreement has the authority to decide:

"(c) The precise organization, composition, and nature of any separate legal or administrative entity created in the interlocal agreement with the powers designated to that entity.

"(d) The manner in which the parties to the interlocal agreement will provide for financial support from the treasuries that may be made for the purpose set forth in the interlocal agreement, payments of public funds that may be made to defray the cost of such purpose, advances of public funds that may be made for the purposes set forth in the interlocal agreements and repayment of the public funds, and the personnel, equipment, or property of 1 or more of the parties to the agreement that may be used in lieu of other contributions or advances."

Role of the U.S. Federal Government

Despite the agreement being international in nature, the U.S. federal government is not directly a party to the agreement. However, its approval is required. According to the U.S. Constitution, states cannot sign agreements with foreign governments without the consent of Congress.

According to Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."


1. The following are board members of the Michigan Strategic Fund: Michael A. Finney, Chairperson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Steven Hilfinger, Director, Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs; Andy Dillon, State Treasurer, Michigan Department of Treasury; Paul Hodges, III, Citizen; Michael J. Jackson, Sr., Executive Secretary, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters; Sabrina E. Keeley, Chief Operational Officer, Business Leaders for Michigan; Bill J. Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Association of Realtors; Howard Morris, President & Chief Investment Officer, Prairie & Tireman, LLC (Investment Firm); James C. Petcoff, President, JFFS, LLC (Law Firm); Richard Rassel, Director of Global Client Relations, Butzel Long; Shaun W. Wilson, Vice President and Director of Client & Community Relations, PNC Financial Services Group.

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U.S. Homeland Security Given Joint Authority over Canadian Airport Management

On June 10, the governments of Canada and the United States announced the establishment of Binational Port Operations Committees at eight Canadian airports that provide a U.S. preclearance service. Preclearance refers to the arrangement whereby U.S. security officials are placed in another country, typically at airports, to preclear passengers before they land in the United States.

The term "Binational" is disinforming as these particular committees are being established to oversee Canadian airports, which are Canadian not binational entities. No similar arrangement exists for joint Canada-U.S. authority over U.S. airports.

A press release for the announcement quotes Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews: "The committees will play an important role in ensuring the safety and security of our borders and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods across the border by creating opportunities for greater interoperability, developing practical tools and sharing best practices."

Powerpoint slide from "Beyond the Border" security conference, Toronto, May 1, 2012.

According to the press release, Binational Port Operations Committees will ensure that cooperation and partnering result in: "enhanced collaboration on overall port management; coordinated emergency response and preparedness; the opportunity to integrate enforcement efforts; and an improvement to the efficiency of the mitigation strategies for border wait times as well as facilitate the existing 20 committees established at land border ports."

A Backgrounder for the announcement states: "Although cross-border communication has always existed at all Canada-U.S. ports of entry, Binational Port Operations Committees formalize communications among all interested parties to jointly address operational issues that impact both sides of the border, and to facilitate communications during events."

The committees are to meet at least four times a year. Members include the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "External partners" are being invited to participate "when issues specific to their area are discussed," integrating other civilian and police agencies into this bi-national arrangement, including federal agencies, state or provincial highway departments, bridge commissions, airport authorities, local fire and police departments and other stakeholders. Consideration is to be given to expanding to additional land ports of entry in 2013, following an evaluation of the existing committees by the end of 2012.

The eight Canadian airports that provide U.S. preclearance are:

- Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Calgary International Airport, Calgary, Alberta
- Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton, Alberta
- James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario
- MacDonald-Cartier International Airport, Ottawa, Ontario
- Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau International Airport, Montreal, Quebec
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The following land border ports already have Binational Port Operations Committees:

- Delta, British Columbia and Point Roberts, Washington
- Surrey, British Columbia and Blaine, Washington
- Aldergrove, British Columbia and Lynden, Washington
- Huntingdon, British Columbia and Sumas, Washington
- Osoyoos, British Columbia and Oroville, Washington
- Coutts, Alberta and Sweetgrass, Montana
- Emerson, Manitoba and Pembina, North Dakota
- Fort Frances, Ontario and International Falls-Ranier, Minnesota
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
- Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan
- Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan
- Niagara Falls-Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York
- Lansdowne, Ontario and Alexandria Bay, New York
- Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York
- Lacolle, Quebec and Champlain-Rouses Point, New York
- St. Armand-Philipsburg, Quebec and Highgate Springs-Alburg, Vermont
- Stanstead, Quebec and Derby Line, Vermont
- Edmundston, New Brunswick and Madawaska, Maine
- Woodstock, New Brunswick and Houlton, Maine
- St. Stephen, New Brunswick and Calais, Maine

Background on U.S. Preclearance in Canada

According to Wikipedia, informal preclearance arrangements between the U.S. and Canada began in Toronto, Ontario in 1952, following a request from American Airlines. This was extended and formalized with the passage of the Air Transport Preclearance Act by the House of Commons in 1974, the 1999 Preclearance Act and the 2001 Canada-U.S. Agreement on Air Transport Preclearance. The preclearance agreement is fully reciprocal, meaning the Government of Canada has the option of opening Canadian preclearance facilities in the United States, but as of 2011 this option had not been exercised.

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No to the Hysteria Generated over the Olympic Games!

Community protest June 30, 2012 against the installation of missiles throughout London
as part of "security" during the Olympics.

Much hysteria is being generated over the issue of "security" during the Olympic Games, which has its opening ceremony on July 27.

The Games have become a pretext for the militarisation of society, and as a training exercise for the military, besides being organised to serve the interests of the financial oligarchy, not the people.


Missiles being set up in Bow.

Using some vague and undefined threat of a "terrorist attack" on the "attractive target" of the Games, in the words of the head of MI5, surface to air missiles are being placed on the roofs of blocks of flats and elsewhere near Olympic venues. One of the most notable is the placement of Starstreak missiles on the tower of what was the Bryant and May match factory in Bow, now flats, which is the site of the famous match-girls strike of 1888, a landmark in British working class history. As many have pointed out, the move lacks all sense of logic, and the conclusion has to be drawn that it is a calculated exercise of the militarisation of society. Another is the Fred Wigg Tower at Leytonstone, East London, after the local council signed a secret deal with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) earlier this year. On nearby Wanstead Flats, which has the legal status of common land, there has also been erected an eight-acre camp for the police, surrounded by an 11-ft fence. It is also reported that the Metropolitan Police have been stockpiling rubber bullets.

All this has aroused the anger not only of the local communities but a wider sense of outrage. Despite a campaign being fought through the courts to prevent the police base being built, Parliament temporarily suspended the 136-year-old act which prohibits building on the common land. Residents of the tower block took their opposition to the High Court, who ruled in favour of the MoD, and they now find themselves being harassed by the soldiers on "security" grounds, as they enter and leave the building.

There are six locations in and around London where it is known that missiles are being placed. Rapier missiles sites are at Blackheath Common, Oxleas Wood, Eltham, William Girling Reservoir, Enfield, and Barn Hill, Netherstone Farm, near Epping Forest, in addition to the Starstreak missiles in Bow and Leytonstone. The opposition was summed up by a South London resident: "They have not answered any questions, they have just said we're doing it -- it's a sad day for democracy."

All sections of the armed forces are involved in this militarisation, including the Special Services. The navy's biggest warship HMS Ocean is being moored on the Thames, and the air force is ready to scramble Eurofighter jets to combat any "terrorist" threat from "rogue" aircraft, and has many other aircraft in varying roles. Fighter jets will be stationed at RAF Northolt, in west London, for the first time since the Second World War. RAF and Navy sniper teams are on standby. Puma helicopters will be based in Ilford, east London. Naval vessels will be stationed along the south coast. Already there are restrictions on the airspace over London and over much of South-East England, enforced by the military. An MoD spokesman told the press, "The government has reserved the right to extend the airspace restrictions, and the deployment of military assets, including ground-based air defence."

In what is being described as a "significant" step, US security agents are being stationed at Heathrow and other airports from one week before the Olympics to one week after the end of the Paralympics, a period of almost two months. Can this just be considered a one-off, or is there some more long-term aim?

On top of this, the G4S scandal broke that, late in the day, it has been discovered that this private security firm has recruited and trained only 4,200 of the 10,400 staff that were promised to the government. What is also part of the story is that last December, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), suddenly decided that the number of security staff required would not be 2,000 but 10,400. (G4S employs over 657,000 worldwide. It is the company which has a number of public sector contracts, including running prisons, and in whose custody an asylum seeker recently died during deportation.) Thus the government is drafting in 3,500 extra army soldiers. This is on top of the 13,500 which it was revealed are ready to be deployed. This compares with the number of 9,500 British occupying troops in Afghanistan. What is the role of 17,000 soldiers? Where will they be stationed? Airport-style checks are being mentioned. It is reported also that a further 2,000 are being held in reserve "on notice to move."

There is a connection here with the Queen's Jubilee workfare scandal, when unemployed were bussed in to act as stewards and treated like serfs. Not only is G4S part of the Department of Work and Pensions "Work Programme," but CPUK, the company which did the bussing, is subcontracted to G4S to provide fire safety stewards for the Games, and had justified its Jubilee behaviour by saying that the experience would be good preparation for the Olympics. It was to recruit students and the unemployed that G4S had been awarded the £284 million contract for the Olympic Games.

Added to all the above, it was suggested at the beginning of this month that police are expecting that riots will take place in August as they did last year, according to a study conducted by the London School of Economics and The Guardian. This promotion of police scaremongering both adds to the hysteria and prepares the ground for further police repression.

All in all, it can be seen how a hysteria is being created in order to give effect to restructuring the state and openly permit the state forces free rein against the people.

It emphasises how the occasion of the Olympics is being made the occasion for the overt use of the military in public life, and is of a piece with its promotion in the monopoly media and elsewhere.

Paying the Rich

As part of the hysteria, it was also announced that 300 "brand police" -- uniformed Olympic officers -- are to check up that only the brands of the Olympic financial oligarchy who are its corporate sponsors are associated with the Games. These sponsors include McDonald's, Coca-Cola, BP and Adidas. Thus pubs are not to be allowed to advertise viewing of the Olympics in conjunction with any other logo, for example. In advertising, non-Olympic brands must steer clear of Olympic-associated words, such as "summer," "London," "bronze," "silver" or "gold." It is even reported that the 800 food outlets other than McDonald's at the Games should not serve chips because serving fries is to be the exclusive right of that global giant. It is not the Olympic financial oligarchy, but the small businesses who fall foul of these edicts who are said to be engaging in "ambush marketing." The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has appointed the uniformed officers who have powers under the Olympic Games Act passed in the last session of Parliament to take offenders to court where they face a fine of up to £20,000. This emphasises the stranglehold of the monopolies on the economy as well as on society's cultural life. These "partners" of London 2012 together are funding £1.4bn of the Games' £11.4bn budget, but naturally expect a massive return on their investments, not to mention the tax breaks such sponsorship brings with it.

The International Olympic Committee itself is dominated by the international financial oligarchy, and the Games are organised in a totally capital-centred way. Everything is done to serve and protect the interests of monopoly capital. Whether it is on the construction projects, on infrastructure, on security or the armed forces, the people are being made to pay for the Olympic Games. While billions are going to the monopolies, musicians and others, for example, are being asked to contribute without being paid. The people of London in particular and the people as a whole are being saddled with the extra burden of state spending, not to mention the cost of attending the Games and the massive disruption to normal life being caused. This is coming at a time when the government is cutting investment in essential social programmes and further privatising them, is dragooning the youth through workfare programmes and slashing benefits under the fraud of having to reduce the deficit.

For a Human-Centred Alternative

Although they are being promoted as a great people's spectacle, every aspect of the Olympic Games in its present form is being organised to serve the monopolies and as an exercise against the people. Whether it be on the massive cost as a festival for the monopolies, or through the militarisation of society or with the hysteria and suspicion being fostered on the issue of security, the burden of the Olympic Games falls on the people and leaves them politically and culturally marginalised.

The stated ideals of the Olympics of sport in the service of the harmonious development amongst people, promoting a peaceful society and human dignity are completely swamped in the context of an exercise against the people's well-being and strengthening the power of the state against them. The working class and people must demand a human-centred alternative.

* Workers' Weekly is a publication of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

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59th Anniversary of Attack on Moncada Baracks in Cuba

Long Live the Cuban Revolution!

At left, Cuban President Raúl Castro addresses Cuba's main Moncada celebration in 2008 at the
site of the historic attack.

July 26, 2012 marks the 59th anniversary of the historic attack on the Moncada Barracks by revolutionary Cuban youth. Led by legendary leader of the Cuban Revolution Comrade Fidel Castro, the attack was aimed at overthrowing the U.S. puppet regime of Fulgencio Batista. On this occasion, TML sends revolutionary greetings to the Cuban people and their leadership for continued success in their socialist nation-building project.

Although the attack did not succeed, it was a seminal event which consolidated the opposition to the U.S. puppet regime of Fulgencio Batista that ultimately led to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Today, the Cuban revolution marches onward, with the same audacious and revolutionary spirit of the youth who went into battle on July 26, 1953, but tempered by the wisdom of six decades of revolutionary practice in which countless obstacles and hardships have been overcome.

In 1953, Cuba was governed by the U.S. puppet dictator Batista. Seeking to decisively change the situation so that the people would be in control of their own destiny, the Cuban youth planned and carried out the attack on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Barracks of Batista's army in Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo respectively. The Moncada Barracks were the military centre of the Batista regime in the south and its second largest and most powerful garrison.

Around 120 youth were part of the attacks in which approximately 70 of them were killed; many more were tortured and executed after the attack. The survivors, including Fidel Castro, were subsequently put on trial and given lengthy prison sentences. During his trial, Fidel Castro delivered his famous speech "History Will Absolve Me," which ardently defended the actions of the youth and laid out the national and social goals of the revolutionary movement that eventually triumphed on January 1, 1959.

Most of the rebels, including Fidel Castro, were released after an amnesty in May 1955. This amnesty was the result of mass popular support for the imprisoned rebels. Following their release, the rebels regrouped in Mexico, eventually returning to Cuba in late 1956 on the yacht the Granma.

Above, Fidel Castro (centre) and other Moncada rebels released from prison, May 1955.

The anniversary of the attacks on the Moncada Barracks is today celebrated across Cuba as the National Day of Rebellion and also worldwide by all those who support Cuba's right to chart its own path, free from foreign interference, especially that of the U.S. Cuba stands second to none in taking principled stands, refusing to submit to the U.S. imperialists' interference while selflessly extending genuine humanitarian assistance to the peoples of the world. It is this indomitable spirit of defiance and sacrifice which Moncada Day commemorates.

On the occasion of Moncada Day, TML calls on everyone to continue building support for revolutionary Cuba by mobilizing for and participating in Moncada Day activities and coming events such as the People's Tribunal and Assembly to Free the Cuban Five in Toronto this September. Support for Cuba, including opposing the criminal blockade and the continued imprisonment of the Cuban Five is more important than ever at a time when the hide-bound and desperate imperialists are more and more resorting to violence as the means to resolve their differences with the peoples of the world and impose their dictate on all those who seek an independent path.

President Raúl Castro presides over the main 2011 Moncada Day festivities in
Ciego de Avila province, July 26, 2011.

Free the Cuban Five!
All Out to Support Revolutionary Cuba!
Long Live the Cuban Revolution!

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Coming Events

Moncada Day Celebrations

Friday, July 27 -- 12:15-6:15pm
Victoria Park, Spring Garden Rd. between South Park St. and Tower Rd.
Cost: Free

For the fifth consecutive year Nova Scotia Cuba Association is organizing a celebration of Moncada Day in Halifax, featuring speakers on Cuba's medical internationalism, maternity care in Cuba, relations between Cubans and Canadians and the Cuban Five, as well as poetry, music and dancing.

Thursday, July 26 -- 6:00-8:00 pm

Maison du Citoyen de Saint-Michel, 7501, rue François-Perrault (métro Saint-Michel)
RSVP: call Geneviève Royer or Christine Dandenault, (514) 433-4502,
or email journeeamitie@gmail.com
Organized by: Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba

This event includes speeches, videos, discussions and refreshments. The occasion will also be used to announce the 8th Annual Montreal Day of Friendship with Cuba that takes place on September 8.


Thursday, July 26 -- 6:30 pm to Midnight
United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St.
Organized by: Toronto Forum on Cuba
For information: torontoforumoncuba@rogers.com, torontoforumoncuba.weebly.com

This year's celebration calls for the freedom of the Cuban Five, with the theme "Give Me the Five!" and is dedicated to Professor Keith Ellis for his tireless work in building solidarity with Cuba.

(Click to enlarge)

Thursday, July 26 -- 7:30 pm
Ukrainian Centre Hall, 11018 — 97 Street NW
With Cuban food and a cash bar.
Tickets are $30 and may be purchased by emailing rosouljah@gmail.com or calling 780-293-8496.
Organized by: Cuba Edmonton Solidarity Committee
For information: cubaedmontonsc@gmail.com, cubaedmontonsc.wordpress.com

The Cuba Edmonton Solidarity Committee invites everyone to "an evening of music and sharing as we celebrate the revolutionary movement that gave rise to the Cuban socialist struggle that established a sovereign nation and confronted imperialism."

Sunday, July 29 -- 2:00 pm (doors open @ 1:30 pm)
Chilean Co-op, 3390 School Ave.
Celebration with Speakers & Music -- Free Admission
Dinner -- $15 adults; $10 children
Sponsored by: Canadian Cuban Friendship Association-Vancouver

17th Annual Toronto-Cuba Friendship Day --
Salsa in the City Square

Saturday, August 25 -- 1:00-8:00 pm
Free Admission
Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W. at Bay
To download flyer (PDF) click here.

Featuring: Cuban dance bands Pablo Terry & Sol de Cuba, Yani Borrell & Los Clave Kings, Iyá Iré Afro-Cuban Drum & Dance Ensemble and more, as well as salsa lessons, display tables, clowns, a beer garden and Cuban food.

Peoples' Tribunal & Assembly to
Free the Cuban Five
- www.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca -

September 21-23, 2012
Toronto, Canada

Almost 14 years ago, the Cuban Five -- René González, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Fernando González -- were falsely charged and wrongly convicted in a Miami courtroom of "conspiracy to commit espionage" against the U.S. on behalf of the Cuban government. Ever since the unjust conviction, the five Cubans have been held in separate U.S. prisons, often in solitary confinement.

In fact, the politically-motivated trial and conviction of the Cuban Five had nothing to do with threats to U.S. security. The Cuban Five never conspired to commit espionage. They were on a mission to monitor and report on violent groups in Miami that are well known by the U.S. government to be responsible for terrorist acts against the Cuban people.

For more than 50 years, hundreds of attacks have been launched against Cuba by these extreme right-wing groups, whose aim is the violent overthrow of the Cuban government. Their campaign of bombings, assassinations and other attacks has left 3,478 Cubans dead and 2,099 seriously injured.

The Cuban Five were peacefully trying to do what U.S. law enforcement authorities have refused to: prevent terrorism.

This horrific injustice against the Five has provoked an unprecedented campaign in the U.S., Canada and around the world to demand that their convictions be overturned and that they be granted immediate release.

As part of this international effort to achieve the freedom of the Cuban Five, a number of trade unions and solidarity groups from across Canada, in coordination with the Canadian Network on Cuba and La Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba, are convoking a Peoples' Tribunal & Assembly on September 21-23, 2012 in Toronto, to shed new light on this egregious injustice and to build a broad public campaign to demand their freedom.

The Peoples' Tribunal & Assembly aims:

- to act as a forum for education and for launching an appeal to get justice for the Cuban Five;

- to break the silence of the mainstream media about this case; and

- to map out the next steps of a broad and united campaign on the Cuban Five in Québec and across the rest of Canada.

The Peoples' Tribunal, composed of prominent Canadian and international panelists, will hear from expert witnesses before rendering a ruling. Although the Tribunal's ruling will not be legally or judicially binding, it will carry moral force and suasion of the outrage of concerned people across Canada and internationally.

Witnesses will testify to the suffering caused to the Cuban people and to others as a result of all the terrorist attacks against Cuba and Cuban interests. They will testify to the unjust trial in Miami, the U.S. government's covert payments to journalists covering the trial, the horrendous sentences given to the Cuban Five and the violation of international law by the United States government regarding the inhumane treatment they have endured, the denial of visitation rights to family members and the U.S. government's harbouring and protection of self-confessed anti-Cuban terrorists.

The Peoples' Assembly will serve to develop and adopt an extensive plan of action to pressure the Canadian government to join the international demand urging U.S. President Obama to use his authority to immediately release the Cuban Five and allow them to return to their homeland.

Guests and participants include:

• Family members of the "Cuban Five" • Livio Di Celmo, a victim of terrorism against Cuba, Montréal, Québec • Danny Glover, actor, U.S.A. • Gloria La Riva, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five-U.S.A. • Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist, U.S.A. • Libby Davies, NDP MP, Vancouver East • Rodolfo Dávalos Fernández, lawyer, Havana, Cuba • Tony Woodley, UNITE trade union, UK • José Pertierra, lawyer, Washington, D.C. • Denis Lemelin, National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers • Marie Clarke Walker, Canadian Labour Congress • Isaac Saney, professor, Dalhousie University, Halifax • Arnold August, writer, Montréal, Québec • Raymundo Navarro, Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC) • Bernie Dwyer, documentary film producer, Ireland • Dra. Digna Castañeda, Cuba • Julian Rivas, journalist, Venezuela • Wes Elliott, Grand Chief, Grand River Territory • Keith Bolender, journalist and author, Toronto • Richard Klugh, lawyer for the Cuban Five, U.S.A. • Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada, United Steelworkers • Stephen Kimber, professor of Journalism, University of Kings College, Halifax • Alicia Jrapko, International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, U.S.A. • William Sloan, civil rights lawyer, Montréal, Québec •

For more information about the Peoples' Tribunal & Assembly, and to find out details about registration, go to www.freethe5peoplestribunal.org or contact the Organizing Committee at tribunal.five@gmail.com.

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