December 10, 2016 - No. 48

International Human Rights Day

All Human Beings Have Rights
by Virtue of Being Human

Communism and Human Rights
- Hardial Bains -
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- Backgrounder

Oppose Canada's Aggression Against Syria
No to Intervention in Syria in the Name of Responsibility to Protect!
- CPC(M-L) -
Promotion of "White Helmets" Serves Nefarious Aims
- Enver Villamizar -

Trudeau Government's Modern-Day Consultocracy

Reactionary Program to "Reinvent Government"
- Sam Heaton -

Approval of Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Line 3 Pipelines
Two Very Different and Distinct Canadas Have Emerged
- Philip Fernandez -
The Oil Pipeline Circus
- K.C. Adams -
Ongoing Mass Actions Oppose Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Barack Obama's Legacy
U.S. President Targets Entire World for Attack
by Special Operations Forces

Developments on Korean Peninsula
South Korean President Impeached as Millions
Demand Resignation

The People Say "Enough" and Want Change
- Interview, H.P. Chung Spokesperson, Canadian 6.15 Committee  -
Statement by Overseas Koreans in U.S. and Canada
Canadian Actions in Support of Korean People
DPRK Rejects Unjust Attempt to Isolate It and Violate
Human Rights of Its Citizens

International Human Rights Day

All Human Beings Have Rights
by Virtue of Being Human

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) joins with millions of people on the world scale who are marking International Human Rights Day on December 10 and fighting for human rights every day.

International Human Rights Day is important not only because of the significance of protecting human rights. Of even greater importance today is the need for the peoples of the world, all human beings, to rally together to claim the rights that belong to them by virtue of their being human. The broadest possible unity on an international scale is one of the greatest aims of all movements for national and social emancipation. The aim of communism remains the creation of an Internationale which encompasses the entire "human race," as the glorious song of the international working class has envisioned since the late 19th century.

The world is marking International Human Rights Day at a time the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has unleashed a resurgence of anti-communist, racist and homophobic hatred and revenge. The death of the leader of the Cuban people and friend of the peoples the world over, Fidel Castro, was used by the U.S. President-Elect and his adherents in Canada to spew every form of lie and slander and villainy against communism in a manner reminiscent of when Nazi-fascism took over Germany and then Europe in the twentieth century and minorities and communists were made the target of attack in the name of high ideals. Far from showing that communism does not espouse human rights, the desperation of the reactionary forces is evidence of the fact that it is their system which has failed the peoples of the world and today it has resorted to torture, aggression and atrocities in the name of rights.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the former people's democracies in 1989-90, the imperialist powers established their own criteria of what constitutes human rights and use this to justify committing aggression against sovereign countries to bring about regime change and establish their own hegemony. This even extends to sanctioning torture and other egregious violations of human rights in the name of upholding human rights. On November 21, 1990, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),[1] comprised of the countries of Europe, the United States and Canada, adopted The Charter of Paris for a New Europe which declares that any country that does not adhere to a market economy, abide by the big powers' definition of democracy based on a multiparty system and of human rights that opposes any interpretation that harms what these powers call their national interests is not to be tolerated. This gave the green light to target all those countries the imperialists do not deem to be democratic with sanctions, invasions and all manner of crimes.

As was the case in the past, communists are in the front ranks of the fight for human rights. They join with all those who are victims of abuse and pledge to continue the fight for human rights. Communists define rights as belonging to all human beings by virtue of their being human. As rights, they can be neither given nor taken away. They cannot be lost nor forfeited in any way. The issue is to win the guarantee that no law or action can override them, be it by governments or any other force.

Communists uphold the broadest definition of human rights, without prejudice, ill-will or narrow ideological and political considerations. Only such a definition enables people to work for the realization of human rights. A whole series of rights have emerged as a result of the development of human civilization, including those which pit one class against another in class societies. But no right can be placed above those which belong to people by virtue of their being human. These rights have come to the fore in the course of humanizing the social and human environments, the great battles human beings have waged to break free from being the victims and slaves of the vagaries of nature and society.

The struggle for the affirmation of human rights through the ages reveals that it is the prevailing conditions which show whether human rights are recognized in a society or not. To have various states and their governments get away with the violation of human rights based on self-serving declarations is unacceptable. Until human rights are recognized by virtue of being human and not as a category of law which condones conditions that deprive human beings of their ability to flourish as human beings, human rights will not be recognized in the true sense of their meaning. The economic and political systems of the countries which make up the imperialist system of states do not favour the full flourishing of human rights. In countries such as the U.S. and Canada, a ruling elite exists which has more rights than others to decide fundamental issues such as citizenship and enjoyment of civil rights, not to mention matters pertaining to life and death and war and peace.

Significant confusion is generated over the issue of human rights. In fact, the mightier a country is in the military sense, the more it can dictate to the world that it has more rights than any other country. Life experience has proven time and time again that just because a country has might on its side, like the U.S., does not mean that, in the objective sense, it upholds human rights. It does not follow that human rights exist in that country, or that countries such as the U.S. and Canada defend human rights while others do not. When human rights assume the form of propaganda used to bully and invade other countries something is seriously wrong. Furthermore, it is not possible to ignore the gross violations of human rights such as depriving entire peoples of food, shelter and clothing just because they are poor, let alone not giving them full access to health care, education and culture. The question of human rights can only be fully appreciated within the context of the conditions in a society. The affirmation of human rights exists in the form of the struggle to change the conditions which deprive the people of their enjoyment of those rights.

At the same time, it is not possible for human beings to affirm their human rights when their countries are under the perpetual threat of being taken over or wiped out by another. In other words, there is a crucial interplay between a country's internal and external situation and its internal and external policy. A country such as the United States, which has a terrible record of rights abuse internationally, cannot do differently at home. In the case of Cuba, on the other hand, which has been slandered and defamed by the reactionary campaign of anti-communist propaganda and accused of violating human rights, the threat from the U.S. to its independence and sovereignty and the U.S. blockade limit rights, not the Cuban government. Were the U.S. to succeed in overthrowing the Cuban government and Cuban revolution, all the achievements the Cuban people have made and will make within the present stage of development of their society would be lost. The terrible conditions which prevail in all the countries the U.S. has "freed" prove that this is the case and why the Cuban people defend their government with their lives.

Unless the conditions are made favourable, there is no possibility for the full expression of human rights. The main obstacle to the elimination of conditions which are hostile to the realization of human rights are the countries which have defined themselves as the greatest defenders of human rights, such as the U.S., linking this struggle with the promotion of their own interests. Such an obstacle must be removed if the human rights of all human beings are to flourish. Countries such as Cuba which have, to date, achieved so much and set examples in the sphere of human rights will have no difficulty in achieving even better results if such obstacles are removed from their path.

CPC(M-L) takes this opportunity to hail the peoples all over the globe who are fighting for the realization of human rights and pledges to continue to do the same within Canada and internationally.


1. In 1948, the OECD (originally the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC)), led by Robert Marjolin of France, was established to help administer the Marshall Plan. Following World War II, its role was to allocate American financial aid and implement economic programs for the reconstruction of Europe as well as, along with NATO, make sure Western Europe would not become communist.

In January 1960, an agreement was reached to create a body that would deal not only with European and Atlantic economic issues, but devise policies to assist less developed countries. This reconstituted organization, the OECD, would bring the U.S. and Canada, who were already OEEC observers, on board as full members. It would also set to work straight away on bringing in Japan.

In 2003, the OECD established the following criteria for membership: "like-mindedness," "significant player," "mutual benefit" and "global considerations."

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Communism and Human Rights

Hardial Bains speaks at International Seminar on Communism and Human Rights,
Toronto, March 27, 1995.

On March 27, 1995, Hardial Bains, the leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) until his untimely death in 1997, spoke at the International Seminar on Communism and Human Rights held in Toronto. The following article is based on his presentation on that occasion.


One of the most important arenas in which ideological struggle has broken out is that of human rights. The bourgeoisie of all countries is screaming itself hoarse that communism violates human rights. It is even suggested that communism, as a result of a quality inherent to it, is the enemy of human rights. Communism and human rights, according to these critics, are like oil and water. The two do not mix.

Is it really true that communism is the violator of human rights and that communism and human rights do not mix? This, of course, is not true. Communism is the condition for the complete emancipation of the working class, a condition for the emancipation of entire humanity. How can it be that communism, which is the condition for the complete emancipation of the working class, can violate human rights?

The modern definition of human rights stipulates that all human beings have rights by virtue of their being. Besides this, there are human beings who also have rights by virtue of their conditions, e.g., women by virtue of their womanhood or the disabled by virtue of their concrete objective condition or the national, linguistic, religious and other minorities on account of their own concrete objective reality.

Communism, in its modern rendering, presents the Collectivity of Rights as the basic condition for the defence of all rights, whether they are inviolable and belong to all people by virtue of their being human or whether they belong to them because of their concrete objective conditions. If people as a collective nation or country do not enjoy the collectivity of their rights, how can they enjoy any other rights? The U.S. is attacking Cuba's collectivity of rights while screaming about the absence of human rights there. North Korea and many other countries such as Iran are also being threatened on similar grounds.

Collectivity, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means:

1. Collective state or quality; collectiveness... Every unsocial act or sentiment tends to overthrow that collectivity of effort to which we owe all.

b. ... The whole taken collectively; the aggregate, sum, mass... The collectivity of living existence becomes a self-improving machine.

2. Collective ownership, collectivism in practice... I vote for the collectivity of the soil ... and of all social wealth.

3. The collective body of people forming a community or state.

...The State is the real collectivity -- the State is everybody, it is the country." ... "An omnipotent and centralised political authority -- call it the State, call it the collectivity; call it what you like -- which should have the final disposal of everything.

Collectivity of rights, like "collectivity of soil" or "collectivity of social wealth" or an "omnipotent and centralised political authority" is something which exists and must belong to all. What quality should a person have before that person can partake of the collectivity of rights? The person just has to be a human being. This is the broadest definition which can be given as it includes all people without exception by virtue of their being human. Not only does communism provide these rights to all as a matter of course, but it agitates for this definition at all times and under all conditions. This being the case, can it be said that communism and human rights do not mix?

The bourgeoisie provides an extremely narrow definition of what is a human right. According to the founding fathers of the U.S., such a right only belongs to the "natural aristocracy," to those who excel in the capitalist market. To eliminate the capitalist market through the socialization of the means of production is considered by the bourgeoisie to be a violation of "human rights." This is why it is preaching and demanding, including by force of arms, that every country in the world must have a capitalist system with an "open door policy" through which the big powers can enter and do whatever they wish.

Communists put the Collectivity of Rights on a pedestal for the simple reason that what is needed is to harmonize the rights of the individual with the general interests of the collective and the rights of all individuals and collectives with the general well-being of society. Individual or collective rights or the general well-being of society make no sense if the Collectivity of Rights is not put in the first place. How can the bourgeoisie support human rights when it demands that the collectivity of rights must be negated? Communists fight for a polity based on the collectivity of rights as a principle. They consider the collectivity of rights to be the guarantee of the rights of the individual and their collective and of all individuals and collectives and the general interests of society. Only the collectivity of rights has the power to coordinate and subordinate all rights to the opening of the door to the progress of society.

It is necessary for all fighters for communism and for human rights to discuss and debate the topic Communism and Human Rights as the discussion involves questions of vital importance to the progress of society at this time.

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A United Nations backgrounder published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948 points out that this was one of the first major achievements of the United Nations, which continues to exert an enormous effect on people's lives all over the world. "This was the first time in history that a document considered to have universal value was adopted by an international organization. It was also the first time that human rights and fundamental freedoms were set forth in such detail. There was broad-based international support for the Declaration when it was adopted:"

The adoption of the Universal Declaration stems in large part from the strong desire for peace in the aftermath of the Second World War. Although the 58 Member States which formed the United Nations at that time varied in their ideologies, political systems and religious and cultural backgrounds and had different patterns of socio-economic development, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represented a common statement of goals and aspirations -- a vision of the world as the international community would want it to become.

The Universal Declaration has been translated into more than 200 languages and remains one of the best known and most often cited human rights documents in the world, the UN document points out. It explains that drafting and adopting the Declaration was "a long and arduous task:"

When created in 1946, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights was composed of 18 Member States. During its first sessions, the main item on the agenda was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Commission set up a drafting committee which devoted itself exclusively to preparing the draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The drafting committee was composed of eight persons, from Australia, Chile, China, France, Lebanon, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The United Nations Secretariat, under the guidance of John Humphrey, drafted the outline (400 pages in length) to serve as the basic working paper of the Committee.

During the two-year drafting process of the Universal Declaration, the drafters maintained a common ground for discussions and a common goal: respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. Despite their conflicting views on certain questions, they agreed to include in the document the principles of non-discrimination, civil and political rights, and social and economic rights. They also agreed that the Declaration had to be universal.

On 10 December 1948, at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, the 58 Member States of the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with 48 states in favour and eight abstentions (two countries were not present at the time of the voting)." The General Assembly proclaimed the Declaration as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations," towards which individuals and societies should "strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.

United National General Assembly session that adopted the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, December 10, 1948

The UN document further explains:

Although the Declaration, which comprises a broad range of rights, is not a legally binding document, it has inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. These instruments include the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which are legally binding treaties. Together with the Universal Declaration, they constitute the International Bill of Rights.

The Declaration recognizes that the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world and is linked to the recognition of fundamental rights towards which every human being aspires, namely the right to life, liberty and security of person; the right to an adequate standard of living; the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution; the right to own property; the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right to education, freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and the right to freedom from torture and degrading treatment, among others. These are inherent rights to be enjoyed by all human beings of the global village -- men, women and children, as well as by any group of society, disadvantaged or not -- and not 'gifts' to be withdrawn, withheld or granted at someone's whim or will.

The rights contained in the Declaration and the two covenants were further elaborated in such legal documents as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which declares dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred as being punishable by law; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, covering measures to be taken for eliminating discrimination against women in political and public life, education, employment, health, marriage and family; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which lays down guarantees in terms of the child's human rights.

Then, in 1989-1990, the Soviet Union collapsed bringing down with it the regimes in eastern Europe and ending the bi-polar division of the world. At that time, in 1991, the United States, Canada and the big powers of Old Europe which formed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) adopted the so-called Paris Charter which stipulated that all countries in the world had to have market economies and abide by their definition of democracy based on a multiparty system and human rights based on their opposition to any interpretation that harmed what these powers called their national interests. Since then, the human rights agenda has been most manipulated by the U.S. and those countries which signed the so-called Paris Charter, bringing human rights legislation and international covenants into utter disrepute.

The World Conference on Human Rights was subsequently held in Vienna (Austria) in June 1993, where 171 countries reiterated the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, and reaffirmed their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They adopted the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which provides the new "framework of planning, dialogue and cooperation" "to enable a holistic approach to promoting human rights and involving actors at the local, national and international levels."

The UN backgrounder on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights concludes:

Since the inception of the United Nations, the promotion and protection of human rights have been at its very core. Reference to the promotion of and respect for human rights was made in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter and in the establishment of a commission for the promotion of human rights, mentioned in Article 68 of the Charter. Over the years, the United Nations has created a wide range of mechanisms for monitoring human rights violations. Conventional mechanisms (treaty bodies) and extra-conventional mechanisms (UN special rapporteurs, representatives, experts and working groups) have been established in order to monitor compliance of States parties with the various human rights instruments and to investigate allegations of human rights abuses. In recent years, a number of field offices have been opened at the request of Governments, inter alia, to assist in the development of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights and to conduct education campaigns on human rights.

Challenges still lie ahead, despite many accomplishments in the field of human rights. Many in the international community believe that human rights, democracy and development are intertwined. Unless human rights are respected, the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of economic and social development cannot be achieved. The world is still plagued with incidents of ethnic hatred and acts of genocide. People are still victims of xenophobic attitudes, are subjected to discrimination because of religion or gender and suffer from exclusion. Around the world, millions of people are still denied food, shelter, access to medical care, education and work, and too many live in extreme poverty. Their inherent humanity and dignity are not recognized.

The future of human rights lies in our hands. We must all act when human rights are violated. States as well as the individual must take responsibility for the realization and effective protection of human rights.

(Source of Backgrounder: United Nations Department of Public Information DPI/1937/A -- December 1997)

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Oppose Canada's Aggression Against Syria

No to Intervention in Syria in the Name of Responsibility to Protect!

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9 to justify military intervention in Syria.[1] The resolution was initiated by Canada and invokes the "responsibility to protect" on the part of Syrian authorities, using language pioneered by Canada in the 1990s to justify aggression by the U.S-led NATO military alliance. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said the resolution was a vote to "stand up to tell Russia and Assad to stop the carnage. This is a vote to defend the bedrock principles of how states should act, even in war. This is a vote to demand food, medicine, and safety urgently for a population in eastern Aleppo who have none."

Canada's representative, Marc-André Blanchard perversely declared that "Without action, Syria would soon become a giant graveyard." The representative of the European Union promised that the EU would "act swiftly to impose further restrictive measures against Syria, targeting individuals and entities supporting the regime."

Unable to use the UN Security Council to advance NATO proposals for a no-fly zone over Syria, the imperialists have now turned to schemes to use ground forces to establish pockets of territory outside of the control of Syrian authorities, which they call "humanitarian corridors." In that regard, the resolution opens the door to imperialist aggression should the big powers deem the Syrian government to be failing in its "responsibility to protect."

The resolution makes repeated reference to "international human rights law" but the definitions adopted by the United Nations coming out of the Second World War, including the definition of aggression enshrined in the Nuremberg Trials and human rights as established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are no longer recognized by the U.S. and its allies. The imperialist powers have smashed the international rule of law established following humanity's victory over Nazi-fascism. Even within that international rule of law, the imperialist powers committed aggression throughout the 20th century, but now that they are unable to reach consensus in the UN Security Council, established to deal with questions of war and peace, the NATO countries have armed themselves with self-serving definitions such as "Responsibility to Protect" and "Responsible Conviction." This gives official endorsement to the use of police powers internationally against those singled out as targets, enemies, rogue states, human rights violators, etc. To attempt to legitimize the practice through the UN General Assembly is treacherous indeed.

Canada's resolution is based on fraud, as it speaks of the need for foreign interference to provide urgent humanitarian relief at a time tens of thousands of Syrians living in Aleppo are being evacuated from areas previously held by terrorist groups, including those financed by the U.S., Canada and other countries which seek to overthrow the Assad government. On December 8, the Syrian Arab Army suspended all military operations in eastern Aleppo to evacuate 8,000 civilians. On December 10, more than 20,000 were reported to have exited formerly besieged areas while 1,217 anti-government fighters surrendered. Brutal stories from Syrians forced to live for years under the rule of U.S.-backed death squads in Aleppo are already coming to light. Syrian authorities say that 93 per cent of Aleppo territory is now liberated.

Canada's resolution appears as a desperate attempt to prevent bringing the terrible conflict in Syria to an end. To sanction the violation of Syria's sovereignty in the name of international human rights law and the UN Charter can only be considered a criminal move on Canada's part.

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja'afari criticized the Canadian delegation and its partners for violating the sovereignty of Syria by holding the session without consulting the Syria delegation, adding that the non-binding resolution violated the UN Charter. "Before calling for holding this meeting and submitting the draft resolution, the Canadian delegation and its partners should have listened to the harrowing accounts about the crimes of terrorist organizations" from Syrians in Aleppo, Ja'afari added. He noted that the measure would not dissuade the Syrian government and its allies from combating terrorism and vowed that all of Aleppo would soon be liberated. "I would like to reassure the states that sponsor terrorism in Aleppo that the Syrian army has up to this point liberated 93 per cent of the areas that terrorists used to control in Aleppo, and their bloody game is taking its last breaths," Ja'afari added. He concluded his remarks stating a vote against the text would reflect member states' rejection of the exploitation of the United Nations and the "bargaining over the blood of Syrians."

CPC(M-L) calls on all peace-loving people to oppose any move on the part of NATO to enter Syria and any involvement on the part of Canada to send special forces of any kind. The endorsement by the Liberal Party and NDP of the doctrines of Responsibility to Protect and Responsible Conviction to achieve war aims must be opposed.


1. The resolution received 122 votes in favour and 13 against, while 36 countries abstained. The resolution "Demands that all parties take all appropriate steps to protect civilians and persons hors de combat, including members of ethnic, religious and confessional communities." It notes that "the primary responsibility to protect [Syria's] population lies with the Syrian authorities" providing a pretext for aggression should the Syrian authorities be declared negligent in this responsibility.

The resolution requires the Secretary-General of the United Nations to report on its implementation within 45 days of its adoption, or by January 23. At that time there will be both a new UN Secretary-General (as of January 1) and a new U.S. President (as of January 20). Canada's resolution was introduced before the U.S. election. The Trudeau Liberals have subsequently been taking the lead on other anti-Syrian plots. From November 11 to 13 the Canadian government hosted a meeting in Mont Tremblant, Quebec with representatives of governments and groups seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government.[2] Canada's Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan on December 1 spoke about the possibility of Canada's intervention in Syria in the future, and on December 6 the government announced it is spending millions to sponsor an unsavoury group calling itself "Syria Civil Defence."

2. See also "Canada Hosts International Meeting on Syria," TML Weekly, December 3, 2016.

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Promotion of "White Helmets"
Serves Nefarious Aims

On December 6, the government of Canada announced it would begin financing the group called the "White Helmets" to the tune of $4.5 million dollars. The Trudeau government has taken this "Syria Civil Defence" group under its wing as part of Canada's "peacemaking" in Syria. The funds come from its "Peace and Stabilization Operations Program." The same day, Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Howard Drake, British High Commissioner to Canada announced that six public events would be held across Canada from December 7 to 13 featuring figures associated with the group.

The tour coincides with International Human Rights Day, December 10, and uses phrases about human rights to justify war and aggression. In this regard, the "White Helmets" are part of the imperialists' private special forces on the civilian front. They reinforce the aim of regime change in Syria, including acting as auxiliaries for anti-government armed groups that are financed by the imperialists which Canada supports.[1]

The "White Helmets" were founded in 2013 by James Le Mesurier, a British private military contractor, consultant for the UK Foreign Office and former military intelligence officer, when the governments of the U.S. and UK funded select individuals in rebel-held territory in Syria to travel to Turkey to allegedly receive training in rescue operations. The White Helmets group is supported by a foundation started by Le Mesurier called Mayday Rescue which operates out of the Netherlands, Dubai, Jordan and Turkey. According to the U.S. State Department the group has received at least $23 million in U.S. government funding but the British Foreign Office is said to be its largest single backer.

The group operates exclusively in those areas which remain under the control of armed groups that refuse to participate in a political resolution to the conflict in Syria. Canada's funds are slated to help the group "recruit volunteers," particularly women. Tour events were held in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto on December 7, 8 and 9 respectively. Two more events are scheduled: one in Winnipeg at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on December 11; the other in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia.

The tour will feature the screening of a Netflix film, created to promote the group, and panelists who are identified as:

- Raed Saleh, "Head of the White Helmets and Chair of Syria Civil Defence," a non-recognized group that does not belong to the International Civil Defence Organisation. Saleh allegedly travels back and forth illicitly between Turkey and Syria;

- Farouq Habib, "Syria Program Director at Mayday Rescue Foundation," which is funded by Britain, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the U.S. and others. Habib was a participant in U.S.-backed efforts to overthrow the Syrian government in the city of Homs until 2013 and now works in Turkey; and

- James Le Mesurier, "founder and Director of Mayday Rescue," who, according to his official biography at the Mayday Rescue site, "has spent 20 years working in fragile states as a United Nations staff member, a consultant for private companies and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as a British Army Officer. Much of his experience has involved delivering stabilisation activities through security sector and democratisation programmes."[2]

The Trudeau Liberals in Canada are in contempt of the modern principle that accountability begins at home. Governments must first and foremost recognize and guarantee the rights of their own people. Within the recognition of rights is the principle and right of all peoples of the world to their sovereignty and to live in peace without being threatened with war and subjected to regime change. It is unacceptable to use human rights and the rights of women as pretexts to promote aggression and war as the Trudeau government and the other political parties in the parliament are doing, in conjunction with the British government.

The same day that Canada launched this tour, a representative of the "White Helmets" spoke to the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament stating, "We need a no-fly zone, with a civil protection. We asked for that two years ago. And unfortunately, no one answered. So today, we ask for a humanitarian corridor [another euphemism for military intervention -- Ed. note] to send humanitarian aid to help civilians, and planes to drop aid."

The imperialists constantly wail about human rights around the world and organize "non-governmental" human rights organizations to do propaganda against countries they wish to attack, such as Syria, Russia, China, the DPRK, Venezuela and others throughout Asia, Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The purpose of this state-organized disinformation about human rights is to demobilize the peoples of the U.S. and Canada and their movement for an anti-war government, and in defence of the rights of all. The ruling elite want the people to passively accept interference in the sovereign affairs of others, up to and including predatory and inter-imperialist wars.

In this regard, on December 1, while speaking to the House of Commons Committee on Defence, Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan once again promoted the possibility of a combat role for Canada in Syria. "Our efforts right now are in Iraq. If the situation in Syria does change, we will always assess a situation based on consultations with our allies. However, right now we do not have, or intend to have, any involvement in Syria."

In the 1990s, the U.S.-led NATO military alliance loudly denounced the former Yugoslav regime and waged an unrelenting campaign against it, in preparation for bombing it and fragmenting its state. In the wake of Yugoslavia's destruction and dismemberment, the U.S. imperialists built their largest overseas military base in the conquered territory of Kosovo, which now serves as a staging area to interfere throughout Europe, West Asia and North Africa.

In the name of human rights, the U.S. imperialists applied crippling sanctions on Iraq for a decade and then they invaded and occupied the country, overthrew its government and dismantled its institutions. U.S. Secretary of State Madelaine Albright was asked in 1996 on the television program 60 Minutes about these sanctions that led to the death of more than 500,000 Iraqi children. In response to the question, "Is this price worth it?" Albright said, "I think this is a very hard choice. But the price -- we think the price is worth it."

The U.S.-led imperialist front also waged a vicious public relations campaign against the government of Libya and eventually attacked and destroyed it leaving the country in shambles and without a viable state. Speaking about the violent overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, U.S. war Secretary of State and candidate to be war President Hillary Clinton infamously remarked, "We came, we saw, he died."

The current U.S.-led military and mercenary wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria, the huge military buildup in the Asia Pacific region, Japan, south Korea and the Philippines, and on Russia's borders through NATO are all accompanied by ceaseless campaigns about human rights in the targeted countries.

Canadians should reject such state-organized public relations campaigns that use the issue of human rights to promote war and aggression. They should insist that the recognition and guarantee of rights begins at home. The presentation of a lack of rights anywhere in the world, especially when based on a profoundly reactionary ideological outlook, is no excuse to deny the peoples of the world their right to live in peace and to develop their countries through their own independent efforts without big power interference. Canadians want their government to play an honourable role in international affairs based on positive neutrality, contributing to all efforts that seek political rather than military solutions to differences between and amongst peoples and countries. Canadians want their government to affirm the rights of all at home as a contribution to the cause of human rights internationally.

Canadians should reject with contempt the Trudeau Liberals' use of International Human Rights Day to prop up mercenary forces in a desperate attempt to prolong the conflict in Syria. It is an issue of grave importance to the peoples of the world to oppose interference in the affairs of Syria. The imperialists' efforts to decide the future of countries and their peoples to serve their own empire-building, whether Syria, Iraq, Libya, Haiti, Cuba or any other country is precisely what has resulted in the most heinous and gross violations of human rights of the peoples of the world.


1. See TML Weekly October 1, 2016.

2. According to an article in Men's Journal, Le Mesurier was a member of the Royal Green Jackets -- the UK equivalent of the U.S. Army Rangers. He was deployed in Northern Ireland and Kosovo. The article notes he is also a private security trainer. "He trained several thousand citizens to become the oil and gas field protection force for the UAE, designed security infrastructure for Abu Dhabi -- 'everything from the potential of sea-level rise to political uprisings, shit you just don't think of, so you're sitting down with futurists in New York talking about what the world will be like in 30 years' -- and ensured the safety of the 2010 Gulf Cup in Yemen, a regional soccer tournament held in the midst of fears of a potential Al Qaeda uprising."

In 2013, "with help from Turkey's elite natural-disasters response team, AKUT, and $300,000 of seed funding from Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., he launched the first seven-day SCD [Syrian Civil Defence] course to teach 25 vetted Syrians." Who vetted them and based on what criteria of course is not mentioned. The article also notes that Le Mesurier does not go into Syria as he "fears his presence alongside the team would compromise its local integrity."

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Trudeau Government's Modern-Day Consultocracy

Reactionary Program to "Reinvent Government"

Fraudulent consultations on Kinder Morgan pipeline rejected -- Victoria August 23, 2016.
Trudeau government has now approved the project despite widespread opposition.

The Liberals' election promise to "restore trust in government" through "consulting with Canadians" -- part of their platform of "Real Change" -- lies in shambles. Besides their antics on electoral reform, the November 29 decision to approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3 pipelines in spite of the views of residents of the territories and waters affected as well as First Nations was the last straw for many. It proves that, like their predecessors, the program of the Trudeau government is to pay the rich and attack the rights of all working people.

In the more than one year since the Liberals captured a majority government they have launched at least 430 consultations on everything from soup to nuts. The most high-profile consultations -- focusing on electoral reform, defence, security, agriculture, postal services, trade deals and others -- have now concluded or will be done before the end of the year.

But the emphasis of the Liberals on consultations is more than just the imposition writ large of a fraudulent process that does not, in fact, express the will of the people, or the creation of the impression that they are listening and being open and transparent, when this is not the case. The emphasis on consultations is part of the reactionary program of the Trudeau Liberals and the oligopolies to "reinvent government" and change the relationship of the people to governance and decision-making.

In the name of giving every single Canadian the ability to comment on government policy, whether via Twitter, an online form, an open mic or by ordering their preferences on a survey, the Liberals are marginalizing the polity and its members like never before. This is done by depriving them of an outlook on the basis of which the people can provide Canada with an aim that makes it sustainable and upholds the rights of all and contributes to the same internationally. Instead, to deal with the fact that the electoral and political system no longer confers legitimacy on the government, the Liberals seek to wipe out any expression of Canadians' collective consciousness and replace it with a collection of personal opinions and comments of individuals and manipulate a stamp of approval from the Liberals' social base.

This is why the private company contracted to run the Liberals' widely-mocked electoral reform questionnaire points out that the site is not about electoral reform per se, but "a really innovative way for the government to engage with and consult the public." Clifton van der Linden, founder and CEO of Vox Pop Labs Inc., which created and manages the site, told Maclean's on December 5 that the focus on the content of the questionnaire is "missing out a bit on the bigger picture."

In the end, Canadians have "had their say," and so the theory goes, anti-social decisions are legitimized. In the words of Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, commenting on pipeline consultations at a breakfast event on August 29 organized by the Alberta Enterprise Group, if the right process is followed, "most Canadians will say, 'I've had a chance to be heard, that was a reasonable way of making a decision.'"[1]

In discussions amongst the ruling elite and their think-tanks, there are two reasons cited for why now is the time to go all out to implement such reforms. The first is that there is a recognition of the problem of how to confer legitimacy.  Frank Graves of the Ipsos polling firm (which has itself been contracted by the government of Canada to run consultations) addressed this in a presentation to a conference on May 12, hosted by a neo-liberal think-tank called the Institute on Governance (IOG).[2] Graves explained that the situation has "moved beyond just basic trust problems into territory where we maybe need to talk about a basic legitimacy crisis." Secondly, according to the IOG, Canadians' "trust in government" is at its highest point in decades (although not high), which is attributed to the alleged popularity of Justin Trudeau promoted in the monopoly media, and this represents an historic opportunity.

Matthew Mendelsohn, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Results and Delivery) in the Privy Council and former head of the neo-liberal think-tank, the Mowat Centre, mused at a recent conference, using various neo-liberal buzzwords of the trade, as to whether this "trust" can be maintained: "The question is whether through goodwill, transparent communication, working, digitally-enabled, co-creation, co-development of programs and solutions with civil society, measuring success, reporting on results, acknowledging mistakes and putting resources into those things that work, whether this is a model and a success that is possible in Canada that can maintain the kinds of levels of trust in democratic institutions that we're seeing right now."


The Trudeau government is establishing a kind of "consultocracy" which is in fact government by police powers, masquerading as a government of laws and claiming legitimacy through fraudulent consultations.

The phrase "consultocracy" was coined in the 1990s to describe the rise of professional consulting firms, formerly known as accounting firms, and their new, significant roles in managing and reforming governments. It was in this context that neo-liberal efforts at "reinventing government" came about mostly centred on implementing market mechanisms to regulate the function of government departments, adopting all the "best practices" of private industry, and reorganizing the civil service to better serve private monopoly interests. The "Big Four" firms involved in this activity are Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and KPMG.  All have annual revenues of between $25 and $37 billion and all have faced accusations of fraud or facilitating fraud and other crimes in one country or another.

Trudeau's modern-day "rule by consultations" is the private management of relations within the polity along the lines of the relations between big private monopolies and oligopolies and their customers. It is to institute corporate "best practices" in the form of providing every member of the polity the ability to rate, "like" or comment on government policy -- like an app -- and in doing so deprive them of any ability to exercise their rights or have even a modicum of power.

Organizations such as the IOG, which is run by the head of Canada's public service Michael Wernick, deputy ministers and executives from KPMG and Adobe, are paid to train public servants on implementing the Trudeau Liberals' program of "reinventing government." This mirrors the process of the Big Four and other firms being brought in to reform and manage government departments in the 1990s. Now, for instance in courses on implementing consultations, participants learn "how to use public participation to support the realization of government priorities" and "explore tools and strategies to plan and execute public consultations and the approaches to be used." The IOG is also training the public service on the "nudge" method and "deliverology," with courses offered in November, December and January.[3]

The "nudge" theory is based on the premise that the people will not make rational choices that favour their interests or the public good, and must be "nudged" by a higher authority towards the correct decisions. In February, the Privy Council Office opened an "Innovation Hub" which is to reform government departments to follow "nudge" or "behavioural economics" methods. It is said to be modeled on a "nudge unit" of the British cabinet under the David Cameron government which was tasked with "nudging" citizens to "improve policy outcomes."

Digital Government

Underlying the emphasis on consultations and Canadians' individual interactions with government through comment forms or ratings on a smartphone app is the concept of "digital government." Along with "open government," "open dialogue," "open data" and other neo-liberal buzzphrases, "digital government" has been the subject of recent conferences featuring government ministers, high-level federal managers, executives from private monopolies and spokespersons of neo-liberal think-tanks.

"Digital government" is sometimes incorrectly referred to as simply the use of digital information and communications in the delivery of government services, management and procurement. In fact, "digital government" refers to the transformation of the way members of the polity interact with government and how it allegedly responds to their needs. Like other aspects of "reinventing government," digital government is supposed to have "enormous potential for enhancing democratic legitimacy ... the moral entitlement of any governmental entity to wield political power," according to Peter M. Shane of Ohio State University, writing in the Encyclopedia of Digital Government.

Maryantonett Flumian, President of the IOG explained the significance of the term at its May 12 conference on "digital government:"

"Digital is between me and you. This Prime Minister has been successful at hitting it out of the park because people relate, me and you. Him, and me. ... Programs shouldn't be the in, and all, and be-all of what we're trying to do because some programs become self-perpetuating. It's not me and program x. It's the government and me. And that's what digital does. It's done it in the business domain."

In other words, digital government is the one-on-one relationship between every individual and government. It is also called "citizen-centred," "digital democracy" and other buzz phrases. Digital government removes the "mediator" of belonging to a polity or collective, or collective decision-making as well as the "mediator" of elected officials, public servants exercising powers of discretion, etc.

This process of removing the mediator is referred to in neo-liberal parlance as "disintermediation." The Encyclopedia of Digital Government states that "Underpinning the delivery of [digital government] is the process of the removal of human intermediaries between citizen and service." The term comes from finance, meaning "the removal of intermediaries from a supply chain, or 'cutting out the middlemen' in connection with a transaction or a series of transactions."

Speaking about the opportunity afforded by the Trudeau Liberals to implement digital government, Flumian said on May 12, "For most of my working life, we were moving in governments towards a great age of disintermediation... where we weren't sure what the role of the state was, we weren't sure what our role was, citizens were finding different ways of getting at some things in different fashions, which opens up potential on the civic engagement side, but we didn't quite jump into it because we weren't sure what to do with it. That we've now come to an age that the window is open, to go back to the trust issue, and I think we do stand at one of those inflection points in history..." Flumian identifies the "broad project" as being to "modernize the public service" and "transform the public service," and respond to the "massive transformation, and massive disruption being wrought on society in the digital era..."

Need for People's Empowerment

TML Weekly, in discussing the Liberals' consultation on electoral reform, points out that the collective is "far more than the ordering of a number of individual preferences" or "collecting random responses to random questions."[4] A collective exists in its relations. A collective consciousness is built in the course of fighting for a modern society based on modern relations between human beings and this is exactly what the Trudeau Liberals' "consultocracy" aims to destroy. There is no such thing as a "social consensus" in a society divided into classes that have clashing interests and outlooks, and there is no such thing as a "collective consciousness" or expression of public opinion created by slapping together the results of online questionnaires.

Far from establishing new, modern relations between human beings, the Trudeau Liberals' reactionary program of "reinventing government" is yet another reshuffling of the old forms that block the people from exercising control over the economy, society and their lives. Canadians are facing a situation where the old forms of governance have exhausted themselves and the Liberals' attempt to give them legitimacy is like trying to squeeze water out of a stone. Instead the ruling elite is turning to government of police powers. The absence of the new forms which the working people must bring into being to exercise their own political power creates a dangerous situation indeed.

The conditions of today call for new and modern arrangements which put the people at centre stage, not the interests of private property as is currently expressed in the overwhelming power of the oligopolies on a world scale. To realize these new arrangements is the task history has presented. All material conditions exist for their realization, but the subjective factor, the human factor/social consciousness is lagging behind, as are the institutions required to give it expression. It is this subjective factor that the ruling elite targets for attack with its recycling of what is old and discredited presented as new, and the area where working people and their organizations must pay the greatest attention going forward.


1. In terms of what is to be done with those who do not consider this a "reasonable way of making a decision," Carr said at a subsequent meeting of the Alberta Enterprise Group on December 1 that the government would deal with so-called non-peaceful protest "through its defence forces, through its police forces" to "ensure that people will be kept safe."

For his part, Prime Minister Trudeau said on November 29 in response to questions from media about opposition to the pipelines, "The fact is that we know there are people who feel very strongly on either side of this decision, regardless of the decision we were going to take today there would be people upset. ... Obviously, one of the great things about Canada is people are more than free to express their opinions, to express their disappointment with governments in peaceful ways, and we expect them and encourage them to."

2. In partnership with The Environics Institute, the Institute on Governance issued Canadian Public Opinion on Governance 2016 in June, following a similar 2014 survey. The survey was conducted in February 2016 and was the source for news reports claiming that "concerns about [the federal government's] lack of trustworthiness, its corruption or its not being responsive to citizens' wants and needs have declined significantly [by 13 per cent]" (Ottawa Citizen, September 5, 2016), with headlines such as "The Trudeau effect? Canadians' trust in government rising."

The Institute on Governance has been a registered charity since 1996. It is overwhelmingly funded by the federal government. Its Directors include Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council; John Knubley, Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; Liseanne Forand, Senior Advisor to the Privy Council Office; Catherine Blewett, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Gina Wilson, Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety; and executives at Adobe and KPMG. Wernick's involvement is not disclosed anywhere on the IOG website, but he is listed as a current Director by Revenue Canada.

3. See "Deliverology Method of the Trudeau Government," TML Weekly, January 9, 2016. See also: Book Review,  Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, TML Weekly, April 2, 2016.

4. "Government to Launch New Online Consultation on Electoral Reform," TML Weekly, November 12, 2016.

(With files from VICE, ABC Radio, iPolitics)

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Approval of Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Line 3 Pipelines

Two Very Different and Distinct
Canadas Have Emerged

The Trudeau government's decision on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3 Replacement pipeline projects on November 29 once again reveals the existence of two very distinct and different Canadas: one is the world of the oligopolies and their political representatives and the other is that of the working people, their allies and the Indigenous peoples who want to forge a modern relationship and nation-building project based on rights.

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the government has granted "conditional approval" to the Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, BC, and to the Line 3 Replacement Project between Hardisty, Alberta and Superior, Wisconsin. In a bid to weaken the widespread opposition to this decision, Trudeau, in the same announcement, rejected the Northern Gateway Pipeline project which has faced widespread opposition along its entire line in northern BC and from the northern coastal Indigenous peoples. The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the former Harper government's approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline on June 23. The appeal arose from a legal challenge launched by several Indigenous nations.

In making his announcement on the Trans Mountain and Line 3 projects, Trudeau said, "We took this decision because we believe it is in the best interest of Canada and Canadians." Many Canadians disagree, including even those within official political circles such as the City Councils and Mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby. The embattled Coast Salish peoples, whose territories include the land and waters where the projected 400 tankers a year will load crude oil in Burrard Inlet and travel out to sea, also disagree.

Trudeau's Canada and his Canadians apparently do not include the Indigenous peoples living along the pipeline routes who do not want these developments within their territories. Nor does it include the vast majority of people living in the Lower Mainland who do not consider the Kinder Morgan Pipeline "in the best interest of Canada and Canadians."

Kinder Morgan, from Houston, Texas is the largest U.S. energy infrastructure monopoly with annual gross income of around $14 billion. It emerged out of the scandal and eventual collapse of Enron Corporation. Enbridge, headquartered in Calgary, owns and controls the world's longest crude oil and liquid pipeline system, located in both Canada and the United States, with annual gross income of around $33 billion. A few very wealthy individuals and global institutional investors of social wealth own and control both companies.

Trudeau Government's Unacceptable Justification

At the same time that it speaks of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the Trudeau government hides behind decisions of Canadian courts to justify taking decisions that go against the wishes of those affected, particularly First Nations on whose territories the pipelines will be built.

When the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the former Harper government's approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, the majority decision, while rejecting the approval of the pipeline, asserted that in Canada sovereignty lies with the Crown, including sovereignty over Indigenous peoples. In this affront to Indigenous peoples, the Court concluded that the only matter at issue was that the Crown represented by Cabinet must engage in a meaningful and reasonable process of consultation with the First Nations concerned and found that the Harper government had failed to do so.

The Court cited the Haida v. Government of British Columbia Supreme Court of Canada case in 2004: "Aboriginal claimants must not frustrate the Crown's reasonable good faith attempts, nor should they take unreasonable positions to thwart the government from making decisions or acting in cases where, despite meaningful consultation, agreement is not reached."

The Federal Court's decision in essence declared that Indigenous peoples have no veto power on decisions made by the Crown even if those decisions go against their interest and violate their hereditary, treaty and political rights. In effect it gave a green light for the Canadian state to carry on business as usual against Indigenous peoples which includes all kinds of secret consultations with "stakeholders" which it then fraudulently declares are meaningful.

Asked on November 29 about the consultations on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, while ignoring the widespread opposition, explained the Liberals' concept of meaningful consultation. Wilson-Raybould took the opportunity to "recognize the enormous amount of work that went into consultation with Indigenous peoples with respect to the Kinder Morgan project..." The Liberals "engage with many Indigenous people," she said, and "certainly, as a result of those consultations, entered into significant accommodation agreements with individual Indigenous peoples and certainly recognize the substantive nature of those agreements in that Indigenous peoples are going to be able to participate on committees to oversee the implementation of the 157 conditions [that the Kinder Morgan project is said to be subject to]. ... The substantive nature of the consultations certainly we have looked at, and certainly, looking at the consultations that's only one aspect of the multitude of consultations, information and analysis that we went through."

The court ruling and the Trudeau government's concept of meaningful consultation present a gross contradiction, as Indigenous peoples are recognized as sovereign, self-determining peoples under their own laws and international law but the Trudeau Liberals recognize only the Crown. The entire process perpetuates state-organized racism and violence against Indigenous peoples and denial of their rights. According to the ruling and the Liberals, those Indigenous peoples whose territory lies "in the way" of the two approved pipelines do not have the right of veto over development and activity on their land and waters. This is totally unacceptable in modern Canada just as it was not right to steal Indigenous peoples' land and violate their rights in the past.

Canadian courts and governments deny the necessity for modern nation-to-nation relations between Canada and the many Indigenous peoples within a modern constitution that recognizes the rights of all peoples who inhabit the land. This denial reflects the unwillingness of the ruling imperialist elite, including the Trudeau government, to embark on a nation-building project worthy of the twenty-first century. In this regard, the decision to approve the Kinder Morgan and Enbridge pipelines does not favour Canada and the Trudeau government cannot escape that fact no matter how legal its pretexts and justifications.

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The Oil Pipeline Circus

No serious discussion has taken place in Parliament, the mass media or been organized with Canadians on whether investments in oil pipelines serve the economy and are consistent with Canada's social obligations. To approve or not approve oil pipelines has been a circus put in a context of immediate construction jobs and economic recovery, especially for Alberta, versus the environment, and to a lesser extent, whether Indigenous peoples have been adequately consulted or not.

Oil pipeline plans and investments are driven by global oligopolies and their narrow private aim of empire-building and accumulating greater social wealth. The premise and official line of the oil pipeline investments circulate around the private considerations of the oligopolies not broad considerations for economic renewal within a self-reliant nation-building project that puts humanizing the social and natural environment as a priority. Approval or not from the various levels of government and the opinion of the civil sector agencies such as the National Energy Board are focused on the private proposals of the oligopolies and their property rights and narrow interests. Media attention regarding those private investment proposals deal mainly with the jobs and income the investments will generate, whether the promised results are worth the environmental risks, the sham of "adequate" consultation with Indigenous peoples, and how to deal with the overwhelming opposition in the BC lower mainland (greater Vancouver area) to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

A New Direction for the Economy

The official attention on oil pipeline expansion does not begin from a premise that recognizes Canadians have rights by virtue of being human. A most fundamental right is to exercise control over the economy and its direction. A view of Alberta's economy from government publications suggests that the present direction is fraught with problems and uncertainty. The oligopolies in control of the Alberta economy have put it into a serious one-sided crisis yet they are proposing even more of the same in oil pipelines and crude oil exports as a means to extricate the economy from its difficulties.

Why are Canadians subjected to phony consultations and forced to decide and take positions on investment proposals and a way forward that are not any different from what currently exists and come mostly from the U.S. financial oligarchy? The oligopolies are proposing more of the same but on a grander scale. A thinking person would deduce that such proposals would just give us an even more serious crisis in the future. The governments' theatrics leading up to the inevitable approval violates the people's right to decide and control the economic and political phenomena that affect their lives.

A problem surrounds the pipeline investment proposals and government approval that has nothing to do with whether they are good or bad in themselves according to any official policy objectives on the economy or environment. Investment proposals of this size and nature act as a block to any other proposals and investments to diversify the economy, make it self-reliant, and give it a new direction that humanizes the social and natural environment. They lock the country into a direction that has proven to be a failure and which may well turn into an even greater crisis.

The energy and to a lesser extent the construction, agricultural and food processing oligopolies dominate the Alberta economy and politics. With these pipeline investments the energy oligopolies will increase their stranglehold. They and their political representatives like to display graphs showing how other sectors in addition to oil and natural gas exports have grown in comparison to before. But that diversification is shallow indeed because it depends on energy exports for its existence. The only two sectors that have shown any significant increase in their proportion of the economy since 1985 are construction and business and commercial services.[1] The total is greater because the population has grown substantially from inward migration mainly to serve the energy sector. Revenue from the energy sector acts as exchange-value for other sectors, which satisfies the ruling imperialist elite who dominate all the basic sectors such as construction and financial services.

Protest at Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, November 21, 2016 against Kinder Morgan pipeline.

But what happens when the energy revenue and exchange-value fall as they have with the collapse of global market prices for oil and the ensuing layoffs and terrible unemployment? The entire economy goes into crisis because it depends so heavily for exchange-value on the energy exporting sector. The solution of the ruling imperialist elite is not a new direction but more of the same replete with hope that global conditions will improve the price of oil. This means the health of the economy is dependent on international conditions and all the imperialist collusion, contention and uncertainty that entails. People should not forget that the U.S. state and energy giants play a major role in flooding the world with oil through fracking, using it as a weapon against governments the U.S. imperialists want to topple such as Russia, Venezuela, Brazil and others. Fracking for oil and natural gas is poised to unleash its power even more as greater fracking oil fields in Texas and elsewhere have been discovered and the technique keeps evolving and becoming more productive. Also, President-Elect Trump has made clear his contempt for any regulations that restrict the property rights of the oligopolies.

An indicator of the Alberta economy's continued dependence on the energy sector, and exports in particular, is the crisis that ensued when global market prices fell. A diversified self-reliant economy would not have suffered in the same manner with contraction of the economy and dreadful unemployment.

The economy is not under the control of those who work and live in Alberta and throughout Canada and that is a big problem with these oil pipeline proposals. They do not originate from the working people themselves discussing and analyzing how to propel the economy forward to self-reliance, diversity, security and prosperity. The proposals originate from the same energy oligopolies and their political representatives who have put the economy in this straitjacket of dependence on oil exports and global market prices.

With the energy oligopolies in control, the people cannot even begin to sort out the problems on the social and environmental front and nation to nation relations with the Indigenous peoples because it all becomes smoke and mirrors to conceal the real agenda and premise of the oligopolies to defend and expand their private empires and amass greater social wealth and control. Investments of this magnitude must serve nation-building and the development of a diversified self-reliant and stable economy that can meet the country's obligations to humanize the social and natural environment. The Trudeau government's approval of the pipelines of the energy oligopolies runs counter to the national interest and puts the country and economy more firmly in the hands and at the mercy of the U.S. imperialists and further out of the control of Canadians.

Stop Kinder Morgan vigil, Victoria, November 21, 2016


1. Alberta Government economic data is available here: Highlights of the Alberta Economy 2016.

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Ongoing Mass Actions Oppose
Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Emergency demonstration in Vancouver, November 29, 2016.

Mass rallies are taking place in Vancouver and across British Columbia to oppose the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project approved by the Trudeau Liberal government. An emergency demonstration was held in Vancouver on November 29 after the Prime Minister's announcement, and followed mass rallies the previous week. Hundreds gathered for the emergency action in front of CBC headquarters in Vancouver with the message No Consent, No Pipelines. Further demonstrations are taking place across the lower mainland and throughout BC during December.

Vancouver, November 29, 2016

On November 19, more than 5,000 people took part in two militant rallies and a colourful, boisterous march in Vancouver to oppose the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The spirit of the rally was resolute defence of First Nations' rights, and First Nations activists had pride of place leading the actions. Dozens of drummers and singers and speaker after speaker proudly represented the Coast Salish peoples including the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqeam and Squamish First Nations.

City Hall, November 19, 2016

The first rally of the day commenced at Vancouver City Hall with greetings and songs of resistance and defiance. One speaker emphasized, "What we have is not government of and by the people but government of billionaires. We want to be included in decision-making." Others pointed out the dangers the pipeline project poses to the natural environment, noting that Kinder Morgan like other big monopolies does not even take responsibility for cleaning up after disasters such as oil spills take place. Everyone proclaimed their solidarity with the fight taking place for sovereignty, treaty rights and in defence of the natural environment at Standing Rock, North Dakota.

The groundswell of support was such that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the rally was "The most important meeting in Vancouver City Hall history" and stated the official opposition of the Vancouver municipal government to the project. A University of British Columbia student stated that the Liberals' plans to approve the pipeline is "not the leadership we voted for" and vowed to hold the government to account. "We will never grant permission" for the pipeline, and if the government does, "we will have to take their place," she said. A student from Windermere Secondary, who was arrested protesting the project on Burnaby Mountain at age 14 two years before, urged everyone concerned to turn their anger into action to overcome the hopelessness generated as the result of a political process that gives the people no say.

The crowd at Vancouver City Hall then marched to the Vancouver Public Library where the second rally was held. Participants held banners with the slogans, No Consent, No Pipeline; System Change, Not Climate Change; and Clean Water is a Right; and chanted. A contingent of participants on kayaks and canoes joined from the water. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), spoke about the need for everyone to "Prepare ourselves for the Trump era. Trudeau is not far behind Trump," he noted. Grand Chief Phillip affirmed that federal approval will not be the end of the battle against the Trans Mountain project. He announced that the UBCIC is launching an online campaign calling on everyone to pledge to "protect the coast." Joan Phillip noted that the Trans Mountain project is not to guarantee the health of the economy but to benefit the rich at the expense of the people, and led a chant of "No Means No." Many other activists as well as elected municipal, provincial and federal representatives spoke to oppose the project.

The mass actions of the working people and First Nations of BC have drawn a line in the sand. They affirm that the Trans Mountain project must be stopped, and the persistent betrayal by governments must be met with a movement to empower the people to be the decision-makers. This is the atmosphere of enthusiasm and empowerment that resonates throughout the mass actions and in the discussions of participants.

Stop Kinder Morgan!
No Means No!
Who Decides? We Decide!

(Photos: G.Haggquist, T. Davies, G. David Loft, M. Javid, A. J. Dick, K. Gallaxy, UBCIC.)

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Barack Obama's Legacy

U.S. President Targets Entire World for Attack by Special Operations Forces

President Barack Obama has issued an order to create a new "multi-agency intelligence and action force" to be known as the "Counter-External Operations Task Force," or Ex-Ops. These "special forces" are empowered to attack anywhere in the world where the president sees fit under the pretext that there is a threat to the United States. Obama has expanded the powers of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) -- a sort of praetorian guard directly under presidential command responsible for largely secret, illegal raids and assassinations (Black Ops) worldwide. JSOC includes Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force which Obama has equipped with drones, removing many of them from CIA operations. According to the U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, which JSOC comes under, JSOC has carried out actions of various kinds in 147 countries. Their field of operations also includes the U.S. -- anywhere the government claims a terrorist threat exists. As Pentagon officials have put it, it is not limited to battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, where numerous attacks have repeatedly occurred, but anywhere from "Boston to FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan]."

Up until now, JSOC operations also came under the command of regional military commanders, such as for Central Command (CENTCOM), which commands the Iraq war and operations in the Middle East more generally, AFRICOM, SOUTHCOM for Latin America and the Caribbean, and NORTHCOM for the U.S., Canada and Mexico and some areas of the Caribbean. However, U.S. military officials inform that under the pretext of speed and removing obstacles to Special Operations, Obama's new order puts in place a hybrid command system that can sidestep these regional commanders. It also serves to put greater power in the hands of the President. Effectively, the head of SOCOM, currently Army General Raymond "Tony" Thomas, will be a decision-maker when it comes to going after "threats," with White House approval. Support of the regional commands is no longer necessary, though it is said they will be consulted. As one Pentagon official put it "Layers have been stripped away." He added, "There has never been an Ex-Ops command team that works trans-regionally to stop attacks."

The defence official added that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies will also support JSOC and offer recommendations on how to handle specific threats. This is a further indication that it will be used inside the U.S. as well as abroad. In a situation where the presidency relies on police powers to govern, it also puts in place what could become a "presidential guard," at the disposal of the presidency without interference from the Pentagon chain of command. JSOC operates worldwide, with no regard for international or U.S. law or laws of war. The legacy of the Obama administration is assassinations, raids by special forces and drone warfare. Now the use of U.S. Special Forces to carry out these crimes has been expanded with the chain of command directly under the president.

Crimes in the Name of "Collective Self-Defence"

Under the broad concept of "collective self-defence," U.S. military air strikes can be used anywhere the U.S. claims its "partners" are threatened, even though the U.S. and its forces are not threatened. To facilitate this, one of the roles of the new JSOC task force is to offer intelligence, strike recommendations and advice directly to the militaries and security forces of allies, bypassing government officials, news sources inform. Reports indicate that already, over the past decade, JSOC has built strong relations with police agencies in Germany, Britain, France and Turkey which would indicate that this is also the case with Canada which is the most integrated with U.S. operations. The new task force will have even broader authority to involve special forces from these countries. Officials also said that in parts of the world where the U.S. claims there are "weak or no governments," the JSOC would act unilaterally, again with no regard for law or evidence of an imminent threat to the U.S.

"Collective self-defence" strikes in support of foreign partners, even where there is no threat to the U.S. and no U.S. forces or contractors at direct risk means U.S. military forces, including JSOC, are now permitted to provide close air support, drones, etc. against what the U.S. brands the enemies of foreign ground forces, even if these people pose no threat to the U.S. and no call for assistance has been issued.

This development means that actions already occurring in countries such as Somalia will be expanded while the U.S. has given itself the green light to intervene in situations such as the one in Syria where a functioning government refuses to give it permission to intervene as a lone wolf. On September 28, for example, a drone strike was conducted in Galcayo, Somalia, against what were said to be al-Shabab forces, on behalf of the local Puntland Security Forces. AFRICOM labelled this a "self-defence strike," even though no U.S. advisors were present at the time. A subsequent AFRICOM press release stated that the strike killed no al-Shabaab members, but rather ten members of "local militia forces" who themselves had worked with U.S. advisers in the past.

As one military expert put it, the Trump administration now has "tremendously expanded capabilities and authorities."

The further concentration of power in the hands of the Special Operations Forces and the president weaken the power of the various regional commanders and traditional armed forces which will without doubt, further exacerbate conflicts within the military and between the military and the presidency. It remains to be seen how the nomination by President-Elect Donald Trump of two retired Marine Generals in his cabinet, including one as Secretary of Defense, intended to unify the massive military bureaucracy, will play out in light of these new arrangements.

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Developments on Korean Peninsula

South Korean President Impeached as
Millions Demand Resignation

People surround the south Korean parliament in Seoul during the vote to impeach
President Park Guen-hye, December 9, 2016.

On December 9, the President of south Korea, Park Guen-hye, was impeached by parliament, as a result of an ongoing corruption scandal. Impeachment of the president requires a two-thirds vote in favour. The combined forces of the opposition parties totalled only 175 votes, however members of the ruling Saenuri Party were permitted a free vote and a block of party members voted to impeach. The vote was 234 in favour of impeachment and 56 opposed, with two abstentions and seven spoiled ballots.

Seoul, December 3, 2016

Park must now immediately hand over power to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn who becomes acting president. Park technically remains in office until the decision to impeach is reviewed by the Constitutional Court, which has 180 days to do so. If six of the nine members of court assent to the impeachment, then Park will be removed from office. A presidential election must then be held within 60 days. If the court does not assent to the impeachment, then Park will be reinstated as president. Her term is scheduled to end in February 2018.

The situation is far from settled as Park continues to face pressure from the public and one of the opposition parties to resign immediately and it is unclear whether she can actually do so now that the impeachment process is underway. Furthermore, there are indications that some members of the opposition parties may not accept a caretaker government under Hwang because he is implicated in the current scandal. However, the constitution has no provision for such an eventuality, which could further exacerbate the political crisis.

Since the end of October, there have been massive rallies in Seoul and other cities and towns across the country. Similar actions have also taken place in 20 countries and 50 regions around the world. What started out as mass actions against the latest scandal and corruption of President Park Guen-hye grew to unprecedented levels with millions of people in the streets making the clear demand for her immediate resignation, which she repeatedly refused to do.

Mass rally in Seoul of more than one million people, November 26, 2016, part of ongoing
national protests demanding the resignation of President Park.

New York City, November 12, 2016

Washington, DC, November 12, 2016

Origin of Current Scandal

Park is accused of collusion with her long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil. Choi is charged with embezzlement in the extortion of millions of dollars from major south Korean monopolies. Also at issue is Choi's unseemly relationship with the president, which permitted her to interfere in government matters and wield a large degree of political influence, as well as giving her access to government documents and the presidential residence -- the Blue House -- despite not holding elected office or having the required security clearance.

In late October, Choi was formally charged with abuse of authority, coercion and fraud. The prosecution accused Choi of using her relationship with President Park to extort millions of dollars from major south Korean firms such as Samsung to fund her own foundations and for personal use. Park has admitted that Choi edited or even wrote some of her speeches. These include the one Park delivered in Dresden, Germany in 2014, where Park asserted that Korea will be reunited when the south takes over the north just as West Germany took over East Germany.

The latest scandal involving Choi seems to have become the straw that broke the camel's back. Such ongoing anti-democratic corruption has hung over the Park government since it came to power in 2012. In that election, the military and secret service directly intervened by launching cyber attacks against democratic forces and opposition parties while extolling the virtues of Park. Since it took power, the Park regime has carried out an anti-social offensive and been servile to U.S. interests, militarizing the society and sabotaging relations between the north and south and ongoing efforts of the Korean people to achieve the reunification of their divided country.

Another black mark on Park's presidency is the Sewol ferry disaster, in which Park is increasingly seen to have shown callous indifference to the situation as it unfolded and a lack of compassion ever since for the families of the victims who are seeking answers and justice.

Crisis of Legitimacy of south Korean Governments
Servile to U.S. Interests

Park's impeachment comes in the context of the general political and economic crisis in south Korea which is linked directly to the fact that south Korea has been under U.S. dictate since 1945 when the U.S. divided Korea as part of its Cold War plans for world domination. As a consequence the Korean people have constantly lived under conditions of insecurity, crises and threat of war instigated by the U.S.

The threat of war includes the ongoing nuclear tension on the Korean peninsula that is a direct result of U.S. interference to block peaceful relations between north and south so as to realize the people's profound desire for the peaceful reunification of the divided Korean nation. Many south Koreans have protested the hysterical anti-communist tirades of the Park government against the government and people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the ongoing annual U.S.-south Korea war exercises and war hysteria aimed at military invasion and regime change in the DPRK.

Other Acts of Resistance Against Park Regime and Foreign Agendas

Members of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union began a national strike on September 27 to oppose the liberalization of the public sector, including the imposition of a performance-related pay and termination system. The action involved more than 60,000 workers. On October 10, 7,000 truck drivers also went on strike to improve their difficult working conditions. These are just the latest in a series of labour actions taken by workers this year. The regime has jailed union leaders and outlawed protests under the anti-communist National Security Law.

Some 220,000 workers join in a nation-wide strike called by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions with 20,000 taking part in Seoul (above), November 30, 2016, to demand President Park's immediate resignation and the abolition of her anti-worker and anti-democratic policies.

There is ongoing resistance against the building of a massive U.S. naval base on Jeju Island, as well as the escalation of nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula with the agreement made with the U.S. to install the anti-ballistic missile terminal high altitude area defence (THAAD).

As well, despite being embroiled in a fatal political crisis, the Park regime signed a military pact with Japan on November 23, agreeing to exchange military intelligence, to the further outrage of the people. This collusion with the Japanese militarists of the Abe government is a profound insult to all those who suffered so terribly under Japanese occupation from 1910-1945. Not only have proper amends for their crimes not yet been made, but the Japanese militarists do not even admit to these well-documented crimes.

Twenty-four-hour emergency protest against signing of bilateral military agreement with Japan,
at Central Government Complex in Seoul, November 21, 2016.

The political crisis in south Korea underscores that south Koreans, like peoples all over the world, are being blocked from being able to exercise political power by the ruling circles that act to defend their narrow interests and collude with foreign interests like U.S. imperialism. People in south Korea are second to none when it comes to standing up for their rights and demands, however their aspirations to exercise democratic control over their affairs have been waylaid time and time again by foreign interference, state repression and violence.

TML Weekly calls on all peace- and justice-loving people in Canada and around the world to stand with the Korean people in their struggle to be free of the yoke of U.S. imperialism and for a government that serves the national interests.

(With files from Hankyoreh, Wall Street Journal, CNN. Photos; Hankyoreh, Xinhua, KANCC, KCTU.)

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The People Say "Enough" and Want Change

TMLW: There is a political crisis in south Korea right now and the people are demanding President Park Guen-hye's resignation. Can you tell us about this situation?

H.P. Chung: It has come to light that a long-time friend, spiritual advisor and mentor of President Park has been directly involved in decisions made by the Park administration since the government took power in 2013. This person, Choi Soon-sil, has known Park for more than 40 years. Her father Choi Tae-min also had big influence on President Park's father, former President Park Jung-hee, who was put in power by the U.S. through a military coup and ruled south Korea as a military dictatorship from 1961 until he was assassinated in 1979.

Choi Tae-min who died about 20 years ago also had huge influence of Park Guen-hye when she was young and when he died, his daughter Choi Soon-sil took over. What has come out in an investigation is that since Park Guen-hye took office, Ms. Choi has been involved in decisions concerning national security, naming of cabinet members, policy towards the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and other important issues, all behind the scenes while holding no official position.

This was all exposed to the public through the news media on October 24, 25 and 26.

The case started when Ms. Choi and her daughter Chung Yoo-ra left for Germany with enormous quantities of money extorted from several big companies -- such as Samsung -- through influence peddling. This information was found on Ms. Choi's personal computer, which was left behind in her house. Investigators found confidential letters, speeches that Choi has written for the President and other incriminating evidence. This news triggered the national outrage of the Korean people, that was only aggravated after President Park tried to "apologize" to them in a 90-second televised speech.

Since coming to power President Park and her government have committed many crimes against the Korean people. For example she has criminalized anyone supporting the national reunification of Korea. She and her government have damaged inter-Korean relations while at the same time strengthening the military alliance with the U.S. and Japan against the DPRK. Her neo-liberal economic policies, attacks on labour unions and rewriting of the history books used in schools that make no mention of the history of the Korean people's movement for national liberation are some examples.

Then there was the Sewol disaster in April 2014 when a ferry carrying over 450 people, mostly school children, sank on its way to Jeju Island. Three hundred and two children died who could have been saved by prompt emergency action. Instead the Park regime not only did nothing, it has not conducted an investigation into the disaster.

This newest scandal with Ms. Choi is the straw that broke the camel's back. The Korean people have had enough and want change.

(Photo: KANCC)

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Statement by Overseas Koreans in
U.S. and Canada

TML Weekly is posting below a statement issued November 11 by overseas Koreans in the U.S. and Canada who are demanding the ouster of the Park government in south Korea.


Park Geun-hye, resign! This is the last act of compassion we -- outraged but acutely rational overseas Koreans in the United States and Canada -- will afford to Park Geun-hye. Based on Park Geun-hye's illegal acts with the aid of Choi Soon-sil and the current state of national chaos, we could demand something far more extreme or take far more extreme action, but we choose to exercise compassion and give Park Gun-hye the opportunity to come to her own conclusion. We hope she will take the appropriate action.

The last four years were full of embarrassing moments. To hide the fact that it was elected through the illegal involvement of the National Intelligence Service, the Park Geun-hye government treated the people as its enemy and drove their lives to bankruptcy. Despite extreme class polarization, whereby the lives of ordinary people became increasingly impoverished and many of them tragically took their own lives as a result, the Park administration chose to focus its ruling power on protecting the security of her own government as well as the vested interests of those with pro-Japanese leanings, as had been exemplified by the President's late father Park Chung-hee.

Three hundred people were buried at sea in the Sewol Tragedy, the truth behind which has yet to be uncovered, and Park Geun-hye's government's rewriting of history about the founding of the country, which completely disregards the history of the independence movement, her unilateral enforcement of a government-authored history textbook, and her humiliating so-called solution to the comfort women issue have made the country a crucible of chaos.

That's not all. By closing the Kaesong Industrial Complex and pursuing the THAAD [terminal high altitude area defence anti-ballistic missile system] deployment as well as the General Security of Military Information Agreement with Japan, Park Geun-hye has not only intensified the crisis on the Korean peninsula but has undermined our national sovereignty.

The Park government showed its true colours by enacting the Counter-Terrorism Act, aimed at targeting all who oppose her government as pro-North and/or terrorist forces. The state violence that killed farmer Baek Nam-gi and the subsequent falsification of the cause of his death as illness showed just how [far] the South Korean ruling forces have fallen into corruption. At the very moment the people's discontent was culminating to a peak, the Choi Soon-sil influence-peddling scandal broke and unravelled the once-befuddling puzzle.

Choi Soon-sil has intervened in all government affairs, including foreign affairs, the country's unification policy and culture, and extorted huge sums of money. Not only that, she has tarnished the reputation of the entire nation.

We, overseas Koreans, can no longer stand by and are unified in making the following demands. We sternly declare that Park Geun-hye and her parasitic cronies are fully responsible for the tragedy that will ensue in the event that these demands fail to be met:

1. Park Geun-hye should step down immediately, and the Saenuri Party should dissolve in order to save the country from further tragedy and embarrassment.

2. The opposition parties should not make foolish decisions that extend the life of the ... Park government.

3. We believe our homeland's civil society is mature enough to endure the 60 days [from] the resignation of the president until the beginning of the new government in a peaceful and hopeful manner. The conservative media should bear in mind that extending Park Geun-hye's term by another year and four months will only exacerbate national chaos and they should refrain from making disingenuous appeals in the media for stability.

4. The Prosecutor General has the opportunity to abandon its role as a hound dog for the ruling power. His office should thoroughly investigate Choi Soon-sil, Woo Byung-woo et al. to restore its tarnished reputation.

5. Abolish all above-mentioned decisions of the Park Gun-hye administration and thoroughly investigate the truth behind the Sewol Tragedy.

(Photo: KANCC)

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Canadian Actions in Support of Korean People

Two actions have taken place in Toronto in support of the Korean people and the broad demand that President Park Geun-hye of south Korea immediately step down in response to the ongoing political crisis that has rocked her government. These actions, one on November 12 and the other on November 26 were organized by Torontonians Who Remember the Sinking of the Sewol and Hope 21 and there was broad participation.

The first rally and march on November 12 involved close to 500 people, mostly youth and students. They rallied at Mel Lastman Square in North York and marched to Finch subway station. Their aim was to inform people and draw attention to the Korean people's opposition to the regime of President Park which has imposed a brutal anti-social offensive against the people since coming to power in 2013. They also informed of the opposition to criminalization and intimidation of those who are standing up and fighting the government and demanding justice. Demonstrations were also held in several U.S. cities and around the world in conjunction with a massive rally in Seoul.

Toronto, November 12, 2016

Speakers pointed out that the chickens have come home to roost in the wake of the Choi Soon-sil scandal. This alleged "spiritual advisor" of the President has been found to have been acting behind the scenes and "controlling" the President. The Korean people have said enough is enough and are standing up, it was noted, and it won't be long before President Park will find it no longer possible to remain in power.

At Mel Lastman Square various speakers used the open mic session to condemn the Park regime for its betrayal of the people's interests. Speakers pointed out in particular the Sewol ferry disaster which claimed the lives of close to 400 students as a direct result of spending cuts to marine safety and security investments and regulations. They condemned President Park for not only being AWOL at the time of the disaster, but for refusing to take responsibility for this state crime.

The second action two weeks later had broader participation across Canada with events not only in Toronto, but in Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver as well. Demonstrations were again held in several U.S. cities and around the world.

In Toronto, the program began with a screening of the documentary film Spy Nation (2016) about the decades-long campaign of terror waged by the south Korean state targeting innocent people and accusing them of being spies for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north. The documentary revealed that this campaign was aimed at suppressing political dissent in south Korea and turning the country into a police state, while keeping up anti-communist hysteria against the DPRK in order to keep Korea divided. Under this terror campaign, many people were tortured, imprisoned and even killed with impunity. Recently, even some "defectors" from the north have been rounded up as spies and brutalized. At the end of the documentary, there was a Q and A with the director in south Korea via Skype.

Following the film, a five-person Korean percussion band led close to 200 people on a march to Finch subway station in North York. The march captured the attention of many people on the street, some of whom joined the action.

At the end of the march, there was an open mic where a number of people spoke. A young woman recalled that back in 1980, it was the people's organized actions in the Gwanju Uprising that broke the back of the Chung Doo-hwan military dictatorship and opened the path to democracy, so too today it is the people's movement for their political rights that will surely end the Park Guen-hye regime's hold on south Korea. Among the youth who spoke was one young worker who shared his experience as an exploited young worker in Canada and how one of his young co-workers committed suicide as a result of exploitation, humiliation and sexual harassment.

The organizers are planning more actions to provide a space for people of Korean origin and their allies in Canada to come together to fight for change in south Korea and also share their experiences as Canadian citizens and residents.

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DPRK Rejects Unjust Attempt to Isolate It and
Violate Human Rights of Its Citizens

On November 30, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 2321, the sixth unjust and provocative sanction against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for conducting a nuclear test on September 9 this year.

This resolution was adopted by the UN Security Council without the opportunity for the DPRK to state its case, as required in Article 31 of the UN Charter. It follows Resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) and 2270 (2016), all of which selectively target the DPRK for its "nuclear weapons program" that "threatens international peace and security" while turning a blind eye to the nuclear weapons programs of India, Pakistan, Israel and other UN member states -- to say nothing of the massive nuclear weapons stockpiles of the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France, the permanent members of the UN who continue to build up their nuclear weapons arsenals which present a much greater threat to "international peace and security" than the DPRK.

More specifically, the U.S. has stockpiled nuclear weapons on and around the Korean peninsula since 1958 and has openly threatened the DPRK with a pre-emptive nuclear strike. In the context of these simple facts, Resolution 2321, like all the other UNSC resolutions targeting the DPRK, is an egregious violation of the rights of the DPRK as a sovereign independent member state of the UN, and an act of aggression against it. Furthermore, it continues a blanket human rights violation by the big powers against DPRK and its people, including that small country's right to live in peace, stability and security -- the prerequisite condition for the enjoyment of every other right -- the inviolable birthright of all nations and peoples.

In response to this latest attack upon its sovereignty, the DPRK condemned the resolution and demanded its withdrawal. On December 6, Ja Song Nam, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the DPRK to the United Nations sent a letter to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN, asking the latter to explain in writing, on what legal grounds the UN Security Council passed this resolution given that Article 39, Chapter 7 of the UN Charter stipulates that "the UN Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to international peace and security before taking any action on sanctions."

Additionally, the letter poses the question why, if the nuclear test and ballistic rocket launches of the DPRK are considered "a threat to international peace and security, [...] the nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches conducted by the nuclear powers including the United States over thousands of times have not been questioned as threats to international peace and security?" Ambassador Ja reminded the Secretary General of a similar letter he sent to him in May -- six months ago -- to which he has yet to receive the courtesy of a reply.

TML Weekly calls on all peace- and justice-loving Canadians to stand with the DPRK and condemn this latest unilateral and provocative sanction aimed at causing further hardship for the people and government of the DPRK. The politically unstable situation on the Korean peninsula is entirely the making of the U.S. imperialists and their allies from the time of their military division of Korea following the Second World War to the present.

The DPRK has faced the longest economic and political sanctions of any member state of the United Nations. Economic and political sanctions have been imposed against the DPRK since June 28, 1950 immediately following the outbreak of the Korean war. Since its defeat in the Korean War (1950-53) at the hands of the Korean People's Army led by Kim Il Sung, the U.S. has sought revenge against the DPRK, imposing sanctions under various bogus pretexts and actively organizing for regime change in that country including by pre-emptive nuclear war. This has been stated openly by the U.S. imperialists.

Furthermore, successive U.S. governments have refused to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK to bring a formal end to the Korean War and to open up prospects for normalized relations. That fact alone reveals to all that have objectivity of consideration, who is the aggressor on the Korean peninsula.

In the face of this ongoing insecurity and threats from the U.S. and its allies, including Canada, the DPRK has taken countermeasures to exercise its right to self-determination as a sovereign independent state. It has built its own nuclear weapons program out of necessity. The leadership of the DPRK has on several occasions stated unequivocally that it would rather use its scarce financial resources on social programs and economic development, but has been forced to take such measures to affirm its sovereignty. These new sanctions will only create more hardship for the people and constitute an ongoing violation of the human rights of the people of the DPRK.

In today's world, where the big powers have destroyed the post-war international arrangements such as the UN; where the U.S. and other big powers act with impunity through "police powers" circumventing the principles of the UN Charter and international law; where any country that cannot defend itself is fair game for the U.S. and its allies -- what are small countries like the DPRK to do? They have no choice but to defend themselves and rely on their own efforts to guarantee their right to be, or be eaten alive.

TML Weekly calls on all of the Canadian people to not fall prey to the disinformation spread by imperialist powers about which countries constitute "threats to world peace and security." The facts show that it is the U.S. which has kept Korea divided, interfered in the affairs of the people of Korea causing one crisis after another especially in the south, sabotaged the movement for peaceful independent Korean reunification and militarized south Korea, including its plan to impose the ballistic missile defence system against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Koreans and peoples of the region. Warranted conclusions must be drawn from these facts, namely, that the DPRK is not the source of tensions on the Korean peninsula nor is it a threat to world peace.

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